The Anaheim Ducks have just won the 2007 Stanley Cup!
For a long-suffering Southern California hockey fan like me, this has certainly been a very long wait. I’ve waited for this moment since McSorley’s illegal stick in 1993. Sure enough, since that time, the Kings never again made it to the Finals, and the Ducks made it once, in 2003, only to lose to the Devils in 7.
From the time the Ducks-Senators series was set, I thought this would be the year of the Ducks. The key reason was the opposing goalie — no disrespect to Senator’s goalie Emery, but the last two times a Southern California team made it to the Finals, the opposing goalies were Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur, two future hall of famers, and as we all know, in the playoffs, defense and goaltending wins games. Sure enough, the Ducks won in part because of superior goaltending.
I must also give credit to Wayne Gretzky for the Ducks winning the Stanley Cup. Without Gretzky going to the Kings in 1988, the Ducks (and a host of other warm-weathered teams) would not even exist, let alone winning the Cup. I remember first hearing about the trade when I was driving on the freeway, and my first reaction was “The Kings will win a Stanley Cup!” Well, it still hasn’t happened for the Kings, but at least it happened to the Ducks.