I remember when the LA Kings were down 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks. At the time I was interning for NBCLA Sports, and I befriended a security guard who was a huge hockey fan from Michigan. I’m new to the world of hockey, so I would talk to him a lot and pick his brain. He told me that out of all the teams in the NHL, he would never want to face the Sharks in the first round. He said they’re the type of team to put up a hell of a fight.
Little did we know at the time, this Kings team is incredibly special. They rallied back, beat the Sharks and advanced to the next round to face crosstown rivals, the Anaheim Ducks. That round rocked Los Angeles, pushing to the brink of seven games — the Kings prevailed again. Then, off to Chicago they went to face the Chicago Blackhawks where — surprise, surprise — they hit yet another Game 7 and yet another clutch win.
Finally, against the New York Rangers — West Coast vs. East Coast — the Kings took control, jumping up 3-0. Tonight, following Game 5, they hoisted the Stanley Cup trophy after a grueling, nail-biting double overtime.
Defensive veteran Willie Mitchell told NBCLA’s Mario Solis postgame: “We scratched and clawed. It’s pretty damn cool.”
Cut to Puig: