I took Sunday afternoon to let it settle, let it sink in.
Took some time away from the typewriter; a moment of silence if you will.
I will be the first to admit my following of the Kings compares little in length to many of the faithful who watched yesterday’s beautiful happening at Staples Center. However, the glory which blossomed in the waning seconds yesterday hits us all the same.
It takes the breath right out of you, sets you idle for a moment.
And what better way for it to end than from yet another connection between the Kings’ two longest current tenured forwards, two staples of the franchise. There is none.
Like it was scripted or something.
Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar have been through some dark, difficult years with this franchise. The Kings are the only NHL team these two players know, both starting their careers in Los Angeles. They’ve grown together, they’ve struggled together, and through time, that’s a hell of a resume to build with one another. Because, when the time comes to capitalize on those turbulent experiences, it’s just that much sweeter.
An empty-net goal is something the hockey world sees regularly. It’s a simple task really, if you are provided the opportunity. However, this one was different. It came from two names that resemble this franchise to the fullest, and cemented history this team has seen just once before, and that was 19 years ago.
This one had substance.
You may not be able to comprehend it, but you can surely feel it.
– This sends the Kings to the third-round of the NHL postseason for just the second time in franchise history. The only other season in which the Kings advanced this far was during the 1992-1993 campaign, in which they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
– The Kings have never before swept a playoff series, a best-of-seven series that is. They accomplished that feat Sunday.
– No other 8th-seeded NHL team has eliminated the #1 and #2 seeds in the same playoff year. Again, the Kings made history – and this one shook the league as a whole, not just the Kings’ record books.
– The only two other times the Kings saw the St. Louis Blues in the postseason, 1969 and 1998, the Blues swept the Kings in both meetings. Oh, how the tables can turn.
– You talk about the season, and you talk about overcoming struggle. The Kings trailed the Blues just one time during the entire series. That was the in the 1st period of Game 1. The Kings would strike back, and they would never look back.
If there’s a theme to be had for this playoff run, that fits the bill perfectly.
Kopitar to Brown…
And, ain’t it a thing of beauty.