Stanley Cup Finals Kick Off Tuesday With Media Day In Newark

The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils gathered inside Newark's Prudential Center on Tuesday, officially kicking off the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

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17 Total Updates since May 29, 2012
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Kings, Devils Set For Stanley Cup Finals 2 Years After Ilya Kovalchuk Battle

It's been two years since the Devils and Kings battled for free agent Ilya Kovalchuk's services. Now, New Jersey will try to beat L.A. with No. 17's help.

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Stanley Cup Finals 2012: New Jersey Devils Claim The Redemption Cup

By beating the New York Rangers in overtime in Game 6 exactly 18 years after Mark Messier's famous guarantee, the New Jersey Devils relieved a pain that has hurt Devils fans repeatedly despite three Cup wins since 1994. Even if the Devils fall in the finals, they've accomplished something not even those Cup wins could.

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Stanley Cup Finals 2012: Lou Lamoriello Needed Half A Season To Believe Devils Could Contend

Though New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello is never short on confidence, he will admit that it took a while for him to believe his team could make the run it has, all the way to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals

"You like to think every team you ever have has a chance," Lamoriello told the assembled press at Media Day in Newark. "I don't think we ever did until halfway through the year."

Lamoriello has run the Devils with what some would call an iron fist since 1988, and has already built three Stanley Cup winners, so he knows what it takes to win. When the coaching staff, led by Peter DeBoer, gained total credibility with his team, Lamoriello knew there was the potential for something special.

"The communication they had with the players and the way the players bought into the system, both veterans and young players -- anytime we had any adversity, [we] came out of it quickly, no looking back," he said. "It's probably one of the best teams we've had as far as chemistry."

It's no coincidence, perhaps, that the team coming together halfway through the year has a lot to do with the trades he made around that time, acquiring forward Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Carolina Hurricanes, and defenseman Marek Zidlicky from the Minnesota Wild.

"What we saw when we got to halfway through the year, we didn't really have the depth on the lower end of our lines," Lamoriello said. "No disrespect, but to do maybe some of the things that you could take ice team away from the veterans. We had our veterans killing penalties, maybe giving too many minutes. Our focus was how can we get our fourth line better, where they could take some of the top minutes away if we could continue to use our top players."

The trades -- as well as the moves to call up Steve Bernier and Stephen Gionta -- were mostly a matter of right place, right time.

"Poni was available at that time because of where Carolina was," Lamoriello said. "We knew of him. We certainly saw enough of him in Toronto. We thought he would be a perfect fit as far as a player that would go up and down in weight, size and strength. Bernie, we knew we had in the minors.

"It was just a case of getting him here. We had signed him. He was in great shape and he was hungry. He committed himself to go to the minors and prove it, then he broke his wrist. Then he became healthy, we got him back once he was healthy. We felt good with that because we had [Jacob Josefson]. Then [Josefson] gets hurt and we have to have a center. We went the safe way, Gionta. So he's come in seamless. Now we have a fourth line."

Bringing it all together is another move that Lamoriello is now getting a lot of credit for, hiring a then out-of-work DeBoer as somewhat of a surprise choice to coach this team. Lamoriello says that despite DeBoer's record in Florida and having never made the post-season, he was impressed.

"We played against Florida a lot over the three years," Lamoriello said. "It was always remarkable how they competed no matter where they were in the standings. I knew he was a very hard coach on his players because he didn't want to accept anything but the best out of them. That to me was a positive because he might have wanted success, maybe didn't have the talent to get there."

There's no doubt Lamoriello and DeBoer have a team that has shown it has the talent after surprising most of the prognosticators and coming within four wins of a Stanley Cup.

Stick with SBNation.com for full Stanley Cup Finals coverage. For more on the New Jersey Devils, check out Devils blog In Lou We Trust. For more on the Los Angeles Kings, check out Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Martin Brodeur Looms Large For Devils Young And Old

As he prepares for his fifth Stanley Cup Finals, some of the younger New Jersey Devils talked about their first time meeting and hearing of future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.

