May 19th, 2013
This weekend was a complete roller coaster ride for the LA Kings. I’ve gotta start with the bad because that’s most relevant right now. The Kings went into Chicago yesterday for game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, and lost to the Blackhawks, 3-1, who have simply owned them of late. It doesn’t matter whether the game is up-tempo, or slowdown and grind-it-out, Chicago is skillful enough to play both, and they showed it again yesterday, with another win over LA. The Hawks win came playing the Kings grind-it-out style, which has to be discouraging for LA. Unfortunately, this is just a bad matchup for the Kings. The Hawks have incredible speed and skill, which makes the Kings vulnerable, and on top of that the Kings are coming off of back-to-back emotionally exhausting series. It’s looking like another nice run for LA, will ended once again by Chicago, this time in 6 games.
As for the positive, the Kings completely dominated Anaheim in game 7 at the Honda Center on Friday. Step aside John Gibson. You’ve just been shown how a real game 7 is handled by the real American hero, Jonathan Quick. As talented as the Ducks are, they simply did not have the mental toughness of LA when it was all on the line. Justin Williams is as reliable as it gets when there’s a game 7, as he started the scoring, and heck, even Mike Richards scored. When that happens, you know it’s your night. Friday was hardly a road game for the Kings, as there were about 5,000 Kings fans invading the Honda Center. By the end of the first period, Ducks fans were pissed. My co-worker, who is a Ducks season seat holder, refused to hang out between periods, after some friendly pre-game exchanges. It was a great series, and great for SoCal hockey, and this is probably the beginning of many more playoff meetings. Don’t cry Corey Perry……
As for Teemu Selanne, it was a tough way to end his career, losing in game 7 on his home ice. However, very classy move by the Kings, to bang their sticks on the ice in appreciation, as well as by the Kings fans, who also gave Selanne a standing ovation when the game was over. Teemu had a great career, but for god sakes, it’s time to hang it up. Don’t be the Brett Favre of hockey! The Ducks don’t need to blow up their core, but they definitely need to figure out their goaltending situation, and get some more toughness and grit.
On to the NBA, where the Clippers ran out of gas earlier this week against the Thunder, losing in 6 games during their 2nd round series. This series was lost in game 5, when the Clippers blew a 7 point lead with 45 seconds left, which was easily the worst 45 seconds of Chris Paul’s career. I don’t want to hear about how the Clippers got screwed by the refs when the ball went off Reggie Jackson. The referees, didn’t make the Clipps choke away the lead, and they sure didn’t make them collapse in the 4th quarter of game 6 either. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were simply better than Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The Donald Sterling sideshow probably didn’t help things, but the Clippers just aren’t good enough yet. We thought the Clippers improved, but they still haven’t taken the next step. The question is still whether Blake Griffin’s prime will coincide with CP3’s.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are getting ready for the draft lottery tomorrow night. However, the Kevin Love rumors are heating up. Unfortunately, the Lakers are about to learn what I’ve been screaming from the mountain tops for over a year now: they need to start collecting assets to make trades for star players. Even one lottery pick isn’t going to be enough to acquire Love. The Lakers have nothing on their roster to trade because they are putting all their hope into signing big name free agents. Teams like Boston, Houston, and Golden State have far more resources to pull off a trade for the likes of Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, and any other big names that might become available. Coincidentally, Golden State is one of the teams Love is interested in playing for. In the meantime, Laker fans can only hope for luck in the lottery tomorrow night, and for Jim Buss not to screw up the next coaching hire.
To baseball, where much of the talk about the Dodgers has been about their TV issues, as opposed to what’s happening on the field. As one of the fortunate people who can actually watch the Dodgers (or maybe unfortunate because I’m a Time Warner customer), it’s probably a good thing you are missing this part of the season. The Dodger pitching has been getting destroyed of late. 13 runs against Miami? 18 runs against Arizona? I haven’t seen this kind of meltdown since Mel Gibson went drinking in Malibu. It feels like the Dodgers can only beat the D’Backs. Oh wait, that’s because they can only beat the D’Backs. LA is 15-19 against the rest of the majors, but has been dominating against Arizona, although they didn’t even look dominant against them over the weekend. Nevertheless, the Dodgers offense was crummy, and their pitching was great. Now its the opposite. Hopefully by the time the rest of you can actually watch the games, the Boys in Blue will get it together.
It doesn’t look like TWC will strike a deal with other cable providers anytime soon, however, stop blaming the Dodgers people. You all complained when you had Frank McCourt as your owner. Now we have the highest payroll in baseball, and a TV deal to support a competitive product on the field for years to come. If you don’t like it, go move to Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or some other third world country, where you can enjoy a team with a lower payroll. You’ll then be able to watch them on TV, enjoying a mediocre product.
One team you can see on TV that is playing good baseball, is the Angels. The Halos took 3 out of 4 from Tampa Bay over the weekend, and continue to be in the thick of the playoff race early on. The Angels are in 2nd place in the AL West, but 5 games over .500, and leading the AL Wild Card. I know you all want to hate on Albert Pujols and his $250 million contract, but the dude is getting it done while Mike Trout is slumping. Things only figure to get better when Josh Hamilton gets back, so Angel fans can feel good about what they are seeing thus far.
Let’s talk TV. Starting off with Game of Thrones, which aired the 7th episode of Season 4 last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. Let’s recap quickly: Tyrion tries to convince Jamie and Bronn to defend him in his trial by combat, but both of them decline. However, the Red Viper decides to fight for him, in order to avenge his sister’s death, which was at the hands of the Lannisters. Littlefinger admits to Sansa that he is in love with her mother, but then proceeds to kiss Sansa, which Lysa witnesses. Her jealously leads her to threaten Sansa, by throwing her out of the Moon Door. However, Littlefinger stops Lysa from doing this, and eventually throws Lysa out the Moon Door, and she falls to her death. Daario makes sexual advances at Daenery’s, but she sends him out to recapture Yunkai. Jorah then serves as the voice of reason, by convincing her to give the slave masters one last chance to live in her world.
This turned out to be a very exciting episode, with some nice plot development. The death of Lysa was somewhat surprising so soon, but now it’s entirely unclear what Littlefinger’s plan is. Now he has Sansa Stark, seems to be in love with her, but who are his other allies that will help him get what he wants? Oberyn (The Red Viper) is quickly becoming a great character, who everyone likes, because he’s trying to take down Cersei and Tywin. The Daenery’s situation is beginning to make me nervous. I don’t trust Daario, but she is putting a lot of trust in him, even with the advice given to her by Jorah. I’m most worried that Daario, or somebody in her camp that is working with the Lannisters, and will try to kill her before the season’s over. It’s really a shame that we have to wait another two weeks to see the next episode, but it’s going to be an exciting last 3 shows.
Didn’t get to see Mad Men folks…..it’s waiting for me on my DVR.