The Los Angeles Kings are the 2012 Stanley Cup champions. As a Ducks fan, do you realize how difficult that is to say? Then I remember what Anaheim did five years ago, earning their first Cup after only 13 years in existence. Can’t imagine what it would have been like to have to wait 45 years, like Kings fans!
After losing two games in a row to the New Jersey Devils, including their first road loss of the postseason, the Kings returned to their dominating ways and easily took the Devils down 6-1 in game six.
Of course the Kings had a little help from Devils stupidity. Halfway through the first period Steve Bernier creamed Rob Scuderi face first into the boards. Bernier got a five minute major and a game misconduct. Scuderi got a bloody face and a Stanley Cup ring for his sacrifice.
Not only did the Kings score on the five minute major, but they score three times to put a dagger in the hopes and hearts of the New Jersey Devils.
Adios Devils. Might as well shine that Cup up now and figure out the series MVP.
On the plus side, for those journalists with a tight deadline, the 3-0 lead after the first period made it quite simple to write their “Kings Win the Cup” stories before the second period even began. All they needed to add was the final details.
Kings fans, who were overly optimistic in game four, really did have something to celebrate and shout about by the time the end of the third period rolled around. Pulling the goaltender when it was 4-1 was a bold move, but whether Martin Brodeur was in net or out, it did not matter. After the empty net goal, followed abruptly by another to make it 6-1, all that was left was to have the clock run down and start the party.
The rest of the party will continue on Thursday with a fan rally in downtown LA. Ironically the “free” tickets that were handed out for the rally at Staples Center (which occurs after the obligatory parade) have been seen on eBay for up to $500 each. Nothing says diehard Kings fan like taking a free ticket and making a profit off of it.
Jonathan Quick received the Conn Smythe award for playoff MVP. To consider anyone else would have been heresy. The All Star goaltender finished the playoffs with a .946 save percentage and a 1.41 goals against average. Those are the best stats ever for goalies who played at least 10 games in a postseason.
Quick is also a Vezina trophy finalist and should be picking up that hardware in Las Vegas at the awards show next week. He should also have been a Hart trophy nominee as well, because he was the primary reason that the Kings made it to the playoffs in the first place. He was consistent and stingy in letting goals in when his own teammates could not find the back of the net at the other end of the ice.
So Kings and Kings fans – enjoy it while it lasts. When you get to the top, there is only one direction from there – down. Just ask any Ducks fans in the past five years. But it sure is fun and a great feeling while you are there….