“This is probably the most emotional series I’ve been a part of.” – Dustin Brown, after Game 7

When The Royal Half held a contest this last summer to add a new indentured servant staff writer to #TeamTRH, I knew I had to apply. I’d been a fan of the site for quite some time, and I genuinely felt I had something to offer. To my surprise, even though I felt that my submitted writing samples weren’t my best work by a longshot, I was invited to join the team.

As the season went on, I felt more and more comfortable in my role here. I watched my writing improve, got to see some amazing hockey, and most importantly, got to personally know the rest of #TeamTRH – in the real world, not through TweetDeck. I now count them among my great friends, which made celebrating Alec Martinez’s Game 7 OT winner with them tonight particularly special.

This year has been a roller coaster for me personally, with many changes taking place in terms of my career and personal relationships. I have no doubt that many of you reading this have experienced many of the very same things this season, because that’s what happens as the months roll by – we live our lives and fight our own battles, but we don’t get an offseason. The grind of our schedule is around the clock, and on any given day it’s not always as black and white as knowing whether we’ve won or lost.

The simple magic about sports, though, is that amidst the chaos of life we can return every few nights to a comforting constant. Hockey provides us with dependability in a frequently chaotic and undependable world. Today, your car might break down on the 405, but tomorrow you know that there’s a Kings game; and with it, familiar faces. A sense of camaraderie. An escape.

What’s more, our LA Kings provide a particular brand of theatre that asserts itself as a constant parable about effort, luck, adversity, and tenacity. Night in and night out, we witness this parable in the guise of entertainment, like an ancient Greek play where the comedy serves to subtly mask the underlying wisdom and moral.

This is why it’s so important to believe in the team you love. We root for the Kings as though they’re an extension of ourselves, of our own deepest hopes and ambitions. If Matt Greene can take a puck to the face, get up, and keep playing, then maybe I can shrug off my latest blunder or bad day. If Justin Williams can show up in the clutch every single time he’s needed, then maybe I can find a way to tap into my own inner Stick when the stakes are high. If Dustin Brown can answer every criticism, doubt, and hater by being the first King to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup, then maybe I do have it in me to be a great leader.

In my opinion, we are the luckiest fanbase in all of sports. Make no mistake, the Kings’ story will be counted among the all-time great narratives in sporting history. The first 8 seed to win a championship. The first team to go up 3-0 in every round. The fourth team ever to complete a #ReverseSweep (against our hated rivals, no less). The first team to win 3 Game 7’s on the road. And those are just the big, sexy accomplishments.

“Oh… no.” – Darryl Sutter, when asked if the team almost gave up hope in the third period

I believe in the Kings, because they are one of the most sweetly magical and unique things in my life. I don’t always understand quite how this is possible, and I’m frequently left shaking my head in disbelief that they are able to delight me again and again. But they do. These are the glory days, the most historically significant for this franchise and a truly special moment in time that we need to make sure we fully appreciate and savor.

When the Kings’ 5th goal sent them past the Blackhawks and into the Stanley Cup Finals tonight, all hell broke loose at #TeamTRH headquarters. We leapt into a giant dogpile, as Indiana Matt vigorously shook up and sprayed a Bud Light Lime. It looked strangely like a locker room celebration; and although we hadn’t accomplished anything ourselves, the source of our joy couldn’t be any clearer.

Another series means another chance to be inspired all over again. Another chapter to add to the history of the LA Kings, and to the histories of our lives.

Keep believing, Kings fans.

Tufficult out.

-King Tufficult (@KingTufficult)

As a child, King Tufficult liked to hang out at Iceoplex to watch his dad’s summer skating group that included many gloriously mulleted individuals. Some of the people attached to those mullets played for the early 90′s LA Kings. It was destiny. Since then, King Tufficult is best known for extensively traveling in Europe during the Cup Finals and writing “The Post” after Game 6 of the 2014 WCF. If you're a glutton for punishment, you can follow King Tufficult on Twitter @KingTufficult.