Simulation engine predicts a championship for the Los Angeles Kings
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When it comes to sports and hip-hop rivalries, New York versus Los Angeles, East Coast versus West Coast should be celebrated and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Rangers and Kings is no exception.
Before we get to our 2014 Stanley Cup statistically-based simulation prediction, some brief Cliffs' notes on the two teams.
As it so often does, the two goalies fall under the fickle spotlight of kudos and ridicule depending which playoff game we're analyzing.
The Kings', namely Jonathan Quick, led the NHL in goals allowed per game during the regular season - 2.05 / game. Quick's save percentage, however, ranked 23rd at 91.5 percent despite only facing 1,183 shots on goal. Twenty-three goalies saw more shots fired in their direction than Quick. Los Angeles' defense deserves high praise for protecting its goalie.
The bad news is Quick's postseason stats are far from pristine. His goals allowed per game average sits at 2.86 through the first 21 games and he ranks eighth in save percentage at 90.6 percent. Quick has allowed 59 goals in these playoffs - the most of all goalies.
On the other side of the ice, the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist has been their Most Valuable Player in the 2014 playoffs. Just to give you an idea of how active he was during the regular season, he saved 1,666 out of 1,810 shots (.920 SV%), but his 2.36 goals allowed per game average ranked 15th in the NHL. So, to clarify, Lundqvist saw 600 more shots on goal than Quick during the season.
In the playoffs, Lundqvist's save percentage is nearly 93 percent - tops of all the goalies. His 2.03 goals against average is second-best.
On offense, the Kings' boast five players inside the top 12 in points scored with Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik (leading all players with 12 goals), and Justin Williams all inside the top five. The Rangers have three ranked between 13th and 20th in points scored led by Martin St. Louis. The offensive discrepancy is also highlighted in the scoring margin with the Kings averaging 3.48 goals per game compared to the Rangers 2.70.
We simulated the Rangers and Kings head-to-head 1,001 times and computers like the Kings 54.4 percent of the time or, in series terms, Los Angeles wins the Stanley Cup Final 4-3.
2014 Stanley Cup Finals
|Matchup||Win %||Avg. Goals||WIS Interactive|
|New York Rangers||45.6||1.49||Simulate Stanley Cup|
|vs. Los Angeles Kings||54.4||1.86||for FREE!|
Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for WhatIfSports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.