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Rangers as underdogs? Brad Richards doesn’t think so

Jun 2, 2014, 8:43 AM EDT

Brad Richards Getty Images

Now that the Stanley Cup Final is set between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, it’s L.A. who is the favorite to win it all.

With that being the case as the series begins on Wednesday night from Staples Center, Rangers alternate captain Brad Richards isn’t buying into any talk of his team being an underdog as Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants shared.

“I feel like when you get to the Stanley Cup final, you have a 50/50 chance of winning,” Richards said. “The underdog thing and the favorite thing really doesn’t mean anything in the locker rooms. You have to go out and play.”

The fun part of the whole favorite vs. underdog setup is that both teams have been, more or less, underdogs all playoffs long.

The Kings were the lower seed in each of the first three rounds and the Rangers only had home-ice advantage in the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Oddsmakers may disagree that this series is a ’50/50′ toss-up. It was expected that whether it was the Kings or Chicago Blackhawks that won the Western Conference they’d be big favorites against the Rangers. If New York needed any further motivation, perhaps being big time underdogs will do the trick.

  1. doknyc - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    cant wait for wednesday!!

    lets go rangers (clap clap clapclapclap)

    looking forward to a great cup final… itll be a close series, methinks…

  2. billiam55 - Jun 2, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    lets all agree one thing.

    STANLEY CUP FINAL > NBA FINAL

    • theblatche - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:45 AM

      Absofockinglutely! This is the great thing about hockey, anything can happen in the NHL playoffs. And if anything, baseball is the closest to hockey when it comes to that regard but in Basketball or football, almost 9 out of 10 times, the favorite team wins. (My NY Giants being that 1 percent when they won the SB with the lowest record in the entire east)

      • dgimbz - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Giants never won the SB having the worst record in the east…….

  3. bills4 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:07 AM

    The NHL makes the NBA look like a cooking class! Different games, I know but NBA players are such pussies!!

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

      I don’t disagree about NBA players overall, but what really irritates me is the officiating. Somebody looks at bron bron the wrong way and the whistle is blown in about one tenth of a second. And I’ve seen my team benefit from it too….just takes all the integrity out of the game.

  4. terrier92 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Listen I live and breath hockey. I consider the summer a bummer because there is no hockey to watch. Yet with respect to basketball those guys are great athletes. Not a fan anymore of the product myself. It would improve if they eliminated all the damm timeouts. Watch first game in years the other night …..well last 5 minutes and ot and it took forever. Way to many timeouts no flow boringgggggg

    • wranglerick - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      Agreed. …..how can a timeout be called at .5 seconds left, a shot is made and then theres still time on the clock. The NBA must have atomic clocks !

  5. jkay1818 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    this is going to be an unreal series. Both teams have great goaltending and a ton of depth where they can roll all 4 lines.

  6. djshnooks - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    None of that changes the fact that…

    The Rangers are, indeed, the underdogs.

  7. jaybyrd99 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Very much looking forward to Wednesday and the entire series. I’m a Rangers fan and I hope they pull it off ,but both these teams ended up here for a reason . They both survived, no easy feat in the NHL, and I expect a close , tight series and hopefully the Rangers prevail. It’s been a long time coming !

  8. gbart22 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Kings :-)

  9. brdwyblueshirts - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    How about all the intentional fouls at the end of a game that are not called intentional fouls. Team would get two shots and the ball back. I love how the NBA has a rule yet it’s thrown out at the end of a game to build drama.

    Oh, and let’s go Rangers! If they pull it off I think it will be in 7 games.

    In 93-94 Rangers were huge favorites against a one game over .500 Canuck team. Instead of steam rolling them like everyone thought they would, it was a real competitive series that went 7. That’s why they play the games!

  10. scoops1 - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Gretz should drop the ceremonial puck

  11. doknyc - Jun 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    i am a tad disappointed that chicago isnt in it.. my buddy from chi-town had made a bet, where, if we were to meet in the finals, an authentic sweater would be the bet… had my heart set on a #27 blue one…

    i know no kings fans… any takers? :)

  12. mj0121 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Giving it a 50/50 chance, eh? So you’ll either win the cup or you won’t. That’s some profound thinking there, Richards.

    • sticks169 - Jun 2, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Are your isn’t?

  13. stakex - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    The Rangers are the underdogs only because someone has to be the underdogs. In reality these two teams are fairly evenly match. Rangers have an edge in net, both teams have a good defense, and the Kings have an edge in offense. I think far too many people have been caught up in the idea that the East, no matter who emerged from it, was playing for second. Its never that simple, and that’s especially true this year when the Kings (which really weren’t one of the power house teams in the West) face a very determined Rangers team.

    Either way, this should be a great series.

    • joey4id - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Part of me agrees with you, but when you look at the teams each faced to get to the SCF, I have to disagree that these 2 teams are fairly evenly matched.

      AV, Sather and the players deserve so much respect for what they accomplished this year. How would have thunk the Rangers would be where they are today when they were 18 & 18 at the holiday break?

  14. davidmessina63 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    I’m neutral on both teams. I think I give the goaltending edge to Lundquist. He has been a beast during the playoffs and has stepped his game up. Quck is no slouch either but he has had a few letdowns. Kings play a fast and furious pace which will be a big adjustment for the Rangers. Kings are also punishing with their hits. Rangers have the St. Louis karma they have been riding and you can’t argue against that. If I were to bet on what I have watched I would say Kings in 5. Realistically though, the Kings struggle in the first games of every series and if Rangers can win an early one in LA, then it could be another 7 game series. Game 1 should be an interesting barometer.

    • cofran2004 - Jun 2, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      The rangers also play a fast and furious pace. This series will be decided by who can adjust better to their opponents speed. Pretty simple really.

  15. brandotho - Jun 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    If Quick keeps playing like he has all postseason, the Kings are in trouble, especially since the Rangers’ defense can definitely shut the Kings offense down. The Rangers’ special teams are superior too. NYR in 6, a well-fought 6.

    • dannymac17 - Jun 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      nobody has proven to shut the kings offense down.

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