2015 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions: Round 1

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Detroit Red Wings (A-3) and Tampa Bay Lightning (A-2) is another very interesting series, that will surely demonstrate high scoring and fast paced hockey.

The two teams have much more in common than just a playoff match-up. Steve Yzerman, Tampa’s VP and GM, played in the NHL for twenty-two seasons. Oh, and that was all with Detroit Red Wings. This time around, they will be on separate sides, which must be an interesting dynamic for the Lightning’s GM.

The Wings and Bolts have never matched up in the postseason. Both teams are very similar in play as they can score with the best in the league. The two sides boast some very young and talented forwards, that includes Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Nikita Kucherov just to name a few. Oh, and Steven Stamkos is only 25 years old.

Along with having a young group of forwards, the Red Wings also have Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, two of the most consistent forwards in the league for the past decade. The main question with Detroit isn’t the scoring, it’s the goaltending. Jimmy Howard has struggled so much in the time he has been back that Petr Mrazek has taken the starting role. It was announced by Detroit’s Mike Babcock that Mrazek will in fact be the starting goalie for game 1 of their series. We’re talking about a two-time all-star being benched for the Red Wings once 3rd string goalie.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are way too talented  and I expect them to take care of business against Detroit. I won’t be surprised if the Wings give Tampa Bay some fits, but the speed and skill of Tampa will prevail. The likes of Stamkos, Johnson, and the rest of the bunch cruise to a victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Lightning in five.