Part one of my response to the Blades of Teal's eulogy of the Kings is here. Little did I know that he also ran a "director's cut" of the same post, which also requires some, well, you'll see...
[J]ust because the Los Angeles Kings had a 98 point regular season and seemed inspired by the loss of their best player in Anze Kopitar to beat the odds, and just because their fans may have fooled themselves into thinking that something magical was taking place, it doesn’t mean it ever was going to.
Let me get this straight. The thing that didn't happen also was never going to... have just... happened? Leaving aside for a second the ad hominem bitchiness of that, a fair translation of that paragraph is: it would have been foolish for anyone to think the Kings could have beaten the Sharks in that series.
Nevertheless, it's a fact that the Kings could have beaten the Sharks in that series. I do not think it is right or fair or even reasonable to claim that a team that just lost in the playoffs to another team is actually better than the team that it lost to, but for extenuating circumstances x, y or z. I don't believe you can claim to be better than a team you just lost to in the playoffs. If you're better, you win. That's the only acceptable evidence of being better.
So let me just say that, with this as the only criterion, the Sharks were a better team than the Kings this year. Got it? Sharks beat Kings in playoffs = Sharks better than Kings this year.
But to suggest that the Kings could never have beaten the Sharks is as arrogant as it is transparent.
There was one game when the Kings dominated the Sharks, one where the Sharks dominated the Kings, and four which could have gone either way, right down to the last couple of minutes, or, in the case of the three that were decided in OT, right down to the last shot. There was no fate or inevitability involved. Whatever edge the Sharks managed over the Kings, it was the (okay, second) slimmest one possible. The narrowest edge would have been Game Seven. And the Sharks dodged that bullet but only just barely.
It's like you're playing Russian Roulette and, not having died, you're mocking the very notion that you could have died. And, look out, you have another round of roulette coming up.
One more thing, re "something magical": in order for it to be magical, the Sharks would have had to be significantly (as in much, much) better than the Kings, which they weren't. They were seven points better. They were better on offense, and worse on defense. Better on power play, worse on penalty-killing. Worse in goaltending. Better in tweeting. Beating the Sharks wouldn't have been "magical" or supernatural or a miracle or anything else. It would have meant the Kings played the defensive game they play. They didn't. They lost.
On this, to be fair, you shouldn’t really fault the land that spawned cinema and the silver screen for buying into an underdog series win story here. Make-believe is what they do down there, but looks can be deceiving and the Los Angeles Kings and their fans deceived themselves into thinking they had a real shot.
My take is somewhat different: The Sharks tried to choke but the Kings freaked themselves out and blew game three, which turned the series irrevocably, despite Niemi's attempts to correct this through further choking.
p.s. another thing we "spawned" down here is the San Jose Sharks, who wouldn't exist if it weren't for the Los Angeles Kings (see Gretzky, Wayne; McNall, Bruce) -- and, even if they did, wouldn't exist as they are if it weren't for Dean Lombardi, GM of the Los Angeles Kings, who is responsible for drafting Patrick Marleau, Douglas Murray and Ryane Clowe, not to mention Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart (without whom, no Joe Thornton), Scott Hannan, Marcel Goc or Jonathan Cheechoo, or trading for Vincent Damphousse, Teemu Selanne, Mike Ricci, Adam Graves and Owen Nolan.
Still, as human beings, if your heart goes out to the Kings loved ones a little right now, that is alright. Perhaps take them to a Quizno’s, which dot the Southland landscape like so many snowflakes during a beautiful Lake Tahoe winter.
Because, you see, Sourthern California is ugly, while Northern California is beautiful. The funny thing is, as much as certain NoCal people like to disparage SoCal, we people of SoCal not only like NoCal but claim it. We think Tahoe, and Yosemite, and Napa and Sonoma and whatever else, are all features of California that make living in Los Angeles great. All this "LA sucks" yammering is just the impotent teeth-gnashing of the little brother who has a rivalry with his big brother which his big brother doesn't even notice.
Or it might be as simple as acting impressed when they speak of a new spec script that "Brad" and "Angelina" are looking at, or commenting that their new head shots are sure to get them noticed.
Because, you see, all people in Los Angeles are poseurs.
How about taking a grieving Kings fan to the beach? I mean, if you haven’t heard, people in Los Angeles love the beach. They love telling you how close they live to the beach.
Yes. But. If we live at the beach, why would we want you to take us. To. Where we. Already. Live?
That would be like me going to San Jose and offering to take you to see office buildings.
They love sending you iPhone pictures of the beach and telling you how great the weather is at the beach. They seriously don’t ever shut up about the beach. I mean, maybe I don’t want to go to the beach?
I think this is just something you heard about on TV. Nobody who actually lives in LA acts like that. That sounds more like 20 year olds who just moved to Los Angeles and are excited because they don't have a beach where they came from. People who live in Los Angeles -- you know, residents -- don't send people beach pictures. It's rude.
It’s like…I went to an awesome Cake show at the Fillmore earlier this year, I mean awesome. All hits, very light on the new stuff. Perfect. Thing is, if that show was the only thing I ever talked about, I’d just be "Cake Show Steve" to my friends who would avoid me, lest I start in about how the only album you need in your life is "Fashion Nugget."
Just the fact that you wrote that paragraph makes you "Cake Show Steve." Though the idea that anyone would think that about Fashion Nugget, of all things, is funny enough. Anyway, I would think your friends already avoid you because you're such a dick about the beach.
Yes, these gestures of kindness to the fallen opponent will be hard for Sharks supporters, but we can be the bigger fans here.
No, you can't.