A few months ago I went hiking at Echo Mountain, which is just northeast of Los Angeles. The thing about hiking at Echo Mountain is there are basically no trees along the trail, which means no shade. In addition the trail is basically a thousand cutbacks, so every time you round a corner and think you’re near the top, you realize you have another six dozen cutbacks to go. Couple that with the fact that I’m out of shape, and it makes for a difficult climb.
The Kings are in the midst of quite a hike as well. There are only 5 games left in their season and playoffs are looming in the distance. With injuries to two key players it will be no cake walk.
However, the Kings are having a heck of a season. This year marks the first time in Kings history that they’ve had a goaltender with consecutive 30 win seasons, which is both remarkable and indicative of the Kings inability to find a solid starting keeper. The Kings have sold out 32 of their 38 home games this season. While that may not be impressive to Canadian teams or Minnesota, it’s a Kings record at Staples Center.
The Kings are on track for one of their best records in history. Their offense is solid, the defense is excellent, and two young and talented goaltenders are both having great seasons. The Kings are deep in their NHL roster, deep in prospects, and fan morale is high as ever.
However, basking in the glow of the Kings’ strong season right now would be like stopping halfway up the mountain and looking down at how far you’ve gone. The Kings have a long way to go.
On top of Echo Mountain resides its namesake; a metal megaphone mounted facing another mountain. When you talk or shout into the megaphone, a loud and distinct echo reverberates back at you. Years from now, Kings fans can look back at this season and enjoy the milestones it provided. However, if the Kings can reach the top of the mountain NHL fans will hear the echo for years to come.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney