Who will win in the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs? Here at Pucking Hockey we are predicting the Tampa Bay Lightning will win it all.
I’ve already explained why the Detroit Red Wings will not win the 2015 Stanley Cup, now I want to look at a team who can win it all.
There are a few articles out there that go into more depth on why the Tampa Bay Lightning will win the 2015 Stanley Cup, but I am going to keep it short and point out three key factors on why they can, and will hoist the Stanley Cup this year.
1 -> Offensive and Defensive Depth
Tampa has two first lines and two offensive-defensive minded lines, the only team in my opinion that has this luxury up and down their lineup.
- Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan and Valtteri Filppula line “1” They’ve tallied 74 combined goals.
- Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat line “2” They’ve tallied 69 goals combined.
Throughout the season these 6 players have been shuffled around, along with this lethal offense leading the league in shooting percentage per game. Pucking alarming!
But as we all know, it always has and always will come down to a strong defense and strong goaltending, in order to win the big game.
I am writing this blog post on 4/2/15 therefore at the moment, Tampa are without key defensemen.
- Andrej Sustr (1-2 weeks) missed 3 games to date
- Braydon Coburn (4-6 weeks) missed 10 games to date
- Jason Garrison (3-4 weeks) missed 3 games to date
- Victor Hedman (day-to-day) missed 2 games to date
That’s four key defensemen injured, while one provides a missile at the blue line (Garrison) the other three are over 200 pounds each. And how it looks, Coburn as well as Garrison, will end up missing the quarterfinals, the others will be available.
- Anton Stralman
- Andrej Sustr
- Victor Hedman
- Matt Carle
Sustr and Hedman will be ready to go, the Bolts have already clinched a playoff spot, no need to rush them back. Providing Tampa with 4 quality defensemen, all healthy and ready to “start another season”. (playoffs, you pucking idiot) However, Coburn’s size and Garrison’s missile will be missed ultimately hurting Tampa in the quarterfinals.
2-> Did You Say Size?
Victor Hedman, an elite two-way force standing at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds. The 6-foot-5, 220 pound Coburn is the third-biggest starter, along with Sustr standing at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds.
Furthermore, once Tampa’s backend gets 100% healthy, it will be equal to facing the Romans along with you only holding a hollowed out hockey stick. Praying you won’t become a pancake.
Steve Yzerman’s main goal in the off-season was to improve the defense. Not only did he secure the back-end, he even built the offense-defensively, by signing center Brian Boyle and veteran Brenden Morrow, formerly a first-liner but more of a grinding and experienced checker in his 15th NHL season.
So let’s add this all up. Two “first” lines. Two offensive-defensive minded lines. A roman like built blue line…what am I missing? Oh yeah, puck me silly, Ben Bishop!
3-> American Goaltending On The Rise
I absolutely love American born goaltenders, as Ben Bishop is my 2nd favorite. (J. Quick). Not only is the Roman army standing in front of him, he’s also a big-mother-pucking- goaltender, that can move fluently.
In the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs I was eminent on the Bolts having a deep run, however Bishop was injured and the Habs swept the Lightning in 4 games. This time around however, Bishop is healthy and has been for most of the season.
My only concern though are his current stats. Bishop only holds a .913 save percentage, so what’s concerning to me is that Bishop has played only 5 fewer games than last season (so far) however Bishop ended last season with a .924 save percentage.
My Pucking Conclusion?
Truth be told, I’m trying to find a flaw in this Tampa line-up and can’t seem to find any. So I cut Bishop up a bit, just because I can. And the defense is not a concern, I needed something to write about.
Usually teams have flaws, but this pucking Lightning team has absolutely no flaws, at least none that I could find.
Watch the Roman army march straight into the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
Pucking Hockey is a registered trademark company. Pucking Hockey is a registered copyright company. All Rights Reserved.