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LGS Conference Finals Predictions
Who is going to win and some quips on the series matchups
5/17/2023 - By LGS Staff
The staff writers at LetsGoSharks.com submit their predictions for the 3rd round of the NHL playoffs:

Florida vs Carolina
Ryan Hall Paul Krill Mike Lee Ken Smyth

4 games to 1

4 games to 3

4 games to 2

4 games to 2
Ryan Hall: The math here is very simple: Carolina is hurt, Florida is not. At the end of the day, the Hurricanes lack the depth to keep up with a suddenly resurgent Panthers attack that can hurt you with a full 3 lines. At some point Florida may face a goaltending problem, but I don't see it happening in this series. The Rats with Reign (and rain) in the Eastern Coference.

Paul Krill: I'm going to go with the underdog here and pick Matthew Tkachuk and the Panthers to keep on winning, after easily dispatching the Maple Leafs. And does anyone really want to see Carolina, with that asinine post-game ritual, go to the Finals again? Brent Burns will have to come back and try again next year..

Ken Smyth: Both of these teams look solid right now, and with Paul Maurice the current occupant of the Panthers' coaches chair they play a little alike. Both of them work hard, but the Hurricanes have more talent and speed. But if the Panthers get a couple bounces and it goes to a game seven, who knows!

Mike Lee: Florida is the Cinderalla that everyone wants to see make the Finals, but the reality is, the glass slipper isn't going to find its way to South Florida. The Hurricanes are the most well ounded team still left in the playoffs and they're going to show everyone this round. Add to the fact that they're also starting to get healthy and you have all the pieces falling into place.

Dallas vs Vegas
Ryan Hall Paul Krill Mike Lee Ken Smyth

4 games to 2

4 games to 2

4 games to 3

4 games to 3
Mike Lee: This series has all the makings of a knock down, drag out slugfest that will go the distance. Can Adin Hill carry the Golden Knights. Jake Ottinger seems to be the better netminder, but Hill's performance will stem from how well his defense plays in front of him. The Stars do't have superstars, but they have guys that are clicking as a team. I think they get it done purely on team cohesiveness right now.

Ryan Hall: Are there two less likable teams for Sharks fans? On the one hand there's the Vegas Knights, foil and foe for their entire - though brief - history. Opposing them is the boogeyman from decades past - the Dallas Stars. Sure, Dallas has Pavelski, but watching him win in anything other than a Sharks jersey jsut feels dirty. On the ice, Vegas boasts the superior backend, though Dallas is deeper upfront. The real difference maker is in the crease, where Jake Oettinger is hands down the better goalie. That may be the difference and allow Dallas to punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Final.

Paul Krill: As much as I hate to see the Knights back in the finals, I think they are going to get there again this year. They whipped an Edmonton team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl on it. Dallas, meanwhile, barely got by second-year expansion team Seattle. It just seems like Vegas plays well as a team, despite not having a superstar like McDavid. Sorry, Joe Pavelski fans. It's not going to happen for Joe this year. But it might happen for short-time Shark Aidin Hill.

Ken Smyth: The Knights are big enough and fast enough to give any team serious problems when they decide to show up for a game. That sometimes isn't until the middle of the second period. Stars can hold their own against anyone, but have sporadic brain cramps. Both coaching staffs have people who were behind the other team's bench last season so there will be some familiarity. Knights' goalie Aden Hill was the star in their game 6 victory over the Oilers and the question will be how he does in a series. Don't be surprised if someone else is in their net by game 5.


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