PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 13: The Pittsburgh Penguins watch their 2016 Stanley Cup Championship banner being raised to the rafters before the game against Washington Capitals at PPG Paints Arena on October 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The NHL playoffs are upon us and there’s some great news: your favorite team has a real shot at lifting the Cup! Here’s how they’ll do it.

Great goaltending

A hot goalie can win a series all by himself. Your team’s goalie is one of the best in the entire world or he wouldn’t have a job in the NHL. Look back over his season. He’s had some good games. That’s undeniable. If he can just string a few together now, your team could easily win a series in which they get outplayed in other aspects of the game.

Veteran leadership

A team can’t make it through the grind of the NHL postseason without relying on the experience of its veteran leaders. Your team has numerous veterans. Five years of service. Six. Seven. More. Many of them have been in the playoffs before, too, and know what this time of the year is like. And don’t forget the guy with the “C” on his jersey. The team knows to look to him for leadership when things get hard.

New blood

A team can’t make it through the grind of the NHL postseason without having some young players and first-time playoff participants who bring extra energy to the ice and to the locker room. Your team is blessed with several players like this and their enthusiasm will give your team a huge boost.


This is a confident group. How can’t they be? They’re in the playoffs, exactly where every team who didn’t make it wants to be, and they’ve shown throughout the season that they can beat some of the other playoffs teams. They won’t enter a single playoff series expecting to lose. That kind of confidence can be the razor thin edge that separates the winners from the losers.

Ability to overcome adversity

The Stanley Cup playoffs are a long slog with lots of ups and downs. But this group has proven they can overcome all kinds of adversity. Who can forget the injuries they had this year, the losing streaks and tough losses, the the uncertainty of the trade deadline. So many unique challenges and yet here they are: in the playoffs.

Mark it down: don’t be surprised if your team lifts the Cup later this spring.


Also see … Mad Lib: Why This Is The Year The Capitals Will Win The Stanley Cup


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