Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The last time the Sharks won... Sharks @ Kings, 1/1/11

On New Year's Day I drove down to Los Angeles to see the San Jose Sharks play the LA Kings. What might be surprising to you, if you're familiar with my Sharks road trip passion, is that this was the first time I had been to the Staples Center, the closest NHL arena to the HP Pavilion. It was a whirlwind weekend before returning to work on Monday, but I got to celebrate what would be the last Sharks victory before a 5-game losing streak that we're still trying to shake off (as of Jan. 12th).
The drive down on I-5 wasn't very difficult, but the winds over the summit were indeed strong, to the point that I questioned the virtues of my gas-efficient small car. It's worth noting that SoCal was colder than I've ever experienced (more so on Sunday, when I questioned my location in the world).

I hadn't eaten properly, so I went to the famous Farmers Market before the game.

This wasn't my destination, but I'm a sucker for long lines at donut shops... they usually mean good things.

My destination at the Market was a restaurant called Du-Par's, home of allegedly the best pancakes in America. They lived up to the hype, and then some.

The Farmers Market is adjacent to LA's glitzier, Disney-fied version of SJ's Santana Row, called The Grove.

Home to about a dozen sports teams... ok, "just" 4, including the Kings.

When puck meets Puck.

I purchased my lower level seat behind the Sharks' bench for $55, including fees, 2-day shipping AND (almost as important) a parking pass. Retail value = $150. Take note, those who are afraid of going to a game by your lonesome, there are fiscal advantages to such ventures.

As the oldest NHL franchise in California, the Kings have quite a bit of history, if not a Stanley Cup to their name (hey, we know how that last part feels). Marcel Dionne is routinely called the greatest player to never play in the Stanley Cup finals, let alone to never win a Cup. And then there's some guy that wears Mario Lemieux's number upside down. He struggled in the Arizona desert before disappearing forever from history... :-D

Brandon Mashinter is a very large man... after returning to the bench following a hit, I called out "Monster Mash," earning a chuckle from some of his teammates. While I didn't originate the nickname (hola, Fear the Fin), I hope it sticks.

I'll have to say, this was the greatest seat that $30 (minus the $25 for the parking pass!) could buy. Never thought I'd say this, but thank you, Stubhub.

"Want to see my Avalanche mascot impression? RAWR." (seriously, I don't get wearing non-participating team jerseys to games)

With a score this tight, 2.2 seconds seemed extra long. But the Sharks beat the Kings, 1-0, courtesy of stellar goaltending by Antti Niemi and a goal from Devin Setoguchi. And a rivalry lives on...

After the game I celebrated by buying a couple albums from the Hollywood branch of the Bay Area record store, Amoeba. Admittedly, this one was better than the SF or Berkeley locations, at least in size and stock.

While in Hollywood I had a wonderfully disgusting hot dog at Pink's. Note the wrapped-around line at 10pm.

I was told that their chili dogs were great, so I had the bacon cheese chili dog. These ingredients were actually on the tamer side of things for Pink's... I recommend it, albeit not for the aftermath. ;-)

No comments: