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Ondrasik: There's Always This Year

by John Ondrasik / Los Angeles Kings

Five For Fighting

We Kings fans know it.  We live it. We hate it.
Since '99 it's been a quarter century of, patience.
A few years back we were told about that Johnson kid, the Doughty phenom, and some dude named Anze. They said the days of trading prospects for declining superstars was over.  We were cautiously optimistic and, of course, patient.
In April we suffered the Kopitastrophe and subsequent playoff tank to the Sharks.  We forgive and forget, because we are…
To be fair, in the Lombardi era we’ve been rewarded by the P word. Those kids have panned out and for the first time in a long time we are buyers not sellers. On paper, this roster is the best bunch since our Stanley Cup was impaled on an illegal stick, (and winking goalie). Happily, patience has evaporated into expectation. This team shouldn't need a miracle.
The time is now.
Some questions:
Can one of the Jonathan’s elevate to a top 10 NHL Goalie?  (Quick is close - Bernier needs more games.)
Is Kopitar 100% healthy? (He better be)
Can Dustin Penner salvage his career? (He's lost the weight)
Are the Kings tough enough? (???)
Power Play? Power Play? Power Play? (Not so good last year)
Is Justin Williams the secret to success? (More than you may think)
Will Drew Doughty contend for the Norris? (Likely)
Will Jarret Stoll ever miss in a shootout? (No)
Some Answers:
Do I think the Kings are a favorite to win the Stanley Cup? No.
Do I expect the Kings to win a playoff series? Yes.
Can a playoff series win and a hot goalie propel any team to History? Na klar!
Mike Richards will be Elite. Gagne could be the steal of the summer. Doughty is locked up till my kids go to college. Dustin Brown will play hard.
Nobody can assume their team will win the Stanley Cup but you can build a squad that contends every year.
No more excuses. No more patience.
There's always this year.
Let's do it.
Let's go!

John Ondrasik remembers sitting rinkside during the days of Dave "Tiger" Williams. A generational season ticket holder, between King games John moonlights as a multi-platnum, Grammy nominated singer-songwriter. He writes and performs under the stage name Five For Fighting.

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