This is Far From Over

And just like that… it’s over. All the yelling, all the screaming, cursing, celebrating, cheering… it just ends in the flash of a second. The Los Angeles Kings 2009-2010 season is over. And what was the most important lesson I learned? What a playoff rally towel is really used for.

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I don’t know how you fans of teams that regularly go to the playoffs do it.
I probably lost 10 years off my life the last 10 days.

Kings 2, Canucks 4, Season Over

 

Sure, it’s been tough being a fan of the Los Angeles Kings the last 8 years (heck, the last 42 years.) But this 6 game playoff elimination at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks can only give fans of the Kings something to actually look forward to for once. This team… this franchise… has been rebuilt from top to bottom. After getting 101 points this season, the Kings can come back in the fall and be even better than before. But what really was the lesson learned from this past season? Simple… Playoff Hockey is amazing.

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Check out The Royal Half’s last game recap of the 2009-2010 season… after the jump!!!

After attending in person 4 of the 6 playoff games between the Kings and Canucks… I can assure you… playoff hockey is amazing. And since us Kings fans have just gotten a small, sweet taste of it… the hunger for more should get us through the summer. Because let’s be honest folks… this franchise could be in A LOT worse shape.

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I promise to never make fun of any of the Kings marketing efforts ever again.

Once again the atmosphere outside the Staples Center was great. Fresh off their appearance in Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew was there to make middle-aged mens’ dreams come true.

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I wonder what happens to Ice Crew members when they get old?

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Oh, well there you go.

Again, the sign-making talent of Kings fans was in full force at the game tonight.

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“You know how I know they’re gay?”

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“7 is my lucky number.”

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“Vancouver doesn’t have a Johnson.”
No idea what that one means.

And unfortunately, due to a 1st period incident involving the Vancouver Green Men, Kings Mascot, Bailey, will have to be euthanized in accordance with Los Angeles Animal Attack law.

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When Good Mascots Go Bad.

Speaking of Green Men, these 3 dudes are the closest thing LA’s got.

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The shirts read “Game” “7″ “Eh”
And they had purple lycra shorts on too.

But those weren’t the strangest outfits I saw all night.

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She’s either wearing hockey socks and a garter belt as a fashion statement…
or she’s playing pickup hockey at Toyota Sports Center right after the game.

What can you say about Game 6 in the end? Jon Quick didn’t have his best stuff tonight and Roberto Luongo did. Jack Johnson might want to make a play for the loose puck when there is 1 minute left instead of protecting his empty net. But the biggest statement about this game came from the Captain.

“Sometimes you have to lose before you can win. There’s a lot to learn from this series. We had the momentum, and it can switch just like that. That’s what we can learn from this whole series. It’s a huge learning experience. We lost, but we had games in our grasp, and that’s something that, this time of year, it’s disappointing. From a team standpoint, I’m proud of the group and how we played.”

There was one other guy in the building that should have been proud of the way the Kings have played this season.

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I wish I could say it was my camera, but Wayne is actually looking really tan these days.

And then… the moment that really sets hockey apart from all other sports.

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The Handshake.

Earlier in the evening, I had noticed a giant wall of boxes near one of the entrances.

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I figured… well this could be the last home game of the season, maybe they are giving all fans a special gift as they exit. And boy… did they ever.

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Potato Straws! In a “Sensible Portion.”
I threw mine away in disgust.

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Well it may be dark for Los Angeles Kings hockey for a few months, but The Royal Half is just getting started. (Well, not really… I need a few days off from this playoff madness, seriously.) Let’s be honest… the off-season doesn’t really get that “exciting”but for the Kings this one does prove to be pretty darn interesting. There is some cap space to fill… some UFA’s to sign, re-sign or let go… and a goalie controversy that is brewing. In addition, the NHL Entry Draft will be in Los Angeles for the first time… and you can bet your ass that The Royal Half will be there taking photos and blogging our hearts out.

Thanks to everyone that comes here each day and reads my thoughts on the Los Angeles Kings. And thanks to everyone who takes the time to comment or send me an email. Thanks to all the great people that engage with me in discussions on Twitter. And thanks to all the amazing blogs (especially Canucks blogs) that I’ve discovered in the past 2 weeks. Many people were consoling Kings fans out in cyberspace tonight… but then also reminding them in the same breath that the Kings will soon be a force to be reckoned with. You hear that NHL? You’re not going to have the Los Angeles Kings to kick around anymore!

And without further ado… Benched Whale… you can take it from here. Good luck in the 2nd round, Canucks!

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.