We Are All Kings

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Game 5 was a freaking roller coaster. One of the worst 1st periods I’ve ever seen the Kings play. Then a major comeback in the 2nd. Only to be crushed in the 3rd. My poor heart.

The last time I witnessed the handshake line, the Kings swept the Blues. We were on the losing end this time around, but it is still the best damn tradition in professional sports.

‘Till next season, boys 🙋

Go Kings Go!

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Two

It was 1996.
Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned.
Mad Cow Disease hit Britain.
I started watching hockey.

I turned on the TV one day and hockey happened to be on. Normally I would have changed the channel, but for some reason I felt compelled to keep watching.

It was Kings vs. Avalanche. The game was fast-paced. The scoring went back and forth. The Kings won in OT! I was hooked!

And though the Kings didn’t make the playoffs that year, I became a fan. Two months later, I watched the Avs raise the Cup and wondered when I would see the Kings do so. Little did I know that it would take 16 years and a revolving door of goaltenders…

Hrudey
Dafoe
Storr
Fiset
Chabot
Legace
Potvin
Passmore
Huet
Cechmanek
Garon
Labarbera
Cloutier
Burke
Brust
Aubin
Ersberg

Quick

The highlight of those years, a memory that I often replayed in my head, was when Adam Deadmarsh eliminated the Red Wings in OT.

It was that memory that I recalled after Jarret Stoll scored the OT goal against the Canucks in 2012. Instead of losing Game 7 of the next round, the Kings went on to win the Stanley freakin’ Cup! In historic fashion no less!

Two seasons later, the Kings are champs again, making even more history this time around!

Two championships.
My team.
The Kings.

Is this real life?

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Yes. Yes it is.

As Expected

First this:

Then this:

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Is it 1993 or 2012? I’m not sure.

But the worst FAIL of all?

Yup, Anze Kopidor, Brad Doty and the rest of the LA Kings have done a great job putting the ball in the net and are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals!

Hm…

Being a resident of LA, I’m used to hockey getting the short end of the stick by the local media because, let’s face it, LA is first and foremost a basketball/baseball town. It’s just embarrassing that these gaffes have become internet sensations, further perpetuating the perception that LA doesn’t know or care about hockey. I can attest that this is not true, at least not in regards to the fan base.

Tears

Break out the brooms, it’s a SWEEP!

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Bye, bye Blues! Jamie Storr has been avenged.

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It’s hard to describe the wave of emotion that came over me with 3 minutes remaining in the game. The atmosphere inside Staples Center was electric. I stood with my fellow Kings fans, waving our rally towels, cheering like it was 1993. When Brownie scored the empty net goal with 26 seconds to go, I broke down and tears started streaming down my face. It’s normal to cry in public right?

It’s Been A While

Who thought the Kings were going to eliminate the Canucks in 5 games? Not me!

Who thought Penner and Stolly would get GWGs? Not me!

It’s not that I’m not a die hard fan. I’m a cautious and guarded fan. Memories from the past 16 years have haunted me, made me numb and redefined the word, hope.

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Great atmosphere @ LA Live for Game 3

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When I arrived to watch Game 3 at Staples, I was excited yet nervous. The Kings were up 2-0 in the series! Why would that make me nervous? Oh right, because just the year before, I was at Staples Center watching the Kings blow a 4-0 lead to lose Game 3 in OT. Yup, it ain’t easy being an LA Kings fan.

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Light it up!!

The Canucks dominating the first two periods did nothing to calm my nerves, even though at that point, it was still a scoreless game. I called it early on that it would be a 1-0 game and I was right; Brownie scored in the 3rd and Quick came through with a shutout.

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After the game, fans gathered outside Staples and chanted “sweep”. To be honest, I didn’t know how to feel about being up 3-0 in a series. This was the first time that the Kings have ever been ahead 3-0, like EVER. I wasn’t emotionally prepared to deal with the situation. When Game 4 came around, I couldn’t bring myself to watch and I used work as an excuse to avoid it. Too much pressure for the Kings? Pshh, too much pressure for me!

