The Blackhawks made their third trip in six years to the White House and the day was filled with some memorable moments.
Here are two of my favorites.
OBAMA SAYS HE’S THE BLACKHAWKS LUCKY CHARM: “Before I was President, you, the Blackhawks, had gone almost half a century without seeing this thing,” Obama said pointing at the Cup. “Now, you’ve got the hat trick, so I think it’s pretty clear the luck I’ve brought to this team.”
OBAMA TOOK TIME TO GIVE SHOUT OUTS TO TWO UNSUNG HEROES: Obama took time to specifically call out Kimmo Timonen and Scott Darling. Specifically calling out Darling’s grit and kindness, “I like to think that reflects something about our city, our Chicago. It’s a very American thing to do,” Obama said. Also in his speech, Obama applauded Timonen for sticking with hockey through everything he’s been through, and getting to retire finally winning a Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawks are 38-18-5 and sit in first place in the Central Division with 81 points. Is it too early to say repeat? Patrick Kane continues to lead the Hawks in goals (34), assists (49), +/- (23), and total points with 83. Kaner has been on fire this year and after all the offseason shenanigans it’s nice to be talking about him positively. Another Hawk that I need to talk about is Artemi Panarin he scored two of his three goals in the third period for his first career hat trick as the Blackhawks defeated the Rangers 5-3 on Wednesday. This kid is really coming into his own, he is second on the team with 57 points and continues improve every agame; I can his name as a finalist for the Calder.
The Blackhawks roster looks different than last year’s Stanley Cup winning team, but that isnt a bad thing. This team is younger and still has the fight to win and the rest of the NHL needs to look out.
It’s been another long and painful five days since the Blackhawks eliminated the Wild in the second round of the playoffs, viagra and the wait is finally over. The Western Conference Finals begin this afternoon, right in time to close out the weekend with the hottest team on ice looking to get one step closer to bringing my bff Stanley home once again.
It’s hard to believe that the playoffs are half way over and the Blackhawks just need eight more wins, yes just eight to be the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions since the 1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings.
It’s hard not to get excited, however, we still have plenty of work to be done. The Blackhawks next round opponent are the third seeded Los Angeles Kings. The Kings took out the first seeded Anaheim Ducks in seven games in the last round and they are ready to take on the defending champs.
The Blackhawks will once again receive home ice for this series, which makes me giddy with joy our city will be rocking; will you be part of it? The Blackhawks and the Kings squared off three times this season with the Hawks winning all three. Confident? Hold your horses folks, this is NOT the same Kings team, this is for a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Both teams will bring their A games and this is going to be a fantastic series.
Continue on for the must know details and players of the Western Conference Finals.
What You Need to Know:
The Kings are the team that won’t die, they have been down in both their series with the Sharks (0-3) and Ducks (2-3) and they came back to win both. This team is relentless and they play to the end.
Patrick Kane is on fire – he has six goals in 12 games and his confidence is at an all time high. Look for him to be great in this series.
Crawford & Quick
I sometimes repeat myself and this is one of those times. A HOT goalie can make or break you in the postseason. This series will feature two goalies who are on a hot streak. Corey Crawford has been clutch, however so has Kings net-minder Jonathan Quick. Look for a goalie battle in this series and both teams forwards trying to figure out how to put the lotion in the basket.
The Blackhawks have had five days rest. While the Kings will just have one day to rest those legs. Look for that to help our boys in game 1 and 2.
The Kings have been hurting on defense. The Hawks need to take advantage of this. The Kings Robyn Regehr who is a beast and one of the best in the NHL was hurt in Game 1 against the Ducks and hasn’t played since. Willie Mitchell was hurt against the Sharks; and hasn’t played since, either.
Key Players to Watch on the Kings:
Right Winger: Marian Gaborik: When the Kings acquired Gaborik they got a big player with all the right stuff. Gaborik has not disappointed in the postseason he has nine goals and six assists. He has found superb chemistry with his line and the Blackhawks will need to know where he is on the ice at all times.
Right Winger; Justin Williams:
Williams has been the breakout star of the Kings postseason if you ask me. He is a big time player and all he does is score and win game 7’s. He is a two way forward that can do it all and he loves to be on the ice for the big plays and big games and I am ok with that, he is very easy on my eyes. Actually a majority of the Kings roster is (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, etc.).
Center; Anze Kopitar: Kopitar is one of the best centers in the league and he and his line mate, the previously mentioned Gaborik, have been one of the best lines this postseason. Kopitar is definitely a guy who should get more credit, but I think he likes to fly under the radar. The Blackhawks defense will have their hands full with Kopitar he is the lead scorer in the postseason so far, the boys on the blue line will be busy.
Key Players to Watch on the Blackhawks:
Patrick “Mullet” Kane
Right Winger; Patrick Kane: The power of the “magic mullet”. I can sum this up in two sentences why Kaner is one to watch this series. He is on fire on the score sheet and his moves on the ice will dazzle even the novice fan.
