Monday, May 27, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day/Why the Sharks Winning the Semis Wouldn't Be So Bad: May 28th

I'm not feeling well today.

and you know what?  That could be a good news!

Long long story... first let's set the scene... the Kings went up 3 games to 2 after a Game 5 win on Thursday.   On Saturday, the Kings went to San Jose and played Game 6.  San Jose won the game 2-1 setting up tonight's game 7 at Staples.

Lots of nervous energy in the air in this one.   I was not immune, not at all.  I flipped out after the Kings lost.  I really shouldn't have... it's still a Game 7 on the Kings' home ice where they've played very well.

The last time the Kings were in the Semis, roughly a year ago, a massive flu struck me.  Some of you who follow me regularly might remember it:  remember the day Junior Seau died?   Then I was posting about it and I was shaking a little bit.. then I started to shake violently and I couldn't even move!  The entire staff went over to my office to help me out.   Very scary moment.   I had to go to immediate care at the UCLA Medical Center and everything.

It was the worst flu, possibly, that I ever had.  I had another one the previous December that was plain ugly.  The May 2012 flu might not have been as long lasting but it hit a lot harder.  Anyway, while all of that was happening, the Kings went out and swept the St. Louis Blues in the Semis.  Game 4 took place on a Sunday afternoon while I was just starting to get better.  I remember getting the kebab at the Kosher Market and brought it over watching the Kings blow out the Blues.  I think I had a Diet Coke too.   Don't quote me.

So today, I have either a cold or a mild flu, but nothing as serious as last time.  Still, I'm sick.   Apparently it's history repeating itself in every respect except the potential outcome of the game:  Game 7 tonight -- Sharks vs Kings.

Seeing how the teams traded wins on each others home ice, with nary a road victory between them, this was the only logical conclusion for this series.   I was really frustrated though after Game 6... I really let out a big moany/whiny rant on facebook.  I was letting out my frustration over all the chance the Kings had in the Sharks zone and how all the bounces went for the Sharks.  One sure goal hit the post.  One other seemingly sure goal was blocked.   Still another chance was ended by a miscalculated pass.  The Kings had their best road effort of the series.  Anyway, that facebook rant was in bad taste, and I apoogize.  Game 7s are fun!!   I should be enjoying this/reveling in it.

And today, I am.   After all, one of two teams is going to advance from this matchup.  It's either the beloved Kings, or a team I have a hell of a lot of respect for in the Sharks.  Boy have they proven a lot to me over the last three years.  Gone are the years of playoff chokejobs and efforts that came up short.   There's not much to hate about them, and one possible target of hatred isn't even in the series (Torres).

So maybe my flu points to a Kings victory tonight, as it did for the Semifinal Series a year ago.  Now, if this completely fails for LA and the Sharks advance, it isn't all bad!  Let me explain:

Why the Sharks Winning the Semis Wouldn't Be So Bad

First of all, the Sharks have a pretty good organization.  They have had some heartbreak and some triumphs in their time, and they represent a hard working group.  I enjoy the games the Kings and Sharks play against each other.  Lately, San Jose showed a lot of heart for its fans.  It's really great to see, and the team is fun to watch.  Even that guy Thornton, who annoys me but only because he's so good.  Dude is pushing 50 and still finds his way to the crease as the greats tend to do.

Secondly, the Sharks will prove to be a very tough matchup for either the Blackhawks or Red Wings in the West Final.   There are so many guys on a roll right now between Couture, Stewart, Thornton, Boyle, Burns, and so on.  The one guy who hasn't done a whole lot in the series is Pavelski, but he's due to have some moments down the line.  Throw in Marleau and that's just waves of good forwards coming at you.  No wonder they do so well on the Power Play.

Thirdly, it preserves the magical run for Antti Niemi.  Well I completely blew this one!  I gave Niemi no shot and instead he proved me wrong and just ate other offenses *alive*.  He's had some saves that are out of this world.  I can't say enough about how well Niemi played in this year's 'offs.

Lastly, it keeps my intrigue with a lesser known but interesting stat:  The last three teams to win the Stanley Cup beat the Vancouver Canucks on their way to the title.  First it was the 2010 Hawks who beat Vancouver in the Semis.  Then, a year later, the Boston Bruins beat Vancouver on the road in the Cup Final, Game 7.  Last year, the Kings ousted the Nucks in the first round.   Guess who beat Vancouver this year -- the Sharks.  When it happened, I thought "Sharks fans could *really* get excited right now if they knew this!"

Ultimately, it might be San Jose's turn to end some long running frustration.  I'd give them just as much shot to win it all *now* as opposed to my feel for them a month ago.   Pretty much everything I thought they couldn't do, they *have* and they've done exactly those things consistently through three weeks.  Hard to really write them off after they proved so much.

It all hinges on tonight.  Both teams' seasons are on the line.   It'll be exciting the whole way, we hope.

