Pic of the day: A picture of the Stanley Cup, circa 1957. Seated with it is former Referee and NHL League President Clarence Campbell
If I knew the answer to that I’d bet $10,000 on the game and retire from coaching!
Montreal Canadiens Coach Toe Blake, after being asked if his team would win an upcoming game.
I don’t know everything. Prognostication is nothing more than using your head and taking guesses with whatever information is available, and listening to your heart. My head told me the Kings would win, and pretty easily. My heart told me the Rangers could beat the Devils.
Head 1, Heart 0.
I nailed the Kings winning it in 5. I picked the Rangers in 6, and I was right as far as how many games but got the team wrong. I also said that Anze Kopitar would step his game up a notch. He had only scored three goals in the previous two series. He scored 5 points against the ‘Yots, and 3 goals. Nice. I said the Rangers devils series would be smashmouth hockey, and it was.
The Rangers and the ‘Yots lost for the same reason. The offenses came up small. The Rangers had more offense but lost just the same. They suffered from the disappearance of their entire first line. The entire line was ineffective out on the ice, the Devils had their number every game. 6 points for the combination of Hagelin – Richards – Gaborik, for the entire series. The ‘Yots had 3 goals in the first three games of the Conference finals. Neither team, when placed in that light, deserve to be in the Stanley cup finals.
The Devils outshined the Rangers, outplayed them at every turn, and the Kings continued to dominate the West.
That round is over though. The Stanley cup finals are here. New Jersey. Los Angeles. The City of Angels have never had a cup to call their own. This might be 40 year old Marty Broduer’s last shot at the cup.
Who will win?
F*cked if I know!
LET THE INACCURACY BEGIN!
Stanley Cup Final: (6) New Jersey Devils vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings; Looking at the offense, there are a flurry of statistics you could use to determine who has been the best so far. None would be very compelling and most would point to a very even match up. Ilya Kovalchuk has 5 power play goals during the playoffs, more than anyone else by far. The next closest remaining players are Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Zach Parise and Patrik Elias with 2 each.
However, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar are hellaciously talented players who can find the back of the net frequently. Same with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. The top five players in plus-minus in the playoffs are on these two teams, three on the Kings (Brown, Kopitar, Doughty) and 2 on the Devils (Salvador, Henrique) If the goaltending doesn’t hold up, there may well be a lot of 6-5 games in this series.
But with the goaltenders in question, I severely doubt that will happen.
Jonathan Quick has been the best playoff goalie I have seen this year, and the best in a long time. That is saying something too, there have been some amazing goal-tending the last few years in the playoffs. Mr. Quick has given up only 22 goals in 14 games and lost only twice. Martin Brodeur has played more games than Mr. Quick played more minutes, faced more shots and still, at times looked like the man he was over a decade ago. The man who brought 3 championships to the Devils organization. Mr. Quick has faced more shots per game than Marty has, and has a lower GAA average to boot though. So if this series turns on goaltending, then the advantage, however slight, must go to the Kings and Mr. Quick. And frankly I think this series does in fact turn on goal-tending…. aaaand some timely scoring by Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar. So…
The pick: The Kings in 6.
That’s it from here, America. Catch ya later. More tonight, methinks.