It’s finally here, Lord Stanley is up for grabs. After three long months of some fantastic and memorable hockey it all comes down to one final series. In the West the Dallas Stars will be looking to continue their hot streak. Representing the East, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to finish the deal.

Dallas Stars

When the playoffs began, if you were to tell me Dallas would come out of the West I would have said you were crazy. Heading into the bubble Dallas had one of the best records in the West. Even with a great mix of young talent and veteran stars, Dallas punched above their weight class. Knocking off some of the best teams in the Western Conference.

After blowing a 3-1 lead, Dallas held on to beat heavy favorites Colorado in seven games. In the Conference Finals they beat Vegas in five games. They were outplayed in many of the games but Dallas showed their strength as a unit to win. They were able to create a couple of multigoal comebacks which led them into the final. Dallas has shown a lot of heart in these playoffs.

Tampa Bay Lightning 

Tampa Bay has always been one of the best teams in the East. While they have a lot of great success during the regular season, the playoffs have been a different story. They have struggled in recent years in the the postseason but it seems like they have put their demons to rest. In the bubble Tampa Bay has looked dominate. In all of their series they have not fallen behind. The Lightning have been able to successfully wear down their opponents with all their talent and speed.

The craziest part of Tampa Bay’s success this year is that they have done this all without their Captain. Steven Stamkos has not played yet during the playoffs and they haven’t skipped a beat. Their success can be placed on one player, Brayden Point. Two seasons ago Point was an all-star on the rise. He has now grown into one of the best centers in the NHL. He has scored some big goals in the bubble and has been a key member on Tampa’s very successful power-play.

Prediction

My prediction for this series is that the Dallas Stars will beat Tampa Bay in six games. While Tampa Bay may be the more skilled of the two teams, Dallas has the killer instinct. Throughout these playoffs Dallas always competed until the end. Tampa Bay hasn’t played a team with that kind of drive yet. Meanwhile, the win against Vegas was a great tune-up for Dallas heading into the Stanley Cup Final.