From down 0-3 in the first round to Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings completed one of the greatest playoff runs in history with their Game 5 Stanley Cup final win over the New York Rangers. Here’s a look at their celebration.
From down 0-3 in the first round to undisputed champions of the hockey world, the Los Angeles Kings completed one of the greatest playoff runs in history with their 3-2 double overtime win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final over the New York Rangers. It was the second Cup in three years for the Kings and they will be able to return the same team in 2014-15, if GM Dean Lombardi chooses. Will they become a dynasty?
Are they already a dynasty? Only time will tell. Here are 10 photos from the post-game Cup celebration. All photos are from Getty Images.
Alec Martinez ended both the Blackhawks and the Rangers with series OT clinchers and the Cup winner comes with a championship pose. The exhausted opponent, the emphatic goal signal, the cheering crowd and the leaping player. This was a playoff season for the ages that had a fittingly exciting conclusion.
But as the Kings began to celebrate another Stanley Cup, Henrik Lundqvist’s wounds were still fresh. The backbone of New York’s first Stanley Cup final drive since 1994, Lundqvist was far and away his team’s MVP. In the final alone he had a .923 save percentage – and lost in five games. With a little better offensive support, The King could have been a Conn Smythe winner – and a Stanley Cup winner, too.
Serenity now. Kings captain Dustin Brown became the first American captain to win two Stanley Cups. This is the moment all hockey fans dream of as kids, lifting the 35 pounds over your head and kissing history. Sublime.
Here’s Martinez, the Game 5 winning goal scorer, enjoying his moment in suspended animation. Look at everyone behind him. They’re all mesmerized by one trophy, and it’s a beautiful thing. This is the culmination of a lifetime of work that the Kings share with the other great Stanley Cup champions in history.
It was Justin Williams’ third Stanley Cup, having won once with Carolina.
What will a guy like this be worth in free agency a year from now? The Conn Smythe winner scored a goal in Game 5 and finished the playoffs with 25 points in 26 games. We’ll call this photo “Jubilation” as the Coburg, Ont., native looks like he just reached the summit. But with the joy of victory comes the agony of defeat…
Lundqvist was phenomenal. He made 48 saves in Game 5 and kept bailing out the team in front of him that too often was playing on its heels. In the debate over which NHL goalie is best today, the answer will always change between the four or five consistently elite stoppers in the NHL, depending on their seasons. We’ve seen it in the past from Pekka Rinne and Jonathan Quick, and Carey Price made his own strong case this season. Where does Lundqvist land in the ranking? He’s certainly someone you want in your net when the chips are down. Bravo.
Baby in the Cup! Kings captain Brown celebrates with his family and kicks off the season of babies in the bowl. Careful, though – there’s lots to drink out of the Cup tonight.
No more short press conferences, no more Sutter face – at least for one night. This is #SutterVictoryFace. Even Darryl Sutter can’t contain his excitement. The Cup will be heading back to the farm in Viking, Alta., again this summer.
And why not a big kiss? This is the Stanley Cup after all. Anze Kopitar, the leading playoff scorer and Conn Smythe finalist, plants one on Williams. The fans behind are eager to get a peak at the shining silver trophy.
Congratulations to the 2014 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Follow Rory on Twitter