2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: 3 Reasons the LA Kings Are Contenders for the Cup

Los Angeles sports fans can be somewhat fickle at times.

They love a winner but can be indifferent, at best, if a team is not performing up to expectations.

In LA, they love the Dodgers and absolutely adore the Lakers.

For everyone else, however, respect and admiration is something that must be earned, and then earned again, on a day-to-day and game-to-game basis.

This is, after all, the same market that has been without a pro football team since 1994 because Los Angelinos just did not care that much about the Rams or Raiders.

It is also the same fan base that would barely even mention the Clippers in the same breath as the Lakers until Blake Griffin emerged.

See, I live in Bakersfield, which is about 110 miles north of The City of Angels, so I have witnessed quite a bit of this myself.

One thing I do remember, however, is the Kings run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1993. During that magical run, the Kings transformed southern California into Hockeytown West, and hockey has remained very popular in California ever since.

Unfortunately, the Kings have not done much since 1993—until now.

With their 1-0 win over Vancouver in Game 3, the Kings, the No. 8 seed, stand on the brink of a huge upset against the No. 1 seed and defending Western Conference Champion, Vancouver Canucks.

And LA is charged about it. People everywhere are now embracing the Kings again, and the diehards at Staples Center have a lot of new friends all of a sudden.

There is a buzz surrounding the Kings that has not been there since 1993, and many believe that the Kings can go all the way this year.

I can think of three reasons why this optimism is justified.

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