State of Bliss – LA Kings Hunt Down the Ducks

by Tony Shea on May 18, 2014

in COLUMNS, SPORTS

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It was only a few short weeks ago that the LA Kings made hockey history coming back from a 3 games to 0 deficit to win their first round playoff series against their hated west coast rivals, the San Jose Sharks. It was the kind of victory that comes perhaps once in lifetime and the experience of it was practically a religious experience. If the Kings lost in the next round I could live with that. I figured I had already had enough thrills for the season.

The Kings went on to win the first two games of the second series with the even more despised Anaheim Ducks. The Kings looked like they had it all under control. But then the Ducks came back to win the next three games, going ahead in the series 3-2, and again putting the Kings in a do or die comeback situation that seemed perilous to say the least, since Anaheim was the number one West Coast seed and finished the regular season 16 points ahead of the Kings. But the Kings didn’t seem to feel the slightest bit of pressure about the whole thing, playing with a kind of zen-like confidence, operating purely in a present tense where the past is immediately forgotten and the unknown future is never even considered, coming back to tie the series. Game 7 was a mauling that resembled, well, a lion eating a duck. Playing in Anaheim, the Kings absolutely destroyed their SoCal rivals, taking a 5-0 lead before finally winning the game 6-2.

The game was a highlight reel for the Kings in virtually every category, scoring certainly, puck movement, hard checks, and tough bump and grind play. And, lest we ever forget, goaltending. Jonathan Quick continued to demonstrate why he is one of the best netminders the league has ever seen, stopping 25 shots including a penalty shot by Corey Perry. Quick, by the way, has never lost a game 7 – add that to his suit of armor that he wears. And while not as glorious as the win against the Sharks, the win against Anaheim catapulted me into a persistent state of bliss. What a team. Game 7 also featured a fond farewell to the Duck’s Teemu Selanne, who had previously announced that he would be retiring at the end of this season after 21 years in the NHL. The Kings sent Selanne away with a tough loss certainly but also with an expression of their profound respect for the great Finnish winger, clapping their sticks upon the ice in a display of class.

Next up for the Kings are the Chicago Blackhawks who will be looking to repeat their victorious cup run from last year. Indeed, the bookies have Chicago as the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Los Angeles is least favored of those that remain, namely the Montreal Canadians and the New York Rangers. Once again the Kings find themselves in the role of the underdog, which seems to be the way they like it.

My pick – look for the Kings to beat Chicago in six games and then to face the New York Rangers for a bi-coastal juggernaut. But maybe I’m getting little ahead of myself. Whatever happens the Kings have put together another great season that has been a pleasure to watch.


Jungle Cover version 150 pxBarney DeRussey is a 35 year old, down on his luck, door to door salesman working the mean streets of Los Angeles. During the hottest week of the year, the pressures from his tyrannical boss and his impending wedding send him into a spiral of escalating criminality as he tries to keep his sanity and maybe finally succeed.To order the Kindle Edition for the low price of $5.99 click HERE.

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Tony Shea ( Editor-in-Chief, New York)

Tony Shea is based in New York, having recently moved from Los Angeles after more than a decade on the sunny coast. His short films have won numerous awards and screened at major festivals around the world including Comic-Con. As a musician, he is the lead singer for Los Angeles rock n’ roll band Candygram For Mongo (C4M) candygramformongo.com who has been a featured artist on Clear Channel Radio’s Discover New Music Program and whose songs have been heard on Battlestar Gallactica (Syfy Channel) and Unhitched (Fox) among other shows and films.

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