A quiet morning in the Silicon Valley will grow increasingly cacophonous in the lead-up to the irregular 6:00 pm start at HP Pavilion, where the Kings and Sharks will meet for Game 3 of their Western Conference Semifinals series. This is the first time since the inaugural season that Los Angeles will take a 2-0 series lead on the road for Game 3. In the first round of the 1968 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Kings won their first two playoff games in franchise history before ultimately falling in seven games to the Minnesota North Stars.
I wish I could tell you that this was an uneventful flight, but I wouldn’t know. I fell asleep as the plane taxied down the runway at LAX and woke up about 90 seconds before this video was taken. For all I know, the flight could have been the “By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?” scene from Airplane.
By the way, “Touchdown in San Jose” will become even more accurate in 2014, when the San Francisco 49ers move into their new Santa Clara digs at – wait for it – Levi’s Stadium.
Previously: Touchdown in St. Louis
On whether he’s still using the same pair of glasses as yesterday:
“No, I found some old ones.”
On what the team can improve upon heading into Game 2:
“I think individual things….When you break games down, obviously you’re always trying to improve. I think that putting different guys in the lineup, guys have to adjust to that a little better. There’s always a familiarity with that position or sides you’re playing on defense. Obviously it goes game-by-game, faceoffs, situations, things like that. There’s a lot of individual situations that both teams will want to improve on.”
According to several reports, including the embedded tweet by Pierre LeBrun below, San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres will not appeal the series-long suspension that was administered by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Thursday.
Raffi Torres has decided not to appeal his suspension
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) May 17, 2013
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson released a statement on the suspension on Friday afternoon, which is accessible, along with the video explanation of the suspension, by viewing this post in its entirety.
Kyle Clifford had previously been skating with the call-ups from Manchester, colloquially known as the Black Aces. Though he had worn a red non-contact jersey in previous skates with that group, on Friday he took the ice in a white practice jersey, raising questions over whether he had been cleared for contact and whether he would travel with the team to San Jose.
“Cliffy is skating with the [Black Aces] now because he can’t have contact,” Darryl Sutter said on Friday.
On whether Clifford would travel to San Jose, Sutter didn’t tip his hand. “I don’t know,” he said.
Dustin Brown unleashed a quick slapshot from above the left circle early in the third period of Los Angeles’ 4-3 win over San Jose in Game 2 Thursday night that deflected off Dan Boyle’s stick and into the face of Anze Kopitar, who had no time to react. Kopitar’s visor caught a piece of the puck as the left side of his face bore the worst of the contact. He missed roughly 10 minutes of action as doctors administered “around” 20 stitches, according to the Kings star.
“Oh, he finally got some stitches in his lips,” Darryl Sutter said. “There goes the modeling career. Best looking Slovenian athlete.”
Kopitar smiled when hearing that his tenure as a model had come and gone.
“I think that ship has sailed a long time ago,” he joked.
-When a team wins 12 consecutive late regular season and playoff games at home, there are going to be episodes of the dramatic, and on Thursday night at Staples Center, 10 days after Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams’ third period go-ahead goals in Game 4 of the first round and six days after Dustin Penner’s “McFlurry Miracle”, Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis scored in a span of 22 seconds to practically reach a zenith of spectacular, bedlam-inducing moments at Staples Center. Arena staff would be wise to check for cracks and potholes in the seating area from thousands of fans literally leaping up and down at their seats in unison to celebrate a moment that isn’t quite as profound as the Miracle on Manchester or the Frenzy on Figueroa, but a significant franchise event that will carry its own historical weight. After the game, I rode an elevator down to the event level with the Black Aces. In what was more than a stunned silence, I actually heard one or two of them let out an astounded grunt as they peered out the elevator’s window towards throngs of buzzed, delirium-induced fans streaming out of the arena, screaming “Go Kings Go” in unison. Way to leave an impression.