NHL Stanley Cup Ultimate Preview: New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings
After systematically taking down seeds 1 through 3, the Los Angeles Kings anchored by Vezina and Conn Smythe trophy candidate Jonathan Quick will be facing its toughest challenge against an eerily similar opponent in the New Jersey Devils.
Rarely could two teams look so similar, from the aggressive style of play to the ridiculously strong goaltending— both teams are even captained by Americans, ensuring that only for the second time ever will a U.S. born player be the first to hoist the cup.
While these two franchises might not have the history of bad blood like some matchups, there has always got to be a starting point, right?
It is all but guaranteed that this will be a hard-hitting, shot-blocking, low-scoring series; basically a hockey fan’s dream, as well as the reason the sport almost died in 2004.
Despite the fact LA and New Jersey were the 3rd and 4th highest scoring teams in post-season play, don’t hold your breath for the puck to be dropped at center—you’ll need all the air you can get to survive watching the back-and-forth battle that I predict will go the full seven.
Ah, but who will take it in seven? Rather than slip in my prediction at the end, I will state my position and defend it. Most predict the series to end in six, but these teams are too closely matched (and too well rested) to leave anything on the ice.
I think there could be no better ending for the record setting 8-straight road winning team than drinking from the Cup on enemy territory.
Hollywood is no stranger to the tale of the underdog, and this script has the 8th seeded Kings defeating the hockey giant Devils all over it.
How will they do it? What must the Kings be wary of in their quest for the Holy Grail of hockey?