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Kings Hope For New Hockey Fans After Winning The Stanley Cup PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steven Herbert City News Service   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:18

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Jonathan Quick said he was happy about the expected increased interest in the Los Angeles Kings now that they are Stanley Cup champions for the first time in their 45-season history, but the Conn Smythe Trophy-winning goaltender doesn't want a higher profile for himself.

"I think the attention the team's going to get is great," Quick said after the 6-1 defeat of the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center on Monday, June 11, gave them a four games to two victory in the best-of-seven final.

"That's something we have been looking for in this market for so long is to get that attention toward hockey."

However, Quick, who expressed his distaste for the spotlight as he helped lead the Kings through their improbable run to the Stanley Cup, doesn't see himself "changing too much."

"Obviously, you still go about your day the same way you always have," said Quick, who was scheduled along with his teammates to appear on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" late night show.

The City of Los Angeles will celebrate the team with a parade through downtown today, June 14, beginning at noon.

The 26-year-old Quick completed his record-setting play by stopping 17 of 18 shots and was selected as the recipient of the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the playoffs in voting by a panel of members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Quick had one shutout and allowed one goal in each of the Kings' other three victories in the final. He played every minute of all 20 Kings' playoff games, with a 16-4 record, 1.41 goals against average, .946 save percentage, both playoff records among goaltenders with a minimum of 15 games, and three shutouts.

Quick, a native of Milford, Conn., is the third U.S.-born player to win the award, which was first presented in 1965, joining New York Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch in 1994 and Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas in 2011.

The pivotal play came 10 minutes, 10 seconds into the first period when New Jersey right wing Steve Bernier was assessed a five-minute major for boarding Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi behind the Kings' net and received a mandatory game misconduct. The Kings scored three goals during the five-minute power play.

"Tonight is about L.A. and letting them celebrate," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said afterward. "If you want to ask me about that in about a week, I'll give you my honest opinion on it."

DeBoer said he felt bad for Bernier, who had 16 penalty minutes in 32 regular-season games and 27 in 24 playoff games.

"It's a bad spot for him to be in," DeBoer said. "Everybody knows Bernie's heart's in the right place. He's not at fault." Scuderi laid on the ice for several minutes, went to the locker room, but later returned to the game.

Dustin Brown scored the Kings' first goal 53 seconds after the penalty off assists by Drew Doughty and Mike Richards. Unlike a two-minute minor penalty, the Devils remained short-handed and Jeff Carter scored the second goal at 12:45 of the first period, with Brown and Richards being credited with assists.

Trevor Lewis scored nine seconds before the expiration of the major penalty, off assists by Dwight King and Doughty.

The three power-play goals in a period tied a Stanley Cup final record, shared by six other teams.

Carter increased the Kings' lead to 4-0 1:30 into the second period, with his eighth goal of the playoffs, equaling Brown for the playoff high. Brown and Kopitar received the assists, giving them each a playoff-leading 20 points.

Quick's bid for a shutout ended at 18:45 of the second period on Adam Henrique's goal off Petr Sykora's assist.

Lewis added an empty net goal with 3:45 left. New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur then returned to the game, giving up an unassisted goal to Matt Greene scored 15 seconds later.

The Kings are among the unlikeliest of champions in any major professional league. They were the eighth and lowest seeded team among the Western Conference playoff teams, then upset top-seeded Vancouver in the first round, second-seeded St. Louis in the second and third-seeded Phoenix in the third.

The Kings won each of the first two games of the final, 2- 1, in overtime in Newark, N.J. and Game 3 at Staples Center, 4-0.

They then became the first team to win the first three games of the final, then lose the next two since the 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs, by losing 3-1 in Game 4 and 2-1 in Game 5.

The championship came during the season when the Kings fired coach Terry Murray on Dec. 12 in the midst of a four-game losing streak, which dropped their record to 13-12-4.

General manager Dean Lombardi then placed a call to Darryl Sutter, which he took in the barn of his farm in Viking, Alberta, offering him the position.

"The first thing you think about as a coach – these guys are all young enough, they've got to try it again," said Sutter, who was the coach of the San Jose Sharks from 1997-2002 when Lombardi was their general manager, and also coached the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:19

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