In a hotly contested series, the Los Angeles Kings capped off their unlikely playoff run with the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.
Entering the NHL in the very first expansion year of 1968, the Kings fans have waited a long time to see their team win the most famous trophy in all of sports.
Jumping out to a 3-0 series lead, the Kings put New Jersey in a hole they could not climb out of, but the Devils gave it their all. Winning games 4 and 5, the Devils laid it all on the line and their fans should be proud of the effort put forth by their team.
Los Angeles entered the playoffs as the number 8 seed in the West and New Jersey was the number 6 seed in the East. Proving once again that it doesn’t matter where you finish in the regular season, just as long as you reach the playoffs you have a shot at the Cup.
Star goalie Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. His heroics in net allowed the Kings to play their attacking style because they knew he had their backs when things tilted the other way.
The Devils fought hard and gave the Kings all they could handle but in Game 6, Devils forward Steve Bernier put his team down a man for 5 minutes when he was called for boarding. The Kings went on to score three times on the power play and the lead was enough for them to win the game. A variety of other breakdowns and an empty net goal resulted in a 6-1 Stanley Cup clinching victory for the Kings.
The Devils will be back next season though and the outlook is promising. Coming off their Stanley Cup run it is clear the team is strong. Goaltender Martin Brodeur will return as will several of their top players. The biggest question mark is what will captain Zach Parise do regarding his future — he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. However, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello always gets his man! If he wants Parise back, chances are he’ll find a way to lock his captain up to a long term deal. Assuming they secure Parise, there’s no reason the Devils cannot repeat as Eastern Conference champions and challenge for the Stanley Cup next season.
Fans can sign up now to receive an email alert when NJ Devils tickets go on sale for next season. Don’t miss opening night when they’ll hang the Eastern Conference Champions banner or their always heated games against the Rangers, Penguins and Flyers.