Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stanley Cup Playoff Wishes Came True

In April, as the Stanley Cup Playoffs began, I had a couple of wishes. They weren't lofty wishes. They were simple ones. My Winnipeg Jets had been eliminated from playoff contention, so there wasn't any true team affiliation. For the most part, all I wanted was to enjoy the playoffs. There were a couple of other wishes as well.

Autographed Jonathan Quick Photo - 8x10
Purchase this photo
Besides wanting to enjoy the playoffs, my first wish was to see the Vancouver Canucks lose in the first round, to the 8th seeded LA Kings. I was glued to that first round series was between the LA Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. I hate the Canucks. So my first wish was for the top seeded Canucks to be ousted by the Kings. I didn't want to watch the Canucks advance through the playoffs and potentially win their first Stanley Cup.

I wouldn't have been able to bear to watch the Canucks, the best team in the regular season, win any series. The LA Kings granted my wish. The huge underdog Kings won the series in 5 games. What made this wish come true even more enjoyable, was that the Kings won the series in Vancouver, in front of their stunned fans. It was a beautiful sight.

My next wish was to see the Phoenix Coyotes eliminated from the playoffs. I come by my hatred of the desert dogs honestly. The Coyotes are the original Winnipeg Jets. The original Jets left Winnipeg in 1996 for the desert of Arizona. Even now that Winnipeg has a team, I still hate the Coyotes.

In this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Coyotes were led by the spectacular goaltending of Mike Smith. He was nearly unbeatable. The Coyotes advanced from round to round, finding a way to win close games, some of them in overtime. Time and again, Mike Smith was dominant and it was extremely hard to score on him. It was also hard to watch the Coyotes advance throughout the playoffs.

It was looking as if my wish for the Coyotes to lose in the playoffs wasn't going to happen. While the Coyotes were having their best playoffs in franchise history, the LA Kings were dominating every opponent that they faced in the playoffs. Like Smith in Phoenix, LA's netminder, Jonathan Quick was stealing the show, night after night.

The Kings defeated the Canucks 4 games to 1. Then they swept the St. Louis Blues. When they eliminated the Blues, it forced a match-up with the Coyotes. I was nervous. Mike Smith was playing really well. Yes, Jonathan Quick was as well and he also was receiving great support from the rest of the Kings. 

Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Dustin Penner, Mike Richards and the rest of the team were also playing well. The Kings were playing great hockey. The Kings discarded the Coyotes in 5 games. At this point the Kings had not lost on the road.

My 2012 playoff dreams had been answered. The teams I hated the most were back at home, watching the Stanley Cup Finals from the comfort of their cozy sofas or playing a couple rounds of golf. I was happy.

Now it was time to enjoy the finals. In the Eastern conference, the Devils were playing solid hockey and Martin Brodeur at the age 40 was stunning the hockey world with his spectacular goaltending. The veteran was providing a clinic to his younger counterparts.

I'm a huge fan of Marty. I grew up watching him play. I was torn. Do I hope for Marty or do I place my support with the LA Kings, a team who had never won the cup and who had captivated me with their great play. They had also rewarded me by knocking off my two hated teams.

I went with the Kings. The Kings didn't disappoint me. They played a great finals round, defeating the Devils 4 games to 2. It was great to see them hoist the Stanley Cup in front of their home town fans. The Kings won the Stanley Cup, losing only 4 games all playoffs.

The Kings were a terrific story this year. They were enjoyable to watch throughout the playoffs. They captivated many hockey fans and they made my Stanley Cup wishes come true.

No comments:

Post a Comment welcomes your comments and lively debates. All we ask is that you keep your comments civil.

Please Note: When commenting on posts, it is prohibited to post links that are deemed to be spam or advertising.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.