365 Days And 18 More Playoff Games Later
Happy Anniversary my brethren and… sethren, sothren, sithern? Lady Kings fans.
Can you believe it’s been a whole year since we watched the first Los Angeles Kings lift the Stanley Cup?
Time flies when you’re the champions.
Ever since our game 5 defeat against Chicago, the most prominent thought about the team in my head hasn’t concerned the off season, the future, the success or failings of this season. I haven’t stopped thinking about how magical the Cup run was last year.
Though I knew it when it was happening, this anniversary brings all those memories in sharp relief. I’ve never really experienced anything like what I felt when the final buzzer sounded in game 6 on June 11, 2012. The sorely missed David Courtney’s words still ring as dreamily in my head now as they did when he said them, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Stanley Cup!” Jumping through the aisles, hugging everyone, crying, screaming so loud for so long I’m not sure I actually was actually making any sound. It’s all so vivid and I’m grateful to have the shadows of those feelings imprinted on my soul.
Throughout the year I’ve often remembered moments from those playoffs. Yelling at Vancouver fans after game 3. Freaking out in the living room when Stoll sent us to the second round in overtime. The giant table of drunken fans in the corner booth of the Yardhouse after we swept the Blues. Going to Phoenix with Scribe and other friends, almost getting attacked by a mass of white trash in white jerseys. Losing my mind when Penner scored, calling everyone I knew and all deciding to drive to LAX. Watching Luc walk by with the Campbell Cup at 1am. And going to New Jersey for games 1 and 2; I’ve taken some spectacular and beautiful vacations in my life, but none will ever top that trip. Spraying the Gretzky statue with champagne and standing on the tables at the Mixing Room, singing “We Are The Champions” with a room of people, none of us caring what a pathetic cliche of a scene we made.
Still, with all these sweet memories I remember frequently to taste, the day or two after the Kings were bounced from this year’s playoffs, I realized I still didn’t truly appreciate how remarkable the Kings first Cup run was.
As often as others have said it or I have thought it, it took reflecting on the St. Louis, San Jose and Chicago series to gain a greater understanding of what the Kings accomplished one year ago today.
Winning the Cup is fucking hard.
I’ve always known that. I’ve been watching other teams do it my whole life. I truly believed the Kings could have done it again this year. I believe they will do it again, and soon, with this core group of players. But whatever the future holds, I’m not sure any amount of stars could align as perfectly as they did last year. I’ve said it once here already, but it was truly magical. That is not a word I use lightly, or ever. But that’s what it was.
So though just a few short days ago I felt dejected and enraged, today I feel truly lucky. Lucky to be a Kings fan. Lucky to have witnessed one of the league’s most dominating Cup runs in history. Lucky to have shared it with my friends, my family and all of you.
Unfortunately, I won’t feel so lucky later when Surly Woman realizes I had an easier time remembering my anniversary with the Kings than I ever do my anniversary with her.
What did you remember today?