Cursed Kings will win
Hell will freeze over, because the Kings will win the Stanley Cup.
Yes, the cursed Kings, the team that has made exactly one previous visit to the Cup finals. They're bigger than the Devils, they hit harder, they have a better defense and coach Darryl Sutter has been to the finals before, losing in seven games with the 2004 Flames.
Unlike the Kings' first three series, this one is likely to go long, but the result will be the same. The Stanley Cup will be paraded on Figueroa and people will skate on the frozen reaches of hell.
Los Angeles in six
To Flyers fans, there's no good ending for this year's Stanley Cup finals.
A Devils victory only serves as a reminder of the Flyers' blistering five-game exit from the Eastern Conference semifinals. And a Kings victory brings the vision of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards celebrating what they should have won in Philly.
The Flyers likely claimed the long-term prize in cutting loose Carter and Richards after their disappointing 2011 postseason. But there's some tasty irony surrounding the Flyers' disappointing 2012 postseason, which ended as Carter's and Richards' was blooming in L.A.
Richards has 11 points in the playoffs, while Carter has nine, including a hat trick against the Coyotes. So let's go with the Kings in six, and Carter and Richards posting photos on Facebook of their pop-up parade on Broad Street.
Devils behind Brodeur
Led by goalie Jonathan "Lightning" Quick and their top-six forwards, the forechecking, speedy Kings are vying to become the first eighth seed to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup after rolling over the top three seeds in the West.
To craft the perfect Hollywood ending the Kings would have to exorcise the tight-checking, sixth-seeded Devils, who have cruised since surviving coach Pete DeBoer's former team, the upstart Panthers, in the first round.
In a low-scoring series, the well-balanced Devils will ride the creaky shoulders of iconic goalie Martin Brodeur to their fourth Cup since 1995.
The Kings are rolling
Sometimes it's best to preempt the overthinking before it begins: The Kings are playing like the best team in hockey at the very best time to do that, and they have the unquestionably better goaltender entering the Stanley Cup finals against the Devils. Nothing is guaranteed in any hockey postseason series, but those two components get you as close as possible.
The Devils have ample scoring and a solid enough blue line, but the Kings amplify their also ample offense with a blistering forecheck, and they may be slightly deeper (if not as overall explosive) on the blue line. And then Jonathan Quick, with the 1.54 GAA in the postseason, is a fortress. Martin Brodeur, though ageless, isn't that. Kings in six.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun