a rarely seen trick play he calls "remaining upright".
How did we get here, and who has the edge? Let's compare the two finalists by breaking down the key matchups.
CoachingDevils: Peter DeBoer became involved in a heated screaming match with John Tortorella in the conference finals but that probably won't happen again this series, according to the five Sutter brothers cracking their knuckles behind the Devils bench.
Kings: Darryl Sutter is trying to draw on the experience of losing in the 2004 finals, according to players who are starting to get tired of the constant "make sure you shoot the puck as far over the goal line as possible" drills.
OffenseDevils: Team officials have enjoyed watching Zach Parise play the best hockey of his career, although they admit they could do without his post-game ritual of immediately sprinting up to Lou Lamoriello's luxury box and scrawling another zero at the end of his free agency contract demands.
Kings: Struggling star Jeff Carter is having a miserable playoffs and probably wishes he wasn't even there, Rick Nash keeps telling himself bitterly.
DefenseDevils: They focus on using their speed to create turnovers in the transition game and attack with an aggressive forecheck that pins the other team inside its own zone. Or, as everyone will spend the next two weeks calling it out of force of habit, "the neutral zone trap".
Kings: While they acknowledge that he's a great player who plays in all key situations, the team's other five defencemen still say it's not cool how they all have to wear jersey nameplates that read "Not Doughty".
GoaltendingDevils: The players badly want to win now for 40-year-old goaltender Martin Brodeur, since based on his recent play he probably only has like nine or ten good years left.
Kings: Jonathan Quick has been amazing to watch all season long, say the five Kings players standing at the other blueline before mumbling that they should probably get back there and help him eventually.
Special teamsDevils: Have struggled badly on the penalty kill, which could be bad news during the three of four minors the referees will probably call during the series.
Kings: Have fired home a lot of goals in powerplay situations, and for this series are even thinking of trying to score one when it's their team that has the extra man.
Fan supportDevils: The team has tried to cover their arena in the color red, presumably by giving each fan a copy of the team's financial statements.
Kings: Are attracting so much celebrity attention that at this point the only 20 people in the crowd at home games who aren't famous in Los Angeles will be the Kings players.
Key to victoryDevils: Have already eliminated Philadelphia and New York and should be able beat Los Angeles too if the players can just ignore distractions, such as all those American TV executives who keep trying to run them over with their cars while screaming "You're ruining everything!"
Kings: Should really think about trying to get a 3-0 series lead, since they seem to be pretty good at protecting those.
Historical precedenceDevils: Have somehow kept the faith despite not making the finals in nine long years, say Maple Leaf fans sarcastically while pouring lemon juice into their paper cuts.
Kings: Keep asking members of the 1993 Kings teams that went to the Finals for their advice, and are frustrated that everyone keeps telling them "Whatever you do, just make sure you don't end up facing a legendary French-Canadian goalie".