The New York Rangers secured a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final after downing the Montreal Canadiens in six games.
SportsCenter tweeted an unfortunate statistic for Canadian hockey:
With the Canadiens elimination, the Stanley Cup will stay in the States once more. No Canadian team has won the cup since Montreal in 1993.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 30, 2014
As the Rangers await their opponent, the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks will battle one more time in the Western Conference's pivotal Game 7.
Chicago appeared dead in the water after three consecutive victories by the Kings. However, the team remained resilient, winning Games 5 and 6 to even the series in dramatic fashion.
With Game 7 looming large, let's take a look at what we already know about this year's Stanley Cup Final.
The NHL will not release specific viewing information until both Stanley Cup Final teams are revealed. However, we do know the dates for each of the games.
Wednesday will mark the first game of the Stanley Cup, and should the series go a full seven games, a new champion will be crowned on June 18.
Here's a look at the full schedule:
|Game 1||Wednesday, June 4|
|Game 2||Saturday, June 7|
|Game 3||Monday, June 9|
|Game 4||Wednesday, June 11|
|*Game 5||Friday, June 13|
|*Game 6||Monday, June 16|
|*Game 7||Wednesday, June 18|
With the World Cup right around the corner, we could have a very intriguing schedule, according to a tweet from P. Schrager of Fox Sports:
Monday, June 16 could mean USA-Ghana, promptly followed by Game 6 of Stanley Cup Finals in MSG. All New Yorkers should get Tuesday off.— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) May 30, 2014
Since the Rangers earned a trip to the season's final series and are set to play at least three home games, tickets have already been made available for a glimpse of live action at Madison Square Garden.
We already know everything in New York City is expensive, and according to a tweet from theScore, the ticket prices are par for the course:
It's been 20 years since the Rangers were last in the Stanley Cup, and the team's faithful have already begun to dig deep in their pockets for a chance to see it all live.
Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason is one example:
Stanley Cup Finals tickets! Oh so sweet! pic.twitter.com/K8DJwgAcTh— Boomer Esiason (@7BOOMERESIASON) May 30, 2014
Get 'em while they're hot.
One final thing we already know is that Lundqvist is an excellent goaltender.
Both the Kings and Blackhawks have shown glimpses of offensive prowess throughout their series. However, a difficult test lies in wait.
After Lundqvist pitched a shutout against Montreal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, ESPN Stats & Info tweeted his remarkable milestone:
Rangers advance to Stanley Cup Finals as Henrik Lundqvist becomes Rangers' all-time leader with 42 playoff wins, passing Mike Richter— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 30, 2014
According to a tweet from the NHL, Lundqvist remains more determined than ever:
Just how good has Lundqvist been playing lately? Take a look at this acrobatic save from Game 6 against Montreal:
With Lundqvist in goal for the Rangers, and one of two offensively talented teams set to face him in the Stanley Cup Final, we're certainly in for some fireworks.
This year's contest is already shaping up to be one for the ages.