Left Winger; Bryan Bickell: Everyone was worried when Bickell was slumping during the regular season, but not this girl. Every player goes through a funk and the only thing that matters is that Bicks
has started to surge when he needs to! Bickell is tied with Kaner on points this postseason and he hasn’t been afraid to use his big body. The Kings injured blue line will need to find a way to shut him down, if they want to stay in this series.
Defenseman; Niklas Hjalmarsson: Hammer has been the standout defenseman this postseason. No disrespect to the top two Keith and Seabs have been great, however Hammer has been everywhere in every play doing the small things that have set him apart. He is fun to watch and his willing to do anything attitude has Chicagoans smiling from ear to ear.
Western Conference Finals Schedule:
All times Central
Game 1, Sunday: Kings at Blackhawks, 2:00 p.m. (NBC)
Game 2, Wednesday: Kings at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 3, Saturday, May 24: Blackhawks at Kings, 7 p.m. (NBC)
Game 4, Monday, May 26: Blackhawks at Kings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 5, Wednesday, May 28-*: Kings at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 6, Friday, May 30-*: Blackhawks at Kings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Game 7, Sunday, June 1-*: Kings at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
It is go time and this is for a trip to go get Stanley for the second straight year. The city is going to be in full force, don’t be the one left out of the party.
The Kings are the team that refuses to give up with out a fight, they have been down in series 0-3 and on the brink of elimination each of their series and came back to win, sound familiar? These guys are not going to be easy and with two HOT goalies Crawford and Quick this is going to be one hell of a series. I predict the Blackhawks will win this series in seven INCREDIBLE games. It’s the Cup, I don’t have to say anything else folks?!?! GoHawks!
Missed a few headlines this week? Worry not, buy viagra I’ve got my finger on the sports pulse for you. Below is my weekly round-up of what’s trending or what’s coming up in sports: perfect for sports bars, salve cocktail parties, board rooms, and well, just knowing your week in sports.
LA Kings vs. Blackhawks Game 5 on Saturday night: The Blackhawks did what no one other team this postseason could do…win at the Staples Center during the playoffs. Even more impressive, they did it without star defensemen Duncan Keith. Chicago fans are now focused on Game 5 on Saturday night in Chicago as the Hawks are only one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals. No question it’s a must watch game: head out to your favorite bar strutting your Blackhawks gear, and get ready to cheer on the Hawks to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Will the Heat repeat?:The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs got underway on Thursday night with Game 1 in Miami. The Spurs pulled off a 92-88 win in the opener.
Game 1 of the 2013 NBA Finals from WashingtonPost.com
The Heat have proven all season long that back-to-back NBA Titles is their #1 priority and before the last series when they won in seven against the Pacers, had little difficultly getting through the playoffs. But with one round to go against a proven veteran squad, my main question is will all the additions that the Heat made in the offseason, like Ray Allen, Birdman Chris Andersen, and Rashard Lewis make a difference? Regardless, I’d rather see all the old geysers on the Spurs take back the Title from LeBron and Co.
Bruins on verge of sweeping the Penguins, up 3-0: Okay, so I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to this series if the Chicago Blackhawks weren’t as far as they are. But now that I am, I feel Chicago fans should too because, well, the next round is the Stanley Cup. The Pittsburgh Penguins were heavily favored to win the series against the Boston Bruins, but have yet to win a game. The Bruins snagged the first two in Pittsburgh, then Wednesday evening stole a double-overtime win to make the series 3-0. Will prettyboy Sidney Crosby make it close or let the Bruins walk to the Stanley Cup finals? Should be interesting.
Bears trying out Jamarcus Russell:ESPNChicago.com reported that Jamarcus
Russell‘s first stop on his journey to try and revive his NFL career will be in Chicago with the Bears. I sort of laughed when I heard the news. For those that don’t know, Russell was a No. 1 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of LSU to the Oakland Raiders and was a total bust. More recently he’s been working out with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia and trying to shed off the almost fifty pounds of fat that he’s put on since becoming a free agent. I would never give this guy a tryout. I really hope it’s a pity tryout, because I don’t trust this guy worth a damn or even as Jay Cutler‘s backup. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Bosch is the new name in the MLB:Anthony Bosch, ever heard of him? He’s the head of a wellness clinic Biogenesis in Southern Florida that allegedly supplied PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) to many MLB players. Jim Axelrod of CBS News reported that “as many as 25 players, including some big names that previously have not surfaced in connection with the clinic.” Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has already been identified with the clinic as well as Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun. I would love to know who’s next. Watch as this story continues to develop in the height of the MLB season. Could get very messy and wreak bigger havoc on a sport that has already been tainted by PEDs.
