This might be slightly irrelevent, as the Sharks were eliminated from the playoffs in the last round, but I went to games 3 and 4 of the Detroit - San Jose series. And stuff (stuff = Disneyland). We drove down via the I-5 for most of the trip, going down through Washington state and Oregon. Washington is a very nice state. Oregon is too, but the drivers mostly obey the interstate speed limit which can be rather annoying for those people wishing to exceed it by approximately thirty-five mph (hypothetically speaking, of course). I suspect this has to do with the fact that there are state patrol cars lurking in the bushes around every bend. Also, there are inexplicably tire parts all over the sides of the I-5 in Oregon.
We left the northern suburbs of Edmonton at 8pm on Thursday, April 26th, and we arrived in San Jose at about 4pm local time on the 28th. San Jose is a nice city. The HP Pavillion is located near Stanley Cup Way (a nice throw to those teams that actually have won, perhaps?). The arena is very nice, spacious, and modern with a nice view of palm trees across the road. The food served in the Pavillion is much better than that served at Rexall, save for the pizza. Round Table Pizza has nothing on BP's. Their jumbo screen leaves something to be desired. They rarely show the fans up on the screen, choosing instead to show the Sharks logo bouncing around during commercial breaks. Also, they don't have fun games like Tap the Cap. All in all, HP Pavillion makes Rexall Place look like a (fun) shithole.
We found the Sharks fans to be very nice, even if they were woefully under-dressed for a playoff game. On the whole, they seemed knowledgeable about hockey, except the guy sitting behind us who asked if he had just witnessed a fourth-quarter infraction (or something like that. I assume he was using football terminology, of which I know nothing about) when the play went offside. We were wearing Oilers jerseys with Sharks logos taped to the front (until they fell off), and few people were unable to recognize the Oilers team colours. On the Sharks' powerplays, all the fans mimicked chomping shark jaws while the Jaws music played. After the Sharks' victory in game 3, the car horn honking could be heard in a one mile radius around the arena, at which point "the coaches turned to pumpkins and the horses into mice," according to Jason, my Edmonton partner in crime. It made us miss the Whyte Ave. of a year ago, where those more interested in the NBA playoffs were the minority.
We also made it down to Disneyland, and I am sad to report that I forgot to T.P (not Toby Petersen, although now I have humourous images of him dangling from a tree) Pronger's house.
While we were in California...
-Number of major freeway overpasses that collapsed after a semi, driving too fast (in California? Never!), crashed into the guard rail, caught on fire, and melted the support beams, inconveniencing 100 000 commuters daily and making the Governator declare free public transit for a day:1
-Number of former Survivor contestants riding our ferry to Alcatraz: 1 (Ryan O. from Survivor: Pearl Islands )
-Number of times the car right in front of us got pulled over on the interstate by the California Highway Patrol for speeding, even though everyone else was also speeding: 1 (we actually did get pulled for speeding in Utah on the way home, but were let off with a warning)
-Number of serious vehicle accidents we were either witness to or arrived freshly on the scene of: 2
-Number of times we were reprimanded by Disneyland staff for trying to take a picture of Winnie the Pooh without standing in line: 2
-Number of nightmares I've had about It's a Small World: 1
-Number of celebrities I saw in Hollywood: 1 (Steve Carell)