Rangers-Kings Game 1 Pregame Notes


Everyone — including The Maven — has a theory on winning in the Stanley Cup Final.

In Los Angeles, for example, the thinking is that the bigger and — supposedly — stronger Kings can triumph by battering the Blueshirts at every turn.

That plan makes sense until you consider that the Big, Bad Bruins figured that they could intimidate the Montreal Canadiens and guess who exited Stage Left.

Hint: It wasn’t the Habs.

Polling fans, I found one, Gus Vic, in Connecticut who offers an interesting view. He begins with the fact that tonight the Kings will have to “re-amp their emotional level after the draining seven-game series with Chicago.”

By contrast, the Rangers have enjoyed five days off by finishing the Habs in six. Plus, the New Yorkers will play only once in an eight-day stretch prior to Game 2.

The expectation is that Darryl Sutter’s more robust club will play their heavy game but that, too, can be countered.

Reader Vic notes: “If the Rangers can limit LA’s forecheck and keep the game off the boards, it will be a good tactic. Also, outlet quickly to force the Kings defense to vacate the offensive zone sooner than desired.”

It makes sense, but even more vital tonight will be Henrik Lundqvist clearly out-playing Jonathan Quick.

Scouts have pointed out that the Kings’ large body presence has the potential for causing problems for “The King.” Many goals surrendered by Henrik have deflection/carom components attached.

Another reader, Jake Becker of New City, NY, sends me a few other worthwhile bullet points which follow:


The most unheralded Ranger has become a danger to the foe because of his knack for successfully joining the rush. When suspended John Moore likely returns for Game 2, watch for Klein to take even more liberties.


Benoit Pouliot has been bailed out for the most part after taking too many penalties to suit any playoff run. Now’s the time to play smarter and more disciplined.


Marty St.Louis, Rick Nash and Chris Kreider, in particular, will be needed to turn a man advantage into a real advantage.


Dominic Moore has become a first-rate fourth center and his goals underline the point. The Kings counterpart is Mike Richards who still can play the quick game.