I am a big fan of a Cinderella story. With that said, here’s one for you:
This year, a team came from nothing to something. A team that has not tasted that sweet victory for nearly a half of century. When everything pointed to defeat, the Los Angeles Kings took success for their first time in their 45 year history by winning the 2012 Stanley Cup.
The Los Angeles Kings journey was nothing but a roller coaster to say the least. When Head Coach Darryl Sutter replaced interim coach John Stevens in December, he was faced with some heavy adversity that most could not make positive. Sutter defied that. After going through an inconsistent season with plenty of ups and downs, the Kings compiled a solid 40-27-15 record, barely edging their way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the 8th seed.
The Kings first playoff test appeared to be a sure “one-and-done” elimination as they were against the Presidents Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks. Any coach will tell you that records do not mean a single thing when facing a team. It’s all about being hot at the right time and carrying your momentum over. The LA Kings did just that as they became the first team in the NHL to beat a top seeded team in five. That marked their first playoff winning series since 2001.
Next up, the #2 seeded St. Louis Blues. Carrying their hot hand, the Kings ferociously swept the Blues making them the first #8 seed to defeat the top two playoff seeds. A key note about LA’s playoff run thus far is how well they have been on the road having been undefeated.
Standing in the way from the Stanley Cup Finals was the #3 seed Phoenix Coyotes. Once again, the Kings momentum carried them through this one at ease as they finished them in five. The LA Kings were now headed to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1993. Hoping the outcome would be different, they had a date with the Devils.
The Stanley Cup Finals began and again, the Kings showed off their authority by digging a 3-0 hole for the Devils to dig themselves out of. On their heals, the showed some resilience and closed the gap a bit to only being down a match. Now, it was game 6 of this series and the Los Angeles Kings had a 3-2 advantage coming home. Game 6 proved to make the 45 years of hard work and determination worth while, as the Kings shock the world and pull off one of the most stunning upsets in NHL history. The Los Angeles Kings are now the 2012 Stanley Cup Champions.
Finishing the playoffs with a 10-1 road record and a 16-4 overall, the Kings highlighted their run with strong play away from home. Johnathan Quick was named Stanley Cup Finals MVP as he performed two shut-outs and played lights out for his squad throughout the playoffs. Los Angeles showed what the true meaning of what perseverance is. Those 45 long years of effort finally show something as the city of Los Angeles has something to cheer about for a lifetime.