2013 NHL PREVIEW: NORTHEAST DIVISION

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Finally, after months and months of everyone involved being morons, causing 113 days, 625 games, and the biggest outdoor hockey game in history to be cancelled, hockey fans can finally say “Game On!”  The NHL has a new 10-year labor agreement, and is set to start the shortened, 48 game 2013 season on Saturday, January 19.  Find out what you need to know about every team in the NHL for the upcoming season, this time featuring the Northeast Division.  Continue after the jump to find out where your team will finish.

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The 10 Worst NBA Drafts in the Lottery Era

The calendar now reads June. In the NBA that means it’s time to crown an NBA Champion. However among the biggest of NBA nerds, it also means it’s time to get ready for the NBA draft. We’re only two weeks and a few hours away from the 2011 NBA Draft. This year, it’s preparing for the likes of Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight to join the greatest basketball league on the planet that has us basketball geeks totally psyched.

Wait, what?

By Peter Christian

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Stanley Cup MVP Declines Obama White House Visit Due to Political Differences

Saturday’s Three Stars: Bruins Top Hawks in Cup Champs Bowl

The last two Stanley Cup champions met at the United Center on Saturday night, but it was Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins who had the last laugh as they beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout. Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane scored goals for the Hawks, and Tim Thomas made 27 saves and stopped all three Chicago shootout attempts to grab the victory for the defending champs.

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2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Preview

 

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2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals

Vancouver Canucks  vs  Boston Bruins

 

With the Memorial Day weekend past, it is officially summer around these parts.  And the best way to celebrate is with the Coolest Game on Earth.  While the rest of the league gets ready for the NHL Draft, the Stanley Cup Finals start Wednesday night in Vancouver as the Canucks try and bring home their first ever Stanley Cup.  Their opponent is the Boston Bruins, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League who has an historic pedigree, but have struggled to win titles in the modern era.  Will the Canucks win their first Cup in their 40 year history and return the hardware to Canada?  Will the Bruins end their 39 year drought and win their sixth title in franchise history?  As the NHL commercials say, “History will be made.”  At the end of this series, a new chapter will be engraved into history.  Get everything you need to get ready for the Stanley Cup Finals, including information on both teams,  match ups to watch for, and predictions, all after the jump.

 

Bryan Vickroy

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Alley-OOP & the SCOOP on what’s going on Around the NBA Hoop:

 2009 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Special Edition

By: Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson

 The 2009 NBA season has been exciting, and it’s been a joy to see NBA players and teams emerge. The Western Conference, as far as seeding, was a dog fight until the last regular season game. And the Eastern Conference has been dominated by the Cavaliers. The emergence of this young Portland Trailblazers team has been encouraging, the improvement of the Denver Nuggets has taken your breath away, and the Lakers dominance has been unsurprising.

The first round of the NBA Playoffs is upon us and many are wondering- are any surprises going to take place? Well maybe a couple.

Without further ado, here’s the Scoop:

Eastern Conference

1 Cleveland Cavaliers (66-16) vs. 8 Detroit Pistons (39-43):

 On paper you’re intimidated by these two team names right? You’re thinking of the LeBron James heroics in the 2007 Eastern Conference finals when he scored 48 points and 29 of Cleveland’s last 30 in a double OT victory over the Pistons. Remember that game when Rasheed Wallace threw a temper tantrum? Yeah, that’s the same Rasheed Wallace but a different Pistons team who Frank Lucas’ed (“American Gangster” for the movie-challenged) their way into the playoffs. The team has dealt with a lot of internal confusion season with trades, and lineup malfunctions. But this team played so-so toward the end of the season.  The roster make up is a little different too. Chauncey Billups is no longer a Piston. Rodney Stuckey has stepped into Billups’ role and done quite well averaging 13.4 points per game and 4.9 assists per game.
 Oh yeah, but what about the Cavs? The 66-16 Cavs, own the NBA’s best record in the league and are expected to be crowned NBA Champions at the end of the year. LeBron James, the favorite to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award has been unstoppable this year and is averaging 28.4 points per game, 7.6 rebounds and 7.2 assists. But it’s not been just James doing all of the work, unlike in years past. He’s got a demolition crew to work with. Fellow NBA all star teammate Mo Williams has been putting in work averaging 17.8 points per game, along with center Zydrunas Ilgauskas who is averaging 12.9 points per game. Delonte West and Anderson Varejao are also plentifully contributing to the Cavs success.

