My quest to cover eight games in eight nights rolled on Friday at the Honda Center. So far I’m showing no signs of weakness or fatigue. OK, maybe my afternoon nap was a little longer after covering the morning skate in which it was announced Ryan Getzlaf had signed an eight-season, $66-million contract extension. But I’m starting to worry about a couple of my fellow hockey scribes.
I walked out of the building late Friday with Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times and Curtis Zupke of NHL.com. They are veteran hockey writers with many years on the beat. Elliott is enshrined in the writer’s wing in the Hall of Fame in Toronto. They know their way around a dressing room and a press box. But apparently not a parking lot. On a cool damp evening, they couldn’t locate their cars.
Elliott walked along a row of cars, pushing the button on her key ring. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Zupke walked toward a car that wasn’t his, looking puzzled. Elliott skipped the Kings-Dallas game Thursday, so I couldn’t say what her excuse was for misplacing her car. Zupke was my wingman for the first five games (or maybe I was his), but he plans to skip Sunday’s Ducks-Blues game. After a little searching, we found their cars … same makes, different models, parked next to each other.
My sixth game in six nights is Saturday with the Kings playing host to the Calgary Flames. Frankly, I’m sick of Staples Center at this point, but I’m more fed up with the 110 Freeway. I’m determined to take the 710, then cut across on the 60 to the 10 and exit at Pico and then motor directly into the Convention Center garage. Hopefully, the rain has passed and traffic is clear.
After five games in five nights, a review is in order.
Five games: Two Kings wins, one Kings loss; Two Ducks shutout victories.
Three trips to Staples: 126 miles driven, zero pregame meals, three Cokes, three popcorn tubs.
Two trips to Honda: 130 miles driven, zero pregame meals, two Pepsis, two warm pretzels.
One stop at the gas station since filling up last Sunday: $48.15.
What’s ahead: Two trips to Staples, one trip to Honda.
Mind-boggling gaffes: None so far. I haven’t called Kings coach Darryl Sutter by Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau’s name yet, although Zupke predicts it will happen soon. Or I’ll call Kings captain Dustin Brown by Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf’s name. What does Zupke know, anyway? He can’t even find his own car in a nearly empty parking lot and he’s pulling the rip cord after Saturday night. Ha.
The adventure continues.