Continued from page 1

The Lakers and Clippers are both alive in the NBA, and we all know that Los Angeles is a basketball town. But the Kings, the darlings of the postseason, are on a run for the ages, and the stars are coming out to the games much like they did when Wayne Gretzky donned the silver and black. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Hollywood loves a good (success) story, and goaltender Jonathan Quick and coach Darryl Sutter have been scripting one for a month now. Ask the Canucks and Blues, who went a combined 1-8 against the Kings.

___

_ DO THE COYOTES MISS ILYA BRYZGALOV?

Certainly, there was cause for concern last summer when the financially strapped Coyotes had to let All-Star goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov walk away to Philadelphia. It was a business decision that had to be made, and Phoenix was going to have to find a way to move on. Well, consider that done. The Coyotes snared Mike Smith instead, and all he’s done is backstop the franchise’s most memorable playoff run. The Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks and Predators en route to the West Finals, and with whiteouts in the crowd and a new ownership group on the way, all is well in Phoenix. Meanwhile, Bryzgalov posted a 3.46 goals-against average in two rounds for the Flyers, and is home for the summer, as a result.

___

_ WHO WINS IT ALL?

The crystal ball is still foggy at this point. Flyers fans would rather renounce the cheese steak as their favorite sandwich rather than have to stomach watching ex-stars Mike Richards and Jeff Carter hoist the Cup in Los Angeles. Martin Brodeur just might call it a career with the New Jersey Devils if he wins that fourth ring. But it says here, start planning a parade for the Big Apple. All signs point to the Rangers as the team set to win their first Stanley Cup since Mark Messier took them to the promised land in 1994. Unlike the former captain’s bold boast during that run, however, we will not guarantee it.