Tag Archives: Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles Kings Win First Stanley Cup in Franchise History

If you thought the Kings were going to blow a 3-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals and put a damper on what has been an improbable run, you found out this evening that they had more integrity than that.

In the first three games of the finals, Los Angeles made quick work of the New Jersey Devils, outscoring them 8-2 only to falter with the champagne on ice twice in a row in Games 4 and 5.

But every closer needs to walk the bases loaded every once in a while, right?

For nearly a week now, we’ve heard speculation that the Kings are incapable of “getting it done,” that their luck may have run out.

We’ve also heard the reminders of the meltdown experienced by the 1942 Detroit Red Wings, the last team to lose four straight games in the Stanley Cup Finals after winning the first three.

But when the pressure was on for the Kings, they closed.  When the pundits started to question their ability to play in a tight series after dominating the playoffs, they answered.

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Before tonight, a Kings Stanley Cup was the kind of thing that only happened in video games.

And when they first skated onto the ice in front of a sold-out, raucous Staples Center crowd, they did not disappoint.

In the first period, the Kings showed why they belonged atop the hockey throne, taking advantage of three early power play opportunities and propelling themselves to a 3-0 lead.

Jumping to an early lead made an excited Staples Center crowd that much harder to deal with for the Devils.  It also built confidence for the Kings, who knew that the first team to score in each previous game had gone on to win.

Kings center Jeff Carter traded goals with Devils center Adam Henrique in the second period to make the score 4-1, and the Kings all but hoisted the cup during the middle of the third, scoring back-to-back goals in the last five minutes of what was ultimately a 6-1 victory.

What’s so amazing about the first-time NHL champions is that their season began with very few title hopes.  On December 12th, the Kings were limping along with a 13-13-4 record and fired then-coach Terry Murray.

Still, the team thrived in the underdog role, earning the No. 8 seed then obliterating the competition in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Led by players like center Anze Kopitar and playoff MVP goalie Jonathan Quick, this group of scrappy players did what “The Great One” could not in Los Angeles in 1991-1992 and defied the odds for a title.

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Jonathan Quick went 16-4 between the pipes for the Kings this postseason

In all likelihood, a win of this magnitude will turn more Los Angelinos into hockey fans, something that has needed to happen for a while, as hockey fans tend to be some of the most die-hard individuals in American professional sports.

Even more than Barry Melrose needs his hair gel, the Los Angeles Kings needed this Stanley Cup.

And they got it.

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Tips for a Panicked Lakers Front Office

Well, here you have it Lakers fans.  Your team is once again out of the playoffs and the Western Conference Semifinals are quickly becoming your kryptonite.

It seems as though next season there are only two certainties with the team—that Kobe Bryant will continue to be the centerpiece and that Jack Nicholson will be courtside.

Andrew Bynum consistently showed his All-Star ability but always remains an injury risk.

An absent Pau Gasol appears at the moment to be an immovable piece with not too many teams having the financial means to take on the 19-million dollar contract of a man who appeared to be taking a vacation from boxing out and dunking.

Ramon Sessions flashed potential at the point guard position but is unsigned beyond the 2012-2013 season.

Los Angeles is a basketball city with a rich tradition that refuses to accept mediocrity.  To quote Saturday Night Live’s “Bob and Bill Schwersky’s Superfans,” the expectation is generally a “minimum eight-peat.”

Since the snow-covered moving vans pulled into the Forum back in 1960, the Lakers have reigned as the crown jewel (sorry, LA Kings) of the city.  In order to prevent the Lake Show from being cast aside in favor of a younger, livelier Lob City brand, I have devised a few guidelines the Lakers should consider.

1. Give Mike Brown a couple of years– Sure, his hiring went unrecognized by Kobe for nearly a month and his team failed to mesh down the stretch but Phil Jackson’s last hurrah against the Dallas Mavericks will go down as one of the most notorious playoff beat-downs in NBA history.  In 2007, Brown coached LeBron James and the Nonexistent Supporting Cast (my future band name) to the NBA Finals and there is no reason he can’t do the same with the Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers: Practicing bench dance moves since 2003.

2. Make things right with Derek Fisher– Everyone knows Derek Fisher is not the point guard he once was and has never been a piece to build a team around, but his trade gave the Lakers a black eye that they certainly didn’t need in mid-May.  If the season ends and he decides to hang up the sneakers, Lakers management needs to do the right thing and reach out to Fisher to silence all the rabble-rousers.

No. 2 doesn’t have to hang from the rafters any time soon, but the two sides need to reconcile their differences.

3. Sign Dwight Howard and put him in couples therapy with Kobe- If only NBA signings came with a test drive.  On paper, a Kobe Bryant-Dwight Howard dynamic duo (if Dwight even wants to make the trip out West) is a match made in heaven, but personality-wise it has the makings of a battle between two divas.  Whatever changes the Lakers decide to make (and they will make changes), they need to be sure to receive an affirmative Kobe face before putting pen to paper.

Lakers fans haven’t seen this Blue Steel-esque look in over two years.

4. Relax! Didn’t you just come off of back-to-back titles?- Amidst all this post-elimination turmoil, the Lakers are still just two seasons removed from Kobe’s fifth NBA title and one offseason move away from once again hoisting the trophy.  No Kobe-led squad will ever imitate the Bobcats.  If all else fails, Magic Johnson can just buy the team.

Wouldn’t it be easier if everything was owned by Magic?

 

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