Earlier this afternoon the Los Angeles
Ice Lakers Kings celebrated their first Stanley Cup Championship in team history with a parade and championship rally through downtown L.A. For those who don’t know, the Kings won hockey’s biggest prize with a 6-1 blowout win in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals on their home ice Monday night in only their second ever appearance to the Stanley Cup Finals. In accomplishing the feat they became the first ever #8 seed in either conference to win the coveted Cup, and only the second team to ever beat the top three conference seeds in their respective conference on the way to the Finals.
For hockey fans, this whole season really will be remembered for one five minute stretch. For Kings fans it’s the best memory in franchise history, for Devils fans it’s a stretch that they would like to forget. Of course what I’m referring to is the 5-minute major penalty to Devils fourth line forward Steve Bernier who was issued a game misconduct for boarding after knocking Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi into the boards, face first, in the first period of game six. To say that this penalty was a turning point in the game and the series would be an understatement, as on this ensuing power play the Kings scored three times and took control of the match and put the champagne on ice.
Game six was very fitting for the Los Angeles Kings are for their fans. Their captain, Dustin Brown had a goal and two assists, and two other players each scored twice (Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis). And even if you take away what happened on that fateful Bernier power-play, the Kings dominated the game from start to finish. They also had the goalie that was playing the best hockey in the world, as Jonathan Quick helped the team to a 3-0 series lead in every series and was a rock for the Kings as they completed their 16-4 rampage through the postseason. Quick earned the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player in the playoffs for his efforts and finished the postseason with a 1.41 goals against average, a .946 save percentage and also three shutouts. That’s pretty darn good. He also became the second straight American born goalie to win the Conn Smythe, as Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas earned that honor after the 2011 season and the Bruins Stanley Cup victory. For the love of God though Mr. Quick, please don’t take up Facebook as a hobby next season.
The Kings deserved this championship and if you can ignore the fact that are a Los Angeles team with way too many bandwagon fans, then I’m glad that they were the ones to take the Cup home. After the Bruins bowed out of these playoffs I needed to adopt another team to follow for the rest of the postseason and with the way Quick was playing the Kings were an easy choice. An awesome thing about sports is that the best team doesn’t always win, it’s all about the team that plays the best when the games matter most. The way that Quick and his defense stepped up as the intensity of the games rose was truly remarkable, and to see the way that Dustin Brown displayed his leadership was also fantastic.
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings and to their true fans. Go out and enjoy this championship, you never know when the next one will come around (if ever). But just know, while you’re team is out there drinking and partying, the Bruins and the rest of the National Hockey League are in the gym and on the rinks trying to get better and achieve what you just did. It’s all about the Cup and that, my friends, is why people love hockey.