The Los Angeles professional sport scene may be dominated by the Lakers, Dodgers, and Angles, along with a few Top notch Division I colleges. Hockey though seems to always take a backseat among the other LA sport franchises. What occurred this NHL season for the LA Kings could be described as a Movie made for Hollywood. Let’s backtrack a few months before the Kings made there remarkable, miracles run in the playoffs to ultimately hoist Lord Stanley. Leading up to the Playoffs the Kings where not sure if they would even make the playoffs, as they needed to capture a fair share of points, down the final home stretch of the season.
They barely got enough points to get into the playoffs, but because of that they would be the lowest seed in the playoffs holding the 8 seed. This would make their road to a Stanley Cup final even more challenging to accomplish. However these Kings were not an ordinary 8th seeded team and they sure did not play like the lowest seed in the playoffs at all. In fact the Kings took on the top three seeds in the Western Conference and only lost twice, posting a 12-2 record before heading to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings took out the top seeded Vancouver Canucks in 5 games, and then swept the 2 seed St. Louis Blues in 4 games before taking down the 3 seeded Phoenix Coyotes in 5 games also.
When you beat the top three teams in your conference you are doing something special, memorable. For the Kings the 45 year drought of claiming a Stanley Cup trophy would finally be over after a stellar performance in the Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils. It looked as if the Kings would have no trouble with the Devils as they easily won the first three games of the series. However the Devils would not go down without a hard fought fight, and responded greatly when pushed to the brink of elimination twice. After the Devils won back to back elimination games and put the series 3 games to 2 in favor of the Kings, speculations started stirring up about if the Kings improbable journey had run its course. The Devils had definitely made the series a bit more interesting, but in game 6 the Kings were back at home and put on a show for the ages for their home crowd and the nation to see.
A crucial 5 minute boarding penalty on the Devils in the first period would turn out to be costly for them, as the Kings capitalized multiple times. The kings would score three goals off the power play and that just opened the flood gates for the Kings. They would tag on an extra three goals throughout the game to claim the team’s first ever Stanley Cup.
“Every single guy worked so hard for us this season, and everyone deserves this we got used to each other, we developed chemistry, and we just went sailing from there.” Kings Defenseman Drew Doughty said.
The kings became the first 8 seed to ever win the Stanley Cup, and proved their dominance in the playoffs, finishing with an outstanding 16-4 record, losing only one road game in the process. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was named the winner of the Conn Smythe trophy given to the Playoff MVP.
“”We wouldn’t have been in the playoffs without Jonathan Quick, ”He had a phenomenal year.” Kings Assistant GM Ron Hextall said
This inspiring run to a Championship reminds me of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals who had a similar storyline in route to their World Series win. Both had to fight to get into the playoffs, both had to face the top ranked teams in there conference, Division, and both showed tremendous heart and determination to win a title for their city.
With a victory parade coming to the streets of LA Thursday June 14 for their beloved Kings, one is to ponder who will be the next LA franchise to give their city a party.
LA KINGS Wins The Stanley Cup (FULL CEREMONY,HANDSHAKES,INTERVIEWS) 06/11/2012
LA Kings – Stanley Cup Champions 2012 Full Ceremony including MVP award, handshakes, interviews.