Stanley Cup Final Preview: It's bigger than hip hop

Ronald Martinez

Hello, the Stanley Cup Final is starting tomorrow and we figured we should write out a little preview for all of our favorite Chowdaheads. So let's break down the rosters, starting with LA:

Los Angeles Kings:

Forwards:

Tupac Shakur - Snoop Dogg - Ice Cube

With Cube making space for Tupac and Snoop to make beautiful music in the offensive zone, this line will terrorize but don't sleep on Cube's contributions. Shutting these guys down will be priority number 1 for opponents looking to win games.

Nate Dogg - Coolio - B Real

"The Single Line" will give opposing coaches fits. While not the first line on LA, they could easily slot into that space on a lesser team. Center Coolio dishes real well to Nate Dogg and B Real, who both have a great finish.

MC Ren - Kendrick Lamar - Eazy E

Not the youngest line in hockey, Lamar's youth and skill lets him keep up with gritty veterans MC Ren and Eazy E. Lamar learns tricks of the game while still also competently handling checking and depth scoring. Don't sleep on them.

E-40 - The Game - Mack 10

Not the best 4th line in the game, but not far off. A group of accomplished veterans who can still give opponents a run for their money. Unfortunately, sometimes they cannot do that so well.

Defense:

Dr. Dre - Xzibit

Dr. Dre and Xzibit have been a force on the blue line for LA. Dre has been a rock for the current incarnation of the team for a long long time, and though some say he's lost a step I wouldn't be the one to say it to his face. Still a monster. Xzibit complements Dre nicely, and the two are generally recognized as one of the better defensive pairs in the game.

Cut Chemist - Chali 2na (Jurrasic 5 pairing)

Cut Chemist and Chali 2na have played together since coming up through the USHL together, and the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. Always in a good rhythm with one another, they can pinch on the attack and still manage to stop the odd rush going the other way. A great second pairing, they could easily be a workable first pairing on a crap team.

Earl Sweatshirt - Tyler, The Creator (Odd Future pairing)

This is where the defense starts to fall apart. Not the most physical group, Sweatshirt and The Creator are prized prospects, but may be forced into a position they're not quite ready for yet. If you see them ice the puck, put out the big guns against them immediately.

Goalies:

Ice-T

Despite referees' formal protest, Ice-T has been reinstated in the league. And why not? He's a damn good goalie. Can play many styles, and often puts them all on display in the course of a night. A good part of why the Kings are where they are today. Well, as far as goalies go, anyhow.

Warren G

Warren G used to be good, but he's not really so much anymore. Great at opening doors, but if he's in the game you're in big trouble already.

New York Rangers

Forwards:

KRS-One - Rakim - Gza

KRS-One is all shots and hits, a monster so to speak. Him, Rakim, and Gza have been some of the most talented in the game for a while, and this year is no different. Gza's masterful bag of tricks overwhelm defenses. How many MCs must get hit before someone says don't fuck with KRS?

Mos Def - Nas - Talib Kweli

Mos Def and Talib Kweli have been the dynamic duo Black Star for a while, and Nas brings his own brand of skill to the table. The three of them will make magic happen. Have a tendency to catch defenses watching them score.

Q-Tip - Lauren Hill - Aesop Rock

Not the hardest hitting third line around, but one of the most talented by far. Q-Tip has incredible versatility, having played up and down lineups for years. Aesop Rock has a large library of moves to make the puck go where he wants, and it seems he's always got a new one. Hill cements the two wingers with solid two-way play.

Ol' Dirty Bastard - 50 Cent - DMX

A classic 4th line. They might not score as much but they'll run you over. Some fans are puzzled as to why DMX still sees time, but the veteran is well-liked by his peers. 50 Cent is known for shot-blocking, and "ODB," as he is known, is pretty much just nuts. A heck of a buzzsaw but if you can get around them you're doing well in the scoring department.

Defense:

Jay-Z - RZA

Jay-Z is a Roc. On a successful comeback after briefly retiring, Jay-Z is still one of the best (and, for that matter, best-dressed) in the league. RZA

Raekwon - Ghostface Killah (shaolin's finest)

I could tell you about how the pairing got as good as it is, but I cannot reveal ancient Shaolin secrets. Good luck, opposing offenses.

Chuck D - Flavor Flav (Public Enemy pairing)

In the twilight of their careers, Chuck D and Flavor Flav are good enough to help a team get another kick at the can. Formerly superstars, they don't really have it anymore. But don't sleep on them entirely, they can surprise you.

Goalies:

Notorious B.I.G.

Biggie Biggie Biggie, can't you see? Sometimes your padstacks just hypnotize me. They don't like your flashy saves, Guess that's why they golf and you're still playing...

MCA

This is one area that the Rangers have over the Kings. Unfortunately, it's in the backup goalie category.

So that's our little preview for the Stanley Cup Final. Hope y'all enjoy!

Thanks to Sean and Dan who helped a lot with this one.

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