NHL Week in Review (May 20-26)

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Then there were two as the NHL playoffs have two conference champions and prepare for the Stanley Cup Finals. The conference finals were an entertaining round in the playoffs and although they were not defined by toughness or defence they still showcased plenty of skill. In the West the Los Angeles Kings continued to trample every team on their way to the finals. They took on the Phoenix Coyotes pitting them against the 3rd place team after already beating the 1st and 2nd place teams. The Coyotes came in to the series with a chance to continue a run that their franchise had never seen. They had already moved further than any other Coyotes team had ever gone and were looking for a chance at their first appearance in the Stanley Cup finals amidst the everlasting ownership controversy. They would have to beat the best team in the playoffs though as the Los Angeles Kings have been able to dispatch of every team and make it look easy. They only took five games to get through President’s Trophy winner’s the Vancouver Canucks and swept the second place team, the St. Louis Blues. Against the Coyotes they were not as dominant but they still were able to show how good they were. The first two games saw the Kings show their newfound scoring touch as they racked up 8 goals in two games. Then the Coyotes began giving them some issues as they won Game 3 by only one goal in a tight game and lost Game 4. Still the Kings were able to get out of the round after a Game 5 overtime win to move on to their first Stanley Cup finals since 1993. The #8 seed rarely gets a shot at the Stanley Cup but the Kings are clearly the hottest team in the playoffs and will look to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. In the East there was not as much dominance and instead featured a rivalry that was close throughout the series. The Hudson River Rivalry once again was seen the playoffs as the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers met for the Eastern Conference title. The Rangers were the top team in the east and looking to move into the finals using their defensive tough mindset. The Rangers have been a team that many could not get past thanks to their ability to block shots. If anyone did get a shot through they had to get it past the top goalie in the regular season, Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers we able to get past their challengers by being tougher than them and throughout elimination games and adversity they go to the Conference finals. They would look to take one more step to the Stanley Cup Finals and would have to take on the division rivals the New Jersey Devils to do so. The Devils had made a name for themselves through their defensive presence in the past but this year everything changed. This year the Devils were one of the top scoring teams in the league and with Martin Brodeur in net they still had a solid last line of defence. With a mix of young talent and old veterans the Devils were able to surprise everyone and make it to the conference finals. Not many people expected much of the Devils but they had been able to fly under the radar and take on their rivals for the Eastern Conference title. The series was a close one with both teams able to get their chances but the Devils took advantage of more. The Devils found a way of getting through the shot blocks as they took the first two games. The Rangers continued to fight though as they took the next game. The Devils came back in Game 4 but lost again in Game 5. The Rangers looked tired throughout the series and it finally came to the end in Game 6 when the Devils took the last game in OT. With the series over the Devils return to the Finals giving some players including Martin Brodeur what could be a last chance to win another Cup.

With another season almost finished two teams are left to fight for the cup with both representing a different aspect in the NHL. The Los Angeles Kings are representative of the non-traditional markets for hockey. They have been in the NHL for years but they have always seemed to be on the outside looking in. A hockey team in Los Angeles was never supposed to work and they did not do much to change that perception. Now they are back in the Finals and have the chance to represent the markets that were never supposed to work. Meanwhile the New Jersey Devils represent the traditional market on the east coast where hockey is king. The Devils are in the middle of the east bloc of the NHL where hockey is around every corner. This eastern bloc is the heart of the NHL and has some of the most successful teams in NHL history. The Devils will look to continue this trend as they hope to show that the traditional powers still rule the NHL. In a battle of new school versus old school anything can happen as the Kings look for Stanley Cup #1 while the Devils look for their 4th when the Stanley Cup Finals start on Wednesday.

 

Stanley Cup Finals

New Jersey Devils vs. Los Angeles Kings

Game 1: LAK @ NJD (Wednesday May 30th; 8:00 pm)

Game 2: LAK @ NJD (Saturday June 2nd; 8:00 pm)

Game 3: NJD @ LAK (Monday June 4th; 8:00 pm)

Game 4: NJD @ LAK (Wednesday June 6th; 8:00 pm)

Game 5: LAK @ NJD (Saturday June 9th; 8:00 pm)

Game 6: NJD @ LAK (Monday June 11th; 8:00 pm)

Game 7: LAK @ NJD (Wednesday June 13th; 8:00 pm)

 

Eastern Conference Finals:

New York Rangers 2 – 4 New Jersey Devils

Game 1: NYR 3 – 0 NJD

Game 2: NJD 3 – 2 NYR

Game 3: NYR 3 – 0 NJD

Game 4: NJD 4 – 1 NYR

Game 5: NJD 5 – 3 NYR

Game 6: NJD 3 – 2 NYR (OT)

 

Western Conference Finals:

Phoenix Coyotes 0 – 4 Los Angeles Kings

Game 1: LAK 4 – 2 PHX

Game 2: LAK 4 – 0 PHX

Game 3: LAK 2 – 1 PHX

Game 4: PHX 2 – 0 LAK

Game 5: LAK 4 – 3 PHX (OT)

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  1. […] the NHL where hockey is around every corner. This eastern bloc is the heart … … More: NHL Week in Review (May 20-26) « The Sport Addiction ← NHL Stanley Cup Finals NHL Best of the Week 4/9/12 […]



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