8. Unsung Heroes
Who doesn’t love some suspense? We root for underdogs and love when David slays Goliath and the same applies to individual players when the guy at the end of the bench makes a huge contribution to win the game. Rarely do you see the guy sitting at the end of the bench come in and have a huge spark that he single-handedly decided the outcome of the game. Sure, Robert Horry carved out a nice role in his career with the ability to make a big shot late in games, but he is the exception and far from the rule.
In the NHL you see unsung heroes emerge in every round and you don’t have to look to far in the record books to see how one played a huge role in the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup in 2014.
Justin Williams took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the postseason MVP after winning his third Cup and second with the Kings. He scored nine goals and had 16 assists during the playoffs, including the game-winning goal in Game 1 the 2014 Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers.
He also got momentum on their side with a goal that launched their 3-2 comeback in Game 5 to win the Cup. As if that wasn’t enough “Mr. Game 7” also had points in all three Game 7 games the Kings won in the first three rounds.
Williams only had 35 points in 68 regular season games but produced 25 in 26 postseason games. Now that’s clutch.
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