Don’t be coy. You have thought about it.
You’re at Staples Center. It’s game 7, Saturday, June 13, 2015, Stanley Cup Final. The series is tied 3-3 against the Boston Bruins. It’s overtime. The place is going insane. 19,112 Kings fans, standing room only, and about 1,200 of them former Ducks fans who jumped on the bandwagon last season (eliminating 3/4 of Anaheim’s die-soft fan base).
It’s been a close and hard series. You’re trying not to think about what it would be like to repeat, as no team has done it for close to 20 years. One shift at a time, hell one heart beat at a time.
Face off is in Boston’s zone. Kopitar wins a 50/50 puck and gets it to Doughty who passes it across to Muzzin on the left side. Muzzin tries to find a lane, can’t, gets it down low to Williams. Williams back to Muzzin, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar are in a staggered set in front of Rask, Kopitar just below the left circle. Muzzin fakes a shot and sends it back to Doughty, Kopitar slides over, Doughty quickly winds and shoots, SAVE RASK, REBOUND ON KOPITAR’S STICK, HE’S GOT AN OPEN CORNER, HE SHOOTS…
You’ve thought about it because it would take our L.A. Kings from their already lofty perch of elite status and catapult them to one of dynasty.
And also because the tumescence from the 2014 Stanley Cup victory has only then started to settle and you’re ready for another 12 months of vertical joy.
So what will it take?
A healthy Jonathan Quick who has captured more of that 2012 form than he did in 2014.
Questions about Mike Richards’ motivation and commitment to returning to elite form so forgotten by his season and playoffs that we laugh at the thought he was once a potential buy out candidate, while Deirdre gives all of us a resounding pfft and shakes her head at our ignorance for every thinking otherwise.
Despite ups and downs that any sophomore may face, Tanner Pearson has established himself as a force with which to be reckoned and a legit, speed demonish and exceedingly dangerous sniper on left wing. His chemistry with Tyler Toffoli is unmistakable and that pairing, centered by Stoll at times and other times by Jeff Carter for recapturing that magic and giving the Kings a shot in the arm, looks more and more like one that may be together for many years to come.
Dustin Brown returning to freight train status, simplifying his game and, with a knee that is stable and no longer bothers him, has made a commitment to lead this team by exercising regular doses of brute force and net crashing power forward skills.
Jake Muzzin’s deer in headlights days well behind him and building on a terrific 2013-2014 campaign.
And as for the rest of the team?
And the infusion of new youth in…who?
As in what will it take to recapture the wondrous glory?
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