While the NHL team readies for the Stanley Cup Final, a longtime loyalist savors their postseason run and keeps hoping — but with a sense of history.
A Kings fan cheers after Dwight King scored the winning goal in the third period to beat the Coyotes in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Western Conference finals. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / May 17, 2012)
-- By Hans Tesselaar May 26, 2012, 4:05 p.m.
When the Kings played at the Forum in the late 1980s and early '90s, there was an elderly vendor
who would set the tone for most games with his sales pitch. "Peanuts, peanuts, peanuts," he'd bark
out in a split second. "Get your peanuts. Three hours of torture coming up." He knew. Anyone who
has ever claimed to be a Kings fan knows. If you're new to this and ready to invest yourself in the
fortunes of the Kings over the next two weeks, be prepared. You may just get poked in the gut by a
stick, perhaps even an illegally curved one. I have been asked often these last few weeks if I've
enjoyed the Kings' incredible playoff run, which has them in the Stanley Cup Final for the second
time in team history. Sure I have. But that other skate is going to drop at any time, right? Teams just
don't go unbeaten on the road in the first three rounds and 12-2 overall while pursuing the most
cherished trophy in sports, do they? At least not teams called the Kings. The Penguins, the Red
Wings, the Oilers of the 1980s, the four-Cups-in-a-row Islanders, yes. The Kings? Until I see one of
their team captains (paging Dustin Brown) lift the Cup, I won't be fully able to appreciate the
journey. It's a defense mechanism that any long-suffering fan of any long-suffering team would
understand. Ask Red Sox fans pre-2004 and New York Rangers fans pre-1994. This madness started
in 1975 when I was 12 and my father took me to the Forum to see the Kings play the mighty Montreal Canadiens.