Game Day… Again

By HOWARD BERGER

LOS ANGELES (June 11) – We know one thing for certain: the Los Angeles Kings will play their final home game of the 2011-12 National Hockey League season here tonight. Remaining to be determined is whether it’s the final game of the season – period – or if we haul ass back to New Jersey one more time tomorrow.

The Kings and their fans desperately crave the initial scenario for it will yield this city – and the 45-year-old franchise – its first Stanley Cup championship. Game 6 of the 2012 final faces off at 5:15 p.m. local time, 8:15 p.m. in the east. The proud and stubborn New Jersey Devils will do all in their power to earn a third consecutive triumph and necessitate a deciding, winner-take-all match at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night. It is nail-biting time here on SoCal.

THE SCENE, THIS MORNING, OF TONIGHT’S GAME 6 IN THE STANLEY CUP FINAL.

As always, game day here in Los Angeles was rather hectic, beginning just after 8 o’clock this morning, when several New Jersey players met with the media in the Devils’ team hotel. Here’s my photo-review:

DEVILS SPEAK

FOUR KEY SKATERS WERE ON HAND FOR TODAY’S MEDIA SESSION (ABOVE AND BELOW) – THOUGH ORIGINAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WERE HARD TO COME BY.

DUAL HOTEL COMPLEX AT L.A. LIVE, ACROSS FROM STAPLES CENTER.

AT THE ARENA

TV SATELLITE UNITS FROM ALL THE MAJOR TV STATIONS IN LOS ANGELES WERE AT STAPLES CENTER (ABOVE) FOR THE KINGS MORNING SKATE.

WORKERS WERE BUSY ADORNING SEAT-BACKS WITH THE UBIQUITOUS TOWELS.

FROM THE ZAMBONI GATE…

FROM THE KINGS BENCH…

MISCELLANEOUS IMAGES

HOCKEY MEDIA IS OCCUPYING EVERY SQUARE-INCH OF THE ARENA – EVEN THAT WHICH BELONGS TO THE TALL GUYS OF WINTER (ABOVE).

LOOKS LIKE YOU COULD EAT OFF THE FLOORS HERE.

THE ARENA IS NEXT DOOR TO THE L.A. CONVENTION CENTER (ABOVE).

NIFTY SAND SCULPTURE (ABOVE) AT L.A. LIVE.

      

DEVILS ASSISTANT COACH AND STANLEY CUP VETERAN LARRY ROBINSON HEADS UP ESCALATOR IN TEAM HOTEL IN MID-AFTERNOON. ROBINSON WON SIX CHAMPIONSHIPS AS A DEFENSEMAN WITH THE MONTREAL CANADIENS BETWEEN 1973 AND 1986. HE COACHED NEW JERSEY TO THE 2000 STANLEY CUP.

JOURNEY WEST ON SUNDAY

NEWARK TO PHOENIX

MORE DESERT VIEWS…

LANDING IN PHOENIX…

PHOENIX TO LOS ANGELES

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX (ABOVE-LEFT); GLENDALE SPORTS COMPLEX (RIGHT).

APPROACHING LOS ANGELES…

SMOG!

HARBOR FREEWAY LEADING NORTH INTO SMOGGY L.A. (ABOVE) WITH JETLINER TURNING OVER DOWNTOWN FOR APPROACH TO L-A-X.

THE FORUM AND HOLLYWOOD PARK – IN INGLEWOOD (ABOVE).

ON THE GROUND – JUST AFTER 6:10 P.M. PDT.

L.A. READY TO CELEBRATE… AGAIN:

VIEWS FROM THE DOWNTOWN HOTEL WINDOW.

THE LAST TIME…

A MEMORY FOR LONG-SUFFERING FANS OF THE MAPLE LEAFS

STANLEY CUP 1967

DAVE KEON, WINNER OF THE CONN SMYTHE TROPHY AS PLAYOFF MVP, WASHES HIS FACE WITH STANLEY CUP CHAMPAGNE (ABOVE) ON THE COVER OF THE OLD TORONTO TELEGRAM, WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 1967: THE DAY AFTER THE LEAFS WON THEIR LAST CHAMPIONSHIP. JUBILANT TORONTO PLAYERS LEAP OFF THE BENCH AT MAPLE LEAF GARDENS WHEN TIME EXPIRES (BELOW) ON FRONT SPORTS PAGE OF THE TELEGRAM, WHICH FOLDED OCT. 30, 1971.

THE TELEGRAM (ABOVE) SHOWS VARIOUS FORMS OF CELEBRATION AMONG LEAFS PERSONNEL IN THE WAKE OF THE 1967 STANLEY CUP TRIUMPH. THAT’S TERRY SAWCHUK EMBRACING THE CUP (LEFT) WHILE GM/COACH PUNCH IMLACH AND VICE-PRESIDENT KING CLANCY ARE ESCORTED INTO THE SHOWER IN THEIR BUSINESS ATTIRE (UPPER RIGHT).

FRONT PAGE OF THE GLOBE AND MAIL (ABOVE) ON MAY 3, 1967 SHOWS LEAFS CELEBRATING A GOAL, WITH MONTREAL NETMINDER LORNE (GUMP) WORSLEY SPRAWLED ON THE ICE. INSIDE SPORTS PAGE (BELOW) SEES CAPTAIN GEORGE ARMSTRONG HANDING THE CUP TO TEAMMATE JIM PAPPIN (LEFT), AND DOROTHY IMLACH – WIFE OF THE LEAFS COACH; KNOWN AS “DODO” TO EVERYONE – DURING AN ANXIOUS MOMENT IN GAME 6 (RIGHT).

FRONT PAGE OF THE TORONTO STAR (ABOVE) THE DAY AFTER THE LEAFS WON THE ’67 STANLEY CUP SHOWS TERRY SAWCHUK AND DEFENSEMAN ALLAN STANLEY (26) CONVERGING ON LOOSE PUCK. SPORTS FRONT (BELOW) SALUTES DAVE KEON FOR HIS CONN SMYTHE TROPHY PERFORMANCE.

 

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