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Hockey Rules LA(ist)

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Is it me, or is there an explosion of hockey interest here on the mighty LAist? Thank you Adam Rose! I was beginning to feel like that solitary nutjob on the corner who rails on about the miraculous healing power of magnets. Sure, hockey fever is finally rearing its rubbery head with Anaheim only one game away from winning the series, but on the bright side... it's better than nothing. (Which is also good advice for your love life.)

And let's be honest, if it was the Los Angeles Kings in the Final there'd be a heckuva lot more buzz in town and around the nation. But it's just homely ol' frumpy Anaheim. Anaheim is like that girl with the stellar personality, but questionable looks, who you would never introduce to your buddies. Mainly because they're assholes and would probably make fun of you for dating a hobo.

There is one minor difference though. That girl whom you only invited over in low light was never on the verge of winning a World Championship.

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I read Adam Rose's interview with Helene Elliot and she points out something rather interesting. The Ducks of Anaheim of California of the United States have been to the Finals twice in the last 4 years. The Los Angeles Kings have been only once in their 39 year existence. So while Kings fans get to sit in the glitzy Staples Center, they are forced to swallow crap hockey while their division rival down the road tears up the league.

I'm thinking there might be an element of jealousy here from folks outside of Anaheim who would normally be casual Kings fans. The result: complete and utter apathy towards their neighbor's success.

But you know what LA, tonight could be a very special night for your fair city. The Stanley Cup will be in the building. Chris Pronger is back from suspension. The Ducks are still steamed at Daniel Alfredsson for firing a puck at Scott Niedermayer. This is, as they say, for all the marbles (despite the fact that no one has actually played marbles since 1978).

There ain't no party like a Stanley Cup party. Watch the way the player's pour off the bench when victory is theirs. Watch the tearful embraces. Listen to the hollers of glory. Watch the victory lap with the trophy held high. The ad hoc group picture at center ice once every last player has had his moment with the Cup. This celebration is unique in all of professional sports.

And it could happen tonight LA, in your very own backyard. There are dozens of cities who would donate their left nut (assuming cities have left nuts) for the chance you folks have.

But not so fast...

This series is not over yet. Rarely do teams come all the way back from a 3-1 series deficit, but you'd be surprised how many come back to make it 3-3. If Ottawa can muster enough will to win tonight's game, then they will head back home for Game 6 with a chance to force a Game 7.

And we all know anything can happen in Game 7.

That said, I have taken myself out of the prediction business. I am going to sit down tonight as a simple fan and watch a rocking Honda Center be the canvas upon which the player's will exercise their artistry. Tonight I will cheer for the Stanely Cup to be awarded to the home team. Why? The atmosphere of a cheering home crowd makes the celebration infinitely more enjoyable to watch.

So I'll be on the edge of my seat tonight. Cheering for your Anaheim Ducks. Cheering for the city of Los Angeles.

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Cheering for the great sport of hockey.

Soak it in folks. It'll be a beauty.

5pm on NBC. Or get your ass down to a bar near the rink and do it up right.

AP photo by Chris Carlson