"It was one of the best-looking plays you'll see in hockey.
Kings center Anze Kopitar took the puck in the defensive zone, skated it past the blue line and lobbed it high in the air, 15 feet or so, landing a pass a few strides from Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, where linemate Dustin Brown, a step ahead of Dany Heatley, corralled it, did a quick stick-shiver, then went forehand to backhand, flipping in the final goal in Los Angeles' 4-0 win on Monday.
It was commonly described as an alley-oop pass, but that doesn't do it justice. Alley-oops are common, comparable to one-timers in hockey. This was more like a full-court alley-oop, almost impossible to pull off: The timing has to allow the receiver to get behind the defense but stay onside, the drop has to be precisely placed, the bounce has to be soft and straight, the reception and finish have to be quick and in stride.
Spend time around ice rinks and you'll see kids try it. Outside a competitive environment, it'll work maybe 5 percent of the time. In a game situation, almost never. Kings coach Terry Murray, who has been around pro hockey as a player or coach for the better part of four decades, said he had "only seen that play connect one time before, ever."
When it does, it produces a reaction that is distinct and identifiable in sports: These guys are having just a bit too much fun out there.
The Kings look like that a lot this season."
"In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened." - Vin Scully being clairvoyant in 1988.
The Los Angeles Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Champions