While the Rangers and Devils were continuing their battle for Eastern Conference supremacy last night, the team they were competing to face in the Finals was enjoying some time off. The Los Angeles Kings wrapped up their series with the Coyotes on Tuesday to complete a stunning 12-2 run through the Western Conference, and will likely enter the Finals as the consensus favorite.
That's a shocking development, considering they barely made the playoffs and were considered a team in turmoil only a few months ago. Combine their lackluster season with their status as a West coast franchise that typically doesn't get much coverage in the rest of North America, and it's likely that many hockey fans don't know as much about the team as they'd like.
How well do you know the Los Angeles Kings? Take this quiz and find out.
For their debut season in 1967, team owners chose the colors purple and gold for the Kings' first uniforms because:
a.) They were considered traditional colors of royalty.
b.) They were the same colors worn by the Los Angeles Lakers.
c.) They wanted to use up at least one eye-gougingly awful color combination before the mid-90s expansion teams arrived and took them all.
d.) Hey, nothing says intimidation like a mildly bruised banana.
In the late 1970s, the line of Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor was known as "The Triple Crown Line" because:
a.) There were three of them, and the Kings' logo was a crown.
b.) The phrase "triple crown" is frequently used in various sports to denote excellence.
c.) The long-time NHL employee in charge of naming lines by just taking each player's initial and making it spell something was apparently sick that day.
d.) They wanted to save the name "600 lbs of unstoppable force" for future use by Dustin Penner.
The last time the Kings made it this deep into the postseason was in 1993, a playoff run which you remember fondly because:
a.) The Kings were a scrappy underdog that played with plenty of heart.
b.) It featured Wayne Gretzky playing arguably the greatest hockey of his legendary career.
c.) Pictures of Barry Melrose's mullet make you feel better about your own high school yearbook photos.
d.) Casually bringing up that year's playoffs still instantly causes any nearby Maple Leaf fan to fall over and twitch on the ground.
The mid- and late-1990's were disappointing for Kings fans, because:
a.) The team had to file for bankruptcy due to overspending on player contracts
b.) Wayne Gretzky was traded to the St. Louis Blues without ever bringing a championship to LA.
c.) That guy who does their twitter account barely tweeted anything funny at all.
d.) They realized their long-time "Ensure success by just collecting all of last year's Edmonton Oilers" strategy had a possible flaw.
Los Angeles sports events tend to bring out celebrities. The biggest star you can expect to see at this year's Stanley Cup Finals is:
a.) Famous mega-celebrities like Brad Pitt or Scarlett Johansson.
b.) Well-known hockey fans like Cuba Gooding Jr. or Rainn Wilson.
c.) A confused Jack Nicholson wondering why everyone is just playing through their injuries instead of making a big deal out of every bruised shin or tummy ache.
d.) Some old guy who says he's Paulina Gretzky's dad.
If the Kings' can go on to win the Stanley Cup, captain Dustin Brown can expect to get his hands on the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP if:
a.) He continues his dominant physical play.
b.) He can score one or two more clutch goals when the team needs him most.
c.) He manages to recover from whatever inner-ear injury he recently suffered that makes him dramatically fall over every time anyone brushes up against him.
d.) Jonathan Quick lets him borrow it.
Once the Finals begin, Kings coach Darryl Sutter will come to be known as:
a.) The only coach to reach the Finals by eliminating the #1, #2 and #3 seed in his conference with two different teams.
b.) A fierce competitor attempting to win his first career Stanley Cup.
c.) The latest reason your Flames fan friend randomly breaks into tears so often.
d.) Smiley McChatterbox, according to east-coast media who've spent the last six weeks covering John Tortorella.
With a full week between the end of their third round series and the start of the Finals, the Kings will be using their time off to:
a.) Break down video of their possible opponents and devise an effective gameplan.
b.) Rest and recuperate from various injuries.
c.) Go up to everyone they see, ask what the score of last night's Flyers' game was, and then laugh hysterically while enthusiastically high-fiving (Mike Richards and Jeff Carter only)
d.) Obsessively measure and re-measure their stick curves.
Congratulations, you've completed the quiz! Now tally up your score to find out how you did.
Mostly a: You know a lot about the Los Angeles Kings.
Mostly b: You know a little bit about the Los Angeles Kings.
Mostly c: You should be deeply embarrassed by your complete and utter lack of knowledge when it comes to the Los Angeles Kings.
Mostly d: Hello, member of the local Los Angeles sports media!