New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles Kings
It isn’t the quintessential ‘David vs. Goliath’ matchup as both teams are located in two of the biggest media markets in the country. With the Kings recent success of winning a Stanley Cup they have the upper hand on the Rangers who last won the Cup in 1994. That was also the last time the Rangers made it to a Cup Final. While the Kings head coach Darryl Sutter knows his team well, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault has needed some time to better equant himself with his. Vigneault is no stranger to the Stanley Cup as he came close to winning one with the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, but lost to the Boston Bruins in 7 games. New York is the better defensive team from Ryan McDonagh on the blue line to Henrik Lundqvist in net. The Rangers are sneaky good at scoring goals with two of the best in Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis. Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan have been just as good throughout the playoffs for the Rangers and will be looking to continue that success. The bottom line with the Rangers in this series is that if Lundqvist is on his game, they will be hard to beat. He has had a lot of playoff appearances and this will be his first Cup Final.
You know what you’re going to get with the Kings. A lot of scoring. That has been the theme for them the entire playoffs. Since being down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks and 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks, the Kings weren’t going to let the Chicago Blackhawks get the upper hand in the Conference Finals. Alas that series went seven games. Two big time scorers for the Kings have been Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter. Both have managed to score a lot of meaningful goals in these playoffs at critical times. If those two are somehow kept quiet in this series then LA will have to hope Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty can keep their stellar playoff runs going. Doughty is the favorite right now to win the Conn Smythe trophy. No one has been a bigger part of their respective teams playoff run than him. Unless the Rangers win the Cup it would most likely go to Lundqvist. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has been a bit of a disappointment in the playoffs, but he has been a big part of their run to the Final. He has to be close to perfect for them to beat the Rangers.
Players to Watch: G Henrik Lundqvist Rangers and D Drew Doughty Kings
Who Wins: Kings in 7 games