This is L.A.


Dear Los Angeles Kings Marketing Department,

I’m sorry for everything I’ve said over the past 3 years. What you put together last night at the Los Angeles Kings first home playoff game in 8 years was simply perfect. I apologize for being such an asshole, especially this past season. Go Kings Go!

Sincerely,
The Royal Half

Sure, I might have seen Kings playoff hockey in person on Saturday in Vancouver. But seeing the Kings first playoff game in Los Angeles in 8 years is something that Kings fans have been waiting for… well… for 8 years. And when I first arrived at the arena I have to admit, I was a little concerned that the Kings Marketing Department wasn’t going to rise to the challenge.

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All right. Balloons!

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I’ll take “Things that look wrong for $1000″, Alex.

And inside the arena, there was a soft attempt at adding some spice… using bunting!

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That or a Harry Potter convention at Staples the night before got really crazy.

But then, Half Season Ticket Holder Buddy and I made our way up to our seats… for the first time past April 15th in 8 years… and I saw the sign.

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And I knew this was gonna be awesome… but I had no idea it’d be THIS awesome.

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Holy Shit that was awesome.

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Kings 5, Canucks 3

 

See how the first Kings playoff game in 8 years unfolded…. after the jump!

 

Everything was perfect. From the Ambassador of the Kings, Bob Miller, welcoming the home crowd back to the playoffs… to The Briggs cranking out “This Is LA” live from the rafters of the arena… to the opening chords of “Back in Black” sending chills up the spines of all in attendance… perfect is the only way to describe it.

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This is LA.

And with the Marketing Department doing their jobs… the players did their part. The Kings basically dared the Canucks to take a penalty all night… and when the Canucks did, the Kings made them pay going 3 for 3 on the Power Play. Everyone is talking today about the controversial goal that was taken away from Daniel Sedin. But let’s be honest here, that’s not why the Canucks lost last night. And when the game ended with a 5-3 victory for the Kings… the place went nuts yet again.

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I was really impressed by the crowd. There was never a down moment. The fans kept up the cheering during the tv time outs and the signs fans were displaying were top notch.

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This must be a response to the “Not So Quick” sign in Vancouver.

But the best sign I saw last night was one that the Kings put up themselves.

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That’s right, the Kings have started a playoff win tally. It takes 16 wins to be the proud owner of the Stanley Cup. And come Wednesday night, there will be another X on that sign. The celebration flowed out onto the streets of downtown Los Angeles as fans gathered around the Fox Sports West HD ‘Kings Live’ set and took it over.

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Is there anything geekier than Jim Fox fist pumping? I think not.

So there it was. The Los Angeles Kings first playoff win at home in 8 years. And for this particular 20+ year Kings fan… I love that this guy got the chance to watch over it all.

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Having playoff hockey every other night is insane. My ears are still ringing from last night. The action picks right up Wednesday back at Staples Center. The Royal Half will be there yelling even louder this time. Be sure to check out Benched Whale’s take on last nights game as she slowly watches her season slip away.

The Royal Half has been a Los Angeles Kings fan since 1988 and a Half-Season Ticket Holder since 2002. He has seen the following goaltenders play in person for the Los Angeles Kings… Kelly Hrudey, Grant Fuhr, Byron Dafoe, Jamie Storr, Stephane Fiset, Felix Potvin, Cristobal Huet, Roman Cechmanek, Mathieu Garon, Adam Hauser, Jason LaBarbera, Barry Brust, Sean Burke, Dan Cloutier, Yutaka Fukufuji, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Erik Ersberg, Jonathan Bernier, Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones.You can follow The Royal Half on Twitter @TheRoyalHalf.