1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “Ducks-Gulls–Losing Ends Now”

Posted by on May 11th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Ducks-Gulls…Bad to Good”

A long hard winter, a stransge thing to say, when you live in Southern California, but it was awful.

Awful if you were a hockey fan, a player, a coach or a General Manager.

The Anaheim Ducks had the worst record in the NHL, went to the lottery, and will get a really good player with the second choice in the draft.  They force fed all their rookies, went from a quick start in 1st place to a 23-win last place season.

It was worse for the San Diego Gulls, a 20-win season, bad injuries, struggling draft picks, and overwhelmed rookies trying to play in the AHL.

Better days are coming.  The Ducks have 11-draft picks in their pocket and 30M in cap space in their checking account for free agency.  A new era is about to begin when Pat Verbeek, their GM, hires a new coach.

The Gulls will get a fresh start with the hiring of European coach Matt McIlvane, who won 4-titles coaching in Germany for Salzberg-Red Bull…hired at age (33)…and won 94-games in his four year run.  He also coached in the ECHL with the Orlando Solar Bears.

The Ducks have to not just restock their roster, but restock a battered Gulls roster.

Verbeek came to San Diego, and his new coach, all smiles had lots to say too in their introductory press conference.:

Lots of optimism, lots of hope.  Better than last winter of dreariness.
(Pat Verbeek)

His hiring is an extremely important job..big role
Alot of prospects will be in San Diego next two years
Our journey began with Matt 10-years ago
Intrigued how he communicated..coached..developed relationships
His overseas development process in Germany was important
He knows how to work with younger players and older players
We will send 10-players, age 21 or younger, in San Diego next year
Wants to build championship character
Last year was difficult but losing teaches you alot of lessons
New perspective because we have alot of good youg kids coming
There will still be difficult lessons to be learned by our young players
We need to surround our young players with good veterans leadership
Show up everyday and get better
We need one voice to lead Gulls after years of changes
Matt has a winning pedigree-he has achieved so much
Players cannot question Matt’s know-how and success

(Matt McIlvane)

Extremely humbled to be coach of the Gulls
Hockey knows he Samueli family runs a first class organization
This is a top AHL franchises
My strength as coach is to create a vision and move group to the goal
We build connections with players
Clear vision-Ducks are on a journey to build a Stanley Cup team
We have a development plan-give them a winning culure
Very clear standards and expectations
The AHL is a true developmental plan
Success hockey is not possible wityhout a a team connected.
You build uncommon bonds in the locker room
Hockey is the ultimate team sport
Bonds-brotherhood-so important for a franchise
We will be relentless, suffocating team defense
Alot of young prospects with offense-will teach them defense
Not too many NHL teams that have as bright a future as the Ducks
Don Jackson-former NHL players-coaching legend in Europe-big influence
Tell players-been in your shoes-have gone thru all of it
We want to teach the Ducks style of hockey-be in your face
European style different than NHL
I coached 50-former NHL-AHL players..helps me be equipped as a staff
I know how to push the right button
Talked to Pat during the course of the year about coaching
This is a fun environment for our guys to play in
I will retain the assistant coaching staff from last year..all 3-return



1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday “NBA Playoffs–Amazing Theatre”

Posted by on May 10th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

NBA-Big Shots-Big Fouls”


Some kind of theatre we are seeing in the NBA  playoffs.  The fans are enjoying it for sure.

LAKERS-WARRIORS…The Lakers keep finding different people to step up and save them.  Golden State coach Steve Kerr can’t find any consistency from any of his support players, and continue to play poorly on the road.  Lots of bravado talk from the Warriors but they are down (3-1).  A shame if Steph Curry cannot go on to the next round.  LA has so many guys contributing to this rally.  All this from a team that nearly missed the play-in series.

NUGGETS-SUNS….Lots of ill will in this series.  Nikola Jokic-vs-the Suns owner…Kevin Durant vs everybody…alot of cheap stuff with Jamal Murray.  And yet tons of big scoring games, but the Suns are in trouble, even with the explosive Devin Booker.

