The Importance of Team Captains: Mark Stone and Aleksander Barkov in the Stanley Cup Finals

The Stanley Cup Finals series between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Florida Panthers has so far belonged to the fresh team from Nevada, who took an early 2-0 lead after back-to-back victories on home ice. Most recently it was 7-2 in T-Mobile Arena.

However, none of the teams would probably have been in the final if it weren’t for the respective team captains: Mark Stone in Vegas and Alexander Barkov i Florida.

Much can be said, and has been said, about the captain’s influence over his team. Some believe that the captain embodies the very identity of the team with his way of being. Both Mark Stone and Aleksander Barkov could be good examples of this.

The calmness, leadership and ability of both captains is a big reason why their clubs are now fighting for the coveted Stanley Cup trophy.

But how important are the team captains really to their respective teams?

Very much so, Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy seems to think.

– He is our captain, our leader and does decisive things all the time. The fourth goal he scored in match 1 gave us breathing room and there he showed his quality. We saw a similar sequence against Winnipeg that was absolutely incredible so he definitely has the ability to pull that out of the hat,” Cassidy said of Stone to

Stone stole the headlines in Game 2 with a remarkable sequence where he dropped the stick, but then showed presence of mind to still find Brett Howden’s 4-0 goal in the 7-2 victory.

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A quick move that impressed Bruce Cassidy:

– The sequence itself is typically Mark Stone; high hockey IQ, clarity of mind to find the free player and an ability to calm down the game when it is going the fastest. A class action.

Video: VGK-FLA, M2: Howden places the puck nicely

Scoring, however, is not the only thing that Stone contributes that is appreciated by his coach. Cassidy describes what makes the 31-year-old Canadian, who delivered 17 points in the playoffs (7+10), such an effective leader.

– His will, his leadership, calm and physicality. He’s a player that other teams keep an eye on, which he’s had to deal with, but he just keeps going anyway. Showing the team that it’s okay to take a few hits without having to give back has been a big part of his leadership.

On the other side, Stone has received tough opposition in Finn Aleksander Barkov, who wears the captain’s armband in the Panthers. The 27-year-old was the man of the headlines in the semifinal series against the Carolina Hurricanes, where his art goal in game 2 echoed throughout the hockey world.
In the final series, however, things have been somewhat slower for both Barkov and his team.

Florida coach Paul Maurice isn’t worried, though.

– I don’t know if I can demand more from “Sasha” Barkov. He has been fantastic for us in the playoffs. He’s added things to his game: he’s a great playmaker, he has a feared shot, he’s physical, he kills layoffs…, he told

Video: Barkov’s incredible goal in match 2

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Barkov, who has 14 playoff points (4+10) so far, instead has another clear task as the Panthers’ team captain.

– It is his job to convey our instructions to the team. We will give him a game plan that he will communicate to the team. We will tell you what things we want to be very good at in match 3 and make sure that message is very, very clear, says Maurice.

The Finn himself has always dreamed of playing in the big games.

– I remember when I was younger that the decisive matches, whether it was in the Finnish league, WC, NHL or whatever, were the best there was. I always enjoyed watching the winning team celebrate. It felt like it was the best feeling in ice hockey. And now we are close to achieving it. And we try to enjoy every moment, he said before match 2.

Match 3 will be played in Florida, in the FLA Live Arena, on the night of Friday. Drop-off takes place at 02.00, Swedish time. Which of the captains will then step forward and lead their team to victory remains to be seen.

[De senaste nyheterna från Stanley Cup-finalien mellan Golden Knights-Panthers]

2023-06-06 22:39:03
#team #captains #lead #Stanley #Cup #finals

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