The Los Angeles Kings have won their 2nd cup in 3 years, capping off a great season for them that was almost as good as the 2014 playoffs in general. Throughout the season, they were the top team in terms of corsi, they have a goalie who is lights out when he’s on (I like to compare him to American goalie Jim Craig for that reason), and all the intangibles that a team needs, including a good coach, playoff experience, and grit and balls.
So this was a very deserving team to win. I’m still shocked that they were able to win against the Kings after laying the bed so badly in the first 3 games of the series, but the fact is that they did. Let’s mention a few guys who deserve a lot of recognition for the Stanley Cup going back to Los Angeles.
- Darryl Sutter: I wouldn’t mention him first, except I think that a lot of people are gonna forget to give him credit. A rate of 2 cups in 3 years is very impressive, given that the Kings had to run through the Western Conference of 2012 and especially 2014. And, even with a ton of talent, you’re not the best possession team in the league or near it for multiple years without great coaching.
- Anze Kopitar: Insane playoffs. My choice for the Conn Smythe, but what do I know. Kopitar can do everything, from scoring, assisting, being a Selke nominee, and coming up at the right times. He’s the Patrice Bergeron of the Western Conference, right there with Jonathan Toews.
- Justin Williams: A very deserving winner of the Conn Smythe. One of the most clutch players I’ve ever seen, and I don’t see him stopping his clutch ways anytime soon. He’s gonna make so much more than the $3.65 million he’s making now with an extension this summer.
- Marian Gaborik: Had some major questions on him when he was traded, but answered all of them and then some. The Kings might actually be able to resign him, but he’ll make a ton this summer either way.
- Columbus Blue Jackets: The Jackets’ general managers have now given the Kings Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik on the way to a Cup. Here’s to hoping that the Toronto Maple Leafs will make another dumb trade with the Bruins again.