Stanley Cup Final 2014: Why Kings’ Playoff Run Is 1 of Hockey’s Best Ever

Every memorable champion has to have some type of definable quality that marks their legacy years down the line.

Maybe they were the plucky underdogs that did the improbable and in the process became America's darlings. Maybe they were historically dominant. Perhaps they were in the midst of a dynasty. Or it could be that they had a few players that simply captivated all who watched them.

And then there are this year's Los Angeles Kings.

Years from now, when people talk about these Kings, one word will echo through their memory: resilience.

They overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. They overcame a 3-2 deficit to beat the Anaheim Ducks in the semifinals. They nearly blew a 3-1 lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference finals before winning Game 7 in a contest that saw them overcome a 4-3 deficit in the third period and win it in overtime.

Though they beat the New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup Final in five games, it took three overtime victories to do it.

In all, the Kings went 5-2 in overtime games. Three of those games went into double overtime, with the Kings going 2-1 in those contests.

And you have to wonder, after 26 games and 10 overtime periods, how much gas the Kings had left in the tank. Barely any—if any at all—Pierre LeBrun of ESPN found out:

Of course, they were gassed both mentally and physically. They played a ton of hockey. They overcame deficit after deficit. New heroes seemed to step up every time a hero was needed.


Even in a series they won in five games against the Rangers, the Kings barely led—believe it or not. This tidbit from ESPN Stats & Information is an eye-opener:

Once again, this team made history. However, it did so a bit differently than it did two years ago, as...

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