Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random Review (NHL - 2012 Stanley Cup: Los Angeles Kings)

Two years ago, my beloved Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and I followed along religiously.  It is one of my favorite sports memories.  This marked the first time where a team of mine won it all and I was really intently following and knew what was going on.  The night the DVD commemorating the Cup came out, I was in line waiting at Best Buy for midnight to roll around so I could get my copy signed by Patrick Sharp, a member of the immortal Stanley Cup team.  Ever since then, I have decided I want to collect all Stanley Cup DVDs that come out following that Blackhawks one.  This year, the Los Angeles Kings miraculously brought the Cup to L.A. in spectacular underdog fashion.

If this is your first Random Review and you're wondering what the fuck I'm doing, I just randomized my DVD collection and decided for shits and giggles, I would watch each one and review it.

The path to a Stanley Cup is an exhilarating one.  The road starts off early in the summer as you watch your favorite players' beards quickly building.  The thicker the playoff beard, the deeper your team is in the playoffs.  The Kings had a very up and down regular season in 2011-12 which was dreadfully marred by their inability to put the puck in the net.  There was no doubt in anyone's mind that they had one of the better goalies in the NHL with Jonathan Quick.  All they needed was a little offensive output and the team could be special.  They got a load of help when they traded for Jeff Carter from Columbus and he reunited with his former Philly teammate in Mike Richards.  From there, the Kings playoff push was under way.

The team was able to squeak into the playoffs by finishing in the 8th and final seed in the Western Conference.  Once my Blackhawks were knocked out in the 1st round by the Phoenix Coyotes, I began to bandwagon the Kings a bit, simply hoping they would win.  I felt like their story would be the most interesting to watch on DVD (which it was) and they were facing a series of teams I did not like.  They went up against the hungry Vancouver Canucks who have been desperate for a Stanley Cup victory, trying to capture their first one.  The Kings promptly knocked out the top seeded Canucks in almost easy fashion.  The second round of the playoffs saw them take on another impressive top team in the West with the St. Louis Blues.  The Blues, who had the best home record in the NHL, could not keep up with the Kings, nor could they even dream of getting the puck past Quick.  They too were quickly disposed of.  The next round saw them face off with the also surprising Phoenix Coyotes.  It was another round in which they barely had a challenge as they continued to dominate the West and moved on to the Stanley Cup finals.  They would go on to face, yet another, surprising opponent in the New Jersey Devils.  The Devils put up a bit of a fight, but it wasn't much as the Kings won the Cup in front of their home ice fans.  Quick got the playoffs MVP award and the Kings won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

DVDs like this one are always fun to watch for a sports fanatic like me.  The production and drama created with the player interviews and game footage is a thrill to watch - even if you know what is going to happen.  The Kings have plenty of likable players who are entertaining and intriguing to watch.  The bromance between Jeff Carter and Mike Richards is awesome and you can't help but be happy for them.  Jonathan Quick is spectacular and absolutely deserved to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe.  It's a team that doesn't make you feel remotely guilty for rooting for them.  It's not exactly a hockey town, by any means, but Los Angeles is a decent enough sports town, so I have no qualms with them getting another parade to celebrate.  Not like the Kings had a long storied history of winning like the Lakers, for example.  The extras are fun with player interviews, extended locker room celebrations, a look at the preparation of the Stanley Cup trophy (best in all of sports), and the Kings top plays.  King fans and die-hard hockey fans alike will enjoy watching this DVD.  Whether you're reliving the glory of your favorite team or watching it hoping one day it can be your favorite in front of your eyes.

My Rating - 7/10

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