3 Reasons The Kings Were Built To Be A Dynasty


Building off of astounding success in the last couple of seasons, the Los Angeles Kings have managed to go from professionally challenged to everyone’s favorite underdog at the drop of a hat. Now franchise names like Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, and more recently Marian Gaborik have been big influences in the Kings making a statement in the same way their uniforms do — black and white.

Two Stanley Cups in the past three seasons — only interrupted by a well-deserved (dare I say it) Chicago Blackhawks victory — have started a sort of avalanche of momentum that the Kings have done nothing but build on.

And yes, both of those Cups came as historic underdogs.

Here are three reasons the Kings success is just getting started:

1. On The Road Again

Jan 21, 2015; San Jose, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon (4) fight on center ice during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles has had its ups and downs in each regular season in recent memory but the performances in the playoffs are still what stands out to its fans and haters across the board. In 2012, during their first championship run, the Kings encountered their first dance with death in the Western Conference.

As the eight seed.

In the first round the top-ranked Vancouver Canucks were poised to make their own dash back into the pro hockey limelight but fell short when the Kings came alive and won three of the needed four times on the road and away from Staples Center.

The Canucks were left clueless.

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Next up in the Divisional Round was the second-best in the West St. Louis Blues. Being just as physical of a team as Vancouver, you would think that the Kings would be worn out from such a crazy first round, right?

Wrong again.

The Kings swept the Blues (literally) off their feet and cleaned house in four straight games. Three of the wins came with a two goal cushion and one game ended with a three goal difference.

At this point, nobody really knew what to expect next. All we knew was that the next challenger would be the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes — a team that had just beaten the Chicago Blackhawks in a six game series that consisted of five straight overtime match ups.

Too much good stuff? Nope.

Los Angeles was success full in knocking off the Coyotes in five games while remaining perfect on the road. Following this crazy series win, the New Jersey Devils (who’d made the East their own kingdom, getting to the Final as a six seed) would play against the Kings for it all.

Talk about having to leave it all on the table.

Not even the nerves of being on the first Stanley Cup team could shake the fate of another series win and a trophy to take home.

The Kings ended that season with a successful hockey treasure hunt and their only road loss being their last game away from home for the season.

A must-win Game 5 for New Jersey with the Devils on the ropes.

To follow that up last season, the Kings made it into the playoffs again but had to face the high and mighty San Jose Sharks who seemed all but invincible. Sure enough, San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 series lead — we are talking a lead that takes a historic fallout to give up — but failed to put away the pesky Kings en route to an embarrassing Game 7 loss to the Kings that literally put the nail in the coffin.

Bottom Line: The Kings have shown us that good teams win at home but great teams take the road games

Los Angeles went on to win two more road Game 7s en route to a second Stanley Cup over Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers.

And yes, they’re ready to do it again.

If you don’t see the Kings as a threat this year, I guess you just haven’t paid much attention to the NHL.

2. Kingdom Come

Oct 3, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Los Angeles Kings head coach Daryl Sutter and the team wait for the shoot out against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Kings defeated the Wild 3-2 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing more frightening for the other NHL franchises out there than today’s Kings is the kind of team the Kings will be once their chemistry really starts to jell. Several of their key assets, including Jonathan Quick are signed for an extended stay with the team for the next several years.

Assuming that the players are able to put aside potentially better pay somewhere else (as Gaborik did recently, coming to the conclusion he was better off winning championships than chunk change.

That is after all, you know, why people play hockey. To win.

While the kind of success we’ve seen is great, there would be no kingdom without someone at the top.

Meet Daryl Sutter, L.A.’s head coach and full-time fanatic.

Bottom Line: We’ve seen nothing yet

Sutter has been the key reason his players have stayed together during tough times. An impossible deficit to the Sharks last year and the other two Game 7s on the road gave the Kings unstoppable confidence. With a city, squad, and a great coach behind them they have a ways to go before the train stops.

Solid play from the Kings’ minor league team the Ontario Reign give honorable mention to L.A. hockey for years to come.

Better hop off the bandwagon though, because it’s only sunny on the other side all of the time if you’re stuck in the rain.

3. The Staples Faithful

Jun 16, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings fans cheer during a parade to celebrate winning the 2014 Stanley Cup at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As any popular sports team knows, playing in front of or behind loyal fans means more to the players than it does to those the game entertains. Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles has seen plenty of glory days, but the ones it experiences now are of a different breed.

A cold blooded breed with an icy stare.

Staples Center has been home to the many years of success that the Los Angeles Lakers brought with them. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal brought the house down time and time again and after moving from the Forum — where the Kings also had previously played but lacked popularity — they made Staples Center where good things happen.

The Seattle Seahawks have experienced this themselves on the football side of things. Their fans are considered the “12th Man” — an extra player — because of the noise they create at all home games for their team. Whether a die-hard or a casual fan is a question that becomes irrelevant in the echoes of each team’s cave.

Bottom Line: Fans are fruitful

And the Kings have done some decorating to earn their place.

The Clippers have had the better luck the past couple of seasons with basketball, but with Kobe Bryant’s final season around the corner and the Kings pushing for yet another Stanley Cup, it appears that the best memories are yet to come.