In just over an hour, the Eastern Conference Finals will get underway between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning. This may have been deemed an improbable matchup last summer, after the Lightning had missed the playoffs entirely and Washington had bowed out at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins once again.
But this year is different, as the Lightning overcame their injury woes to lead the Eastern Conference in the regular season, while the Capitals slayed the demon that was the Penguins in the second round. Now Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will try to take the next step on the way to their first Stanley Cup.
Just before the playoffs started, we polled or readers and asked who would represent the East in the Stanley Cup Finals. The top two vote-getting teams have already been eliminated, as the Penguins and Boston Bruins came in with 29 and 22 percent of the vote. The Lightning naturally were next, while the Capitals had just 84 people who believed they could go all the way.
Has your vote changed? Is this the year that Ovechkin finally shows that he can carry a team all the way to a Stanley Cup victory? Is the Tampa Bay depth too relentless to overcome? Who will come out of the Eastern Conference? Vote below, and make sure to explain your decision in the comments.
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