Play it forward: April 19-25 on your sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:


NHL playoffs: Kings vs. Vancouver, Game 3, Staples Center, 7 p.m., FSW:

Bank on two things: 1) The game will be tied after regulation, and 2) There won’t be some dudes wearing green-a-tards taunting anyone who goes into the Staples Center penalty box. Unless, the Blue Man Group is in concert across the street. Neither of them, by the way, can grow a good playoff beard. Back in Black, the Kings return for their first home playoff game in eight years after exchanging 3-2 OT wins with Vancouver. That makes seven games in a row where the Kings played past regulation. And Jonathan Quick tonight moves into a tie for 13th place on the team’s all-time list of games played by a goalie in the playoffs – with three. If the Kings make this a seven-game series, he’ll jump to No. 7.


Running: Boston Marathon, 6:30 a.m., Universal Sports:

There was one suggestion by a former Boston resident that they change the course: Have it start in Fenway Park, wind around some of the famous historical landmarks in the city, then have it end at some pier in the Atlantic Ocean. You know, an East Coast version of the Los Angeles Marathon. No, it doesn’t sound very pracitcal, does it?

MLB: Angels vs. Detroit, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime:

Welcome a Tiger without a groupie waiting for him at the Disneyland Hotel. Probably. And if you ever wondered what happened to Dontrelle Willis, here’s your answer, on the mound tonight.



NBA playoffs: Lakers vs. Oklahoma City, Game 2, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TNT:

Key stat from Game 1: Celeb sightings (aside from Jack Nicholson and Dyan Cannon) included Andy Garcia, Teri Hatcher, New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez, Glenn Frey, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Penny Marshall and David Arquette. Plus Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, sitting with a friend. Make sure you come back for game two. And leave singer boy at home.

MLB: Dodgers at Cincinnati, 4 p.m., Channel 9:

Homer, on the road: The Dodgers start a nine-game trip against the Reds’ Homer Bailey, who has already given up two HRs in his first two starts (going just more than 10 IP) and 25 in 39 career starts.

MLB: Angels vs. Detroit, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

Did you know: Detroit has a relief pitcher named Fu-Te Ni. Can I get your autograph? How about just a pronunciation?


NHL playoffs: Kings vs. Vancouver, Game 4, Staples Center, 7 p.m., FSW:

And we go to the mailbox for another question. What’s a Canuck? The (linked here) says: There is a theory that the word is derived from Connaught, a term said to be given by French Canadians to the Irish. Some other dictionaries say it’s from the Iroquois “Canuchsa.” Or from Hawaiian pidgin “Kanaka” (man) for someone in the fir trade, and merged with the French “Canaque,” which was a French Canadian canoemen. Yeah, whatever.

MLB: Dodgers at Cincinnati, 4 p.m., Prime:

How did Francisco Cordero, leading the NL in saves already from the Reds’ bully, rack up more than 250 of ’em in his career?

MLB: Angels vs. Detroit, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., Channel 13:

So …. how’s that Johnny Damon experiment working for you, D-town? Guess what — you stash him in the visiting clubhouse clothes dryer just one more day and he’ll gladly rejoin his former Yankee teammates when the come in for the weekend. They’ll even have your World Series ring ready to give you. Surely, Scott Boras has suggested that already.



NFL Draft, Day 1, Round One: 4:30 to 8 p.m., ESPN, NFL Network (Rounds 2-3 are Friday, 3-5 p.m.; Rounds 4-7 are Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.):

Jimmy Clausen’s mock draft doesn’t have him sitting in the green room at New York’s Radio City Music Hall waiting for anyone to call him the next Brady Quinn. The Notre Dame quarterback out of Oaks Christian won’t go No. 1, but … at least No. 10? Back on the website (linked here), they put Clausen’s bio up against another Valley legend, John Elway, for a comparison of talent. First, Clausen (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) had a 16-19 record in three seasons with the Irish.


