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Kings are 10/17 favorites to beat Rangers (3/2)

Jun 2, 2014, 1:03 PM EST

Dustin Brown, Bill Daly AP

The Los Angeles Kings are 10/17 favorites to beat the New York Rangers (3/2) in the Stanley Cup Final, according to online bookmaker Bovada.

That’s a fairly substantial difference in odds, but certainly not unexpected. The Rangers entered the playoffs at 20/1 to win the Cup; only four teams had higher odds than that, while the Kings were at 10/1.

The Kings also have home-ice advantage in the series, thanks to the 100 points they earned during the regular season, compared to the Rangers’ 96. The three teams Los Angeles has already beaten this postseason — San Jose, Anaheim, and Chicago — all finished with at least 107 points.

Is there value in the underdog Rangers? Possibly. Their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist (.928 save percentage), has been significantly better than Jonathan Quick (.906) in these playoffs, and they’ve had since Thursday to rest up for the final, while the Kings took until Sunday to eliminate the Blackhawks.

There’s also this, from the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle:

…the Rangers are a far more dangerous team than their record shows. After pulling out of a tailspin in the opening couple of months under new coach Alain Vigneault, they closed the season 29-13-4, picking up more points (62) in that span than all but two teams.

That’s cherry picking dates a little but the fact was they were basically a 110-point team for a huge portion of the year, something made possible by not only Lundqvist’s return to form but the team adapting to Vigneault’s aggressive, puck pressure system.

The last Eastern Conference team to win the Stanley Cup, the 2011 Boston Bruins, went into the final versus Vancouver as even bigger underdogs than the Rangers.

  1. barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    And late after last night’s game, after Quenville nearly cried and Sutter spoke in Suttereese, Betman handed the Kings the Stanley Cup in the Kings shower due to everyone saying they are going to wipe up the Rangers in 4 straight.
    After the horrible defense by the Kings and Hawks last night, I personally think the experts had better turn their predictions around.

    • barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Your turn, Blom.

      • barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        I really am beginning to think that Blom is really Sutter. They make about as much sense as one another!

      • barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        (And Blom- All in fun. Both our teams are in. We can have fun for a couple of weeks).

      • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        “LA Kings will ‘crush’ Elaine and his friends” … Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

        GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

      • barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:15 PM

        Ummm….let’s see how that statement works out for you there, Blom, in about a week and a half!

      • 950003cups - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        21 games played by LA. Rangers have 20, plus 3 more days of rest. However, the Rangers look dinged up, and LA amazingly looks healthy. I’m thinking its LA in 7.

        LA has 23 Kings on their roster
        NY has 1

        NY has 23 Quick players on their roster
        LA has 1

        Sounds like something Mike “Doc” Emrick would say.

      • barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        That’s from all those years of you listening to “Ricochet” Emerick!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      While it’s true that the Rangers aren’t getting much respect I think part of the reason is the path the Kings have taken to reach the finals. All 3 opponents were superior to the Rangers opposition. San Jose v Philly… not even close. Anaheim v Pittsburgh… closer but edge to the Ducks. And Chicago v Montreal… no contest. On top of that the Kings have shown unbelievable fortitude in do or die situations. True the Rangers rebounded from a horrible game 6 to beat the Flyers in 7 and then overtook Pittsburgh’s 3-1 lead it’s just not as compelling as the Kings run. I hate to use the cliche but they seem like a team of destiny.

      When you look purely at personnel it’s not as if the Kings are far deeper… Quick and Lundqvist are arguably interchangeable as #1 or 2 in the game. The Rangers are excellent at building a 5-player wall in front of Hank and Mcdonagh, Girardi, and Staal are hard to argue with. The Kings counter with a better offensive blueline thanks to Doughty, Voynov, and Martinez. The Rangers have clutch players like St. Louis and Hagelin. The Kings have more with Justin Williams, Brown, Carter, and Gaborik. Both can roll four lines. It should be a good series and much like game 7 of the WCF it could come down to lucky bounces. Still I gotta agree with experts in thinking it will go LA’s way in five or six. They’re just so clutch and that’s a tangible factor in the NHL playoffs.

