As a Panthers fan I hate seeing it but as a Florida person im glad to see the other Florida hockey team going to the finals by running though the Original Six none the less. Now i believed that Tampa was a good team from the beginning, but didn’t think they would be THAT good. Thought you would need more experience to even get that far but I can explain Tampa i think a bit
1.) TBs good but i think its also more of NYR have kinda not showed up much this playoffs. Most goals throughout the season but in the playoffs couldn’t lead by more than 1 goal the entire playoffs except for 2 games. Take all goals they scored all season and subtract all of Rick Nash’s cause he was transparent this whole playoffs, and you have a team that sits maybe 3rd or 4th in their respective standing.
2.) Tampa had the better more effective defense 1 though 6.
3.) Rangers missing a top line player in Matt Zuccarello. Concussions are no fucking joke. Apparently he could remember how to speak for weeks after getting a puck to the head from his own Captain McDonaugh.
4.) Tampa bay has Russians on offense, those are scoring wizards, cant trust them on defense or as a captain at all but they do score a lot
5.) Ben Bishop is not a great goal tender but he’s fucking huge, Can’t get past him if he has his angles right. Gotta really play the wide surface of the ice with skill then he’s like the Grand Canyon.
6.) Henrik Lundqvist was given the options of good looks or Stanly cup, obvious which one he picked.
7.) I really like Detroit because of their history but they kinda prove you need good two way players (Not Ovechkin) because Datsyuk and Zetterberg are some of the best 2 way players in the world and they were the closest to cutting Tampa off because they eliminated Stamkos from the game. The ONLY goal Stamkos scored in detroit/lightning was the one second during a line change where Datsyuk was off the ice.
8.) Montreal was a pretty undisciplined team and russians suck at defense (looking at you, Emelin, you diving jabroni.)
9.) Its the Scotty Bowman effect. Anything he touches turns to gold. Taught Yzerman how to put together a winning team.
10.) Gods asking me to go to a Finals game in Tampa.
11.)Tyler Johnson. kids 5’9 and started out undrafted. NHL teams have kinda always overlooked the small guys and just now you’re seeing smaller guys like a kane or a Johnny gaudreau become scoring machines. Must be like an optical illusion on the ice with their size. Tyler Johnson pretty much was a younger Marty St. Louis with out the calf muscle weight of a charging bull and now Marty got himself traded to NY while his former team in Tampa is going to the finals.
12.) On that same note NY media just i think just drives players crazy. 3 lightning players were Rangers last year including their former captain and now they’re blossoming. like 3/5 New York knicks got traded to the Cavs are in the NBA finals now. Playing in NY is a battle of attrition from being a big city target and the NY media wearing you down.
13.) Gary Bettmans trying to make it Tampa/Ducks to expand hockey in warm weather states. Arizona is bound for a cup run and the Rangers, Kings, and Blackhawks traded their future to them. Arizona’s gonna make a run for the cup within the next 8 years, book it.
Thats all I got. Stanley Cup Final starts on Wednesday with Tampa having early home Ice advantage.