the Los Angeles Kings are truly the Kings of the National Hockey League and winners of the Stanley Cup as they defeated the New Jersey Devils, 6-1 in game six tonight.
As I noted in an earlier post, I have been a Kings fan for roughly 34 years. I was the first one in my family to watch hockey, got all my brothers interested and hooked and we have been fans ever since.
To me there is nothing like ice hockey. It is fast, hard hitting, and in so many ways indescribable.
Hockey changed in Los Angeles in 1989 when new owner Bruce McNall made a blockbuster trade that brought the greatest hockey player evah, Wayne Gretzky, to the Left Coast. Within five years, the Kings made their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals, but lost to the mighty Montreal Canadiens, four games to one.
And there were a lot of years that the Kings were in the wilderness.
But this year, some things happened in mid-season that changed the fate of the Kings.
A coaching change was made in December when Terry Murray was replaced by Daryl Sutter. He brought new life into the Kings. They went from a defense-minded team to being able to score goals and play the D. And what can you say about Jonathan Quick, the goalie that went 16-4 in the playoffs?
While the Kings barely made it as the eight and last seed in the Western Conference (formally the Clarance Campbell Conference), they defeated the best team in the Western Conference. The Vancouver Canucks fell four games to one. Then came the second best team in the conference, the St. Louis Blues. And it was a four-game sweep for the Kings. Then came the third best team in the conference, the Phoenix Coyotes. And another four game to one series. Only two games over the minimal possible number of games to play. And then came the sixth-seed in the Eastern Conference (formally the Prince of Wales Conference)), the New Jersey Devils.
Ahh, the Devils. They have been down this road before. They started life as the Kansas City Scouts, and well that did not work out too well. After a couple of seasons in K. C., well they became the original Colorado Rockies until 1982, when they moved to East Rutherford, New Jersey and became the Devils.
The Devils have three Stanley Cups under their belts. But this time, well they were not gonna get number four.
The Kings played amazing winning the first two games by identical scores of 2-1 in overtime both games. Then they came back here to Los Angeles and won again. It was the Kings up three games to none. But in game four, the Devils came back to life and won that game, forcing a trip back to New Jersey. And the Devs pulled off the win in game five and forced a game six back here in Los Angeles.
And tonight it was a magical night for us who have spent many a season disappointed. We are so happy that it is unfrickingbelievable to write the following.
Los Angeles Kings, 2011-2012 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!