We’re Going To The Cup Finals – Reflection on The Game, The Airport And Video

Has it sunk in for you yet? I’m still in a daze, but a daze with the broadest of smiles worked into the fabric of my face.

We’re going to the Cup finals.

My whole life I’ve wanted to go meet this team at the airport but I never knew where or when to go and never really had a great reason to since I’ve had a drivers license.

Last night was perfect. The fervor. Watching that overtime with my dad, both of us sitting on the edge of the coffee table the entire frame. Losing my cool every time the Kings almost scored but didn’t. Yelling at Drew Doughty on the TV, pleading with him not to lose his own cool while he flipped out at the refs. Flipping out myself at Dustin Brown’s hit on Rozsival and thinking to myself “this just got real” and a small, vindictive part of me wishing it had been Shane Doan being helped off the off in pain.

Then the goal. The goal that none of us believed actually went in the net. I saw the puck go in, I saw the goal light go on, I saw the referee point. And yet my dad and I just stared at each other for a long moment. Time stood still as the realization crept upon us like a hairline crack in a pane of glass, cascading one thread at a time in every direction until… Explosion. Eruption. Devastation of soul.

We’re going to the Cup finals.

We lost it. I didn’t stop jumping and pacing for 30 minutes. The first time I sat down was in the car to speed down the 405 to Imperial Highway behind LAX.

This is the first time I am truly thankful for twitter. My head was spinning so quickly that I could not latch onto a single thought until I saw the Bailey twitter feed demand “6411 West Imperial Highway – get there now!”

It wasn’t even a question.

I dialed Scribe.

“What are you doing right now?”
“You want to go the airport?”
“Let’s do it”
“See you there”

I’m surprised we needed to exchange that many words.

Then I called Timmy. He was all over it. I called an old friend, Sean, who lives in Redondo Beach, no hesitation.

We’re going to the Cup finals.

We and 4000+ other Kings fans traversed the distance through the police and down the long road to line up and wait.

“The Kings will be here in 45 minutes”

15 minutes later.

“The Kings haven’t left Phoenix yet. They’ll be here in an hour and a half.”

What did it matter how long when time was still stubbornly stuck to its tendrils of the moment I kept reliving in my head from an hour before? We would wait all night.

Then Luc Robitaille drove by. 10 minutes later this happened.

A perfect memory.

To have a moment so personal shared simultaneously with so many is the mark of the truly special.

It was another hour before the LA Kings plane touched down. Another hour of seeing more and more Kings fans line up beyond sight, new faces and old, the same faces I see so often at Staples Center. An hour gleefully spent recounting the night’s events.

Reliving what we can’t see enough times.

Laughing giddily and almost nervously at how we owned that overtime, how Doughty and Carter started out so poorly and rose to such heights all in one game. How Kopitar treated every shift like the most important he’d ever played. How Quick, despite giving up 3 goals made one great save after another when he was most needed. Using our miracle creation phones to read the sweetly sour grapes of Mike Smith and Shane Doan giving reporters fodder for bitter articles, the NHL cause for heavy fines and the hockey world a taste of their true unsportsmanlike character.

But Mike Smith slashing Richards as his final act of what should be remembered as the best season of his career, Shane Doan using hockey’s most hallowed and respected tradition as an opportunity to bark at Brown while disdainfully shaking his head, nothing could taint this night.

We’re going to the Cup finals.

I wanted to record a better video for you rabid fans who could not make the trip to the airport. I know you all wanted to be there. When the Kings drove by my own excitement took precedence and the resulting video is hard to decipher, but I hope you enjoy it all the same. For while faces can’t really be seen, the pure happiness of a hoard of Kings fans can be felt.

It hasn’t truly sunk in for me.

Last night was unbecoming of the barbarism of language. You know what it was.

You also know that the best is yet to come.

We’re going to the Stanley Cup Finals.



Categories: L.A. Kings Videos

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

53 replies

  1. Bob and Jim might get a chance to call the finals.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=632426

    • Yeah saw that. Still wouldn’t get to hear it live but it’s something.

