First and foremost Allsports would like to congratulate the Los Angeles Kings on winning their first Stanley Cup in the sports news and sports on the web. They have waited 44 years to bring the hardware home and that is about as long as Toronto has been waiting for the Maple Leafs to win it again. You see the Maple Leafs won it in 1967 and the very next year the Los Angeles Kings were part of the first wave of NHL expansion. Allsports finally got it right in the prediction department as I stated at the beginning of the final that the Kings would win it in 6 games and that is exactly what they did.
The Kings were the first 8th seeded team to win Lord Stanley’s Mug so they will still get their name in the NHL record book even though they missed out on tying the 1988 Oilers for the fewest games to win it. In essences it seemed like momentum and lady luck deserted the Devils after being firmly in their corner for the previous two games. The ladies seemed to fill their dance card with the home side on this night. Let me elaborate without digressing too much.
The game was relatively even although the Kings were pressing a little more. Then at about the ten minute mark of the first period Steve Bernier took a major boarding penalty for hitting Rob Scuderi from behind. On the ensuing five minute power play the Kings scored three times and for all intents and purposes the hill became too steep for the Devils to climb. As far as lady luck was concerned, seconds earlier the Referee’s missed a hit from behind on Stephen Gionta by Jarret Stoll. If that gets called there is no major to Bernier. The Devils were a little hot as they should be but you can’t change the call. The Devils had more bad luck when Patrick Elias hit the post in the last minute of the first. The goal would have been a huge boost to the Devils going into the dressing room.
The back breaking goal for the Devils, the Kings 4th, had an assist from the Linesman. He got in the way of Devils Defenseman Anton Volchenkov, thus allowing the Kings forward to circle the net and set up in the Devils zone, seconds later Jeff Carter scored the Kings fourth goal and that was all she wrote. By the end of the second period the Devils had taken 43 minutes in penalties while the Kings had taken 2. The Kings penalty was an excuse me call in the last minute of the period. This game was not a glowing endorsement for NHL officiating and it was too bad that it had play in such an important game. I am sure the crew that did the game will get torn a new you know what for embarrassing the fraternity. The best officiating is when they are hardly noticed by the fans. The Kings scored a couple more, one into the empty net to make the final 6-1 but really the final nail in the Devils coffin was the fourth goal. Here is some video of the final seconds.
It has been a long wait for the Kings alumni and Allsports is sure they are celebrating right along with the Kings of 2012. Kelly Hrudey could hardly contain himself on the air with CBC. Kelly is a Hockey Night in Canada host now but he was the Kings goalie back in 1993 when they went to the cup final against Montreal. That was the year Montreal had something like 10 overtime wins on their way to the cup. Other guys that are enjoying this and know the trials the team went through are Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor and Charlie Simmer, known as the triple crown line. Luc Robitaille who works in the Kings front office now and fashioned a great career for a kid that could not skate or speak English when he came into the league in 1986-87. Oh and for those of you that don’t know, the kid that most scouts said could not skate just happens to be the Highest scoring left winger in NHL history with 668 goals and 1394 points and played for 19 seasons. Finally you can’t go through the Kings alumni without mentioning, the Great one, Wayne Gretzky. This guy needs no introduction and holds pretty much every scoring record there is in the NHL. Gretzky’s trade to LA in the summer of 1988 really gave a boost to hockey on the west coast in general and the King’s in particular. The Kings needed a star because LA is where the stars are and they got it in Gretzky. Some might say that he is the main reason why there are three teams in California now. It sure as hell would not be Garry Bettman.
So another year of NHL hockey is in the books and the L.A. Kings are the champions. And for us die hard Toronto Maple Leafs fans, maybe we will get there next year. After all it was not too long ago that the Kings were cellar dwellers and now there the champs.
“No Guts No Glory”
P.S. Jonathan Quick was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was a very deserving winner but as is the case when ever you win a championship there were others who would have to be considered too.
Filed under: Hockey