Sunday, August 19, 2012

Crowning the Kings

The next installment of the hockeysee brings me to Los Angeles, the city of angels.  To see the Kings, who (of course) won the Cup the year I went.  Because I’m that good.

The Staples Center in LA is probably one of the busiest arenas in sports.  Not only does it host the NHL’s Kings, but hosts 2 teams in the NBA, the Clippers and the Lakers, as well as the WNBA’s Sparks.  Most of those teams are successful, and have won championships in their respective leagues.  And then there’s the Clippers.

Being that the arena is one of the most used in the country, I hadn’t expected much in the way of team signage (unlike my last stop in Nashville, which is pretty much NHL only).  The team did get around this in an interesting fashion, with projectors.
Probably outdated
Pretty nifty?  Ok, I probably overthink a lot of these things.  Regardless, the view, seats, and facilities were excellent, and the parking was relatively cheap (if you were willing to walk from one of the third party lots).  The plaza outside is nice too, with statues of many amazing athletes, including the Great One, Wayne Gretzky.

Inside the arena, the Kings played host to the Predators, both teams were playoff-bound.  With future Conn Smythe trophy winner Jonathan Quick sitting on the bench for the game, LA’s victory was a surprising one, especially given the offensive outpouring from them. This is a team that had lost multiple games by a score of 1-0, and they lit up the Preds. Of course it would end up being a harbinger of things to come, what with the complete obliteration of multiple teams en route to the franchise’s first Cup, but at the time, it was quite a shocker.

However, in a nutshell, I was pleasantly surprised by the Kings and the Staples center.  While the media in LA would be roundly criticized for its “coverage” of the Kings, there were a great many die hard fans, including the man with my favorite jersey of all time.

That’s a reference to Dustin Penner throwing out his back eating a stack of delicious pancakes. It’s also hilarious.  

Next up, I head to Anaheim for a matinee and finish the Predators swing.

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