Stanley Cup Final Preview and Prediction – Kings v Rangers

Kings RangersWith no shortage of storylines heading into this year’s Stanley Cup Final, we’re set for a matchup of the different styles of hockey brought forth in each conference. From the Rangers, fans will see a quick passing offense, complementary defense and superb goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. In contrast, the Kings will offer hard forechecking, great and gritty defense led by Drew Doughty and Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick in goal.

Up front, the Kings have four battle-tested and playoff proven centers in Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Jarret Stoll, and Mike Richards; whereas the Rangers only have Brad Richards, a former Conn Smythe winner, before a step down to Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and Dominic Moore. It’s easy to point to the Kings as the highest scoring team in the playoffs thus far, at almost 3.5 goals per game, with a power play clicking at over 25% – plus dominating the faceoff circle at over 50% – it’s funny how a “defensive” team is so potent offensively. Perhaps the only comparison to the Kings’ 2012 Cup run is that Dwight King hasn’t provided the same level of offense he did then, only posting two goals and eight points now, compared to five goals and 14 points then.

That lack of production has been offset by the true coming out party for young guns Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. Toffoli, arguably the best Kings player last year as a rookie against Chicago in the Western Conference Final, is tied for third in goals on the team with seven. Meanwhile, Pearson leads all true rookies with 12 points (four goals and eight assists).

On the back end, both teams have impressive defensive cores. The Rangers play more collectively as a unit, with Ryan McDonagh leading the offense from the blueline, along with Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. Then you have the group of Stralman, Klein, Moore and Diaz doing journeyman’s time and filling in admirably as a unit. One area the Kings clearly have an advantage in comes via Drew Doughty’s dominance in both ends. He has the capacity to impose his will on a game, where he can dominate the other team’s No. 1 center or control the offense from the blueline. If Rangers fans are looking for an opening, it’s when Doughty isn’t on the ice, as the Kings have shown some vulnerability there.

Arguably the NHL’s two best goaltenders, Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist, will slug it out in net. While Quick hasn’t looked as invincible this post-season as in year’s past, yet he’s been clutch when needed – almost Grant Fuhr-like, in letting in goals early, but making the stops that he should not have made, or when the Kings have needed a stoppage in play late in a game. For the Blueshirts, Lundqvist has been one of the main reasons they are making their first Stanley Cup appearance in 20 years. He’s made some great saves, including a big blocker save in Game 7 vs. the Canadiens. Although stat geeks will point to Lundqvist’s better numbers this post-season,, there likely isn’t a better goalie in the world than Quick when you have to win a game.

In the end, the gravity of the LA Kings should wear on the NY Rangers slowly but surely. Television executives would love nothing more than another seven-game series, but not this time. Expect the Kings to finish off the Rangers in six games and hoist the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years, and Doughty will claim his first Conn Smythe trophy.

RELATED CONTENT:

OPINION: Time for the LA Kings to use this lineup

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick does Media Day in LA

FREE REPLAY: The Mayor on TSN Radio with Stanley Cup preview

Instagram

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com

Recent Articles

Berube AHL Manchester playoffs 2015 by Tilton

Berube Quotes After Backstopping Monarchs to 3-0 Lead in ECF

Kings goaltending prospect J.F. Berube made 17 saves on 20 shots in Manchester’s 5-3 victory in Game 3, now giving them a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final. Following the Monarchs win, Berube shared the following… On tonight’s win: “I think the third one is always the hardest one to go get. I […]

Mersch Michael AHL Monarchs

Manchester Monarchs ECF Game 2: Postgame Quotes Michael Mersch

LA Kings prospect Michael Mersch scored a hat trick in the Monarchs 7-4 win in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  Mersch now has five goals in the first two games of the series, and leads the AHL in rookie scoring this postseason with 18 points. After the Game 2 victory, here is what […]

Stothers Mike AHL Manchester Monarchs

Monarchs Win ECF GM2: Video Highlights and Coach Stothers Comments

The Manchester Monarchs scored five straight goals against the Hartford Wolf Pack in route to a 7-4 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.  After the game Monarchs’ head coach Mike Stothers shared the following… On the first two games. This game not so close versus yesterday. Well I still think this one […]

Major News Items

Forbort AHL Burger King

LA Kings 2014-15 Midseason Prospect Rankings: The Top 5

Finally, the wait is over. With the Honorable Mentions and Nos. 6-10 prospects previously revealed in other articles, we are now prepared to share the final five players making up the latest edition of our L.A. Kings Top … [Read More...]

More Prospect News