Pressure? Never heard of it.

The Kings could win the Stanley Cup tonight. They could not. A lesson learned is not a lesson forgotten and expectations necessitate meting of strategy. That strategy is simple. Play together, but loose. Not to force the offense, but to allow it to come. To contain in defense, instead of stretching in retreat. Nothing new. Nothing tired. Something true.

The media has taken up the banner of the underdog, the miracle story. The Devils are confident. Virtually no one comes back in all of sports from 0-3. Only one has in Stanley Cup Finals history. “Why not us?” asks Coach Peter DeBoer. Because you have a bogus second capital letter in your surname you greedy fuck, that’s why. Because your Devils barely squeaked past a porous Florida team, was gifted an off balance Philadelphia series and was granted permission to be here by a wholly underachieving New York rivalry. Why not them? That is a question he will have a long summer to ponder.

Whether solace for some and somber for others is taken tonight or another night is of little import.

Let trends continue. Let the Kings unassumingly bring the fiercest, most complete game the NHL has seen. Let New Jersey bring their best which this postseason has proven to be of equal footing with the Kings worst.

I am not concerned. I am not anxious. I am amped. I am focused.

These are not things that could have been said for game four, of myself or the team. But the weight has been lifted. The expectations have given way to resolve. The desire is honed. So too, I believe, is true of the Kings.

Routine.

Execution.

Prayer.

Now I play me down away from sweep,
I pray Lord Stanley my hockey soul to keep,
If I shall die on a frozen lake,
I pray Lord Stanley my hockey soul to take.

In the name of the Captain, the Son of Philly and the Holy Goalie.
Amen.

Glory be to the Captain,
And to the Son of Philly,
And to the Holy Goalie
As it was in the beginning, is now,
And ever shall be,
Playoffs with the Cup end. Amen.

Bless us Oh Hockey Gods, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through LA Kings, Our Team. Amen.

Blessed are You, Kings our Team and Team of our fathers, Team of Dionne, Team of Luc and Team of Gretzky, the great, mighty and awesome Team, exalted Team, who bestows bountiful goals, who creates all wins, who remembers the insanity of the fans, and who, in love, brings a redeemer to their fans’ children, for the sake of Our Kings.

In hockey heavens who is great? Thou Kings art great!
On ice who is great? Thou Kings art great!
When thy voice resounds in hockey heaven, the hockey gods fall prostrate!
When thy voice resounds on ice, the NHL kiss the snow!

Peace be upon no New Jersey fan, without mercy or blessing of Kings.

Holy Sutter, Holy Stevens;
We give you thanks
that your Schemes, Attitude and Leadership
Are manifest with Power and Pressure
throughout all zones,
within all lines,
and we accept your Tutelage now,
in defense and forecheck.

I pray to the wunderkind, the play-maker, destroyer of all cap space, the enemy of forwards, of great brilliance, the descendent of Orr and of Borque, the one who shines like the Dewey flower.

I invoke and call upon thee O Father Mitchell,
Lord of long stick, Master of all lanes and gaps.
I invite you to the blue line;
Defend it, sustain it, make it home.

Blessed is he who is The Piece for the sake of wholeness.

As it was,
As it is,
As it shall be
Evermore
O Thou Carter
Of goals!
With the forehand
With the backhand
O Thou Carter
Of goals!
With the forehand
With the backhand

Our Rookies, King of steadfastness, strengthened Nolan, Voynov foothold, support us against the disdainful people.

I profess myself a Penner-worshipper, a Pennercakean, having vowed it and professed it. I pledge myself to the well-played puck, I pledge myself to the well-delivered hit, I pledge myself to the well-fed monster.

Let us know victory.
For as long as the skates shall glide,
For as long as the chemistry shall flow,
For as long as the goal light shall shine,
For as long as the confidence shall grow,
Let us know victory.

Lord Stanley the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devils.
May hockey gods rebuke them, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Icy Hosts -
by the Divine Power of hockey gods -
cast into defeat, DeBoer and all his Devil spirits,
who roam throughout Los Angeles, seeking the ruin of our hockey souls.
Amen.

Voices above,
Voices of Fans,
Yell from your couch or barstool;
Voices below,
LA King’s Inner-voices,
Speak from the dreams of childhood;
So may our playoffs be beautiful.

I think over again our regular season.
Our fears,
Those small games that seemed so big,
For all the vital wins
We had to get and reach.
And yet there is only one great win,
The only win,
To live to see the great day that dawns
And the silver light that fills the Cup.

Blessed are you, Kings of Los Angeles, Ruler of the playoffs, who has granted us playoff life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Our Kings, who art again in New Jersey
Hallowed be thy game.
Thy kingdom come, thy wills be done
On their ice as it needn’t be on ours.
Give us this day our daily goals, and forgive no Devil their transgressions
As we pound into submission those who trespass against us.
And lead us past this final round,
Past these evil Devil fucks.
Amen.

Hail Kopi, full of grace, the fans are with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst players and blessed are the fruit of thy skills, goals.
Holy Kopi, dominant of centers, play for us sinners,
Now until the hour of our Cup.
A-fucking-men.

Go fucking nuts.

GO FUCKING NUTS!

GO KINGS!!!

IT’S THE STANLEY CUP FINALS!

GO KINGS GO!!!

GO KINGS GO!!!