Hockey fans have experienced an awesome season filled with plenty of action and drama, and they now know that the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks will be the two teams skating to win this season’s Stanley Cup trophy.
Every year, the champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences play for the Stanley Cup, the ultimate prize in hockey. Both teams defeated their respective opponents in seven games in enemy territory to make it to this year’s Stanley Cup, with the Lightning defeating the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference and the Blackhawks defeating the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference.
The Lightning will be the team with home ice advantage throughout the series, meaning they will have four games at home and only three away at Chicago should the series go all the way to seven games.
Both teams have also had their share of adventure making it to their meeting with one another on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.
The Lightning finished third in the Eastern Conference this year, and faced a tall task from the very start of the playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round. Even with their entire season in jeopardy and down three-games-to-two, they rallied to defeat the Red Wings in seven games.
They comfortably defeated the most decorated team in the history of hockey, the Montreal Canadiens, in the next round, winning in six games.
The shining point for Tampa Bay this year, though, was becoming the first team in NHL history to defeat the New York Rangers in a game seven at Madison Square Garden, which they did in the Eastern Conference finals.
The Blackhawks were fortunate enough to face a Nashville Predators team drifting away from form in the first round, and defeated them in six games, despite an agreeably awful performance from goaltender Corey Crawford.
They eliminated the Minnesota Wild from the playoffs for the third straight season in a clean sweep of four games. They also overcame an Anaheim Ducks side with considerable firepower such as Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in seven games.
Now, the two teams meet for what appears to be a battle of confident experience against young hunger.
The Lightning, filled with young stars such as captain Steven Stamkos and center Tyler Johnson, are very keen on capturing the cup this year. All players on the team are driven to etch their names amongst the league’s elite.
“I think it’s going to be a good final. To me, though, the Lightning will prevail,” says junior Max Vreeland. “They have a younger and more capable team than Chicago.”
The Blackhawks have experience on their side. Not only do they have players already established in the NHL elite such as right winger Patrick Kane and Crawford, they look set to further cement their legacy with a third world championship of the past six seasons.
“My pick are the Blackhawks to win,” says sophomore Owen Regan. “They’re on the edge of being called a dynasty, and experience will come in handy here against the Lightning.”
Game one took place on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in Tampa Bay. The Lightning scored early, taking a 1-0 lead only four-and-a-half minutes into the affair. The lead persisted into the third period with the Blackhawks finally tying the game with six-and-a-half minutes remaining. All of a sudden, Chicago was in front 2-1, and they never looked back.
Whether the Blackhawks will be recognized as the face of this generation of hockey, or if the Lightning will seize their second Stanley Cup, will be determined in this series. Follow the series and find out just what the fate of each team will be!
Who will triumph and win the Stanley Cup this season? Why?