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

NHL RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on Kings Coaching, Lines, and Rookies

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined hosts Dennis Bernstein and Dave Pagnotta to talk all things LA Kings – including hot rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan, young Austin Wager, suggestions for line combinations, John Stevens’ powerplay, Ilya Kovalchuk, Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and more.
Today’s radio […]

TSN RADIO REPLAY: Hoven on Kings, Ducks, Pacific Division Preview

Follow @mayorNHL
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on TSN Radio, where he joined hosts Rick Ralph and Andrew Paterson to take a look at how things may play out in the Pacific Division this season – they talked Anze, Kopitar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Dustin Brown, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Austin Wagner, the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, […]

LA Kings Opening Night Roster: Final Decisions Made, This Is It

With the Kings idle, waiting to roll into Opening Night this coming Friday, there isn’t much going on.
Actually, it was a little challenging to type that sentence with a straight face. Truth is, not much has gone right in Los Angeles during preseason and things are a bit challenging at the moment.
Forget the […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2018 Mid-Season Top 10 Prospect Rankings: The Top Two

It all comes down to this. After an extensive journey through the LA Kings current prospect pool, we've finally arrived at the top two players in the rankings - including this year's highly coveted No. 1 spot. … [Read More...]

More Prospect News