Monday, June 4, 2012

Stanley Cup Finals: Game 2 - Two Guys, A Girl And A Nail Biter

Finally free of hotel rooms in the Dirty South and safely back in Los Angeles, I was excited about the opportunity to enjoy Game 2 surrounded by my fellow Kings fans. I just had no idea there were so many of you!

That was the line to get IN to ESPN Zone...
Of course, half these people clearly aren't REAL fans because they don't even have jerseys, or even anything Kings themed in their wardrobe. I appreciate people wanting to join the playoff party, but I just feel like there should be some sort of system to give preference to long time Kings fans at these Kings of events and let the obvious band wagoners in last. You gotta earn your way in people.

In spite of Jay Flats begging me to stay, there was no way IN HELL I was waiting in that line to fight for average food and lousy ESPN Zone service. Thankfully I read the information the Kings sent out on ALL the restaurants supporting the Kings playoff efforts, so I decamped to the JW Marriott. Much nice environs, better food and plenty of 50" TV's lined up to watch the game. MUCH BETTER.

Once my cocktail and I were comfortably ensconced at The Mixing Room at the JW Marriott, I met a couple of new watch party buddies -- and die hard Kings fans - named Tim and Alex.

THIS is Alex. THIS is what a REAL Kings fan looks like.

We had an awesome time discussing the game and Tim did a fantastic job stealing us all some "GO KINGS" coasters for use later. When Drew Doughty carried the puck end to end and scored to put the Kings on the board, we sat dumbfounded at his amazing talent.

I think the gum is the secret to a successful end rush.

Then after a tight back and forth game for three periods, we all screamed and stood in unison when Jeff Carter scored the game winning goal. And it's a good thing he did, because Tim and I were both about to throw up from anxiety in the last minutes of OT.  Until Jeff carter took control of that play, the Kings OT effort was not looking dominant. The Kings were playing mainly to keep the Devils from scoring, which isn't the way to win a game. It could have easily gone the other way, but the Hockey Gods saw fit to keep Tim and I breathing and give the Kings a HUGE win.

The Kings continue to defy expectations and make the journey to the Stanley Cup look like a walk in the park. Tim, Alex and I are all excited to be seeing them LIVE in Game 3 -- because we're all going. WE are Kings fans, people. We don't need no stinking bandwagon.

Some other fun stuff the boys and I discussed during the game, plus some other great stuff I saw at LA Live:

  • Tim and Alex were both talking about how bad they need hair cuts as soon as the playoffs are over. And they may throw in a professional shave as well. #PlayoffProblems
  • We all agreed the only goalies that should stick handle the puck are named Marty. Quickie is much better this season, but he still makes us nervous. The only possible exception to the "Marty Rule" is Ron Hextall because we're afraid of him.
  • We're all conflicted bout whether Stoll and Penner will be offered contracts when this is over. We all agree if one or both come back, they'll be taking a cut in pay. I still think Stoll is the more likely guy to get an offer.
  • What does Jonathan Quick have to do to get a goalie interference call? Two Devils sat on his head and flipped his helmet off. Mike Smith would have gone postal and beheaded someone with his stick if he took that much abuse.
  • All season long I watched Drew Doughty do those end to end rushes with no goal resulting. Apparently that was just practice for tonight.
  • Conn-Smythe watch: If he keeps playing like this, add Drew Doughty to the list of possible contenders. That said, Quick is still the odds on favorite after another sparkling effort in goal. (Jesus, as much as I complain about Doc Emrick's commentary, did I seriously just use the term "sparkling?")
  • It's nice to see the local TV stations finally care about the Kings. Let's hope someone got them the correct logo for their broadcast.

  • There is a pop-up merch stand in the middle of LA Live now, so there really wasn't an excuse for those band wagoners in the ESPN Zone line not to dress appropriately. Check out this beauty.

  • There is also a big trailer with a super size images of our boys plastered all over it. If super sized Drew doesn't make you smile, you don't know how to have fun.

  • Nice to see the police are guarding the building now that the Stanley Cup Finals banner is up.

  • The Sandley Cup sure looks pretty all lit up at night!

  • And finally, one of my favorite moments of the weekend was yesterday afternoon, when a good friend reminded me that Kovy's last name rhymes with "upchuck." That explains a lot.
Now my nerves are back in anticipation of Game 3. I hope the margarita machine at Camachos is working or it could be a REALLY rough night...


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