It wasn’t the match-up that the NHL was salivating over, but it’s official- the Stanley Cup is headed to either Los Angeles or Newark in the next two weeks.
Calder nominee Adam Henrique scored the overtime winner yesterday evening to send the New Jersey Devils to the Finals for the first time since 2003.
As frustrating as it is for Flyers fans to watch the Devils advance, they deserve to be there. Many have argued, including myself, that the reason the Flyers lost to the Devils is that their “up tempo” system couldn’t adapt to the Devils, but the New York Rangers ran into the same problems in spite employing a much more defensive-minded system.
The Rangers couldn’t get their superstars Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik to contribute (Gaborik did have one goal) while fourth liners Ryan Carter (claimed off of waivers in October) and Stephen Gionta were phenomenal for the Redshirts.
The Devils just came together at the right time with a good mix of veterans and youth. Martin Brodeur hasn’t needed to steal a game in any series thus far, but is playing well enough for a forty year old.
On the other side of the country, the Kings have been eagerly awaiting their dance partners after Dustin Penner scored the overtime winner in their series with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Kings have just plowed past the top seeds in the post-season, punching their ticket in a meager 14 games.
As most are aware at this point, the abundance of ex-Flyers on either the roster or the staff for the Kings is enough to make them the easy team to root for. The Kings, along with the Flyers, were one of six teams to join the NHL when they expanded to twelve teams in 1967.
Even though the wait for another parade in Philadelphia has been 37 years and counting, the Kings have never won the Stanley Cup.
This should be their year.
It’s amazing how many former Flyers were traded for one reason or another, went to another team, then won a Cup… Justin Williams, Brindamour, Tocchet, Fedotenko, Forsberg, Recchi again a little later, and the list just goes on. Maybe Carter, Richards and Gagne get added to that list this year. Personally, I’d like to see Kings win it all because they’ve never won the Cup. Flyers have been to more Cup Finals than any team since they began; just goes to show how hard it is to win Mr. Stanley’s prize, much less try to repeat.
Just another chapter of being used as a stepping stone for someone elses championship. From The Tampa Bay Bucs, Greenbay Packers, St Louis Rams to The SF Giants and ST Louis Cardinals to The Tampa Bay Lightning to the Boston Bruins. Philly is the destination to pass through for a world championship. The Devils may add to the list. On a side note if the Kings win the Cup I dont wanna hear anything about we got the better deal in the trades.
The Devils in 6 Games for they’ve had the toughest road to get to the finals beating Florida,Philly,NY Rangers and have played a better overall Team Hockey while the Kings have played very well but have relied on a very hot Goalie for a lot of their wins.. Get J Quick stay hot for 1 more Series..
What’s kind of weird is that the Devils have won despite Goalie Brodeur who has had a few shaky un-Broduer like games in these Playoff Games..
Hope it’s a good,close Series for that’s what’s best for the Sport of Hockey
Kings are too big, strong and fast…..LA in 6
Not so sure the devils had the tougher road, la beat #1 vancouver, #2 st Louis, and #3 Phoenix. La is playing very good but jersey is too. If la gets to brodeur early they will win in 5. I suspect the ex-Philly guys will light brodeur up. Richards will be the difference maker. Go flyers or I mean kings….
Vancouver flops every year in the Playoffs after a great Regular Season (Similar to the Flyers and their Goalie struggles in the playoffs every year, like the Flyers)
ST Louis came out of nowhere this year and left just as quietly and Phoenix is again another Team who had a strong Regular Season but has not been in the Playoffs for a while . . I really thought Nashville would come out of the West after Beating Detroit in the 1st Round, either way, it should be a good,competitive series .. We know the Devils are mentally tough and can come back from adversity but I am not so sure the Kings can, even though the Kings really haven’t had to yet… but we’ll see.. When all else fails, I alway root for the Teams that’s within the Flyers Division and Conference than over the Western Conference…