Can the LA Kings capture the coveted Stanley Cup?

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Yes, this nerve-racking National Hockey League finals series has gone on way too long for the restless city of Los Angeles, who’s waited 45 years to finally sing the immortal words of Queen: "We Are The Champions."

But the harder the fight, the sweeter the reward, and no prize maybe be more cherished and adored than what some would call sports’ most unique trophy — the Stanley Cup.

Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston, who was governor general of Canada, bought the then-$50 silver bowl to use as a national hockey championship trophy. The NHL adopted the Cup in 1926.

The silver and nickel chalice has many names: The Cup, Lord Stanley’s Mug, The Holy Grail, etc. But what makes the Cup rare: the names.

The names of the players, coaches and management staff who are crowned NHL’s season champions are engraved on the barrel of the Cup. The tradition stretches back to the early 1900s when players with the Montreal Wanderers first engraved their names onto the trophy.

There have been a few errors and misspelled names. Of course there is no way all the names, since the tradition became official in 1924, could physically fit on the Stanley Cup, so every 13 years or so an older band is retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto for display.

“This is where every hockey player wants to be,” said center Jeff Carter, who played for the Cup once with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2009-2010 season.

If the Kings... when the Kings (fingers crossed) win the Stanley Cup, they literally get to bring it home. Each person gets one whole day, 24 hours, to do what he or she wishes with the silverware. Some have done just that and ate directly from the Cup, others have baptized children in it.

So what will the Kings do? I guess we’ll have to wait yet another excruciating game to find out.

For a map of downtown street closures in the wake of the game, see below.

View Street Closures -- Kings Game 6 in a larger map

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