Here we are, on the eve of the Stanley Cup Final. I’ll save the storylines for everyone else and say this one thing: if you asked me if we would be here only 3 weeks ago, I’d ask you what you were smoking. On to the Final predictions…
Dave’s Pick: Rangers in 7. The Rangers will win if and only if they can exploit the edges they have in goaltending, defense, and depth. The Rangers roll 18 skaters regularly, with their 4th line getting 10-12 minutes. The Kings’ 4th line gets half that, so they rely on their top-nine forwards. The Rangers have a more rounded defense as well, rolling three pairs boasting three top-pairing defensemen in McDonagh, Staal, and Girardi. It’s going to be a dogfight, and it definitely won’t be the massacre that the media is saying. When the teams are this closely aligned (although the Kings dominate puck possession better than the Rangers), you have to give the edge to the better goalie. Hank will be the difference maker.
Suit’s Pick: Rangers in 7. The Kings have a better team. More fire power. Tougher forecheck. Better coaching. More experience. But we have Hank and this year is his year.
Chris’ Pick: Rangers in 6. the only apparent advantage the Rangers have is in net and that’s a slim advantage depending on your opinion of Jon Quick. Yet despite the depth, size, offensive prowess the Kings enjoy, you get the feeling destiny favours the Rangers. I get the impression Marty St Louis and Henrik Lundqvist won’t be denied.
Kevin’s Pick: Kings in 7. I want to pick the Rangers, I really do. And getting this far only to pick against them seems blasphemous. But if I’m using my head, not my heart, I think the Kings are a superior team. Game 7 on home ice will be the difference.
Justin’s Pick: Rangers in 7- Considering these two teams have combined played one less game than the maximum, of course it’s going the distance. Analysts and pundits have written the Rangers off in every series so far, and since there are so many “mystique and aura” elements surrounding this year’s team on the 20th anniversary of 1994, I’m all in. They will get this done.
Becky’s Pick: Rangers in 6. It’s Hank’s time. It’s Dom’s time. It’s Richie and MSL together for what could be the last time. I don’t care if it uses no logic; they’re taking it home to the city. See y’all at the parade.