Upstate New York connections to NHL Stanley Cup final
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • May 30, 2012 @ 12:07pm
With the Devils and Kings kicking off the final round tonight, there are a couple of Upstate New York boys still in the mix.
Stephen Gionta, a center for the New Jersey Devils, is a Rochester native and is also the younger brother of Brian Gionta, captain of the Montreal Canadiens. Going into the Stanley Cup final, not much was known about Gionta, having only 13 NHL games under his belt. But coaches seemed confident, placing the center between Ryan Carter and former Sabre, Steve Bernier on the team’s fourth line.
According to Mike Morreale of NHL.com,
Gionta picked the perfect time for the first multipoint game of his career, notching the game’s first goal and assisting on Ryan Carter’s game-winner with 4:24 left in regulation as the Devils beat the New York Rangers 5-3 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
What he hasn’t accomplished yet, he’s making up for by stepping up his game while being counted on to perform. Maybe it’s just the excitement of the post-season, but this kid has a chance to win a Stanley Cup and he’s doing a great job in his role to make that happen.
Check out Gionta’s goal versus the Florida Panthers here:
Dustin Brown has a much different story for his path to the 2012 Stanley Cup final. The captain of the LA Kings is a right-winger, a native of Ithaca and is leading his team to the cup—Gretzky style.
According to Andrew Knoll of the LA Daily News,
The last time the Kings were in the Stanley Cup Final, they were coached by Barry Melrose, who always insisted a captain do whatever the situation called for. While Melrose might not be in any rush to swap out his captain from 1993 - some dude named Gretzky - the Kings’ current captain Dustin Brown fits that bill as well as any player in recent memory.
In the regular season, Brown finished with 22 goals and 32 assists and currently has 16 points in the 2012 post-season going into the Stanley Cup final. His future with the Kings after the Stanley Cup may be uncertain though. During trade deadline last February, many teams were interested in Brown and there is even speculation that he could make the jump to Buffalo to take the place of the under performing, Brad Boyes.
Check out this goal from Brown against the Winnipeg Jets:
Also, here is the complete Stanley Cup final schedule from NHL.com.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.