Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oh, Canada! (Nugs vs. Allison Edition: VICTORY IS MINE!)

Now that the hockey season is over, which I'm still trying to wrap my head around, LA finally has something going for them (besides being 65 degrees and sunny in January, which doesn't suck, BTW)- they finally have their name engraved on the Stanley Cup. 

This is the first time in history for the franchise, and only their second time in the playoffs- the last time the Kings were even in contention was in 1993. Not only that, but they eliminated New Jersey, who knocked out my Rangers, so this is even more exciting for me. What's even better is that my brother, who spent the entire postseason critiquing the Rangers and their inability to perform, and Coyote Tits, with whom I have been engaged in "friendly" warfare for the last two months, are both rabid Devils fans. 

So not only did they both lose, but so did Allison, who, in the spirit of our bet, has to display this logo on her blog for the next month:


She only lost by two points, but still. Shame on you, Allison. You're the Canadian; you must be super embarrassed right now. Meanwhile, I narrowly avoided putting the Flyers logo on That Ain't Kosher, so yay for me.

For those of you not caught up on our benign competition, Allison and I awarded ourselves one point each for every team we predicted would advance in the Quarter- and Semifinals, two points for the Finals, and three points for the Stanley Cup winner. I asked for bonus points every time the Rangers won, but Allison said no. I guess she's not generous that way. Maybe because she's from Canada. :( 

Meanwhile, enjoy our recaps of the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and check back next year when I'm pretty sure we'll do this again, if Allison isn't too humiliated about losing to a Yank.You can also read her recaps here.


Well despite New Jersey's attempts to get back in the series, ultimately the Los Angeles Kings prevailed and won Lord Stanley's Cup. Now, I lost this bet - which is totally embarrassing...but I only lost by 2 points. I made some fatal errors early in the playoffs and now I have to have this ugly logo on my blog till July 12.

But I assure you that my heart will always belong in Montreal. And hey, they got a new coach and hopefully they'll make some positive changes over the summer and play a better 2012-13 season. See you in September Montreal.

Anyways, LA was unbelievable during the entire post-season. I hope it makes Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix fans feel a bit better about their losses. They were just unstoppable. New Jersey fans are probably still licking their wounds today, but they also had a surprising rise to the top. I don't think anyone could have predicted this from the beginning. Nugs was convinced that it would be NYR in the final, and I figured Vancouver would end up with a second chance at the Cup. The playoffs are a whole other thing, as my father always says. You can't base wins and losses on regular season results.

So congrats LA - hopefully the select few hockey fans you have in your city celebrate in your honour. Canadians can be proud as well because more than half the players on the team are Canadian, which means the Cup will be coming home in a way.

P.S. Jersey fans, how do you feel about the 5 minute minor? Bet that stung. Don't riot like Vancouver. Stay classy.


Fun fact about my history with the Los Angeles Kings:

I'll always go die-hard for the New York Rangers. I was born, raised, and even though I currently live in LA, will most likely die in New York City. The very first hockey game I ever attended was a Rangers home game (they massacred the Islanders; what a shock). However, what REALLY got me wet for the sport was when I took a trip to LA with my family and we went to see the Kings play. I was really young, probably no older than eight, and we had seats right behind the ice. I saw Wayne Gretzky AND Luc Robitaille play; and I also witnessed some dude get thrown up against the glass right in front of me. Blood and teeth went everywhere, and my little mind was blown. It was amazing, and I was hooked. 

If nothing else, THIS is why you should be watching hockey, people.
I would also like to point out that Gretzky retired a Ranger, BTW. It's one of the highlights of my life that I will be able to tell my grandkids that I saw him play for our team. You know, in case I ever have any grandkids. Or if I ever have any kids. If I ever manage to hypnotize some guy into like, texting me back or something.

The Kings won the Cup at the Staples Center, and since I'm poor, I watched the game last night on a couch sandwiched between my dad, my uncle and a box of pizza, but it was still so satisfying to see them take home the gold (or...silver? Whatever). Their playoff run was a true Cinderella story- they flip-flopped through the whole season, just barely squeaking into the playoffs, and then proceeded to spank everyone in their trail on their way to the Cup. No one predicted this until the final final round, and even then, the Devils did give them an impressive 6 games, becoming the only team in the postseason to beat the Kings more than once. Now that I think about it, maybe it's a good thing the Rangers were out of the running- I doubt anybody could have won against LA this year. They were on fire. Jonathan Quick, the very first American Conn-Smythe trophy winner, proved himself to be the most formidable goalie in the NHL, and Kings captain Brown, along with team foundations Kopitar, Penner, Richardson, Gagne, Stoll and stellar addition Carter, drove the team through four playoff rounds that left ESPN commentators, hockey analysts and fans everywhere essentially going, "WTF?"

Game 6 itself wasn't even a contest- New Jersey had a 5-minute minor, with the Kings scoring three goals before the second period. Even my brother knew the Devils were done. He probably started shaving off his annual playoff beard before the first period was over. Sad- he couldn't even grow facial hair before the age of 23 and now it had to go away. 

I know that one of my biggest gripes at That Ain't Kosher is about bandwagon sports "fans" (oh haaaai Philadelphia) and how obnoxious they are, and Los Angeles is famous for this kind of half-assed adoration. However, hockey is so under-appreciated that I actually don't mind all these newly-discovered Kings admirers that will surely come with this victory- as long as it's not the type of "fans" that wear pink sparkly hats and midriff t-shirts and can't name one player on the Kings besides "the quarterback." Any extra attention that is bestowed upon the awesome sport of hockey is good enough for me- as long as that recognition doesn't die out come next Fall.

Please don't do this. PS- a Flyers fan! What a surprise.
Anyway, now that the Kings have taken the trophy, look for me at the victory parade on Thursday. I'll be the one making a complete ass of myself, because that's how I roll.


Allison said...

I remember LA's last chance at the Cup...1993...they lost to my favourite team and Gretzsky scored on his own net (oops).

Also, only New Yorkers think of The Great One as a Ranger, yeah, that's where he retired - but he really made his mark as an Oiler and then a King. Sorry NYR :P

Yeah yeah, I lost. Oh well. People rarely look at stuff on the sidebar anyways.

Also, I saw that David Beckham was in the stands - which was weird.

Nugs said...

I always see Beckham at Kings games. Apparently he has season tix.

Anyway, yeah, I know he's a King, but it's still awesome that he played for my team, and that I got to watch him play for them. That's badass.