Following a 4-1 series win over the New York Rangers to capture their second Stanley Cup Final in the last three years, the Los Angeles Kings partied on Monday afternoon.
The Stanley Cup parade got underway around noon in L.A., with the Kings players and coaches hoisting the trophy yet again for their fans. Equipped with plenty of double-decker buses and thousands of fans in attendance, the Kings had a party to remember.
No official attendance was announced in the early going, but Patrick O'Neal of Fox Sports West noted there were around 300,000 on hand for the parade:
Even the Conn Smythe Trophy was being paraded around by Justin Williams, who spoke about winning the honor, per Fox Sports West:
To get that award and to get the ovation that I got from my teammates was pretty special and emotional for me. I can't believe I won that. That will, I don't think, ever, ever sink in. The guy from Cobourg (Ontario, Canada) who played the game he loves and got to be surrounded with a lot of great teammates throughout my years.
Every member of the team—from the players to the executives—was paraded around in trucks with gigantic trailers hitched and, of course, massive buses.
Dustin Brown was the captain of the team and Williams was outstanding, but Anze Kopitar may have been the hero of the postseason for the Kings. The 26-year-old center tallied 29 goals in the regular season and had a playoff-leading 26 points in 26 postseason games.
Kopitar got to bask in the glory of the win during the parade as well, with Lord Stanley's Cup securely over his head:
Along with the fans, trophies and massive vehicles, there was also plenty of confetti flying around on the streets. The rally for the franchise that led up to Staples Center went down without a hitch, much like the 2012 celebration along a similar path.
Fox Sports West, which broadcast the entire event, passed along an image of the scene from the celebration:
The Kings also provided a look at the confetti falling over some of the players:
During the parade, head coach Daryl Sutter even took off his shirt in celebration (via Sean Leahy of Yahoo Sports):
Darryl Sutter going topless for the ladies - pic.twitter.com/79uO1OVGek— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) June 16, 2014
One part of the celebration that was different from the last time was that Jonathan Quick wouldn't address the crowd. After a slight hiccup in 2012, the goalie stayed away from the mic this time around.
Arash Markazi of ESPN noted what he heard from Quick on Monday:
No F bombs for Jonathan Quick this year. He said he was informed he will not be speaking today under any circumstances.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 16, 2014
Following the parade at the team's rally, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti gave a toast in which he uttered a profanity (Warning: Content is NSFW):
Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times chimed in on Garcetti and found some humor in the incident:
I think Garcetti is just bummed he doesn't get to sing on Jimmy Kimmel, so he did his best NYrker impression http://t.co/lMnz1O6EXa— Steve Lopez LA Times (@LATstevelopez) June 16, 2014
As for another notable moment during the rally in the Staples Center, both Kopitar and Brown provided a glimpse into the future.
When general manager Dean Lombardi asked the two players onto the stage, they gave a memorable response to the crowd, via Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo:
Lombardi asks Kopitar and Brown what their favorite ring is. The answer: "THE NEXT ONE."— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 16, 2014
The core of the Kings promises to be lethal yet again in the next several years. Thanks to players like Williams, Kopitar and Brown, the future looks bright for Los Angeles.
In a difficult Pacific Division that includes the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks, it might be tough sledding to recapture the same glory from this season. But with the game growing in Los Angeles yet again, the city might finally be turning into a true hockey town.
After showing resilience throughout the postseason by winning three Game 7s on the road, the Kings secured their spot as one of the most memorable teams in recent NHL history. If the stars from this season's run remain in L.A., this will once again be a franchise to watch next season.
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