It’s time to get excited (if you weren’t already), as the the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings ready themselves to begin the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. You can watch Game 1 on NBC and also stream it via the link below:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The most obvious storyline is that Henrik Lundqvist enters his first career Stanley Cup Final series at 32. While his list of accomplishments is staggering (including a Vezina Trophy and a 2006 gold medal), he could face the dual disappointments of losing a gold-medal game and a Stanley Cup Final in the same year.
Martin St. Louis and Dominic Moore hope to finish emotional runs by hoisting the Stanley Cup, but the Kings won’t make it easy. They come in as heavy favorites as they attempt to win their second championship in three seasons after raising the Cup for the first time in franchise history in 2012.
The NHL must be delighted to see the Stanley Cup Final come down to two great teams from huge markets. Now they just need to back up that excitement with great hockey.
The contest kicks off around 8 p.m. ET, yet there is also a pre-show airing 7 p.m. ET. You can enjoy that extended coverage on NBCSN and by following this livestream link:
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
A preseason push by a number of Vancouver Canucks youngsters has left forward Linden Vey and defenseman Frank Corrado on waivers today.
The more surprising name of the two is Corrado, the 22-year-old who entered the season with an excellent chance of making the opening-day roster. However, it seems that rookie d-man Ben Hutton, 22, has been given the nod after finishing an eye-opening preseason with one goal and four assists in seven games. (This despite Hutton being waiver exempt. So it’s a risk for the Canucks, to be sure.)
It was the play of 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann that led, in part, to the waiving of Vey. (For more on that, click here.) Veteran Adam Cracknell remains with the team as well, to some surprise.
Rookie winger Jake Virtanen is also expected to be on Vancouver’s opening-day roster, though that’s no big shock.
Defenseman Alex Biega is also on waivers, as expected.