ASA’s NHL PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS – Who Wins the Stanley Cup?

tampa bay lightningASA’s Stanley Cup Future: Play the Tampa Bay Lightning +500 – With Steven Stamkos expected back for the start of the playoffs, the Bolts are in much better shape than they were in the spring of 2016 when he missed 16 of the 17 games in the post-season and TB was ousted in the Eastern Conference Finals. The last time Stamkos was available for a full post-season was 2015 and that is when they made their run to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Chicago in 6 games. Tampa Bay missed the post-season last year which certainly was correlated to Stamkos missing 65 games of the regular season. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy finished this regular season with a fantastic .931 save percentage on the road. Winning on the road consistently is a key to making a playoff run and winning it all. That, plus the fact that he compiled a .925 save percentage in the 2016 playoffs when the Bolts were without Stamkos and facing the eventual Stanley Cup winners, Pittsburgh, says a lot about how well Vasilevskiy can perform under pressure. The Lightning lost 10 of 18 games Vasilevskiy did not start. In the 64 games he started the Bolts won 44! If he and Stamkos stay healthy, Tampa Bay has a great shot at hoisting the Cup in June!

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