- Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.
The Stanley Cup Final between the Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights is expected to be a tightly played series, without an overwhelming favorite to win it all.
That is until you really start to get granular with the matchup. Then you know exactly which team will win it all.
Here is a preposterously in-depth look at the Final in which we determine the winner through 30 separate categories: looking at the Panthers and Golden Knights on the ice, off the ice, in the stands and in the culture.
Which team will hoist the Cup? Let’s break it down and then break it down some more:
With due respect to Jack Eichel, the Panthers might have the two best forwards in the series in Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov. What they don’t have is the spread of talent through four lines like Vegas has, with William Karlsson (10 goals) on its third line and the William Carrier-led fourth line clicking at a 64% clip in expected goals at 5-on-5. Advantage: Golden Knights
Like with Florida at forward, Vegas might have the two best defensemen in this series in Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore. But they also have the best overall blue-line depth in the series too: Their third pairing of Nicolas Hague and Zach Whitecloud are giving up 1.01 goals against per 60 minutes, which leads any D-pairing in the series. Also, where did Brandon Montour’s Cale Makar impression go? No points in the past eight games. Advantage: Golden Knights
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