I like to name Los Angeles California, “LA LA” because of the city’s Hollywood dreams and bright lights. There is no movie script for the Los Angeles Kings, the crown that they wear in celebration is real and the celebration never gets old. The LA Kings defeated the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final to hoist the cup for the second time in franchise history.
The game did have a dramatic Hollywood ending. Defenseman Alec Martinez scored off a rebound at 14:43 of the second overtime for a 3-2 double-overtime victory against the Rangers in Game 5 of the 2014 Final at Staples Center. “Just a great play by my teammates, I’m just the benefactor,” Martinez stated. Martinez scored the overtime winner in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. The 5-4 win was the Kings’ third Game 7 victory in these playoffs, all on the road. No NHL team had done that before, just as no team had played 26 games in the playoffs and finished as champions.
The gutsy Justin Williams finished with 25 points in the playoffs and was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner given to the most valuable player of the playoffs. The City of Angels needed five games to defeat the Rangers and had to win coming from behind in three of them, all at home, all in overtime. The Kings erased four two-goal deficits to win Games 1 and 2, and came back from one-goal down to clinch the Cup in Game 5. “They are equally unique and special in every way, this one we deserved it and earned it. The stuff we went through throughout the playoffs to finish it off is icing on the cake,” Williams said.
New York had its chances to win Game 5 in overtime. Viewing live I thought Rick Nash and the Rangers put the game on ice on a wide-open attempt. Nash’s shot appeared targeted for an open net, but hit the stick of Kings defenseman Slava Voynov and went wide. “Everyone is disappointed in the outcome,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault stated. “Any loss in the Stanley Cup Final is going to be a real tough loss”. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 48 saves in Game 5. He finished the series with a .923 save percentage and one win. Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick made 28 saves, more than half of them (15) in overtime.
The NHL Stanley Cup Final was played on alternating days of the NBA Finals; the NBA gained more attention with the San Antonio Spurs dismantling the Miami Heat in five games also. Drew Doughty is okay with it; outside the NHL circles he has been under the radar all season! The 24-year-old defenseman was tasked with facing elite offensive players while the Kings knocked off three of the top seven teams in the regular-season standings. They beat the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks to come out from the Western Conference. A Norris Trophy finalist once (in 2010), Doughty was one of the best players at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has won the Stanley Cup twice to go along with two Olympic gold medals. “This one feels the best, gold medal is amazing, but it doesn’t get old raising it for a second time,” Doughty stated. Doughty has played the third-most Stanley Cup playoff games of any defenseman in NHL history at his age.
Crown Mr. Doughty as the future leading man in “LA LA.”