There's a lot to love about the Los Angeles Kings.
And a lot to hate.
There's a great deal to admire about the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
And, after they dismissed the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night, much to be repelled by.
They have the undeniable will of a champion, a roster of hard-edged, uncompromising players, a captivating ability to play well as a selfless group and an ability to dig deep into a well of determination and resolve.
At the same time, they play with the imagination of a jackhammer and the soft touch of a roller derby queen. The Kings are a team that takes the joy out of a sometimes graceful sport by mashing the game and the opponent into jelly.
I give up, you might say, after watching the Kings play a seven-game series while scoring 14 goals. Uncle, as in, this is essentially unwatchable.
But then, as they refuse to move off their game plan and play a more pleasing style, it's impressive as hell. The Kings simply tell their opponent this is what we're going to do and we're not going to change.
The objective is there and we're taking a straight line to that objective, like Butkus to a running back. You don't want the collision? Take another path.
The Kings are, simultaneously, what we admire most about a team grinding its way through the most difficult of professional sports tournaments, and at the same time, what we fear most as the game turns into a combination of ping-pong and a multi-car pileup on the DVP.
This is hockey. Or, this is hockey?
They are all that is good about the game.
Or, is this good for the game?
A most perplexing squad, these Los Angeles Kings.