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Morning Skate: Four

Teams left, that is.

Seattle Kraken v Dallas Stars - Game Seven Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

It is Wednesday, my dudes.

After Monday’s Game 7 in Dallas, the NHL’s Conference Finals are set. We have:

  • Florida vs. Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final
  • Dallas vs. Las Vegas in the Western Conference Final

The Panthers and Hurricanes will get underway first, with Game 1 on Thursday night; the Stars and Golden Knights will follow on Friday night.

From a “traditional hockey markets” perspective, this is a wild final four — and depending on where you live, you likely have some takes on it.

Some people will insist that this final group will be terrible for the league and for TV ratings, as it doesn’t feature a true “big market” team that will draw in casual viewers.

Others will insist that runs like this are fan-makers in these non-traditional markets, as deep playoff runs draw in new fans and get them hooked.

Plus, the markets are really only “non-traditional” in that they’re not in the northeast or Canada.

Carolina and Dallas are well established franchises with passionate (even if you don’t like them) fanbases at this point. Vegas is still relatively new but is doing just fine “growing the game” in Nevada.

The Panthers have had their issues but tend to draw when they’re good, which is fair to say of nearly every team. Plus, with the Heat in the NBA Eastern Conference Final too, it’ll generate even more buzz.

Anyways, this has been a geography lesson (kind of).

These should be pretty entertaining series to watch for neutral observers, which is what we care about around these parts, right?

What’s on tap for today?