Tags: Hockey | Kings | Stanley | Cup

NHL's Kings Deserve L.A. Limelight

Tuesday, 29 May 2012 03:13 PM

By Jon Friedman

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I am so un-cool.

One night last week, I stayed up till 1 in the morning to watch the Los Angeles Kings play a playoff game. OK, I admit it: I’ve been doing this quite a bit lately. I LOVE the L.A. Kings’ story. I can’t help myself. The games are nail-biters and the team is highly charismatic. So, I stay up to watch the Kings.

Now that the Kings are poised to take on the New Jersey Devils for the Stanley Cup, I’ll have a few more long nights. To quote Maxwell Smart: And loving it.

It is the wildest rags-to-riches story in all of sports. The Kings, a franchise which has made the Stanley Cup Finals once (in 1993), has returned to the Finals and could very well win the Cup.

The team is aggressive, hard-hitting, polished and clutch. Plus, young goalie Jonathan Quick is the most reliable net-minder around. He doesn’t allow cheap goals.

The Los Angeles Kings are virtually invisible in their own hometown, dwarfed by the Lakers and the Dodgers — and now overshadowed by the resurgent Clippers. But the Kings, among them, have the best shot at capturing a league championship.

The Kings entered the playoffs as the eighth seed in the West, meaning they were the least-regarded squad of the contenders. The Kings blasted the No. 1 seed, the Vancouver Canucks, in the first round — in a 4-game sweep. Then the Kings dismantled the No. 2- seeded St. Louis Blues in the second round — again, in a dramatic sweep.

Now, they have disposed of the No. 3 seeded Phoenix Coyotes. But the Kings are slipping. They needed a whole five games to do the job in this round. For shame, fellas!

The team is all about precision. Its five skaters attack the opposing net as one, which is rare. They pass spectacularly and have a knack for exploiting the enemy goalies’ weaknesses. They are a no-name force of nature, on skates.

At a time when sports stories are all about antisocial behavior, it’s refreshing to encounter the L.A. Kings.

My Cup prediction: Kings win in 5 games.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column. (Friedman is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution," which Penguin will publish in August.) Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.

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