Lightning, Islanders, Canadiens or Golden Knights: Sutton Makes His Stanley Cup Prediction
Four teams remain in the mission to claim the Stanley Cup and it’s between the Montreal Canadiens, Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.
But there can only be one.
Verbero Owner, CEO & former National Hockey League defenseman Andy Sutton has enjoyed watching post-season hockey this year and offered his prediction on who will walk away with Lord Stanley once everything is all said and done.
“I got to go with Tampa,” Sutton told Locked On Wild Podcast Host Seth Toupal. “They’re so deep and they can hurt you in so many ways. They’re so strong on defence. They got a tremendous amount of depth and they’ve got a ton of experience from the guys that have been there and already figured out how to get it done. They’re going to be tough to stop.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning are in the midst of a back-and-forth affair with the New York Islanders. The seven-game set is tied up at 3-3 and the puck will drop on Game 7 Friday at Amalie Arena.
For Sutton’s prediction to be correct, Tampa Bay will need to get past the Isles and then either the Vegas Golden Knights or Montreal Canadiens. The Habs lead the best-of-seven series with Vegas 3-2 and could eliminate the Golden Knights Thursday at the Bell Centre.
Sutton, who appeared in 676-career NHL games, still believes the Bolts would have the edge in a Montreal-Tampa Bay matchup.
“The Canadiens are having an incredible run,” he said. “As much as they play a really spirited game and they’re high-octane, probably one of the faster teams, Tampa is just so good at puck management. Better than most other teams. They come at you like waves.”
The Lightning’s multi-faceted attack and strength in all areas of the ice rekindled memories from Sutton’s playing days. Elite teams, like Tampa Bay, are a challenge to deal with.
“I remember just from playing great teams I ever played against or with for that matter, it was always that way,” Sutton said.
“It was impossible to contend with. Over a seven-game span, you just get worn down by consistency. You know it too. You know when you’re playing against that type of team, you’re just like, ‘Whoa. Are we ever going to get a moment to breathe here or get a freebie?’”