May 25, 2012, 11:22 PM EDT
In the summer of 2010, the Los Angeles Kings made a bid to nab the supposed missing piece of their Stanley Cup puzzle in the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes. Now he’s one of the biggest obstacles in the upstart Kings’ way as the New Jersey Devils emerged from the East.
Yup, that means the East’s No. 6 seed will host the West’s No. 8 seed in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.
There are plenty of juicy storylines. Two great forechecking teams will go head-to-head. An all-time great in his last days (Martin Brodeur) takes on a contemporary elite in the meat of his prime (Jonathan Quick). There’s plenty of marquee talent as Kovalchuk, Zach Parise & Co. take on Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards and more.
Considering the way the Kings buzzed through the West’s top three seeds, many will consider Los Angeles the unlikely favorite. Just ask the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers if the Devils play like underdogs, though.
With all that in mind, let’s get your Stanley Cup pick – number of games included.
- Flames stun Ducks in OT to get back in the series 0
- Video: Controversial no-goal call on Flames 2
- Video: Crawford, Kane help Blackhawks push Wild to brink of elimination 30
- WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action 1
- Prust apologizes for all the stuff he said about referee Watson 48
- Flyers will be ‘extremely patient’ with youngsters, but ‘want a winner as soon as possible’ 22
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight 16
- Holtby outduels Lundqvist as Caps take series lead 52
- Red Wings’ Devellano calls Mantha ‘very, very, very disappointing’ 66
- End of an era in New Jersey as Shero replaces Lamoriello as GM 26
- Vigneault: ‘Standards have been set’ after Ovechkin, Backstrom hits (103)
- ‘You can’t win,’ ex-NHL ref Fraser says of Prust incident (83)
- Lightning’s Bishop silences Red Wings in hard fought Game 7 (81)
- Babcock won’t discuss future yet, but sees challenges ahead for Wings (78)
- New York second: Capitals stun Rangers for 1-0 series lead (76)