      But I don’t think that’s gonna matter in case the Cup will be handed to Dustin Brown at Staples Center at the end of game 6.

    • I think the Kings need to win this for Bob more than anyone! Sometimes I forget he is 73 and has been with the Kings as long as he has. Bob needs this Kings! Let’s make it happen! Go Mother Fucking Kings!!!!

  2. In an age where kids react with lightning speed on digital media to share every ridiculous thought within fractions of a second of thinking it, my 67 year old father with arthritis and Mr.Magoo glasses beat every tech savvy whipper snapper I know to call me to celebrate before the Kings had even cleared the bench. The spirit of a Kings fan never dies!!

    Go Muther Suttin Kings.

  3. i cried watching the airport video, thanks!

  4. I currently have the BIGGEST shit eating grin on my face right now watching this. Dude. DUDE. DUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!!!!!! WE’RE PLAYING FOR THE MOTHER FUCKING CUP!!!!!!!

  5. Surly, that was totally boto…. or is it bodo? Anyway, that was so cool.
    It was almost like an art film. I think the coolest thing was seeing that little white animal (a rabbit I think) that someone was waving.
    GKG!! Thanks for posting it!!

  6. God dammit this is awesome.

    I’ve already explained to my wife that if the Kings win this thing…it will be the best day of my life…and that our wedding day would be a “close 2nd” …but really…it wouldn’t be that close…
    ha!

  7. “Fuck Hammond” haha. Laughed my ass off.

    Yeah that airport video was awesome. Ear to ear grin right now, felt like I was there.

    Gotta be an amazing feeling to land and see hundreds or thousands of fans there cheering you on.

    God I wish I still lived in LA.

  8. Surly & Bobby: with your popularity and huge readership, you are at a point that you need to have your own pro photo/cameramen entourage so that you call can get the best videos in the world to post and display, here at SSLAKHNBOOK.

    Who needs Facebook and Zuck, when we got SSLAKHNBOOK with Surly and Bobby!!

  9. Awesome vid. Posted. Thanks. The only thing better is you watching it with your pop…as did I. Simply a great night and one that will not soon be forgotten.

  10. Was Quick in the van?

  11. I am surprised that you were able to even type this…..what a truly awesome, amazaing, wonderful, terrific, great, fantastic, super…..I am running out of words here. My 79 year old mom loves Dustin Penner and she was crying last night with happiness….she calls him her boy!

  12. Did anyone else notice the “classy” fan giving the finger int he back as brownie posed with the trophy? Nice way to represent those hooligan fans.. they are probly just pissed that they dont have an ice cold stadium to spend a few more days at and have to deal with 100+ temps now.

    What trash. Glad that’s over with. Now, on to the trophy that matters most.

    PS. I think we should petition for LA Kings fans who have put their sweat and tears into this team be allowed to touch the cup when we bring it home to LA. …. just sayin.

  13. … Luc laughed his ass off when our group yelled to him “we’re going to the damn Finals!” Good times.

  14. As great as it would have been to have us win on home ice…what a pleasure it was to see Doan and Smith lose it in front of their fans. The lack of sportsmanship and respect for tradition makes me smile, knowing that Doan will never get to the Finals. Also, a very special ‘fuck you’ to the Phoenix fans that threw crap at our players. But really the joy is in watching our Kings get back to the finals, not dwelling on those losers. I’ve been a fan since 1973, the year Bob Miller started. I have lived through so many ups and downs. Last night made it all worth it. I started taking my son, Surly Jacob to games since he was an infant. Some of the best times of my life have been spent watching the Kings with him. He has far surpassed me in his passion and knowledge of the game. Can’t wait to sit with him in MSG or New Jersey and see the Kings play for the cup. What a great ride the last few months have been! Go Kings Go!

