Monday, April 29, 2024

The 25 best potential Stanley Cup final matchups, based purely on narratives

We’re halfway into the first round of the playoffs, and with only one team eliminated, almost all the potential Stanley Cup final matchups are still in play. Some of those would be really good, just based on the talent of the teams involved. Something like Oilers vs. Panthers, or Golden Knights vs. Hurricanes, or Rangers vs. Stars? Yes please.

But there’s more to a great final matchup that the quality of the teams and players involved. In fact, if you’re a member of the hockey media, there’s something far more important: A good narrative.

Yes, us ink-stained wretches love a good narrative. And you probably do too, because even if it you don’t need to churn out content, it can be plenty of fun to see a storyline matchup fall into place.

Do these two teams have any sort of shared history? Maybe a major star who spent time with both teams? A big trade between them at some point? A common coach or GM? Maybe even a previous meeting in the final? If so, a good matchup can become great.

And as luck would have it, there are plenty of those matchups in play. So today, before any more teams get knocked out, let’s count down 25 possible Stanley Cup finals that would make my job easier for a fascinating narrative.

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