Other Thoughts and Quickies

When the Red Wings went up 3 games to 1 over the Number One Seeded Blackhawks, the *last* thought I had was "this series was over."   If you go back through the archives and the podcasts I never said anything to that effect.  It just seemed to me that if Chicago could get *one*, the other two were right there for them.  For that reason alone, I didn't think the Hawks were finished.  In the NHL, 3-1 series leads are the furthest thing from a lock.  Not only have they been blown before, they tend to get blown at least once every two playoff years.   Lately, I've seen it occur every season.   That doesn't mean the team who blew the lead blows the series in that Game 7, but as we all know, anything can happen in Game 7.

Coach offered me ten McChicken sandwiches if the Blackhawks came back to win the series.  He really had a good feeling about Detroit.  Fellas....  Coach is going to owe me a lot of McChickens.

I gotta be honest:  the Wings got hosed in Game 6 last night.   In what universe was that stick on Frolik a penalty shot?  The Wings player wasn't even all the way behind him and the stick did nothing to actually interfere with the intial breakaway shot!  There were some other calls that just didn't seem to add up.   That's too bad for Detroit, but no going back now.  Frankly the Wings had their shot in other areas too so I doubt many NHL fans will hold much sympathy for Detroit.

More quickies...

The Spurs won the Western Conference *already?!*  That was the quickest West Finals I've seen in quite some time, and this is even when you include the three or four day delay the NBA imposed on the series between games 2 and 3.  Boy did the Grizzles lay a huge egg, but it was to be expected.   Lesser coached teams with mediocre to bad outside shooting and a one dimensional offensive attack were bound to be picked apart by the Spurs.   I gotta give Coach Pop and San Antonio all the credit in the world.

Can one argue that the West had a down year?  Absolutely, but that's where the Spurs thrive.

The way it went on Saturday, the Heat might be on their way to the NBA Finals as well.

It could get *really* interesting if the Spurs were to, say, go up 2-0 on the Miami Heat.  The Spurs, by the way, are undefeated in NBA Finals, all time.   If the Heat mean business, history is going to change next month. Miami would have a really easy time reacting and retracting between the Spurs three point shooters and the inside guys (Ginobli/Parker/Duncan).   Most of the Spurs role players are STATIONARY.  They sit, they camp, they shoot.   The Heat are that unique team that could make life miserable for such stationary players.  Pop will have quite a challenge beating that Heat defense.

...assuming, of course, the Heat make the NBA Finals.

Gandolfo's New York Deli... I thought it was worth a try in my home town of Oxnard, so my sister and I gave it a look.   It's not terrible, but it's a lot of hype.   Some creativity with the sandwich names, but at the end of the day another wanna-be gimmicky New York Deli.   We've all had the real thing.. you can spot imposters from miles away.

I hoped they'd at least have good roast beef but not so.  It's "good" but not the kind of roast beef you come back for akin to the one at Jersey Mike's or Izzy's.

I had, for a long time, followed the age old rule that "if you're not in New York and you see a restaurant with 'New York' in the title prepare for disappointment."   If they over-do it with the New Yorkiness, the joint is trying too hard.   But!  You get some exceptions.   For years I avoided the aforementioned "New York Bagel and Deli" in SM for the same reason!  Come to find out -- it's been a venerable well lauded Bagel institution for over 20 years!  

Hunan Garden in Oxnard -- Chinese Food, they deliver... STELLAH BRO.  Try their Sweet n' Sour Pork.

What would be a woman's turn ons for Christopher Mad Dog Russo? 

I honestly don't know of many, if any, Olympic level swimmers who went to Arizona State.  Tangentially related, the nation's greatest female swimmer, Missy Franklin, is now enrolled at Cal.

GOOD OLE CAL.   They tend to be disappointing in all of sports, but swimming is their beacon of hope.  They've had great success with swimming lately and Missy will be another boost for 'em.

I visited my sister at her apartment this weekend, in between other family engagements, and while I was waiting for the Kings to play the Sharks, they had this game on Big Ten Network called "BIG TEN GREATEST GAMES."  The game was this extremely, and I mean *extremely* boring game between Michigan State and Michigan from 2004.  I saw a total of one completed pass in the 20 minutes that I watched.

If a Michigan game from 2004 is a "BIG TEN GREATEST GAME," then the Big Ten isn't that great...  are you kidding me?

My aunt made bacon wrapped hot dogs for a birthday party we were at in Palmdale on Saturday night.   Boy were those good!   Bacon Wrapped hot dogs is this street developed food... you wrap a hot dog in bacon and grill the thing.  It's very Chicano in nature -- think of it like a Chicago dog, but instead of the weird sport pepper and salt, use a jalapeno pepper, mayonnaise, some ketchup, and grilled onions.  It sounds weird, but trust me, it's amazing.  It's edgy too because most of the time when you go to get them you're out on the street near a ballpark and the carts that roll around are not on permit.   You feel like a real renegade eating those hot dogs, but damn they're delicious!

--in this case, it was my Aunt who made them in her own house so the meal was entirely legal.

That's all I got... I might still be sick by the time you read this.  GO KINGS!   Have a good Tuesday.

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