The Los Angeles Kings were an eight seed coming into the playoffs. Despite that, they have been able to steamroll through each of their opponents this postseason. They have looked like the clear cut favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
At first thought, it seems as if it doesn't matter who comes out of the Eastern Conference because the Kings are going to beat them anyway. One thing that could be a huge factor in preventing the Kings from winning a Stanley Cup is the rest.
They have gotten rest after every series, but not as much as they will before the finals.
They defeated the top seeded Vancouver Canucks in five games. The Kings had five days in between the first and second round.
They then went on to sweep the St. Louis Kings. They had another long layoff in which they had six days in between the two series.
The Kings just defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in five games. This will give them seven days in between their last series and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Much of the reason for their success in the postseason is because their goalie is as hot as any goalie will ever be. Jonathan Quick has been incredible this postseason and carried the Kings. So far, he has two shutouts and has a .946 save percentage.
One thing you want for a hot goalie is for him to get on the ice. The rest will keep Quick off the ice and may cause him to lose some of his momentum.
The Rangers have not gotten much rest time as both of their series' have gone seven games. If they are going to beat the Devils, they are going to have to win in seven games again.
However, the difference here is that they will have two days in between Game 7 against the Devils and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. They have only had one day of rest after their first two series wins. They will have an extra day this time, which will be crucial.
The Devils could either win in Game 6 or Game 7. That means they will either have two or four days of rest after their series with the Rangers. Teams would much rather have two or four days of rest in between playoff series as opposed to seven like the Kings will have.
The Kings have been the best team in the playoffs this year. But the extended rest they have before the Stanley Cup Finals may doom the Kings and keep them from winning a Stanley Cup.