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The 2017-18 Stanley Cup Winner

John Turnbull

Posted on May 11, 2018 10:27

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Last round of predictions for the NHL Playoffs.

Well, round 2 is over and this writer went 2 for 4, bringing my record thus far to 7-5. Could be worse. The parity in today's NHL is very prevalent; literally ANY team that gets in can win. Part of that, of course, is that the abundance of teams thins the talent pool. So, it essentially comes down to team chemistry, coaching, and - here's the big one - goaltending. The four remaining teams have all had stellar goaltending. Whomever stays hot will lead his team to victory.

So, this is my final article on the NHL playoffs for this calendar year:

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS:

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals -

I've been writing off the Capitals since the beginning of the playoffs and have been stung by it every time. It was a huge psychological victory for the veteran core to finally get past the Penguins, and Holtby has been standing on his head in between the pipes. Plus, their third and fourth lines have been dominating other teams's.

Tampa has had a much easier ride to get here. They really haven't been tested yet, and this makes them more rested. Plus, they have had success against Washington in the past. However, time off in the playoffs quite often saps the team of momentum. If the Bolts's top line doesn't get going, it's going to be difficult for them.

I've finally become a believer: Washington in 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE:

Las Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets -

Winnipeg's young core has been absorbing the playoff ups and downs on a learning curve that looks like a good stock - up and up! They are four lines deep, have an underrated but strong back end and Hellebuyck has been solid, if not phenomenal. Byfuglien needs to play at his best every game, not take every second game off. He is a game changer.

Las Vegas has Fleury, who HAS been phenomenal, and their team concept buy-in and work ethic is still the strongest of the remaining teams. However, the Vegas bookies can quit sweating as they won't be paying out the big bucks this round. The Golden Knights's luck has run out. Bet on it. Winnipeg in 6

STANLEY CUP:

My Canadian readers won't like this call, but it's Ovechkin's time to finally win that cup so he can ride into the sunset with that deserved-but-still-elusive piece of hardware. It will be a tough series where home ice will be likely not matter, but I can't see Winnipeg winning it this year. Their time is still to come.

Washington Capitals in 7

John Turnbull

Posted on May 11, 2018 10:27

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The Stanley Cup playoffs are here. Check out the full 2017 NHL playoff schedule, which we will continue to update

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