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Although the Pistons are aging, don’t expect this series to be an easy one for the Cavs. The Pistons have always delivered when looked down upon. Don’t you remember the 2004 NBA Finals when they beat a Lakers team with Kobe, Karl Malone, Shaq and Gary Payton? However I still see this series as Cleveland’s.

Prediction: Cavs win in 6

2 Boston Celtics (62-20) vs. 7 Chicago Bulls (41-41):


 Is Kevin Garnett playing? That’s what everyone in Beantown wants to know. But the misconception is that Garnett’s status in the series predicates the Celtics success. Let’s not forget that there are 2 All Stars in the starting lineup in Ray Allen and 2008 NBA Finals NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce who are more than capable of taking over games themselves. And Boston is 18-7 this year without KG. What is most impressing is the developing maturity of former LSU standout Glen Davis in Kevin Garnett’s absence. Davis has stepped up where it has mattered most (in the interior) since Kevin Garnett’s injury on February 19 against the Utah Jazz.

Cal-Berkley product Leon Powe will also be a key contributor in this series. Let’s not forget that the Celtics also signed Mikki Moore and Brooklyn, NY legend Stephon Marbury for a reason. This team will be okay in the first round.


 The Chicago Bulls, however are no sleepers. The Bulls, considered underachievers last year nabbed Derrick Rose, a Chicago native in the 2008 NBA Draft from Memphis. Rose has had a phenomenal NBA season averaging, 16.8 points per game and 6.3 assist per game, and garnering serious consideration as this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year. The Bulls season gained some serious upside when they organization made two trades at the trading deadline  and acquired John Salmons, Brad Miller and Tim Thomas.
 Yet exciting to watch, this team will not have enough power to defeat a well oiled machine in the Celtics.

3 Orlando Magic (59-23) vs. 6 Philadelphia 76ers (41-41):


 This is the iffy game. Philadelphia’s talent is not reflected in this 41-41 record. The team should be holding rosary beads and saying 100 Hail Mary’s somewhere in a church on the Mainline of Philadelphia thankful that they are in the playoffs. This team struggled at the end of the season as they were trying to find their way with new players. Subsequently, Mo Cheeks was fired and Tony DiLeo took the helm as interim coach of the Sixers. Point guard Andre Miller did a heck of a job with this team. The former University of Utah star averaged 16.3 points per game with an impressive 6.3 assist per game. Lou Williams also strung together some stellar games this season for them.

The 59-23 Magic had a stellar season. They’re led by All-Star Center Dwight Howard who leads the NBA in double doubles, averaging a whopping 20.6 and 13.8 rebounds per game. They also have Hedo Turkoglu who has had a great season and all-star Rashard Lewis who’s benefited greatly in Stan Van Gundy’s offense. Let’s not forget point guard Rafer Alston who was acquired before the NBA trading deadline and saved the Magic from having a not-so great season after St. Joe’s product Jameer Nelson was sidelined with a dislocated right shoulder.

Philadelphia is still the favorite, because Orlando has some deficiencies. The primary concern is the severity of Hedo Turkoglu’s injury that he sustained against the New Jersey Nets a week ago. Secondly, how well with Rashard Lewis play after coming back from his bone bruise injury.

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These two teams do match up very well. They both play run and gun and up tempo offense. The point guard matchup between Rafer Alston and Andre Miller will be very exciting to watch. Let’s not forget the swingman battle between Andre Iguodala and rookie Courtney Lee. The difference maker in this game will be how well Dwight Howard plays and collectively how Sixers centers Samuel Dalembert and Theo Ratliff handle Howard.
 In the end I still believe that the Sixers have the upper hand because they are simply a tougher and rugged team.

Prediction: Sixers in 7


4 Atlanta Hawks (47-35) vs. 5 Miami Heat (43-39):


 This game is also Must see NBA TV. Nobody believed in the Atlanta Hawks last year, and they took it to the Boston Celtics in the first round. Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Al Horford and company have gotten better and shown people that they can play team ball under head coach Mike Woodson.

Dwyane Wade is playing basketball like it is going out of style. The 2006 NBA Finals MVP has been putting on a clinic nightly. His stat line: 30.2 points per game, 5 rebounds per game and 7.5, makes you wonder (like Stevie) is it the shoes?

First year Heat Coach, Erik Spoelstra, has done a phenomenal job in guiding this young team to success. He’s young, inexperienced, but hungry for success. I still look for the Hawks to have the better hand.

Prediction:  Hawks in 7