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Parks Picks sports

Top 5: Players to Watch in the Blues/Kings Series

After tonights game seven match ups (Florida & New Jersey, New York & Ottawa), we’ll have a full schedule for the Western Conference Semifinals, including the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings. This is going to be an incredibly well-matched series (although LA won the season series 3-1), and hockey fans should enjoy the fast pace, low scoring games that are bound to ensue. While watching (on CNBC, i’m sure), I’ve got a few guys to keep an eye out for:

1. Andy McDonald, 10, St. Louis: I think it was apparent in the first round against San Jose that little McDonald (listed as 5’11…yeah, right) has quite a bit of speed. Scoring 4 goals in the first round and racking up 8 points total to lead the team, I can’t see him slowing down anytime soon. Look for him to be one of few who can get something by Jonathan Quick. Speaking of…

2. Jonathan Quick, 32, Los Angeles: That Vezina nod wasn’t a fluke – 26-year-old Quick is here to stay. His 1.95 GAA may seem in like with the Blues tender tandem, but it was through 69 games (Jaroslav Halak played 46, Brian Elliot, 38). Not to mention, he just held the President’s Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks to 8 goals in 5 games, maintaining a 1.59 GAA. He’s not your average goalie.

3. Jeff Carter, 77, Los Angeles: After a deadline deal sent former Columbus Blue Jacket Carter to LA for Jack Johnson and a first-round pick, it was apparent that what Carter needed wasn’t a big contract, but a set of line mates to help push him (Mike Richards, Dwight King). It may not have been his best year (21 G, 13A), but he hasn’t had a chance to explode in the playoffs yet. He will.

4. Scott Nichol, 12, St. Louis: Go ahead, call me crazy. Nichol is not cut out to be a first line top scorer, and he knows that. Which is why he is so solid on the fourth line. Averaging 9:19 on ice time (mind you – he’s a fourth liner!), this little guy is not afraid to make big plays in the defensive end, and is not afraid to bring the puck down the ice, regardless of who he’s facing. Plus, he’s got a little mean streak in him!

5. Brian Elliot, 1, St. Louis: I’m a firm believer in going with the hot (and healthy) hand, which is what Elliot has. With Jake Allen on the bench for games 1 and 2, Elliot can truly shine against one of the leagues finest. Between him and Quick, you can rest assured that there will not be a similar situation to that in the Philadelphia Flyers/Pittsburg Penguins series.

Who are you most excited to see this series?

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sports Uncategorized

Social Media: Pass or Fail?

We’ll talk about how terrible I’ve been at blogging lately later, but right now, I must address the Columbus Blue Jackets Twitter account. Nearly all NHL teams have one to run promotions, announce lineups, introduce players and press conferences – the typical sports team information. However after trading Jeff Carter to Los Angelas for Jack Johnson and some draft picks, the account owner has been addressing some of the most ridiculous, point blank questions I’ve seen.

 

 

 

Call me crazy, but as a professional organization, wouldn’t you rather ignore idiot questions from fans clearly upset with the original signing (he’s not good enouhg for a 10 year contract)? I mean really, “what’s a hockey?” There are questions as simple as “are you a man or woman” and “what’s your favorite pizza” being asked, as well as questions regarding Carter, Johnson and other hockey-related information.

What do you think? Are the Blue Jackets doing good? (I clearly mean off the ice.)

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Parks Picks sports

Top 5: Why Perron is the Ultimate “Added Value” Player

Saturday marked the return of St. Louis Blues forward David Perron, who missed 394 days with a concussion from a hit by Joe Thorton (as seen here). While we did lose his first game back, it wasn’t without effort – Perron scored the first goal. This 23-year-old is the real deal folks.

1. The numbers: OK, I realize you can’t discuss an athlete without stats. In his first three seasons with the Blues, he tallied up 48 goals and 76 assists, with a career high 50 points in his sophomore season. No slump for this kid. Prior to his concussion, he had 5 goals and 2 assists in 10 games. He’s two for two this season with a goal and an assist.

2. His hands: Talk about dangles. Perron has quick, skilled paws that allow him to rack in those numbers mentioned above. With Perron, you’re not afraid he’s going to screw it up like many other forwards his age. Coaches feel confident with the puck on his stick, and opponents feel intimidated.

3. His attitude: Have you heard ANYTHING negative about this kid? He has that just-started mentality – arrive early, play hard and have fun. Every post-concussion interview tugged at your heart strings because all he would say is how hard it is to be away from the rink. “That’s probably the toughest thing. You don’t get to come to the rink. It might sound weird but that’s probably the toughest thing…it’s not being able to skate everyday and be with the teammates” (via YouTube). So often pro athletes forget that their being paid to play a kids game. Perron is the kind of guy that forgets he’s getting paid.

4. He Tweets: Now, @DP_57 may not have the following of fellow player Paul Bissonette (@BizNasty2point0), but he knows how to connect with his fans. Whether it’s correcting the NHL for misspelling, giving other players crap about their following (@JackJohnson3 is giving out free Ferrari rides for follows, by the way) or just being generally greteful for what he has, Perron’s personality shines in English and French.

5. His White Skates. Seriously, who does that?