The Los Angeles King just became the lowest seeded team to ever win the championship title of the four major North American sports leagues. They are also the NHL’s only 8th seed to win the Stanley Cup, and it took them longer to win the cup than any other cup-winning team in history – 45 years.
Monday’s 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devil’s was historic.
Orange County hockey fans are spoiled. We already have the Stanley Cup-winning Ducks to root for, and the Ducks have done a lot to grow the sport locally, including organize and fund next year’s inaugural season of the Los Alamitos High School Griffins hockey team. However, for Orange County hockey fans of a certain age, there was only one hockey team to root for long before the Ducks entered the NHL: the Kings.
I am one of those fans, and for my 6th, 7th and 8th grade field day pictures at St Hedwigs in Los Alamitos, I am the awkward looking tween in the Kings' T-shirt.
For fans like me, who have waited a long time for this day, here are the details of Monday’s historic victory and Thursday’s Stanley Cup Championship parade:
STANLEY CUP PARADE
A parade honoring the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings is scheduled for Thursday in downtown Los Angeles, followed by a ``Championship Rally'' at Staples Center.
The parade will begin at noon at the corner on Figueroa and Fifth Street, then head south on Figueroa to Staples Center, the team announced tonight, shortly after its 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils gave it its first Stanley Cup in its 45-season history.
Kings players and their families, coaches, staff, broadcasters, alumni, the Ice Crew and mascot Bailey will ride on double-decker buses and other special decorated vehicles along with the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy and Clarence Campbell Cup.
Fans planning to attend the parade are encouraged to line the one-mile Figueroa Street parade route on both sides of the street as all the immediate areas adjacent to Staples Center and L.A. Live will be controlled by the Los Angeles Police Department and Department of Transportation with limited access.
The parade is expected to last 30-45 minutes.
An hour-long ``Championship Rally'' will begin at 2:30 p.m., including specially produced video highlights, introduction of the team, coaching staff and executives with speech and reactions from many players in addition to special presentations and surprises, according to the team.
Tickets are required, but will be free. Priority will be given season ticket holders and suite and premier seat owners, who will receive a special password from the team, Staples Center and AEG, which owns the team and arena.
There will be a maximum of four tickets per account.
Access to any remaining tickets for the public will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets can be reserved at lakings.com/parade and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum of four tickets per order.
Fans with tickets to the Championship Rally may show their tickets to enter special viewing areas along the south side of Chick Hearn Court in Staples Center's Star Plaza. Only people with those tickets for the rally can enter those areas.
The Los Angeles Kings tonight claimed the first Stanley Cup in their 45-season history, winning the championship of the National Hockey League by defeating the New Jersey Devils, 6-1 at Staples Center, winning the best-of-seven final, four games to two Monday night.
The Kings scored three goals during a five-minute power play in the first period and Jonathan Quick stopped 17 of 18 shots to lead the Kings to the victory.
Quick was named as the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs.
New Jersey defenseman Steve Bernier was assessed a five-minute major for boarding Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi 10 minutes, 10 seconds into the first period and received a mandatory game misconduct.
Dustin Brown scored the Kings' first goal 53 seconds after the penalties off assists by Drew Doughty and Mike Richards. Unlike a two-minute minor penalty, the Devils remained short-handed and Jeff Carter scored the second goal at 12:45 of the first period, with Brown and Richards being credited with assists.
Trevor Lewis scored nine seconds before the expiration of the major penalty, off assists by Dwight King and Doughty .
Carter increased the Kings' lead to 4-0 1:30 into the second period, with his eighth goal of the playoffs. Brown and Kopitar received the assists.
Quick's bid for a shutout ended at 18:45 of the second period on Adam Henrique's goal off Petr Sykora's assist.
Lewis added an empty net goal with 3:45 left. New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur then returned to the game, giving up an unassisted goal to Matt Greene scored 15 seconds later.
The Stanley Cup capped one of the unlikeliest of playoff runs. The Kings were the eighth and lowest seeded team among the eight Western Conference playoff teams. They upset top-seeded Vancouver in the first round, second-seeded St. Louis in the second and third-seeded Phoenix in the third.
The Kings won each of the first two games of the final, 2-1, in overtime in Newark, N.J. and Game 3 at Staples Center, 4-0. They then became the first team to win the first three games of the final, then lose the next two since the 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs, by losing 3-1 in Game 4 and 2-1 in Game 5.
The championship came during the season when the Kings fired coach Terry Murray on Dec. 12 in the midst of a four-game losing streak which dropped their record to 13-12-4, replacing him eight days later with Darryl Sutter, a former coach of the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.
The Kings had made just one other appearance in a Stanley Cup final, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in 1993, winning the first game, then losing the next four.
- City News Service