Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Cup final’
Boston and St. Louis finished second and third in the NHL in goals against per game this season, respectively. Their goaltending is proven, their defensemen unyielding. Now, thanks to a favorable and static bracket (no reseeding!), the Bruins and Blues have the inside track on meeting in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. But the road will not be easy.
Here is how both conferences break down, series-by-series, ending with B’s on top of the hockey world.
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A woman checked in to a gym in Glendale, California, about 10 miles north of Staples Center, on a recent morning. “The Kings are in the playoffs for first time since 1993,” she told the clerk at the front desk. “Can you believe it?”
Mercifully, the clerk let the error go uncorrected. “I know,” he said. “I was 3 then.”
I’m sitting on at least a dozen good anecdotes from the Kings’ bandwagon, but that one is my favorite. There was a naive charm to their exchange. On one hand, Los Angeles has one of the biggest and fastest teams in the NHL, one that subdues opponents with an aggressive forecheck, superior goaltending and timely scoring. On the other hand, the team has inspired an affection that’s rather cute and innocent, sort of like Mickey Mouse, en route to the Stanley Cup final.
Since the NHL lockout in 2004-05, several unlikely foes have faced off in the Stanley Cup Finals. But all of those prior match-ups pale in comparison to this year’s duo, which pits the sixth-seeded New Jersey Devils (48-28-6) from the Eastern Conference against the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings (40-27-15) from the West.
When either team is crowned champion, that squad will be the lowest-ranked ever to hoist the Stanley Cup, surpassing the 1995 Devils, who entered the postseason seeded fifth before sweeping Detroit to capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.