June 14, 2015

Pucks On The 'Net: Seen Stamkos?

Some thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final after game five:
  • Oh that Seen Stamkos? line is starting to get a lot of use. For those who do not know that was the name of  advertising blitz back in 2008 used by the Tampa Bay Lightning when they first drafted Steven Stamkos. Now it's being used to ask why has Steven Stamkos been so quiet in the Stanley Cup final. Just one assist through five games against Chicago. Though his ice time is now spiking he only managed one shot on net in game five. With the support scoring line decimated by injuries, the Bolts really need Stamkos to find the back of the net. But Chicago has done a really good job keying on the dangerous sniper.
  • Chicago still doesn't look like Chicago, to me. They are clearly affected by the fatiguing blue line that limits their offensive push and usual swagger. But I also wonder how much of their leveled off play has to do with just how good the Tampa Bay Lightning are. I know I have not given the Lightning enough credit, and neither do a lot of people.
  • Not that this series is over by any means. Check out how close this series is: Goals: CHI 11, TB 10. Shots on goal: CHI 136, TB 136. Shot attempts: CHI 269, TB 266. It doesn't get much tighter than that. In fact, for the first time in NHL history, there has not been a multi-goal lead at any point in the opening 5 games of the Stanley Cup Final. That is truly amazing.
  • Lightning fans may remember back in 2004 falling behind 3 games to 2 to the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup final. Tampa came back to win the Stanley Cup, of course.
  • However the odds remain in Chicago's favor now. Since 1939, the team that has won Game 5 after a 2-2 split in the Final has won Stanley Cup 16 of 23 times (69.6%).

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