Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 4

The two most unlikely of competitors in this year's Stanley Cup has brought us an intriguing pairing of two coastal cities and two of the largest media markets in the United States. Could this be a platform to which the NHL gains more mainstream popularity? It helps that the two largest markets will be involved, but only 1 team has been to the finals recently. The last time the L.A. Kings were in the finals it was 1993. Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille and Barry Melrose were bringing Los Angeles it's first taste of winning hockey. But after the Kings were thumped out by the Canadians, it took a patient team to rebuild. Now that hockey is good again in the Southern California area, what direction will the NHL take next season?

Los Angeles v. New Jersey

The two most unlikely of competitors in this year's Stanley Cup. One team is on the rise and one might be in it's twilight looking for a reshuffling underneath the leagues' salary cap. The Kings were lucky to have made the playoffs as the 8th seed. But from there, they rode a hot goaltender Jonathan Quick to a historic record eliminating the 1st 2nd and 3rd ranked teams in 1 playoff season. But as I look over Los Angeles' roster, they've gathered a lot of players who have failed in the final rounds. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were reunited as a pair of front line forwards, but they know the feeling of choking when it counts. The New Jersey Devils have been recent winners in 2003 against the Ducks. Marty Brodeur may consider this his final run in a career. Of course, the Devils team has had a few players stick around from their 2003 team that remembers how to win a Stanley Cup series. Starting with Patrick Elias as the leader of this current Devils squad.

I'm going out on a limb here. It's the irresistible force (Kings) versus the immovable object (Devils).

Prediction: Los Angeles in 6
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