Elway (6-foot-3, 210) had a 20-23 record in four years at Stanford. Both have the size and the arms that scouts adore. Elway, of course, went No. 1 overall, to the Baltimore Colts in the 1983 draft — then threatened to play pro baseball if they didn’t trade him. Clausen is expected to go in the first round. But how low? Maybe it depends on the attitude he’s displayed — some think not all the much different than Elway. “At the end of the day, Clausen will still end up as a top 10 pick and he’s just too talented not to succeed in the NFL,” they write. “While a career of Elway’s brilliance is a pipe dream, look for Clausen to become a Pro Bowl quarterback in a league where guys like Jake Delhomme and JaMarcus Russell still have starting jobs.”

MLB: Dodgers at Cincinnati, 4 p.m., Prime:

Vicente Padilla is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season. That should have been the over/under line when the year started.

MLB: Angels vs. Detroit, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

Verlander vs. Saunders doesn’t get much better.


NBA playoffs: Lakers at Oklahoma City, Game 3, 6:30 p.m., Channel 9:

In a state that looks like a giant pot on the stove, in a city that doesn’t deserve professional anything except perhaps bullriding and dry driver dune buggy racing — west of Prague, north of Norman, south of Fallis and east of Calumet is where the Lakers land on a runway swept for sagebrush to find their next paycheck. So what to do on an offday? From the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau (linked here): “Oklahoma City has it all — from the historic Old West in Stockyards City to the vibrant energy of Bricktown, the city’s lively entertainment district. Our museums hold artistic treasures, and our sports venues have something for everyone. Choices abound for an experience you’ll cherish!” Brickcity, you say? Not really what you want to promote if your basketball team is involved in the post-regular season.



NHL playoffs: Kings at Vancouver, Game 5, 7 p.m., FSW:

If the series comes back to L.A. after this game, we’ll show you our Canuck tattoo.

MLB: Angels vs. New York Yankees, Angels Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime:

In a ceremony prior to the game, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada will present former teammate Hideki Matsui with the recently recovered left-over porn stash that he kept in the old Yankees’ clubhouse under Joe DiMaggio’s old locker.

MLB: Dodgers at Washington, 4 p.m., Channel 9:

Note to Adam Kennedy’s family: Yup, he’s living in DC now. Give him a call.


NBA playoffs: Lakers at Oklahoma City, Game 4, 6:30 p.m., Channel 9:

Another lazy night at the Oak-City Corral. Can we just finish this thing and move on? Our chaps are killing us.

MLB: Angels vs. New York Yankees, Angels Stadium, 1 p.m., Channel 11:

After Robinson Cano hit two homers and raised his average to .395 in a win over the Angels last week, New York Post columnist Kevin Kernan predicted that the Yankees second baseman would not just win a Gold Glove but be the American League MVP by season’s end. This, from the kid named after Jackie Robinson and filling the fifth spot in the lineup once held by the World Series MVP who was let to go free (to the Angels) after last season.

MLB: Dodgers at Washington, 10 a.m., Prime:

Steven Strasburg warming up for his MLB debut? Naw, not yet.


NHL playoffs: Vancouver at Kings, Game 6, TBD:

A poll on the Kings’ official home page asks fans to predict the outcome of this series. Canucks win it in six (32 percent) got the most action, while Kings in six (23 percent) was the second choice.We’ll go with the Luongo, the better.

MLB: Angels vs. New York Yankees, 12:35 p.m., FSW:

Guess what: The Halos will probably avoid CC Sabathia again, since he’s scheduled to pitch Thursday night in Oakland.


MLB: Dodgers at Washington, 10:30 a.m., Channel 9:

Barry Obama just called. Said just because the Dodgers got to the NLCS the last two years doesn’t make it an “open door” policy to “just drop by” when they’re “in town.” So someone please, come by and pick up Larry Bowa before some secret service guys take him out back.

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