  15. Talking about pictures, here is one that came out at Staples. Really cool stuff:

    http://1.cdn.nhle.com/nhl/images/upload/gallery/2012/05/frozen_moment_052312_std.jpg

  16. You took the words right out of my mouth… “6411 w imperial hwy” I kept repeating so not to forget it. Everything you said was sooooooooooo on spot!!! I am still on cloud 9!

  17. Penner appreciated the LAX 4000 wild King fans last night, where he was really pumped up
    at the airport:

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_c7kftxwpRwQ/Tbj4dXe7FGI/AAAAAAAABuQ/pVVyDbzceUw/LAX_Penner_NoBubble.jpg

    His comments at LA KingsInsider:

    PENNER: “There were definitely a lot of fans waiting when we came back. I heard rough estimates of around 4,000 people. It was like driving down a hallway lined with human flesh, or people I guess you could say, because you couldn’t see anything but people screaming and Kings jerseys. It’s something that not anyone will forget ever, I think, on the Kings side who was a part of it. It’s one of those things you only get to experience when you make it to the Finals.’’

    Question: Have you ever had anything like that?

    PENNER: “No, I can’t… There were fans waiting, when we got back (while playing in Anaheim). When we clinched, to go to the Finals, we were at home. So I’m not too sure, but I think that’s where we clinched, so there were obviously a lot of fans there, but I’ve never been in a position where you win on the road and come back to that. I don’t know if the control tower was just being nice, but they said it was the biggest amount of people waiting for a team at LAX after a victory. So that was a nice little feather to put in the hat, especially being in a city like L.A.’’

    GO KINGS GO!!!

  18. The easy part is over, now its time to finish what couldn’t be finished 19 years ago.
    No McSorley “Banana Blade”
    No “Jacques Demers”
    No “Patrick Roy”

    If the Rangers make it to the final, I would assume there would be a need for Clifford to neutralize Prust, or Dubinsky. Not sure you would want Nolan to have to bear that responsibility.

    I hope Bob and Jim can be heard, I seriously do not want to hear Emerick and his over reactive obnoxious “ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, and I don’t want to hear the useless factoids I don’t give a fuck about from Pierre.

  19. … I love the Kings. And, a lot of other people do, too. This is an example of that love.

  20. i read this blog everyday but only occasionally add a comment. But man! that video reinspires me! What a feeling after all these years. I stick by the Kings no matter what and this is what I have been waiting for! Coyotes thought they were entitled, i guess cause they won the division, but they acted like little bitches after they lost. They played dirty and whined like i’ve never seen……….slasher Smith should be ashamed of himself. Had it been some team other than the Kings I would be rooting them on to beat the bitch ass yotes!

  21. Funny watching tonites post game and Mike Millbury wasn’t there. Coincidence? I think not.

    • Well, well, it 1993 once again. An average season, a great post season. Here we go.

      Anyone hear Millbury and Roenick going at it about the Brown hit? Roenick went crazy on Millbury’s mindless ranting.

      Millbury…the whistle blew he should have turned away. He should have been penalized and suspended
      Roenick: Never had the time, it was a split second
      Millbury: Brown had plenty of time…
      Roenick: Never had the time, it was split second.
      Millbury: He had plenty of time, he….
      Roenick: Did you have the time when you hit people after the whistle?
      Milbury: Brown ha….
      Roenick: Never had the time, never
      Millbury: Brown…
      Roenick: Never had the time, never
      Millbury: Brow…
      Roenick: Never had the time,
      Millbury: He…
      Roenick: Never had the time,
      Millbury:
      Roenick: Never had the time, clean hit.

      I think I know who Roenick will be rooting for.

