Well, the moment has arrived hockey fans! What we wait for all year. The Stanley Cup Finals! If we were to have told you a 6th and 8th seed would’ve been in the Finals, would you have believed it? Did you think the LA Kings would be in the Finals? Did you think the Florida Panthers would be 1 goal away from beating the Devils in a Game 7? Well, none of that really matters now because the Finals are set: New Jersey Devils vs. LA Kings. A 40 year old Martin Brodeur vs a 26 year old Jonathan Quick. The Devils going for their 4th Stanley Cup title while the Kings are looking for their 1st.
To be honest, I’m just excited to see Stanley Cup Finals hockey. The intensity grows that much more, the hits, and the sacrifices become that much more important. As Herb Brooks said “You’re looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back.” These players have fought all year for their team, their fans and themselves and now it all pays off. They hail from countries all around the world, but you can bet most of them had dreams of being in the Stanley Cup Final. Ok enough of the cheesiness, so what does each team have to do to win Game 1?
For the LA Kings, get shots on Brodeur. Yes, the guy was an elite goaltender his whole career but he’s 40 now, he makes more mistakes. Shots typically hit off his pads which leave the puck open for rebound opportunities. The Kings need to get the shots and make sure they are there to pick up the rebounds and score. Of course, Jonathan Quick needs to be on his game but he has been so I don’t worry about that. The Kings top line of Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, and Anze Kopitar has to show up and look intimidating. Getting shots and goals early on will be key.
For the New Jersey Devils, Ilya Kovalchuk needs to be a presence on the ice. We know in the series with the Panthers, he seemed nonexistent but recently he has been showing up and it has been making the different. Martin Brodeur needs to play like vintage Brodeur and play lights out amazing. If the Kings get lots of shots on him, he’ll need to play incredible. Adam Henrique should keep doing his thing where he scores critical OT goals in clinching games. The Devils have come out hot in most of their games and they’ll have to do this in the remaining games. Their powerplay has been the best all season and they should take advantage of that scoring while on the powerplay.
Basically, enjoy Game 1 of these Finals. Because when it’s over there is no hockey for a few months. Whether you’re a Kings fan, Devils fan or neutral, savor these Finals because it truly is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Championship game.
Thanks for reading and if you want comment below saying who you think will win the Cup!
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