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By Reaching Stanley Cup Finals, New Jersey Devils Have Erased 1994 Demons

The New Jersey Devils have been one of the most successful franchises in the NHL over the last 20 years, but as it faced the New York Rangers in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, it still felt like something was missing to the team and its fans. They may have three Cups since 1995, but the Devils have still felt that the burden of those hated Rangers had yet to be overcome.

Now, that's all in the past. Via Devils blog In Lou We Trust:

I can think of no better way to erase the memories of the mid 90's than the way things unfolded. The Devils not only advanced, but crushed the hopes of Ranger fans in the process. Whether it was key Devil third period/overtime game winning goals in games the Rangers had fought back to tie or watching their team embarrass themselves when losing (see Rupp, Mike) this series had a bit of everything to break the black hearts of Ranger fans.

Stick with SBNation.com for full Stanley Cup Finals coverage. For more on the New Jersey Devils, check out Devils blog In Lou We Trust. For more on the Los Angeles Kings, check out Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Stanley Cup Finals Media Day 2012 To Be Held Tuesday At Prudential Center

The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals are officially here. The Los Angeles Kings have made the cross-country trek to Newark, N.J., home of the New Jersey Devils, for Games 1 and 2 of the Finals, and both teams will skate on the Prudential Center ice on Tuesday morning. After practice, the teams will meet for Media Day, which you can find on NHL.com and NHL Network.

The Devils will practice at the AmeriHealth Pavilion, their practice facility attached to the Prudential Center, at 11 a.m. ET time. They'll meet with the media at 1 p.m. The Kings will practice on the main sheet of ice at Prudential Center at noon and will meet with the media at 2 p.m.

We'll be reporting live from Newark all afternoon, so be sure to stick with SBNation.com for full coverage of both Media Day and the entire 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.

For more from the Devils perspective, check in with In Lou We Trust and SB Nation New York. For more from the Kings perspective, check in with Jewels From The Crown, Battle of California and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Devils, Kings Matchup A Classic Battle Of Like-Styled Clubs

Two clubs with very similar styles will commence their battle for the Stanley Cup beginning Wednesday, and the battle to control the walls, dominate territorial play via the forecheck, and getting traffic in front of the opposing goalie may all end up being contributing factors for the eventual victor.

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Stanley Cup Finals Schedule 2012: New Jersey Devils Have Home-Ice Edge Vs. Los Angeles Kings

The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals are set. With the New Jersey Devils victory over the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Friday night, they've clinched the Prince of Wales Trophy and will host the Los Angeles Kings, holders of the Clarence Campbell Bowl as Western champs, in Game 1 of the Finals on Wednesday.

The Devils earned the home-ice advantage by virtue of owning a better regular season record. New Jersey finished the regular season with 102 points compared to L.A.'s 95.

The full schedule:

Gm Date Time Location TV Network
1 Wed, May 30 8 p.m. ET Kings at Devils NBC, CBC, RDS
2 Sat, June 2 8 p.m. ET Kings at Devils NBC, CBC, RDS
3 Mon, June 4 8 p.m. ET Devils at Kings NBCSN, CBC, RDS
4 Wed, June 6 8 p.m. ET Devils at Kings NBCSN, CBC, RDS
5* Sat, June 9 8 p.m. ET Kings at Devils NBC, CBC, RDS
6* Mon, June 11 8 p.m. ET Devils at Kings NBC, CBC, RDS
7* Wed, June 13 8 p.m. ET Kings at Devils NBC, CBC, RDS

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Stick with SBNation.com for full Stanley Cup Finals coverage. For more on the New Jersey Devils, check out Devils blog In Lou We Trust. For more on the Los Angeles Kings, check out Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation Los Angeles.

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Stanley Cup Finals 2012: Why The Los Angeles Kings Will Win It All

The Kings are a team that can outplay you and beat you without needing a savior in goal. But that savior helped them squeak into the playoffs, and now he's helped assure a swift trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

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