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Kings of Hockey

June 13, 2012

The Los Angeles Kings won their first Stanley Cup going (16-4) in the playoffs and (10-1) on the road. It is a great achievement for the Western Conference 8th seed; the Kings beat the top 3 seeds in the West before winning the Cup in six games vs the New Jersey Devils.

Los Angeles won the two Monday games in Los Angeles easily; (4-0) in game 3 and (6-1) in the clincher. Otherwise the series was really competitive with three games decided by one goal, two in overtime. The Kings won both overtime games to open the series in New Jersey with Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter netting the overtime goals. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who shared a touching moment with the Devils great goaltender Martin Brodeur on the handshake line, was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Meanwhile coach Darryl Sutter, in his 5th game with a chance to win the Stanley Cup, finally did so.

Overall the playoffs were very exciting with both semi final series ending in overtime and 50 of the 87 games decided by one goal. The Kings clinched at home which ended a 4 year streak of the Cup being clinched on the road. I do not believe there has ever been a 5 year streak of road, Stanley Cup clinchers. The Stanley Cup was clinched by the home team 9 straight years from (1949-1957).

Los Angeles becomes the 6th city to have a Title in all 4 major sports leagues with the football title belonging to the Rams, (who are now in St.Louis,) in 1951. The other cities are the four United States cities that had hockey teams when the NHL had only six teams namely New York, Chicago, Detroit and Boston. Philadelphia like Los Angeles, granted an NHL franchise that began play in the 1967-1968 season, also has a title in all 4 major sports leagues. This Kings’ title with its varying perception (they were underdogs to the Vancouver Canucks and St.Louis Blues and favorites vs the Phoenix Coyotes and the Devils) and their incredible play especially on the road, is certainly one to remember.

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