Los Angeles Kings: Pros and Cons of Playing the Rangers or Devils in the Finals
The Los Angeles Kings have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. That year, the Kings were lead by Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky.
There are benefits to both matchups, and each team provides a different challenge.
Here are the pros and cons of playing the Rangers or the Devils.
Pros to playing the Rangers
The Rangers are more defensive oriented and lack the elite scorers that would threaten the Kings' defense.
While Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards are both good offensive players, neither has been a points-per-game player in the playoffs.
After scoring 41 goals during the regular season, Gaborik has a pedestrian four goals in 18 playoff games.
Another benefit is the lack of finals experience by the Rangers' most important player, Henrik Lundqvist. While he has been great so far, he has yet to play in the pressure cooker environment that is the Stanley Cup Finals.
Cons to Playing the Rangers
The Rangers may lack an elite player on offense, but they have one of the deepest rosters in the league with 12 players registering at least one goal.
So far, the Kings have yet to play a team that can roll four lines the way John Tortorella can.
Also, even though Lundqvist may lack finals experience, he is on fire right now and could stifle the Kings' offense.
Lastly, even though as a team the Rangers lack finals experience, Brad Richards has proven he has what it takes to win the cup.
Pros to playing the Devils
Even though the Devils are a great team, there are some advantages to playing them.
The primary reason is Martin Brodeur. Even though he has been great to this point in the playoffs, the 40-year-old netminder is bound to have a setback.
He is playing better than he did in the regular season, and the long series against the Rangers could take a toll on the veteran goalie.
Furthermore, the Devils' two best players don’t have finals experience.
While Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise have been great up to this point, they haven’t played in the finals before, and there is increased pressure when the cup is at your fingertips.
Cons to playing the Devils
The biggest concerns for the Kings are the top two scorers on the Devils.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise have both scored six goals so far and have 26 points between the two of them. These two have shown they are up for the task and could carry the Devils to the cup if necessary.
What they lack in experience, they make up for in talent.
The Devils are also a deep team. While they may not be as deep as the Rangers, 15 players have scored a goal so far and every regular starter has notched at least one point in the playoffs.
Additionally, even though Bordeur is old and may run out of gas, he is determined to go out on top and could be the difference maker in at least one game in the finals.