As the 2019 NHL playoffs approach, it seems like we’re in a time warp. Flash back to the 2018 playoffs after two rounds, with four Stanley Cup contenders remaining. Virtually all pundits had Tampa Bay and Winnipeg advancing to the final. Wrong on both counts. Two key figures on last year’s favored teams were Tampa’s Steven Stamkos and Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. Despite decent stats, both players had disappointing conference finals, and these performances were reflected in the play of their respective teams. Flash forward to the eve of this year’s playoffs. The Lightning and Jets are favored once again, and again Stamkos, 29, and Scheifele, 26, are vital components. Last season’s failures have both teams under pressure to perform, and key cogs Stamkos and Scheifele must lead the way. Who is...
About the Author
Tom Thompson spent 31 years in the NHL as a scout, Director of Scouting and Assistant General Manager. He was responsible for running 14 Entry Drafts for the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild and also worked for the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers.