Stanley Cup Final 2012
Stanley Cup Finals 2012
Los Angeles Kings v New Jersey Devils
Game One: Wednesday May 30, 8:00 EDT
The New Jersey Devils host the first two games of the 2012 Stanley Cup final, but find themselves cast as underdogs, such is the form of the Kings in postseason.
The Kings have blitzed their way to the final, losing only two games from three potential best of seven match-ups, and play at New Jesrsey the first two games after having the inferior regular season.
The sportsbooks have made the LA Kings favourites for this final series, priced at -175, with the New Jersey Devils priced at +155 to win the Stanley Cup.
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New Jersey will be competing for their fifth Stanley Cup title, and first since 1995, over the coming weeks while the Kings are fighting for what would be their first ever Stanley Cup victory.
Talk at the moment seems to be on whether the Devils will be able to halt the red-hot Kings, who entered the postseason as eight seeds and have blown everyone away to reach the finals.
Here are the areas in which the series decided:
- The form of Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur has been superb this season and the 40-year-old will be hoping he can count on all his experience in the finals. The one-club player has experience at Stanley Cup Final level unlike his opposite number, Jonathan Quick, and with a 2.04 goals-against average and .923 save percentage the veteran will need to carry this form into the match-up if the Devils wish to succeed.
- The Devils need to fully exploit any power play opportunities that come their way and the New Jersey outfit have the upper hand in terms of scoring on their own power play; scoring 18% of the time. By contrast the Kings are ranked as the 15th worst power play unit in the play-offs, scoring five from 57 chances and they actually have the same amount of goals scored from short-handed situations. The King’s power play has failed to fully fire this post-season and if it does then the Devils will be in for a tough series.
- One area where it looks like the Devils do have the edge over the Kings is their fourth line. Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter and Steve Bernier have been superb for the Devils, and whilst the Kings fourth line of Colin Fraser, Brad Richardson and Jordan Nolan has been good enough to keep up the forecheck and provide some energy minutes, the Devils fourth liners are coming off a series in which they scored four goals, including three over the last two games.