Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NHL - Playoffs Preview

The 2013-14 NHL regular season is in the books and now it's time for playoff action.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to defend their Stanley Cup title as they face the struggling St. Louis Blues in the opening round in the Western Conference.
Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins (2010-11 champions) will be looking to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals after losing in six games to Chicago last year.
The sport of hockey is very unpredictable, especially when the playoffs come around and this year could be more of the same. There is good balance in each conference with six out of the eight playoff teams in the West getting 100 or more points this season. In the East, four of the teams totaled 100 points or more. Boston and Anaheim are the top seeds in their respective conferences this year.
Having a hot goaltender always works wonders for a team in the post-season as well and the Bruins have the great Tuukka Rask in the nets while Chicago boasts Corey Crawford, who led the way for the Blackhawks last year. Not to be over looked is Ryan Miller with the St. Louis Blues and Gold Medal goaltender (from Canada) Carey Price with the Montreal Canadiens, who along with the Detroit Redwings, took three of four games against the Bruins this season.
Look for some surprises along the way over the next two months as the teams battle it out and settle things in early June with the Stanley Cup Finals.

Here is a capsule style breakdown of the first round playoff matchups with predictions following, including the Stanley Cup finalists and eventual champions.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche - The Avalanche should bury the Wild. (Colorado in five games)
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues - This series could go the distance and provide some great excitement along the way with two of the best goalies in the NHL taking part in the action. (Chicago in six games)
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars - This could be a surprise in the making if the Ducks take the Stars too lightly. Beware!  (Anaheim in six games)
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings - The Kings could very well crown the Sharks in this opening round series. (Los Angeles in seven games)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Detroit Redwings vs. Boston Bruins - The Bruins have shown to be the best team in the NHL during the regular season ... now they must prove it in the post-season. (Boston in six games)
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - The Canadiens have been one of the hotter teams in the NHL down the stretch. (Montreal in six games)
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - This could be over in a real hurry. (Penguins in five games)
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers - Two fierce rivals go at each other in what could be the best opening round series of the playoffs. (Philadelphia in seven games)

The rest of the way . . .

WEST                                                                                  EAST
Chicago over Colorado in seven games                               Montreal over Boston in six games
Los Angeles over Anaheim in seven games                         Pittsburgh over Philadelphia in six games

WEST FINALS - Chicago over Los Angeles in five games

EAST FINALS - Pittsburgh over Montreal in six games




 



                                                   






      STANLEY CUP FINALS

                                                                           

                                      Pittsburgh Penguins over Chicago Blackhawks in seven games








A Message To The Oligarchic Society

Hey Corporate America, today is April 15th, otherwise known as Tax Day ... so here's a message from Uncle Sam!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Republicans Have Blood On Their Hands

 This is a follow up to a recent post regarding Florida governor Rick Scott's refusal to accept federal funds from the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) and the death of a Florida woman named Charlene Dill as a result of the petty politics displayed by Scott and other GOP leaders in states around the United States of America.
It is worth a watch as Free Speech TV and radio talk show Thom Hartmann describes the situation that took place on this matter.




Sunday Stew of Topics

For the first time in quite some time, here's a heaping of some "Sunday Stew" on a far range of topics  . . . . .


The Illinois race for governor is certainly heating up as embattled incumbent Pat Quinn (Democrat) and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner, a vulture capitalist who has never held any kind of public office and who made his fortune off the backs of others just like  Mitt Romney, went at each other in the first of many debates until the election in early November ... stay tuned.

The 2014  Major League Baseball season opened up recently and from all indications, it looks like it will be yet another unpredictable season. (The Chicago Cubs are off to a rocky start once again while the White Sox seem to be improved on offense) The hottest team in the early going is the Milwaukee Brewers, who won their eighth straight game last night, and are off to a league best 9-2 start.

How about those Republicans in the U.S. Congress? Not only does Paul Ryan's budget propose to decimate programs that literally millions of Americans benefit from, but that Republican twerp from Wisconsin also wants to give the top one percent income earners yet another tax cut. The good news is that even though it breezed through the GOP controlled House, it is DOA in the Senate, where (THANK GOD) the Democratic party still has the majority control.

Speaking of which, what is with the so called "mainstream" corporate media mind fucking the American people about this November's mid-term elections? The way these corporate puppets are talking, the Republicans are already in control of the U.S. Senate.  God forbid that should happen!

The U.S. Supreme Court needs revamping, or at least the rules regarding said court. Since when are they the "kings and queens" of this land of ours? They seem to take up cases (Citizens United in 2010 and more recently this joke called McCutcheon) that allow the uber rich to take over our political process... Hell, why not just install feudal lords and allow them to call the rest of us "serfs" and just get it over with already.

If the Dems had any semblance of a spine,  and that includes President Barack Obama, they would tell their Republican counterparts to go straight to hell regarding the policies this country is enacting because the American people (for the SECOND TIME) overwhelmingly voted Obama as POTUS, in spite of the SCOTUS decisions allowing the floodgates of money to pervert the elections.

Another observation here is that the entertainment world (TV, movies, sports, etc.) seems to be on board with the mentality of the corporate masterhood. Just look at the shows that are on these days... Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, Walking Dead, etc. plus the disgusting trend for major media outlets such as ESPN giving regular coverage to crap like ultimate fighting and the like. Not to mention the fact that the sports stadiums change their names regularly as a different corporation puts it's name and logo on the front gate marquee.

Regarding sports, it should be interesting to see how this year's NBA and NHL playoffs go along. The obvious choice for the Stanley Cup Finals is the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues, although the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks will have something to say about that. In the NBA, look for a possible repeat of last year's Finals between the Miami Heat and the ageless San Antonio Spurs, the team with the best record this season.

In closing, how high will gas prices go this summer around the country (already at $4.09_9 here in Chicagoland area) as the Wall Street speculators continue to drive the price of oil up and up on futures? Don't be surprised if you see the prices shooting as high as FIVE DOLLARS A GALLON this summer.

In the meantime, get out and enjoy yourselves as the weather gets better around the nation and we head toward the good old summertime.

















Tuesday, April 8, 2014

40 Years Ago Today

It was 40 years ago today, on April 8, 1974 that Hank Aaron made baseball history by hitting his 715th career home run to pass Babe Ruth as the All-Time Home Run King in Major League Baseball.

                                                                     

UCONN WINS NCAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

The Connecticut Huskies are the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions after beating the Kentucky Wildcats, 60-54 on Monday night in Dallas, Texas.
The title was the second in the last four years for the Huskies and the fourth in the school's history.