Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hockeytown, U.S.A.

And what playoff are the Sacramento Kings in?
It's somewhat funny to me how these non-traditional hockey markets react when there team is in the playoffs.  The stadiums are finally full for the first time all season, and people in said area act like they have been a fan all along.  Now granted every team has its hardcore following, and I definitely do not want to take anything away from them, but some one needs to tell the local media in certain cities to wake up.

In Los Angeles and Miami, two very non-traditional hockey towns have had a little problem with their graphics during news telecasts.  First, in Miami, the Florida Panthers logo was replaced in one story by the logo for Florida International University.  Now luckily for the news station, Florida International's mascot is also a Panther so it did not look so far out of place.  Now on the other hand, a news station in Los Angeles showing a graphic for all their teams in the respective playoffs put a Sacramento Kings logo in place of the LA Kings logo.  Nice going graphics teams.
FIU beats New Jersey in NHL Playoffs haha

I guess I should be happy that the media is at least covering hockey in the two respective cities.  Given the fact that both teams in Miami and LA, have and are still having terrific years.  Let's be honest LA has not been this hyped about the LA Kings since "The Great One" showed up.  The Kings have been playing terrific hockey, and the addition of Jeff Carter has really helped them on the scoring side.  In Miami, they hired our beloved Kevin Dineen and he took them to the playoffs for the first time since the 1990s.  They also got their first playoff wins since the 1990s.

Wins in the playoffs have also been hard to come by for the LA Kings.  Though this year with the emergence of Jonathan Quick, a goalie playing out of his mind, the Kings have to be feeling extremely well about their chances to win the cup.  Quick has had a career year, basically coming out of no-where like his opponent Mike Smith in the Western Conference Finals.  They say that hot goal-tending is a key to the playoffs, and that has not been truer then in the Western Conference this year.

Over in the Eastern Conference, a team given little hope to win their conference, the Florida Panthers, like Quick just seemed to come out of nowhere.  The Panthers won the Southeastern Conference ahead of the heavily favored Washington Capitals.   The team is not full of star players but instead of NHL journeymen that have won Stanley Cups before.  John Madden, Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky were all on the Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup team.  After the fire sale in Chicago, it appears the Panthers made out quite well.
The Miracle on Ice, USA defeats the Russians

I believe there are two really good stories going on in Miami and LA, especially for hockey.  I also believe that sometimes it is hard for Americans to get behind hockey.  We are a proud people and we do not like to finish second or third or fourth.  Globally, we have never really dominated hockey like say basketball, or American Football.  I truely believe that if somehow, the US hockey team started to dominate the world, that there might be an increased surge in hockey.

I know this time of year is hard for people in traditional hockey cities, like Quebec City or Hartford because they know if they had their team back, it would be absolute bedlam.  I think they can take solace in the fact that yeah, we do not have a team but at least we are still relevant to the hockey conservation.  Hartford has to be excited that their man, Kevin Dineen, took the Panthers franchise over and took them back to hockey's promise land.

So, in the effort of fairness, I leave you tonight with NBC 4's apology to the LA Kings for leaving them out of the picture.

P.S. Notice when he says, "over my shoulder," he points over the wrong shoulder with his sharpie.

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