I Love L.A.
The best thing to happen to the L.A. Kings is the Lakers getting bounced out of the NBA playoffs. For the first time ever, the white guys on skates are the top dog at the Staples Center. The Kings are going to the Stanley Cup final after beating Phoenix 4-3 to win the series in five. Dustin Penner’s overtime goal put the number 8 seed into the final, which will begin on the road either in NYC or New Jersey. Fine for L.A. They have been killer road warriors this playoffs.
The big winner in this matchup is the NHL. You know little Gary Bettman is happier than a pig in manure right now. He’s got the dream final matchup every commissioner hopes for. L.A versus New York—or New Jersey. It doesn’t matter. This is like the Yankees and the Dodgers or the Lakers against the Knicks. The TV numbers and the media coverage will be huge. Especially on the east coast. In Los Angeles, hockey is still that weird sport imported from Canada that Mike Myers and Alan Thicke always show up to. Even though they do have a long and storied history with the likes of Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer, Luc Robataille and some guy named Gretzky, they have only been in the Cup final once, and have never won. The Devils and the Rangers have been there, done that. L.A has had success because of solid goaltending and a great work ethic on the road. But the real reason why they’re about to play for the Cup is that they’ve flown under the radar. No one—scouts included—saw them enough to figure out just what Darryl Sutter has managed to do in under a year. They know now.