Justin Williams Wins Conn Smythe MVP Award After OT Victory in Game 5

Nate LoopFeatured ColumnistJune 14, 2014

Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams, right, celebrates his goal past San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi during the second period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Kings required numerous clutch performances in order to win the Stanley Cup Final, and the team’s gutsiest performer, forward Justin Williams, received the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL’s postseason MVP following their Cup-clinching Game 5 double-overtime victory.

The Kings’ Twitter account announced the news:

The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliiot reported the reaction of the crowd as Williams received his hardware:

Montreal Canadiens forward P.K. Subban was quick to congratulate Williams on Twitter:

Williams was clutch for the Kings throughout the entire postseason. He tallied a point in each of L.A.'s three Game 7s, including goals against the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks, and finished the 2014 postseason with 25 points and nine goals.

Williams’ former teammate Jeremy Roenick noted during the Final that the quick winger is the kind of player who doesn't shy away from big moments.

"In big situations, he wants to be the guy with the puck," Roenick told Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Some guys don't want the puck. They don't want the responsibility. He does."

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 7:  Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings skates with the puck against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers during the second period of Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples
NHL Images/Getty Images

Williams continued his clutch brilliance in the Stanley Cup Final. He led the Kings with seven points in the series and scored the overtime winner in Game 1. He didn’t shy away from the spotlight in the deciding Game 5 either, slotting the puck past Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the opening score of the game.

San Jose Sharks beat writer Ross McKeon was quick to point out that several members of the Kings were deserving of the coveted trophy:

The 32-year-old winger flew under the radar all season, with high-profile players like defenseman Drew Doughty and center Anze Kopitar garnering the majority of the recognition for the team's success.

Now that he has a valuable piece of hardware to his name, the veteran Williams is likely to enjoy an upsurge in popularity and should continue to be a fixture in the Kings' lineup next season.

His contract is up after the 2014-15 season, and the Kings would be wise to lock him up for the long haul given his success in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.