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Who Will Win the Golden Knights vs. Panthers Series?

The Stanley Cup Final starts tonight. Which team will win? What team is better? What team has the x-factors?

As the NHL Stanley Cup Final begins, the Vegas Golden Knights and the Florida Panthers’ showdown will be an exciting affair. The Golden Knights should be favoured because they are the better team. That said, the Panthers have two X-factors. One is Sergei Bobrovsky and the other is Matthew Tkachuk.

In this post, I’ll take a look at what might be coming down the track for NHL fans who’ll watch the Finals starting tonight. In the end, I will share my prediction for the series winner.

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Point One: The Golden Knights’ Strong Team

Most NHL hockey followers are not surprised to see the Golden Knights in the Final. Their performances were solid all season, and they have earned their spot. They are, in short, a force to be reckoned with. While I did not have them pegged to win it all, that’s more because I like other teams better and was thinking with my heart.

That said, the Golden Knights are an impressive team. That they have a home-ice advantage only adds to their chances to win.

Point Two: Bobrovsky Is the X-Factor

Sergei Bobrovsky has game-stealing abilities. While the Golden Knights are the better team on paper, fans should never discount a truly hot goalie. And, that’s Bobrovsky for the Panthers. Many hockey fans believe there’s no comparison between Bobrovsky and his counterpart, Aiden Hill.

[As a personal thought, Hill is from the small community where I currently live in Comox, British Columbia. So, it’s hard not to root for a local lad.]

Sergei Bobrovsky Florida Panthers
Sergei Bobrovsky Florida Panthers

Bobrovsky can steal a game single-handedly. He has done that this entire Stanley Cup playoff. His ability adds a layer of uncertainty to the series’ outcome. Hill has been a reliable goalie who is unlikely to lose the game for the Knights. But he isn’t Bobrovsky this postseason.

Point Three: The Panthers Are In-Your-Face

The fact is that both teams play a highly physical style. The Golden Knights are accused of being downright “dirty.” They are always crossing the line between what’s acceptable and what is not.

However, the Panthers are even more a team that is in your face. They are gritty. And, that in-your-face style – when combined with Bobrovsky’s game-saving ability – could prove to be trouble for the Golden Knights.

Related: Time for Maple Leafs’ Big Three to Put Money Where Mouths Are

Point Four: The Panthers Are a Team of Destiny

The Panthers have been turning heads with their impressive play all during the playoffs. The Panthers came from behind to beat the Boston Bruins. They took a strong Toronto Maple Leafs team four games to one. They swept a strong team like the Carolina Hurricanes.

All this success suggests their potential. It’s hard to ignore that they’ve swept through the best of the best in the Eastern Conference. Many believe they could be a team of destiny. They play relentless hockey and make life difficult for opponents.

I expect this tenacity could be a deciding factor in the outcome of the series. There’s a chance the bubble won’t burst any time soon.

The Old Prof’s Prediction

I predict the Panthers will win in six games. I know the smart money is being placed on the Golden Knights; however, from what I’ve seen the Panthers should not be poo-pooed.

Matthew Tkachuk now with the Panthers

This series should be highly competitive and physical. However, I predict the Panthers will overcome the overall strength of the Vegas Golden Knights and will emerge with the Stanley Cup win.

While I cannot imagine that the two teams will draw a lot of Canadian fans, I do think there’s a chance that the series could turn out to be a strong and unforgettable clash.

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