Best of 7: Seven Things to Watch in the Stanley Cup Final

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My good friend and former Swedish hockey journalist Szymon Szemberg pointed out that a Stanley Cup final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars will be the southern-most final since the trophy was first awarded in 1893. And it will be played in the league’s northern-most market. Because 2020.

There are a number of interesting storylines and trends to watch in this year’s final, which begins Saturday night in front of no fans between two teams that have been sequestered for the better part of the past eight weeks. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said this will have been one of the hardest Cups to win in NHL history and he’s right. Whichever team hoists the 34.5 pound trophy over its head will have earned that privilege in a way no other team has before.