Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – For his outstanding performance in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams has bagged the Conn Smythe Trophy.
The trophy is given to the most valuable player for his team in the National Hockey League playoffs.
“There is no one that is better than him,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said of William, who is now a three-time Stanley Cup champion and a Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Williams scored the first goal Friday in a 3-2 double-overtime win against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. He had two goals, including the overtime winner in Game 1, and five assists for seven points that led the series.
Williams had nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He had five points in three Game 7 wins, and his 14 points in seven career Game 7s are an NHL record, one better than Doug Gilmour. Williams’ seven Game 7 goals are tied with Glenn Anderson for the NHL record.
“He’s the only guy that has that many points in Game 7s. He’s alone,” Robitaille added. “He can’t be compared to anybody. You think (quarterback) Joe Montana in big games, but that is it.”
The 32-year-old Williams won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and twice with the Kings in the past three seasons.
He was rewarded with an individual trophy previously won by Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer, Steve Yzerman, Mike Bossy, Guy Lafleur and Bobby Orr, among so many other legends.
“I can’t believe I won that,” Williams said as he sat at the press conference podium with his son Jaxon in his lap. “That will, I don’t think, ever, ever sink in.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter prefers to use a different word to describe Williams: “Unique.”
A first-round pick (No. 28 in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers), he was a two-time 30-goal scorer with the Hurricanes but was heading in the wrong direction when the Kings acquired him late in the 2008-09 season.