It's now official: The Los Angeles Kings, for the first time in their 45 year history, take their place on the proverbial throne as champions of the National Hockey League, reigning supreme over 29 other franchises after vanquishing the New Jersey Devils tonight in Los Angeles. 6-1 the final score at Staples Center tonight. Captain Dustin Brown and the rest of the Kings roster is now tasked with raising Lord Stanley's Cup in victory.
Los Angeles completes a historic run, going 16-4 in the postseason and dispatching all challengers. And they did it as a #8 seed, dispatching the #1 and #2 seeds in the Western Conference en route to this title. That's unprecedented.
We extend our congratulations to our SB Nation brethren over at Jewels from the Crown who cover the Kings on a regular basis. Also, kudos to the west-coast-centric Battle of California crew who cover the Kings (as well as the other California teams) in hysterical fashion.
It's also fitting to say congrats to former Tampa Bay Lightning player, left-wing Simon Gagne, who missed far too many games this season - 48, and much of the playoffs -- with concussion issues. Simon came back, though, and played ganes 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the series.
But as Los Angeles revels and celebrates its first Stanley Cup title, we come to the official conclusion of the 2011-12 National Hockey League season. The drama of the league is far from over, though. Stay tuned for the 2012 NHL draft, the beginning of free agency, and the rhetoric of the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining sessions.