LOS ANGELES -- Mason Brown has been wearing his Los Angeles Kings jersey every day for about two weeks now. He doesn't even take it off when he goes to school.
And Kings captain Dustin Brown's 3-year-old son isn't the only crazy hockey fan in Southern California these days.
Nineteen years after Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille turned Hollywood into a hockey town, Mason's dad and goalie Jonathan Quick are doing it again.
The eighth-seeded Kings are in the Western Conference finals after a stunning nine-game evisceration of Vancouver and St. Louis, the West's top two teams. Buzz is building all around town for the Kings, who are halfway to hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.
"I think everyone is pretty excited right now," Brown said this week while spending a rare day off with his family.
Los Angeles has advanced this far in the postseason only once before in 44 seasons since the club joined the NHL in the Second Six expansion in 1967. Gretzky's best team reached the 1993 Stanley Cup finals before losing to Montreal, and the Kings had won one playoff series since.
Yet the current Kings aren't content with what they have done in the first two
"It's been a long haul, and we've been through a lot," said Jarret Stoll, who joined the Kings four years ago in a trade with Edmonton. "There are guys who have been here even longer than me, and we've been through two first-round exits, some great regular seasons, and building something special here. Everything is coming together at the right time."
While Brown, Quick and Drew Doughty came up through the Kings' organization, other Kings have extensive playoff experience -- including Dustin Penner, who won it all across town as a 24-year-old with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.
"I see a lot of similarities between the Ducks' run and this run we're currently on," Penner said. "There's still eight more wins to go, but the mentality and focus of the team, the way in practice we're moving the puck, it's just really confident, and I think that's a byproduct of our success. We've all bought in, and you can tell by the way we play."
Los Angeles' confluence of sports and entertainment is firmly behind the Kings. Although they can't match the Lakers for celebrity magnetism, they regularly get a wide variety of stars in their stands ranging from Tom Hanks and Kurt Russell to Rob Zombie and Alyssa Milano.
The Stanley Cup itself also spent time in Hollywood in recent weeks during its usual globe-trotting tour, making visits to the sets of "Glee" and "Bones" for photos with hockey-loving actors Cory Monteith and David Boreanaz, among others.
The Kings are the reason for this puck frenzy: They're just the second team in club history to win two series in the same postseason, and they're the first to sweep a best-of-seven series. Los Angeles is the first No. 8 seed to beat the top two seeds in the same playoffs, and the third No. 8 ever to get beyond the second round.
"We're really happy with what we've achieved so far, but at the same time, we're not done," said Doughty, who learned all about Los Angeles' meager playoff history while growing up as a Kings fan in Ontario. "We knew all along we had the team to do it. Right now we're playing with a ton of confidence, and every single guy is having fun and feeling part of the team. That's what you need in the playoffs."
Center Anze Kopitar said. "I don't think I've been excited like this for a long time."