Here we are, folks. It’s June 3, and in anywhere from eight to 15 days, we’ll have a new Stanley Cup champion. Whether it’ll be the New York Rangers or the Los Angeles Kings, well, that’s still to be determined, but with the Stanley Cup finals set to begin tomorrow at the Staples Center, this is the beginning of the end of the 2013-14 NHL season.
Let’s kick off today with some additional reading in regards to the Stanley Cup Final.
Things can go either way on the scoresheet, but according to Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Kings are favored to win over the Rangers, with 10-17 odds. This in part due to the home-ice advantage factor, which is rare for the Kings, and also the “strong makeup” of the team. Will the Vegas algorithm turn out to be correct? [CBS Sports]
Five of six predictions from USA Today give the Kings the edge in either six or seven games, with just one writer selecting the Rangers to win the Stanley Cup.
What do you guys think? The Kings will surely be hard to beat – any Western Conference team would have been, as they were time and time again better than the East. Home ice advantage will be beneficial to LA, and if they can rally and get a win out of even just one of those first two games, they’ll be in a great position for success. As long as Jonathan Quick stays sharp, the Kings could be on their way to their second Stanley Cup victory in three years.
Off the ice, one thing on many people’s minds may be the ticket prices, which are already skyrocketing in New York. In fact, according to TIME, tickets are already at over $1,000 for the cheapest, and Rangers fans may actually be better off flying to Los Angeles to catch a game in the Stanley Cup Finals. Ouch.
Honestly – this isn’t too surprising. Finals tickets are always higher priced, and combine that with an already expensive city in New York and it’s bound to be a bad price. There will always be the diehards (or rich folks) that scrape together enough to catch a game, but…. wow. The worst part about that is you could be paying $1,000 (for a single ticket, mind you) to see your team lose the Stanley Cup, since there’s no way to know at this point how things will turn out.
Here’s how the ticket prices were on Stubhub, as of 9:45 a.m. on June 3. Game 1 (in LA) starting at $350, Game 2 (LA) starting at $484.50. Game 3 (the first in NY) starting at $949.99, while Game 4 (NY) starting at $1053. Game 5 (LA) starting at $749.65. Game 6 (NY) starting at $1700. Game 7 (in LA) starting at $998.99. You can see quite the price difference there, and it’s an interesting contrast.
In other playoff news, the American Hockey League continues with the conference finals. The Toronto Marlies won yesterday, forcing a game seven against the Texas Stars tonight. The winner will go on to face either the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins or the St. John’s IceCaps. The IceCaps lead their series 3-2, with game six held tonight. If necessary, game seven of that series would be held Wednesday.
Finally, NHL teams had until Sunday to sign their 2012 draft choices or else allow them to reenter the draft or become free agents (depending on their age). One of those reentering the draft will be Windsor Spitfires center Brady Vail, initially drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. Two players who will become NHL free agents are now-former Victoria Royals forward Logan Nelson, who the Sabres didn’t sign, and former Minnesota Wild draft pick Daniel Gunnarsson, who is set to play the next two seasons with Farjestad in Sweden.