Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: May 13th

It's unbelievable.

The ODDS it takes to get the Sharks to play the Kings in the second round of the playoffs.

The IMPROBABILITY of giving the Kings home ice advantage in *any* round!  The Kings haven't had home ice advantage in any series since 1992!

How many meltdowns, playoff chokes, and other unforseen circumstances had to take place to bring the Kings into the second round to meet the Sharks?

We spoke about Vancouver already in depth.  What a joke of a franchise they are.   None of this happens if they do their stinkin' job.  PLAY YOUR GAME.  WIN YOUR SERIES.   The whole playoffs is now on its ear because of this. 

...but... how about we broach the topic of the Ducks too?   What kind of a joke franchise allows that meltdown to occur after going up 3-2 in the series to the Red Wings.  The Wings aren't a bad team at all, and they have a fun offense, but for goodness sake, was it really that hard to get one win in two tries?  Worse -- they looked absolutely lost out there in Game 7, as if once the Wings got the first goal, they received the proverbial punch in the face and couldn't fight back.  Think of all the talent on the Ducks, including the aging wonder Teemu Selanne.   THAT team could not advance a round?!  Think about that!

It really is unbelievable.  Ducks fans and Kings fans alike were so excited to meet each other in Round 2.   A series between both franchises would have been BEYOND epic.   A game in each other's arena over two weeks with only a stretch I-5 between them.  But no!!!!!!  The Ducks had to choke and fly south like the quacks they are and  spin circles instead of mounting a good attack.   Eventually they got in some pretty sick scoring chances, but by then it appeared to be too late.  It almost seemed like they were fully unaware of the urgency *of that game.*  Unreal.

Instead, we're now looking at another big California Rivalry: Sharks/Kings.  Feisty rivalry at that.  Already I'm getting salvos from my Bay Area fans calling their shots at the Kings.  See what you did Vancouver?  Now you're making Sharks fans act like they're the Miami Heat for chrissakes. 

Just as badly, this whole series puts me in a difficult spot.  As you know, I selected the Sharks as the "most likely team to get blown out of the playoffs" and now they're going to play *my team!*

I should be happy about this, but I'm not.  You all know my mush well.   Now the Kings will have to beat the Sharks *and* the Mush because there is *no* way I'm going to pick San Jose to win the series.  No way, none.

I'll give the Sharks this-- they'll be in every game.  In fact, with the series starting in LA, I would pretty much guarantee the Sharks to win game 1.  Then, LA Takes game 2 at Staples, and we see a split of the next two in San Jose.   It will be up to games 5 and 6 to decide it, and I'm hoping, maybe clinging to hope, that the Kings can do enough to win them both.

Just to reiterate, Sharks *will* win game 1 at Staples when it starts.  Kings will still be worn out from the STL series, and I don't think our boys will be prepared for SJ's energy, but I also think the Kings are coached well enough to bounce back.  Overall, I have it: Kings in 6.   I still don't think the Sharks are that good but they got a break getting a familiar opponent who they've played very well (us).

One interesting silver lining to this affair is the series forthcoming between Chicago and Detroit.  During the regular season, the Blackhawks and Red Wings were at each other neck and neck.  Those were some *amazing* games.  Now, thanks to the Canucks' and Ducks' ineptitude, we'll get to see a very very LIVE 7 seed in the Red Wings.  The Wings still are very weak at goal with Howard, but I think they could at least out-score Chicago in one or two of those games.   Most likely I'd go Hawks in the full 7.   The Blackhawks would be hard pressed to put away Detroit in any particular game or stage of the series.  It's going to be a great one!

Two game sevens tonight in the East for the NHL, but is there any doubt the Caps win Game 7 tonight?  The Rangers have had no traction offensively in this whole series, and, let's face it, the Caps don't exactly scare anyone defensively.  As has been happening in almost all the games in Washington, the game will go into over time and the Rangers will make yet another bonehead play to give up the game.  In theory, one would think the Rangers are outplaying the Caps, but not really.   How much of that game has been played in the Rangers' zone?   Hernrik Lundquist seems to be making up for a lot of other team deficiencies, but to be fair I haven't watched enough of each game to get a full read on them.

The one with a ton of intrigue is Leafs/Bruins where the Leafs finally got a home playoff win to force said Game 7.   Toughy.   I haven't watched much of this series at all, so I can't offer an accurate prediction, but one gets the feeling that the Bruins will win anyway. 

It's been a phenomenal Stanley Cup Playoffs so far.   onward...

So a few quickies to balance out all the hockey talk.   There's a donut chain in LA called "Yum Yum Donuts" that's all the rage.  I'm happy to report that the donuts there are worthy of the name.  Tremendous donuts!  Nothing unusual, just good old fashioned no-nonsense donuts.  It's a winner.

