Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. This was the scene late last night as the Los Angeles Kings (pictured above) clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup. Can they win it all?
By Nick Craddock
Don’t fret about the aging Lakers, good people of Los Angeles, your Los Angeles Kings will win the Stanley Cup and bring joy and a championship banner to the Staples Center soon enough. Without being so bold as to bet my own money, I would assure any willing (and possibly chronic) gamblers to place their bets on the team in Black and White to hoist the Cup as NHL champions in June.
Despite Games 4 and 5 of the Western Conference Finals arguably being the sloppiest two games of the Kings’ playoff run to date, the boys from LA managed to edge the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime in Game 5 to take the series in five games and advance to the Stanley Cup to face the winner of the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Somehow, the Kings survived a lackadaisical start, particularly from stars Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, a 5-on-3 Coyotes powerplay in the third period, and a Phoenix powerplay in overtime to avoid giving the fellow upstart Coyotes yet another breath of life in the series.
Really, the Kings were just a “Mike Smith” away from sweeping the Coyotes in four games as the Phoenix goaltender briefly returned to his earlier round form in pushing the series back to Glendale, Arizona for what turned out to be the decisive Game 5.
Still, the fact remains that the Kings have only needed 14 games to dispose of the Western Conference’s top three seeds and own a perfect road record (8-0). The small sample size of games has been proof enough that the Kings are playing the best hockey of any team in the playoffs. Continue reading
Posted in NHL
Tagged Calgary Flames, Daryl Sutter, Florida Panthers, Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Mike Richards, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL, Nick Craddock, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Stanley Cup, Washington Capitals
Photo courtesy of thenhl.wikia.com.
By Nick Craddock
Jaromir Jagr will be playing hockey in the state of Pennsylvania again. But he’ll be donning a different jersey.
Today, the first day of NHL free agency (and fittingly Canada Day), Jagr signed a one-year contract worth $3.3 million with the Philadelphia Flyers, the fiercest Atlantic Division rival of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who Jagr helped guide to two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.
Having spent the past three seasons in Russia with Kontinental Hockey League’s Avangard Omsk, Jagr, 39, impressed while in Russia and at the IIHF World Championship in May, when Jagr scored a hat trick in a game against NHL-level competition for his native Czech Republic, proving he had plenty to offer any team. Continue reading
Posted in NHL
Tagged Atlantic Division, Brett Favre, Evgeni Malkin, Green Bay Packers, IIHF World Championshipss, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jaromir Jagr, Jeff Carter, Kontinental Hockey League, Maxime Talbot, Mike Richards, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, NHL, Nick Craddock, Petr Svobda, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ray Shero, Sidney Crosby, Stanley Cup