The Bitter End

Vancouver Canucks celebrate winning goal against Los Angeles Kings during NHL Western Conference quarter-final in Los Angeles

Sports are a curious phenomenon. Almost everyone who follows sports ends every season as a loser. If you’re a fan of the Los Angeles Kings, it’s EVERY season you end a loser. Even in the best of years, the Kings have never ended the season on a win. The obvious (pathetic) exception is if they’re already so far out of the playoffs that the games are meaningless and they happen to win the last game of the regular season. But frankly, in that case, you’re a bigger loser than the playoff bound teams. Most of which will join you as losers before the end of the year.

So it is with the Kings this year, and after a valiant(ish?) effort, the Kings are ready to hit the links and work on their golf game. It was a rough series, and the King managed to let a 2-1 series lead slip away with three straight losses against the Canucks. There were a number of factors to be sure:

  • Roberto Luongo, who played like a human in the first few games, turned it on. He played like the keeper everyone expects him to be, and he played like the goalie the Canucks will need him to be if they want to get to the next round.
  • Those damn Sedin twins. They didn’t come out of nowhere (obviously) but they sure didn’t pull any punches. When the Kings were able to handcuff their offensive potential, they did well. Unfortunately, more often than not they failed to keep them in check, and the series went bad.
  • Jonathan Quick. I’m a big supporter, and the kid set a franchise record for wins in a season, which is a not insignificant achievement. He’s got skills to be sure, but after a great start in the first three games of the series, he seemed to slip. That slippage cost the Kings game 6, and certainly didn’t help in game 5 (though no sane observer can blame game 5 on him alone).

So what do we have to look forward to? Fortunately, unlike some other teams and their review of the season, the Kings review can be overwhelmingly positive. We’ll go into great detail throughout the off-season, but for now it’s so freakishly obvious that the Kings franchise is on an upswing. Another year of Kopitar, Doughty, Johnson, Quick, Simmonds, and the rest is only going to make this team better. We’ll see you next year to be sure, and we’ll be there to watch every game!

Up Next: World Cup Soccer?

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Tags: Anze Kopitar Canucks Daniel Sedin Drew Doughty Henrik Sedin Jack Johnson Jonathan Quick Kings Playoffs Roberto Luongo Wayne Simmonds

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