Stanley Cup Final Preview

By: Eric Cohen

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

It is one of the most unlikely Stanley Cup Final matches we have had in years. An expansion team vs a team that never gets out of the second round. The team George McPhee built vs the expansion team George McPhee built. The McPhee story is definitely intriguing. He spent 17 seasons in Washington and drafted 12 players that are still on the current Capitals roster. He built a powerhouse in Washington that won the Eastern Conference in 1998 but after getting swept by Detroit in the Stanley Cup Final the Caps were unable to get back to the conference finals and McPhee was fired in 2014.
What the Golden Knights did in year one is simply unheard of. Never in sports history has an expansion team entered into any of the four major sports and dominated like Vegas did. They won their division, disposed of the Kings, Sharks and Jets and only lost 3 games on their journey to the Cup Final. Words can not describe how impressive they have been. McPhee took advantage of many mistakes from many other general managers in the expansion draft but even the architect of this team had no idea they could possibly be this good. 
This series features great snipers and playmakers like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nick Backstrom taking on Jonathan Marchesseault, William Karlsson and James Neal. The two goaltenders in this series have both been outstanding through out the playoffs. Braden Holtby and Marc Andre Fleury who have quite the history from the Pens/Caps rivalry will need to sharp once again with all the scoring chances they are likely to face. Vegas won both regular season match ups.
This series is a coin toss. What's ironic is that Vegas sports books are rooting for Vegas to lose as many residents and tourists threw down money on this team at 500 to 1 just as a fun token bet when the city was awarded a franchise. Now those tickets could be life changers for some people if the Golden Knights are victorious. At the end of the day Vegas has home ice advantage which could be the difference. They were great at home all year and have only lost 1 home playoff game and it came in double overtime. Don't discount the Caps who are 15-3 in their last 18 road games. In what should be a fun series I am taking the Golden Knight to win in 7 games. What a story that would be for the NHL. Enjoy the Cup Final.