Many believe that this is the New York Rangers‘ season because of the tragedy that struck Martin St. Louis when his mother tragically and suddenly passed away while the Rangers were in the second round of the playoffs vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.
When his mother passed away, the Rangers were down 3-1 in the series and looked like they were heading home early, but the team rallied around St. Louis and rung off three straight wins, beat the Penguins, and are now in the Stanley Cup Final vs. the Los Angeles Kings. While it would make a great story if the Rangers were to win the Cup this season, playing inspired hockey alone is not enough to beat the Kings in a best-of-seven series.
The Kings are highly skilled and more talented offensively than the Rangers. Some would say the Rangers have an edge on defense, including goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, but the Kings’ offense creates so many mismatches that the Rangers’ defense cannot handle them, especially their unbelievable forecheck pressure.
Now the Rangers’ offense can also create mismatches for the Kings’ defense when using their speed but unfortunately the Rangers do not have the same finishing touch the Kings have. New York may be able to out-skate the Kings’ defense, but the Rangers can never score with any consistency, which will prove to be a recipe for disaster, especially against Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
The bottom line is that inspiration and heart alone for the Rangers are just not good enough to beat a highly-skilled Kings team in a best-of-seven series in the Stanley Cup Final.