The Kings home ice is across the street from Grantland HQ, so naturally, we're thrilled about this victory, which was a long time coming. Thank you for not burning down our Starbucks on Monday night.
After L.A. made the Stanley Cup finals late last month, Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons sat down with Kings forward Dustin Penner to discuss the team's playoff run. You'll find links to the pod after the jump.
I started bringing my daughter to Kings games last November, after I bought season tickets behind one of their goals for the season. She knew nothing about hockey, started learning on the fly, and ended up liking the sport about 100 times more than I ever expected. One of her first questions: “Why are the fans so mad at Penner?”
My answer was simple: Kings fans believed Penner made too much money and didn’t try hard enough. In the Salary Cap Era, you can’t pay a hockey player $4.25 million for piddling results. My daughter never accepted that, nor did she understand it. She thought Penner was trying. She thought the fans were being too mean. She didn’t care how much money he made. Anytime someone derisively screamed that Penner sucked, she'd whirl around with a wounded look on her face. She didn’t understand the concept of “motivating someone by being relentlessly mean to them.”
Here is a video of the Official Team of L.A. Live the Only Team Still Currently Playing at L.A. Live, the Los Angeles Kings, beating the Phoenix Coyotes to advance to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1993.
While the very best seats for watching the patterns and flow of a hockey game are along the broad side of the rink, sitting right behind a net affords the distinct pleasure of observing one of hockey's most curious creatures in its natural habitat: the goalie. On Thursday night, I saw the L.A. Kings play the Vancouver Canucks at the Staples Center, and got up close and personal with Roberto Luongo (twice) and Jonathan Quick.