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Puck Daddy’s Stanley Cup Final predictions

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It's Puck Daddy's Stanley Cup Final preview series!

It's Puck Daddy's Stanley Cup Final preview series!

Greg Wyshynski, Editor 

Kings in 5

The Kings have played three of the four best teams in hockey en route to this series, and survived each battle without their goaltender having a consistent run. Here’s saying that Jonathan Quick sees Henrik Lundqvist across the ice and makes amends by being, inexplicably, the best goalie in the series.

I think the Kings’ forecheck and backend can handle the Rangers’ speed, although their struggles against the Patrick Kane line in the conference final gives me pause. I think their secondary scoring can overcome the Girardi/McDonagh shutdown pairing in a way that the Rangers’ other opponents couldn’t.

Above all, I just think they’re better. On paper and in reality. And despite the Rangers having every bit of destiny on their side, the Stanley Cup will shine in California for the second time in three years.

The Conn Smythe winner will be Drew Doughty because Quick had an average three rounds and neither Kopitar or Gaborik are Canadian enough.

Sean Leahy, Associate Editor

Kings in 6

Henrik Lundqvist is the reason why the Rangers will leave Staples Center with a split and help New York fight off elimination until Game 6. While the King plays to absurd statistics, the Kings will continue to see their big guns -- Kopitar, Gaborik, Carter, Doughty -- lead via their production. He may not be 2012 Jonathan Quick, but he's been just OK enough for LA to overcome.

Let us also hope we see the returns of Brad Doty and Anze Kopidor, along with the Sacramento Kings logo, to local Los Angeles newscasts.

Conn Smythe: Drew Doughty

Harrison Mooney, Associate Editor

Kings in 6

The Sharks couldn't beat the Kings. The Ducks couldn't beat the Kings. The Blackhawks couldn't beat the Kings. But the Rangers have a chance?

No way. If the Rangers had gotten here with some semblance of quickness, I'd suggest that they might have an edge because the Kings have played three Game 7s, but they really didn't. They're almost as tired as LA. Henrik Lundqvist is good for at least one win, and I'm sure that our good friend Mr. Luck will pitch in a win for New York as well, but that's as far as this thing goes.

Anze Kopitar will win the Conn Smythe. He's leading the postseason in points. He's pretty clearly the leader of this club now, and I don't think New York is going to have an answer for him. After a strong Final where he likely hums along at his usual point per game, he gets the MVP nod.

Ryan Lambert, Columnist

Kings in 6

They're just too deep at every position, and while the Rangers are also deep, the quality of player at the top of LA's roster starts higher than New York's. Henrik Lundqvist is going to make this a closer series than it really has any right to be, but the best team is going to win here, and the best team is clearly the Kings.

With that said, put me down for Lundqvist for Conn Smythe, because man he's been good, and the Kings have done everything far more by committee.

Jen Neale, Editor

Kings in 5 :(

The only thing that can beat the Kings right now is fatigue; even though, they've only played one more playoff game (21) than the Rangers (20). Factoring in the Rangers extended time off really won't help them against a bigger, faster Kings team. They will be overpowered by LA.

Conn Smythe: Drew Doughty. He's finally playing at the elite level expected of him and he's been a beast. Without him, the Kings don't get past Chicago.

Darryl “Dobber” Dobbs, Fantasy Guru

Kings in 6

The Kings will win in six because they have been making things difficult on themselves all postseason - too difficult to win in four, which is exactly how things look right now. For three rounds, the Kings have been choosing the path of 'most' resistance and I don't see why that should change now. That being said, the Stanley Cup Final is rarely handed to the hotter team on a silver platter no matter how lopsided things look. And with that in mind, if I could get any kind of crazy odds from a buddy (say 3-1?), I would certainly put money on the Rangers.

Conn Smythe to Anze Kopitar, with apologies to Jeff Carter. If the Kings win, the goalie will not be the reason.

Nick Cotsonika, Yahoo NHL Writer

Kings in 6

The funny part about this pick is that you have to justify not why the Kings will win, but why they won't win in four or five.

The Kings are the better team -- better up front, especially down the middle, and better on the back end. They're fast. They're physical. They control the puck. And they never give up, no matter what happens.

But it's not like they never lose. They have lost nine games in these playoffs -- the most ever on the way to the final. Yes, that's partly because of the tougher competition in the West, and the Rangers lost eight in the weaker East. But is the team that emerged from the East really that far behind, especially when it has the edge in goal?

Jonathan Quick has not been the goaltender he was two years ago, when the Kings won the Cup and he won the Conn Smythe. Not even close. Henrik Lundqvist has been good overall in these playoffs -- outstanding at some points. 

The King will make this a series. The Kings will win it.

Conn Smythe: Drew Doughty

If the Rangers win the Cup, Lundqvist will be the MVP. For the Rangers to win the Cup, he will have to be.

The Kings are trickier. Anze Kopitar is a leading candidate for his two-way play. Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter are candidates for their goal-scoring.

But Drew Doughty has been driving the Kings through the first three rounds, and here is betting he will shine on the big stage the way he did at the Sochi Olympics. 

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