The Stanley Cup final between the Devils and Kings confirms two lower seeds can play deep into the postseason if enough variables come together. In terms of entertainment value, this series could be a forgettable one. Both teams are committed to defensive systems that have carried them this far.
Los Angeles reached the finals as the eighth seed, but to me sixth-seeded New Jersey is the biggest surprise of the postseason. The Devils hardly dominated the first three rounds, but they consistently have had just enough scoring to complement their disciplined defense and solid goaltending from Martin Brodeur.
The Kings have been the more dynamic team with their blend of size, speed skill and defense. They're unbeaten on the road in the postseason and will be comfortable playing the first two games in New Jersey. They may be the lower seed but they're also the stronger, more-rested team at this stage.
Los Angeles was my choice to win the Stanley Cup before the season began. I stayed with the Kings on a hunch in the first round and rode them through the first three rounds. I'm not about to abandon them now. I'm taking the Kings in six games.
-- Bucky Gleason