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06-20-2012, 02:02 PM
  #83
nikolai19
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Corona, CA
Country: Belarus
Posts: 2,338
vCash: 500
In 1985 I started playing hockey in Brea and at the time it was all I wanted to do. I remember how exciting it was to get the Titan Gretzky stick which was used on the ice, in the garage, in the house, etc. At that time, my dad and I watched Kings games on Channel 9 and I always remembered how exciting it was to watch, learn, and get interested into the game of hockey.

With all young players, everyone wants to identify themselves with someone on their favorite team. As a Kings fan, early on, I was enamored with Bernie Nicholls and Jim Fox. On my team, I was able to choose # 19 for my number which ultimately was my second choice (9 was first, but was taken by the coaches son). From there on, I watched their games religiously and followed them. After that point, my other favorite player was Steve Yzerman and I patterend my game after him but ultimately the credit for the number I still wear today goes to Foxy.

I remember sneaking into a bar in Palm Springs in 1993 (don't know how I did that being that I was 18 but looked 15) and watched LA beat Toronto to go to the Stanley Cup. I remember the disappointment of the Finals but being optimistic they would be there again.

I don't remember much of the late 90's Kings...then again I don't remember much of the late 90's anyway.

I remember listening to the radio on the way to my game when LA played Detroit thinking that there is no way they are coming back from a deficit of that magnitude. I remember even more trying to haul ass home after they had come back and tied it just to see the OT winner.

I remember Palffy, Deadmarsh, and Allison and how they never were able to become what they could have been.

I remember thinking that I was surprised that Kopitar kid fell to us because a lot of people had him going higher.

The lists goes on and on. Every draft year in the last 6 years has been the most exciting part of the year with the exception of this year.

Watching this team win has been nothing short of spectacular and it still hasn't hit me yet. I'm very proud to be a long time Kings fan sans the suffering.

Here's to hoping they do it again next year.

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