Posted September 28, 2018 06:31:09The Rangers and the Kings will battle for the Stanley Cup as the two clubs look to avoid a second consecutive season of .500 or worse.
The Rangers and their new GMs are expecting the Kings to be in better shape, with a playoff berth in sight.
But the Kings are the one team that’s in the thick of it this season.
The Kings have won the Presidents’ Trophy five times in the past eight seasons, the longest streak in the Western Conference.
Last year they won the Stanley Championship and their first Cup in franchise history.
The Kings also are in the midst of their third straight season with a top-10 offense.
They have scored nearly 100 goals per season since the season began.
The Rangers, on the other hand, are in first place in the Pacific Division, five points back of second place.
The only thing keeping them from being a top team is a .500 record, which would require them to finish the season in first.
The team has the second-best record in the NHL with a 22-9-5 record, though it hasn’t reached the Stanley Final since 2003.
They’re just five points behind the Los Angeles Kings in the standings and two points back in the Central Division.
But the Kings aren’t just the defending Stanley Cup champions.
They also are the only team in the League to go to the Conference Finals seven of the past nine years.
They’ve made the playoffs every year since the start of the 2007-08 season, and have reached the Conference Final once in the last seven years.
The next Stanley Cup Final will be played Dec. 31.
The two teams will have to do some work together.
The NHL has had to adjust its schedule for each game of the season to avoid games in the middle of the night and to avoid travel during the World Cup of Hockey.
The teams will be playing at their home arenas this year, but there will be no games on the road.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi said the Kings have a plan to take advantage of the shortened season to stay on top.
They’ll play their home games at the SAP Center in San Jose.
“We have to play a good, competitive game,” Lombardi told reporters Tuesday.
“We’re going to have to work harder to stay in it.
We have to keep our composure.
We need to play good, hard games.”