It has taken the city of Los Angeles 44 years to take this moment. Joining the NHL in 1967 – who knew it would have taken this long. But wait no more city of angels, the Stanley Cup is yours. In a closely matched series where both teams had a fair shake at winning every game, The Los Angeles Kings capitalized on a boarding penalty to Steve Bernier. Halfway through the first period he [Bernier] was called for boarding. Because of the severity, he was given five minutes, because of the injury, they added the game misconduct. The rest, was history in the making.
Armed with a five minute powerplay, the Kings poured it on, and for five minutes, turned the New Jersey Devils defensive zone into a shooting gallery, and Martin Brodeur was the target – only the Kings weren’t shooting at the target, they were getting their shots behind the target. With a five minute power play, the Kings poured on three goals – and added another three throughout the game, including an empty netter to defeat the New Jersey Devils and win the Stanley Cup.
It wasn’t the best way to see Martin Brodeur end his career. As the final minutes ticked off the game clock, the camera caught Brodeur staring up at the scoreboard in disbelief, hoping and praying that time would slow down, giving his team a chance at recovering, or slipping away faster so he could get off the ice.
The story of the game was definitely the penalties. It took until game four for these two teams to starting hating each other, and tonight, there was a fair amount of blood drawn. If the Bernier major wasn’t enough to uncap the momentum for the Kings, Bryce Salvador sat for four minutes on a double minor for high sticking. Already frustrated and with a mountain of a deficit to climb, Carter and Clarkson for the Devils took misconduct penalties, and the struggling Devils were forced to play the game with a shorter bench.
Not without the controversy, the New Jersey Devils will most definitely point out the fact that the Bernier penalty should have never happened. The Devils lost their minds in this game – and should have never allowed it to get to that point. You knew the Kings were going to come out strong – you knew they wanted the Cup on home ice, and they got exactly what they wanted. The New Jersey Devils played into the hands, and were beaten by a royal flush.
With that win, Los Angeles became the first No. 8 seed to win the Cup, the first team to defeat the top three teams in the conference and the first to win the first three games of all four series, including the first two on the road in each round. Dustin Brown became the first player in a Kings sweater to lift the Stanley Cup, and the first American to receive it from Commissioner Gary Bettman since Derian Hatcher in 1999.
While the Kings struggled more against the Devils than any other foe they faced in the post season, the first trophy of the night awarded, the Conn Smythe – went to, no surprise Jonathan Quick. I had, before the series against the Devils – figured Quick would win the MVP honors. After game four, I told several people that even if the Devils win the Stanley Cup this year, so long as the Kings collapse wasn’t totally Quick’s fault – he would bring home the trophy as the losing goaltender. Quick was gracious in accepting the trophy from the commissioner Gary Bettman, was but very eager to drop it off at the bench with a member of the organization in waiting for the ultimate prize, the reason why grizzled, battered, sometimes bleeding and broken men that have played their hearts out turn into little boys on Christmas morning.
Dreams came true in Tinsel Town tonight – it wasn’t an actor or actress landing their first major role after years of starving looking for bit parts. Dreams that had been relieved on streets and frozen ponds throughout the world. Tonight my friends, we lose a companion. We lose the ability to work all day to enjoy our favorite teams at night. For 29 teams in the league – the long and lonely dog days of summer begin. For the Los Angeles Kings – tonight and for the next three months, the party is for them.
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From the team here at Fansided – congratulations to the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions
THE LOS ANGELES KINGS