2013-2014 stanley cup final preview

The Stanley Cup Final is set and it’s a match made in TV heaven. The two biggest markets in the USA square off in what will likely be a ratings bonanza.

New York. Los Angeles. Somewhere Gary Bettman is smiling while a paid butler makes it rain. This matchup is probably all he ever wanted.

This is a matchup that many analytics types had predicted from the get go (one even made over $3,000 from a $75 bet on twitter dot com).

The Kings led the league in puck possession, and got even better after acquiring Marian Gaborik.  They were the fourth best POP team in the West and seventh in the entire NHL. But in their last 25 games they were second to only Boston in the entire league.

The Rangers were a Stanley Cup dark horse going in, quietly being the sixth best possession team in the league. They were right behind the Kings as the eighth best POP team, but also the fourth best in their last 25 games of the season (behind Boston, Los Angeles, and San Jose).

Coming in to this playoffs, POP was at 56-19 in accurately predicting series outcomes. This year it’s stumbled to an 8-6 record through three rounds after going 1-1 in Round 3 (POP over the last 25 games is 10-4 and was 2-0 in Round 3).

Five of those six losses came in a seventh game against a road team. A bounce the other way and that record would be a bit more respectable.

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