As Game 4 approaches, the Devils are facing elimination and the Kings are facing their first possible Stanley Cup in franchise history. Neither team wants to let Game No. 4 slip away.
Whichever squad ends up walking away victorious Wednesday will have earned it, with both teams sure to leave every ounce of effort on the ice.
Who ya got in Game 4?
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Wednesday, June 6 at 8:00 p.m. EDT
Live Stream: CBC Sports
Listen: NHL Radio
Betting Line (Covers.com)
Over/Under: 4.5, Spread: Los Angeles -1.5
While this series has been predicated on great defense and even better goaltending, there is no tomorrow for the Devils if they lose; expect all guns blazing on Wednesday.
As much as I love the over here and would play it hard, I would stay away from the spread because this has “overtime thriller” written all over it.
None to report
Scott Parse, RW, Doubtful
Kyle Clifford, LW, Available
What They’re Saying
Late-night personality Conan O’Brien is a little confused on whom exactly the Stanley Cup was named after. I like his suggestion much better:
It’s my theory that the Stanley Cup is named after Paul Stanley from Kiss.— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) June 3, 2012
Sports columnist and Bleacher Report’s own T.J. McAloon talks about the idea that two American goalies could win the Conn Smythe trophy back-to-back:
Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol decided to hop on the Kings bandwagon before his team eventually ships him out of town:
Key Matchup: Jonathan Quick vs. Martin Brodeur
While there will be important matchups all over the ice, this series starts and ends with the men in between the pipes.
As great as Martin Brodeur is—possibly the greatest goaltender to ever play the game—the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs have been Jonathan Quick’s coming out party. He wants to send everyone home from this party with a big Stanley Cup smile.
For comparison purposes, let’s look at Brodeur’s amazing numbers from this postseason. In 21 games, the Devils’ netminder has a goals-against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .919.
As great as those stats are, they’re nothing compared to the Conn Smythe-worthy numbers from Quick. The Kings’ star has a goals-against average of 1.36 and a save percentage of .950.
Those numbers just aren’t great, they’re legendary.
Prediction: Kings 4, Devils 3
The Los Angeles Kings will win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in history and do it in a four-game sweep in front of their home fans. What a storybook moment!
There is no doubt that Jonathan Quick will get his much deserved Conn Smythe trophy for being the MVP of the playoffs, but as it is every single season when that award is given, it must be noted how important the team around the star goalie was to getting that award.
The Kings took their strong, young core and surrounded them with stellar players like Mike Richards and Jeff Carter via trade. As much as it hurts to see Flyers West succeed, they have earned it and won’t need five games to win this series.
Check back for more on the National Hockey League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NHL page to get your fill of all things hockey.