It was a night of firsts for these kings. 45 years in the making, the Los Angeles Kings shared not only their first championship in franchise history, but are the first team ever coming up from 8th seed to win the Stanley Cup. As the Kings were in God’s good graces, they could not be stopped and reigned down on the Devils with a mighty victory of 6-1.
The first team since 2007 to win on home ice, the advantageous Kings had the Devils biting the dust hard. Getting shut down across the board, it was a game of keep-away from the Devils as the Kings claimed their territory early in the first. As Volchenkov caught a tripping penalty in the first 3 minutes, the danger continued to follow the Devils until the clock ran out.
But the adversity did not cease for New Jersey. As the Devils hoped to lay it on the line and possibly a reverse sweep to show California who is boss, they continued to come up short –way short! Though Zajac put in good face time on the face off’s, the King were a force to be reckoned with as they continued to sink and slap the goals in.
Hoping for a reverse sweep- it would not be done last night! Almost impossible to come back from being down 3-0 in the first due to the 5 minute penalty on Steve Bernier for a check on Anton Scuderi, the Kings bucked on. A remorseful Bernier discussed the hit on Scuderi , which ultimately cost the game admits “it was unfortunate and just bad luck and timing”.
Though it is hard to beat the rap; for fans that want to blame the Canadian right winger for the Devils loss, keep in mind that hit could have come from any one player. When you are going 90 mph down the ice; just completing the hit – who’s to expect Scuderi would not be looking, and go down like that. It was a fateful 5 minute penalty, and in one fell swoop ended the chances of a Devils win. But that’s just the way the cookie crumbled at the Staple Centre.
It came down to a resilient Jonathan quick, who last night, was the 5th goalie to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. And with class and dignity he spoke about preparing for the determined devils and never letting his guard down at any time. And that he didn’t. With only 1 goal in, this proud American is no doubt the gusto that got the Kings to their cup.
Along with Quick, it was Dustin brown, only the 2nd American captain to hoist the cup. As Brown finally stepped up last night – with 1 goal 2 assists and now a ring on his finger – 20 pts in 20 games, this essential forward dominated the ice. Drew doughty, with 6 pts in 6 games answered each call to action; also helped his team secure the crown. And big time and an ecstatic Mike Richards, with 15 pts in 20 games, said he’s been “thinking about this point a million times in my life. We really wanted this and really wanted to give it to them (LA) at home”. LA couldn’t have had a happier ending. Now with a line-up of champion players not going anywhere, they are the team to beat.
But we cannot forget that it was Darryl Sutter that had taken this team from ground zero to Champions in just 7 short months. Whether it was making huge moves like benching the captain for 5 minutes, refusal for line changes, or pairing Richards and Carter, the strategic tactics and determination of Sutter led the LA Kings to their victory of the cup.
Both teams putting in a valiant effort throughout the finals, but in the end it was the Kings that blew out the Devils – no contest! I wonder if they’ll be contenders next year?
Congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings our new Stanley Cup Champions!