I love history. As an American History geek, I could talk to you about the 100 year period of 1770 to 1870 for hours. I am amazed how little Americans have learned from our own history and how often we repeat the mistakes of our past. When it comes to Kings history, there isn’t much to learn but far more to lament. The highlights have been few and far between. That is why you keep seeing highlights of the “Miracle on Manchester” which is now over 30 years old and the few playoff series that we have won. Our history doesn’t speak to greatness as much as it reads like a cautionary tale.
In our history of the past two decades, we have had two meaningful years – 1993 and 2001. 2001 was the year we eliminated the Detroit Red Wings in 6 games and then lost to Colorado in 7. Will you ever forget the egg we laid in game 7 against the Avalanche? Me neither. Will you ever forget Rob Blake lifting the Stanley Cup as an Avalanche? Yup, I know. It still angers me. But there was some success there and, at the time, it was a proud moment. The moment passed as did the short-lived success with which it came.
1993 was special. That series against Toronto that sent us to the Finals is forever burned into my mind. I can still take you through it game by game and, game 7, nearly shift by shift. Ah, fuck it, let’s re-live a little.
1993 was my greatest moment in L.A. Kings history, specifically, that series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. We came in as underdogs. We played like Kings and the greatest hockey player to ever play the game played like that title was beyond dispute. Watch and listen to the last 40 seconds of that video. Listen to Bob Miller’s voice. Does it choke you up a little? Me too.
Fast forward to 2012. A 3-1 lead against the heavily favored Vancouver Canucks, a team that most predicted would finish us in 6 and some claimed would be 5. 5…that is not respect. Now, it is game 5, except the pundits find themselves scratching their head and wondering what happened. I have told some of them what happened. Boys played like men, men played like Kings and overcame on the ice what cannot be calculated on paper. We have done in this series what we did in 2001 and in 1993. We over came the odds. But what have we really won? As of this minute? Nothing. If we eliminate Vancouver in game 5? A little but only in the sense we upset a favored team which, when history is written, will have little meaning compared to the rest of these playoffs and especially the Cup winner.
If our players have a sense of pride, not just in their own game, but that of the franchise for which they play and they want to be part of something that the L.A. Kings have not been able to call their own for over 40 years, they will play on Sunday and every game thereafter like they carry the pen to history’s pages and are able to give to a large and growing fan base something that no one else before them has – not even the greatest hockey player to ever play the game – immortality and a defining moment we will relish until the day we die.
Categories: L.A. Kings News