"I can't believe I won that," Williams said. "That will, I don't think, ever, ever sink in."
Williams, who scored the game-opening goal in a 3-2 double-overtime win against the New York Rangers in Game 5 at Staples Center, had two goals and five assists in the Stanley Cup Final. His seven points led the series.
Williams had nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in the playoffs.
Williams isn't entirely comfortable with his budding legend. That status, he believes, is reserved for his favorite players growing up, Wayne Gretzky and Sergei Fedorov. He's a self-described gritty, feisty, competitive guy, another piece of the puzzle for the Kings.
"Up and down our lineup, you can make a case for any line, any [defense] pair. That's not just blowing smoke. That's the God's honest truth," Williams said. "To be singled out like that, have my teammates give me an applause, be genuinely excited for me, that was the most special thing."
The word may not fit Williams' description, but what he has accomplished in his NHL career is the stuff of legends. He cemented that Friday at Staples Center, when he became a Stanley Cup champion for the third time.
Williams won the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He has done it twice with the Kings in the past three seasons. In each run he's played a vital role, but never more so than this spring, scoring two goals and three assists in three Game 7 victories.
"You can throw all the stats out the window -- and he's had tremendous stats, especially in Game 7s -- because there's something else about him," Kings center Anze Kopitar said before Game 5. "He really glues this team together."
Kopitar, like defenseman Drew Doughty did earlier in the series, referred to Williams as an underrated player. But Kopitar isn't quite sure that's still the case.
Think about it; how can a player who has won the Stanley Cup three times, and now owns a Conn Smythe Trophy, be referred to as underrated?
Kings coach Darryl Sutter prefers to use another word to describe Williams: "Unique."
So unique, in fact, when Sutter was asked Tuesday to compare Williams to another player, the coach hemmed and hawed, delivered a few of his trademark facial expressions, then finally said he needed a day to think of one.
He was stumped, until Wednesday, when prior to Game 4 Sutter was asked if he had thought of a comparison to Williams. He did, but you could tell even he knew he was stretching.
"The only player I could come up with that was real similar in terms of big games and veteran experience and consistency, playing for a long time, playing on championships, was Martin Gelinas," Sutter said.
Gelinas played in the Stanley Cup Final four times, but his only championship came in his rookie season with the 1990 Edmonton Oilers. Williams is 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final.
Gelinas never had more than 15 points in a single postseason. Williams had at least 15 in each of his three championship runs.
"What's unique is, he's a consistent player every night, home and road, and he scores big goals and he understands his role," Sutter said of Williams. "A lot of times players like that don't understand their role. I think unique is another way of saying very consistent, very solid, understanding your role on a good hockey team."
Williams won't argue with any of that. All he ever wants to do is play his role and be a team guy. That's how he was raised in Cobourg, Ontario.
He was a first-round draft pick (No. 28 in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers). He was a two-time 30-goal scorer with the Hurricanes. But never has Williams thought of himself as anything more than a piece of the puzzle.
"I don't do anything flashy out there," Williams said. "I'm not the fastest skater. I don't have the greatest shot. I just try and do the best I can out there with what I have. I feel my smarts and my instincts have gotten me where I am, and my competitiveness."
Kings center Jarret Stoll said, "He's a very fiery guy. You can see how much he cares, how much he loves his teammates and the game of hockey. He wants to compete so hard, so bad. The bigger the games get, he's always showing up, making the big play."
There are so many examples of that from this postseason.
Look at Game 7 against the San Jose Sharks. Williams took the puck down the right side and drew defenders to him before slotting a pass to Kopitar for the go-ahead goal at 18:39 of the second period. The Kings scored three more times in the third to win 5-1.
Look at Game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks. Williams got the Kings started with a power-play goal at 4:30 of the first period. Los Angeles won 6-2.
And don't forget Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks, when Williams scored the game-tying goal in the first period then made the play behind the net to set-up Alec Martinez for the overtime winner in a 5-4 game.
Then Williams won Game 1 of the Cup Final in overtime, 3-2, by beating Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqivst on the stick side.
For good measure, Williams in Game 3 drew defenders toward him and made the pass to set up Jeff Carter for the first goal in a 3-0 victory. It came with 0.8 seconds remaining in the first period, and it was a dagger the Rangers couldn't pull out of their backs.
"He doesn't get enough credit for what he does," Doughty said of Williams.
He should now. He deserves it.
Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup champion, with a Conn Smythe Trophy. That's legendary.