Wednesday, June 27, 2012

L.A Kings: A run for the ages


The L.A kings are a franchise that had long awaited to be crowned. 45 years it took for the kings to be crowned champions of the hockey universe. They didn’t have an easy road to become Stanley cup champs. The franchise came up short in 1993 vs. Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games,it would be a long road back to the Stanley cup finals for hockey fans in L.A . The kings made 3 straight playoff appearences following their move to the luxurious  staples center that saw 3 early playoff exits. The kings were about to go into rebuilding mode. With 13th pick in the 2003 NHL entry draft the kings would select Physical right winger and future captain of the kings Dustin Brown. After the lockout and play resumed in 2005 and the kings would get 2 more pieces to their championship puzzle drafting future All-star Anze Kopitar 11th overall in the 1st round. The team would get arguably its most important piece of the future Stanley cup team when they selected premier goaltender Jonathan Quick 72nd overall in the 3rd round. The 2007 NHL draft saw the kings take future key contributors Alec Martinez and Dwight King. In March of the 2009 season the kings traded for 2006 cup champion Justin Williams in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. In the 2008 entry draft the kings would go on to select a franchise cornerstone on the blue line when they drafted Drew Doughty 2nd overall. The kings were getting pieces throught the draft and slowly building a winner. The 2009-2010 saw  the Kings return to the NHL playoffs finishing 6th in the west with 101 points. They would take on the 3rd seed in the western confrence in the highly skilled and Stanley cup contender team the Vancouver Canucks. The series was hard fought and the Kings actually had a 2-1 series lead at one point but the world class goaltending of Roberto Luongo and dynamic Scoring duo of the Sedin twins helped Vancouver jut get by the kings in 6 games. The kings knew they had something despite the loss Kopitar finished top 20 in the NHL in scoring and Drew Doughty was a Norris trophy canadaite. All they needed were a few more pieces and L.A would be a contender.                                                                                                                   The following season the king would aquire Grity Dustin Penner a Stanley cup champion with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. L.A would make the playoffs the next season as the 7th seed vs. San Jose Sharks with Anze Kopitar injured for the entire playoffs the kings would put up a fight and ultimately fall in 6 games to the Sharks in the 1st round. The front office had to back to the drawing board in the offseason. They would aquire Philadelphia Flyers star Mike Richards and sign Simon gagne . The Kings would get off to a good start with a 5-5-1 record to begin the NHL season. After the decent start the team hit a scoring drought which lead the team too a 13-12-4 record which to coach Terry Murray being fired. Not too long after that the kings hired Darryl Sutter a man who comes from a hockey family and winning pedigree. The kings were much improved under Sutter finishing at a record of 25-13-11. During that time the Kings would aquire Jeff Carter from the blue jackets and just squeezed into the Playoffs as the 8th seed. L.A would meet the canucks once again and once again they were favored heavily over the kings being the best team in the west with 111 points. Many analyst thought the canucks should dominate due to the kings lack of scoring. The kings dominated the Canucks and made quick work of them in 5 games leaving the hockey world confused. People thought the 1st round triumph was a fluke and the kings would face the 2nd seeded ST. Louis Blues who had a huge resurgence under Ken Hitchcock. The kings made even quicker of the Blues sweeping them in 4 games and put the Hockey world on notice that they were not pretenders. The western confrence finals had the Kings matched up against pacifi division Rival Phoenix Coyotes. The series had 2 vezina trophy canadiates matched up against each other in Mike smith and Jonathan Quick. Quick proved to be better as the Kings also make quick work of the Coyotes. So L.A knocked of the 1,2 and 3 seeds in 5 games or less as an 8th seed themselves. Their next and final task was too knock off one of the most iconic  goaltenders in league history in Martin Brouder and the NJ Devils. After two 2-1 wins in OT in Newark the kings came back home blew out Nj 3-0 the Kings were 1 win away from being crowned all they needed was 1 win in Newark. They didn’t get any wins in Newark and wound coming home for game 6 with the series 3-2. It would be the most lopsided win the Kings got the whole playoffs 6-1 and for the 1st time in 45 years the LA Kings were crowned the Kins of hockey winning the 1st Stanley cup in frranchis history. This was more then a championship triumph,this was one of the the most dominant,impressive historical runs in NHL history. The Kings became the 1st eigth seeded team in NHL history and in Sports history to win a championship. Going 10-1 on the road and defeating every powerhouse in the league. This playoff run definetly ranks among the greatest in NHL and sports history.








Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why the Charlotte Bobcats should draft Thomas Robinson

Its obvious that Mike Dunlap and the Charlotte Bobcats have a lot of issues they need to adress with NBA draft next week Coming off the worst season in league history where the team went 7-59. As a diehard long suffering fan, realist and basketball fan I think without a doubt we should draft Thomas Robinson with #2 pick out of that great Kansas basketball program.Thomas Robinson posses a lot of attributes that will help this team take steps forward to be successful. He is a guy who can run the floor and I believe under this up tempo style that coach Dunlap is implementing  Robinson will flourish. His body is cut from the Lebron James mold he is 6,7 244 pounds of muscle and pure man strength. His body allows him to be versatile allowing him to play the small and power forward positions. Also he has the ability to guard all 5 postions on the floor due too his body, athleticism and defensive instincts. Although Anthony Davis is the consensus #1 pick Robinson feels differently, when Davis was spotted wearing a black t-shirt that said “check my stats” Robinson said that “if you wanted to check stats Id be the number one pick easily-if that’s what you want to do”.He continued saying “I should get one of those shirts.I’ll get a shirt that says numbers don’t lie”.Although his offensive game still needs work Thomas Robinson’s combination of talent,heart,versatility and confidence makes him the obvious guy to select with the #2 pick for the Charlotte Bobcats.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

CHAMPIONS:Miami Heat

       As I sit here and type this the Miami Heat are 1 win away from basketball immortality and capturing the 1st championship in the big 3 era. No player or team has gone through as much scrutiny in NBA history then Lebron James and these Miami Heat. From signs that read “Quitness “The lying king” in Cleveland to the many Skip Bayless insults of the big 3 such as “queen James” “Lebrick” “Bosh spice” and “D-fer” the heat have faced hatred and adversity from all angles this season. Many times this year they could have folded but they as Erik Spoelstra so often says “stayed the course” and fought through trying times. Overcoming the injury to Chris Bosh and 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics. The Heat have displayed an immense amount of heart and tenacity. If they win this ring it will be a team accomplishment even though the other guys wont get many headlines in the Miami herald. You cant undervalue what guys like Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem,Norris Cole these guys have all played a big role in this playoff run and the success of it.                                                                                                                                             If we win im sure the magic city will be in a frenzy. No song captures the euphoria Heat nation will feel if we win this championship more then Sekajipo Genes, Roc Sol,Cha Cha-Champion (Miami Heat theme song). The song lets you know who we are and what we just accomplished in becoming NBA champs. In all honestly this song would be perfect for a championship parade. Enough of me talking enjoy the music from Miami’s own at catalyst hip-hop. LETS GO HEAT!!!!!    

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Top 5 NBA Snapbacks #1 (Charlotte Hornets)


Call me biased for this one being a queen city native but honestly nothing goes better than teal and purple in my book. I remember my earliest memories of dribbling a basketball of when i was 4 years of age i had that hornets logo on. There are so many special things about this logo let alone the hat. Now if you look at the logo you wlll notice the hornets sporting white basketball shoes with the hornet skin on the bottom.Look at the hands with the Michael Jackson like white gloves dribbling a basketball.The logo lets you know that North carolinas team as about buisnesss,especially if you look at the hornets chest it reads "Charlotte". The logo itself is genius but that teal/purple color way meshes like peanut butter&jelly or cereal&milk. Lets not also forget that while in Charlotte the hornets were among the best teams in the league led by Muggsy bouges,Larry Johnson,Alonzo Mourning,Kendall Gill. All of the aformentioned players gave all 24,042 Charlotte colisiuem reasons to cheer a reason to cheer on a nightly basis in the nba jam era.Although the team never won a championship there outstanding play left its mark on the city and you still see teal and purple roaming the streets of the (704). I have this hat in my closet and rock it on a regular basis although im still a Charlotte bobcats fan my heart still bleads teal and purple. Even rapper kendrick lamar has an affinity for teal and purple when he said "buzzin like charlotte hornets,when that tape dropped" in his hip hop masterpiece "wanna be heard".


Top 5 NBA Snapbacks #2 (Milwaukee Bucks)


So many things about this hat look right from colorway all the way down to that luminating logo.I honestly don't know where to even start. The color way being red and green really gives the hat that Christmas feel,kinda like its always Christmas in Milwaukee.Then there's the logo the dear sitting on top of the name spinning a basketball on his hand like hes curly Neal on the globetrotters or something. although this logo is a throwback or "hardwood classic" the bucks went back to the red and green colorway with lesser cooler looking modernized logo.If you look from a distance it looks like the deer is kissing the basketball its kinda like he is trying to tell you that he has love for the game of basketball,ands why wouldn't he? The bucks played the best basketball in franchise history with this logo winning the teams only franchise in 1971. They became the quickest expansion team to ever capture a championship in 1971 led by the likes of Oscar Roberston,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Dandridge. This hat is one of my favorites by Mitchell&ness (even though i don't own one) ad any real hat lover should have.Even Cali swag district said "I'm no B.Jennings getting Milwaukee bucks"




Top 5 NBA Snapbacks #3 (Golden State Warriors)


  there are many proud franchises in the NBA and even though though warriors have fallen on hard times that hasn't stopped the bay area faithful from wearing snap backs like this proudly. I love the warriors logo its my favorite logo in the NBA today. It features the more modernized version of the gsw logo which has the golden gate bridge so it gives the hat a presence and it lets you know where the warriors play.Then it also sports that royal blue and gold that Wilt,Rick Barry,Cris Mullin all wore so proudly. I gotta admit i have warriors hat myself i have the older version but as a basketball fan i gotta say i really want them to succeed because in my opinion they have the most loyal fans in the NBA.When will they be competitive? I don't know,but i can tell you   1 thing oracle arena will be decked out in royal blue and gold.


Top 5 NBA Snapbacks #4 (Seattle Supersonics)

Gary Payton,Shawn Kemp,Kevin Durant these are all names that i would assume hold a place in sonics fans hearts forever. I know the people in Seattle are most likely angry right about now seeing the guy they drafted in Kevin Durant playing in the finals right now. That's ok to be angry I'm a Charlotte Hornets fan so i know what it feels like. I love this hat for 2 reasons. 1.green and yellow is an awesome combination,i have Adidas in sonics colors. 2.i love skyline's so i love the fact that in the sonics logo i can see the Seattle space needle in the logo. i have a sonics snapback myself black base with the green brim so I'm a fan of the logo and i hope they get a team back. Until then all of those sonics fans just think about all the good times at key arena.



Top 5 NBA Snapbacks #5 (Chicago Bulls)

Over the past several years the old snapbacks from the 90s have made a comeback. Right now it’s very trendy with the younger demographic. It got me thinking because i have 20 snapbacks myself most of them being NBA teams so that got me thinking what are my top NBA snapbacks?    

Now i would never go out and buy a Bull snapback due to the fact that I grew up cheering for the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets and built up animosity for them for knocking my teams out the playoffs through the years. I have to admit though there is something iconic about that logo that Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman did to help with all those rings they got in the 90s. You also got to love how the black and red mesh together making the hat look real strong. Plus just think of the amount of air Jordan’s in Bull’s colors. It is the most popular snapback in every sport not just basketball. Even to this day that logo with the fierce look in its eyes remains iconic and leaves the older generation reminiscing about 6 championships, the flu game and that Alan parsons theme song


Florida Panthers: 1 Team 1 Attitude


Sports Analyst: Brendan Taylor viahttp://southfloridasportspulse.blogspot.com/


     May 17th 2010 is a day that will go down as a monumental day in Panther’s history. On this day the panthers hired Dale Talon the Chicago Blackhawks GM to make the tough decisions in sunrise. Dale is responsible for constructing the current Blackhawks team that features Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toes and won a Stanley cup. From day 1 this man has had what he calls a “blueprint”, he wanted to find guys who wanted to be a part of the Florida Panthers. So not to long after he was hired he calls in the 2 biggest players at the time on the panthers roster (Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss). Weiss decided to stay Horton on the other hand was shipped to Boston where he would win a Stanley cup with the Bruins the following year. Talon had begun looking for character guys to play for his club during the latter stages of the 2011 season he made a trade with his old team sending winger Michael Frolik for Jack Skille. After a 71 point season for the cats they immediately fired Coach Peter Deboer. The Tallon era had begun. 

     Nobody knew what the future held for the Panthers, but 1 thing was apparent Tallon was going to change the culture of the team. On July 1st 2011 Tallon hired Kevin Dineen as the new head coach of The Florida Panthers. Dineen coached the ahl’s Portland pirates where he won over 250 games and had 2 eastern conference appearances. Dineen was a hardnosed no non sense player when he was dawning a sweater for the defunct Hartford whalers. He was a good hockey player who could score but wouldn’t back down to anybody and brought his A-game every single night. Tallon certainly saw qualities in Dineen he wanted for the Panthers. Now that he had his head coach it was time to retool the roster,now that Tallon got his guy it was time for NHL free agency to begin on July 1st 2011.

     
     Before that even took place he made a splash on June 24th and landing playmaking Stanley cup champion defensemen Brian Campbell for Rostaslav Olez a. They also acquired sniper and Stanley cup champion Tomas Kopecky June 27th. On July 1st the Florida Panthers signed Jose Theodore, Marcel Goc, Ed Jovonaski, Scottie Upshall, Thomas Fleishmann, Sean Bergenheim, and Kris Versteeg. The next day the Panthers were at it again signing the tough guy Matt Bradley. All of these guys had playoff and Stanley cup experience to bring to the team. The experts criticized the Panthers saying they overspent on guys who are either past their prime or won’t make much of a difference. So as the season rolled around and experts made their predictions the panthers were picked to finish near the bottom of the east. The Panthers have pretty much silenced critics threw 41 games with them leading their division most of the season.    

     This Panther team has been very fun to watch because they don’t quit or give up. That’s a trait a lot of the previous teams never had. They don’t even back down to the big bad Boston Bruins who they scored a road win over in December 2-1. You can also make an argument that the panthers have 2 or 3 all-stars on the team and that’s encouraging for a team who’s struggled for so long. For the 1st time in a long time Panthers fans have a team they can be proud of. With 41 games left in the season the Panthers are decimated with injuries and the critics are talking again, but never doubt the heart of a champion. This feels like something special around this team. There’s a buzz in the air when you go to the bank Atlantic center these day. Hopefully 2012 is a season to remember for panther fans everywhere.                                                                

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