May 27, 2012, 8:02 PM EDT
When hockey fans pictured the 2012 Stanley Cup finals, it might not be crazy to say that none – or maybe .001 percent – saw New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings coming. If you’re not a Kings/Devils fan (or a fan of one of their biggest rivals), you might need a reason to root for one of those teams. Here are four reasons to cheer for each squad.
Reasons to root for the Devils
- Win it for Marty – Martin Brodeur certainly doesn’t “need” another Stanley Cup ring to solidify his legacy. Still, it would be quite the feat for him to add No. 4 to his already-staggering resume.
- Root for the suits - Peter DeBoer’s great work slips under the radar. Adam Oates is a potential future Hall of Famer who never got a ring during his playing days. Larry Robinson was the backbone of one of the best defense corps – and dynasties – in NHL history.
- Keeping Zach – Sure, fans of the sport as a whole would probably love to soak in a Zach Parise sweepstakes, but there’s something to be said for a guy sticking with one team for his entire career. New Jersey’s chances of keeping Parise have probably already climbed considerably in the postseason, yet winning the Cup would make it especially difficult to leave.
- Ilya’s moment - Ilya Kovalchuk probably won’t hear much about his lack of “clutchness” after this postseason; he currently leads all playoff scorers with 18 points. Still, actually raising the Cup would be a great counterpoint to a span that saw a lot of Russian players become scapegoats.
Reasons to root for the Kings
- First time for everything – While the Devils hope to refer to the Brodeur era as a dynasty, the Kings shoot for their first-ever Cup victory. This might be their best chance to win it all since they came into the NHL in 1967.
- Rewarding giggles - If you have a sense of humor, you have to love with the Kings’ PR staff has done during the playoffs. It almost makes you wonder what they’d do with the Cup in their grasp.
- Move over, Kobe – The Staples Center rafters are more or less dominated by the Los Angeles Lakers, much like the sports fans’ attention in the area. It’s unlikely that one Cup would dethrone Kobe Bryant & Co., but it would at least give the Kings a slice.
- Dean’s gamble - Chew on this: Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s job was on the line when he hired Darryl Sutter and traded for Jeff Carter. Those moves – and really, the entirety of his moves, even acquiring Dustin Penner – have paid off when he needed them to the most. It’s a strange case of patience turning into desperation yet with gambles paying off.
Still not sure who to root for? If you’re an American hockey fan, don’t sweat it; a U.S.-born captain will hoist the silver chalice regardless of which team wins. Considering the appealingly aggressive style of both teams, you might just want to root for a long series.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:54 AM EDT
“Corey has been great for us all year, all playoffs.”
Jun 20, 2013, 12:44 AM EDT
It boils down to mistakes of all kinds.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:41 AM EDT
What a difference one goal makes.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:37 AM EDT
He played less than three minutes in Game 4.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:25 AM EDT
“If he sees the puck, he’s going to be almost impossible to beat.”
Jun 19, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
His middle name isn’t “Game Over.” We checked.
Jun 19, 2013, 11:40 PM EDT
It’s now 2-2 after an exciting 6-5 thriller.
Jun 19, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT
The Bruins won’t give up.
Jun 19, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
… And there were plenty of other close calls.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:22 PM EDT
Vancouver Canucks would appreciate the cap space.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:06 PM EDT
Michal Handzus scores first, Rich Peverley ties it.
Jun 19, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The money part has been settled, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Jun 19, 2013, 8:14 PM EDT
In case you were worrying about another late scratch.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT
The Swede wasn’t getting benched during playoff games, for one.
Jun 19, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT
Tough timing for free agent Mason Raymond.
Jun 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
37-year-old ‘tender ready to call it a career.
Jun 19, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT
That’s a picture of Mike Komisarek.
Jun 19, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma considered to be a favorite for the position.
Jun 19, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT
Which could be why they end up swapping coaches.
Jun 19, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT
The players’ union and Board of Governors will vote near the end of the exhibition campaign.
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