So the Kings weren’t able to close the series out in Game 4 and I’m actually glad for this because the Kings needed to be brought down to reality. TOO MUCH confidence is not necessarily a good thing. And besides, eliminating the Canucks in Vancouver is SO. MUCH. SWEETER. #revenge

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IT FEELS DAMN GOOD

Now that we’re moving on to the 2nd round FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2001, I think the most important takeaway for the Kings is that there will be games in which they will battle hard and statistically should win, but don’t (ie. Game 4). As in Game 5, I hope the Kings do not get discouraged and focus on the game at hand. One game at a time, boys.

4 down. 12 to go. GO KINGS GO!

LA Kings Women’s Workshop

So I’ve always wanted to learn to play hockey. It’s on THE list.

Having watched hockey since I was in junior high, I can say that I understand the game fairly well, but actually playing the game, as I’ve recently learned, is completely different. Let’s just say, from now on, I’ll think twice about yelling obscenities at the TV (or at Staples) when players turn the puck over, fall, fan on a shot or shoot the puck high and wide.

I was on FB this past Valentine’s Day and saw this flyer from the LA Kings:

And I thought to myself… even though I won’t know anyone there and I’ve only ice skated twice in my entire life, why the hell not?

When I met the other girls at the gear fitting, I was relieved to find out that 95% did not have any hockey experience. The fitting was enlightening because I had no idea how much shit ice hockey players had to put on. I also had no idea how anything was supposed to fit, but Hillary and Ashley from the LA Kings Org and the guys at Hockey Tron were very helpful. I left with a hockey bag stuffed with a full set of gear: caged helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin guards, hockey pants and socks, gloves, skates, jersey with my last name and random #, stick, green tape/green laces/green blade cover/jill strap (additional $).

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It wouldn’t be me without the green! 😀

Having only ice skated twice in my life, I’m actually not too bad at going forward. I can generate some speed and more importantly, not wobble or fall. My problem is stopping. I don’t have to crash into the boards or anything in order to stop, I just slow down and ease my way into stopping. I do think that this workshop has gotten me to a point where I can almost do a full hockey stop. Almost.

The first two sessions of the workshop were held at the LA Kings Valley Ice Center. We worked on skating and puck handling basics. My favorite drills were Superman/Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman with a twist. SO FUN! BTW, falling on the ice wasn’t so bad because of all the gear we had on.

“Oh, that’s not bad.” Yea, thanks, guys. 😛

Our third practice was at STAPLES CENTER. This experience alone was well worth the cost of the workshop.

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As expected, Staples Center ice > LA Kings Valley Ice Center ice

The final session was the official “Game Day”. Family and friends were invited to watch 😀

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People outside the hockey world who think couple minute shifts are easy just have no idea. I was seriously gassed after every shift. GASSED. Legs could not move anymore!

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Do you see the huge smile on my face in this blurry picture?

I am SO glad I took part in this workshop. It was such a blast and I learned a lot in a short matter of time! To continue my progression and also in preparation for the LA Kings Women’s Intermediate Workshop in the summer, I’m considering taking an adult learn to play hockey class at the Toyota Sports Center (I work 5 minutes away). SO. EXCITED.

Special thanks to Daryl Evans and Hillary Hodding!

Progress Report

Some stats going into the All-Star break.

Against teams currently above .500…
– The Kings are 20-11-9
– In 15 out of 40 games (37.5%), they’ve scored 2+ goals
– GFA = 2.275
– GAA = 2.1

Against teams currently below .500
– The Kings are 4-5-1
– In 2 out of 10 games (20%), they’ve scored 2+ goals
– GFA = 1.6
– GAA = 2.2

sportclubstats.com currently gives the Kings a 68.7% chance of making the playoffs. bleh.