Congrats to the Kings and the L.A. fans on a great victory last night. The Kings were an 8 seed, meaning last playoff contender in their conference. With 6 games to go in the regular season the Kings were not even qualified for the 16 team (out of 30 total NHL teams) NHL playoffs. But they dominated the competition to secure the Cup, with a record for the playoffs of a remarkable 16-4.
While an 8 seed hasn't won the Cup before, it's actually a regular occurence that a low seed gets to the finals--8 times snce 2000, a team seeded 5-8 has made it to the Cup Finals (New Jersey, the Kings opponent, was a 6 seed) . And many teams seeded below 3 have won. As Red Wings fans know, a great regular season, even setting point records, doesn't mean you won't go out in the first round.
When my friends ask me why I don't watch Wngs games at home until the playoffs, this is why. I prefer watching regular season games that actually mean something. I know a large majority of hockey fans don't agree with me at all, and thank goodness for the NHL that they don't. It makes me even more thankful for college football, with a regular season that is critical, and soon to have a playoff system that, no matter which alternative goes in, will ensure that the regular season continues to matter and that regular season excellence is rewarded, whle still crowning a champion on the field.