Monday, June 11, 2012
Crown 'em: Kings Quick to win first Cup
By ESPN Stats & Information
Put it on ice, the coronation is now complete. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game 6 on Monday night to win their first Stanley Cup in their 44th season as an NHL franchise.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Kings 44-season wait is the longest for any NHL team before winning its first Stanley Cup. The only major pro sports teams to wait longer before winning a title were three MLB teams: Phillies (98), Dodgers (66) and Orioles (66).
How unlikely was this Stanley Cup title for the Kings?
• The Kings are the first 8-seed to win the Stanley Cup since the conference-based playoff format was introduced in 1994. In fact, no team seeded sixth or worse has won the Cup in this format.
• The Kings switched coaches not once, but twice this season. The Kings began the season with Terry Murray, who was fired on December 12, and replaced by John Stevens on an interim basis (four games). The team then hired Darryl Sutter on December 20.
The Kings are just the second team in the four major sports to win a title with as many as three different head coaches/managers during the regular season, joining the 1978 Yankees.
• The Kings victory ended a streak of four consecutive seasons in which the Stanley Cup champion clinched the title on the road. That ties the longest such streak in league history, also done from 1979-82 and 1989-92, according to Elias.
HOW THE KINGS WON
When Dustin Brown scored the first goal of the game in the first period, the Kings could almost taste the champagne. The team that scored first in this series won each game, and the Kings went 11-1 this postseason when scoring first.
The Kings erupted for three goals in the first period, scoring all three during a five-minute major power play within a three-minute, 58-second span.
According to Elias, this was the second-shortest span for a team scoring three power-play goals in a Stanley Cup Final game. In 1954, the Montreal Canadiens scored three power-play goals in a 56-second span against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Kings scored those three goals despite holding the offensive zone for just 44 percent of the power play. Los Angeles’ three goals all came within 30 seconds of entering the zone. The Kings held the offensive zone 61 percent of the time on their other power play opportunities, but failed to score.
For the game, the Kings peppered Martin Brodeur on his low stick side, but failed to score any of their five goals on Brodeur on such shots. When the Kings tried to go elsewhere against Brodeur, the result was five goals on 13 attempts (two high glove, one high stick, one low glove and one five hole).
STAT OF GAME
The Kings five-goal margin of victory is tied with the Edmonton Oilers 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in 1985 for the second-largest in a Stanley Cup-clinching win in NHL history. The only larger win was the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-0 victory versus the Minnesota North Stars in 1991.