Last night the Los Angeles Kings became the Stanley Cup champions, becoming the first eighth-seeded playoff team to win the league title. This is their first Stanley Cup in the 45 year history of the team, and even though they might not sit at the top of L.A. sports popularity, what they did through the playoffs cannot be overlooked. They didn’t lock up their playoff berth until the second to last game of the season, and because of this entered the playoffs with only 40 regular season wins. This is the lowest season win total for a Stanley Cup champion since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997. That same season Detroit only had 4 playoff losses which is what the Kings pulled off this year, a 16-4 playoff record. After the Kings jumped out to their 3-0 Stanley Cup lead, they had a chance to match the great playoff run of the 1995 Detroit team who only lost twice during the playoffs, the Kings fell short of this but still completed their historic run. A 10 game road playoff win streak and a 16-4 overall record for the first ever Stanley Cup from an eighth-seeded team is a great accomplishment. Lets not forget to mention Jonathan Quick, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy, and set NHL records for save percentage (.946) and goals-against average (1.41) among goalies who played at least 15 postseason games. This team is full of young talent and even though they pulled off something not seen much in professional sports this season, the next Cup shouldn’t take 45 years.
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