Two months to the day before they skated the Stanley Cup around the Staples Center ice, the Los Angeles Kings were an eight seed taking on the President's Trophy-winning and defending Western Conference Champion Vancouver Canucks.
On the night of April 11, Penner buried the game-winner in a 4-2 win in Vancouver on a puck that had caromed off Jeff Carter's deftly angled skate, marking the first of 16 wins that lifted a franchise from a modest serfdom to California royalty.
"It seems like ages ago," Dustin Penner said. "We got into the playoffs by the skin of our teeth, but we knew once we were in could come together. We had the guys in the room. We had the competitive spirit. We may have surprised a few people outside of our locker room, but no one inside of it."
Though it provides hope for underdogs and eighth seeds across all sports, it's not entirely fair to think of these Kings as the little guys, not with the talent flush throughout the roster,...