The world's most famous arena was no match for the world's best hockey team Monday, the
Now they are on the verge of doing the same to Los Angeles sports history.
If the Kings turn this three-games-to-none lead against the Rangers into a
That's right. The best postseason. Ever. This is true even in a town dominated by
What the Kings have accomplished over the last two months hasn't created one memorable moment like those of
"I don't think you'd ever expect …" said
All around him in the cramped Garden dressing room were sweat-soaked, working-class players who finished the regular season as only the 10th-ranked team in the league. The postseason started on the road in San Jose on April 17. Few were watching. The Kings weren't even the most highly regarded team in their own town.
"The way we play is not exciting, it's borderline boring," said
Has it ever. I've been lucky enough to witness most of this city's postseason sports greatness in the modern era of multiple playoff series and I've never seen anything like this.
So the Dodgers overcame the mighty
"Everybody in this room, no matter what happened in the regular season we all knew that the playoffs was our chance to shine," said
So the Lakers went 15-1 in the 2001 postseason? The Kings have become the first team in
"It's a grind, it's a very hard thing to do," said Brown. "But we're built for this. We're never the best team in the regular season, but we're built for the playoffs."
The flash has been blinding. I've seen absurd comebacks by all sort of Los Angeles teams, but the Kings have won seven — seven — elimination games.
So the Lakers overcome a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Portland in Game 7 of the 2000
"The thing about this time of year is, everybody is doing it for us," said Doughty. "The guys who score a lot of points aren't scoring a lot of points, it's everybody else stepping up to the plate, all of us."
It was Edney's drive against Missouri that saved UCLA's national basketball championship in 1995, right? It was Scott Spiezio's home run that rescued the
Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty,
"I've been on some close teams, but this is probably the tightest knit group that I've been a part of," said Richards, who scored Monday, the first time he's put a puck in the back of the net in three weeks.
Never has a Los Angeles sports team been beaten so badly and yet triumphed so magically. They were finished in San Jose. They were done against their rival
"I mean, hell, we got thrown under the bus by everybody on earth seven weeks ago," said Coach Darryl Sutter.
For the taciturn farmer from Alberta, that sentence was a speech. But like the rest of his team, there is a method to his oddness. Just as his face never changes, neither does his team's spirit. Behind the sparse words — his awkward postgame news conferences are now officially the stuff of legend — is a lifetime of perspective.
He'll tell you, if you listen close enough, that he views the regular season as mere calisthenics for the postseason. He would skip the entire regular season if allowed. The Stanley Cup playoffs are why he coaches.
"We all know what it's about around here," said Kopitar. "This is the time for Kings hockey."