5 Reasons To Tune Into The Stanley Cup Final
With Game 1 in the books as a Kings W, here are 5 reasons you should catch the rest of the battle to capture Lord Stanley’s Cup.
1. Elite Goalie Matchup
It is no secret that this series has two of the best goalies in the NHL squaring off. While Quick is a Conn Smythe winner, Lundqvist is the hot goalie of the playoffs and arguably has been the reason the Rangers have reached their first Cup since 1994. Lundqvist is boasting a .928 save percentage, but Quick has the experience factor after winning the Cup in 2012. Quick said of his counterpart, “He’s one of the best in the world and he has been for quite a while now.” Game 1 Quick proved to be the better goalie with 25 saves, but Lundqvist has proven to be one of the elite, and he wants a championship to prove it. Expect the series to come down to these two.
2. Carl Hagelin
The young Swede proved his value in Game 1, scoring 1 of 2 Rangers’ goals. This postseason, he has tallied 11 points with 7 goals. Considered one of the fastest skaters on the team, he will be a vital presence against the Kings’ physicality. If Game 1 was any proof, Hagelin is getting hot at the right time and could prove to be lethal deeper in the series.
3. Justin Williams
The winger is boasting a +13 rating this postseason, leading all players. He has 20 points in this playoff run with 8 goals, but more impressive is the 7 points in the last 5 games. Williams continued his momentum from Game 7 against the Hawks and scored the overtime game winner in Game 1-the first overtime goal of his playoff career. Though he only has two game winners in the 2014 playoffs, his goals always seem to be timely. There is no doubt Williams will continue to be a force of nature, with the potential to do some serious damage in this series.
4. Size vs. Speed
The Kings are known for their gritty, never-give-up play, but perhaps more importantly, their size. The likes of the 6’4” center Jeff Carter and 6’3” defenseman Willie Mitchell give the Kings plenty of girth to beat up the speed guys and they take advantage of this. The Kings had 45 hits in Game 1, compared to the Rangers 33. The Rangers are far more of a speed and finesse team, with Carl Hagelin making the biggest impact in that department with a goal in Game 1. The key for either team is using their best assets- will the Rangers be able to wear down a slower LA defense with their speed, or will the Kings be able to bully their way to the Cup?
5. Kings Dynasty Talk
It is undeniable that the Kings have been the team to beat this postseason. Just when teams think they have them in a hole (I’m looking at you, San Jose), the Kings work their voodoo magic and somehow find ways to win. Not only do they erase deficits within series, but more often than not they’ve gone down 2 or 3-0 in a game, only to come back and win. Given that they won the Cup in 2012 and have played for the Western Conference title the last 3 years (winning twice), the Kings are certainly inspiring dynasty talks should they win this year.
Given the outcome of Game 1 and the Kings’ play overall, the 5 reasons above also stand for the 5 games that will be played this series. Each game will no doubt be thrilling, but the Kings are too hot and dominant at the moment to be beat 4 times. Kings in 5.