Saturday, May 26, 2012
Stanley Cup finals: Points to watch
By ESPN Sports and Information
- Regardless of the winning team, this year the NHL will crown the lowest seed ever to win the Stanley Cup. Previously, the fifth-seeded 1995 New Jersey Devils were the lowest seed to hoist the Cup.
- Dustin Brown has been a monster for the Kings in the playoffs. Brown ranks third in points (16), and his plus-13 is tied with teammate Anze Kopitar for the postseason lead in plus/minus. Brown also has 67 hits in 14 games, averaging 4.8 per game (both third in playoffs among players with at least 10 games played).
- The Devils (47.5 faceoff win percentage) and the Kings (48.2 win percentage) are the worst and second-worst among playoff teams. New Jersey’s Travis Zajac (56.5 percent) and Los Angeles’ Mike Richards (51.2 percent) are the only two qualified players in this series with a faceoff win percentage over 50 percent.
- Both teams should keep the puck low in this series. Martin Brodeur has allowed a playoff-high 26 of his 37 goals on low shots. Jonathan Quick only allowed 22 goals in the first three rounds but 16 of them (72.7 percent) were on low shots.
- New Jersey (1.62) and Los Angeles (1.53) rank first and second, respectively, in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio. However, New Jersey’s power play ranks fourth in the playoffs (18.2 percent), while the Los Angeles power play (8.1 percent) is 15th out of 16 playoff teams.
- Martin Brodeur has four assists in the playoffs, one more than all other playoff goalies combined. Brodeur’s four assists is a higher total than Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Elias and Mike Green -- all of whom have played in at least nine games.
FROM ELIAS: Brodeur’s four assists is the most of any goalie in a single postseason. The last goalies to have three assists in one postseason were Tom Barrasso, Kirk McLean and Glenn Healy, who all did it in 1992-93.
- This is the seventh time a team from the Pacific time zone will face a team from the Eastern time zone in the Stanley Cup final. In five of the previous six occurrences, the team from the East won the Cup.