NHL Stanley Cup Preview
I picked the Islanders and Knights to be here so my opinion is pretty much useless going forward. Dallas figured out how to score goals, Tampa managed not to choke, and I really don't know which one of those traits will come back in the final round so here is my best guess:
Using a polynomial curve to attempt to map out trends in players' stats over time spent on the ice, it would appear that Tampa tends to leave its top goal scorers out longer which leads to predicable results. Dallas on the other hand appears to taper off goal scoring after 22 minutes spent on the ice per player. The interesting part here is that when you switch the view to points, the opposite is true. This would suggest to me that Tampa tends to lean on more individual efforts as players stay out on the ice longer.
Hits and blocked shots follow similar trends with slight distinctions. Takeaways however favor Dallas with their more played players creating more turnovers.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been one of the most solid goaltenders since the return but no one really mentions this because Tampa has never needed him to be. Vasilevskiy's max goals allowed since the return is 4 which happened on 2 occasions. Dallas has allowed 4 or more goals since the return 8 times, this is an issue when you consider Tampa's already high scoring offense.
I really want Joe Pavelski to get a cup but I believe Tampa has the better goaltending which will be the difference maker in the series. Tampa in 6.