Washington Capitals vs San Jose Sharks – watch the visiting team, not the home team play

Just like the last time that I went to a NHL hockey game, particularly a San Jose Sharks game, I went to go see the other team play. In this case, I went to go see the visiting Washington Capitals who happen to be in first place in their division and have a future Hall of Famer player in their ranks: Alexander Ovechkin. Two years ago, the Capitals finally got over the hump by winning the Stanley Cup thus breaking the championship drought. It was thought that “Ovi” or “the Great Eight” (his nicknames) was only missing one thing in his resume: a Stanley Cup.

Capitals team warming up in SAP center former Stanley cup winner ice hockey eastern conference team

This Capitals team won the Stanley Cup just 2 years ago so they still some firepower as shown by leading their conference in points this season so far. Another reason why to show up early: to watch the players warm up.

Well, he finally did it. I actually saw Ovechkin play in his younger days as a rookie but at the time, I didn’t know who he was at the time despite him being highly regarded. So this time around, I can rectify my memory of him playing in front of me. And even though Ovechkin didn’t score, his teammates did all the damage to the Sharks.

Alex Ovechkin alexander russian player hockey skating moving winning play in california

Alexander Ovechkin, one of the best players in the NHL, looked to score but mostly made great passes to his teammates in this game. They ended up doing all of the damage against the Sharks.

Capitals win the faceoff against the Sharks

The Sharks most of the face-offs but couldn’t win the most important aspect of all: the score. However, here, the Capitals win the face-off.

One interesting thing about the Sharks is that I’ve never seen so many opposing team fans at the arena. I think because the team is doing so badly compared to the earlier years that tickets are more readily available. Another thing that I’ve noticed is the sheer number of open seats in the arena meaning fans (when their home team is getting blown out) are heading out the door much earlier than the game’s end. Couple this with more opposing fans being more prevalent and it looks like the home fans are outnumbered due to the empty seats.

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Pig Hunting in Central California

I’ve hunted wild pigs in California before with the first hunt ending within 15 minutes after quickly spotting and shooting a good quality pig (a little over 200 pounds), but I figure the Hunting Gods will require me to do additional work this time around as they won’t be so lenient to me like the Fishing Gods have this year. Then again, I might get lucky on this pig hunt but always, it’s better that I put in some extra time of target practice with my trusty 30-06 (caliber) hunting rifle to ensure the accuracy of my flying bullets. I wanted to be extra sure that I would hit my target if I spotted a good-sized wild pig.

And guess what?

The Hunting Gods have provided again!

Of course, there was a bit of work required meaning that my guide and I had to drive around looking around in these wide-open spaces…

Herd of pigs feeding sunny hunting cali california paso robles central

Because of the cold morning, these pigs were feeding in the sun to get warm. It took awhile to find these pigs and they immediately got spooked and ran away once they saw my guide and I coming up on them.

wild pigs running fleeing escaping escape fugaz cerdo salvaje cazar caceria

And like all wild animals, they get scared at the sight of humans so they’ll run for it. There was one point where I had a shot but they kept running so fast, that it wasn’t worth it.

But within 2.5 hours, I was done. With just one shot, the bullet found its true aim and the pig was done. Time to get some baby back ribs and lots of sausage!

Successful pig hunt aftermath euro european pig species hunting california outdoors

After following the herd of pigs and then going ahead of them in order to cut them off, I got a great chance to take my shot at one of the pigs. I quickly set up and let one stand broadside until I slowly pulled the trigger. The pigs run but this one eventually dropped and now I have wild pig meat!



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Fishing and Crabbing combo trip out of the San Francisco Bay Area

Dungeness Crab season is here! And I have to say that Dungeness is probably the best tasting crab out there out of all the crab species! By steaming them to a nice red color, they have the plumpest and juiciest crab meat of them all. And that’s why I was out there to go on a crab boat to get my fill, my limit!

Yes, you can buy Dungeness Crab at the supermarket or at certain marina piers but I prefer to do the fishing/crabbing combos. Get a 2-for-1 special out of this arrangement which is wayyyyy cheaper as well. As of this writing in 2019, Dungeness Crab was selling at about $19-20 per pound meaning that 1 crab would cost about $25-30. The daily Dungeness Crab limit in California is 10 crabs per person so I’m basically catching about $250-300 of Crab!

As for the fishing aspect of it… it was kind of a huge letdown after all the other previous great fishing that I’ve done. To me, I looked at the rockfishing as more of practice than anything else. And then again, something can always take your hook like this fish here…

vermilion red rock fish snapper

I caught this big Vermilion Rockfish out of nowhere before the crabbing started.

