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Stanley Cup Final Game One: Rangers vs. Kings

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Everything starts now.

Bruce Bennett

You have no idea how hard it is for me to type the word "Final" here. As Corny previously noted, we are anywhere from 4 to 7 games away from the absolute end of the hockey season, where we'll then have to wrap it up and put it away until maybe the middle of September 2014. It just doesn't seem that long ago when watching the playoffs could turn into an all-day (or all-night) event. I am already missing that.

And so all that remains for the 2013-14 season is this series of games between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers. I really want to know this, seriously -- did ANY of you choose these two teams to be in the Final this year? I feel as though they just came out of nowhere -- I'd love to go back and see what the media thought the odds would be for either of these teams to win the Cup.

Who do you think will ultimately win it all, and how many games will it take? Who'll be the Conn Smythe winner? Why are all these damn games starting at 5 p.m. here?! It seems the NHL doesn't grasp that some Los Angelenos work until 5 and then have to wait for a bus and go on a 45 minute ride before she they can walk in the door and settle in to watch hockey. Thanks, at least, for not starting these games at 4, NHL. Grrr...

OK. So here we go! For all the marbles, the whole enchilada, the kit and caboodle. When this is all over, at least one King will be crowned. And my stomach's already flopping.