While none of them are recognized as much as they should be by the national media (likely due to being in the MidWest), they both have some star power. Vladimir Tarasenko, Filip Forsberg, Paul Stastny and Victor Arvidsson are just a few of the guys capable of taking over a series.
On top of that, neither team relies solely on their big guns. Nashville got more from their names than the Blues did, at least statistically, but both teams run three to four lines.
Still, you get the feeling that the guys with the most skill are going to have to find ways to be the man in this series.
Vladimir Tarasenko had a very good series against Minnesota. He was denied by posts, good saves and good defending. Still, you get the feeling one goal will not suffice from him if the Blues are to win.
Conversely, the Blues are better defensively than they get credit for. Nashville will need their top guys to find new ways to score against a team more concerned with stopping them than Chicago was.
It sounds overly simple to say the stars have to shine. Most people assume they will or won’t and the supplemental players need to step it up.
These teams are too evenly matched for that. The third and fourth lines are just about equal. So, it is up to the leaders and skill guys to find ways to make those special plays.