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Kings fans have suffered — oh, how they’ve suffered

Jun 5, 2012, 1:46 PM EDT

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The Los Angeles Kings are one victory away from their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. For hardcore fans of the club that’s been around since 1967, it hasn’t been easy keeping the faith. Below is a list of reasons why.

—- Out of their previous 43 season, Los Angeles missed the playoffs 18 times and lost in the first round 16 times.

—- Only three times have the Kings broken the 100-point barrier in a season. And in two of those seasons they lost in the first round, the other in the second round.

—- The Kings have just two banners hanging in the Staples Center, one for winning the Smythe Division in 1991 and one for winning the Campbell Conference in 1993, the year they lost in the finals to Montreal.

—- In the 18 seasons since making it to the finals, they’ve missed the playoffs 11 times.

—- In 1995, the Kings had to claim bankruptcy as a result of former owner Bruce McNall’s financial misdeeds. McNall ultimately went to prison for almost five years after pleading guilty to five counts of conspiracy and fraud.

—- In 1996, the Kings were forced to trade Wayne Gretzky to St. Louis at his behest. In return, they got Craig Johnson, Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, a first-round pick in the 1997 draft (Matt Zultek) and a fifth-round choice in the 1996 draft (Peter Hogan). Remember any of those guys?

There have been good times along the way as well – the Miracle on Manchester, Gretzky’s arrival, Mike Krushelnyski’s goal – but Wednesday could top it all.

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