Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

EP Rinkside 3 stars for Week 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

It’s really nice to get to the Stanley Cup Final and feel like the two best teams are going toe-to-toe. I’m a big believer that playoff outcomes are not indicative of how good a team actually is; the team that wins the Cup, or any championship, is not often the one that can credibly claim to have been the best team in the league. But no one would sniff at either team left standing making that claim now.

And frankly, there really hasn’t been a point in the last two seasons when someone would have really said that couldn’t be true of the Tampa Bay Lightning, given that their first Cup win in this run came the year after they won 62 games in the regular season (no comment on the playoffs).

And of course, as a veteran of the Corsi Wars, seeing two teams that are viewed as absolutely on the cutting edge of statistical analysis in roster-building and decision-making sure is vindicating. Turns out that when teams are committed to getting the most out of every possible roster spot, the hockey is really fantastic. Crazy coincidence.

Let’s go:

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NHL Colorado Avalanche Philadelphia Flyers Tampa Bay Lightning Vegas Golden Knights NHL André Burakovsky Brayden Point Shea Weber Bruce Cassidy John Tortorella
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