      • c1md6 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Dude Pittsburgh is definitely better than Anaheim, it’s not even close. I’m so tired of the bias the West gets, the style they play allows it to look like a superior brand of hockey, but I must of saw 6 checks thrown all series in the West, it was up and down hockey. If you think for a second Ryan McDonough, Mark Staal, and Dan Giardi are just gonna let them skate through the neutral zone uncontested you’re crazy, they better skate with their head up because that style of play doesn’t fly in the east. I’m not saying the rangers are gonna win also not saying the kings are gonna win it’s gonna be a close series, but definitely not a runaway. Don’t let the style of the west blind you because the kings better be ready for a hard hitting war and wrist shots from the blue line are not gonna work on Lundqvist.

      • hrudey - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Wait, c1md6, are you saying that the Kings will be unprepared for hard hitting hockey, while the Rangers’ exploits against the soft-checking trio of Philly, Pittsburgh and Montreal has the Rangers prepared for the Kings? Awesome.

        Guess who has six of the nine hits leaders in the postseason? Hint: Not Montreal.

        http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/stats/bycategory?cat=Offense&conference=NHL&year=postseason_2013&sort=16

      • c1md6 - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Yup. So you’re telling me Phily is soft? Wow, my point exactly.

      • Fertility Doctor - Jun 3, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        And its likely took its toll on the Kings as well

      • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 3, 2014 at 8:10 PM

        C1md6- Anaheim doesn’t have the star power of the Pens but this season they were the better team. Now the Ducks, Imo, aren’t the best 54-win team I’ve seen but they’re good at what they do. I’ve watched a lot of Pittsburgh and they have enviable talent but they’re no juggernaut. Getzlaf was an absolute beast this season and easily outplayed Crosby in the playoffs. I’d still give the Pens forwards the edge overall, but on the blueline and arguably in net the Ducks are better. To say that it’s not even close between the Pens and Ducks is laughable. Anaheim played in a tougher division and still managed more points, goals, and had the second best goal differential in the league. They were better in the regular season AND better in the playoffs.

        As for the point about LA being more worn out than the Rangers (made by fertility doctor), don’t forget the Rangers also played two 7-game series’ themselves. And the Kings still had a three day break between game 7 and game 1 of the finals. I’d rather have a three day turnaround than a long layoff, like NY has. And overall the Rangers have only played one less game than LA… to me that means nothing. The playoffs are a grind and the Kings haven’t shown signs of slowing.

  2. McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    As a firm believer in “sports gods”, Lundquist steals at least one game because he is that good. But, as the Hockey Gods, have proclaimed,

    Kings in 7.

    • njadvocate111 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      @c1md6, regardless of East/West bias, Anaheim is much better than Pitt. And it isnt even close. Crosby was a ghost against Dubinsky/Brassard, you think he would have had more luck against Getzlaf/Kopitar/Toews? That is laughable. Marc Staal and Dan Giradi are going to make for tougher matchups than the likes of Suter, Keith, Seabrook and Pietraneglo? Just not seeing the logic. LA in 6

      • mactruck27 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        I love how everyone says Crosby/Giroux/Subban turned into ghosts against the Rangers, as if everyone just magically fails to turn it on against the Rangers, and that it has nothing to do with the fact that the Rangers have an All-World goalie and probably the best top-4 defense in the league. No no, let’s not give them any credit here.

  3. afce22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    as a Rangers fan i feel pretty good about their chances. I realize LA should be favored, mostly because they’re recent champs, but it’s hard to work through 3 straight game 7s (Rangers have almost a week rest) and fly cross country to play every other day from here

    Rangers have an edge in goal and defense. The wings are pretty even, and Center is pretty strongly in favor of the Kings.

    not making a prediction but should be fun to watch

    • barkar942 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      My prediction- Rangers in 6. In 45 years of watching the Rangers, I only saw the team play this well in ’79 and ’94.

      • afce22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        wouldn’t surprise me if that happens, i think they’re going to need a little more from guys like Zuc, Nash, Stepan. be prepared for them to get dominated on face offs though

    • hrudey - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      The extra rest might matter more if the Kings were getting screwed like the Rangers did earlier in the playoffs, with that insane stretch (was it the end of the Philly series + the start of Pittsburgh?). The Kings will have two days off, and be playing at home, and that’ll give them enough time to be as healthy and ready as a team can be at this time of the season. If the Rangers had breezed through in 14 games or so while the Kings had played 21, that might have residual effects, but it’s hard to seriously consider a team that played 20 games significantly more rested than one that played 21.

