L.A…The Birthplace of Hockey
Los Angeles! The city of Angels! The home of movies and the millionaire stars who act in them. Where it’s 85 degrees and sunny 365 days of the year. A city that embraces the flashy Lakers and the high flying Blake Griffin. A city that will support the Dodgers until the 6th inning, as traffic is so brutal that staying through the 9th is not an option. But most of all when I think of Los Angeles, I think of hockey! All over the city, millions of kids are strapping up their skates and looking for a piece of ice to hone their skills. Kobe Bryant posters have been taken off walls, to be replaced by Anze Kopitar’s smiling, toothless mug. All of the millions of die-hard Kings fans are finally coming out of the closet. LL Cool J finally has a reason to celebrate!
For those of you who have not been following, the Los Angeles Kings have jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals. After last night’s 4-0 beat down, it is inevitable that the Kings will capture their first cup in the history of the franchise. As I watched last night’s game, it was clear that the Devils have lost all faith in their chances of making this series remotely interesting. The Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick outplayed the legendary Martin Brodeur and I would be shocked if the Devils were able to avoid the sweep tomorrow night. The real joy I will take away from watching the Kings celebrate will be watching David and Victoria Beckham embrace afterwards, as their happiness is really what the Stanley Cup Finals is all about.
Fans in cities like Boston, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary think they know more about hockey then the puck heads in LA. Guys, just because it doesn’t snow or produce ice in Los Angeles doesn’t mean that your passion for hockey is any stronger. Detroit has given itself the nickname “hockeytown”, but that doesn’t mean the Redwings are a more storied franchise than the Kings. Did you know that Wayne Gretzky actually played games for the Los Angeles Kings?!?! He never played for the Redwings! So based on that fact alone, Los Angeles is clearly a better hockey city than “hockeytown”. The Redwings have 11 Stanley Cups, but as far as Kings fans are concerned, they will have 0 in 2012.
Ask Jack Nicholson and he’ll definitely be able to tell you that it took 24 years for the Kings to win a division championship, but LA fans didn’t even know about the franchise for the first 20, so it really only took 4 years of support for the Kings to bring home their first division title in 1990-1991. Two years later the Kings lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Montreal Canadiens, though Kings fans celebrated as if they won the Cup. Apparently they did not realize that Canadian teams played in the NHL, and they thought the games with Montreal were exhibition “victory tour” games. Imagine the festivities this year that will take place when they beat an American team in the Finals and actually be able to hoist the Cup. Justin Bieber and Snoop Dogg will probably lead the charge, as they have awaited a Kings’ Stanley Cup for the entirety of their lives. It’s going to be a wild celebration, though the real party will probably take place in between the second and third periods, because of course, traffic getting out of the Staples Center is just as bad as it is getting out of Dodger Stadium. Enjoy Kings fans, you guys deserve it!!