NHL: 2021 Stanley Cup Finals Matchups We Want to See
The entire Stanley Cup Playoffs field in the NHL is set. Some of the match ups are not yet set in stone, but they will be sooner rather than later. Only four teams from each division made it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the NHL.
The divisions were a little bit different this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nine teams from the orginal Eastern Conference and only seven teams from the orginal Western Conference made it to the postseason.
Realistically, there could be a team from the east and the east that plays each other in the Stanley Cup Finals this season and the same goes for the west and the west.
The winners of each division after the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will then be re-seeded for the conference finals. What are the potential Stanley Cup Finals in the NHL do we want to see this season?
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins
There is a realistic possibility that this could happen. Toronto and Boston goes all the way back to the original six. This is one of the best rivalries in the NHL.
The Bruins have beaten the Maple Leafs three consecutive times in a Game 7 dating back to 2013. Boston and Toronto don’t like each other very much.
This rivalry, is the heartbeat of the NHL. This would potentially be one of the most watched Stanley Cup Finals ever.
Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares are three of the key players on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak are three of the key players on the Boston Bruins in the NHL.
Edmonton Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche
This would be an offensive outburst of a Stanley Cup Finals. Edmonton and Colorado don’t have the greatest goaltending in the world. Teams need that in the NHL in order to win the Stanley Cup. Mike Smith vs Philipp Grubauer isn’t your ideal NHL goaltending match up.
Leon Draisaitl is a great sidekick for Connor McDavid and Mikko Rantanen is a great sidekick for Nathan MacKinnon. Tyson Barrie is Edmonton’s best defenseman and Cale Makar is Colorado’s best defenseman. The NHL would have nothing but entertainment in this Stanley Cup Finals.
David Tippet vs Jared Bednar would be the coaching match up in this match up.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The last time the Pittsburgh Penguins faced a defending Stanley Cup Champion in the Stanley Cup Final was back in 2009 against the Detroit Red Wings. Pittsburgh trailed 0-2 in that series against Detroit and the Penguins rallied to win the series 4-3.
Kris Letang and the defensive core has been tremendous for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL so far this season. If Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, and the rest of the crew are healthy for the Tampa Bay Lightning, they could repeat.
This is another reason why this would be a fantastic Stanley Cup Final. Pittsburgh was the last team to go back-to-back in 2016 and in 2017. Tampa Bay is looking to do it again. Victor Hedman is their best defenseman.
Andrei Vasilevskiy vs Tristan Jarry would be a tremendous goaltending match up. Jon Cooper vs Mike Sullivan would also be a tremendous head coaching match up. The last time these two teams faced each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was in 2016 in the Eastern Conference Finals where the Pittsburgh Penguins took out the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games after trailing 3-2 in the series in the NHL.
Who would you like to see play each other in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals this season? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.