Stanley Cup preview
Monday, May 28, 2018
Which fairytale will have a happy ending?
Alex Ovechkin or the Vegas Golden Knights? The 2017-2018 season was filled with surprises, and the Stanley Cup final series keeps the trend alive. The Washington Capitals’ window was supposed to be closed and the Vegas Golden Knights’ unbelievable season was supposed to end in the first round of the playoffs against a way more seasoned team in the Los Angeles Kings. Choose your side wisely or don’t, no matter who wins, it will be a happy ending.
How both teams stack against each other?
The two main player on each team are old foes: Marc-André Fleury and Alex Ovechkin. Fleury, especially since the Capitals finally bested the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been the reason why the Capitals have had so much difficulty in recent post-seasons. It won’t be different this year, as Fleury has been lights out this Spring with a .947 save percentage, 1.68 goal against average with 4 shutouts.
Although Vegas muzzled the powerful Winnipeg Jets, they will have their biggest test yet. The Washington Capitals offense scores almost a full goal more per average than Vegas, with 4 more games played, outscoring Vegas 59-35. Both teams first line have been dominating their opponent, but Washington’s, made of Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Wilson piled collected 54 points, even whit Wilson’s 3 games suspension. For Vegas, Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith scored 47 points, without missing a game. The difference in points is far less different when you take in account game-winning goals, Vegas’ top line outscores Washington’s 5 to 3.
Defensive wise, Washingtons has a slight edge, but Vegas’ strategy to defend by committee my prove the best strategy if the series goes all the way. Obviously, the Capitals have John Carlson, the best defenseman in this post-season, but if the Knights can but pressure on him like they did on LA’s Drew Dougthy, San Jose’s Brent Burns and Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien. Yes they did score some big goals, but overall, Vegas had the edge on dominating d-men.
So... who wins?
Who cares! We will have one of the best Stanley Cup final series in recent years and not matter the outcome, this ending will put an exclamation mark on a fairytale. But if anyone really wants a prediction, I feel like Washington might win this one in 7 games... but my heart is in Vegas, especially with Marc-Andre Fleury!