Wait, so Devils were playing in Los Angeles and it wasn’t a home game? (I really could have used a response from a sidekick like Ed McMahon for that one.) It’s almost official. The L.A. Kings are having their name removed from a rather lengthy list of teams never to have won a Stanley Cup. In response to the team’s meteoric rise, most of the city has come to realize that there is no monarchy within the city limits but indeed a pretty good hockey team.
Los Angeles and hockey is a funny concept. Think about it. The closest thing to icy the city ever gets is the daily interaction between fellow drivers on the 405. Vulcanized rubber? Sure, if you’re thinking about the constituency of a starlet’s face, not a hockey puck. Fighting and violence have traditionally been confined to Chavez Ravine, a few miles north. However, since the beginning of the 2012 NHL annual marathon postseason, Los Angeles has been the center of the universe for the so-called “fastest game on earth.”
Since the Los Angeles Kings ascended to the throne in 1967, the team has been more of a veritable peasant in a sports market saturated with more popular sports. For many years, the running joke in the league while the Kings played in the Forum was that the folks across the street had a better chance at the Cup than did the franchise. (The team’s former home was situated next to a cemetery.) The latest slapshot in the face was when the Los Angeles-area NBC affiliate tried to show a graphic celebrating three simultaneous playoff runs with the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings all in the postseason for the first time since the opening of Staples Center, where all three play, in 1999. The only problem was that the Kings logo was portrayed as the Sacramento Kings. Perhaps, one can chalk this up to a lazy graphics editor, not realizing the fundamental fact that Sacramento (scrawled across the top of the logo) is not Los Angeles, or the fact that double-checking wasn’t all that necessary because no one would care. One would highly doubt that such an error would happen in hockey-crazed markets like Detroit or Boston.