HEAD UP, HEART HEAVY: THE LA KINGS’ SEASON ENDS

Between periods, I sat exhausted. By game’s end, I had nothing more to give. Just as our boys left it all out on the ice and did their very best, we, as LA Kings’ fans, brought our best to Staples Center and left all we had in the arena.

The LA Kings should be proud of their fans. The team, coaches and management should relish that they have such uncompromising support. After decades of futility, this fan base, our fan base, has not faltered. We continue to sell out nearly every game. This playoffs, like the last, we were as loud as any hockey arena in the NHL. I went to the Shark Tank for game two. Their team may have been predicted to win this series due to their greater talent but our fan base against theirs, side by side, is a draw and do not forget they are proclaimed by many as the loudest in the NHL.

Though my heart ached by game’s end and I watched the San Jose Sharks celebrate at center ice, it occurred to me that their journey, like ours, has been a long one. This media and pundit favored franchise predicted to compete for and win the Stanley Cup for the past several seasons has felt bitter disappointment for many years. They built the franchise through the draft and made key trades when the time was right. That didn’t and doesn’t guarantee them a Cup anymore than it guaranteed the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, or Detroit Red wings theirs but each that has climbed to the NHL elite has taken the same path.

The LA Kings are on that path.

It started with drafting and building a young core, to learning through playoff losses what it takes to win, and will carry forward to key trades that lay ahead and which will complete our roster. It culminates with building a franchise designed to last. The Stanley Cup is the one championship trophy that cannot be bought. Unlike other sports, ours must be earned and to earn the right to compete for it requires time, patience, intelligence, resolve and luck. Let the Hockey Gods smile on us for we are earning our right to become the last team standing.

The next great step is the 2011-2012 season. Dean Lombardi proclaimed five years ago, nearly to the date, that he was a builder and he chose the LA Kings because he saw a foundation already put in place. Terry Murray is going into his fourth season as the LA Kings’ coach. The time for talk and promises of better days ahead is winding to a close.

Hockey emulates life. It is only lived properly if you move forward. Dean Lombardi and Terry Murray as well as the entire coaching staff should each learn from their past mistakes, those that preceded their arrival here and those they have made while heading the LA Kings. Our fans will enter next season mindful of the sacrifices we have made for our team and the emotional investment deposited for the LA Kings’ long term success. We expect to move forward. We have earned it.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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6 replies

  1. Thanks for acknowledging the fans. I thought they were great throughout the series, but especially last night. It seems like, ever since the “booing” incident earlier in the year, that neither the coach nor players has had a single word of appreciation for the fan base.

  2. Bobby, it was nice meeting you last night. Sorry you couldn’t make that trip up to San Jose for game 7. You and Surley have done a tremendous job this season. Mike and I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs and tweets.

    Thanks for mentioning the fans. I was disappointed as my team skated off the ice and into the locker rooms after the shaking of hands. I wish they would have lingered a little and saluted the fans. It was VERY difficult not seeing a home win. 6 home playoff games the last 2 years with only 1 home win. Not too enjoyable.

    Regardless, I look forward to the hockey milestones over the summer – Draft/Trades, contract signings, prospects, camps, etc. as we head into another October. I start thinking that I’m getting older (gasp) and hoping that the cup comes in my lifetime. You realize how hard that is to achieve, and how lucky those fans are that have achieved and relished in it!

    Have a terrific summer and I hope you continue to blog occassionally.

    ~KB

    • I too was very disappointed about this:

      “I was disappointed as my team skated off the ice and into the locker rooms after the shaking of hands. I wish they would have lingered a little and saluted the fans.”

      But I imagine they wanted head off and lick their own wounds.

  3. My friend, you are being gracious beyond what is due. Yes the San Jose HP Pavillion is loud as any over-sized gymnasium seating 17K+ should be expected to be. But our fan base against theirs, side by side, is NO draw. Yes we went together and left our voices echoing in their rafters for ages to come. But I’d lose hearing, just as surely as I’ve permanently lost vocal range, if our fans, KING FANS, played in such an enclosed space. WE ARE LOUDER AND FAR MORE INTENSE!

    I’m not taking anything away from those that inhabit Teal Territory, well maybe just a little. They wear their jerseys in droves. Not just the hardcore fans, but it seems like every grandmother in the building has one on too.

    But their volume and intensity, maybe because they haven’t suffered through all the years we have is not our match, and it will never be. In some year, far, far off from now, I’ll go to my grave knowing that to be a universal truth.

    Yes their team won this round but there will be others in the future, the near future in hockey terms. But still for them, nothing is guaranteed but that they will see US, and dread seeing US, again. Kyle Clifford will still scare their children. Neimi will once again be more sieve than wall, and The Britannia Arms remains only safe for a while.

    But in the meantime, I’ve secured my grandmother’s promise that everything Teal in her wardrobe can be burned!

  4. Last night I sat down in the PR level..away from my grand 300’s and you could tell just how LOUD AND PROUD Kings fans were last night. Yes it was a defeat for the team but what a winning group of fans. Yelling our hearts out the entire night (though a side note the PR section is a bit more subdued than good old upper level….) and leaving without a voice and missing part of my hockey heart. It is good to know that after all these years Kings fans still stand behind their team.

    So no saying “what if??” just time to start saying “can’t believe this awesome season” for next year. As long as we BELIEVE in our team we will see more playoffs and more record setting and I believe a nice little trophy called the Stanley Cup! (Hey a girl has to keep dreaming of finding perfection!)

    But I think I need to get rid of my teal Converse!

  5. Sacrifices and Emotional Investment.. that sums up this LOYAL AND FOREVER
    LOVING MY KINGS Fan!
    To The Future.. GO KINGS GO !!!

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