The Stanley Cup Final is officially set. The New York Rangers will be facing the Los Angeles Kings for the right to raise Lord Stanley’s hardware. The Kings and Rangers split their regular season matchup, with each team winning one game apiece. However, on paper the Rangers do not match up well against the Kings.
For starters, the Kings are a much more physical team than the Chicago Blackhawks, the team the Kings beat in the Western Conference Finals to face the Rangers. The Kings have a boatload of big, tough forwards who love to bang the opponent’s defensemen. The Rangers haven’t faced teams like this in the playoffs, but that has been one of their biggest achilles heels this season. Strong teams, like the Kings and Boston Bruins, give the Rangers smaller players fits.
Also, the Kings have a better goaltender than the Blackhawks, and it isn’t even close. Jonathan Quick is the best goaltender in the NHL, and has proved it many times throughout the course of his NHL career. The Rangers will have their hands full trying to beat an athletic goaltender like Quick. He takes away so much of the net and has shown the ability to make highlight-reel saves.
Finally, the Kings are a much deeper team than the Blackhawks. The Kings feature four of the top five scorers in these playoffs with Anze Kopitar, former Ranger Marian Gaborik, Jeff Carter and Justin Williams. All of their lines are even, and they feature a bunch of solid role players, like Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis. In addition to having such great veterans, they have some great young players like Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli. Oh, and by the way, they have the best defenseman in the NHL, Drew Doughty.
All in all, the Rangers are going to have their hands full with the Kings. The goaltending matchup, which is usually always in the Rangers favor, will be a wash this series, as will the depth factor. The Rangers don’t match up well against the Kings at all. They are going to have to dig deep to win their first cup in 20 years.