Officially, the folks who run North America’s major professional sports leagues just want good championship series between deserving teams. However, everybody knows they’ll get better TV ratings and more advertising revenue if championships series feature the big market teams. So everybody also knows that, regardless of sport, a New York-L.A. matchup is pretty much the holy grail of championship series.
That’s what the NHL gets this year. Starting tonight in Los Angeles, the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings will duke it out for the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. And while it’s not the first time NHL teams from these greater metropolitan areas have faced off in the Stanley Cup Finals, it is the first time the marquee teams will do battle.
All in all, championship series between New York and Los Angeles are relatively rare, especially when you take into account the fact that teams in those cities usually have a lot more spending power than teams from, say, Cleveland. The Kings-Rangers matchup will be just the ninth time teams from New York and Los Angeles proper have battled for a championship. And if you expand the criteria to include teams from the greater New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, the total only comes to 12.
Today we’re going to take a look at them all, starting with the not-quite-L.A.-New York series and then moving chronologically through the rest.
Ready to get started? Good, then let’s go…