Dec 25, 2012, 8:00 AM EST
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.
Jan 29, 2015, 12:30 AM EST
Washington is now three points back of Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:51 PM EST
Weren’t at all inspired Tuesday.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:28 PM EST
That’s a nice set up.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:05 PM EST
Christian Ehrhoff was hurt on the play.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:43 PM EST
Had the edge in shots, and shot attempts, but only one point to show for.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:15 PM EST
High expectations in Chicago.
Jan 28, 2015, 9:53 PM EST
“Feeling the flow. Working it. Working it.”
Jan 28, 2015, 9:39 PM EST
Western Conference foes.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:50 PM EST
Washington’s young forward landed some bombs.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:31 PM EST
His 28th of the season, kicking off Rivalry Night.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:14 PM EST
Now you can see who leads the league in Corsis!
Jan 28, 2015, 7:30 PM EST
They’ll take on Chicago at Staples.
Jan 28, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Pens captain returns after missing Tuesday’s win over Winnipeg.
Jan 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EST
Rivalry night on NBCSN.
Jan 28, 2015, 5:55 PM EST
Is expected to be released today.
Jan 28, 2015, 5:21 PM EST
Sharks, Ducks, Kings, Flames, and Oilers will all have their affiliates in the west next season.
Jan 28, 2015, 4:44 PM EST
That’s a picture of Milwaukee.
Jan 28, 2015, 3:02 PM EST
The Los Angeles Kings are bad at the shootout, and the Buffalo Sabres are good at it.
Jan 28, 2015, 2:15 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Jan 28, 2015, 1:51 PM EST
An incident against Philly on Jan. 19 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
- Video: Tempers boil over between Capitals, Penguins 26
- Isles’ Clutterbuck latest to be fined for diving 18
- No hearing scheduled for Kesler after ‘dirty play’ on Dorsett 22
- Why NHL fans — no matter where they live — should care about the plunging Canadian dollar 32
- Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc 63
- Video: Habs’ Emelin ejected for hit on Stars’ Spezza 31
- Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated) 41
- Mike Richards clears waivers 35
- Game on: Islanders-Rangers to be played despite storm 15
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang 58