Sharks clinch Pacific with 6-1 killing of Kings

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Sharks clinch Pacific with 6-1 killing of Kings

April 4, 2011

BOX SCORE SHARKS VIDEONHLPAGE NHLSCOREBOARD
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) There was little celebrating for the San Jose Sharks after another convincing clincher as they know they still have so much more to accomplish to make this season truly a success.Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist to give him 999 career points and help the Sharks clinch their fourth straight Pacific Division title with a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night."We have a pretty darned good division, so it's a feather in your cap," Thornton said. "But we still have some work to do. We're still fighting to get that second seed. But it's a good step for us."Kyle Wellwood added a goal and two assists, and defensemen Dan Boyle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks, who won for the eighth time in nine games. Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchi also scored as San Jose moved one point past Detroit for second place in the Western Conference with 103 points with three games remaining.Michal Handzus scored the lone goal for the Kings, who lost for the second time in seven games and missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth. Los Angeles remained tied for fourth in the West with Phoenix with three games remaining and can clinch the playoffs with either a win or a Dallas loss."They came ready to play and we didn't," defenseman Matt Greene said. "It's a good lesson late in the year that you are never as good as you think you are. Especially if you going to give a good team the opportunity to beat you like we did tonight. We weren't up to par or anywhere close to where we need to be to get into the postseason."Jonathan Quick was knocked out early in the second period after allowing four goals on 16 shots and Jonathan Bernier didn't fare much better as the Kings allowed six goals for the second time in three games in San Jose this season.Four nights after clinching the playoffs with a 6-0 victory over Dallas, the Sharks put together another lopsided win to wrap up the division."It seemed like we had a little more jump tonight than they did and were able to capitalize," Wellwood said.This title was particularly notable considering San Jose was in last place in the Pacific following a six-game losing streak in January. But the Sharks have won 26 of 34 games since then and are headed into the playoffs playing their best hockey as they hope this is the year they can final make it to the Stanley Cup.There was little doubt in this game, with the Sharks striking first just 1:47 into the contest after Alec Martinez was unable to clear the puck out of the defensive zone after a faceoff. Torrey Mitchell stopped the puck along the boards and fired a shot that Quick blocked. Pavelski took the rebound in the slot and converted his 19th goal just 1:47 into the game.The Sharks added another just a few minutes later when Vlasic beat Quick with a wrist shot following a cross-ice pass from Wellwood for his fourth goal of the season.The Kings briefly appeared to get back into the game when Handzus knocked a rebound past Antti Niemi less than 2 minutes into the second period. But San Jose responded just 22 seconds later when Wellwood tipped a point shot by Vlasic in for his fifth goal."That's happened a lot to us this year. Giving up a goal after we score one, those are momentum goals," Kings forward Dustin Brown said. "We never recovered from that goal."The rout was soon on with Thornton springing Boyle loose with a cross-ice pass that made it 4-1 and ended Quick's night just 5:33 into the second period.Thornton's rebound goal midway through the period gave him his 999th career point as he looks to close in on the milestone before the end of the regular season.The biggest excitement in the third period came when Douglas Murray and Boyle squared off with Los Angeles' Kyle Clifford and Brad Richardson in a pair of fights with 2:50 remaining. Boyle jumped into the fray to help out his defensive partner and completed his "Gordie Howe" hat trick of a goal, assist and fight."I turned around and saw two guys hitting at Dougie," Boyle said. "I know he could probably take two guys any day of the week, but I just wanted to go in there and help him out like he's been doing for me all year."NOTES: The Sharks have outscored their opponents 43-18 over the last nine games. ... Thornton has 11 straight seasons with at least 20 goals, one behind Jarome Iginla for the longest active streak. ... Sharks F Ryane Clowe left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. ... Monday was the 35th anniversary of the final game ever for the Bay Area's first NHL team, the California Golden Seals, who beat the Kings 5-2 in Oakland.

Mayor Schaaf on Raiders relocation: 'Oakland has something no other city ever will'

Mayor Schaaf on Raiders relocation: 'Oakland has something no other city ever will'

The Oakland Raiders have officially filed for relocation to Las Vegas. And Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has responded. 

“It’s no surprise that the Raiders have filed for relocation," Schaaf said in a statement. "Oakland welcomes the chance to show them and the NFL’s other owners why Oakland is the only home for the Raiders and always will be.

“Our winning team of the Lott Group, the County and my colleagues on the Oakland City Council has accomplished so much in the last few months. We’ve identified the mechanisms to responsibly finance public infrastructure improvements, we have in the Lott Group a private partner prepared to finance stadium construction, and we have an entitled site for a world-class NFL stadium and new development that enhances fan experience while invigorating East Oakland's economy. 

“But this isn’t all Oakland has to offer. Oakland’s Raiders stadium will be on the most transit-accessible site in the nation, in the sixth largest television market, and in one of the wealthiest and most innovative regions in the world. But above all else, Oakland has something no other city ever will -- a die-hard fan base that is loyal and true to the Raiders and wants to see them stay here in Oakland where they were founded. Only Oakland brings the Raiders and the NFL a competitive stadium proposal, along with legacy and loyalty.

“I look forward to the League giving our team a chance to compete.”

Now that the fate of the Raiders' relocation is in the hands of the NFL owners, a vote could come at the NFL owners meetings in late March. It’s uncertain whether Davis has the votes needed to relocate, but there has been momentum building for such a move over the past several months.

Davis has said that, even if the Raiders are approved for relocation, he plans on playing in Oakland the next few years while a Las Vegas stadium is built. The team has already sent out season ticket pricing to fans for the 2017 season. The Raiders have one-year team options to play Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The Las Vegas stadium isn’t expected to be ready until the 2020 season.

The Office of the Mayor Libby Schaaf and Scott Bair contributed to this report.

 

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been voted to start the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, and this time there was a measure of suspense.

Curry will join Rockets guard James Harden in the backcourt for the Western Conference squad, as voters snubbed MVP candidate and triple-double specialist Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

Joining Curry and Harden in the starting lineup for the West will be Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis.

A combination of fan balloting (50 percent), player balloting (25 percent) and media balloting (25 percent) comprises the overall vote.

Curry’s selection is sure to generate considerable debate, as Westbrook leads the league in scoring (30.6 points per game), is second in assists and 11th (10.4) in rebounding (10.6). Westbrook also leads the league in PER at 29.56.

Moreover, he is bidding to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.

Coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, Curry ranks 12th in scoring (24.6 points per game), 15th in assists (6.1), second in 3-pointers made (158) and eighth in steals (1.81). His 92.6-percent shooting from the line ranks second in the NBA.

He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to start four straight All-Star games.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, leads the team in scoring (26.2) and blocks (1.71) and double-doubles (16). He’s second in rebounding (8.6) and third in assists (4.7). His 54.4-percent shooting from the field is 10th in the league and tops among perimeter players.

Durant will be making his eighth appearance, and his fifth as a starter.

The Eastern Conference starters are as follows: guards Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with frontcourt players LeBron James of the Cavs, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.

All-Star reserves, which are chosen by NBA coaches, will be announced on Jan. 26.