For me, this season with the Los Angeles Kings hockey teams started with Ilya Kovalchuk. It ended with the Stanley Cup.
When I decided to jump on the Kings’ bandwagon at the beginning of the season, I had no idea where it would lead. I just wanted to support my long-suffering sister who loved the Kings with all her heart and soul for so many years, and enjoy the season with our mom.
Hey, I suggested, how about a blog about the Kings just for women? Of course, men are welcome too, but we figured maybe we could put our own spin it all from a woman’s point of view. NOT a cheesecake blog for men by women, but a REAL blog by hockey-loving woman who eat cheesecake for dessert!
So what does Ilya Kovalchuk have to do with all this? Well, that’s when I joined the fray, before the 2012 season began and we thought we need that guy to take us to the finals. Or so I was told, until he chose to sign with the New Jersey Devils and left us in the dust. Bad move, there, Ilya. Too bad, so sad. Neener.
There was also this little question of getting contract terms settled with a guy named Drew Doughty. I thought at the time, who the heck is this guy and I hope he’s worth all that money! Over the course of the season, he became one of my favorite players (along with oh, 24 other guys, lol) because it turned out he’s just an overgrown kid who likes to turn the ice into a mosh pit before each game. He also brings power and passion, and he’s one heck of goal scorer under pressure, for a defenseman! We love you, Drew!
At least, I said to my sister at the time, we have our cross-town rivals, the Ducks, to be our friends. Oops. Sis quickly straightened me out on that one. The Ducks suck, she informed me, because they are in the same division as we are and we CANNOT like them. I didn’t really understand why, until their announcer called OUR first playoff games against Vancouver. Biased much against the Kings there, dude? [Btw, thanks, NBC, for filling the commentators’ seats with people who hate the Kings. You’re on my s**t-list for life. Although I forgive you because you televised the games even if they were on some obscure cable channel, until we forced you to put us on primetime, as Stanley Cup contenders! We rock!].
Then I began to learn about the other players on the team, the most important two – Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar.
I just have to pause here to say I have never seen someone take as many hits (or hand out as many!) in any game of sports, ever, as Dustin Brown. It’s completely crazy. He must have the constitution of the great Jack Johnson or Muhammad Ali. I can’t believe he’s still walking around like it’s nothing! Oh, and he did all this while firing up the team and scoring the most goals in the playoffs, tied with Anze Kopitar. (I think! I’m a newbie, I’m not good with stats yet, lol).
My sister introduced me to Brownie early on, her favorite player. In comments around the internet, there was always someone who suggested he be traded (oh, foolish ones), but many, many more who insisted he was necessary to the team. No contest there as to who is right. Brown is a true champion, a seemingly ordinary guy who does extraordinary things. Having now become a Kings fan for life, if they ever traded Brownie, I would die.
While I’m using superlatives, Anze Kopitar is a god of hockey. He got a hat trick in an early pre-game, which foreshadowed his entire season. There’s one video of him I saw skating to the corner of his team’s zone, literally pushing the guy on the other team who had the puck out of the way, taking over the now-loose puck and skating away with it. Who can forget the goals he made, skating up to the net, taking his time, tipping it in on this side or that. It is a beauty to behold just to watch him play. I’m a Kopitar fan for life.
I’ll stop here for now, because I’m starting to ramble. I’ll be back, though, to go through the entire season, in parts on this blog, because I want to re-live it all! Let the dynasty begin. Go Kings!!! Next up: The Season Begins!