Watch Kopi – let’s be a warrior. Let’s be a warrior, let’s go. –Darryl Sutter, 3rd period, SCF Game 6
Buddy, worth the wait, eh? Hahaha! – Mitchell to Gagne
What’s really special about this one is, we’re the first ones to do it. – Dustin Brown, grinning
Last night, I got to watch the LA Kings' Stanley Cup DVD. First, let's make a few things clear:
- It does not have full games on replay, or the final call of Bob and Jim. (That's still in the works.)
- This DVD runs through the regular season and the playoffs in highlight form, with extensive commentary from the players, coaches, reporters, and announcers (Bob Miller, Jim Fox, Nick Nickson, and Daryl Evans included).
Our review after the jump.The DVD runs 128 minutes. The Blu-ray has additional special features (parade footage, extended interviews) which I haven't seen yet.
It begins with sections on the team's history in LA from the 1967 expansion, as well as a recap of the regular season. The bulk of the DVD is devoted to the playoff run, with the most detailed coverage given to each game in the Stanley Cup Final.
There are moments when you can feel the effects of compression--Hanzal's boarding major on Brown is cut from Game 2's meltdown in the WCF, for example--but the insights from the players themselves, as well as the clips with on-ice audio, provide an entertaining supplement to each series as a whole. We find the players less guarded and formulaic than they had to be in their post-game interviews. Jonathan Quick has a hearty chuckle at himself over the embarrassing center ice goal scored by the Coyotes, and the thought of winning the Cup is freely admitted to be a distraction once they went up 3-0 against the Devils. Martinez confesses to not being able to sleep a wink before Game 4 of the Final at Staples. These little details bring the story we all know to life.
The best part is getting to hear more of the player's reactions on the ice and on the bench. Williams chirps at a Coyote that he shouldn't be out on the ice ("It's too hard for ya!"); someone else suggests a swimsuit for a habitual diver. On the bench, the Kings become spectators like the rest of us: players holler "C'mon White!" and leap up in joy or recoil in dismay, just as the viewers at home or in the stands react helplessly to what they see. Our roles are briefly in alignment. They have a job to do and they will play their parts: but on the bench, with the captain on a breakaway, everyone wants to shout "You're in, Brownie, you're in!"
Game 6, with its triumphal celebration, is the most satisfying chapter of all. Justin Williams emerges as the speechmaker before the pivotal game, stalking around before he decides to shut the door and let everyone know what he feels. It's a private moment with the team that we can only glimpse through retelling, but it's powerful nonetheless.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Williams, reflecting at the end of the parade:
You play hard for your teammates, and you ultimately love your teammates. We probably aren’t going to be all together next year. But we’re going to remember each other, and we’re going to have that bond of winning -- because that never gets lost.
We don't know what the future holds. But we know they'll always have this.