Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NHL playoff update #3

In case nobody told you, the Los Angeles Kings, after losing the first two games of their playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, came back to win the next four (and the series).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Combination book and movie review #1

Historical background: As a child growing up in the mid-to-late seventies, I was certainly aware of both the book Jaws and the movie of the same name. According to family legend, when my parents went to see Jaws in the movie theater, my father became so frightened at one point in the film that he stood up and shouted "WATCH OUT" at the screen. I also found the movie to be terrifying when I finally saw it on television, although not as terrifying as Jaws II, which I saw in the movie theater in 1978 when I was ten years old-- for some reason I slept by myself in my sister's room later that night, and I was unable to sleep because I had become convinced that the twin beds in her room were actually a pair of killer whales.

The book Jaws was also the first book that I ever read cover-to-cover that I thought I probably shouldn't be reading-- after all, it had a woman swimming naked on the cover and at least one scene in which people vomit. I can clearly remember hiding in my bedroom closet while reading Jaws, only to be caught by my father. Much to my surprise, rather than taking away the book or telling me not to read it, my dad was fine with the whole thing and even went so far as to tell me that I could read any book in the house whenever I felt like it.

Review of the book: Peter Benchley's novel has all the main elements-- the shark, the ocean, the greedy town fathers, the police chief, the young marine biologist, the crusty, old fisherman-- but it isn't very good. Despite the fact that the book is really just about a big fish that terrorizes a town, Benchley manages to also work in some marital infidelity, the specter of the mafia, and a surprising amount of horrifying sexism. 

Review of the movie: The movie, on the other hand, is still great.

Friday, May 3, 2013

NHL playoff update #2

Here's what you need to know about last night's round one playoff game between the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings--
  • The Kings did much better than they did two nights ago in game one (especially for the first two periods). They played the kind of tough, aggressive, chippy hockey that no one likes except when it's their own team that's playing it. The Kings only managed one goal, however.
  • The Blues tied it up in the third period on a relatively lucky goal that when in off of Patrik Berglund's skate (click here for video).
  • Just when it looked like the two teams were headed to overtime for the second night in a row, Blues defenseman Barret Jackman scored on a wrist shot on a three man rush.

  • The Blues now lead the series 2-0.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

NHL playoff update #1

Here is everything you need to know about last night's round one/game one playoff game between the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings--
  • The Blues dominated the game from almost the very start-- physically, in time of possession, and in terms of shots and scoring opportunities.
  • Despite this, the Blues managed only one goal-- by Alexander Steen in the first period.
  • Predictably, the Kings did put together a brief bit of attacking pressure right at the end of the game. And, also predicatably, they scored (a goal by Justin Williams with 31.6 seconds left-- click here for video).
  • The Kings dominated the early part of overtime.
  • When Kevin Shattenkirk got a double minor high sticking penalty midway through the first overtime, I assumed the game was about to be over.
  • It was, in fact, over, less than a minute later, on Steen's shorthanded goal (see video below).

Game two is tomorrow night. Just in case you want to watch Steen's game-winning goal over and over again, here it is--

"Hockey ought to be sternly forbidden, as it is not only annoying but dangerous." Halifax Morning Sun, quoted in Michael McKinley's Hockey - A People's History