Tip: The best time to go crabbing is BEFORE the commercial crab season starts which makes the crabbing a lot easier and quicker to get limits even on party boats. Otherwise, you might be out there longer than expected. Dungeness Crab season is usually November – May; Dungeness Crab is best when caught during the early months of the season (November, December, January) because the crabs tend to fatten up during the winter months. But in my opinion, best is November – early December. The later months can produce crabs but the problem is that by April-May, the crabs are not as meaty. Summer time is when the crabs begin preparations for spawning which means they begin molting as well which explains their less-than-ideal-meat-ratio compared to the winter months.


Queen of Hearts fishing boat


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San Jose Sharks, the NHL’s playoff perennial chokers vs the visiting Edmonton Oilers

I’ve been to a few San Jose Sharks hockey games before but generally when I go, I usually go to see the other team play because they are far better than the always-choking-in-the-playoffs-San Jose Sharks. All the Sharks fans, especially the local ones, always go crazy about their “team” doing well during the regular season but in the end during the playoffs, the team can never get the final job done. There are many, many records, stories, and tales of how they had the best regular season record only to lose in the first round! The best memory that I have of the “Sharks” was when the team was up 3 games to none in a playoffs series against the Los Angeles Kings… only to lose the next 4 games and get reverse-swept! Oh, and by the way, that Kings team went on to win the Stanley Cup! That showed what kind of team the Kings were!

SAP center outside night time game san jose hp pavilion shark tank

This is what the SAP Center looks like outside during game night.

SAP center hockey rink indoors

And this is what the SAP Center looks like inside. It’s primarily a hockey arena but it does concerts and a long time ago, there was some basketball played there as well.

I have a feeling that these Sharks won’t win a title anytime soon (or even possibly forever?) as they are cursed. And don’t think that the Sharks is a bad name for a team because it’s not. There is another Sharks team, the Cologne Sharks (Kölner Haie) of the German Hockey League (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) that is also a hockey team but on the European continent and they’ve WON championships before! The name is not cursed, just the San Jose Sharks…

So off to the so-called “Shark Tank” as they call the SAP Center in San Jose which I went in order to watch the visiting Edmonton Oilers. People might be wondering why did I go to an Oilers game? It was because they have an ultra-talent in Connor McDavid, a top flight center-forward for the Oilers. That’s right! I went to the Sharks game just to watch the OTHER TEAM play as I’ve stated previously before.

things to do in bay area san francisco san jose hockey nhl ice spectator sports sharks fun stuff tourist tourism travel in-game stadium arena indoors indoor teal blue white colors playing style 2019-20 season 19-20 sitting down fan watching edmonton oilers visiting team

I had front row seats to an Oilers-Sharks game meaning that I had great views of the Oilers players. The view was great during the warm-ups but during the game, the players and coaches will block your view…. a LOT.

things to do in bay area san francisco san jose hockey nhl ice spectator sports sharks fun stuff tourist tourism travel in-game stadium arena indoors indoor teal blue white colors playing style 2019-20 season 19-20 sitting down fan watching edmonton oilers visiting team

With the exception of Nygaal, both Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are the superstars on the Oilers team. They both play together and are extremely talented which will likely make them a long-lasting duo for years to come.

Connor McDavid getting ready to play

Connor McDavid getting ready to play once the referee drops the puck.

Even though at the time, the Oilers were in first place of the division, the Sharks came out blasting away goals by scoring the first four! The Oilers did score one eventually but in the end, the lead built up was too much. And that’s one thing that I’ve noticed about the Sharks – they have to have a lead or a nice sizeable one otherwise, the other team will come back to win it like a lot of teams have done in the playoffs to beat the Sharks.

Fight during Oilers-Sharks game

There was a fight that broke out during the game after Connor McDavid got hit in the knee to which one of the Oilers players (Brandon Manning) got into a huge fight and then penalized big time. That’s what happens when a teammate believes that their superstar player was “targeted” so he’s trying to protect him by fighting the aggressor.

So if you’re in the SF Bay Area, this is one of the things that you can do easily if you want to watch ice hockey. And when the San Jose Sharks aren’t doing well like they are in this season, Sharks tickets are not hard to obtain particularly (even at the box office, not from ticket resellers) when they’re playing a team that is not considered that great i.e. the Oilers (even with an ultra talent like Conor McDavid).