  22. I was dreading being at work all night knowing that this game was going on at that very moment. It took everything I had not to check the score. For it takes all the Excitement and suspense out when you watch a game you already know the outcome of. Then a fellow coworker came to me and said, “Kings win in OT!” Partly annoyed but completely overjoyed, I screamed in a fit of joy! Then I saw Bailey’s post on Facebook. I called my wife and all I said was, get my Kopi jersey and be ready when I pull up to the house. I made it home by 11pm and we took off like a bat out of hell down the PCH. We got there and drove around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot in quiet little neighborhood. Ran as fast as my fat out of shape ass could run to the airport fearing I may have missed the arrival. Only had to wait a little over an hour. Then the western coference champs, god it feels good to say that, made their way down the street giving out hi 5’s. It may have only lasted 5 minutes, but the hour + drive, the 3 block run that almost gave me a heart attack and the hour + wait was all completely 110% worth it. By the time I got home and got to sleep, it was about 3:30-4am. I called out sick from work today just so I could watch the game. And it was completely amazing!!! And the reaction by the Coyotes was beyond anything I could’ve ever hoped for. Thank you guys for your pre-game prayers. I reposting them to my Facebook every time for others to read. They instill hope and inspiration to get me through work until I get home from work to watch the game. See you at the finals!!!

  23. Thank you Surly and Scribe! You guys are the best! This video made me tears up and I bawled watching our boys wearing the Western Conference Champions hat! I get the chills watching the videos and reading each and everyone of these awesome comments. We Kings fans are F****** AWESOME! GO KINGS M***** F****** GO!!!

  24. Great video clip. Reminds me of Oilers ’06 run. The difference is the Kings will win the oldest team trophy in the world. I hope you Kings fans get it, right now. It’s in the bag. This is not ’93. League has changed. Game has changed. I’ve watched the Oilera since ’76. The Los Angeles Kings will win the 2012 Stanley Cup. Congratulations.

  25. Thanks for going there dudes. Awesome to see our team get the support they deserve.
    Its great that the city is getting behind them, I was shocked my neighbor had the game on last night and I could here people screaming at the bar down the street. I always wonder how many people we could get to come to a parade, if we ever had one. You see those old films in Philly and Montreal when people lined the streets for blocks. Chicago 2 years ago was insane. Then you think how it would suck for the players if we didnt have a huge turnout. So Im all for new fans and bandwagoners, we need an army. It just sucks for tix because they are getting crazy expensive.

  26. I live in Quack territory and a few years ago now, I had to visit my daughters school because a few boys were getting a little aggressive with her for wearing Kings clothing. To make a long story short, there were only a handful of Kings supporters…A few days ago she comes to me with a somewhat nasty attitude and says, “Do you know how many so-called Kings fans there are at my school now? I can’t stand those fake Duck losers” Hahaha Her first experience regarding the predictable “bandwagon” supporter.

    For those who always look for respect, let it be known, I shopped at Chicks, (Dicks-I have a hard time calling it that) Sport Chalet and Sports Authority looking for shoes this past weekend and what was the first thing I/you saw walking into the store?.. Racks of King jerseys, shirts and hats. How about them apples?

    Also, all the local news stations are trying to support our team. Even though they have no idea what they’re talking about,(exception being Jim Hill who has always given us props) talking they are. You have to like that. Amazing what happens when you win.

    Awesome victory!
    Awesome video!
    Awesome fans!

    • Before going up to Phoenix for Game 1, my hubby and I were in Tucson (about an hour and a half south). He wanted a new Kings hat for the game, since his old one was pretty shabby, and thought we should see what we could find in town. We went to three different sports stores in one mall. Found Kings hats and other gear at each store. Coyotes stuff? Extremely lacking, and had less than the offerings of other teams. One store did have a rack of generic looking playoff shirts. Sad.
      But, he was a happy to have a big selection of Kings hats to choose from before we went to the game the next day. Whoot!

  27. Gretzky impressed by Kings: “They’re a much better team than we were in ’93″

    Source: http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/24/gretzky-impressed-by-kings-theyre-a-much-better-team-than-we-were-in-93/related/

    Okay, nice to know what is obvious here, but I will stick my neck out here that the 93 team’s bigger problem was goaltending in Hrudey. In 1993 he played 50 regular season games, with 18 wins and 21 losses and 6 ties. In the playoffs in 93, he had 20 games with 10 wins and 10 losses.

