Regardless of who is playing, I always enjoy watching the Stanley Cup Finals. The games are always intense and close, usually settled by the slimmest of margins.
This year’s match-up also features a great battle between two of the league’s top goalies in Jonathan Quick of the Kings and Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers. Both guys get the job done and are difference makers, but they do so in their own special way.
Quick, a 28-year-old from Connecticut, is the Kings $7 million dollar man. He is very athletic and an aggressive competitor who spends a ton of the game on his knees. He also has tremendous lateral mobility and is tough down low so the key for the Rangers is to shoot high on the two-time U.S. Olympian.
On the other end of the ice is Lundqvist, who earns slightly more than $5 million a season. The 32-year-old from Sweden plays a deep-in-the-crease style and works it to perfection. He plays big, is patient, stays on his feet longer than most goalies and covers a lot of the net. Because he plays so deep in the net, he is hard to beat low, with his short lateral movements.
The Kings, like some of the other NHL teams, are figuring out that the best place to beat Lundqvist is on his blocker side.
As it usually does, the series will come down to which goalie plays the best. In end, I think it will be Quick and the Kings who hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. Either way, it’s sure to be entertaining theater.