Stanley Cup Final Betting: The Los Angeles Kings Can Rule In Opener


Four more wins.

Both the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings have remarkably forged to the Stanley Cup Finals but those three words are all that need to be going through their minds from now on.

In any other situation the Rangers would be lauded for having come through Game 7 twice in one postseason but they've been outdone by LA who have become the first team in NHL history to play all 21 games in getting to this point.

Despite the rounds playing out in a very different fashion to this year, the Kings will draw on their champions experience of 2012, meanwhile it's New York's first return to the Finals since celebrating their fourth ever triumph 20 years ago.

Odds wise I'm in agreement of placing California's best in front at 1.60 before the first puck drop at least, as I feel they're the better team with the added bonus of home ice advantage.

Making moves at the trade deadline is common practice in loading up for a Cup run and there's no better vindication than the fact that each of these team's highest postseason goalscorers were acquired on March 5th. It's certainly no coincidence that both of these teams are much improved offensively since that point such is the added depth of options.

Top of the scoring charts with 12 tallies in 21 games is Marian Gaborik who has formed a devastating combo with Anze Kopitar on LA's first line. Along with captain Dustin Brown that's a unit I'd back matched up against anything New York has to offer.

For the Rangers, although Martin St. Louis's total is half that of his counterpart it's still good enough to joint-lead his team and the 38-year-old's all-around contribution has perhaps made him maybe even more valuable than Gaborik.

Playing through a family bereavement instantly turned St. Louis into a figurehead within the locker room, and provided the emotional jolt that started the comeback against Pittsburgh in the conference semis.

It's interesting that in the favourites to be named play-off MVP that, following New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist at 2.30, there are six different members of the Kings.

Whilst some of that can be attributed to LA being favoured to win overall there's no doubt that the Rangers have had rely on their very own royalty as "King Henrik" has been much more prominent than his opposite number Jonathan Quick.

Nowhere has that been more evident than in the wins that clinched each series. In those specific three games the Rangers scored a total of five goals where the Kings managed 15.

Due to their greater balance I'll be bullish to open up and say that LA seal this opening contest by a clear margin.

 

Best Bet: Los Angeles Kings to overcome a -1.5 goal handicap at 2.95.