Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Who to Hoist the Stanley Cup in June?

Joseph Trenton@@TrentonNHLCFLAnalyst IIIMay 19, 2012

2011 Stanley Cup champ Zdeno Chara Hoists the trophy
2011 Stanley Cup champ Zdeno Chara Hoists the trophyBruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings are one win away from competing for their franchise's first Stanley Cup. The team did not complete the task when Wayne Gretzky joined the Kings back in 1988. Back in the years with Luc Robitaille and Wayne Gretzky the Kings made an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals against the Montréal Canadiens.

The series began with a 4-1 win in Game 1 for the Kings but the Canadiens countered with four straight victories to capture their 24th Stanley Cup.

This year the Los Angeles Kings look poised to be in the finals again, but it is unknown if they can successfully accomplish something they could not with Wayne Gretzky.

Comparing the Kings this year with the Kings in 1993 playoffs, captain Luc Robitaille probably had more offensive skill and finish than captain Dustin Brown today. However, Brown plays the game that every head coach would demand from his players—hard fore-check, and full effort on every shift. Brown has been rewarded for his tenacity throughout the playoffs with complementary players in Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

The question arises: Who will hoist the Stanley Cup? (Assuming the Kings defeat the Eastern finals representatives in the finals).

By tradition, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would hand over the Stanley Cup to the captain of the team, Dustin Brown in this case. Afterwards, Brown will deliver the silver mug to a second player.

My prediction is that Anze Kopitar will be the second Kings player to touch the Stanley Cup, followed by Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Justin Williams in that order.

Anze Kopitar has been a phenomenal force all playoffs as Dustin Brown's center, and the two complemented each other perfectly so far.

After Kopitar, they will recognize their Conn Smythe candidate goalie Jonathan Quick for all that he has done for the Kings to be lifting the Stanley Cup.

After Quick, he will hand it over to his defenseman Drew Doughty to thank him for playing well in front of him to limit the amount of chances. The final three big contributors are Richards, Carter and Williams. They've played key roles as the supporting cast in the playoff run.

Before all this occurs though, they must get through either New York or New Jersey in the Stanley Cup finals. Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goalies this decade and Martin Brodeur has lifted the Cup several times in his decorated career.

The Los Angeles Kings have their work cut out for them. Go win it, Kings!

This is Joseph Trenton reporting on the Stanley Cup playoffs.


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