Game Day #1: Kings-Sharks

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks (Staples Center)

Time: 7.00 PM

TV: NBCSN, Sportsnet 1

Kings projected lineup:

Gaborik - Kopitar - Brown
Pearson - Carter - Toffoli
King - Richards - Williams
Clifford/Andreoff - Stoll - Lewis/Nolan

Doughty - McNabb
Regehr - Voynov
Martinez - Greene


Injured: Muzzin (undisclosed)

Sharks projected lineup:

Hertl - Thornton - Pavelski
Marleau - Couture - Nieto
McGinn - Tirney - Wingels
Desjardins - Burish - Brown

Vlasic - Braun
Mueller - Burns
Irwin - Demers


Injured: Goodrow, Kennedy, Sheppard, Torres

Enemy reading: Fear the Fin

Tonight we get to watch the raising of the banner celebrating the Kings' 2014 Stanley Cup championship. It'll probably be a pretty cheesy ceremony, and we're probably going to have to look at those extravagantly tacky rings. In the bar or on twitter or wherever, people are going to complain that the whole thing is taking too long, that they're not doing it right, that Jeff Carter's tan looks stupid, and so on and etc. Luckily, none of these things actually matter.

Tonight we get to celebrate how much we love this team and how lucky we are to love this team. Those of you who know me know that I try not to buy into the romanticization of sports. But while I think it's a mistake to transform athletes into heroes, I also think it's silly to deny the power of sports fandom to transform. The Kings won their first Cup in the midst of one of the worst years of my life and it was a glorious reprieve from that nightmare. The Kings won their second Cup in the midst of (what has been so far) one of the best years of my life and it was a glorious crown to that happiness. One of the absolute best things about being involved with this site is getting to see the Kings not just from your perspectives but from the perspective of you - to learn about how loving this team has changed so many people in so many ways, from little moments to lifelong relationships.

Tonight the banner will go up and we'll get to welcome back the team we love and dwell on the joy of what the banner represents. Also, we'll get to make lots of mean jokes about the Sharks and we always love doing that.

Game notes will start with preview #2. Whether this season ends up being a 120-point victory lap or the beginning of the end of the would-be dynasty, tonight will be a lot of fun - enjoy it.