Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final begins tomorrow night with the Los Angeles Kings taking on the New Jersey Devils. Here’s a quick rundown of things to know going into the series.
  • The Kings are only the second 8-seed to reach the Stanley Cup final; the other team was the Edmonton Oilers in 2006. 
  • L.A. is the first team to eliminate the #1, #2, and #3 seeds in order.
  • N.J. is the first 6-seed to reach the finals since the Calgary Flames in 2004 (ironically that Flames team was coached by current L.A. head coach Darryl Sutter)
  • The Devils and goalie Martin Brodeur are looking for their fourth Stanley Cup victory
  • This is the Kings second time in the Stanley Cup final; their first appearance was against the Montreal Canadiens in 1993 where the Canadiens won in 5 games
  • L.A. has a 8-0 record on the road this playoffs. For this reason, New Jersey’s home-ice advantage may turn into a disadvantage.
  • The Kings and Devils met twice  during the regular season and the Devils won both meetings and back-up goalie Johan Hedburg picked up both victories for New Jersey. The first was a 2-1 overtime win on Oct. 13 in N.J. and the second a 3-0 win on Oct. 25 in L.A.

If you didn’t already know, last night the 8-seed L.A. Kings eliminated the 3-seed Phoenix Coyotes in just 5 games with a 4-3 overtime win. If you haven’t been following the playoffs that closely the Kings knocked off the 1-seed and President Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks in the first round in 5 games and then swept the 2-seed St. Louis Blues in the second round. To recap, in 14 playoff games the Kings have lost only 2 games.

Now the Kings get a nice break to rest before they face the winner of the New Jersey Devils-New York Rangers series for the Stanley Cup.

I'm going to keep this short. The Devils and Rangers are facing off to play in the Stanley Cup final and I'm picking the blueshirts to win in 6 games.

Here's why: The Rangers are simply the better all-around team and have better depth. I know the Devils have played better this postseason but they've haven,d had a serious test yet. On the other hand, both the Rangers playofff series went 7 games. I think this experience and comfort in close games (and a close series) will pay off for the Rangers.

Sorry this is so short, but I don't have accesss to my laptop so it was a challenge to even get a post up.
The Western Conference final match-up is set. The #3 Phoenix Coyotes will faceoff against the #8 Los Angeles Kings. The Coyotes knocked off the #4 Nashville Predators in 5 games and the Kings swept the #2 St. Louis Blues.

It was surprising that both series finished so quickly. While the Predators were able to win one game in their series, it was clear that Phoenix outplayed them and was the consistently the better team throughout the series. Nashville Predators right wing Alexander Radulov had 5 points in the first round series against Detroit but only one assist against the Coyotes. Radulov and Predators left wing Andrei Kostitsyn missed two games in the Phoenix series after they were suspended for a violation of team rules.  The Blues never had any momentum in the series and Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick shut down the St. Louis offense. Blues left wing Andy McDonald had 8 points in the first round series against San Jose but had only one goal and one assist in four games against the Kings.