The Los Angeles Kings won their second Stanley Cup title in three seasons thanks in part to forward Justin Williams, who scored 9 goals and recorded 25 points in 26 games. Dubbed “Mr. Game 7,” he didn’t just produce in the do-or-die game of a playoff series -- Williams played a big role throughout the postseason, and for that was voted by a select panel from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association as the 2014 Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Speaking earlier this week about the award, Williams was appreciative of being in the conversation, but his eyes were on the “big jug.”
“I mean, that's an award that a lot of NHLers obviously aspire to have,” Williams said. “But at the same time when you're presented with it, I think a lot of guys just want to put it aside and look to the big jug. That's pretty much how I can explain it. I mean, to be even mentioned with these big guys in that conversation is awesome. But, hey, the big one is what matters. Yeah, I want to taste it again.”
In Games 5-7 this postseason, Williams scored five times and recorded 12 points. Two of those goals came in Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks during LA’s historic first round comeback; another was scored versus the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the second round; the fourth helped erase a 2-0 first deficit in Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final; and finally, the fifth opened the scoring for the Kings in Game 5 against the New York Rangers.
When Williams scored, the Kings won, which is reflected by their 7-0 record this postseason when he tallied a goal.
“Every Cup has equally been special, but this one with what we went through and the Game 7s and backs against the wall… we came through in every aspect of it," Williams told NBC afterward. "I’m so proud of our team.”
A first round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in 2000, Williams was acquired by the Kings at the 2009 NHL trade deadline, three years after winning his first Cup as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. He’s now a three-time winner and has become part legend for his heroics in the playoffs.
“That’ll never sink in," he said. "To get that trophy and get the ovation from my teammates and everyone makes it really special.”
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