Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
NHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
KINGS vs. SAN JOSE
GAME 1: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Staples Center, NBC Sports Network, KTLA-1150 (AM)
So there was a recent episode of the “Big Bang Theory” where Raj, the Cal Tech student who often gets lost in the conversation, wanted to impress his new girlfriend with his manly side by sporting a Kings home sweater to a dinner date. “I love your jersey,” said Lucy. “Thanks, I love hockey,” answered Raj. “Cool, so does my dad, we watched it all the time growing up. Who’s your favorite player?” Long pause. “Not Brian Boitano, that’s for sure,” Raj managed to spit out. It took awhile, but Raj finally came clean as to why he was putting on the act, causing Lucy to ask: “Do you even like hockey?”
Yup, that’s Taylor Swift (with Demi Lovato) in a Kings sweater at a Kings game.
“No,” he admitted. “I bought this at Staples Center when I went to see Taylor Swift.” Cue canned audience laugh.
It’s all relative, right? (Just ask Sheldon, Leonard or Howard for a definition of what that might mean. … maybe even Penny, if you’re feeling lucky). If the planets are aligned for another Kings’ run to a second consecutive Stanley Cup, the empirical evidence revealed itself again during their first-round triumph over the Blues, a team that maybe played better hockey but didn’t benefit from the laws of physics at the right time (except, perhaps, in Game 1, but we’ve already purged that from our intellectual properties).
Sharks center Logan Couture collides with Kings defenseman Slava Voynov, in a game at San Jose last April. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
This is the time of year to see Kings black-and-silver pop up from Pasadena to Pacoima, Palos Verdes to Paso Robles and all Pythagorean theorem-friends points of interest in between.
The Kings’ version of Shark Week is an interesting switch of storylines. The Kings will have home ice advantage for the first time since 1992. The previous 16 series have started on the road, and the Kings have won the last five in a row. They topped San Jose twice at Staples Center during the regular season, including 3-2 in the last game of the regular schedule on April 27. And the Kings have won 10 in a row at home.
May the force be with Jonathan Quick’s backbrace and Dustin Penner’s slapshot at least one more round. A bigger bang for the puck awaits.
That, and Taylor Swift will be back at Staples Center in late August. In case you were wondering.
Remainder of the series this week (all games on NBC Sports Network and 1150-AM):
Game 2: 7 p.m. Thursday, Staples Center
Game 3, 6 p.m. Saturday, San Jose
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