June 9th, 2014
The Kings are like that kid that sits next to you in class, who never does his homework, never pays any attention to the teacher, then aces the test when it’s all over. On Saturday, the kings became the first NHL team to win three straight playoff games after trailing in each of them by 2 goals. They are now just 2 wins away from winning the Stanley Cup. The Rangers and their fans are obviously very bitter about the third goal the Kings scored, where Dwight King definitely interfered with Henrik Lundqvist, before deflecting a shot past him. However, they had plenty of chances to win the game in regulation, and in OT on the power play. The Rangers didn’t get screwed by the refs. They got screwed by their inability to hang on to the lead in both games 1 and 2. Since round 1, I’ve been saying the Kings can’t keep playing like this. Now they are two wins away from the cup. So uh….they can’t keep playing like this right?
This series isn’t over yet. The Kings may feel like a team of destiny, but the Rangers could have just as easily won both games at Staples. They might even take two at home if they can hold a lead. I’m thinking this could still go six games, but the Kings offensive depth has been remarkable. Dustin Brown had a terrible year, yet the captain has been clutch during the biggest moments of the season. Most fans are probably wondering why we’re seeing so much scoring when these are supposed to be the two best goaltenders in the world, but we’re still seeing spectacular saves at critical moments from both these guys. If the Rangers grab a two goal lead in the next game, I expect Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault to decline the lead to avoid blowing it.
I’ve gotta give major props to Fox Sports West’s Patrick O’Neal, who tactfully criticized ESPN LA’s Steve Mason and John Ireland for the lack of Kings coverage during the Stanley Cup Final. News flash to those of you in denial, the NHL has a very significant group of loyal fans, and it’s been that way for a long time. So do the LA Kings, who have been selling out their games for years, yet haven’t received adequate coverage. Most Kings fans, and hockey fans, resort to non-main stream sources to follow their sport. However, when the main stream media tries to cover it, it’s been an embarrassment. In turn, those members of the main stream media hate it when “hockey guy” criticizes them when they try to cover their sport. Look main stream media…. cover the sport when it’s necessary, like right now, and just make sure you’re doing your research! It’s your job! Then us hockey fans will actually appreciate what you are doing, instead of mispronouncing names, and screwing up stories. In case you missed Patrick O’Neal, here he is:
To the NBA….It’s June and the Lakers don’t appear anywhere close to naming a head coach. However, one name that we can definitely eliminate from consideration is Derek Fisher, according to sources. Fisher as a head coach has a nice ring to it, especially considering he has a great relationship with Kobe. However, the Laker head coaching job isn’t one for a rookie head coach. If the Lakers have no intention of being competitive for the next 3 years, which at this point I’m still unsure, then bring him on as coach. However, you can’t rebuild a team with a short term head coach in place. I love D-Fish and everything he has done for the Lakers, but he needs to learn how to be a head coach before getting the highest profile job in the NBA.
I was really hoping the Spurs would win game 2 of the NBA Finals, because I really wanted to see how the Heat would respond down 2-0. Miami has never faced such a situation in the Big 3 era, and it would really give them the opportunity to demonstrate to us naysayers that they aren’t just a bunch of frontrunners. I did find “cramp gate” pretty amusing. It’s almost like the Spurs knew Lebron would get cramps without a/c in the building, so they purposefully shut down their a/c. That sounds right up there with people in Sacramento giving Kobe Bryant food poisoning a few years ago during the Lakers playoff series with the Kings.
Let’s go to baseball, where you haven’t been missing much if you can’t watch the Dodgers. Coming into Sunday, the Dodgers were 9.5 games out of first place in the NL West, and .5 games out of the wild card. I’m was starting to wonder if the Dodgers are really this bad, or if it’s just that the Giants are that good? I wondered until Don Mattingly criticized his team for being “selfish” and made reference to a lack of cohesion. There’s a lot of blame to go around here, but this is definitely Mattingly’s job to get these guys on the same page, and playing cohesively. It may not be his fault that Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier aren’t earning their paychecks, but it is his fault that he can’t get his players to buy into the team concept. Better make this happen soon Don, or else Guggenheim will have no problem paying you to sit on a beach for the next few years, while somebody else does your job.
The Angels are still hanging tough in the American League, but here comes Oakland again this week. The Halos put together a nice effort over the weekend, sweeping the White Sox at the Big A, and they are now 4.5 games back of the Athletics. A couple of wins would certainly help the Halos remain in contention in the AL West, and not focus entirely on the wild card. By the way, I’m still puzzled about these odd Jared Weaver gnome’s the Angels gave away at the stadium Friday night. The bobble heads are cool, but gnome’s? Let’s see how weird looking we can start making our best players…….
I can’t believe I actually pulled my car over on the side of the road on Saturday afternoon to watch the Belmont Stakes on my phone. What a disappointment! California Chrome totally flopped. Then to make matters worse, California Chrome’s owner, Steve Coburn, criticized the current system, allowing horses to compete in the Belmont, without running in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness. While there is probably some truth to what Coburn is saying, the timing of his rants on Saturday, followed by more rants with the media on Sunday, just make it look like he’s sucking on sour grapes from the loss. Chrome’s victory in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness by such a wide margin made everyone believe he was going to dominate the field. The Triple Crown isn’t supposed to be easy, so if Coburn had a problem with it, he should have held his horse back in one of the races instead of complaining at the end.
And finally, Game of Thrones returned last night with the 2nd to last episode of the season. This episode was all about the Night’s Watch and their battle at the wall with the Wildlings. Spoiler alert for those of you who have it on DVR, and have yet to see it. Let’s recap quickly. The episode is filled with battle scenes at the wall between the Wildlings and the men of the Night’s watch. Prior to the battle, Gilly comes to the wall seeking shelter, and Sam gives it to her, and even sneaks in a kiss with her prior to the battle. Ser Allister has a duel with Wildling leader Tormund Giantsbane, in which he is badly wounded. However, the Wildling leader is eventually captured by the Night’s Watch, who won the war. In the process, Ygritte is killed just before she is about to shoot Jon Snow with an arrow, as she is shot by a young boy. Ygritte dies in Jon’s arms. The Night’s Watch won the battle, but Jon Snow tells Sam, they have simply held off their opponent for now.
This episode ended up being better than I thought. Previously, I had found the storyline in the far north to be the least interesting of all the show’s plots. However, there were several things that made this episode riveting. The one theme that stood out, is the fact there remains a boyish element to the entire Night’s Watch. This was evident early on in the battle, when Ser Allister barked orders at his men, and they failed in executing these battle tactics when they were finally being tested. The boyishness also became more evident in Sam’s discussion with Jon about what it was like to be with a woman, as well as his first kiss with Gilly. As for Ygritte and Jon, the final moments between the two of them seem to be peaceful, and neither had any anger towards each other. However, clearly Jon’s loyalty to the Night’s Watch saved his life, and preserved his reputation as one of the few real heroes left in Game of Thrones. Even though that loyalty probably cost him the woman he loved. Looking forward to what is sure to be a wild season finale next week!