The streak continues.
Not since the late 1990s, when the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997 and again in 1998, has their been a repeat champion in the National Hockey League.
The L.A. Kings, last year’s Stanley Cup winner after going through four different opponents like a hot knife through butter, were eliminated in this year’s Western Conference final by the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
The joy of winning the chalice last year has been replaced by the agony of defeat.
“You’re almost frozen. There’s so much going through your head, there’s nothing going through your head. … It’s almost like you don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone — or whatever that saying is — until you’ve experienced it,” said Kings general manager Dean Lombardi during a conference call Sunday, as per the L.A. Times.
“You can’t condone losing — you never want to do that — but I have to condone their sense of honor.
“They didn’t quit. They fought through and given the history of it, they deserve to be commended for what they did accomplish.”