The LA Kings have brought hockey’s biggest stage to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly two decades, a stage that any player will admit to having dreamed about playing on since they were old enough to drink from a sippy cup.
The dream of winning a Stanley Cup Championship is what motivates any hockey player to make all necessary sacrifices, a dream that is more often than not inspired by past champions and their paths to playoff heroics.
After the Kings’ epic playoff run this season there will certainly be young hockey players all over the world who will use the 2012 Stanley Cup Final to fuel their own dreams, but which Stanley Cup Final had the biggest impression on this year’s spotlit stars?
Read on to find out if you remember it just like they do!
The Shot: Which was your most memorable Stanley Cup Final?
The Pass: Which of your teammates is the unsung hero of the playoffs so far?
Shot: Probably the one I played in! (Lost with Philadelphia in 2010)
Pass: Dustin Penner
Shot: My own, I think. I didn’t play, but I was in Chicago, and I was an extra guy, and I think watching every one of those games and obviously winning and being on the ice after was the best! (2010)
Pass: The whole line of Stolly, Kinger and Lewie – Lewie is the guy that doesn’t get much recognition, he has like six or eight points, Kinger’s got five goals, and Stolly is Stolly!
Shot: For me, I’m from Vancouver, so 1994 when the Rangers were up 3-1, and the Canucks came back, forcing a Game 7, and they lost to the Rangers. That was when Messier previously in the semifinals said ‘we will win against New Jersey.’
Pass: We have a lot of them, I don’t want to single out anyone because I think we have a lot of guys doing a lot of the right things.
Shot: Calgary in ’89, I was six or seven, I just remember watching it at my grandpa and grandma’s in this small town of like 60 people. Where I’m from, Saskatchewan, Calgary and Edmonton are the two closest teams, so that was probably the most memorable Stanley Cup Final.
Pass: Colin Fraser
Shot: The one I played in! (Won with Carolina in 2006)
Pass: Willie Mitchell
Shot: I was a big fan of Detroit when I was younger, so probably when they won back to back. (1997-1998)
Pass: Dwight King
Shot: Colorado with Patrick Roy, or even Jersey with Brodeur in 2003. Those are the two goaltenders I watched when I was growing up.
Pass: Dustin Penner – he’s been really good for us, scoring some big goals and using his body, so I think he’s been really good for us.
Shot: I remember when LA went there with Montreal in ’93. LA beat up my favorite team, Toronto, so I was pretty mad, but I was a huge Wayne Gretzky fan, so I was pretty pumped. It was memorable but it stunk because my brother was a Montreal fan and they ended up winning the Cup that year.
Pass: Rob Scuderi is pretty unbelievable. He’s ‘steady Eddie’ out there, he has an unbelievable stick every game. To the naked eye you don’t really notice what he does because he’s so good.
Shot: They’re all pretty good!
Pass: I could name off eight or nine guys that really stepped their game up; you look at our captain, Brownie, who has kind of led us the whole way here, then you’ve got Stolly, Lewie, Scuderi, Mitchell…pretty much everybody in the lineup!
Shot: I remember New Jersey winning on my birthday way back when (2003)…that can’t happen again!
Pass: Guys like Scuderi and Greene on the penalty kill have been unbelievable for us.
Shot: Probably the one I was in, with Edmonton. (Lost in 2006)
Pass: I’ll go with Slava Voynov and Alec Martinez.
Shot: I was a huge Colorado fan, so when they went on their hot streak, those were the most consistent games I watched, in ’01. They were my favorite team.
Pass: Willie Mitchell – he’s stepped us his game, he’s taking on more minutes, and he’s been steady for us.
Shot: The year Bourque finally won, in 2001. Everyone was waiting to see that. Somebody that meant so much to the game for such a long time could finally get a chance to win the ultimate prize. I think everyone had to get some goose bumps watching that.
Pass: Trevor Lewis – he doesn’t end up on the score sheet a lot, but his speed and his energy creates a lot. Even if it doesn’t create offense, he’s very effective defensively, and allows us to have possession and creates turnovers for us. If you had to pick a guy, probably him, but I think our bottom two lines and our bottom two defensemen have done a great job. Not that our top two lines or our top four defensemen haven’t, but they just get more recognition.
Shot: The Detroit and Pittsburgh one was pretty fun to watch in ’08.
Pass: I think Dwight King so far.
Shot: The ’93 one, oddly enough – Los Angeles and Montreal. There were a lot of good ones, but I remember that one pretty distinctly. Unfortunately I had a red and blue shaved ‘33’ in the back of my head – I was a big Patrick Roy fan!
Pass: I’d say our fourth line has been doing incredible work, so I like them…but anyone in the room. Some guys are getting supremely heralded, but even that’s probably not enough.
Follow Deborah Lew on Twitter at @by_DeborahLew
Past Editions of Off the Post
St. Patrick’s Day:
Taste of the South Bay:
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