Stanley Cup Final 2023: Picks, predictions, preview for Golden Knights vs. Panthers

The 2023 Stanley Cup Final match is formally set. The Vegas Golden Knights will handle the Florida Panthers in a fight in between the front runner in the West and the most affordable seed in the East.

That might look like an uneven series, however the Panthers have actually appeared like anything however a No. 8 seed in the postseason. Florida removed the Boston Bruins, the Stanley Cup favorites, in the preliminary prior to going 8-1 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes in the next 2 rounds.

The Golden Knights was among the favorites to win the West, and they have actually played like one. Vegas rolled through Winnipeg in the preliminary and beat the Edmonton Oilers in the 2nd round. The Golden Knights took a 3-0 lead on the Dallas Stars in the conference last, however the Stars clawed their method back for a couple wins prior to Vegas knocked the door with an emphatic Game 6 win.

Both groups have actually looked worthwhile of the Stanley Cup through the very first 3 rounds, however just one of them can win all of it now. Here are our forecasts for the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.

Austin Nivison: The Panthers have actually rolled through what seemed exceptional challengers in the very first 3 rounds, and Matthew Tkachuk has actually been the one blazing a trail. Not just has Tkachuk played well general, however his flair for scoring clutch objectives is merely unequaled. I do not see Tkachuk decreasing at all in the Stanley Cup Final. The Golden Knights will simply need to make their hay when Tkachuk isn’t on the ice.

The Golden Knights have actually depended on its elite depth, with every gamer tallying a point in the conference last, even when Jack Eichel and Mark Stone integrated for simply one objective. This Panthers group isn’t as stout as the Stars on defense, so anticipate Eichel and Stone to discover the scoresheet regularly in the Cup Final.

Defensively, Shea Theodore and Brayden McNabb are most likely the very best pairing in this series, which provides the Golden Knights the edge there. Florida likewise takes place to have the greatest liability. Marc Staal has actually played nearly 309 minutes at five-on-five and has actually truly had a hard time. The Golden Knights can make use of that match whenever Staal remains in the video game.

There hasn’t been much daytime in between the 2 goalies in this series. Sergei Bobrovsky and Adin Hill have actually both been brick walls in spite of the truth that neither begun Game 1 of the playoffs for their particular groups.

The Panthers’ greatest benefit will most likely be unique groups. Their power play has actually scored on 27.9% of its chances, and the Vegas charge kill has actually been leaking throughout the postseason. Florida might turn the series in its favor with some prompt objectives on the male benefit.

I anticipate a long and close series in between these 2 groups with stars like Eichel and Tkachuk dipping into the top of their video game. Ultimately, the Golden Knights’ depth and more powerful defense will triumph. Pick — Golden Knights defeat Panthers, 4-3

Chris Bengel: What the Panthers have actually achieved throughout the 2023 postseason has actually been absolutely nothing except remarkable. When the hit trade decreased last summertime, I’ll be the very first to confess I believed the Panthers paid too much to get Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames. It’s safe to state Tkachuk has actually won lots of over, including myself, with his prompt game-winning objectives throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

It’s going to be a hard job to decrease Tkachuk, however the Golden Knights do have the defense to a minimum of restrict his production to some level. During the Western Conference Final, the Golden Knights defense had the ability to decrease the Stars, specifically up the middle. 

Stars center Roope Hintz had actually been among the postseason’s leading entertainers, however the Golden Knights’ defensemen held Hintz to simply 2 points in the last 5 video games of the series. The Golden Knights have a consistent veteran leading protective pairing in Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez, who both have actually won Stanley Cups in the past. 

The Golden Knights’ talented forward group is most likely going to be the X-factor in this series. Vegas has a top-six group of forwards that consists of the similarity Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson, simply among others. This is a group that has actually balanced 3.65 goals-per-game throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which ranks 3rd amongst playoff groups. 

The greatest driver for the Golden Knights is their capability to rating in five-on-five circumstances. Vegas has actually acquired 62 objectives through 17 video games throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs — 49 of those objectives have actually been available in the five-on-five, which is one of the most of any group. 

This figures to be a really evenly-matched series with a fair bit of firepower on each side. However, I do think that the Golden Knights’ scoring depth will show to be the distinction and will lead them to their very first Stanley Cup. Pick — Golden Knights defeat Panthers, 4-3

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