Originally posted on The Hockey Program  |  Last updated 6/9/12

 

 

Now here we are........please note this obviously could be the last game of the season tonight. If not, the scene shifts back to Los Angeles on Monday.

It is Wednesday already and time for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils. When you have an eight seed up against a six seed, one has to say that this is just highly unlikely and yet it happened. A sign of the casual fan invading this type of series would be what happened on ESPN SportsNation with 49 of 50 states picking Los Angeles to win the silver chalice when all is said and done in the next couple weeks or less. Polls are often very inaccurate and reflect public sentiment as opposed to talent. This is why we take it to the next level with simulations. Clearly New Jersey had something when Jonathan Quick looked behind him on a relatively innocent Zach Parise shot. Game 4 would change minutes later as the Devils went on to score three times in the third period on the way to a 3-1 win.

The Los Angeles Kings are 10-0 in these playoffs on the road. Everyone knows the history that they are on the doorsteps of. However, something does seem different here. Whether this translates into something different of the expected remains to be seen. However, New Jersey did find something Wednesday Night that may put more of a scare into LA than any other team has. Think about it, New Jersey has played LA pretty even in this series except for the second half of Game 3. At home, New Jersey did lose Game 1 and Game 2 in overtime but they did have plenty of chances. Will Game 4 rub off on Game 5? That is the biggest question!

The Kings now stand one game from winning the Stanley Cup and honestly there seems to really be nothing that can stop them other than maybe themselves. Most of the sims seemed to point to this being a formality of sorts but let's look at tonight's X Factors.

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FANTASY X Factors:

Kings fourth line

The fourth line has found a way to do things in this series that no one really expected them to but they were quite neutalized in Game 4 for the first time all series. Some will say it was the pressure of closing a team out but New Jersey definitely played different and it was noticeable to Los Angeles. Can Jordan Nolan, Derek King, and company find a way to get the mojo back? It does set the rest of the wheels in motion and this line was key in establishing early advantages in Game 1 and 2. They have to be more of a difference maker tonight.

Zach Parise, W, New Jersey Devils

At some point Parise has to get going period! In the previous three rounds, Parise has done barely anything of note early on before coming alive. Parise has done little other than pile up his shot total a bit in this series and seemingly prevents goals for New Jersey as opposed to scoring them. The frustration level has boiled over and its not a secret that LA figured out a way to play Parise. Hit him early and often and eventually he will succumb. Whether that is fair or not does not matter as the physical game of Parise has vanished into the LA night. Even in Game 4, Parise again was more or less nonexistent in the sense of real difference making. Is he hurt? Has he been very inconsistent? The answer is likely yes more to the second than the first. It is time for the Captain to lead....

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SCHEDULE TIME:

Saturday, June 9, 2012 TeamsNotes Los Angeles at New Jersey 8:00 PM | Gameday

 

Well this is absolute win territory for the New Jersey Devils. This actually may be a must win for LA also. Why? Los Angeles may feel a little pressure if they cannot close out New Jersey tonight and New Jersey is very adept at playing away from the Prudential Canter or at home like tonight. They always have been. New Jersey is clearly ready for Game 5 and has nothing to lose while Los Angeles clearly has to be feeling the pressure. After all, they have not won the Holy Grail in their 45 year existence.

Intangibles will play a big role in Game 5 and the extra day's rest will likely be mentioned enough times to make anyone sick of it.

Anyway here is our sim for tonight......

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NHL 12 Sim -- Kings @ Devils Game 5

What are we going to do?  Simply, we are going to run the NHL 12 sims for Game 5. The Kings and Devils are fairly even in theory. It is all the intangibles that will play out throughout the rest of this series that will ultimately determine it. It is time.

It comes down to the Battle Of The Coasts, this simulation just had to come as these always have fantasy purposes along with fun prognostication. We played a total of seven games and this is what we came up with for our prediction. Again keep in mind, this may not happen obviously. Simply the rivalry deserves the utmost of respect in how the sims are run. Here were our results.

Devils-Kings Game 5
1st Period
No scoring
2nd Period
LAK - Jeff Carter (2:55, Richards)
3rd Period
NJD - Adam Henrique (4:42, Ponikarovsky and Salvador)
LAK - Anze Kopitar (12:33, Doughty)

Team Stats:
Shots
LAK- 27, NJD- 26
Power Plays
LAK- 0/3, NJD- 0/4

Final: Kings 2  Devils 1
3 Stars:
1. Jonathan Quick 2. Anze Kopitar 3. Martin Brodeur

The game is just hours away and if it approaches anything like the sims, it will be an awfully good one. We literally had some more consensus on this one so who knows what that will ultimately mean. Can New Jersey play its style or will Los Angeles impose more of its will? Time will tell but the sims seemed to dictate more of the same tonight. Let's see what happens and again thanks for reading.

For the oh by the way.....the sims did deviate in Game 5 as they were pretty well split down the middle with two goal spreads and one goal spreads (three each). Oddly enough the one deviation had New Jersey winning by at least three. That sounds odd but not really. The Fantasy Conn Smythe will be Jonathan Quick and that is not a surprise. Give him credit, he has played outstanding but Quick did show a little vulnerability in Game 4 and New Jersey has had their chances so will they buck the sim trend tonight? Needless to say, stay tuned!

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