NHL Stanley Cup Final Nashville vs Pittsburgh

Penguins vs Nashville update: P.K. Subban is guaranteeing a win for game 3. Get your popcorn ready for Saturday June 3rd.

After an 82 game regular season and 3 rounds of bone crushing hockey, we have arrived at the Stanley Cup Final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to win back to back championships just like they did in 1990-1991 and 1991-1992. In order to do this, they must beat
the Nashville Predators, who have become giant killers this year by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks, the St Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks.

Let’s take a look at some stats first.

PITTSBURGH                                  NASHVILLE

12-7              RECORD                     12-4

3.05             GOALS/GAME              2.94

2.32             GOALS ALLOWED       1.81

25%            POWERPLAY                14.9%

85.5%         PENALTY KILL              88.1%

These teams are evenly matched except for Pittsburgh having the edge when it comes to power plays.
The goals allowed for Pittsburgh should be closer, but that happens when your goalie lets in bad goals ( ahem, M-A Fleury).

Lets now look at the teams positionally and coaching to see who has the advantage.

CENTER: The Penguins have one of the best set of centers in hockey. Crosby, Malkin, and Bonino are very strong on the dot and its hard to argue who is the best center in the game right now ( 87).
The Nashville Predators have lost two of their top centers to injury ( Johansen and Fisher) and those are big holes to fill.
ADVANTAGE: Pittsburgh

DEFENSE: Pittsburgh has fared well without their # 1 D-man Kris Letang, however, Nashville has P.K. Subban and if he decides to play like he can, he can be a force on the power play.
ADVANTAGE: Nashville

GOALTENDING:  Nashville’s Pekka Rinne has mind-blowing stats for the playoffs including 2 shutouts and a .941 save percentage.  The Penguins went to Matt Murray in goal after M-A Fleury
had a meltdown vs OTTAWA by letting in 4 goals in 12 minutes.
ADVANTAGE: Nashville

COACHING:  Mike Sullivan has the Penguins revved up again to try and repeat. He knows how to push the buttons of his players. Peter Laviolette is no stranger to playoff hockey. He has a Stanley Cup ring
with Carolina and this is his third trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Stanley Cup Finals Guide – Make It Seem Like You’ve Been the Best ...
PREDICTION: this will be a close series that will likely go 7 games. I give the edge to Pittsburgh because of their ability to score and the sheer will that Sidney Crosby has to win.

Steve Paris
NHL expert