When the regular season starts in October, every single team in the National Hockey League has dreams of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. To win the prized trophy, each team must go through 82 regular season games, qualify for the playoffs, and then win four best-of-seven series. Today, a champion was crowned.
On behalf of the entire Puck Drunk Love staff, we’d like to say congratulations to the Los Angeles Kings on winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. We would also like to congratulate the New Jersey Devils for having a terrific season. Aside from the Steve Bernier play, you pretty much matched the Kings step for step. If you would have asked us at the start of the playoffs, I hardly doubt anyone would have picked a Los Angeles-New Jersey Final.
In typical Hollywood fashion, this year has been a roller coaster for the team. Besides having to overcome plenty of offensive doubts, they also had to adjust after a mid-season coaching change. The Kings finished the season with a record of 40-27-15 (95 Points), which placed them as the 8th and final seed in the Western Conference. Once the playoffs began, you could say the rest is history:
Western Conference Quarterfinals: Kings defeat Canucks (4-1)
Western Conference Semifinals: Kings defeat Blues (4-0)
Western Conference Finals: Kings defeat Coyotes (4-1)
Stanley Cup Finals: Kings defeat Devils (4-2)
Playoffs MVP: Jonathan Quick
The Kings playoff run has been some of the most impressive hockey ever played since the current playoff format was finalized in 1987. They looked unstoppable until they lost two games in a row during the finals.
It is not out of the question that the Kings could build on their Stanley Cup season in the next few years. Their top offensive group of Kopitar, Richards, Carter, and Williams are signed at least for the next 3 seasons. If they can resign Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown, the team may be a frequent qualifier for the playoffs.
(photo credit: Harry How/Getty Images)