Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/14/14 at 09:09 AM ET
from Arthur Staple of Newsday,
They fought to the end, showed a ton of heart. But the Rangers got as far as heart can get you in this Stanley Cup Final that ended in double overtime in Game 5 Friday night.
The Kings, champions in two of the last three seasons, have the will. The Rangers were in no mood to think about lessons learned in a solemn, red-eyed visitors' locker room as the Kings celebrated on the ice, but the biggest one the many Final neophytes should take away is this:
You need will to win a Cup.
Heart and effort gets you plenty. The Rangers, of course, have tons of skill, too, primarily in goal, where Henrik Lundqvist could have stolen a few Conn Smythe votes as playoff MVP had he stolen Game 5.
But the Kings are built on will. They wear teams down. And even with three overtime victories in a series that was far tighter than any five-game series could be, the Kings wore down the Rangers, especially in the third periods of games.
from Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post,
“You get this far … and you do so much … and you come up short …” defenseman Marc Staal said, half-heartedly pawing at the tape around his ankles. “And it just … Ah. It just hurts.”
They had taken themselves, and their city, on such a splendid springtime tour. They had introduced peripheral fans to their sport, and those that stuck to the end, until Alec Martinez’s game-winner at 12:26 Saturday morning, Eastern time — 14 minutes and 43 seconds into double-overtime — got a fine introduction to the Maalox-swilling world of playoff hockey.
And a painful indoctrination to how awful it can be when it ends in a rush, in a blur, before anyone was ready to hand in their uniform and turn in their gear.
“We played some good hockey, I think we can be proud of that,” defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “But they were relentless. They kept coming, kept pushing, and made us focus for every second you were on the ice. But I thought we played pretty good, too.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
They ran out of gas. They never ran out of try.
The plucky New York Rangers, without similar skill, without imposing size, not expected to be here, hung in about as well and as strong and as far as Henrik Lundqvist and their speed would carry them in the Stanley Cup final.
And they did great against the powerhouse that is the Los Angeles Kings.
Just not great enough.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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