By now you've probably heard somebody say that this is Gary Bettman's dream Final.
New York versus Los Angeles. These two cities have a combined population of about 12.3 million. The only way you could possibly have a battle between two larger North American markets is if the NHL had a team in Mexico City.
But we're not here to talk about how great these two cities are in tandem -- we're here to talk about which one is better. And who is more qualified to do this than me, a guy from Vancouver who's been to each of these cities one time?
Moby, that's who. The techno artist that gave us that one song from that car commercial prefers LA:
Young artists in L.A. can really experiment, and if their efforts fall short, it’s not that bad because their rent is relatively cheap and almost everyone else they know is trying new things and failing, too. There’s also the exciting, and not unprecedented, prospect of succeeding at a global level. You can make something out of nothing here. Take Katy Perry. She’s a perfectly fine singer who one minute was literally couch surfing and the next was a household name selling out 50,000-capacity stadiums. Or Quentin Tarantino, one minute a video clerk, the next minute one of the most successful writer/directors in history. Los Angeles captures that strange, exciting and at times delusional American notion of magical self-invention.
That's right. If not for Los Angeles, we wouldn't have Katy Perry. Suck on that, New York.
But New York has its merits as well. Let's move away from artists and towards the realm of the analytical. The eggheads at FiveThirtyEight believe New York is a whopping 85% better than LA (based on aggregate personal income):
The New York metro area, despite the Sept. 11 attacks and the financial crisis, also grew its income slightly faster than Los Angeles during the 2000s. As a result, instead of having lost its economic crown to Los Angeles, New York’s metro-area income is now 85 percent larger than Los Angeles’s — a wider margin than in 1977, when Reggie Jackson won World Series for the Yankees by hitting three home runs in Game 6.
Okay. So this is an equally stupid way to make this argument.
In the end, it's really just a matter of preference. If you love crowded streets and piles of garbage, New York is your place. If you love a citizen-to-highway of 3:1, then by all means, LA is calling.
As a hockey matter, though, it's not quite as subjective. Los Angeles is becoming a great hockey city. Having a winning team helps. Two years on from "Brad Doty and Anze Kopidor", you get the sense that the people of Los Angeles are falling well and truly in love with their hockey team.
But they'll never catch New York, a city that's been in love with their team for almost 90 years, where the average hockey fan can probably name more former Rangers than their West Coast equivalent can name current Kings.