The biggest moments in sports often demand an equally big, if not bigger, performance from stars, so there is no doubt that the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals will provide some dominant hockey from both the Devils and the Kings.
The question is: Who will play well enough to be the difference for their respective team?
Players on both of these teams have been working their whole lives for this opportunity as the Stanley Cup is literally the pinnacle of the sport. Some would actually say the Stanley Cup is the pinnacle of sports.
Whatever your thoughts on that statement, it's hard to argue how beloved and cherished the NHL's trophy is.
The Kings undoubtedly want that trophy, as do their fans, but they're going to have to rely on Quick in this series. Everything the Kings want to accomplish in the Stanley Cup finals has to start and end with their goalkeeper.
Quick has been incredible this season, posting a 1.95 goals against average and a save percentage of .929, and he's going to have to keep that up against a very potent Devils' offense.
He only let in eight goals total in the conference semifinals, but that's going to be challenged by New Jersey, who is relentless offensively and very talented on all of their lines. Obviously the big names like Zach Parise—seven goals and seven assists this postseason—and Ilya Kovalchuk—seven postseason goals and 11 assists—will be huge threats, but even a guy like Ryan Carter, who scored three goals in the Rangers series, can be dangerous.
The Devils were quick to score against the Rangers and they looked to put them in holes. The Kings will need to avoid that predicament, so Quick will have to be dominant, and he will be.
Quick has been great this postseason, only allowing 22 goals through three rounds—compared to 37 from opposing goalie Martin Brodeur—and he's notched two shutouts. He's proved that he can keep the puck out of the net, and I expect that he'll continue that trend.
For as good as the Devils have been, they were shut out twice this postseason. There is no doubt that Quick is just as good as, if not better than, Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Quick is going to have a great series that will cement his spot as one of the best goalkeepers in the league. I expect him to shut down the Devils' offense, fluster their power play and lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup off the strength of at least one shutout.