The Los Angeles Kings snuck into the NHL playoffs as the eight seed in the West. Then they manhandled the Vancouver Canucks (the one seed), the St. Louis Blues (the two seed) and the Phoenix Coyotes (the three seed) to advance to their second Stanley Cup final in their 45 year history. After a brief hiccup, losing games four and five to the New Jersey Devils, the Kings romped their way to their first championship by winning game six 6-1.
Before Wednesday’s Angels-Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium, the Stanley Cup united the freeway rivals, for a few minutes anyway.
I’m a big Kings fan and have been looking for a way to sneak a Stanley Cup post onto a baseball website. I became a Kings fan in 1988, like most young Kings fans probably did, after Wayne Gretzky arrived in L.A. via a Babe Ruth-eque trade from Edmonton. Gretzky was the reason I played hockey for 15 years (played one season of Little League baseball and was awful). I stuck with the Kings through some rough times, much like the Angels, and finally got the big payoff Monday night.
The Cup had a good time Wednesday, more on that in a minute. The Kings visited the Dodgers clubhouse and took pictures sporting Dodgers caps. Which I suppose I can let slide since it was Dodger Stadium and the Angels actually play in the same city as the Kings division rival Anaheim Ducks.
Kings captain Dustin Brown even got to meet a childhood hero…
“I’m a big Don Mattingly fan,” Brown said. “I grew up in upstate New York so the Yankees are my American League team. He was one of the players I always liked. I liked the Yankees before they were good and he was on those teams. I wasn’t a fan of the Dodgers before I came here, but they’ve started to grow on me.”
I like Brown but I think we can all agree he has terrible tastes in baseball teams. The Angels had the final say of the evening, though, winning 2-1 on home runs from Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar (?!?).
The Cup went to something called Beacher’s Madhouse later that night to party it up. Trevor Lewis, Jarret Stoll, Alec Martinez, Willie Mitchell and Jordan Nolan filled the Cup with beer and hung out with former UFC champ Chuck “The Iceman” Lidell and, um, Oompa Loompa’s in King’s jerseys. I don’t know about you, but I so wish I could have been there.
[img via TMZ, who else?]