The Kings' power play has been downright dreadful this postseason, and one would think they're bound to get a break soon. Meanwhile, the Devils have had better luck on the man-advantage because of some big help from sniper Ilya Kovalchuk. The Russian star is an elite scorer, and the Kings have not faced anyone quite like him. How they defend on the kill against him will be crucial. If they can get the puck off Kovalchuk's stick, there's a good chance the Kings will score another short-handed goal, which they've done against every opponent at least once in these playoffs.
How much rest is too much?
The Kings have had long breaks between series: five days after the first round, six after the second and now a full week since clinching the Western Conference title. But the long layoffs haven't been an issue, yet. Los Angeles has won the first three games in each of its series so far — failing to win early this round could result in some adversity the team hasn't had to deal with. Plus, the Devils are sure to be hopping in front of their home crowd in Game 1.
Is Brodeur old or mature?
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur turned 40 years old this month. On one hand, he's ancient in hockey years, but on the other hand, he's hasn't been playing like a 40-year-old. Brodeur's performance has been a pleasant surprise to hockey fans during the postseason and if he can keep that up, the Devils have a good chance of winning it all. And perhaps his maturity and experience can help the team — after all, he does have three Stanley Cups to his name.
Who's the real leader of the pack?
Dustin Brown and Zach Parise are both US-born players, guaranteeing that the next captain to hoist the Cup will be only the second American captain to do so — the Stars' Derian Hatcher was the first in 1999. Parise has only been captain of New Jersey for a season, but what a season it has been. Brown has been handling the "C" for four seasons, including three playoff appearances. The captain who can lead his team the best into the first game of the Final could be the deciding factor in the series.
Will Quick be quick enough?
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick may be a Vezina Trophy finalist, but he has never played in a Stanley Cup Final. Will the 26-year-old netminder be up to the challenge? He really hasn't had to steal a game for Los Angeles since the first round against Vancouver. The Kings will need him to be his best from the start against the Devils, including avoiding those shaky 100-foot goals like the one he gave up to Phoenix's Derek Morris.