The Los Angeles Kings may have notched six goals in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final en route to capturing the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, but it may very well have been a play by a New Jersey Devils player that had the greatest impact on the contest.
With Game 6 scoreless midway through the first period, Devils winger Steve Bernier delivered a crushing hit on Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi, forcing him into the boards from behind. Scuderi crumpled to the ice and, in hindsight, the Devils' chances in Game 6 seem to have gone down with him. Bernier was hit with a 5-minute major for boarding and ejected from the game.
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Although there was speculation that Bernier was responding to a hit against a teammate moments earlier, the motivation hardly mattered as compared to the result. By the time that the ensuing Kings' power play was over, the home team was leading 3-0. In the first five games, the team that scored first went on to win. This power play explosion made certain that the trend continued. The immediate response by the Kings made Bernier an easy scapegoat. On Twitter, there were even a few people tweeting that Bernier should win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Kings' most valuable player.