The New York Rangers extended the Stanley Cup Final to a fifth game, but the Los Angeles Kings ended the 2013-2014 hockey season with a 3-2 double overtime win last night.
Stanley Cup champions for the second time in three years, the Kings resiliency guided them throughout the playoffs and specifically in their final series with the Rangers. Coming from behind once again yesterday, Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez deposited a rebound chance into the net to clinch another title for the Kings.
Former Nashville Predators defenseman (and current Rangers blueliner) Kevin Klein was on the ice for the Cup-winning goal, but the story didn’t end quite the way he wanted. The offseason officially begins today for all 30 NHL clubs, but before we enter the most depressing portion of the year–a final edition of the Klein Ratings!
Is it October yet? #Preds
— Predlines.com (@PredlinesNSH) June 14, 2014
Overall game: Great teams find ways to win regardless of the shape a game takes. That’s just what the Kings did time after time this postseason (including coming back from down 0-3 in their series with the San Jose Sharks). The Rangers may blame bad bounces or lack of chances, but in reality it was the Kings ability to emerge victorious from any contest–whether they needed to come from behind or lock down a low-scoring game–that was the difference. The Rangers rarely performed in the Final’s most crucial moments, and in the end, they go home after just five games. One of five Kleins.
Entertainment Value: Game two might have featured more goals to go with a double overtime, but the extra frames in game five might have been even more exciting to watch. Multiple posts hit and shot by Rick Nash just fluttering past the Kings open goal mouth, many of us were on the edge of our seats for all of the season’s final moments. Five of five Kleins!
Random: A great Stanley Cup Final to take in, the saddest part is that it’s now over. But with the NHL Entry Draft later this month and free agency opening in three weeks, we’ll be headed toward another Nashville Predators season before you know it. The Klein Ratings may not have been enough to push Klein and the Rangers to victory, but hopefully they helped to make the Final feel a little closer to Nashville. A final five out of five Kleins.
(Special thanks to Gary Lancaster for helping with the graphics)