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Monday, June 11, saw the first Stanley Cup victory for the Los Angeles Kings since the team began forty-five years ago. The Kings faced off against the New Jersey Devils in Game six to finally take the cup with a 6-1 score.
The series was tight at 3-2. The Kings won the first three games in the series but the Devils came back strong and won the next 2 games. New Jersey Devils Captain Zach Parise said before game 6, “I don’t see any reason we should be over-confident or satisfied. We’re still down 3-2.”
In the first quarter of Game 6, Steve Bernier got a five-minute penalty for boarding and game misconduct after he hit Rob Scuderi from behind. After Bernier’s penalty the Kings started scoring; Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, and Trevor Lewis scored goals all in the first quarter after the penalty. It seemed as though the Devils lost their composure early on and were not able to muster a comeback.
The penalty from Bernier was not the first time violence broke out in the playoffs; although most of the games were clean, Game 5 saw a nasty scrum play out after a whistle blow. Kings forward Mike Richards said, “when you play a team five times in a week-and-a-half, it’s going to get a little more heated.”
Both teams had a great show of talent. Drew Doughty of the Kings had the worst season since his rookie year but the Finals was his best performance yet. Doughty scored two goals in the game and led the team in ice time. According to the Bleacher Report, Doughty did not play to his full potential this year.
Jonathan Quick of the Kings also demonstrated his talent, doing much better in the finals than his counterpart and veteran player Martin Brodeur. He didn’t give more than three goals in any game. Although the offensive improvements were important to the teams success, Quick’s fantastic defense was vital and provided the confidence the team needed to win.
Adam Henrique turned out to be the most impressive player for the Devils throughout the series, according to Bleach Report. He did well with power plays as well as penalty kills and has often been overshadowed by fellow teammates Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.
Martin Brodeur, goaltender for the Devils did much worse than usual. The forty year old player and three time Stanley Cup winner only surrendered two goals in the last two games; however, this game saw him not at his best.
Several current and former NHL players tweeted their congratulations to the Kings. Gabriel Ladeskog of the Colorado Avalanches said, “if the Kings playoff run didn’t inspire all hockey players out there I don’t know what will. Congrats LA. Well deserved.” James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers wrote, “congrats to the kings; what a feeling that must be.”
Will Wheaton, known for his roles on “The Big Bang Theory” and “Star Trek” tweeted as well, writing, “I think my celebrating set off a car alarm five blocks away.”