Patrick's Stanley Cup Predictions

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With both teams coming off of grueling back and forth 7 game series you'd think it would be tough to see a clear cut winner in the Stanley Cup Final. Well thankfully you came to the right place to find out whose going to win. Lets have a quick breakdown.

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PATRICK'S PREVIEW


1. Forwards- The Hawks have Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa. Bolts have Johnson, Kucherov, Killorn and some guy named Stamkos. Both teams have the fire power and both of these forward groups have the speed. Plus each have scoring depth with guys like Saad, Richards, Shaw for the Hawks and Palat, Filppula for the Bolts. The Hawks haven't dealt with this kind of speed and the Bolts haven't seen this kind of depth. This is a dead heat for these teams but I am giving the edge to the younger speedier Bolts who didn't have a physically brutal series like the Hawks.
EDGE- Bolts


2. Defensemen- Despite really only having 4 defensemen, Chicago was able to get through a tough series in Anaheim. A brutal series in fact. As their last series progressed with Anaheim the Chicago blue line only seemed to get stronger. Keith with a combined 5 points in games 6/7, 8 points in the series. Seabrook, Oduya and Hjalmarsson have all been rock steady and chipped in throughout the playoffs despite playing monster minutes. With Tampa its a much different story. They have a great top pairing in Hedman and Stralman but after that the depth falls off quite a bit. Cooper is also playing 7 defenseman and none of them are Duncan Keith. Garrison, Carle, Coburn, Nesterov and Sustr are by no means house hold names and have a lot to prove in this series.
EDGE- Hawks


3. Goaltending- What an interesting match up this is. Corey Crawford vs Ben Bishop. Both goalies have similar SV%, Bishop with .920 and Crawford with .919. Not bad but both have had horrible nights where they get pulled and both have had shutouts. Neither of them elite, just good. Which just goes to show you in these playoffs you can win without an elite netminder. A huge part of this series is going to be which Bishop and which Crawford show up to the crease each game. Bishop knocked Price and Lundqvist out of the playoffs and thats saying something.
EDGE- Bolts (barely)


4. Special Teams- Both the Bolts and the Hawks are pretty efficient on the PP. The Bolts clicking at a 22% and led by Palat with 4 PPG. The Hawks clicking at 19.6% led by Toews with 3 PPG. The real question will be how many advantages will the Hawks see in this series? Tampa has taken the most penalties in the playoffs racking up 221 PIMs in just 20 games. Giving their opponents 69 PP attempts. On the other side though Tampa has killed at 81% on the PK and the Hawks sit at a horrible 75%. With Tampa's speed I expect more power plays. Like with this entire series, this is close BUT....
EDGE- Bolts


5. Intangibles- The Hawks are going to their 3rd Stanley Cup Final in 6 seasons & yes they are as close to a dynasty as you're going to get in this era. This core has won two Cups, one in 2010 another in 2013. Toews is one of the best captains and leaders in the game and has gotten his team to rise to the occasion throughout these playoffs. This is a been there done that team that knows how to win. Now in Tampa there is no history of winning. There is no legend behind the bench. Hell, there is only one player on the Tampa roster that has won a cup! The Bolts have youth and tons of confidence heading into the final. Beating the likes of Price and Lundqvist was no small order. They know its going to take everything in them to win.
EDGE- Hawks


6. Coaching- Getting through the trouble of a streaky goalie and winning? Check. Playing really only 4 defensemen in the WCF and winning? Check. Pairing Kane and Toews together for a huge comeback to beat the Ducks? Check. Coach Q is brilliant and knows how to win. He makes the right moves at the right time and knows how to lead a team to the grueling Stanley Cup. Jon Cooper is new to the game. This is only his second year coaching in the NHL but he is no stranger to success. He as won throughout the lower levels of the sport and now this is his time to prove he can lead a team to the promise land. He is a good coach, just isn't at the level of coach Q.
EDGE- Hawks


MY PREDICTION- BOLTS IN 6.