Stanley Cup Finals Preview & Predictions 2012
A battle of low seeds, not that those numbers mean a thing any more. The #6 New Jersey Devils meet the #8 Los Angeles Kings in the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Finals.
Both teams have knocked off the #1 seeds. Both are surprising finalists. Both are backed by quality goaltending: one team a future Hall of Famer, the other a rising star.
Josh Kidd has setup our poll & preview/breakdown of the series. Submit your vote before polling closes (game 1 is a gimme).
Time to break out the crystal balls:
Devils in 6
Martin Brodeur. It seemed like he's won Cups on his own, and now he's got some fire power in front of him. With a nice blend of youth & experience the Devils have been a scrappy team, battling to win every game and every series. The Kings, who defeated some talented teams, never faced opponents who put them in a corner. The Eastern Conference teams looked more solid game in and game out, outside of a few messy Philly-Pittsburgh games, and Dustin Brown's hard hitting-style won't bother the Devils like the Kings' previous opponents. As always, despite prediction, I'll be rooting for game 7, overtime.
From more of the hockeyfights.com content team:
Josh Kidd, Kings in 7
The Kings forecheck is something the Devils haven't experienced yet this playoff season. This will be a big factor since the Devils don't have a lot of size on their blueline to contend with the powerforwards the Kings will roll after them. Mix in the fact that the Kings defensemen are big, athletic, can jump in the rush and don't surrender the blueline, and I don't see the Devils prevailing. I can see Marty Brodeur stealing a game or two, and Zach Parise carrying the Devils to a game victory, but overall the depth of the Kings will prove to be too much for New Jersey to handle.
Chris Phillips, New Jersey in 6
In a tight series, experience will be key and the Devils have the edge. Martin Brodeur has been here, done it and got the t-shirt. That will be enough to see the Devils edge through.
Mike Vellucci, New Jersey in 6
The forward lines for New Jersey are firing on all cylinders with the fourth line of the Devils being a huge factor these playoffs. Brodeur is playing like he's 25 and not 40. The Kings have yet to face any sort of adversity in these playoffs, and you have to think New Jersey will give them a tough time, so it will be interesting to see how LA responds.
Editor's note: Mike picked the Kings to win the Cup at the beginning of the season and is clearly hedging his bet. And being a homer.
Jason Feigel, Kings in 6
Jonathan Quick has been spectacular and the entire Kings team have had a solid 2012 playoff run compared to the shaky Devils. The Kings have been great on special teams, scoring short-handed goals, even though the power play has been relatively poor.