by PuckStopsHere on 06/03/14 at 12:02 PM ET
I am ready to post my prediction for the Stanley Cup finals. You can look back at my earlier predictions for the first, second and third rounds. In the semi-finals, i was correct in the East Conference but I picked Chicago in the West Conference. The 1-1 record in this round brings my overall record to 10-4. Each of the four series picked incorrectly went to seven games. Here is my final prediction:
Los Angeles Kings defeat New York Rangers. Unfortunately neither the Kings nor the Rangers are elite teams. The NHL hasn't had one of those since the 2007 Anaheim Ducks. This is a direct consequence of the salary cap. The liberalized free agency and increased player movement that came along with it has done what it was intended to do. Big market teams have accumulated more talent at expense of the smaller markets. We have Los Angeles playing New York in the finals. These are the two biggest cities in the NHL. If the NHL stays on this path we can look forward to a lot more finals just like this one. Big market teams that have no claim to being elite playing in the finals. This year the Rangers are a mid-level team that got through against mid-level opposition in the weaker East Conference. The Kings are about as good as we seem to get in the current CBA (though hardly dominant) and are much better tested by having to beat better teams to get here. Los Angeles is the better team and thus they should win. The hope for the Rangers is that the Kings are beaten up by their tougher path to the finals, but I don't see much evidence of that right now.
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