Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Conference Finals Predictions

Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Conference Finals Predictions

He missed the Capitals' series-clinching win two days later. Among the Lightning, Capitals, Jets and Golden Knights, only Tampa Bay has won the Stanley Cup, making this the first time the final four teams have combined for one title or fewer.

"When he came in the league, he was the best player, and I mean he's still the best player", Kucherov said. These two teams have looked extremely impressive during the postseason, disposing of their first two opponents in 10 games and 12 games, respectively.

"I've had some teams that have been very, very talented and they weren't necessarily the best teams", said Trotz, who is in the third round for the first time in 19 years as an National Hockey League head coach. The top seed in the Eastern Conference will take on the Washington Capitals, who will play in the conference finals for the first time since 1998. This year, they're finally getting them. "He's a good player, and he's been generally a pretty good player in the playoffs, so I'm hoping past experience and playoff excitement will push him forward when he gets the call".

Boston was supposed to be tight battle between the two best teams in the East, a juggernaut fight. "That will be one of the keys for us".

"That has to be in our mind and we have to play as a group, not play individually".

Wilson will be back off a three-game suspension, and with Backstrom and Burakovsky potentially close, the Capitals could have their full lineup soon. "The guys that are going well, you use, and the other guys wait for another opportunity".

"With the matchups on the road, you don't get them all the time so I think guys are a little more aware of who they're on the ice against, maybe a little more engaged in terms of knowing who's on the ice", winger Brett Connolly said.

Washington will need to get on power-plays in order to win. "When you're playing a lot of minutes, I think it can wear on some of the guys". "It just creates a better vibe".

The Lightning also lead the league in recovering pucks after taking a shot with 28.4 per 60 minutes at 5-vs-5, which allows them to get a lot of second-chance opportunities and extends their zone time on exhausted defences.

The matchup: The Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals are meeting in the playoffs for just the third time.

"We've been here in this situation before", Stamkos said.

"I expect when Andre (Burakovsky) is ready that he could give us a boost of enthusiasm", Trotz said Thursday (via the Washington Post).

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