Archive for May, 2016

The Blues’ Stanley Cup Dream Is Dashed

Posted in Hockey, NHL, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on May 29, 2016 by thelegendkil

 

St_Louis_Blues3@thelegendkil

ST. LOUIS, MO

The St. Louis Blues season ended in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals getting eliminated by the San Jose Sharks last week. It was a wild ride for the St. Louis Blues and especially for the fanbase, that grew as the postseason carried on. It was disappointing to see the Blues get this close to appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals and fell two games short. They were 4-6 at home and had the home ice advantage. The Blues just got beat by a better team flat out. The Sharks were more physical and they wasn’t giving the Blues much room to operate. The first two rounds of the playoffs the Blues were flying through the neutral zone creating several scoring attempts, sometimes controlling the puck at even strength and looking as if they’re on a power play. Well not this round. Then center Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks just owned the series scoring 8 points in the last five games of the series. As a whole he has notched 22 points in 18 games better than a point a game with a plus/minus rating of 3.

As the playoffs continue on without the Blues, they have some business to tend too with pending free agents. Unrestricted free agents David Backes and Troy Brouwer, both 32 years of age, and ranked 6th and 9th respectively by Frank Seravalli of TSN top 30 list of NHL free agents. I was also told that the Philadelphia Flyers have eyes for Backes and could offer as much as 25 million for three years. I could see him getting something like that; he had a great postseason and this was the most spirited I’ve seen him play since the 2002 Winter Olympics. Backes had finished with 14 points in the playoffs. He’s someone the Blues can’t afford to lose, but this could be his last chance to cash in. Troy Brouwer was second on the team with 8 playoff goals and he is in similar boat as Backes, we’ll find out in a couple of months how this will play out. Because, the Blues have to think ahead to 2017 free agency too, and head coach Ken Hitchcock contract expires next month.

But, I consider this a good season by the Blues for a few reasons. First, they appeared in only their third conference finals in the last 30 years. They knocked off the defending Stanley Cup and hugely disliked Chicago Blackhawks. Then followed that by beating the number one seed in the Western Conference Dallas Stars. The Blues were able to do this with a roster that had only two players over 20 goals or 50 points. They just ran out of gas. Two straight best of seven series caught up with them. The good that came out of it was the growth of the fanbase which is as diverse as ever. Quite honestly this might not have happened if the NFL was still in town. The Blues playoff run actually made many of us appreciate them more. It’s always nice to have playoffs outside of the baseball Cardinals, who’ve spoiled us so much with long runs into the start of the next hockey season.

The NFL’s Rigged High Stakes Game

Posted in Football, NFL, Sports, St. Louis Rams with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2016 by thelegendkil

Viva-Las-Vegas@thelegendkil

ST. LOUIS, MO

Well, well, well look what fell into the well. The latest NFL rumor about the possibility the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas has grown some legs. Now Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has come out and said that he wants the Raiders in Vegas. So you already know what that means. That means that not only this rumor has legs, it appears to be walking upright towards the 702 area code. Wow it was only just four months ago before the curtain was pulled down and the St.Louis Rams went back home, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said,”I want to keep our franchises in their current markets.”

First off that was a blatant lie by the commish, but I’m sure that wasn’t the only fib that has eased across his lips. Just for example, his stating that all three stadium proposals were not suffice to keep teams in current markets 48 hours before the decision was announced back in January. Then he followed that quip in the first week February which I might have found funny however, the quip was delivered by a guy whose credibility is below sea level. “If Al Davis was alive today, he would slap the league,” said Goodell. Honestly the NFL hasn’t been slapped enough. This cluster of madness happened on his watch makes him an easy target for angry fans but, he’s insulated by a handsome salary and greedy lust for money by owners that pay him to basically take all the public abuse and outrage.

Which brings me back to his boss and the real commissioner of the NFL, Jerry Jones. He didn’t want the Raiders in Los Angeles, he sure as hell didn’t want them in San Antonio, Texas. And St. Louis was never an option. If we didn’t learn anything from this stadium kenundrum its that what Jerry wants he gets. It was his power his influence that was the key factor in the Rams going back to Los Angeles. The St. Louis Task Force didn’t stand a chance in this rigged game. Or just go back when the NFL had realignment over a decade ago. The New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons were moved to the NFC South. And that makes perfect geographical sense but, when it came to the Cowboys they stayed in the NFC East. Why? Cash money homie. The Cowboys staying in the NFC East blatantly spits in the eye of geographical realignment. Jones wasn’t having none of that. He got his way, notice how all the other professional teams that play in Dallas are either in the West or Southwest division?

