Time out, one second. Now, I know Dorian wants you all to think that the most important thing happening today is the great Gray vireo hunt, but c'mon now, let’s all be honest with ourselves. We know that the real important event occurring today is GAME ONE OF THE STANLEY CUP FINALS! Yahoooooooo!!! Can you contain yourselves?!
Me and my sisters in 2012 after the Kings
beat the Coyotes to advance to the Finals
(yes, we were at the game!)
In case you missed it (which would be have been criminal), the Kings stole Game 7 of the Conference Finals vs. the Chicago Blackhawks to advance to the Finals for only the 3rd time in their franchise history. The game went to OT, which was more than my little heart could handle. For a while there, I was starting to get nervous that they may not pull it off. When the Blackhawks went up 2-0 early in the game, my heart sank. When the Kings tied it up only to let the Hawks score seconds afterwards to take the lead again, I started throwing things. Luckily the Kings ended up righting the boat in the end, which is the only reason the place I’m staying didn’t end up looking something like this…
Needless to say, I’m a bit excited about it all. I only hope the Kings don’t make me go through another 7 game series to get the Cup. It’s been a very long post season and if this series goes to 7 as well I might need a defibrillator.
Playing the Rangers in the Finals is a bit personal for me. I have a long-standing resentment for this team that stems back to 1989 when the Kings traded Bernie Nicholls to the Rangers. I was so upset about the trade at the time that I swore I would never forgive the Rangers. Hey, I was 9. And while I now understand that the Kings decided to make the trade and we ultimately got two of the greatest wingers out of the trade (Thomas Sandstrom and Tony Granato) my vow has stuck with me. So, Rangers, it’s war. P.S. I also despise you for taking Gretzky at the end of his career. [grumble, grumble, grumble]
One more story, then I’ll leave you be (promise). As most of you know, Dorian and I met in New York in 2008. We figured out pretty early on in the relationship that we were both huge hockey fanatics, so we started going to hockey games together. In 2009 he got us tickets to a Rangers/Kings game in New York. The Kings won, of course (did you even need to ask?) and after the game Dorian and I were walking around Madison Square Gardens taunting Rangers fans and high fiving the 2 other Kings fans we did see. Side note: from the beginning of our relationship I have made Dorian wear my spare Kings jersey and my spare Kings crown to all Kings games, unless they are playing the Flyers. I’m fair, after all.
See, I don't always make him wear
a Kings jersey
As we were walking around MSG we came across this group of older guys dressed in suits. They spotted us and called us over so they could join in on the high fives. One guy in particular was super excited to see us. Keep in mind that from 2002-2009 it was bruuuuutal being a Kings fan. They went through a 6 year playoff drought where they did not qualify once. Seeing a Kings fan anywhere outside of sulking at a bar was as rare as spotting a Rufous-Necked-Wood rail in Central Park (your one bird reference for this post. You’re welcome). When the guy in the suit saw us he started asking:
Cool Suit Guy: “Wow, it’s so awesome to see Kings fans this far from LA. This is great! Are you guys from LA?”
Me: “Yep, sure am. Been watching the Kings since I was a kid. And you? Are you guys from LA?”
Suit: “Yep, we are. Just out here to watch the game.”
Me: “That’s great! Where are you from?”
Me: “Yeah, I know, but where exactly? I’m from there, so I really know the areas”
Suit got a little awkward and I could tell he felt uncomfortable telling me. So I asked again. He responded, “Well, I mean, we’re all just from LA”. Still not satisfied, I pushed again, “But what part?” He finally caved. “Well, we are actually part owners of the team”. My heart jumped to my throat. And as if on cue their fancy limo with tinted windows pulled around the corner to pick them up. Right before Suit walked over to the car he took out a piece of paper and asked me to write down my name and address. Without thinking about it, I did it. He walked over to the car and then yelled back, “Hey, who’s your favorite player?” Having just gone to the game and seeing the new kid in net for the first time I responded “Well, that Quick kid gives me hope that I haven’t had since Kelly Hrudey was on the team. He’s an incredible goalie, I can tell.” Two weeks later I received an authentic Jonathan Quick jersey in the mail. As if I wasn’t a Kings fan for life already, that sealed the deal into my next life.
The Quick jersey that came in the mail
So yeah, guess you can say I’m a little excited. And maybe if you’re not the biggest hockey fan, my insane post will tempt you to watch a little portion of the game tonight. Who knows, maybe you’ll become a Kings fan!