Eastern Conference Final Predictions

Take it from us, the experts on the remaining teams.

Author Prediction Number of Games MVP
Jason Pittsburgh Penguins 7 Sidney Crosby
Bryant Pittsburgh Penguins 6 Matt Murray
Mark Pittsburgh Penguins 6 Phil Kessel
Sarge Pittsburgh Penguins 6 Matt Murray
Marya Pittsburgh Penguins 6 Matt Murray
Alex Tampa Bay Lightning 7 Nikita Kucherov
Kris Pittsburgh Penguins 7 Matt Murray
George Tampa Bay Lightning 6 Ben Bishop
Link Pittsburgh Penguins 6 Patric Hornqvist
Anish Tampa Bay Lightning 7 Victor Hedman
Dan Tampa Bay Lightning 6 Victor Hedman


Jason: For the first time in league history, a goalie named Matt is going to win the Stanley Cup.

Bryant: I think Tampa puts up a great fight; they have great offensive and defensive depth and great goaltending. I believe Matt Murray is the real deal and that he and Pittsburgh's extremely potent offensive game overpower Tampa.

Mark: I think this is going to be an insanely high-scoring series, but I think the Pens’ star power outweighs the Lightning’s and that star power actually shows in this battle. Kessel has been stellar this post season while also flying under the radar a bit, but you could also say the same thing about the entire Lightning team. This is going to be a fun one, but I think the Pens edge out the boys in blue due to star power and that ‘it’ factor I think they possess.

Sarge: Tampa winning first game and one in Pittsburgh. Penguins finish out the rest. Brian Dumoulin has a coming out party.

Marya: Despite dispatching the Islanders in five games, the Lightning have had the easiest road to the conference finals out of all the playoff teams and at times look a bit lost in their own zone. I think Pittsburgh's speed off the rush is going to tear their defense to shreds. Series MVP is a toss up between Carl Hagelin and Murray, but I think Murray eventually steals the show.

Alex: Tampa Bay continues their momentum from the Islanders series and gets a split in Pittsburgh, but then Pittsburgh gets both games in Tampa to go up 3-1. An overconfident Penguins team forgets they are relying on 21 year old Matt Murray in goal, letting the Lightning back in the series. Game 7 in Pittsburgh = Kucherov hat trick.

George: Stamkos and Stralman make a return. Kessel cools off, but PIT's firepower keeps them competitive.

Link: I see this series as extremely tight. I could see Tampa taking series in 6 games just as easily as the Penguins in 6. I'm giving the edge to the Pens because they have carried their blistering momentum from the end of the regular season through the playoffs. Key injured players for Pittsburgh are slowly returning to form, and it's only a matter of time before Crosby is dictating the pace of games. I think the Lightning are going to be a bit unlucky through this series. I determined all of this through ritual guess work.

Anish: I can see Pittsburgh jumping out to an early lead in the series. Something of the 2-0, 3-1 variety. All in all though, the Lightning's playoff experience in recent years will prove to pay off as they will their way to a series win in 7. Also the fact that there is a shot for Stamkos and Stralman both to return doesn't hurt the situation either.

Dan: They split the first 4, then Stamkos returns like a hero and the Bolts do what they do best: survive. But I'm a bad person who has ties to Florida, and also a regional supremacist. S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!