Stanley Cup Final 2012: Los Angeles Kings’ Win Wasn’t Part of an NHL Conspiracy

Gentlemen, start your razors!

Yes, the Stanley Cup tournament has concluded, which means the sasquatches on skates who spent the past 60 days in pursuit of the most magnificent-looking piece of silverware in professional sports can finally shave.

Some of them might even put their teeth back in.

After all, the Los Angeles Kings will want to present their best spit-and-polish look when they parade hockey's holy grail through the streets of Tinseltown on Thursday, in celebration of their 20-game journey to a who-saw-this-coming National Hockey League championship they secured with a 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at L.A.'s raucous Staples Center.

It took the Kings six games to vanquish the Devils, a determined, tongue-biting bunch who, after repeatedly running afoul of the law in the final game of the shinny season, no doubt were tempted to float a conspiracy theory.

To wit: The NHL (read: commish Gary Bettman) wanted the Stanley Cup to find a home in La La Land.

Well, although the Devils spent an inordinate amount of time in the sin bin, deserved or not, any suggestion of a sinister plot to ensure an L.A. victory would be misguided griping. With a side order of sour grapes.

The zebras were not on the take. The fix was not in.

I mean, as much as Czar Bettman harbors a fetish-like fondness for franchises in the southern U.S., he wasn't hiding behind a grassy knoll in the Hollywood hills and sending secret signals to the game's four officials mandating a parade to the penalty box by Devils skaters. And, hey, while you're at it, turn a blind eye to the Kings' misdeeds.

Sorry, but when Steve Bernier dangerously stapled Rob Scuderi to the end boards 10 minutes and 10 seconds into the skirmish, his five-minute major and game misconduct were warranted. He hit Scuderi from behind. He bloodied him. He sent him to the quiet room, where medics do whatever it is t...

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