Trying to plan the week ahead on the sports calendar (updated 5/29/13):
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET I:
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick lays on the ice after San Jose’s Joe Thornton scores in the first period of Game 6 on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
NHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS:
KINGS vs. CHICAGO
Game 1: 2 p.m. Saturday at Chicago, NBC Sports Network:
For as much as they were road warriors a year ago during their Stanley Cup run, the Kings’ playoff numbers going into this series from 2013: A 1-5 record away from home just seven goals scored (compared to 7-0 at home with 18 goals and three Jonathan Quick shutouts). After finishing off the Sharks, do the Kings have enough to repeat in facing the conference’s No. 1-seeded Blackhawks, whom ESPN’s Barry Melrose predicted before the playoffs would win the whole thing? “Chicago’s got four lines now and a lot of big bodies that can hit the net,” said the former Kings coach on the air recently. “L.A. is an awesome team, very similar to last year, and the best is yet to come for Dustin Brown in these playoffs.”
The rest of the series this week:
Game 2: 5 p.m. Sunday in Chicago, NBC Sports Network
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET II:
MLB: ANGELS at DODGERS, Dodger Stadium:
5:10 p.m. Monday, Prime, FSW
7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Channel 9, FSW
DODGERS at ANGELS, Angel Stadium:
7:05 p.m., Wednesday, Channel 9, FSW
7:05 p.m., Thursday, Channel 9, FSW
The lighted CalTrans billboard indicates another Dodgers-Angels Freeway Series, but this is hardly a Sig-Alert situation, unless you enjoy watching two teams throwing things in reverse into the oncoming car pool lane. Since 1999, the Dodgers and Angels had six head-to-head regular-season matchups – two three-game series in each park – to determine, well, nothing really. You could brag that it was Southern California bragging rights. In 2005, it was a “true” battle of Los Angeles since both were back to using the city designation on their place in the standings.
But with changes that came with a forced 15-team alignment in both the NL and AL, this Freeway Series has had a few off-ramps removed and is condensed into one four-game inconvenience, with just two appearances in each territorial facility. We could just take more surface streets to make this trip more scenic, but we’re also faced with a realistic situation that a Memorial Day week stay-cation between two underachievers isn’t all that much a true World Series preview. The only drama could come if Don Mattingly and/or Mike Scioscia get another vote of confidence from their ownership teams.
One saving grace for the Angels is ace Jered Weaver coming back from a broken left elbow, which appears to land him in the spot to go Wednesday instead of Thursday.
Former Angel Zack Greinke (1-4 lifetime against the Angels going back to his Royals days) goes for the Dodgers in tonight’s opener against C.J. Wilson. Otherwise, the firework show we’ve all been expecting may just be more contract money going up in flames.
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