Tonight, at 7:00 PM, the Kings face-off against the Vancouver Canucks for game 1 in their first playoff appearance in 8 years, and I couldn't be happier.
The suffering, the frustration and the hand wringing has been all worth it.
Can we shine? Will the boys on the ice come through like they have all year? Can we continue with the hard checking, the 2nd efforts, and productive cycles?
I just can't wait to find out. Bring on the second season.
For your reading pleasure check out this article in the Wall Street Journal (Hat Tip: LA Kings Insider) about this resurgent team and its loyal fans.
They've long attracted a curious breed of passionate and profoundly patient fans.
This year the team is drawing an average of 17,313 at each game, up from 16,489 the season prior. They haven't drawn below 16,000 fans, on average, in any season since moving to the Staples Center in 1999. In other words, much of the L.A. region is just arriving to a party that was already pretty crowded.
Kings fans tend to come largely from far-flung suburban communities like Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley and spend lots of time on the Internet (team research shows they spend more time on the team's official Web site than any other fan base in the NHL except Vancouver's). The fans seem to prefer the cheap seats to the expensive ones on the floor, which sometimes go empty. They also trend toward the dark: recent topics on a Kings fan forum range from Russian metal bands and horror films to fantasy videogames.
Yes, we are a bunch of rabid, long-suffering, maniacs.
Hat Tip: Life in Hockeywood: