Kings win first Stanley Cup! (2013)

From: System16 Nov 2015 12:45
To: ALL1 of 2
From:  Razz (RAZZMAN)  
 To:  ALL
Congrats to the new Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings! They annihilated the Devils 6-1 to put the finishing touch on an amazing post season run that lead to Lord Stanley's Silver. A major boarding penalty on Steve Bernier set the stage that allowed the Kings to put 3 quick ones on Marty Brodeur during the 5-minute power play and there was no looking back for the Kings.

Kings rout Devils 6-1 to win first Cup

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

Tuesday, 06.12.2012 / 1:29 AM

LOS ANGELES -- This is a city of glitz and glamor, so the pregame video just before the Los Angeles Kings have taken the ice at Staples Center during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs appropriately is accompanied by multicolored spotlights, a laser show and images projected onto the playing surface.

The heart of the video, though, goes to the soul of this sport. There are pictures of the Kings in their youth, boys wearing over-sized hockey equipment who dreamed of reaching the pinnacle of the sport they loved.

The boys in those faded photos arrived there Monday night.

Los Angeles, on the strength of three power-play goals in the first period, finished off the New Jersey Devils with a 6-1 victory in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, earning the franchise's first championship in its 45-year history.

"They've been waiting longer than I have, this city," captain Dustin Brown said. "You dream of winning the Cup, and you know what, I'm glad I was the first King to ever lift it."

Captain Dustin Brown #23 of the Los Angeles Kings holds up the Stanley Cup after the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 to win the Stanley Cup series 4-2 after Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The victory caps one of the most remarkable postseason runs in League history. Los Angeles was in 11th place in the Western Conference with 14 games remaining in the regular season, and the Kings didn't earn a spot in the postseason until during Game No. 81.

From that point, the Kings were nearly unstoppable. Los Angeles became the first No. 8 seed to win the Cup, the first team to defeat the top three teams in its conference and the first team with any seed to win the first three games of all four series, including the first two on the road in each round.

"I don't know, I can't even describe it," veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell, who at 35 years old the eldest of the Kings, said after winning the Cup for the first time. "Everyone played road hockey as a kid. We had a green garbage can that everyone would go around and pose with it.

"We just did it for real, baby. This is awesome. ... It has been a good journey. We faced a lot of adversity this year, but we found a way to dig ourselves out the hole and get to this point. It is pretty unique."

The Devils proved to be the Kings' toughest foe, staving off elimination twice before finally succumbing Monday night at Staples Center. New Jersey also had a pretty incredible postseason run, knocking off coach Peter DeBoer's old team, the Florida Panthers, before vanquishing division rivals Philadelphia and the New York Rangers en route to the franchise's fifth Eastern Conference title since 1995.

New Jersey missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2010-11 for the first time in 14 seasons, as the Devils finished in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. But Martin Brodeur played better in this postseason than he has in several springs, and the Devils advanced past the second round for the first time since last winning the Cup in 2003.

"I'm proud of our group," DeBoer said. "You know, you put some men together and you play 110 games I think we played, on the ice every day, I couldn't be prouder of them as a group."

A year ago Tim Thomas capped one of the best postseasons in League history by a goaltender by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. All Quick did was author a better run one year later. He finished the 2012 playoffs with a 16-4 record, a .946 save percentage and a 1.41 goals against average to earn the playoff MVP award.

Four of the first five games in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final were incredibly close. Game 6 changed dramatically on one play. Steve Bernier hit defenseman Rob Scuderi behind the Kings' net and was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct at 10:10.

Bernier was given a major penalty because of the severity of the violence on the boarding infraction. Once a major is assessed, Rule 41.5 states that if the penalty results in an injury to the face or head (Scuderi was bleeding), then it is an automatic game misconduct.

Brown opened the scoring at 11:03 of the first on a tip-in when Drew Doughty sent the puck toward the slot. Jeff Carter deflected Brown's shot from the slot past Brodeur at 12:45 to make it 2-0. Trevor Lewis made it 3-0 in the final seconds of the power play when he put in the rebound of a Dwight King shot at 15:01.

The Kings had just six power-play goals in the first three rounds of the playoffs; they matched that total in six games against the NHL's top penalty-killing team during the regular season.

"It was huge," center Anze Kopitar said of the three goals on Bernier's penalty. "The way the game started for us was unbelievable. [Brown] is our leader and our captain. You can't ask for more than he brought tonight."

Carter scored his second of the night and eighth of the postseason 90 seconds into the second period to push the lead to four goals. Brown carried the puck into the zone, and Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov collided with linesman Pierre Racicot while trying to stay with him. The Kings' captain eventually got the puck to Carter for a high shot from just beyond the hash marks that beat Brodeur.

Adam Henrique got the Devils on the board with 73 seconds left in the second period. He put in the rebound of a Petr Sykora shot for his fifth of the postseason. Lewis, into an empty net, and defenseman Matt Greene added late tallies for the Kings.

Brown became the first player in a Kings sweater to lift the Cup, and the first American since Derian Hatcher in 1999 to receive it from Commissioner Gary Bettman. He scored the big goals early in this postseason, and his crunching body checks of Henrik Sedin and Michal Rozsival proved to be defining moments in two series en route to the Final.

There was once a lineage of great Los Angeles centers, from Marcel Dionne to Bernie Nicholls to Wayne Gretzky -- who was at center ice before Game 3. Kopitar has rekindled that tradition, and his spectacular postseason affirmed his place among the League's elite, complete players. He was responsible for several of the signature goals during this run, from a remarkable shorthanded tally against St. Louis, to an overtime breakaway in Game 1 of the Final and a perfect finish from Brown in Game 3.

