I was fortunate enough to attend the game that took place at Staples Center on Saturday, Feb. 6.
This game was significant for three reasons:
1) The Kings were down 3-0 at the start of the second period and came back to win 4-3.
2) The Kings haven't beaten Detroit at home since Jan. 6, 2007.
3) The victory marked the ninth consecutive win for the Kings, a franchise record.
As a life-long fan of the Kings, this was an unforgettable experience.
In the parity-ripe NHL, any and all winning streaks are essential to grasp hold of those elusive playoff spots, especially in the Western Conference.
Those 18 points in nine games may just be the edge the Kings need to slide in to the playoffs, or perhaps they were a stepping stone to the Kings sealing a respectable four or five seed.
But more importantly, from a fan's perspective, this winning streak means far more than additional points for this season's playoff run.
Even though 22-year-old Anze Kopitar led the league in scoring at one point;
Even though 20-year-old Drew Doughty was selected to the Canadian Olympic Team;
Even though 24-year-old Jonathan Quick currently leads the NHL in wins;
This nine game winning streak is the hard evidence that the Kings have climbed the ladder from rebuilding to competing, the step that fans have been waiting for since Dean Lombardi's arrival.
I'd like to take this time to personally congratulate Dean Lombardi, the Kings staff and players, but especially, the fans.
You have all earned it.
But there is much more work to be done. The first part in taking that next step to becoming a contender will be:
- Keeping the team chemistry through and after the Olympic Break
- Staying healthy
- Holding onto a playoff spot
- Winning one or more series in the playoffs
No matter what happens, I will be there every step of the way.