Whoof!  So hot this weekend.   It's about that time for the weather to strike it hot, so I'm not surprised or even disappointed... but it's a work in progress acclimating to it all.

Mimi's Cafe still continues to kill it for breakfast.  The family and I went out to Mimi's Cafe in Ventura for Mother's Day.  I had a dish called the "Cinnamon Brioche French Toast" breakfast with eggs, bacon, and the french toast.   The Cinnamon Brioche French Toast was quite engaging!  It was like a cinnamon roll but instead of just the roll it was french toast shaped like the cinnamon bun.  Really good!

We don't have Mimi's Cafe in the LA metro... the best I can come up with is one in Los Feliz or near there in Atwater Village, but that's so far on the East Side of LA I might as well go all the way and head up to Pasadena for breakfast.   There's also a Mimi's in Northridge near where my sister's going to school.   In essence, I leave Mimi's as a "Ventura County" option.  There's a ton of other good breakfast spots in LA anyway.

Frankly, it's tough to get up early enough to eat out for breakfast anyway.  Isn't that a tough spot?  You get up and it's usually around 9:30 or even 10:30 by the time you're ready to leave home.   By then, it's so close to lunch one would rather just eat lunch instead of attempt a breakfast with only about an hour between that and lunch time.  I wind up, more successfully, prepping breakfast at home or just picking up a bagel or small item with some coffee.

Which lends itself to the other half of the equation:  breakfasts at a restaurant are so big they preclude a hearty lunch later in the day.  Given the choice, wouldn't most of us prefer to eat a big lunch rather than a big breakfast.  There's more going on with lunch.

Breakfast winds up having limits... eggs are involved... sugar is involved... sometimes sausage and bacon is involved, and you can get potatoes involved too.   At the end of it all, you're getting at least one of the above in your meal.    I don't see the same restrictions on lunch.. much more to choose from.

Beware of MSG... you eat a bad chinese food meal with too much MSG and your'e out like a light, even if you slept well the night before.   Dangerous!

I think I'm going to get a lot of enemies this week.  Between the usual tweaking on the internet and the upcoming feistiness against the Sharks in this big playoff series, I'm going to annoy a whole lot of people.  I'm sorry.

The Dodgers really hit rock bottom.  It wasn't until the Marlins came to town when the Dodgers finally won a series.  It got so bad that I conceded the Giants were not a hateable team nor franchise.  I even said to other Giants fans "I don't hate the Giants any more -- they are everything that's right with baseball."

At this point the only reason I actually "hate the Giants" is *because* they are the "Giants."  If they were a team with a different name and played somewhere other than San Francisco, I'd probably be a big supporter of the Giants.

Well, this is now changing.  I am now going to support the Giants whenever the Dodgers aren't playing and hope that they do well too.   IT's blasphemy, its pathetic, its clownmanship, its a lot of things, but it's also important to support the teams that do the right thing, and right now the Giants are that.  So I won't be quite as vehemently rooting *against* them, although if the Dodgers play SF I'll still pull for the blue.

This is where we're at now with the Dodgers... they've been stuck in mud thanks to their own stupid mistakes.   Throwing a lot of money at players is not how to win.  They just don't get it, do they?   Player *development* has been worth beetle dung ever since the Mid 2000's.    No question, there were some real diamonds in the rough in between including Kershaw  (Kemp doesn't qualify as he was part of that Early 2000's farm renaissance).

Thus, I haven't shown much emotional involvement with the team.  If they can Mattingly, they can Mattingly.  I think it's stupid, but whatever makes the people happy, I guess.   I don't see how Mattingly is the problem anyway.  Pitching is where you win.  The Dodgers presumably "had 8 starters to start the season" but in all honesty only about 3 of them were legitimately good starters in the rotation.  The other 5 were "fifth spot in the rotation" filler.   And!  The Dodgers are currently operating without two of the three good starters.

So honestly, what did we expect here?  Nobody's going to go 90-72 with one useful pitcher in the rotation.

and... as part of this "limited emotional involvement" I decided I may as well endorse the teams that do it the right way i.e. the Giants, and maybe the Rockies too to an extent although it is still early.  I also fully endorse the Cincinnati Reds for all the great talent they've had in their system over the last few years.

but, as far as being an LA sports fan, life is pretty good.  The Dodgers are underperforming but it's easily counteracted by what the Kings *are* doing and what the Lakers *could be* doing down the road.  The Lakers will eventually turn things around but they'll be bad for another year or two.  Long term-- that's exciting because it is finally time to rebuild and re-tool the team for good.  More on this later.

No Kebabs since that thrilling game 4 Kings victory, but I'm interested in trying a Filet Mignon kebab very soon.  Stay tuned!

Lastly, I have plans to return to my alma matter, Cal Lutheran, to watch my cousin graduate this coming weekend.  Exciting, no?   I look forward to it, both the ceremony and the return to campus.   That's all from here.  Have a good Monday!

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