Kings fever seems to have gripped hold of Los Angeles, and even your humble blogger has not been unaffected. Imagine my surprise when, following my admittedly corny article on why you should cheer for the Kings, I was contacted by a reporter from the LA Times. After I got over the "hahaha, what?" reaction, he ended up conducting a 30-minute+ long phone interview with me last night for a piece he's writing. Even if I don't end up getting quoted in the actual article, it was a surreal experience on both a personal and meta-level. For a fanbase who is used to being deep, deep underground in the market, it's just insane to see the amount of attention we're receiving right now.
After the jump, we'll take a look at both the increased level of mainstream coverage and the excellent work the normal Kings blogosphere is continuing to pump out, with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final just hours away.
- Let's start with the insane amount of coverage the aforementioned LA Times is pumping out. Helene Elliott & Lisa Dillman worked together on a short piece covering the Ilya Kovalchuk history as well as other ex-Devils on the team. [LA Times] Dillman also has an article recapping the media day circus from the LA perspective. [LA Times] Helene looks at the long-term future of the Kings and makes a strong argument that they're built to last. In many ways these Kings are indeed the anti-Blackhawks, referring of course to the 2010 Cup Champions that had to be broken up almost immediately. Thanks to some very cap-friendly contracts along with an engaged parent company who has plenty of money to spend, it looks like the Kings can remain competitive for years to come, as Helene details. [LA Times] And finally, longtime sports columnist Bill Plaschke finally takes notice that the Kings exist, and he wants on the bandwagon. I think our good friend Rudy Kelly might have something to say about that.... [LA Times]
- Speaking of our favorite troll, Rudy has a rare serious post looking back at where the Kings were five years ago and where they expected to be moving forward. Looking at that projected depth chart now will give you whiplash. [Battle of Cali]
- In case you didn't see the 4-hour block of coverage on the NHL Network yesterday, Rich Hammond has another roundup of media day coverage, complete with videos. Jonathan Quick's time at the podium was hilariously awkward, if you haven't already seen it. [Kings Insider]
- If you're anything like me, you're probably not even close to tired of reading Darryl Sutter stories yet. That dude is awesome. Well, luckily for you, Jon Rosen has yet another one. [FS West]
- Gann Matsuda is awesome, if you didn't know. Here's a really long Stanley Cup Final preview, complete with seemingly fifty-thousand different raw audio interviews from today's Kings practice. [Frozen Royalty]
- Another Cup Final preview....from Down Goes Brown. Judging by some of these jokes I'm guessing he's watched the LA Kings as many as two or three times this season! (Yes, including playoffs.) [DGB]
- Hey, what the hell, how does the Royal Half have a recap of Game 1 up already?! Is he a witch? We've already revealed his elaborate gender cover-up on Twitter, but I didn't know he/she was also a master of the black arts. Oh, actually it's a recap of "Game ONe" in 1993. Hah, nevermind. [TRH] Staying with TRH for a second, Brigette has the latest of her awesome "Know Your Opponent" series which you should check out, assuming you too enjoy comparing the attractiveness of various hockey players. And why wouldn't you? [TRH]
- Let's go back to the mainstream coverage theme for a second. Do you like reading puff pieces about Anze Kopitar as much as I do? Like does it literally make you all warm and fuzzy inside? Then click away my friend! [NHL.com]
- By now you might be tired of reading things, so as always we go to the realm of audio. And boy do we have a lot of it. First of all, Dean Lombardi made an appearance yesterday on the popular Canadian radio show Hockeycentral@Noon, and it was a fairly long interview at that. I know some people say they don't like listening to Lombardi because "he doesn't really say anything" and blah blah, but c'mon guys; have you HEARD the other GMs? Lombardi is more fun to listen to than at least half the GMs in this league, if not more, and I personally can't get enough of him. If you agree with me, then obviously check out this link. [Sportsnet 590]
- Our friends at All the Kings Men have been on a podcast-tear of their own. All of these shows came out in just the past 24 hours: first, Dennis Bernstein joined from the Fourth Period. [AtKM] Next, the boys were joined by Joe Yerdon of NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog. [AtKM] An LA-sympathetic New Jersey blogger then came on to discuss whether or not it's possible to be a fan of both teams in a series. [AtKM] Two of the wonderful young ladies covering the Kings, from Protect This Throne & One Girl, One Puck respectively, then came on a special "ladies' night" edition of the podcast late last night, serving up an interesting discussion of hockey fandom from a female perspective. [AtKM] FInally, the Mayor joined TRH & Jesse for one last preview of the Stanley Cup Finals. [AtKM]
Other NHL News
- We're going to go a little light on the "other" category, since really who cares what the rest of the league is up to right now? But we'll touch on a few different things that have caught our eyes. First, with the draft of course coming up not long after the Cup Final, here's an interesting little piece from the Leafs Nation blog on why the combine might be fairly pointless. [LN]
- How can the hockey Twitterverse twist your brain into a pretzel? Well, maybe you start having creepy dreams about various different bloggers....and then write that down in a public blog, for some reason.... [View from my Seats]
That's all I've got for you today folks. As always you can follow me on Twitter (@kinghawkranger), you can share your own links in the comments, and please let me know if any links aren't working. Hopefully I've helped hold you over for Game 1 tonight, which by the way....is less than 8 hours away. Holy crap.