I keep hearing how the Stanley Cup Finals is going to boil
down to the New York Ranger’s speed going against the Los Angeles Kings depth
and toughness. For starters I don’t see that as being all that correct because
the Rangers have proven in this playoff run that they too have depth that has
been getting the job done.
Let the Kings play “tough guys” as so far it hasn’t worked
all that well in this year’s playoff season. “Tough guys” tend to play out of
control which gets them into trouble.
My question is can the Kings solve the Ranger’s “man to man”
defense which has already shut down the like of Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux,
and in the conference finals P.K. Subban and Lar Eller. While I am not saying
that Los Angeles isn’t a bad team but they have been playing on the edge for
all 3 of their playoff series.
The Kings had to rally from down 0-3 against the Sharks, 2-3
against the Ducks and almost gave away the conference finals to the Blackhawks
needing to go to 7 games for a 3rd time. You can only play on the
edge for just so long before it bites you.
Yes the Rangers needed 7 games against the Flyers and
Penguins but they only face real elimination against the Penguins. Against the
Flyers, the Rangers only faced elimination in game 7 while they never faced it
against the Canadiens. The playoffs are more a marathon than a talent contest
these days thanks to having to play a schedule that is built for TV and not to
determine a champion.
The Kings having to play 3 straight 7 games series had to
have taken a toll on them physically and mentally. The “talking heads” up until
this finals have been making a big deal over how no team has ever won the cup
having to play 28 games. The Rangers would only play 27 while the Kings will
Let us also remember that the Kings were only 4 points
better than the Rangers in the standings during the regular season. Sure as
Ranger fans you will expect us to be biased but ask the fans of other teams who
they wouldn’t want to face in goal Quick or Lundqvist?
But to me when all the talking ends the one area in which I
think the Rangers will have their best edge is the guy behind the bench Alain
Vigneault. Vigneault has coached against the Kings (meaning their players and
coaches) so he has had more “looks” at the Kings and what they want to do. The
Kings can’t say that about the Rangers as not even Marion Gaborik can tell them
what the Rangers are like this season.
I will put the Ranger coaching staff over the Kings every
day of the week and I fully expect Vigneault will have a game plan to deal with
the Kings. Just as he did against the Flyers, as he did against the Penguins
and as he did the Canadiens.
Again I am not saying that the Kings will be easy to beat
and the Rangers will sweep them in 4 games. But I am sure as heck saying that
the Rangers have a very good chance to beat the Kings and get to hoist the cup.
All that is left is to bring back something we used to say from
New York’s past