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.
May 22, 2013, 9:06 AM EDT
It’s not clear if they will be available on Thursday.
May 22, 2013, 8:02 AM EDT
The match starts at 7:30 p.m. ET.
May 22, 2013, 7:13 AM EDT
Wednesday’s collection of links.
May 22, 2013, 2:59 AM EDT
He was pretty good.
May 22, 2013, 2:23 AM EDT
Series tied 2-2.
May 22, 2013, 1:29 AM EDT
You be the judge.
May 22, 2013, 1:07 AM EDT
An apology was issued.
May 22, 2013, 12:54 AM EDT
Turning into a heck of a series.
May 22, 2013, 12:21 AM EDT
Lots happening in this one. More highlights coming, by the way.
May 21, 2013, 11:26 PM EDT
Been dealing with plenty of traffic in front of him all throughout playoffs.
May 21, 2013, 11:14 PM EDT
Does the league take a look at this?
May 21, 2013, 11:07 PM EDT
Where did this scoring come from?
May 21, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
The comments are now open.
May 21, 2013, 10:07 PM EDT
Both make their series debuts tonight.
May 21, 2013, 9:13 PM EDT
That’s a long way up to do that.
May 21, 2013, 7:37 PM EDT
This might be getting old to him by now.
May 21, 2013, 6:49 PM EDT
He was banged up roughly in Game 3.
May 21, 2013, 6:08 PM EDT
A 13-percent rise from last year.
May 21, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Off to a surprising 2-1 series lead over Chicago.
May 21, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT
He’ll replace Peter Horachek, who was fired yesterday.
- Playoffs Tonight: Senators confident they can beat Penguins 6
- Video: Kings denied a goal after quick whistle 21
- Tweet from L.A. Kings Twitter account stirs controversy 23
- Discuss: Sharks take Game 4, even semifinal series against Kings 10
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead 76
- Video: Callahan gets away with high-sticking Chara 24
- Playoffs Tonight: Kings look for ‘killer instinct’ against Sharks 10
- Brother says Patrick Roy will be Avs’ head coach 21
- Video: Controversy colors Blackhawks goal, disallowed score 57
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago 88
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (88)
- Discuss: Bruins rally in third, take 3-0 series lead (76)
- McPhee says lack of power plays ‘didn’t feel right’; Torts says Washington is ‘whining’ (70)
- Sharks pull even with Kings
- Garcia's fried chicken jibe inappropriate, Tiger says
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- PBT: Nick Gilbert again Cavs' good luck charm
- PBT: Grizzlies figuring out Spurs after Game 2
- PBT: Spurs survive Grizzlies' late run, win in OT
- PHT: Bruins rally in third, put Rangers in 3-0 hole