Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Calling the Cup: Globe hockey writers pick a winner

New York Rangers forward Martin St. Louis skates past the Stanley Cup logo during practice on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

James Mirtle

Kings in six

They're the easy pick. They're the safe pick. And barring something extraordinary from Henrik Lundqvist, they're the right pick.

Story continues below advertisement

The reality is the Kings have already beaten better teams than the Rangers, knocking off the Sharks and Blackhawks in the first and third round to survive one of the toughest roads to the finals in NHL's history.

This is a very good team, one that's already generating dynasty talk after winning one Cup in 2012 and being favoured for another here. Driving that talk is the fact Los Angeles has an elite centre in his prime (Anze Kopitar), an elite blueliner not even there yet (Drew Doughty) and one of the brightest general managers in the league pulling the strings (Dean Lombardi).

The only concern here is the goals could dry up. The Kings were actually the lowest scoring regular season team to make the playoffs and are now up against a great netminder who has the ability to steal a series.

Find a way to beat Lundqvist and a second Cup is as good as theirs.

Conn Smythe Trophy: Drew Doughty Individual hardware has been a long time coming for Drew Doughty.

Other than a nomination for the Norris in his second season, he hasn't come close, in large part due to playing for an often low-scoring Kings team.

But he's produced a pile of points in these playoffs (16 points in 21 games) and including the Olympics has had an MVP-worthy season, which is sure to sway voters.

Story continues below advertisement

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Eric Duhatschek

Kings in five games

The Kings' season turned around following the Olympic break, when coach Darryl Sutter shifted Jeff Carter to centre, his natural position. In Carter and Anze Kopitar, the Kings had two centres with size and skill who can push the play.

That move also permitted the Kings to drop a struggling Mike Richards down the depth chart, giving them unprecedented depth down the middle.

Their centres are all excellent in the face-off circle, which has turned them into one of the best possession teams in the NHL.

Story continues below advertisement

The ability to run four lines featuring a lot of big-bodied forwards was the primary reason the Kings were able to wear down all three of their previous opponents, even if it took them seven games each time out.

Conn Smythe Trophy: Drew Doughty

Doughty was a viable choice when the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012, and he is having another exceptional playoff season.

He is like a latter-day Raymond Bourque, a tireless two-way player who eats up the biggest minutes for the Kings. His ability to play well at both ends of the ice is why the Kings are still alive.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Authors
Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

Eric was the winner of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's Elmer Ferguson award for "distinguished contributions to hockey writing" in 2001. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario's grad school of journalism, he began covering hockey in 1978 and after spending 20 years covering the NHL and the Calgary Flames, joined The Globe in 2000. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