The greatest trophy in all of sports is on the line as the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning starts tonight (want to go to the game? Find tickets here). The Blackhawks are going for their third title in the last six seasons and they face a young and inexperienced Lightning team. Without a doubt this is going to be a fun and exciting series as both teams can light up the lamp and there’s plenty of star power to go around. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay their storybook season is about to come to end. Here’s 5 reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks could win the Stanley Cup.
5. The National Anthem
The Blackhawks without a doubt have the greatest National Anthem in all the land thanks to Jim Cornelison thunderous pipes. If you don’t think that having the U-S of A on your side matters think again. Cornelison gets the crowd cheering, clapping, and in a frenzy even before the puck is dropped. USA! USA!
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has been behind the Blackhawks bench the past seven seasons including winning two Stanley Cups. He is also third among NHL coaches in all-time wins. His stache makes Magnum P.I. proud and his stoic demeanor instills a level of confidence that is unmatched.
As for Tampa Bay, anyone know who their coach is? Some guy named Jon Cooper. Wasn’t he the Ohio State coach that couldn’t win a big game vs Michigan? Close enough. Coop has only been on the bench two seasons for the Lightning and this is his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final. You are trippin if you think that he’s out coaching Q.
Queue up Schoolboy Q because a victory in this series would make Coach Q only the fourth coach to win the Stanley Cup three times, undoubtedly making him the Man of the Year.
Tampa Bay’s goalie Ben Bishop had never played in a playoff game until this year and statistically he’s not as good as the other goalies the Blackhawks have defeated. In each of the previous playoffs series this year, the goaltender the Blackhawks faced had a worse save percentage that series than they did in the regular season. The Blackhawks offense is high powered and like the Cobra Kai dojo shows no mercy.
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has had his ups and downs this postseason but he’s got a clean slate. The Lightning also have a potent offense but Crawford has been there before. I’ll always take a goaltender that’s won a Stanley Cup and has experience.
2. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews
Like Patrick Kane’s mullet, the duo is business in the front (Captain Serious Jonathan Toews), party in the back (Kaner). Patrick Kane is tied for 2nd in the NHL this postseason with 10 goals and Jonathan Toews isn’t far behind with 9 (which is tied for fourth.) Toews is also one of the best two-way players in the league and Kane has the ability to change a game in an instant with his dazzling moves. When the Blackhawks raise the Stanley Cup for a third time look for one of these two to be the Conn Smythe winner.
1. The Nature Boy Ric Flair
To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man. WOOO! The Chicago Blackhawks are the man. They are the Spurs of the NHL and a victory in this series would cement them as an NHL dynasty. Heading into the playoffs the Blackhawks were the team to beat, regardless of seed. Tampa Bay’s story is nice and I’m excited to see Steven Stamkos on the big stage but that doesn’t mean they have what it takes to take down the best in the NHL.