      Don’t sleep on the Kings’ defense or on Quick, though. The numbers have been ugly this postseason but some of that is a factor of who they’ve played (and some of it has been that Quick hasn’t been 2012 Quick, to be sure). They did win the Jennings this season for fewest goals allowed in the league, after all. It’ll definitely be a change of pace for the Rangers, going against a team that’s been playing well offensively, but is also physical and determined and doesn’t dive. (*)

      (*) – I will point out, in advance, Brown has been accused of diving from time to time, and of being various incarnations of evil. The thing is, though, the guy really just can’t skate too well. If there was a stat tracked of how many times a guy fell to the ice when there was nobody near by (to eliminate the Montreal effect), he’d be the league leader by a wide margin.

  4. fightingwild - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Just an interesting note, a team with a university if North Dakota Alumni playing for it has never lost the Stanley Cup unless playing a team with another UND Alumni. Guess which team has the UND Player? Matt Greene LA Kings. Sorry folks, LA will be the Stanley Cup Champion this year.

    • afce22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Rangers have Kristo….

      • fightingwild - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        True but is he playing? I don’t remember hearing that he has. Has to be on Pro Roster.

      • fightingwild - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        & As for bias I don’t have a dog in this show, my team was eliminated in the second round.

    • cybernetikghost - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      “Interesting” would not exactly be the term I would use to describe that stat

      • fightingwild - Jun 2, 2014 at 7:53 PM

        & yet it is a true & accurate stat. Go back yourself & research it. You will find it is accurate. Just one of those funny stats.

        Gord Sherven, Edmonton, 1983-84
        Craig Ludwig, Montreal, 1985-86
        Jay Caufield, Pittsburgh, 1990-91
        Jay Caufield, Pittsburgh, 1991-92
        Troy Murray, Colorado, 1995-96
        Ed Belfour, Dallas, 1998-99
        Tony Hrkac, Dallas, 1998-99
        (A) Craig Ludwig, Dallas, 1998-99
        Rick Wilson, Dallas, 1998-99 (assistant coach)
        Brad Bombardir, New Jersey, 1999-00
        Mike Commodore, Carolina, 2005-06
        (C) Jonathan Toews, Chicago, 2009-10 (Conn Smythe Trophy winner)
        (A) Matt Greene, Los Angeles, 2011-12
        (C) Jonathan Toews, Chicago, 2012-13

  5. rpiotr01 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Hank and Quick have been playing at about equal levels. Both have made brilliant saves and let in soft goals, moments of dominance but not consistent.

    Both teams roll 4 lines, I think NYR have gotten better scoring from their depth but less from their big guns.

    I would love to see NYR win and I’m going to root hard for them but that is a damn good, damn deep LA Kings team, and Lundqvist will have to be special for 5-6 games if NYR are going to win.

    My brain says Kings in 6, my heart says Lets Go Rangers!

    • stakex - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Quick and Lundqvist haven’t been playing at similar levels at all. Lundqvist has been dominant with a couple moments of inconsistency… as where Quick has been average with a couple moments of brilliance. Huge difference. There is a good argument to make that the Kings have made it this far despite the play of Quick, while the Rangers are here in large part thanks to the play of Lundqvist.

      The numbers don’t lie. Lundqvist’s S% of .928 is significantly better than the .906 of Quick. Quick also has a very pedestrian 2.86 GAA, compared to a stellar 2.03 from Lundqvist. Let me say that again… quick has averaged .83 goals more per game than Lundqvist in the playoffs. That is NOT the same level.

      Now to be fair to Quick, he did face teams that are a bit more dangerous than those the Rangers did. Teams the Kings played scored 782 total goals during the season, as where the Rangers faced teams that scored 700. That still doesn’t account for giving up an extra 4/5 of a goal per game though…. not even close.

      • rpiotr01 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Quick started the tournament by giving up 5 goals on 28 shots, followed by 7 goals on 40 to the Sharks. I’m not going to go back and do the numbers but at a glance he’s been a hell of a lot better since then and I imagine those two aberrations have something to do with his relatively low GAA. They’ve also played against three teams with tremendous scoring ability and I’ll give him some additional credit for limiting the Sharks, Ducks and Hawks the way he did.

        No way disparaging Hank, just saying Quick has certainly passed the eyeball test to me and he’s easily the best goalie the Rangers (will) have faced this postseason.

