3 reasons the Florida Panthers will win the Stanley Cup

Florida Panthers, Aleksander Barkov #16(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Florida Panthers, Aleksander Barkov #16(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Florida Panthers are the 2023 Eastern Conference champions, and beginning on Saturday, they will compete for the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.

This 2023 edition of the Stanley Cup Final will be the Panthers’ second appearance in the championship series. Their first came back in 1996 when they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in four games. This time around, they’re looking for a different outcome.

Florida has been an underdog all postseason long, and that will hold true again in this series. Still, there are plenty of reasons to like the Cats in this matchup. Here are three reasons why the Panthers could win it all.

What gives the Panthers the edge in the Stanley Cup Final?

Sergei Bobrovsky

No player has been better in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs than Sergei Bobrovsky. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner did not start the postseason as the starter, but once he was called upon, there was no turning back.

In 14 games, Bobrovsky has lost only twice, posting a .935 save percentage and 2.21 goals against average in the process. Florida’s netminder has been its best player so far, and he is the easy favorite for the Conn Smythe Trophy entering this series.

Underdog Mentality

Playing with momentum is key in the playoffs, as is playing without pressure. The Panthers came into this spring with no expectations, which helped them vanquish three Eastern Conference adversaries that expected to win the Cup.

The Panthers are playing with house money in the sense that they weren’t supposed to be here. Being treated like an underdog can give a team that extra nudge, but simply being able to play freely will go a long way against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Special Teams

Special teams have not exactly been a strength for Vegas in these playoffs, which means that Florida needs to take advantage on both the power play and the penalty kill. Both sides of the special teams equation can swing momentum in a game, so the Panthers need to cash in.

Florida’s power play has converted 27.9 percent of the time this spring, and its penalty kill is successful 71.2 percent of the time. In contrast, Vegas converts at only 18.5 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

Trending. The 2023 Stanley Cup Final Schedule between Vegas and Florida. light

This matchup between the Golden Knights and Panthers is sure to be a good one. It all starts on Saturday night on TNT.