The panel is only 6-8 as a consensus through three rounds. Several experts hold 8-6 records to lead the way. Read on to find out who we like to win the Cup, Conn Smythe, scoring titles for each team, and the why behind the picks as well.
|Expert||LAK vs. NJD||Conn Smythe||LAK Top Scorer||NJD Top Scorer||Record To Date|
|Dobber||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Anze Kopitar||Ilya Kovalchuk||6 – 8|
|Jeff Angus||LAK in 7||Dustin Brown||Dustin Brown||Zach Parise||8 – 6|
|Peter Harling||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Dustin Brown||Ilya Kovalchuk||5 – 9|
|Ryan Ma||NJD in 7||Martin Brodeur||Dustin Penner||Patrik Elias||8 – 6|
|Chris Nichols||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Dustin Brown||Ilya Kovalchuk||7 – 7|
|Ian Fergusson||LAK in 6||Dustin Brown||Anze Kopitar||Ilya Kovalchuk||6 – 8|
|Gates Imbeau||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Mike Richards||Ilya Kovalchuk||6 – 8|
|Marty Kwiaton||NJD in 6||Martin Brodeur||Dustin Brown||Ilya Kovalchuk||8 – 6|
|Anthony Lancione||LAK in 6||Anze Kopitar||Anze Kopitar||Ilya Kovalchuk||6 – 8|
|Steve Laidlaw||4 – 10|
|Glen Hoos||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Mike Richards||Ilya Kovalchuk||6 – 8|
|Tim Lucarelli||LAK in 7||Jonathan Quick||Anze Kopitar||Ilya Kovalchuk||8 – 6|
|Dave Poleck||LAK in 6||Dustin Brown||Mike Richards||Zach Parise||6 – 8|
|Chris Wassel||NJD in 7||Martin Brodeur||
|Ilya Kovalchuk||7 – 7|
|Brian Kom||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Anze Kopitar||Zach Parise||5 – 9|
|Michael Amato||LAK in 7||Dustin Brown||Anze Kopitar||Ilya Kovalchuk||4 – 10|
|Brendan Ross||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Anze Kopitar||Zach Parise||5 – 9|
|Consensus||LAK in 6||Jonathan Quick||Dustin Brown||Ilya Kovalchuk||6 – 8|
Penner is suddenly a star power forward, which adds a whole new element to the Kings...Brown has reached his prime and has broken out...King has emerged as a power forward and so has Lewis - so many gritty, hard-hitting players with size...Also Brodeur is not as good as Quick.
The Kings are better in goal, on defense, and up front. The Devils have the edge in experience, but the Kings have several players who are hungry for a Cup. The Devils could win this one if Zach Parise plays at an elite level - Kovalchuk can't carry the entire offensive load against a physical Kings defense.
After coming up just a touch short a couple years ago, Mike Richards will stop at nothing to raise the Cup this season. Though he hasn’t played a starring role thus far, he’s been far better in the playoffs than the regular season, and in the final he’ll elevate his play even further. Also, at this stage in their careers, Quick is superior to Brodeur. Marty was solid versus the Rangers, but I believe he’s due to run out of steam.
Many players from the Kings are hungry for the Cup, having been there so close before. The list includes Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Jarret Stoll and Willie Mitchell. These Kings are determined and looking for their rightful crown. Conquering the West was no fluke. On the flip side, the Devils do deserve their credit, but the Europe trend is against them. Los Angeles will reign victorious and the overseas four-peat will be complete.
The Boys from Rodeo Drive should prove their worth and hoist Lord Stanley's mug. L.A. is undoubtedly the deeper team, despite the lower seed; with a player like Jeff Carter now more acclimated than ever to Darryl Sutter's system since his deadline day acquisition. The coming-of-age Kings have been nothing short of epic this spring, especially as the visitors. Thus for the fourth straight round, they should overcome playing games 1 and 2 in enemy territory. This matchup may very well also symbolize the passing of the torch from Brodeur to Quick, to join incumbent top dog, King Henrik, as best in the position.
100 words or fewer: The NHL has fixed the results for the Kings in what can only be described as a cunning, premeditated attempt to sway the Players' Association in upcoming CBA talks. By propelling the league to unprecedented exposure with a championship team in one of the top television markets, Gary Bettman is manoeuvring to put the PA in a position where it will be unable to do anything but bend to his will to avoid a missed season. #sarcasticconspiracytheory #mycuppickswentoutinfirstround
Ultimately the size and strength of the Kings should win out. Especially when it comes to the Kings forwards against the Devils defense. Not having home-ice advantage shouldn't bother them, as LA has yet to lose on the road in these playoffs. The Kings should also have a bit more left in the tank since they haven't had a series go more than five games. The LA power play has been the only question mark as it is operating at just 8.1 percent, but they have so much talent that one would think they can get it sorted out.
Kings have been too dominant and I expect their forwards to punish the opposing D.
Jonathan Quick is a terrific goalie, but you have 40 year old Martin Brodeur in net, the winningest goalie in NHL history. He knows what's at stake and has made key saves for the Devils when they've needed them throughout the playoffs. Plus he's yet to win the Conn Smythe.
New Jersey, all playoffs, is best when they do not make mistakes to beat themselves. Los Angeles may be the perfect team to play because the Devils will have to be at their best throughout the series. The keys are simple. New Jersey has to 1. score first 2. keep moving the puck and 3. win the battle of special teams. If they can do that, they will win in seven as predicted.
Why? The 2012 Stanley Cup final setup to be a doozy as both of these teams were unexpected this far. However, in the end it comes down to Quick versus future Hall-of-Famer Martin Brodeur and at this point in their careers I trust the younger more dynamic Quick. In his career, Quick has only faced the Devils 5 times and he's come away with a 3-1-0-1. The Devils are a good well coached team that has found success by their aggressive forechecking however, the Kings have a solid group of mobile defenseman that should deal with their attack nicely. I'd love to see Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise win their first Stanley Cup and goaltender Marty Brodeur retire on top but the Kings depth gives them the slight edge.
The Kings are just so big up the middle, Doughty has upped his game and Quick is the better goalie right now. The Devils have elite scoring to throw at the Kings but it really does seem like this is the time of the Kings.
The Kings have simply been dominant in the playoffs having only lost two games. Jonathan Quick has established himself as a premier goalie and with three lines of attack the Kings playing with a sense of inevitability. Every series in the post season so far, the winner has been the team with a goalie as good, or better. Quick is better than Brodeur right now, no question.
Devils, have gone with them since the start of the playoffs and will stick to my guns. Devils with the edge on 5on5 play 1.62 ratio vs the Kings 1.53. Devils also have the edge on the PP 18.2% compared to the Kings paltry 8.1. PP that’s where it’s gonna be won. Also Henrik Tallinder should be back which cements that top-six. Not a lot of offensive talent but they do all the defensive things right. Fayne (12 Hits, 24 BS), Greene (18, 27), Salvador (37, 23), Volchenkov (37, 17), Zidlicky (33 and 25) add in Tallinder and they’re a pretty strong defensive unit.