The puck’s about to drop in the 2019 Stanley Cup® Playoffs. Once again, we have continued our annual tradition of predicting the winner of the Stanley Cup. Compete against the official EA SPORTS NHL® 19 Stanley Cup® Playoffs Simulation at the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge™. Fill out your own bracket and see if you can out-predict our simulation!
Check out our full NHL® 19 – 2019 Stanley Cup® Playoffs Simulation to find out everything you need to know!
THE STANLEY CUP® FINAL
After running away with the Presidents' Trophy as the League's top regular season team, the Tampa Bay Lightning continued to dominate the Eastern Conference en route to their third Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history.
Unlike their opponent, the St. Louis Blues had to fight every inch of their way to the Stanley Cup Final. Starting the 2019 calendar year as the worst team in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues' hopes of a playoff berth seemed like a long shot until rookie netminder Jordan Binnington took over the reins in net. Thanks to Binnington's incredible performance and the team gelling together, the St. Louis Blues stormed their way back into a playoff spot with a franchise-record 11 consecutive wins. The Blues continued their dominant play in the playoffs, setting themselves up with a date in the Final against the aforementioned Lightning.
The Stanley Cup Final saw both teams continue to play at the top of their game with the teams trading wins on home ice, leading into Game 7. Lightning fans inside the Amalie Arena witnessed one of the most dominant Final clinching games in league history as Tampa Bay scored early and often on route to a 5-1 victory. This would be the second Stanley Cup win in franchise history for the Tampa Bay Lightning, who also became the first team to win the Presidents' Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season since the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks.
TOP Stanley Cup® Playoffs STORIES
- Nikita Kucherov topped off an incredible season by taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after recording 13 goals and 31 points. This would put Kucherov in a position to be the fourth player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe and Hart Trophy in the same season, a milestone that was only achieved by all-time greats Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Guy Lafleur.
- Despite losing in the Stanley Cup Final, Jordan Binnington continued his regular season dominance. Binnington went 15-11 while recording a .929 Save Percentage in the playoffs, finishing the playoffs with the best Save Percentage among all netminders in the postseason.
- With their loss, the St. Louis Blues remain tied with the Toronto Maples Leafs for the longest Stanley Cup drought in league history,
- After finishing the regular season atop of the western conference, the Calgary Flames were the first major upset of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, falling to the Colorado Avalanche in six games. The Flames could not find an answer for the Avalanches' top line of MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog who combined for 31 points in the first round.
- Home ice advantage continued to play a major role for the Vegas Golden Knights as they did not drop a game at T-Mobile Arena for the first two rounds against the San Jose Sharks or Colorado Avalanche. If not for the spectacular play of Jordan Binnington for the Blues in round 3, the Golden Knights would have found themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals in back-to-back years.
- Despite strong performances, Winnipeg and Nashville fell short of winning the Stanley Cup again. Both teams have rosters full of players in their prime and with another season down the drain, their window to win it all is starting to close.
- After winning the Stanley Cup in 2017-18 the Washington Capitals fell just short of returning to the Finals for a second consecutive year after losing to the eventual champions in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Caps made quick work of both the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders in the first two rounds, but could not hold off the relentless attack of the Lightning in round 3.
- The highly anticipated match-up between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs did not disappoint as four of the six games ended in dramatic sudden death overtime with the series winner coming off the stick of Brad Marchand.
- Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekäläinen took a major gamble at the trade deadline acquiring pending UFAs Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, while retaining the services of Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin in hopes of moving past the first round for the first time in franchise history. The move did not pay off as the Blue Jackets fell to the Lightning in six games and will likely result in a very different looking team at the start of next season.
Be sure to check out the HUT Playoffs Event in NHL 19.
NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo are registered trademarks and Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. © NHL 2019. All Rights Reserved.
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