After nearly 45 years without a Cup, after 41/2 decades with one division title and one conference crown to show for their existence, and after eight years, from 2002 to 2010 without making the playoffs, the Kings had earned every minute of it.
The Conn Smythe Trophy was there, and plenty of people borrowed Jonathan Quick's hardware long enough to chant "M-V-P!" for themselves.
The first eighth-seeded team to earn a title won 10 straight road games this spring.
"Guys have to make a decision to work," said Quick, the goalie who carried the Kings. "I think we did that."
The Kings' surge actually began in the regular season, when a talented roster came together in the final 20 games or so. They clinched a playoff spot right before their 81st game.
In a high-risk deal, Los Angeles traded puck-moving defenseman Jack Johnson for forward Jeff Carter, the former Flyer who scored two goals - including the game-winner - in the 6-1 Cup-clinching win over New Jersey in Game 6.
Los Angeles' older players, including former Flyer Simon Gagne, played seamlessly alongside youngsters Drew Doughty and Dwight King.
Dustin Penner was an imposing presence on a playoff line with Carter and former Flyers captain Mike Richards.
Forwards Carter, Richards, and first-liners Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, and Justin Williams, another former Flyer, are signed for at least two seasons.