The Stanley Cup final between Avalanche and Lightning is a dream scenario for the NHL on almost every imaginable level.
On one side you have the Avalanche, Western Conference regular season champions, with Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and the rest of a glittering, star-studded lineup.
On the other hand, you have the Lightning seeking a third straight Stanley Cup championship, something that hasn’t been done with the Islanders since the early 1980s.
Tampa Bay and Colorado are ranked first and third in regular-season wins for the past four seasons.
We have reconvened our panel of anonymous scouts, coaches and executives to consider who will celebrate the Stanley Cup later this month. So far they’re at a respectable 10-4 overall – 6-2 in Round 1, 2-2 in Round 2 and 2-0 in Round 3.
(Photo: Walter Tychnowicz / USA Today)