BOSTON-76ers…The Celts are on the brink of being expelled from the playoffs. The bench has just not played well and they don’t have answers for Joel Embiid and James Harden.  This would be a rotten outcome in that city, considering what just happened to the NHL-Boston Bruins, wiped out on home ice and eliminated after setting all those records during the regular season.

MIAMI-KNICKS…Two teams beset with injuries and yet the Heat on the brink of knocking NY out of the playoffs.  All this with Jimmy Butler playing on an oft-injured anile.  Real unhappiness in New York about the in and out play of F-Julius Randle.  So hot in stretches and now so cold at the most important time of the season.  No one thought this could happen, Miami still playing in May.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Tuesday “Lakers-The Nation is Watching”

Posted by on May 9th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Lakers-The Nation is Watching”


The entire country is watching.  So are the people sitting in the 2600-dollar per seat courtside.

I don’t think anyone could have imagined the Lakers being in the place they are in at this hour.  1-more win away from eliminating Golden State, just four wins away from getting to the NBA finals.

The Lakers roared from behind, a 12-point deficit, then a 7-point pothole in coming back to whack the Warriors.

It’s just not Anthony Davis and LeBron James, it’s somebody else coming to the rescue.  Such the case on Monday night, when Lonnie Walker, MIA most of the playoffs, comes off the bench, pours home 4-long jumpers, and rifles home 15-points in all in the fourth quarter, and voila another Lakers win.

They survived a triple double from Steph Curry, a (31-10-14) outing.

But they were also the recipient of a typical night of Warriors basketball, bad decision on launching threes, tons of turnovers and one always wondering why the Warriors do what they do when they have the lead and could bleed the clock.

It’s been a chaotic series, of body banging, hard fouls, spectacular block shots and lots of belly aching about the refs calls.  Did you know Draymond Green has never committed a foul  in this series?

This Lakers team has shown us flashes from everybody, which is why they are positioned to push this thing to the limit, like the NBA finals.

Go figure how people like Jared Vanderbilt or Rui Hachimura or Austin Reaves can show up on an odd night and do what they do.  Now add Lonnie Walker to that list.

So they head off to San Francisco again, where the Warriors face the prospect of having to win 3-straight against this   mixed bag of firepower and fury.

All this from a Lakers team that scuffled to just get into the play in game.  And look where they are now, knocking on the door that could take them to the NBA finals.

Yes the survivor of Denver-Phoenix series is out there waiting when LA knocks out Golden State.

Don’t think you can doubt anything from the Purple & Gold,  a team that was not constructed till the Trade Deadline in mid winter, and didn’t really find itself till late in the season and was reborn in the Memphis Grizzlies series.

Lakers fans are going crazy.  So are the TV viewers, with this series having viewership of 7.4, 7.2, 7.1 million in games so far in the series.

Hard to believe what we are seeing.  Let it continue, see how far it goes.  I think maybe the NBA finals.






1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Monday “Padres-Lakers…Proving-Not Proving”

Posted by on May 8th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Padres-Lakers….Proving–Not Proving”


So much for expectations and failures.


What a weekend following the Padres and the Lakers.  1-team failing to follow thru on all its expectations.  The other launching itself into the conversation of being in the NBA finals.


Such is life for the Padres, as the disappointing start of the season now finds them 3-games behind the team they are supposed to blow by, the Dodgers.


The Lakers, proving everyone wrong, pushing this new look roster from a play-in team, to just about ready to end the dynastic run of Golden State.


When the Padres get pitching, they don’t hit.  When they have odd game they hit, the starters or the bullpen let them down.  They are now 3-back of LA in the NL-West and have shown no consistency all year long  That’s a 253M payroll where Fernando Tatis looks like he is back, Juan Soto looks lost, and Manny Machado looks to be only partly as productive of last season.  Even Jake Cronenworth, who got a payday, gets taken out by pitchers he used to hit.


Anyone tired of the Blake Snell experience or the iffy performances of some of the bullpen brigade.  Or the constant injury updates on Drew Pomeranz or Adrian Morejon.


Sure there are a ton of games to be played, but this weird first quarter of the season, the Padres have not played like a contender.  And it has to happen with this group, since there is nothing standing by in the farm system.


