Remember yesterday when I said that the Kings needed to play like a hockey Borg to win the Stanley Cup…
Well, folks. They did just that.
New Jersey Devils resistance was utterly futile.
Last night, the Kings went into full-on beast mode and beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 to clinch the first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s 45 year history.
This team, and their entire playoff run was epic – one of firsts, impressive records, and feats of altheticism and skill that make us super jealous.
The Kings barely made the playoffs and are the first ever eight-seed to win the Cup. They did so with an impressive 16-4 record and a unimaginable 10-1 road record.
They rolled over the #1, #2, and #3 seeds in the Western Conference in dominating fashion and matched the second-fastest run to a Stanley Cup Championship in modern NHL history.
It was no surprise that Jonathan Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Pretty sure his goals-against-average was like -4 and he had a save percentage of eleventy billion. (It was actually 1.41 GAA and .946 save percentage – both NHL records)
Quick also became the 3rd American-born player to win the Conn Smythe. Fellow goalie Tim Thomas won last year (like we could forget) and waaaay back in 1994 (when Quick was 8 years old), Brian Leetch from the NY Rangers won it.
Another little tidbit of trivia info – Leetch and Quick both went to school at Avon Old Farms in Connecticut and played in Hockey East (Leetch at Boston College, Quick at UMass Amherst). Oh and Thomas went to University of Vermont – also a Hockey East school. HOCKEY EAST REPRESENT!
The game itself had a intensity befitting a potential Stanley Cup cliniching game and there can be no doubt that its defining moment came in the first period when the Devils’ Steve Bernier boarded Rob Scuderi.
Scuderi was left bloodied and bruised.
Bernier felt shame and was ejected, resulting in a five-minute power play for the Kings.
During that five minutes, the captain Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, and Trevor Lewis each scored goals. The Kings never looked back.
Brown also added two assists and became just the 2nd American-born captain to raise the Cup. He managed to accomplish that which the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, could not do in his eight year tenure with the Kings.
Anze Kopitar has poised himself on the edge of NHL super stardom. He tied for the playoff lead in points (20) and goals (8), and finished a ridiculous +16. Not only is he the first Slovenian to play in the NHL, but now he’ll be the first ever to have his name engraved on the Cup.
He also is the first ever to wear this in a post-game interview.
This team was chockful of talent and size and skill and they peaked at the most perfect time. Their regular season was inconsistent at best as they struggled to score goals, but something special happened after Darryl Sutter took over the team midseason.
So special in fact, that it earned them the most coveted and respected trophy in all of sports.
We are very much looking forward to the Kings’ summer with the Cup and all the photos, tweets, and stories that will undoubtedly follow.
We want to see Dustin Penner eat some pancakes out of the Cup.
We want to Carter and Richards take the Cup on a sunset stroll on the beach.
But most of all, we want to see the players, and their family, friends, and fans, savor every moment of this incredible accomplishment.