The L.A. Kings Season Ends With a Moment of Perfect Clarity

I never saw the game winning goal. I watched every second that preceded it, saw Voynov pinch, the two on one that ensued, the pass and then…

It may have been a minute, perhaps more, the handshakes were about to start and I looked to my left to see my 5-year-old daughter weeping. Not just a few tears. A storm of emotion, so much so she told her mother and I that she was going to throw up. We both took her into the bathroom where she did just that. Not once. Not twice. Several times, while she continued to cry.

I held her and assured her it was going to be okay. I reminded her that we won the Stanley Cup last season, that big shiny trophy that she was so excited about only a year ago. She remembered. It took a while but she started to calm down. I gazed at her soaked eyes and gave her several kisses on the cheek. She held me as I held her.

I turned off the TV and realized something was missing…

Anger.

I never felt a moment of it. The only thing that mattered was our little girl and seeing her so upset over her L.A. Kings’ loss that she became physically ill.

Like her mother, she is sweet and kind. Like her father, she has a fiery intensity and competitiveness that pushes limits.

I didn’t tell my wife this at the time but I was very proud. Our daughter carries within her what each of you have and what I hope you bring to your own children – a love for this team that borders on insane and we would not have it any other way.

The Los Angeles Kings followed a Stanley Cup Championship with a Western Conference Final playoff series.

We will hear about our players’ injuries.

One or more may not be on the roster by the start of next season.

There may be new faces.

Kids will get their chances.

Between now and then, be proud of your Kings as I am proud of them.

Championships are won and lost.

Your fandom is forever.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

31 replies

  1. As soon as the game ended, my son looked at me and said, “now can I play with your iPhone?”

    Oh, and I told you so :)

    See you next season, my friend. It’s been great reading you both, talking hockey and enjoying OUR cup for at least another 2 weeks.

  2. I read everything you guys write; this is my favorite post so far.

    Also, Patrick Kane looks like the 5th member of One Direction (is that right or is there already five? I honestly have no idea).

    Lets go mother fucking Kings!!!!

  3. Just read a comment from one of my parents about her daughter. Seemed she was crying hard to. I hate to admit this, but I’m rather proud of myself. I’ve molded well. :) Next season!

  4. It’s too bad they couldn’t get this back home after that dagger to tie it up. That would have been sweet but alas it wasn’t meant to be. If the team had been healthy, not fried from the schedule and had Mitchell we could have repeated. Mitchell was a huge loss.

    The only thing I’m thinking about now is next year and they’d better try to keep this roster together. Guys like Nolan, King Richardson Fraser can go but everybody else should stay. I’m scratching my head at the Regher signing. Shouldn’t that money have been spent on trying to resign Scuds? Scuds is a huge piece and what he does takes years for a young D man to learn if ever. Voynov is priority but after that as far as the D is concerned it should be scuds, muzin, martinez, elerby in that order. Not impressed with regher. He’s good at pinning and sealing but is kind of like a big dump truck with the puck. Get it and fire down the ice, doesn’t set much up. He’s also slow and that was exposed this series. He’s only going to get slower.

    Bring this line up back (tweaking bottom six while keeping stoll lewis and clifford) and with a full training camp and more rest between games next year and I like our chances at another cup in the next 2 yrs.

  5. Have a good summer everyone.

  6. I think I would have been angry if the score stayed 2-0, 3-0, etc. The fact that they battled back and took it to double OT made me very happy. I wonder how the roster will look like next year..

    P.S. Bickell… Fuck you. Haha, I wish you were on the Kings!

  7. I had about 30 seconds of extreme anger right after the goal. Threw my hat in lieu of destroying other, more expensive and breakable objects.

    But then the calm set in and I remembered all the incredible moments this playoff season brought us, and how damn proud I am of the team, and how happy I am to shave this fucking annoying beard.

    It sucks, but what a fucking game, and what a couple of great series we got to watch.

    This team is for real. The offseason will be interesting and next season I hope we can have a few more playoff series to watch. We wanted a perennial contender. So far, we’ve got one.

  8. From am individual who has been in the competitive world for the most part of 40 years I couldn’t be more proud of our team. There’s a reason repeat championships are a rarity. It’s extremely difficult and taxing on the entire body and mind. Our boys played their asses off.

    Nothing but smiles from this King fan, Not too long ago we couldn’t even make the playoffs. The progress we have made as a team and organization the past 5-8 years has been something to behold. And what makes me smile the most is our bright future with youngsters like Doughty and Voynov and Toffoli and Clifford. We will be contenders for years to come, without question.

    I am proud of our team and feel privileged to be part of one of the best fan bases on the planet.

    See you next year brothers and sisters. It been a pleasure.

    My daughter didn’t get physically sick, but she did call me and ask if I could help pay off some of her debt that she owes. She was sure we would win and bet with the passion that burns in all of us. Haha! Good thing 50 bucks is a lot of money to her. :)

  9. Definitely proud of the team, and I think we lost because of injuries as much as anything.

    That being said, this is a HUGE offseason for Dean Lombardi. Are we on our way to being a perennial Cup favorite, a destination, the Yankees of the NHL, which we could be if Lombardi handles this right because we have a #1 Dman, a star goalie, a #1 center, plus Carter, Williams, Brown, and almost everyone young and in their prime, or are we going to go back to what we were two years ago, basically?

