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12

Los Angeles Kings finish Cinderella Run with rout to end title drought

Published at Jun 12th at 11:23 am ET 0 comment
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Los Angeles Kings' Mike Richards,  Andrei Loktionov, Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty celebrate with the Stanley Cup in the locker room after the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game Six of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals at the Staples Center, Monday, June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles. The Kings won the series 4-3.  (AP Photo /Dave Sandford, Pool)

Los Angeles Kings' Mike Richards, Andrei Loktionov, Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty celebrate with the Stanley Cup in the locker room after the Kings defeated the New Jersey Devils 6-1 in Game Six of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals at the Staples Center, Monday, June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles. The Kings won the series 4-3. (AP Photo /Dave Sandford, Pool)

The Los Angeles Kings waited a long time to hoist the Stanley Cup after a 45 years in the League, the longest wait in NHL history. They were in a hurry on Monday, scoring three first period goals to punish the Devils 6-1.

The 45-years wait for their first title is one of the longest in history before a first title including the Detroit Lions (57 years), the Sacramento Kings (59 years), and the New England Revolution (16 years–since creation of MLS).

The Kings wasted no time making the Devils pay for their sins with captain Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis all scoring in a span of less than four minutes to leave New Jersey in a 3-0 hole.

“This is something everyones dreamed of for their whole lives and this city dreamed of for 45 years,” said Brown. “I cant really explain it. We had an opportunity to do something special on home ice and we did, and were champions.”

With the Stanley Cup and its white-gloved entourage in the Staples Center, champagne on ice and long-suffering fans eager to celebrate, the sellout crowd was chanting “We want the Cup. We want the Cup” with 40 minutes still to play in regulation.

Two periods later they would own the treasured trophy as the eighth-seeded Kings completed one of the most remarkable playoff runs the league has ever seen.

“Its just everything you pretty much dream and dreams just came true,” said Slovenian-born Kings sniper Anze Kopitar. “To do it in front of the home crowd, to have my family here, my girlfriend … to do it in front of them and share it with them is unbelievable.”

CORONATION DELAYED

As the final seconds ticked off the clock and the capacity crowd on its feet, Kings goalie Jonathan Quick - voted the most valuable player of the playoffs - tossed his gloves to the air before being mobbed by team mates while confetti and streamers rained down from the rafters.

Then came the moment Los Angeles hockey fans had waited nearly a half-century for, to witness the Stanley Cup being brought to the ice and handed over to the Kings by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Up 3-0 in Mondays game, the Kings kept their foot on the Devils throats as Carter scored his second of the game 90 seconds into an ill-tempered second period that saw New Jerseys frustrations result in a string of penalties.

Rookie forward Adam Henrique gave the Devils some hope at forcing a decisive seventh game when he scored with 75 seconds to play in the period to spoil Quicks shutout bid.

The goal, however, did not spoil the party as the Kings added two more in the third period from Lewis and Matt Greene to clinch the series 4-2, touching off the biggest hockey party Hollywood has even seen.

“The guys did an unbelievable job,” said Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who took over behind the bench midway through the season after the teams slow start. “These guys have been so good with leadership and with the young guys listening and staying right in the moment thats all we talked about.”

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There are certain things you really just can’t do. Comparing professional athletes to first responders — particularly first responders who were involved in the tragedies of Sept. 11 — is a really, really bad idea.

That’s exactly what CBC’s Ron MacLean did Wednesday night in his open to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals, the two cities targeted on 9/11.

MacLean did try curb the hyperbole at least a little bit, however.

“It’s crazy to compare what the emergency responders did during that time, but a spirit has to start somewhere,” he said during the open, but he followed that shortly thereafter with this.

“”They are like police officers. They are like firefighters. You can’t fight fire with ego. Brad [Richards] knows that. The pain these men have faced. The price they keep on paying. The hearts they keep on lifting…”

Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog tried to get a comment from CBC, who only chose to point the blog to MacLean’s closing statement in which he said “our worst day is their every day.”

Hear the whole intro and the context its used in the video below and be the judge for yourself.

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apr
26

Joel Ward, Bruins Fans Shine Light on Dark Side of Sports

Published at Apr 26th at 2:26 pm ET 0 comment

Joel Ward celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Bruins./AP

Joel Ward celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Bruins./AP

What Bruins fans did on Twitter after Joel Ward scored in overtime has no place in sports. Tempers flare in hockey, especially overtime playoff hockey. While at times what competitors say on the field or court or rink can be forgiven with the heat of the moment that does not extend to fans.

The long list of insults hurled towards the Africa-American player range from the inappropriate to the truly obscene. Fans blinded by rage decided Ward’s skin color, which stands out greatly in Hockey, was to blame for their misery.

These same fans likely have pictures of Paul Pierce, or Kevin Garnett on their walls. Surely the superlatives said about Ward barely cross their lips when talking about these players (or they do when they make a mistake).

Sports thrives on the belief that fan passion will withstand everything. You’re players may be bad people off the field, doesn’t matter. Your team may lose, it doesn’t matter (unless you live in Los Angeles or Miami).

This isn’t just a race thing, though that shouldn’t be downplayed. And it doesn’t just result in attacks for opposing teams. Boise State’s kicker Kyle Brotzman received threats via Twitter and Facebook after ruining Boise’s chance at an undefeated season.

Teams need to do more to curve this kind of action, by penalizing fans that do it in the stadiums and those that do it on official team platforms. Shining light on this dark side, easier now with platforms like twitter, helps to notice that this isn’t just hooligans taking the sport too seriously: it’s a lot of us.

Joel Ward isn’t just a case of racism and a conversation about race that needs to happen but had Ward been white many of these fans would have gone on to call him a f****t for his goal. There’s always some place to go for these fans. They need to be penalized like the English fan that mocked Muamba after he had a heart attack on the field.

Debora Rubi/Terra

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