    With that kind of goaltending stats, the 93 team was challenged to accomplish as much as it did at that time.

    Back in those days, there was a big love affair with Hrudey among many (maybe most) King fans, and I think it was the fact that the offensive side of the team was making many to get pumped over some of the weak links on the team at that time. However, I know there was a good amount of skeptics about Hrudey and disappointed with inconsistencies that were happening frequently in his game.

    Today, I strictly go by what we can see and analyze with the Kings, where it is a team that is on fire and seems on a mission to vindicate all the skeptics and fulfill its potentials that were impressive on paper. Hot streaks are really something to behold and not dismiss lightly, because, that is what we have been enjoying since February.

    This Kings’s hot streak has been greatly more powerful than the hot streaks that the Cansucks, Blues, and Dogs had going into their respective series with the Kings. We want and need for that massive Kings’ hot streak to produce 4 wins, and for me, this hot streak will continue on next week.

    • Okay, nice to know what is obvious here, but I will stick my neck out here that the 93 team’s bigger problem was goaltending in Hrudey.

      … A few things to point out here about Hrudey:

      – Hrudey in 92-93 was 13th in the NHL in save percentage. Just to give you an idea for comparison – last season (2010-11), Jonathan Quick was 13th in the NHL in save percentage.

      – The Kings in 92-93 had one glaring weakness: defense. Hrudey faced 34.3 shots per 60 minutes, higher than any other goalie except Arturs Irbe of the Sharks. We don’t have scoring chance data from that long ago, but it’s safe to say Hrudey faced a huge amount of chances relative to the rest of the league.

      – Hrudey was an excellent puckhandler, one of the best of that time. That attribute definitely helped his and his team’s cause.

      – Hrudey’s best season with the Kings was 90-91, when he was fourth in the league in save percentage on a team with a defense which was a bit better than average (29 shots faced per 60 minutes). Quick’s best season with the Kings was this one, where he was fifth in the league in save percentage on a team with an excellent defense.

      I’m not going to say which season is better than which, but it appears obvious to me that the Kings’ bigger problem in the early ’90s wasn’t their goaltending, at all. It was their team defense. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this team is the inverse of the ’93 team – the biggest STRENGTH of this team is their team defense, rather than their goaltending.

      • Comparing the two teams aside, because I don’t care to, Er agree. Hrudey = Awesome. Jopocop = A little Dead to me.
        :)

        • I would not compare different eras for sports for many reasons. I suspect the media (NBCSports) will be bringing it up, so be prepared is all I would say.

          After all, the Gretz article is on NBC and I can see this is a planned set up for a story line on NBC next week.

          Granted, Hrudey was very popular and awesome during the height of his career. Yet, in the 93 finals, there were glitches and I know many in those days were saying Hrudey needed to make some key timely saves to get that cup that year.
          JT has a valid point in his post that defensive play issues at that time put a extra level of strain on Hrudey.
          My main point is that this team is hot and streaking and displays all of the right stuff to continue that streak.

  28. it really didnt sink in for me til i saw the Clarence Campbell Bowl being brought out and then it hit.. we are going to the stanley cup finals! i was only 11 y/o kid when we last went to the finals, so much better this time around! so great to be a kings fan right now…. A DIEHARD FOR YEARS, not a newbie or bandwagon jumper. through the good and the bad this will always be my team!

    i dont care who we play but id like to see new york just to see a LA/NY finals!

    Go Kings Go!!!

  29. All that crap talking by the Yotes, only to find out what’s his shit had a bruised thigh/knee (not to mention ego). These dry pussies need to head to Florida where the moisture in the air will swell them up. These dorks need to find a san diego. Hopefully they do; aboard the SS Minow.

  30. This guy is writing a fiction novel making up fantasy fabrications. Exactly, he is from another planet like an alien who invades and has no clue.
    How do people like this get even a paycheck for this trash?
    We are going to see more insane and distorted opinion articles. Yet what counts is that we know the Kings are strong and talented and hot to duplicate all over again what they have been doing since February.

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