Dec 25, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT
The Los Angeles Kings made history by becoming the first ever No. 8 seed to win the Stanley Cup; however, they weren’t your typical story of the little guy besting giants.
The Kings underperformed in the early part of the season, due in large part to an inability to find the back of the net despite a core of forwards that looked enviable on paper.
The team’s slow start ultimately led to Terry Murray’s dismissal as head coach and the eventual hiring of Darryl Sutter. Two months later, Kings GM Dean Lombardi acquired an unhappy Jeff Carter from Columbus. Both moves proved to be critical to the Kings’ success.
Towards the end of the season, everything started to finally click. By the time the playoffs rolled around, they weren’t just defying the odds — they were doing so with style. Since the new playoff format was adopted in 1987, the Kings are the only team to ever jump to a 3-0 lead in all four series.
Suddenly Richards, reunited with Carter, was an offensive leader once more, but he wasn’t the only one redeeming himself. The Kings were firing on all cylinders, with even guys like Dustin Penner going from the man who got injured eating pancakes to a major playoff contributor.
But goalie Jonthan Quick was the key component of the team. Unlike many of his peers, he was as consistent as he was phenomenal, excelling both during the Kings’ good and bad times.
Of course, like any Cup champion, L.A. got its fair share of luck. In the first round, the Kings played a Canucks side without Daniel Sedin. Next came the Blues, minus Jaroslav Halak and without a healthy Alex Pietrangelo. Phoenix and New Jersey were the final two opponents, neither of which was considered a serious contender heading into the postseason.
But a team can only beat the teams it plays, and Los Angeles beat all four handily.
And if this lockout ends in time to save the 2012-13 campaign, the Kings will be defending their first Stanley Cup in franchise history with a team almost identical to the one that won it.
Oct 31, 2014, 8:02 AM EDT
Phaneuf as Spider-Man is … odd.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 AM EDT
Rookie Jonathan Drouin played less than 10 minutes in the win.
Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 AM EDT
Not quite a fight.
Oct 31, 2014, 1:34 AM EDT
Michel Therrien “That was a dirty hit to the head”
Oct 31, 2014, 1:01 AM EDT
Canucks conclude October with a 7-3 record.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT
Picked up his 1,000th point.
Oct 31, 2014, 12:02 AM EDT
Scores twice in 5-0 win.
Oct 30, 2014, 11:26 PM EDT
Adds defensive depth.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:56 PM EDT
Allegedly endorsed a New York Islanders pay check to cover gambling debt
Oct 30, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT
End an 0-18 skid.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT
The play was reviewed and was ruled a good goal.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT
Collided with Alex Steen of the Blues.
Oct 30, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT
Gets a lucky bounce off Zach Parise.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT
Absent from tonight’s game against the Blackhawks.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
Was slow to the bench, but remains in the game.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Recovering from a lower body injury.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT
Nice feed to Kunitz
Oct 30, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT
Two big boys land some pretty good shots.
Oct 30, 2014, 7:07 PM EDT
Abdominal injury hits the center once again.
Oct 30, 2014, 6:28 PM EDT
Adds depth as Toronto travels to Columbus.
- Video: Burrows catches Emelin with a late hit (Updated) 6
- Report: Thomas Vanek involved in money laundering scandal 21
- Video: Devils (finally) win a shootout 4
- Video: Lucic and Stewart drop the gloves 22
- Blues lose Backes, Oshie indefinitely to concussions 5
- Struggling Coyotes ‘not anywhere good enough,’ says GM 9
- Red Wings take over third period, blank Ovechkin in win 8
- Video: Doc Emrick’s heartfelt words about Gordie Howe 5
- Rangers’ Moore suspended five games for ‘extremely difficult’ Haula hit 18
- Ovechkin looking to avoid career-long scoring slump tonight 11
- Video: John Moore with an elbow to the head of Erik Haula (Updated) (62)
- Report: Varlamov being sued by ex-girlfriend (47)
- Kreider calls Brodin hit a ‘bang-bang play,’ doesn’t plan to dramatically change his game (45)
- No hearing scheduled for Kreider after Brodin hit (44)
- Kopitar out, Lombardi irate as Kings will play shorthanded vs. Flyers (40)