In its debut, The Bag Skate examines what makes a contender in the NHL
Warning: The following podcast does not take any time to opine on potential rumors about one Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators getting traded, perhaps to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is one offseason hockey discussion free from rumor and unfounded speculation regarding a trade that may or may not have been close to completion.
Running an NHL franchise requires a lot of nuance and attention to detail, but our NHL analyst Chris Lynch believes that building a true Stanley Cup Contender is relatively simple. All a team needs: A true #1 center, a great goaltender, and a top defensive pairing that can set the tone. The rest of a team is important and needs to shape itself out, but to win Lord Stanley’s Cup a team needs all three of those things.
This is the premise of the debut episode of Chris Lynch’s Bag Skate, Sports Talk Florida’s podcast on all things hockey. Lynch, who covered the Lightning in the playoffs as part of Sports Talk Florida’s hockey coverage team, explains his journey through hockey fanhood and into analysis. Boston University and the already-legendary Jack Eichel play large roles, and when asked to do a podcast Chris jumped at the opportunity.
Having explained what he believes makes a true contender in the National Hockey League, Chris goes on to evaluate the NHL’s top teams from last season against this metric. Who holds up well, and who struggles? The Toronto Maple Leafs improved their claim this offseason, but to Chris one team stands out as a slight favorite in a crowded league: The Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Tampa should have been in the Stanley Cup Final last year, and they have the same core coming back,” explains Chris. He believes the Bolts are the class of the Eastern Conference on paper, and the team definitely fits his mold, with Steven Stamkos leading the centers, Victor Hedman on the blue line, and Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes.
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