|The 2012 Cup Champion Kings|
|Captain Dustin Brown and Lord Stanley's Mug|
And I called this win two months ago. Truth be told, I have been saying the Kings were a dangerous Cup contender for a couple of years now, but stopped short of actually predicting they would win until this year. If only I had put money on it, somehow. In my blog posts about Round One, Round Two, Round Three and, ultimately, the Finals I stated repeatedly that I thought that this was "the Kings' year". They won the first three series in far fewer games than I had predicted, though, because as much as I thought this team was the odds-on favourite to win it all, I had no idea they were going to so completely crush the spirits of the three top teams in the Western Conference. And then in my post about the final round, I said this:
I am picking the Los Angeles Kings to win their first-ever Stanley Cup at home in the Staples Centre on Monday, June 11, 2012.Yup. Pretty proud of myself for that one.
|Goalie Jonathan Quick: playoff MVP|
New Jersey will likely complain for a long time about this call in the first period last night, but I'm not buying it. Steve Bernier hammered Rob Scuderi into the boards from behind and was given an entirely-deserved (but still, a gutsy call by the ref) game misconduct for boarding. The Kings scored three times on that five-minute power play and that was really all there was to it. They scored another very early in the second and the Devils were done. It looked for a while like the disgusting goonery of the first round might return with a vengeance, but a couple of well-timed misconduct penalties by the refs put an end to that. Eventually all that was left was the countdown to this moment of pure, unbridled joy that anyone who has ever played in and won a championship game can relate to implicitly:
|Drew Doughty (left) and Jonathan Quick at the final buzzer|
|Martin Brodeur and Jonathan Quick|
But if that's true, if Donald Fehr (who led the Major League Baseball Players Union to the 1994 strike that cancelled the World Series for the first time in 90 years) is his usual intractable self and helps bring about the second missed season in nine years, then at least we'll still have this memory of the end of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
|Looks to me like it was worth the wait|
And whenever the NHL finally resumes, there will now only be two teams tied with the longest Cup-less drought: the St. Louis Blues and the Toronto Maple Leafs. I pray that Brian Burke's collar just got a little bit tighter.