There we have it folks, for the first time in their 45-year existence, the Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup Champions. They have completed one of the most improbable and entertaining runs in the history of professional sports, knocking off the #1, #2, and #3 seeds en route to their six-game conquest of the new Jersey Devils.
The Check Heard Round the World
Put aside Dustin Brown’s phenomenal game, the supremacy of the Los Angeles forecheck, and Jeff Carter’s two goals; the story of the night was the five minute major by Devils goat err…winger Steve Bernier for his vicious board on Rob Scuderi.
Was the hit game misconduct-worthy? Yes, it was a hit from behind. The call itself wasn’t the issue, but the non-call seconds before on Kings skater Jared Stoll was. Stoll could have been called for boarding on Devils forward Stephen Gionta, but either the linesman missed the call or didn’t think it was worthy of a whistle (Gionta did appear to crumble on contact, which made Stoll’s hit look worse than it was). Had the Kings been assessed the 2 minute minor, play would have stopped and Bernier’s hit would never have happened, thus no 5 minute odd-man advantage for LA.
It was within those five minutes of 5 on 4 that the Kings fired three goals behind Marty Brodeur to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Having already climbed out of an 0-3 hole in the series, the Devils simply didn’t collectively have it in them to scale an early three-goal deficit. But missed call or not, there are no excuses for allowing three goals on a 5-minute penalty kill, particularly by the team that had the best penalty killing unit in NHL history this regular season. That, however, was a story unto itself during the playoffs. The Devils killed off power plays at an NHL-record 89.6 percent clip this season. During the playoffs, that success rate dropped to 74.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Dustin Brown’s role in this Los Angeles team cannot be overstated. Throughout the playoffs he’s brought solid play, timely scoring (20 points), heart, and a physical presence on the ice. In a game where New Jersey possessed the momentum at the puck drop, Brown’s goal gave the Kings early control. In games 1-3 LA scored first and ended up winning, and last night was no different. The Captain came up big when it mattered most, facilitating the first two goals, at which point the Devils seemed to simply fold up.
The first came on a deflection off a shot from the point, but the second was all Brown as he eluded defenders to move into the slot from the off-wing, and rifled a wrist shot over Brodeur’s catching glove (though Jeff Carter would eventually get credit for tipping it on the way in).
Jeff Carter and Mike Richards
After being brought in as hired guns, the two ex-Philadelphia Flyers proved to be huge components of the Kings playoff run, anchoring the second line. 28 points in the postseason between the two of them — not bad for a pair of troublemakers.
16-4 with 3 shutouts in the playoffs and a well-deserved Conn Smythe for the Connecticut native. Fitting that his first Cup comes against Martin Brodeur, the very same man whom his childhood idol Mike Richter outdueled in 1994.
Fan Hub Action
Marcy Kelly June 12th
Wow! I must have listened to a completely differnt press conference. Oh, wait- you convinently left off all of the good things they just got…
Nathan Devine June 5th
The dude is nasty. The fastball is REAL heavy at 97-100. Steady improvement every year.
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Charlie Lobosco May 23rd
Ask Craig; I’ll say it again; not the best relief pitcher ever; the best MLB player ever. Yes, that includes everyone.
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
June 18th, 2013 3:14 PM
ALL TIME FAVES
April 29th, 2013 12:20 PM
April 15th, 2013 11:56 AM
March 22nd, 2013 9:37 PM
April 30th, 2013 3:22 PM