    Lombardi needs to add some impact players to this team and really stack the roster again the way it was last year, including magically healing or replacing Willie Mitchell and upgrading the 2nd line. It’s just so disappointing and worrying that he got off to such a bad start wasting so much money on Robyn Regehr. That makes me think we’re going to go backwards instead of forwards. You can’t make stupid mistakes as a GM and not have your team pay. It’s like when the Stars traded James Neal for Alex Goligoski, or when Vancouver traded Michael Grabner for Keith Ballard. They might have beat Boston if they had a young speedy 30 goal scorer in Grabner in that series instead of the average Keith Ballard. The Stars probably would have made the playoffs every year with a 40 goal scorer in Neal, instead they didn’t.

    You don’t get to just write off mistakes like that and say oh well they happened, but we’ll move past them. No, they affect your team for years. You need to be perfect as a GM, put the best team out there possible. That means not wasting money on average players. I just hope Dean finds a way to sign the upgrades we need despite the wasted money. It will mean a hard negotiation with Voynov, can’t give him more than 4 million a year. All the RFAs besides him should be getting near minimum, 1 million cap hit type of contracts. You can’t have 25 guys on the roster anymore, either. There’s not he cap room. Instead just have 23 guys at most, and go for quality over quantity. If it’s a choice between having 23 players but getting that 2nd line upgrade, or having 25 players with a few more spare 4th liners, but no 2nd line upgrade, I’ll take the 2nd line upgrade, please.

    It’s just the Regehr contract. Jesus. What was he thinking? For all we know he could have resigned him in the offseason for 2 million a year on a 1 year deal. Just look at Michael Roszival last offseason. And he probably had a bigger rep last season than Regehr this season, all he could get was 1 year and cheap money. But Dean gives Regehr 2 years, 6 million? I just dont get what the fuck he was thinking. He basically ruined the next two seasons (yes, ruined, because that cap space is huge, and could be the difference between a Cup calibre roster and just a playoff team). So pissed Dean would be that stupid.

    • Dude, take a break from your GM’n. Take a deep breathe with the rest of us and enjoy what you’ve witnessed over the past few years, Great things are happening, and it looks as though great things will continue to happen with the way our team is positioned. Take some time off criticizing every little detail and go have some summer fun.

  10. It’s been a long strange beard…
    I’m so damned proud of our boys and glad to have stumbled upon this site this season. You guys keep on cracking wise until the cup comes back home…

  11. Regehr ain’t no Mitchell. The dude is a turnover machine. Let’s leave it at that. Great job boys, despite the injuries. Richards, Carter, Voynov, Stoll, Quick and our best forward Justin motherfuckin’ (long for MVP) Williams; thank you. You were fantastic. Toffolli, looking forward to next year son. Wonderful. That’s all.

  12. I just want to be sure I understand. This writer is pleased that his five year old child made herself physically ill over a game? I am a huge sports fan but that is just wrong and will likely lead to serious physical ailments as she grows older.

    • Shut up already! Cause it would be better for her to have gotten physically sick over Justin Biebers’ new hair cut like so many other young girls?

      • It’s rather concerning for anyone to get sick over any sporting event or a entertainment act. I must admit, reading that did leave me with an uneasy feeling/concern. My thoughts are projected in a loving way, of course, and not of criticism.

    • By your name, I assume you are a woman. If you recall being a girl, you may recall little girls can be emotional. Add that she has been going to games since she was 3 months old and started to understand the game (to the point of maintaining dialogue by age 3 about it) and then sprinkle on very athletic parents who all played competitive sports growing up, and she is a competitive dancer now and it may lend perspective. Or not.

      You can’t stop a child from expressing emotions without creating more problems. What you can teach is channeling it properly. Last night was a learning experience for her that getting upset to the point of throwing up wasn’t the right channel. But that passion and drive that she has in everything including her LA Kings is what makes her who she is. For that, I am proud.

      I don’t expect you to understand. As I wrote, perspective

      • I can remember getting physically ill when I was younger any time I got nervous about something. My mom had me in dance class and when it came time to dance at the LA fair sure enough I met every garbage can along the way. It happens. We all deal with things in our own way. Your daughter learned a great lesson that not many her age will. Sometimes we lose. She is learning at a young age that we don’t always get what we want. I agree with you, letting her express her emotions is paramount to raising a strong, intelligent daughter.

        My daughter told her father a few minutes after the game last night “Well, you can shave that thing you call a beard now. I only said I liked it because of the Kings.” She is 13 and handled it the way she knows how, sarcasm. I cried openly at the loss, her father went outside to cry, and Anze just looked at us like okay where is my bottle. (He is 10 months and has been to every game we went to aside from one.)

        Her reaction wasn’t just about the Kings losing. It was also most likely because her Daddy loves the Kings too, and she was upset for him as well. We girls love our daddy’s and don’t want to see them disappointed.

