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So You Want to Learn About This Hockey Thing?

Posted: 05/24/2012 4:26 pm

By Bob Timmermann, Senior Librarian at Central Library.

On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Kings earned just their second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in franchise history, after defeating the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3 in overtime, to win the Western Conference Final in five games. The Kings, who barely qualified for the playoffs, have won 12 of 14 playoff games and have won all eight games played on the road.

With the Los Angeles Lakers out of the NBA playoffs (as well as the L.A. Clippers), the Kings now have a chance to move to the forefront of the sports world in Los Angeles for a few weeks. The Final (in the NHL, it's always Final, never Finals) will start on May 30 in either New York or Newark depending upon the winner of the Eastern Conference Final between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils.

Although the Kings have played for 44 seasons, hockey has never been the most popular of sports in Los Angeles. (You can see a picture of their second ever game here, played back in 1967 at the Long Beach Arena.) Even if the Kings win the Stanley Cup, they wouldn't the first team in Southern California to do so as the Anaheim Ducks won it in 2007. (They really did, you can look it up. They took five games to beat the Ottawa Senators. The Venn Diagram of the intersection between Kings and Ducks fans would not have much in it.)

There is still time to brush up on your hockey knowledge if you're a novice, or explore the game more in depth if you're a longtime fan with some books at your local library. There are instructional guides, biographies, a children's book, and even a book of poetry.

Ice Hockey Made Simple: A Spectator's Guide
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This book was written back in 2002 by a pair of UCLA MBA students to give new hockey fans a chance to learn the game without having to listen to a condescending Canadian friend. Keep in mind that there have been several important rule changes in hockey since 2002.
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