And so another installment of Frozen Fury has come and gone. While most Kings’ fans have the unenviable task of returning to reality on Monday morning, the end of the Vegas weekend means that the regular season is next – in this year’s case, just three days away.
Due to last year’s lockout that canceled Frozen Fury, Kings’ fans were treated to a double-header this year which saw their team defeat the New York Rangers by a score of 4-1 on the Friday but lose to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, 3-2.
While most fans didn’t take Saturday’s loss too seriously (it is still the preseason, after all), it is partly because the last time the Kings lost to the Avs in Vegas, they went on to win the Stanley Cup.
I admit that in the grand scheme of things, the circumstances of 2011 are more coincidental than anything. Let’s be honest: if the Kings are in the Finals next June, I really don’t think any fans or players will be using their team’s Frozen Fury loss to Colorado as sufficient reason to capture their second championship in three years.
While they did finish off the preseason on a losing note, the Kings finish at a decent 3-3-1, not bad considering the changeover in the offseason. Despite the loss, Mike Richards did score a pair of goals which hopefully will carry over into the regular season. A quick start from Richards will surely do the Kings a lot of good considering his sluggish start last season.
So, now the real season is set to start. If you ask me, 2013’s situation is a lot better than the starts to the previous two seasons.
Last season due to the lockout, teams were thrown into the fire without any training camp or preseason to prepare as Los Angeles’s slow start was certainly understandable. In 2011, the Kings opened the season in Europe and didn’t get to play on home ice until October 18. With training camp and preseason under their belts, minus a cross-Atlantic voyage in addition to having to wait only one week for their home-opener, the Los Angeles Kings are in a much better position this season – but we’ll have to see if that translates to on-ice success. Even if it doesn’t right away, at least the NHL is back to the regular 82-game schedule as opposed to last season’s of the 48-game variety that had fans and experts alike counting out the teams who lost only their first few games.
Las Vegas provided one final tune-up for the players and the fans before the real season begins and while I will miss the sights of Sin City, Cirque de Soleil (incredible show, by the way) and the always-popular gauntlet of Kings fans heading into the MGM Arena, what I have been waiting for all summer will officially arrive in T-minus three days.
The Los Angeles Kings opened their season in St. Paul to take on the Minnesota Wild, then north to Winnipeg to battle the Jets before opening their home schedule next Monday night against the New York Rangers.
The regular season is just about here and every Kings fan in Greater Los Angeles and beyond can feel it in every inch of their bones.