Congratulations to the 2011-12 Stanley Cup Champion LOS ANGELES KINGS! Enjoy the celebration!
44 years of waiting finally came to an end tonight. Only the St. Louis Blues franchise has yet to bring home a Stanley Cup from the 1967 expansion teams as the Los Angeles Kings took their name off that list with a dominant 6-1 victory in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final to win the series 4-2 over the New Jersey Devils!
It's almost fitting that I saw my favorite team win a Stanley Cup in 2009 when the Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Detroit Red Wings for their third Stanley Cup in their history. My dad, a lifelong Bruins fan, got to see his team win one more time as the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks last season. And the Stanley Cup came full circle in this family this year as my brother's favorite team, the Los Angeles Kings, finally won a Stanley Cup.
It was a long 20-year path for Darryl Sutter as well. 20 years ago, he was given his first head coaching job in leading the Chicago Blackhawks, and he certainly came close when the Calgary Flames missed out in 2004 on winning the Stanley Cup. But two decades of coaching and falling short was forgotten the moment that the Stanley Cup rested in Darryl Sutter's hands tonight.
There were many dreams achieved tonight. Many players, having played on their front street or in the dark on their local rink, scored that all-important Stanley Cup-winning goal on that street or rink just like Jeff Carter did tonight. The jubilation that followed were just as enthusiastic as seen tonight as men became children in their euphoria of winning the hardest trophy in sports to win. The Los Angeles Kings are the best hockey team in the NHL for at least the next calendar year, and there is no one that can take that accolade away from them.
Players like Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Jarret Stoll, Willie Mitchell, and Jonathan Quick are the guys who will be remembered for the big plays, but this Kings team showed that it takes all 22 guys to win a Stanley Cup. The Kings absolutely deserved this Stanley Cup victory as they were the best team from the moment the playoffs opened.
I'll leave another NHL season behind with a great video made by "conby8720" and posted to YouTube. This is an excellent montage, and really brings forth some of the best moments of this year's playoffs.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!