Stanley Cup Finals: Is Marty McSorley the L.A. Kings Answer to Bill Buckner?

The Los Angeles Kings’ fanbase and New England sports fans in general know two feelings in common: They know what it’s like to historically relinquish a stranglehold on a championship series, and they know what it’s like to blow a one-goal lead late in a playoff game at the Montreal Forum with the help of a penalty.

As he recently addressed in an interview with the Associated Press, there is no doubt that former Kings forward Marty McSorley is on an historical par with former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. Or at least, he is as close as a franchise like L.A.’s hockey team can get to a Buckner parallel.

For the Kings, McSorley’s illegal stick call from Game 2 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals is really a hybrid of Bruins coach Don Cherry’s too-many-men infraction from 1979 and Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series.

The main difference between the illegal stick and the too-many-men was that the franchise victimized by the latter penalty was only seven years removed from its last title. Los Angeles still has yet to win a Cup in 45 total years of NHL membership, which was already at 26 years by the 1992-93 season.

The chief difference regarding Buckner is that the opposing New York Mets had already deleted a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of the 10th inning. Therefore, had he fielded Mookie Wilson’s grounder and stamped a routine putout, it would not have directly ended Boston’s 68-year title drought. But it would have given his team a chance to renew the lead and put everything away in the 11th inning, which surely counts for something.

Conversely, just as the Bruins were in Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semifinals, the Kings were safeguarding a lead in Game 2 of the 1993 finals. Furthermore, they had a 1-0 edge in the series, which meant they needed to hang on for less than two minutes before they could take a commanding 2-0 edge back home.

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Kings