May 26, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save on the power play against Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) as New York Rangers defenseman Dan Boyle (22) defends in the first period during game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
#2: Steven Stamkos
It seems crazy to think that the Blackhawks’ biggest defensive worry isn’t centered around #91. Steven Stamkos is one of the league’s premier forwards, with the ability to score, almost at will. It hasn’t been this way, all post-season however.
Stamkos didn’t find the net in the first round at all, but since then, he has done exactly what he was expected to do all Playoffs. With the Triplets carrying the load, Stamkos offers a equally dangerous complement on the second line, much like the Blackhawks’ own one-two punch of Kane and Toews.
Stamkos will likely draw match-ups against Brent Seabrook, with Duncan Keith handling duties shadowing the first line. It will be no easy task for #7 to hold off the Bolts’ captain, and it’s a given that Stamkos will find the scoresheet one way or another at some point in this series. However, slowing him down offensively, and taking care of the physical game that Stamkos displayed against the New York Rangers, will go a long way towards letting the Blackhawks’ own forwards do their job.