Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Still Can't Believe It- Kings are Stanley Cup Champions

I'm speechless... I really am!

Last night is a blur.  I was fearful and nervous as the day began.  I remember driving to Staples Center, parking is some far off land, and walking through downtown.  I didn't stop to take any pictures (heck, I forgot to bring my camera).  No random "high-fives" or chanting til my throat was sore.  I just scampered to the game as quickly as I could.  While there my heart felt like it was sunken deep within my chest, and the fright that comes with doubt started to creep in.

I admit it.  I was afraid of a Game 7.  I was afraid that history would remember this team for the wrong reasons.  I was worried that the tank was empty and the emotions drained. 

But, as the night wore on I become more hopeful and thankful.  The Kings came out of the gate like the roar of a Roman Legion.  They moved their feet, controlled their checks, and fired the puck at every opportunity.  It was great to see, and proved that there was never anything to worry about.  The Kings got this. 

And with that, it is a pleasure to write that the Los Angeles Kings are Stanley Cup Champions!!!!

Wow, I really thought I would never write or say that in my lifetime.
(Pic Credit: Dave Sanford on twitter)

Now, you may be wondering, what about the thankful part?
  • Well, as a 9-year season ticket holder I am ever-thankful for the Kings greatly discounted seats in the former "Die Hard" section.  I know it is largely a defunct promotion, but the Kings have continued to cater to us with very affordable prices.  Thank you!
  • I am thankful for Dean Lombardi and his "5 year plan."  Several years back he held a "Breakfast with the GM" meeting for season ticket holders and explained, in detail, the entire Kings rebuilding process- with graphs and charts, no less.  It was fascinating.  More importantly, he convinced everyone there to stick by him, and we have been rewarded for our faith.  I can truly say, "In Dean, I Trust."
  • I'm thankful for the work from the guys who came before.  I would like to heap a great amount of praise for our old coach, Terry Murray.  He built the foundation that helped this team win.  Without him we wouldn't be here today.  Our old GM Dave Taylor also deserves our thanks.  He started a rebuild before Lombardi by drafting well.  It's because of his leadership that we have Brown, Kopitar and Quick on this team.
  • I'm thankful for Section 315.  Those folks are a great group of fans and it has been a pleasure to experience this season with those people.  I'm especially thankful for my row.  We might not know each other on a personal level, but when we see each other at a game we know that for those few hours we are the best of friends. 
  • I am thankful for the team.  What a great collection of players and personalities.  You've got the once quiet captain turning his leadership on the ice into the roars reminiscent of a war general.  There is the superstar in the making proving to the east coast biased journalist that the best two-way centerman in hockey belongs to LA.  We have the two malcontents seemingly shipped off to the Siberian hockey jungle called Los Angeles only to prove that they are champions.  There is the castoff who was thought to be dead only to rekindle that old fire while laughing and joking with us about pulled muscles and pancakes.  We've got a young stud of a defenseman who held out for a big contract, stumbled out of the gate and looked slow all season long.  Thankfully, he righted that ship and proved that he is worth every penny. 
  • I am thankful for Bob Miller.  He is the Kings version of Vin Scully.  To see the below photo gave me tears and I am thankful that after years of heartbreak he finally gets the opportunity to hoist up that big cup.
(Bob Miller with the Cup, via Rich Hammond/ LA Kings Insider)

For a collection of some great photos from last night check out:
(Pic Credit: Dave Sanford on twitter)

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