Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 18 News List

NHL gets a dream Stanley Cup Final

DRAMA DELUXE:The league can look forward to huge exposure as New York and Los Angeles square off in a major sporting championship for the first time since 1981

Reuters

Having traded away their captain Ryan Callahan and with new coach Alain Vigneault, the Rangers have emerged as this season’s team of destiny.

At the trade deadline New York dealt Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St Louis, a former league most valuable player and aging dynamic offensive force who became the Rangers’ inspirational touchstone.

When St Louis’s mother suddenly passed away during the East finals against Montreal, the Rangers rallied around their grieving teammate, who found comfort and solace on the ice, scoring the overtime winner in Game Four against the Canadiens to keep New York’s cup push on track.

The close-knit Rangers can find similar inspiration up and down their bench.

Dominic Moore, who scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory that eliminated Montreal, sat out the 2012-2013 season after losing his wife to cancer, while Derek Stepan played the last two games of the series with a broken jaw and cannot eat solid food for six weeks.

Like the Rangers, the Kings added a key piece to their post-season puzzle by acquiring Slovak Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline.

Gaborik, who had just 11 goals during the regular season, leads the playoffs in scoring with 12. Only Wayne Gretzky with 15 has scored more goals for the Kings in a single postseason.

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