Kings fans know this story. The team heads into the playoffs with all of the promise in the world. Seemingly, we are prepared to take that next step, but when that time comes something always seems to go wrong.
Reverse to this past Tuesdays home playoff game against the Sharks. The Kings were in control from the first drop of the puck. On their very first two shots of the game they scored goals. By the end of the first period they commanded a 3 to 0 lead. At the outset of the second period they scored again. A 4 goal lead looked like a insurmountable obstacle- even for a veteran cup contending opponent like the San Jose Sharks. Then all hell broke lose. The Kings stopped playing "their" game. They started running around the ice like chickens with their heads chopped off. They chased. They missed assignments. Confusion reigned supreme. Before you could blink, the game was all tied up at the end of the second period, 5 to 5. We were rattled and an eventual loss in overtime was something everyone in the stands knew deep down would be the outcome.
I admit it. I felt demoralized. I screamed and rooted more than I ever had only to leave that evening sore and depressed.
Fortunately, this is sport. And in any game you have to accept the downs as easily as you reach for the stars. The team will have to learn to persevere, and fans will have to learn right along with them.
So, root on proud Kings fans. This ain't over yet.