        Cheers to you raising a great Kings fan. She’ll be fine, you can be sure. See you next season.

  13. Proud of how the boys fought back last night.

    While we all know this team was capable of repeating, we certainly didn’t get back to championship form. Even playing at what I believe is 60% (passing wasn’t crisp, forechecking wasn’t as intense, we seemed nervous throughout playoffs, goaltending was off, we made horrible line changes, etc) we took out 2 very good teams. It just seemed like this shortened season after our cup hangover didn’t give us enough time to get back to 100%.

    Again, very proud of the Team. Having tasted what winning the cup was like last year in staples center, this losses pain is magnified 1000%. Last night was depressing, but adds fuel to next years fire.

    Go Kings Go!

  14. 30+ years of loving this sport, including 6 enjoying it from the then abundant seats in the Forum, and the only two things I know is this: the quest for Lord Stanley’s cup is a an unparalleled sports tournament of exponentially increasing intensity, and nobody can predict who will rise to the occasion, perservere and overcome. Game 5 encapsulated that for the Kings as they spotted the Hawks 2 goals before making a shot on goal, and then forced overtime with 9 seconds left. The exhilaration Kings fans felt could be palpably met by the commensurate worry that Hawks fans felt. In the closing 120 seconds of play it took 105 before the extra man could be put on the ice and then another 5 seconds for the game to change.

    Kings fans have nothing to hang their heads about as the Kings run deep into this year’s playoffs is all that is the modern NHL. Nothing is easy and more often than not it is the unexpected and intangibles that make the difference. Had the Kings potted one more in overtime they would have risen to overcome the almost insurmountable of game 5 to take on meeting the challenge of game 6. Only a fool would think that would have required any less effort, and having watched the Blackhawks come back from being down 3-1 to the Red Wings I can tell you that you simply watch each shift ever increasing anticipation.

    Bobby, in a few years I hope your daughter learns to truly appreciate the subtleties of the game better, as she will be far less likely to get ill over the outcome. This one game had it all from both perspectives and ends of the spectrum. It would be flippant to suggest that the hurt of this loss shouldn’t linger, and simplistic to celebrate this year’s achievements when being the defending champions.

    The Blackhawks are going to need the rooting support of the intelligent Kings fans to go on to prove that Kings lost to a worthy opponent, and hopefully the eventual champion.

    P.S., I’ve recently come to enjoy this blog and appreciate the depth of Hockey intelligence in southern California. Hard for me to imagine this 20 years ago.

  15. Gently now. Thank you all for such a fantastic two years!! Last year you all warmly dismissed my fears and rightfully ignored my pithy comments this year. Having never held a hockey stick and becoming a fan only because was Gretsky so was so extraordinary to watch for this greenhorne, I lack the real understanding of hockey that it seems most of ya’ll were born with. Being a sportsman of some degree, I have found that I am learning and that I am gaining varying levels in an appreciation for hockey as something beautiful and brutal at same time (which was clear from the beginning).

    So, All of you, SnS especially, helped me to expand how I see and watch the game. My life offers many things or choices or circumstances that can be both euphoric and harmful to varying degrees. I felt Real Joy last year and was despondent for most of last night. Not uncommon to me. I go to work so one day I be in charge of the plant. What happened yesterday is past. Tomorrow is a long way off. If I keep looking back and forward all I can do is shit on today. A good sailor looks back to where he has been. He looks forward see where is going. Most of all he looks up to see where he is at. Winners focus on the moment at hand. I am a winner. Thanks you for post last night. Kings Lost. I must till keep my commitments. Warm Regards.

  16. I just wanted to give a shout out to Scribe and Surly for another great year of hockey passion, intellect and the everlasting humor, Thanks for taking the time to keep us all informed and involved with the team and sport we love so much. I personally love everything about this blog. I also have a great deal of respect for everyone who participates on this great site. I hope the two of you plan on keeping S&S around for many years to come.

  17. Very good read.This just sums it up perfectly.Pride in this team.

  18. Hi Bobby!! Nice one. I expect to be in LA all things being equal by mid to late July and I’ll be in touch when I get in.

    • PS…. Totally agree. Am super proud of the guys. They are warriors. Still have my little bete noirs’ about some of Lombardi’s decisions (taking nothing away from the very good things he’s done), but that’ll be for another time.

  19. I am finally getting the nerve to look through the blog and the articles about our disheartening loss. We played a great game and a good post season playoffs. I am proud beyond words of our boys. The Stanley Cup hangover was nothing short spectacular. Did our offense need a wet towel snap in the balls? YES! We’re our guys playing bruised and beaten? YES! Did we lack heart and push through as far as we could despite our top line injuries? Hell YES!
    I can’t say how proud I am of our Kings. Coming from a team that couldn’t even make it to the playoffs for years on end to winning our first Stanley Cup last year I must say our team is one class act in sports. We go down with dignity and pride. No bitching or blaming the other team and refs. I am proud to be a die hard Kings fans. That’s how my two little boys will be raised. Kings fans win or lose. Ready for some off-season changes (or not). GKG!

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