Monday, May 26, 2014

Go Kings Go!

It's Memorial Day at the Staples Center.  Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals between the Kings and the Chicago 'Hawks will be played tonight to a raucous, cheering and raucous crowd. I'll be headed over to my usual location in Section 315, and I promise to be loud.

I am confident the Kings have the right game plan in mind and the right players to execute it.  The Kings have been able to roll out 4 strong forward lines to the consternation of a Chicago team that has been unable, so far, to counter.  With a strong defensive scheme that includes a neutral zone trap, a strong forecheck and a willingness to sacrifice the body to block shots, the offense has been able to find the room to make plays and find the back of the net.

I can't say enough about the work of the two youngsters who have recently been awash with praise - Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.  They, along with veteran centerman Jeff Carter, have evolved into a serious scoring threat.  With the 'Hawks keyed in on the Kings top line centered by Kopitar, the emergence of this line, since dubbed "That 70's Line" due to their player numbers, has barrelled through the Chicago defense like they don't exist.

Of course, I don't want to come off as too overconfident.  Chicago is clearly one of the best teams in the league, so we shouldn't take anything for granted.  They also have the ability to explode on the scoresheet.  Hopefully, the Kings can continue to stymie the other 'Hawks players not named Toews; since, it's becoming more clear that we only find ourselves in the lead due to our ability to stop his co-stars on the ice.

In a photoshop stupor that formed as a result of Josh Beckett's no-hitter last night and in anticipation of tonight's game, I created a bunch of Kings fantasy Baseball cards - with a Dodgers theme.  Check them out below.

Most of the photos where grabbed from Juan Ocampo/LA Dodgers 2014 night at a Kings game earlier this year.  Go here to check out some Kings players in Dodger Blue.  Below is Kings mascot Bailey with former Dodger/current broadcaster Jerry Hairston.

The below card uses a pic from the @LA Kings twitter account.

Here's another @LAKings twitter photo - this time of star defenseman Drew Doughty.

Here are some more fantasy cards using photos from the @Dodgers twitter account.  On the left is centerman Anze Kopitar, and Captain Dustin Brown is on the right.

On the left is centerman Mike Richards, and on the right is goalie Jonathan Quick.

BTW, you should check out this great montage video featuring highlights from Game 3 created by John Bain on YouTube.

Video Link:

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Some More Josh Beckett Fantasy Baseball Cards from his No-Hitter

With the excitement of Josh Beckett's no-no still fresh in my mind, I couldn't help going a little photoshop crazy yesterday evening.  Thankfully, a slew of great photos were available online to help me out.  These first four fantasy cards use pics taken by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.  Check out those photographs here

My favorite has to be the one above.  I love how Beckett is framed with the games line score.

The next three fantasy cards used photos taken by the MLB Authenticator on Twitter.  Directly below is the game-used pitching rubber Josh Beckett used to get his no-hitter.  They have pulled it from the mound and authenticated it.  No doubt it'll be headed to a museum near you.

To the left below is the official lineup card used by Don Mattingly for the game, and to the right is the last out game ball from the no-no.  I love how the game ball has splotches of red Gatorade all over it - from the post-win celebration.

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Blog Kiosk: 5/26/2014 - Dodger Links - Beckett, Hanley and Manny Ramirez

An elated Josh Beckett is surrounded by his Dodger teammates after throwing his no-hitter yesterday, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
"It didn't sound very good," Mattingly said. "I checked with him this morning and he gave me the 'not good.' I know the [medical staff is] checking him out and giving him some treatment. At this point, I don't have anything on what we are going to do next. I'm assuming -- I don't want to talk [for the training staff] -- that we may go with an MRI or something."
If the Dodgers can somehow find room for Pederson on the major league roster, he could be an impact bat in the lineup. The knock against him has always been his struggles against lefthanders, but he's hitting .292/.378/.492 against them this season. "For starters, he's a lot more patient against them," said one scout who saw him this spring. "The change has been night and day."

Said Pederson, "Honestly, it really has been about being more patient. Not being intimidated by that sixth- and eighth-inning lefty specialist, and swinging at bad pitches to get ahead in the count. I'm waiting for my pitch and trusting myself."
“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization,”

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