The post Could the Stars & Hurricanes Meet in the Stanley Cup? appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

As a person who covers both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks, last week’s NHL showdown between the Dallas Stars and the Vancouver Canucks was a foretaste of what could become. For someone living on Vancouver Island, the Canucks are the home team. Yet, they ended up on the wrong side of the stick in that game by a score of 3-1.

Related: Mattias Ekholm’s Impact: A Defensive Force for the Oilers

Dallas Is a Playoff Built Team

The team the Canucks lost to – the Dallas Stars – are an interesting team. They have great goaltending with Jake Oettinger. He’s huge in the crease, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 224 pounds. Now at 25 years old, he’s emerging as a playoff-experienced goalie. His play has helped his team prosper in past Stanley Cup postseason journies, and he’s ready to go at it again.

Hurricanes and Stars have great goalies.

Dallas could be ready for a long and serious postseason run in 2023-24. Despite being overlooked by many, they’ve emerged as a serious a Stanley Cup contender. They might not be on everyone’s radar, but their 3-1 win over the Canucks on the road suggested they can play good hockey when they need to.

The Stars’ victory highlights their potential, especially in playoff scenarios. They have had their ups and downs but could be primed for a deep postseason run this year. They have balanced scoring a strong-enough defense, and (as noted) good goalie play.

Then, in the East, There’s the Carolina Hurricanes

Another team that’s playing under the radar is the Carolina Hurricanes. They’ve been quietly dominating their conference, much like the Stars have in theirs. The Hurricanes, too, seem to be a team built for playoff success. They have two solid goalies in Frederik Andersen and Pyotr Kochetkov. They have a great young center in Sebastian Aho and, now that Jake Guentzel is on his left wing, their first line is strong.

Meanwhile, for fans on Vancouver Island, as much as is hoped, this might not be the Canucks season – at least not yet. They are strong but are going through a learning curve. Are they playoff-ready? It’s hard to say.

That said, on Vancouver Island, if it won’t be the Canucks, the Hurricanes have a significant fanbase. The Hurricanes’ head coach Rod Brind’Amour is a prized player from Vancouver Island. He was born in Campbell River, British Columbia, half an hour from where I am writing this post. Rod Brind’amour Arena (Arena #1) is the home of the Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Hockey League (VIJHL).

Growing up in the area, he developed a strong connection to the community and its residents. Many fans on Vancouver Island feel a sense of pride in Brind’Amour’s accomplishments, viewing him as a hometown hero who has achieved great success on the national and international stage.

There Might Be Surprise Stanley Cup Combattants

For Canadian fans, a Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers/Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup Final might be the best-case scenario. Yet, perhaps Dallas against Carolina is more likely. While they are not the traditional powerhouses, they might be on a collision course for this season’s Stanley Cup.

Related: Will Evgeny Kuznetsov Revitalize His Career in Carolina?

The post Could the Stars & Hurricanes Meet in the Stanley Cup? appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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