Our Grantland hometown heroes, the Los Angeles Kings, ended a 45-year title drought and hoisted the Stanley Cup on Monday after a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. That means there are probably a lot of new Kings fans today (Hey guys. There’s always room on the bandwagon!), so we asked hockey stat guru Jonathan Willis to break down the key numbers behind the series. Pull up a chair and let’s learn something!
It’s been a tough couple of years for 22-year-old Drew Doughty. The Los Angeles Kings defenseman recorded 59 points as an NHL sophomore in 2009-10, establishing himself as a premiere offensive defenseman. But with just 40 points in his 2010-11 campaign and 36 this year, he hasn’t been able to match his initial scoring pace. It’s a failure that juxtaposes badly with his eight-year, $56 million contract, inked a week before the start of this season.
Nobody’s thinking about Doughty’s faults now, though. He’s easily been the top defenseman on the top team in these NHL playoffs.
Dale Hunter has radically altered the Washington Capitals.
He’s slashed the ice time of the club’s franchise forward, Alexander Ovechkin. He’s taken a team that used to be the exemplar of run-and-gun hockey in the modern NHL and converted it into a buttoned-down, defense-first bunch.