And so it came to pass that the 5th and 6th seeded New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings would meet in the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Finals later this week after Chicago blew yet another lead in game seven Sunday evening.
The two will travel over 2,700 miles at a time when the series shifts back and forth.
The Kings and the Rangers last met in the NHL playoffs in the year 1981. In the first round. Huh? Back then they seeded 1 through 16, and the two squared off as #4 Los Angeles vs #13 New York. The best-of-five series went to the Rangers in three, and if there's anyway for that to be repeated this season- Well, that would be great.
The Kings have won three game sevens. In a row. On the road. And come back from the 0-3 deficit to the Sharks. Sometimes in sports "that effin team" emerges once the playoffs begin. Los Angeles sure looks like it.
While we were divided in choosing between the Hawks and Kings, any real Stars fan now knows that the cup must go East. We'll be united in our futile hope. Isn't this where the West's dominance this year delivers the final stroke? Or will Joel Lundqvist's slightly less attractive brother be enough of a difference maker?
At least you can root for all-around good guy Brad Richards, and against Dustin Brown. That decision just makes itself.
Here's the schedule for humans:
Game 1: Wednesday, June 4 in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: Saturday, June 7 in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. ET. TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 3: Monday, June 9 in New York at 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: Wednesday, June 11 in New York at 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 5*: Friday, June 13 in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 6*: Monday, June 16 in New York at 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 7*: Wednesday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBC, CBC, RDS
With the draft on June 27th, hockey all the way until the 18th would be excellent. We'll have an order of that.
- ICYMI Saturday, the Texas Stars played a dominant overall game against the Toronto Marlies- Out-shooting them by a mile for most of the afternoon, though struggling to score. They won, and bring home two chances now to finish off Toronto and advance to the Finals once more. [Hundred Degree Hockey]
- Doug Lidster (working for Texas Stars) is being connected to possible WHL openings, and some connect that dot to Willie Desjardins and the Vancouver Canuck's possible interest as well. It's probably a coincidence. [The Province]
- In case you missed it over the weekend the Stars signed prospect Gemel Smith to his entry-level deal. [NHL.com]
- Mike Heika wonders at Kari Lehtonen's role in the Stars' future playoff endeavors and ponders who might be brought in to work behind him in backup role. [DMN]
- Steve Lepore thinks NBC needs to do more to maximize their monopoly on NHL coverage in the States. [Awful Announcing]
- The San Jose media is trying to deliver a message originating from their general manager that there might be a culture change in the works for Sharks players. That there's going to be some pressure. That it's not going to be a country club. The hockey world holds its breath. [Mercury News]
- This actually came up in a Google News search as a source on real Dallas Stars news. It's about Kari Lehtonen. This is an excerpt. "Some are saying that the sheer number of games he played was partly to blame for the Stars not making it to the Stanley Cup Finals." So...that happened. [Fan... sided?]