Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Monica McAlister on 05/27/14 at 10:45 AM ET
Jumping back into the Stanley Cup playoffs after a long holiday weekend and one thing stands out first: The New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings are both one win away from the Stanley Cup Final.
Well there is your narrative.
New York vs LA. Hockey is about to hit the big stage and quite possibly with the two teams that represent the cities with some of the biggest stages in movies and theatre.
Original Six tradition that has not won Lord Stanley’s Cup since 1994 going up against a southern expansion team that won their first Cup in 2012.
Now this matchup is not set in stone. Both the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks could come back from being down 3-1 and win three in a row and see either a Canadian team back in the finals or a team attempt to repeat as Cup Champions – something that has not been seen since the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back in 1997 and 1998.
The Kings themselves know what it is like to be down 3-1 in a series as they were faced with a first round exit after being down to the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to come back and win three in a row to face their neighbors the Anaheim Ducks. Travel has been easy on the Kings thus far.
Offensively the Kings have the advantage on the stat sheet with Anze Kopitar leading the league with 22 points followed by teammates Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik, and Jason Williams to take the current top four sports.
The last line of defense falls on the netminder; in which the Rangers hold the advantage with Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist currently has a 1.98 GAA and a .931 Save Percentage to hold the top spot for both statistics (LA Kings’ top goaltender Jonathan Quick currently not in the top five for either stat).
With one win to go for both the Rangers and the Kings to set up for the East Coast vs. West Coast showdown for the Stanley Cup Final the teams are already gaining some national media attention – even being mentioned on Live! With Kelly and Michael this morning.
After a record breaking attendance game for the NHL with the 2014 Winter Classic, the Stadium Series game and the Olympic Tournaments heading towards a Rangers vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final could be the next big step just this year for the growth of hockey in the United States.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org