The 2012 hockey season began early in October. As a newbie, the first thing I did was learn a few of the players’ names on my team. Sis, the long-time Kings fans, told me who looked promising for the season: Kopitar, Richards, Brown, Gagne, Justin Williams (who we agreed is a fine-looking man) and Dustin Penner. We started the season off with split games in Europe. Blah.
Little did everyone know there was Hollywood fairy dust waiting to be sprinkled on Kings later in the season.
Our manager, Terry Murray, put forth a great defensive team, and our goalie Jonathan Quick was showing signs of greatness in those early days of the season. I am a newly reformed newbie and all, but I think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be anywhere NEAR our lofty status of Stanley Cup Champs (savor that phrase, mmmmm) without our great defense. The games were always close in those early days BECAUSE our defense was so good.
Unfortunately we seemed to have a little trouble scoring goals. A guy the Kings had picked up before the season began named Simon Gagne started off pretty well. So did newly-traded-from-Philadelphia Mike Richards. There were rumors Richards wasn’t happy about the trade, but trust me, he soon got over it. This is Southern California, people. It never rains here and we’re all about beaches, movies and fun (and now hockey of course!). What’s not to like?
Here on our new blog for women who love hockey, we speculated that Blues would continue to lose when we beat them in our first home game 5-0. (Overall, true). We speculated that Shane Doan, the captain of the Phoenix Coyotes would never see a Stanley Cup since this is likely his last year, and well, he plays for Phoenix. (Uh huh, sorry ‘bout that. Too bad you also had to show your bad sportsmanship in your waning days. Have a nice retirement dude).
In the early days of the season, we talked about individual players who all had great games at various times, foreshadowing the team effort that would take the Kings to the Stanley Cup. Quick started racking up shut-outs. Doughty got injured and Jack “MF” Johnson picked up the slack. (There was talk that Johnson played well when Doughty was out, but fell back when in a game with him. Perhaps that had something to do with Johnson’s later trade).
I have to talk about Penner for a minute here. About mid-way through the first part of the season my sister took me to a game. A man behind began to yell at Penner before the game even began. My sis whispered to me, “Ignore that guy, he’s always yelling at Penner. He’s obsessed.” I asked why he yelled at Penner. She told me, “He doesn’t think Penner brings to the team what he is supposed to bring.”
Hmmm, I thought, this is the first guy that anyone I know (who are all Kings’ fans) has been criticized. Remember at that time, I didn’t know my Dustins from my Justins or my Anzes from my Andres. Perhaps I should watch him, I thought, because maybe he’ll make a great comeback story at the end of the season. Bada Bing! (I really did think that at that time, I swear!)
Of course, we know now that Penner scored the winning goal that took the Kings on to the Stanley Cup Finals. When he did that, I thought of that poor obsessed guy who sits behind my sis. Sorry, man. Maybe his harangues helped spur Penner on to greatness, you never know. Also, Penner provided some amusing moments during one of those long stretches during the season when the Kings were treading water. I hope Penner’s Pancakes Day becomes an annual tradition. (Sorry about the divorce though. And to think he praised her pancakes! Sheesh). He also had the best Stanley Cup Playoffs beard that probably ever existed in NHL history.
Next blog: Coach changes and lots of ups and downs before we moved ON TO VICTORY at the STANLEY CUP! Go Kings! Let the Dynasty begin!!!
- Newbie No More, Now a Los Angeles Kings Fan for Life (kingshockeyforwomen.com)