Champions Series: The 2012 Los Angeles Kings
The 2012 Los Angeles Kings were a special team. The 2012 Kings are the lowest seed to ever lift the cup. Coming into the playoffs as an eighth seed, teams may not take you seriously. They`re the #1 seed, they won the series already, right? Nope, not the case in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Kings stunned the first-seed Vancouver Canucks by taking the series 4-1. Then it was on to the St. Louis Blues. That one only took the Kings 4 games to move on. After sweeping the Blues, it was onto the Phoenix Coyotes in the Conference Finals. The Kings were able to tame the Yotes with a 4-1 series victory. With their series win over the Coyotes, the 2012 Los Angeles Kings became the first team to ever beat the First, Second and Third-seed team in the NHL Playoffs. Not to mention they did it in that exact order! Heading to the Finals having only lost two games, the Kings were ready for the New Jersey Devils. Going head to head with guys like Martin Brodeur, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Patrik Elias in the Finals would be no easy task … but this was the Kings. The Kings were able to take out the Devils in just 6 games to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. They only lost 4 games that postseason and rightfully earned their spot on the Throne. The Kings were the real deal and had some pretty key players on their roster. In this edition of the Champions Series, we’ll look at 4 high-impact players on the 2012 Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup-winning team.
Doughty had himself quite the postseason in 2012, leading in assists with 12 alongside teammates Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar. He also finished just 4 points back of the lead in playoff points. Doughty elevated his play in the postseason and became one of the most feared defenders to play against. His ability to neutralise his opponents’ star players on one end and create goals on the other made him quite a handful. Doughty collected 6 of his 16 postseason points in the Finals alone. Drew earned a +11 rating in the postseason which is not easy for any top defenceman. He had to play against team’s star players and goal scorers. His Plus/Minus is pretty incredible and shows how skilled Doughty is.
Take a look at Hockey-Reference’s 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs page and you’ll notice Kopitar’s name plastered on the leaderboards for that year. Here’s a list of things Anze was a leader in that postseason:
- Goals – 8 (T 1st)
- Assists – 12 (T 1st)
- Points – 20 (T 1st)
- Goals Created – 7.5 (T 1st)
- Plus/Minus – 16 (T 1st)
- Short-Handed Goals – 2 (T 1st)
Absolutely incredible. Kopitar was outstanding for the Kings in 2012. He created chances and capitalized on ones he received. Anze’s performance in the playoffs is a big factor in the Kings winning the Cup. Kopitar not only made the Kings fanbase proud but also his home country when he brought Lord Stanley to Slovenia for the first time. Kopitar will always be remembered by Kings fans as a key player in their franchise’s first Stanley Cup and in the development of the Kings as a whole.
The Kings’ captain and another leader in an incredible amount of categories. Brown captained the Kings to their first Stanley Cup with performances matched only by his teammate, Anze Kopitar. Brown performed almost exactly the same as Anze in all stats. Dustin finished equal to Anze in Goals, Assists, Points, Goals Created, Plus/Minus, Short-Handed Goals, Goals Per Game, Points Per Game, and Goals Created Per Game. The only stat Anze lead Dustin in was Even Strength goals, but Brown made up for it with his lead for Game-Winning Goals at 3. Brown had a fantastic postseason and when paired with Kopitar’s performance, it’s easy to see why the 2012 Los Angeles Kings were so good.
Leading in stats seems to be a trend among players on the 2012 Los Angeles Kings roster and Quick is no exception to the rule. Quick lead goalies in Wins (16), Save Percentage (.946), Goals Against Average (1.41), and Shutouts (3). Quick was unbeatable in net. It was as if players were firing beach balls at him. Hardly anything got by him. The most goals he let in that postseason was 3. Quick was truly a brick wall for the Kings. It only made sense that he be awarded the Conn Smythe as Playoff MVP. Quick’s performance in the 2012 Playoffs will be remembered as one of the greatest by a goalie. Even though the Kings had plenty of players to rely on to score points, it’s hard to say whether or not they would have performed as well without Quick’s presence. Quick was absolutely instrumental to the 2012 Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup run. When there was the rare occurrence that an opponent got past the defence, the Kings didn’t have to worry with Quick between the pipes.
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