At the end of the mile-long parade route, all the Kings players and staff members went back inside Staples Center to prepare for the rally, and a few players stopped to chat about the festivities. Dustin Penner previously won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, but that year the Ducks only had a rally, so Penner was able to experience a championship parade for the first time, and he shared some neat thoughts about the ride.
PENNER: “It’s one of those moments you want to relive over and over again. I think I took more pictures than a lot of fans did. … It was extremely loud. I think they were handing out free foghorns over at the gas station, maybe. It was amazing to see the support, and put a lot of faces to the cheers we’re heard all year.’’
At the start of the parade, the buses briefly got on the 110 freeway. Only in Los Angeles would a parade route include a freeway. All too fitting. Cars on both sides of the freeway recognized the moment and blared their horns in support. At least Penner hoped so.
PENNER: “I don’t know if they were honking because they were happy or because we were in the way. It is L.A., right?’’
Jonathan Quick and Anze Kopitar also talked about celebrating the championship…
QUICK: “You enjoy it. I’m a big believer in, even during the regular season, when you win a game you enjoy it. Just enjoy it for however long you can, before you have to prepare for the next one. … Obviously the win that we get to enjoy right now is better than any of the ones I’ve ever been a part of, and anyone on this team has ever been a part of. Being here and talking to all of you (media), it comes with being able to win that game, and you’ve got to enjoy it and have fun with it.’’
KOPITAR: “It was loud. It was really loud. It was a lot of people and it was amazing. … I didn’t know what to expect. You see pictures of the Lakers’ parade, and everything is packed. This was just as good, if not better.’’
Question: Have you heard from people in Slovenia, about what the celebration has been like?
KOPITAR: “I’ve gotten so many text messages. Pretty much, 80 percent I didn’t even have time to reply, because I haven’t had any time. The next couple days, I’m going to talk with my buddies. They know I’m busy and it’s a busy time and it’s a fun time. I’m sure, when it’s all said and done, they’re going to give me a quick recap.’’