The NHL Playoffs are the best, and the Stanley Cup by far my favorite trophy in sports, and I LOVE all the toothless happy bearded dudes (and the toothful ones, and the toothless unbearded dudes, and… you feel me). Yet all of these things also mean hockey is over for a while, so it’s a bittersweet day indeed. But CONGRATULTIONS to this team, and man, the playoffs were fun; there was a lot of overtime, an insane comeback by the Sharks against the Avs that, combination with Old Joe Thornton’s beard, ALMOST made me cheer for them except that it feels taboo as a Kings fan to do it; and lots of road wins and scoring in this final series. My personal rooting interests in these playoffs both went out in SPECTACULARLY PATHETIC FASHION in the first round, and every other team I cheered for along the way proceeded to do the same until I finally glommed onto the Blues in their series against the Sharks. I’m always delighted when a team wins for the first time, doubly so when it comes after they had worst record in the league six months ago, and TRIPLY so if it means a silver-bearded Jon Hamm is on TV looking like a delighted woodsman (here during game 4):

St. Louis was also very excited when the Cup arrived home:

This Cup must be so sticky already:

And I would be remiss not to mention Laila Anderson, an 11-year old with such a rare disease that only 15 other people in the world have it; she’s been a huge St. Louis Blues fan and they flew her out to the game and let her kiss the cup:

SNIFFLE. Come back already, hockey.

[Photos: Rex/Shutterstock]