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Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat in the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

I’ve been to Lakers games in the past when they had the Championship Lakers of Shaq and Kobe and then Kobe version 2 (after Shaq left and then new stars came in: Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, etc.) but now I get to see the post-Kobe era of the next wave of Lakers superstars in Anthony Davis and LeBron James! With Kobe’s retirement several years ago, it was sad to see the Black Mama (Kobe’s nickname) go off into the sunset to finalize retre but I suppose it’s only fitting to see Father Time eventually be the victor over us frail, fragile humans… with the exception of Lebron James who seems to be ageless for the time being. Thanks to his continued standing as one of the best players in basketball, the Lakers obtained through a trade: Anthony Davis! Known also as “AD” by his initials, he’s one of the best players in the NBA as well! So to pair LeBron with Anthony Davis gives the Lakers, one of the most famous basketball teams, become contenders in winning the NBA title again.

staples center front gate los angeles lakers clippers kings nba nhl things to do in los angeles lakers city of angels LA spectator sports fun stuff tourist tourism travel in-game stadium arena purple forum blue gold best team basketball nba

The world famous Staples Center in Los Angeles coupled with the close-by LA Live. With Los Angeles being known as an entertainment venue thanks to Hollywood and the film industry, the Staples Center and LA Live have added even more to that entertainment vibe. It’s definitely worth to walk around and see what’s going on.

The Miami Heat team has been one in transition ever since LeBron James left the Heat after winning 2 NBA titles in Miami. The same could be said about the Los Angeles Lakers who has been trying to get an identity ever since Kobe retired. But now… the Lakers are threatening to be amazing again thanks to the power duo of LeBron James (who joined last season) and Anthony Davis (who got traded to the team). Both players were exceptional in my presence at the Staples Center, home arena for several teams: the Lakers, the Clippers (another NBA team), and the Kings (NHL / Hockey).

So if you’re in Los Angeles, aka LA, aka the City of Angels, then this is one of those things that you have to do: catch a Lakers game at the Staples Center. The city has embraced the team and the team has embraced the city that even the other professional sports teams based in Los Angeles have a hard time trying to get the fans in LA to support them such as the NFL implants of the Rams and Chargers. So even if the other teams such as the Dodgers (baseball), LAFC (football), Angels (baseball), Kings (hockey) do well, I still think it’s a Lakers town.

Kyle Kuzma warm-up practice threes 3s three pointer shot jumper jacking the rock lakers la los angeles staples center heat game

Like with any sporting event, go there early to avoid the traffic and enjoy the view of the players warming up. You get a rare glimpse of what they are paid to do day-in, day-out. Here, you have Kyle Kuzma, one of the younger Lakers players practicing his three-point shot.

In this game, it close during the first 2-3 quarters of the game. Both the Lakers and Miami Heat were battling it out with the score being close with the Lakers initially leading and then later traded leads with the Heat several times. What was interesting was that the Miami Heat started playing a 2-3 zone defense which slowed down the Lakers offense and players. Eventually, the Lakers figured it out by putting Anthony Davis near the free throw line meaning either he would be wide open or he’d get double-teamed so a teammate would get wide open shots. As the Lakers got more and more used to the zone, the players pulled away in the fourth quarter with a sizeable lead that they never gave away. The Lakers were just too powerful with 2 giant superstars in both Lebron James and Anthony Davis understanding how to beat the zone and once they were in a favorable match-up where they had an advantage, both players would attract so much attention that teammates would be wide open. Adjustments are needed in the game of basketball in order to win.

lebron james passing to anthony davis forward lakers heat game 2019 staples center big crowd

Both players, Lebron James and Anthony Davis, played pick-and-roll plays well to where they could fake doing it and then just take off from there.

Goran Dragic waiting to check in and watches Lebron James driving dribbing to the basket for a dunk

My recommendation is to buy tickets as close to the action you can. That way, you are able to see the action up-close and see what make these guys top of the world. Don’t forget to look in the crowd as well – several celebrities were in. For example, Dwyane Wade, former Miami Heat player and good friend of Lebron James, was sitting near the Miami Heat bench.

Note: When going to games in LA, ensure that you leave very early. You just don’t know how bad traffic will be as even being 1 mile (1.6 km) away might take 1 hour to drive there! Public transportation is still what I’d call a work-in-progress as the subway still being worked on continuously to expand service all over Los Angeles so that’s another reason why you might want to leave early to go anywhere in Los Angeles. One idea is to use public transportation: light rail. You need to purchase a TAP card but like with London’s Oyster card, you place your card by the reader and it deduces an amount so it makes things easier to board without having to mess around with coins or money.

javale mcgee talking with anthony davis center forward lakers discussion strategizing power rebounds points

I thought that this was a funny moment as both Anthony Davis and Javale McGee talk about something during the game while Davis was about to shoot some free throws.

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