Stanley Cup Roundtable: Panthers or Golden Knights? And who wins the Conn Smythe?
Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis3 months ago
The Stanley Cup Final is set to kick off on Saturday night in Vegas as the Golden Knights host the Florida Panthers.
It isn’t a huge surprise that the Golden Knights are here considering they finished the regular season with the best record in the Western Conference. But on the flip side, nobody saw the Panthers coming out of the Eastern Conference. They barely squeezed into the playoffs and then pulled off back-to-back-to-back upsets to reach their first Cup Final since 1996.
Are the Panthers going to complete their Cinderella run with their first-ever Stanley Cup? Or are the Golden Knights going to finally get the job done? Also, who’s going to wind up winning the Conn Smythe trophy for the most valuable player in the playoffs?
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Listen, I can’t handle a world in which the team that beat us goes on to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s why it has to be the Florida Panthers that come out on top. From the moment they toppled the Bruins to sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Panthers have given us a laundry list of reasons why we shouldn’t be betting against them, and I think the Cup Finals will be another chapter in that same story.
As for the Conn Smythe winner, it has to be Matthew Tkachuk for the lols. I mean, as much as I don’t really care too much about who wins this award, the idea of Flames fans watching their former beaux raising the Stanley Cup as the lead’s top playoff performer is too funny to ignore. C’mon, Chucky. You’ve got this.
My heart says Florida but my head says Vegas. The Panthers have come this far thanks to otherworldly play from Sergei Bobrovsky, who has a .935 save percentage in the playoffs, and some clutch goal-scoring from their top forwards.
But during their run, the Panthers never went up against another team with a red-hot goalie, and that’s what the Golden Knights have with Adin Hill. He came into Game 3 against the Oilers in relief of Laurent Brossoit and has posted a .937 save percentage since.
I feel like the long layoff is going to kill Florida’s momentum. Vegas is a deeper team with a goalie who’s been just as unbeatable as the guy who’s carried them. I’ve got the Golden Knights in six with Hill as my Conn Smythe winner.
Bet against the Florida Panthers at your own peril! This has been a team of destiny and I don’t see that ending. I like their high-end skill more than I like Vegas’. Matt Tkachuk has been on a tear and Aleksander Barkov has yet to play his best hockey in these playoffs. I also like the upside of Sergei Bobrovsky more than I like Aidan Hill. Give me the Panthers in seven.
As for the Conn Smythe, I could very easily see it being Bobrovsky but my pick will be Matt Tkachuk. He’s been so clutch throughout these playoffs and remember, this is the ‘playoff MVP’ not just the ‘Stanley Cup Final MVP’ and Tkachuk has racked up a lot of big goals already. He’s my pick.
I’m rolling with the Panthers here. Every series in these playoffs I’ve bet on them to win their respective seasons, so why change things now? This team is firing on all cylinders and have been led by Matthew Tkachuk, who has had a tremendous first season in Florida.
I do realize they’ve gone 10 days without playing in any games, but over the course of the regular season they had five breaks of five days or more. In their first games back, they went 5-0 outscoring their opposition 29-11.
Give me Sergei Bobrovsky as the 18th goalie to win the Conn Smythe.
Recent articles from Cam Lewis