Top Five Early Contenders for the Stanley Cup

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By Patrick Pierce

The Stanley Cup is the most prestigious trophy in the world of hockey. In fact, it is considered the first trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise. Just as in every season, the competition to drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup will be fierce. Every single team knows why this is often considered one of the hardest trophies to win in all of sports. 

But who will be the team that ultimately hoists the cup? Our duty is to bring in data from websites like Pucky along with a collection of other trusted sources, analyze the information and then find out which team it could be.

  1. Tampa Bay Lighting

They have been a conference power for quite some time. Over the last four years, the Lightning have qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals three times. Tampa Bay is also a team of scoring sensations as they currently lead the league in goals per game. That’s not a surprise given how they have consistently signed, recruited and developed some of the most skilled sharpshooters in the league.

2. Nashville Predators

The 2017 Stanley Cup finalists are no strangers to the winner’s circle. The Predators have one of the best defenses in all of the NHL. From the blue liners to in between the pipes, they are very formidable with Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne manning the net, and P.K. Subban and Mathias Eckholm in front of him.

They have a good defense but it is supported by three top-line forward pairings. Although they lack experience, Nashville has a lot of talent. On the other hand, some may argue that Rinne has not been at his peak lately, so perhaps their championship window is closing. 

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3. Boston Bruins

This is a team with a lot of potential. The front office spent a good amount of time reconstructing their roster and filling it up with new up-and-comers. However, this team really lack the experience.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

There is not much else to say about the misery Leaf fans have had to endure over the recent decades. It’s been well chronicled. Maybe that changes this season as they are blessed with a destructive attack, but of course a suspect defense. However, as long as they keep on scoring they could ride that offense to at least the conference finals.

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5. Vegas Golden Knights

After losing two of their best players, James Neal and David Perron, to free agency the team is now facing an uphill battle against their competitors. After making it to the Stanley Cup Final in the very first season of their existence,  the Knights are now considered really just a sleeper pick contender for the 2019 Stanley Cup.

After viewing the strengths of each team, it becomes clear that the battle for the 2019 Stanley Cup will not be a dull one. The fight between these five strong teams is expected to go on until the very end of the season. 

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