Now back to this talk about the Raiders playing footsies with Sin City, the one caveat to this is Jones want Raiders owner Mark Davis to sell the team. Jones wants new ownership in Las Vegas. And he’s not concerned about the gambling and all the other fun that’s available in a city that’s chalked full of tourist and transplants from other parts of the United States. Davis who gained control of the franchise after his father passed in 2011 has refused to sell the Raiders. I recently talked with sports talk show host Melissa Ferris from GirlChatSports.com on a recent podcast and she had this to say; “I would go to a game, I would go to many games to watch what teams would come. Having a professional sports team here is like you never hear that.” It’s sounds more strong to be happening this year than in previous years, our Mayor Carolyn Goodman she’s behind it 100 percent,” said Ferris.

moneyWhat about the price tag? The Raiders would put up 500 million, Sands Corporation 150 million, taxpayers 750 million and the NFL will contribute 200 million. Only 750 million in taxpayer dollars, again we are witnessing the NFL looking to solicit taxpayer dollars from people that are for the most part struggling financially. I saw a familiar line that went that the NFL is not going to leave free money on the table. Hell they already did it once leaving 400 million on the table in St.Louis. Whose to say it won’t happen again? And the for those that still wonder why the NFL didn’t just expand, the owners didn’t want to share the revenue. Something they will never admit, but they don’t have too. The NFL will expand or allow teams to move, when Jerry Jones says so.

Follow me on Twitter @thelegendkil

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Let’s Hoop! NBA Conference Finals Preview

Posted in Basketball, Sports on May 17, 2016 by A-Train

1463369664_conference-finalsThe A-Train here. Here is Robyn Browning with our NBA Conference Finals Preview…

By Robyn Browning, N The Zone NBA Contributor

The NBA Eastern and Western conference final series are set with the two #1 seeds, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, only dropping one game between them in the semifinals to get here and their opponents, the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder finishing off their semifinal series with authoritative victories to show fans why they deserve to be in the finals. Can Cleveland continue their hot shooting and breeze to the NBA finals? Has Stephen Curry had the needed rest to play 40 minutes a game? Here are my predictions for the Eastern and Western conference finals.

Cleveland Cavaliers (1) vs. Toronto Raptors (2)

Cleveland wins if they stay aggressive offensively with outstanding three-point shooting in the 1-4 set with LeBron James at the point. James must overpower DeMarre Carroll and possible double teams and make timely three-point shots in addition to his mid-range game. The Cavaliers have to and keep the Toronto frontcourt out of the paint and reduce their ability to out-rebound them because they have to respect Kevin Love’s three-point shooting ability. JR Smith was a factor in the semifinals, but he is a streaky shooter. He has to average 15 points off the bench in order for him to contribute to the team’s defensive effort.

Toronto wins if they play like did in Game 7 of the semifinal series. Their frontcourt has to bump and bully Cleveland in the paint, win the rebounding battle and score on second-chance points, and they must play with confidence against the Cavaliers, especially in Game 1, since this is their first trip to the conference finals as a team. Bismack Biyombo must convert on pick-and-roll plays and Kyle Lowry has to be efficient with his shooting since he will expend a lot of energy guarding Kyrie Irving.

Players to Watch: Cleveland bench (offensive output) and DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry backcourt (must shoot 40-45%).

 

My Pick: Cleveland in 5

 

Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (3)

Golden State wins if Stephen Curry doesn’t aggravate his ankle injury. They must have stellar ball movement to make the Thunder frontcourt vulnerable to foul trouble because they will have to chase Draymond Green around the perimeter. The trio of Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Leandro Barbosa is superior to Randy Foye and Cameron Payne of the Thunder so coach Steve Kerr must exploit the mismatch in talent to continue to score points while Curry and Klay Thompson are each on the bench. Although Thompson is known for his offensive fire power, he has to slow down Russell Westbrook on defense while his teammates limit second chance shots from the Thunder.

Oklahoma City wins if they use their length in the frontcourt to win the rebounding and scoring battle against an undersized Warriors frontcourt. Kevin Durant has to pour in points in spurts to compensate for times they having scoring droughts and Russell Westbrook has to use his speed to create points for himself and the frontcourt. The Thunder must use pick-and-pop plays with Serge Ibaka that leave him in the short corner to make three-pointers, reduce turnovers to under 12 per game, play with nothing to lose, and close out games for wins.

Players to Watch: Iguodala, Livingston, and Barbosa, and Thompson (continued leadership and 48% three-point shooting) for the Warriors and the big men of the Thunder, Steven Adams and Enes Kanter (rebounding and second-chance points)

 

My Pick: Warriors in 7

 

You can follow Robyn on Twitter. Her handle is @robynbirdfly.

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