        I expect NYR to be the best defense LA has faced, and I don’t expect them to run and gun the way the Hawks did. Rangers like to slug it out a bit more, I just think LA can play that kind of game too.

  6. blomfeld - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    ‘RIGHTEOUS’ REDEMPTION !!!

    Friends, if ever a picture could tell a ‘thousand’ words, then surely this one of Captain Brown from last night is one of them eh ? As a fan of the LA Kings, it’s a given that I’m obviously ‘somewhat’ biased in terms of my support for our heroic leader. Nonetheless, in light of all the ‘hurtful’ scorn & ridicule which was thrown at our captain by ‘certain’ people here at PHT this year, the happiest moment of all last night for me was when Dustin Brown Esquire posed for this ‘glorious’ photograph together with Comrade Commissioner Daly ! … you just gotta love it man !!! :) :) :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      And the best has yet to come blomfeld. Go Kings!

      PS Time to plan a trip to that awesome building on S Figueroa St. ;-)

      BTW, why did you choose blomfeld as your handle?

      • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:23 PM

        question: why did you choose blomfeld as your handle?

        answer: because I am ‘he’ Blomfeld :)

    • slysipops - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      YOU RANG MASTER?…….. YES IGOR …I DID ……. PLEASE TAKE BLOMFELD TO THE LAB . ….SEDATE HIM AND STRAP HIM TO THE TABLE…..I HAVE TO FILL HIS MIND WITH MORE IDEAS FOR THE RANGER SERIES !….. YES DR. FRANKENSTIEN…I WILL DO IT IMMEDIATELY …….[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH97lImrr0Q&w=560&h=315%5D

      • blomfeld - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        Blomfeld: Tiger one to Tiger two, over ?

        Tiger Two: yes comrade ?

        Blomfeld: Tiger Two … blow that piece of junk off the bridge !

        Tiger Two: consider it done comrade ! … hail victory ! :)

  7. sjtorpitt - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Lmfao Ducks>Pens? Spoken like a true Philly fan..

  8. pirovash88 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    As a Kings fan, i know more than anyone that anything can happen come Playoff time. I won’t be making any predictions about this Series. Can’t wait for Wednesday at Staples and may the best Team win.

  9. dannymac17 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    i personally find it quite funny people want to talk about the Kings bad defense.

    Chicago obviously has a really good offense and it showed in 5,6,7 i dont think its the other way round.

  10. cybernetikghost - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    This is the matchup that should have happened in 2012, but getting to see Quick go into two finals against the other two best goalies in the league in Brodeur and Henrik is amazing.

  11. bighossa - Jun 2, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Funny thing is, quick was almost as mediocre as Crawford in that series but because the kings built up a 3-1 series lead it wasn’t a topic. Let’s see how they fair against the likes of an all star like “King Henrick”. Rangers in 6.

  12. toews19 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Personally pulling for the Kings in this series. What a classy organization, however i wouldn’t mind seeing Marty get another one and I’d like to see King Henrik at the top also… Very interesting series ahead of us

  13. vancouversportsbro - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Cue Vigneault getting out-coached by Sutter once again. Kings win.

  14. justinpecora50 - Jun 2, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    These were 2 of the better defensive teams all year, plus the Rangers were one of the better road teams. Both teams can roll 4 lines effectively. As far as D goes 1-4 on both sides are basically equal, 5 and 6 will get their minutes, but, Klein and Moore may have an advantage over Mitchell and whoever his partner is. Rangers don’t really have a true scoring line, all 3 lines have been good over the latter part of the season and the playoffs. Hank and Quick will both keep their teams in the game, although Quick hasn’t looked like his usual self in the playoffs. If the Rangers can steal a game or two in LA and use their speed and keep LA from slowing in down to a grind and bang game, they have chance, otherwise they’ll give the Kings lots of easy looks. I hope it’s a fun series and as a Ranger fan I hope they win!!

  15. cutelittleguy02 - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    NY rangers may win if they hurt every good players, especially the goaltender like they did versus Montreal. If not, they Never win.

  16. cutelittleguy02 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    LA Kings, be careful for your goaltender at Game 1. Don t let NY rangers hurt your goaltender as they did against. Montreal at. Game 1! They will target Jonathan Quick. Those dumb ass Rangers.

    • justinpecora50 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:23 AM

      As long as one of their defenceman doesn’t slash the the guys feet out from under him, you know, like Emelin did. Just shut up and enjoy the series.

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