I am a Flyers fan. I bleed orange and black. My two favorite players of all time are Rod Brind’Amour and Kevin Dineen. I hope that one day, my Flyers will hoist the Stanley Cup.
Regardless of that fact, I have been on the Los Angeles Kings train all playoffs long. Whether you listen to our podcast or not (free plug!), I not only picked the Kings to upset the Canucks and Blues, but I chose them as my favorite to win it all.
So, the natural question is, why do I root for the Kings (and why should you)?
Reason 1: Like I stated above, I’m a Flyers fan through and through, and whom do the Kings happen to be playing in the Stanley Cup? None other than those “insignificant” New Jersey Devils, who have almost replaced the Rangers as the Philly fan base’s most despised rival. I hate the Devils. I always have, I always will.
Reason 2: Martin Brodeur. There’s a special place in the depths of my heart for the Horned Ones, but there’s a deeper plot reserved for their 40-year-old goaltender. Brodeur has been around and tormented my Flyers throughout my childhood. As we presume that Brodeur’s career will come to a close, I can’t stand the fact that he could go out like John Elway: on top.
Reason 3: Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown. Two American-born players who will figure to lead the US National team into the Olympics. Quick may have just stolen the mantle of best goalie in the league thanks to his performance this year, and Brown is the type of player Philadelphia would love and embrace. Both play the game the way it should be played and they are a joy to watch.
Reason 4: Flyers West. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams, John Stevens, Ron Hextall, Dean Lombardi. I don’t care if you don’t like the Terror Twins. Those two guys gave everything they had on the ice. Some don’t like their relaxed attitude, but they never quit on this team. I will thoroughly enjoy watching Richards raise the Cup if it happens.
Reason 5: Paul Holmgren. How much anger and frustration will Homer have seeing his former star players raise the Cup just months after he traded them to rebuild his team? We know in Philadelphia that Holmgren will do whatever it takes to improve the Flyers. Watching Carter and Richards win so soon after being traded away, I would imagine the steely-eyed Minnesotan in charge would work even harder to improve the Flyers and put them in a better position to win.
Reason 6: Simon Gagne. He deserves it. His Flyers career was bookended by the loss to New Jersey in 2000 and the loss in the Finals to Chicago two years back. No further elaboration needed.
So, my friends, those are my reasons to root for the LA Kings. I hope you join me in my crusade and starting Wednesday, May 30 (hey, that’s my birthday!), you all will be watching the television screaming: GO KINGS GO!
*Note, this article was written prior to the start of the SCF.