Here's a little trivia bit that you won't get anywhere else, because no other hockey news sources are willing to dig deep for the story: Did you know that the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks both have player who are from Long Beach California? It's true! Both Emerson Etem and Matt Nieto are not only hockey players on California teams, they're both from the same iconic city! You saw it here first, folks -- Battle of California, always on the pulse.
Of course, as usual, the Ducks led the way with this one. Emerson Etem was drafted in 2010, and in a pathetic attempt to emulate the success that Anaheim has had over the years (and not have any historical success of their own to draw on), the Sharks copied Anaheim and drafted their Long Beach player the following year in 2011. It didn't work out very well for them, so San Jose reached deeper into Anaheim's history and decided one-time duck Mike Brown was the answer to their failures, but that's a different story (spoiler: that move isn't working out for them either).
Of course, it's quite clear that Anaheim got the better end of the stick here. Did you know Matt Nieto is nothing more than a street thug? It's true. Earlie this year, his mom confirmed it to the San Jose Mercury news:
"Probably everybody that he hung out with is either in a gang or on drugs or something," she said.
Gangbangers and drug addicts is the best that San Jose can do. No wonder their whole team comes across as such low-lifes... They are. I guess that helps explain the thuggery out of San Jose the last time these two teams met... With San Jose well ahead of the Ducks, and with nothing to gain from it, San Jose started baiting Anaheim star players in to fights, and human garbage Adam Burish started a line brawl after he attacked from behind and tried to choke Andrew Cogliano to death. You have to wonder if the team is picking up these underhanded tactics from street trash Matt Nieto.
Etem, on the other hand, is a fine, outstanding young man. It's obvious that at the professional level, where he has played fewer NHL games than Nieto, but has scored more goals (a glorious 12 goals from Etem compared to a lowly, embarrassing 11 goals from Nieto) that he is the superior Long Beachian. But his childhood, which are not defined by gangs and drug use like Nieto's, proves that he's also the better man in the personal realm as well.
For example, when Etem was just 3 years old, he started player roller hockey at the YMCA. What a wholesome, upright choice for a young child to make. When Nieto was 3, he had already tried his first intravenous heroin injection.
Let's see what else Nieto was up to as a kid...
"Paul Kariya was my favorite player as a kid," Nieto said. "So I used to go and catch him and it was fun. I played for the Junior Ducks one year growing up and he talked to our team. I got to take a picture with him. It's still in my room.
... Oh, you know what? Nieto doesn't seem like such a bad guy after all.
Ducks (14 - 10) @ Sharks (10 - 14)
Saturday, Nov 29, 2014, 7:30 PM PST
Finally, the last game of a month that has been very ugly for Anaheim. I can't imagine we don't suffer another loss here, just to continue this month's horrible trend. The Ducks just got crushed last night playing a team that is actually good, so of course they're definitely exhausted and ready to lose to a garbage San Jose team.
Ducks lose 3-1, Matt Nieto with a hat trick.