Deacon Jones passes away:I know most people have never heard of Deacon
Jones, but it’s a pretty important name to the history of football. Jones died of natural causes in his Southern California home at the age of 74. The former LA Rams player was apart of the “Fearsome Foursome,” and maybe the most feared of the bunch. Jones basically created the term (and now stat) “sack,” and even a new weapon in the battle of the line of scrimmage…the head slap. No doubt Deacon will be missed, he was one of the greatest defensive lineman to ever play.
Game 4 was a night of firsts for the Hawks. Unfortunately, cheap they weren’t the fortuitous kind. The Blackhawks were shut out for the first time this season, 2-0 at the hands of the surging Red Wings, losing their third consecutive game for the first time this season and are now in a huge hole with Hawks fans in full-on panic mode.
Look, I’m an optimist, but let’s be honest, the Hawks are in a bad place and the odds are against them. It was painfully clear in Game 4 that the Red Wings have gotten into the Hawks’ heads and have shut them down mentally as well as physically at the net, thanks to steel trap goalie, Jimmy Howard.
The Hawks now face elimination on Saturday night back in Chicago in Game 5, and although winning three consecutive games can, and has been done before, with the way the Hawks have played the last three games against the Red Wings, I’m not holding my breath.
Here’s what you need to know to bitch with the best of them come Friday morning:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
New look = no difference. Just like in Game 3 when the Hawks lost 3-1 to the Wings, the Hawks played a decent game on Thursday night, it just wasn’t enough. Coach Q even changed up the top line with Jonathan Toews, Bryan Bickell and Patrick Sharp, hoping to shake something up. The Hawks came out playing aggressive and had a few good chances in the first period, but the Wings were quick to move the puck out of their zone very quickly.
Penalty Kill Stretch Over: After a scoreless first, just minutes of the second period remained when Jakub Kindl scored first for the Wings, ending the Hawks’ 30-straight penalty kills with one second left on the power play, while Captain Toews sat in the penalty box, a place he spent a lot of time on Thursday night.
Captain TOWES-Man: Rarely do we see Caption “Serious” Jonathan Towes show much emotion, hence the nickname. The guy is usually cool and collected under pressure and a reliable scorer. Towes was a different man last night clearly indicating that the WIngs’ Jedi mind tricks have gotten to the Captain, holding him to another scoreless game and a record three penalties in the second period.
Wasted Opportunities:The Hawks couldn’t capitalize on any of their three power plays, in their final power play in the third, the Hawks had ZERO shots on goal. Not good.
YOUR TAKE AWAY PIECE:
“I just don’t understand it. A team that found ways to win all season long, all of a sudden comes up short when it matters the most. The Red WIngs found the perfect time to get hot and unfortunately it’s the Hawks that are helping them paint the perfect Cinderella playoff story.”
We’ve said it before – but this is REALLY it. Game 5 is Saturday night back at the Madhouse with a 7PM puck drop. It really is WIN or go home for the Hawks who are now faced with the daunting task of winning three straight to advance to the Western Conference Finals. It can be done, but it will take every single player on the team playing their best game of the season, and that has yet to happen this series.
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Check back in later today for our Game 5 preview and in the meantime, call your entourage, make your Saturday night plans and start praying to the hockey gods, because the Hawks are going to need every prayer they can get.
The Los Angeles Kings claimed Lord Stanley’s Cup last night at the Staples Center in LA with a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. And if you’ve been tuned out since the Hawks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs almost a month a half ago – at least take away these few points:
What You Need to Know:
This win is historic for a few reasons, cialis most importantly because it is the LA Kings first win in the history of their franchise. The Kings were established in 1967 in the second wave of NHL expansion. They’ve struggled ever since and have had only one Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993. If you have seen the movie Swingers, made in the 90s, that’s why the Swinger dudes wear Kings jerseys – hockey in LA was cool then.
The Kings are the lowest seed ever to win the Stanley Cup. Coming into the Playoffs as a lowly #8 seed (the last team to qualify for the playoffs in the Western Conference) the Kings defied the odds and eliminated all of the higher seeds before them to win in all.
The Kings won their first 10 road games of the playoffs setting a NHL record.
Will the Kings title win make hockey cool in LA once again? Can’t say, but it sure will help. The Kings have a ways to go before they can run in the same circles as the Lakers who have won 11 NBA Championships – but look what winning the Stanley Cup did for the Hawks here in Chicago.
Your Take Away Piece: “If any team deserved to win the Stanley Cup it was the Kings. As a true underdog and as a team that was written off by everyone heading into the Playoffs, it’s a great testament to what can be accomplished through hard work and with determination.”
What’s Next: Expect to see the Cup handed over between teammates of the Kings to hold onto for a few days just like it was in Chicago. Each team member gets alone time with the Cup as well as their name engraved on it. The Kings will be watched closely in the off-season as they negotiate salaries, trades and try to keep their Stanley Cup wining ensemble in tact.