The Lakers are on the brink of running Warriors out of the playoffs.  Anthony Davis is playing possessed, LeBron James has had explosive amazing segments of games.  D’Angelo Russell, playing for nis next contract, has been explosive and streaky but a difference maker.


Hard to believe the Lakers would get blitzed (80-47) in the second half of Game 2, then watched LA explode for 83-point in 2-quarters in Game 3-in dismembering Golden State.


It’s hard to sit and watch the Padres batting order, for there has been no consistency aside from Xander Boegaerts has delivered, and the last week and a half of Fernando Tatis.  Manager Bob Melvin doesn’t seem intent on firing criticism at any of his struggling players.


Darvin Ham has figured out the Lakers, and seems willing to push any and all buttons to see who gets the hot hand. And watching this series has been riveting  The games are like mortal combat.  Sprawling, smashing, tumbling, blasting each other on the way to the basket.


Steals, blocked shots, hard fouls, swats, and hits with hands-feet-arms-shoulders.  The 3-games so far have been a war.  Anthony Davis is playing possessed.  LeBron James whirling derby drives to the basket and his shot blocking, has been explosive.


So Monday arrives with us wondering what the Padres next week of games will bring.  And Monday arrives with us waiting to see which body gets flattened when the Warriors-Lakers play their version of street ball, where there will be no survivors.


It’s been interesting and there’s more to pay attention to, Padres-and-Lakers.


1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Friday “Litmus Test Weekend-Padres-Dodgers”

Posted by on May 5th, 2023  •  0 Comments  • 

“Litmus Test Weekend–Padres-Dodgers”



The Padres beat then in the playoffs last year.

Take your (111) wins and go home-Dodgers.

Of  course the Dodgers could always flash their driver’s license that showed a World Series ring, all those Fall Classic games, and the fistful of National League West  titles.

But that was a year ago, and this is a different year.

The Padres have hot hitting Xander Bogaerts.

They also have slump ridden Juan Soto, a struggling Manny Machado, and now Fernando Tatis back in the batting order.  Hard to predict what Trent Grisham or Matt Carpenter will bring

But Josh Hader is the best in the biz right now coming out of the pen, 12-saves in a row.

The Padres starters have not been as dominant this year compared to last year’s workhorse outings.


The Dodgers, they are indeed different.

They let 11-veterans go, including big hitting shortstop Trea Turner.  They discarded Cody Bellinger and let Justin Turner walk

They have had 1-major injury in shortstop Gavin Lux.

Centerfielder James Outman is a Rookie of the Year candidate.

Max Muncy has 12-homers but is not a gold glover at third.

Will Smith was off to a roaring start till a concussion knocked him down.

Julio Urias, last year’s 20-game winner, has had good outings but then strafed.

Clayton Kershaw is roaring (5-1) with a sub 2.00-ERA.

Dustin May has shown flashes of his old self, a year and a half removed from elbow surgery.

There is not Walker Buehler, recovering from elbow surgery.

The bullpen, I can’t trust it, don’t know how Dave Roberts can.

Yes it is a different year, and this is the first of 13-times these two enemies will meet.

In fact they play 6-times in the next 9-days in a quirk of scheduling.

The Dodgers are two games up on the Padres.

San Diego has a better batting order, but they are not all hitting yet.

The starting pitching seems to be a wash

The Friars have the better bullpen.

Interesting weekend ahead.  What if the Dodgers sweep, then the bulge goes to 5-games in the West.

What if the Padres sweep, then they have a 1-game lead heading to Dodgers Stadium next weekI

It’s been wild in baseball.  The Pirates were in first place till red hot Tampa Bay torched them 3-straight.  The Yankees are in last place, a better team on the DL than on the roster.  The Mets just got smoked 3-straight by the Tigers, yes those Detroit Tigers.

Friday night-Petco Park-going to be wild.  Three straight sellouts.  Doubt there will be any Dodgers Blue in the stands.  Who can say what we will be feeling by Sunday night.  A rivalry that has taken on new dimensions after the Friars told the Blue, take your 111-wins and go home, your season is over.

Can they continue the dominance?  Stay tuned.

That’s baseball 2023 style.