Tag Archives: New York Rangers

Kings will win the Stanley Cup (I think…)

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

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Weekly Nickel 5-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Due to rain, we are getting some bonus tennis today. Can Novak Djokovic (pictured above) handle Nadal on the clay in Rome?

By Josh Kramer

Saturday was not the best of days for the city of  Los Angeles to say the least.  As I have said before, people will soon stop calling Los Angeles “Lob City,” and start calling it “Heartbreak City,” if they haven’t already.   On Saturday, both of their basketball teams blew double-digit point leads. At least they have the Dodgers and the Kings. The NBA and NHL playoffs have been outstanding and the best part is there is still plenty to go.  In addition, I’ll Have Another would love “another” win at the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Last week was great, but this week should be even better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bonus tennis.  What could be better?  Due to massive amounts of rainfall, the Rome Masters final showdown between the world’s top two players (Djokovic/Nadal) was postponed today.  I by no means am complaining.  The clay-court season has been a bundle of fun as usual as we get ready to head down the home stretch. Roland Garros is just six days away.  Get excited. Continue reading

The Conn Smythe Trophy Frontrunners

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Dustin Brown (pictured above) is a major favorite to bring home the Conn Smythe Trophy.

By Nick Craddock

The 2012 NHL playoffs are coming to a crescendo.  Between a closely contested Eastern Conference Finals featuring the rival New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils and what has turned into a one-sided Western Conference Finals featuring the Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, the muddled playoff picture which began with 16 teams vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup is coming into focus.

Of all the players who have made their mark this postseason in helping their teams to this stage, these five look poised to have the best shot at capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the NHL playoffs’ Most Valuable Player.

1. Dustin Brown, right wing, Kings: Brown is proving why he wears the “C” on his jersey this spring. He leads his team in scoring with seven goals and eight assists, including three game-winning goals. He’s tied with teammate Anze Kopitar for the best plus/minus rating of any player in the playoffs. He delivers crushing hits. And even when he’s not making an incredible play, he influences the game to such a degree that it affects his opponent’s psyche (i.e.Phoenix’s Martin Hanzal cross-checking Brown from behind into the boards during Game 2, resulting in a one-game suspension).  All in all, Brown’s outstanding play makes it unfathomable to think the Kings contemplated trading Brown at the trading deadline. Simply put, the Kings’ stellar play through these playoffs thus far would not be possible without Brown. That description sounds like the embodiment of a Conn Smythe winner. Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer New York City truly is a place that never sleeps.  This holds true in regards to sports as well.  There is no bigger media outlet.  The “Battle of the Hudson” has brought the Big Apple back to … Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-13-2012

Photo courtesy of guestofaguest.com. Two former number ones left Madrid as Champions. Will Roger Federer (left) and Serena Williams (right) both make deep runs at the French Open?

By Josh Kramer

Playoffs, playoffs, and more playoffs.  It is a great time of year in sports.  And the best part is the playoffs are just starting to really heat up as we enter the later rounds for both the NBA and NHL.  Last week was a blast and the English Premier League’s heart stopping finale was the cherry on top, but this week should be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Despite a good few months until the NFL season officially kicks off, the trash talking and storylines are just as juicy as ever.  Chad Ochocino has warned Goodell at the possible storm that seems inevitable in the wake of Junior Seau’s death and the heavy emphasis on head trauma.  In addition, two familiar NFC East foes were jabbering during yesterday’s holiday.  Osi Umenyiora wished LeSean McCoy, a “Happy Mother’s Day.”  Lastly, the Vince Young train has landed in Buffalo.  Talk about a major bust.  It may only be May, but the excitement is mounting.  Who else is excited for some NFL football?

4.  Madrid was full of surprises over the course of the past week.  In the end though, two familiar faces came out victorious (Roger Federer and Serena Williams).  Many of the top players were none too pleased with the blue clay.  Maybe this displeasure correlates to the frustration that opponents feel when they travel to Idaho to take on Boise State in football ?  Either way, the French Open is nearly upon us.  Next stop Rome though for what is always a great event. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Not too many people knew who Philip Humber (pictured above) was heading into Saturday. After tossing the 21st perfect game in MLB history, Humber has become a household name.

By Josh Kramer

Saying last week was a great one in sports would be an understatement.  Philip Humber became a household name when he tossed a perfect game on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal finally conquered his Djokovic fears in taking home his eighth consecutive Monte Carlo title on Sunday.  And the NHL playoffs have not been too shabby in their own right.  Want to know the best part?  This week should be even better than last.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rafael Nadal seems to have regained his “swagger.”  Or at least he temporarily slayed his Djokovic fears in Monte Carlo.  Next stop, Barcelona.  It is no secret that Rafael Nadal, a six-time French Open Champion, is God-like on the clay.  This is his time of year.  A little over a month from now Roland Garros will be the place to be.  Make sure to enjoy the Barcelona stop of the clay-court season this week.

4.  How many of you knew who Philip Humber was last week at this time?  Be honest.  I bet almost all of you know who he is now.  Humber deserves it.  He appears to be a real class act both on and off the field. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. If the New York Rangers want to bring the Stanley Cup back to New York City for the first time since 1994, much will be expected of their star goaltender, aka Mr. GQ, Henrik Lundqvist.

By Josh Kramer

Men’s College Basketball has gone from 345 to 2.  Novak Djokovic once again flexed his muscles in Miami.  And Major League Baseball is ready to roll.  Last week was fun, but this week will not be too shabby in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  We have entered the final week of the NHL season.  I for one am extremely excited for playoff hockey.  Two teams are duking it out in the Eastern Conference for the 8th and final playoff spot, while the Wild West still has five teams in contention for the 7th and 8th positions.  I am more concerned with the real contenders though.  Teams that I think have a legitimate chance of hoisting Lord Stanley in June.  I am focused on a showdown in the City of Brotherly Love tomorrow evening.

New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers:  There is a reason why HBO had a hit series this winter entitled, “24/7 Flyers-Rangers.”  Not only are these two of the best teams in all of hockey, but they are also two of the fiercest rivals.  These teams have been bitter divisional foes since 1974-1975 season, and have met ten times in the playoffs.  Well don’t be surprised to see an 11th edition of the “Battle of the Broads” in this year’s postseason.  The Flyers have been led by a high-octane offensive attack that centers around their star, Claude Giroux.  The Rangers on the other hand can score in flurries, but their leader is none other than their Mr. “GQ” himself, Henrik Lundqvist. Continue reading