"This is unreal. Every single emotion in me is coming out," Kopitar said. "The biggest thing has been the belief inside the locker room. We had 25 guys believing in one thing. I can't be more proud of the guys."

Brown and Kopitar finished tied for the League lead in this postseason in goals (eight, along with five other players) and points (20).

The Devils had matched an NHL record by avoiding elimination four times in this postseason, including twice in this series, but their inability to solve Quick, more than anything, was their undoing. He allowed only seven goals [the Devils also scored an empty-netter] in the six games.

"Obviously, Darryl [Sutter] came in [December] and I felt like everybody felt a little more accountable for their own actions, their day-to-day play, practice, everything," Quick said with the Conn Smythe Trophy sitting next to him. "Obviously at the end of the day, you know, no matter what, it's got to come from the room and guys have to make a decision to work. I think we did that. You can't say enough about this group and how hard they worked."
From: System16 Nov 2015 12:46
To: ALL2 of 2
From:  Razz (RAZZMAN)  
 To:  ALL
Bucky Gleason talks about Dustin Brown and his role in leading the Kings to their first Stanley Cup...

Brown delivers knockout punch when his team needed him most

By Bucky Gleason
Buffalo News NHL Columnist

Updated: June 12, 2012, 12:11 AM

LOS ANGELES — Dustin Brown wasn't sure how to express himself with the celebration around him after the game. He had handed off the Stanley Cup to teammate Willie Mitchell a good 20 minutes earlier and still hadn't collected himself, stopping briefly and saying nothing and everything just the same.

"There are so many people behind this team," Brown said. "I don't know, man. Words can't explain it."

What do you say after coming through in the biggest game of your life?

Brown was the guy who had essentially called upon himself for answers after the machine known as the Los Angeles Kings started coughing and sputtering on the way to the finish line. He did what the best leaders should do in that situation: He figured out a way to carry his team when it needed him most.

The Kings' captain had seven goals and was the team's heart and soul for three rounds before suddenly losing steam in the Stanley Cup final. He had only one assist to show for the best-of-seven series, a fact that had gone largely unnoticed with the Kings on the verge of sweeping the Devils.

Doubts about whether the Kings would bring home their first Stanley Cup title in their 45-year history crept into their dressing room when they lost the fourth game, then the fifth. Let's face it, they would have been reeling, and likely losing, if forced to play a seventh game in New Jersey.

It seemed rather fitting Monday night, with so much energy in the building and the Kings facing a must-or-bust situation, that Brown scored the first goal, set up the second goal and effectively put Los Angeles in the driver's seat. Their biggest gamer came to the rescue in their biggest game.

Brown helped get the Kings back on the right road, and they stormed through the Devils in a 6-1 victory to win the Stanley Cup before 18,858 fans in Staples Center. They became the first eighth seed to win the title since the NHL implemented its current format in 1993. They were anything but mediocre in the postseason.

The Kings took advantage of a boneheaded play by former Sabres forward Steve Bernier, who was nearly out of the league before the season began. He was out of the game before the first intermission when he unloaded on Rob Scuderi from behind.

It was the kind of hit that could draw the attention of NHL warden Brendan Shanahan, but Sheriff Shanny could show compassion in this case. Bernier served enough punishment in a quiet dressing room while the Kings scored three power-play goals on the ensuing major penalty. Adding a suspension for next year might amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Ultimately, the Kings clinched the series over the Devils much the way they dominated the Canucks, Blues and Coyotes before them. They built a big lead and applied more pressure than their opponents could withstand. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur was under siege for most of the first period and had no chance of stopping Brown's goal.

Mike Richards, the key component of the Kings' blockbuster trade last summer with the Flyers, started the play when he eased a pass inside the blue line to Drew Doughty. The defenseman waited for Brown to get himself in scoring position and left a pass on his tape that Brown directed into an open net.

Three great players, one great goal.

Just as Brown ordered. It started with him.

"Starting with him is right," Richards said. "He was unbelievable. Every time we needed a big game, certainly in this playoff, he stepped up in a big way. You can't say enough about him. He was unbelievable."

Brown initially was given credit for the second goal but the Ithaca native earned an assist when Jeff Carter grabbed a piece of his shot from the slot. Two goals less than two minutes apart, and the Kings were on their way.

Trevor Lewis gave them a 3-0 lead moments later, and Bernier's worst nightmare came true. Carter, who was acquired from Columbus at the trade deadline, waltzed through the zone like it was Saturday night skate-and-shoot, burying a pass from Brown for a 4-0 lead and turning Game Six into a day at the beach in Southern California.

Game, set, match.

"This is the most resilient group I've ever been a part of," Richards said. "We lost a couple of games in the finals and didn't let it shake us. Our captain led the way tonight. This is an unbelievable feeling."

All that remained was a long celebration that was 4 1/2 decades in the making. Whatever drama that came through the doors before the game left after the first period. The only uncertainty was whether goaltender Jonathan Quick would post a shutout and collect the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

And he did collect the hardware.

Quick was superb for two months but was barely tested Monday. He faced only 10 shots in the first two periods and had a 4-1 lead after Adam Henrique scored late in the second. Quick wasn't going to allow four more. The Kings gave up only 31 goals in four rounds, the same number Pittsburgh surrendered as Philadelphia delivered a first-round KO.

An eighth seed winning the Cup comes as a surprise because it never happened, but the real shock was the Kings struggling all season. They came together after the Kings hired hard-nosed coach Darryl Sutter, who pushed his team in the second half of the season until they began pushing one another.

They could have buckled after losing two straight games in the final. They would have been left at the curb had they lost Monday and been forced to play a seventh game. Brown took control and showed them the way.

"Your best players need to be your best players," Brown said. "We've had that all year. Today, there was an opportunity to do something special. Our big guys stepped up. It was a team effort. We had everyone playing. It's been the key to our success."