overrated

Who are the Most Overrated NBA Players 2014-2015 season

The NBA is full of big names; however, sometimes players can become well known without actually being that good. These overrated players tend to make a lot of money even though no one can really explain why. Here’s a list of the most overrated players in the NBA for this coming season:

Deron Williams: Williams averaged only 14.3 points per game and 6.1 assists per game this season with the Brooklyn Nets. These numbers would be great for a point guard coming off the bench, but Williams is a starter and making almost $20 million a season. The Nets would be better off trading him, but Williams’s huge contract and sad performance makes him very unattractive to potential teams.

Chandler Parsons: For a small forward making about $14 million a season, 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game just does not cut it. Parsons simply does not produce well enough to earn the money he is making. There is a reason the Houston Rockets got rid of him this season despite having the cap room to be able to keep him.

Josh Smith: Smith has been in the NBA for 10 seasons, yet his style of play has not improved at all. Smith shoots less than 30 percent from beyond the arc and less than 55 percent from the free throw line. That’s right—Smith makes over $13 million a season and he can barely hit a free throw.

Dwight Howard: Howard puts up great numbers pretty consistently with the Houston Rockets, but what he lacks is leadership. Howard does not seem to have the passion and drive to lead a team to a championship. The Rockets have a good team, but they lack the veteran leadership that Howard is expected to provide. Until he gets an attitude adjustment, Howard will never be a legend.

Tony Allen: Allen may be one of the best defenders in the NBA, but he simply cannot play offense. He is a big reason for the Memphis Grizzles offensive struggles this past season. Allen averaged only 9 points per game this past season while making less than 25 percent of his three point shots and only 62.8 percent of his free throws.

O.J. Mayo: Mayo brought nothing but confrontations with the head coach and sub-par effort to the Milwaukee Bucks this season. Mayo averaged under 12 points a game and clearly was unhappy with his new team. Hopefully a new coach and the addition of Jabari Parker will encourage Mayo to try a little harder this season.

Carmelo Anthony: Anthony is without a doubt a very exciting player to watch, and the fans in New York will surely continue to fill the stands to see him play. However, Anthony is about to make $22 million this coming season; and he has a hard time leading his team to the playoffs. Anthony puts up large numbers, but until he steps up as a leader on the Knicks the team will continue to lose.

BY: Chris M.

underatted

Who Are Most Underrated NBA Players entering the 2014-15 Season

Every basketball fan knows who LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are, but many less dedicated fans probably would not recognize a smaller name player such as Marquis Teague. Many of these players hold their teams together; however, go unnoticed to the common basketball fan. Here’s a list of the most underrated, unappreciated players in the NBA for this coming season:

Mirza Teletovic: At Brooklyn Nets games, Teletovic lighting up the court with his spot on shooting is a common sight; however, unless you are a big Nets fan you have probably never heard of him. Teletovic is a matchup problem for defenders because he can knock down shots from basically anywhere on the court—especially from behind the ark.

Anderson Varajeo: Varajeo is a fan favorite in Cleveland—he is an exciting player to watch, a terrific offensive and defensive rebounder, and a top-notch rim protector. He is an all-around team player and one of LeBron’s favorite teammates, and in James’s absense he has provided the veteran leadership the Cavaliers needed. He is a big reason that Cleveland improved every year after James left.

Luis Scola: Scola has played for three teams and seems to fly under the radar on each one. Scola has plays a good amount coming off the bench, and is very efficient with the time he gets on the court. His overall numbers have dropped slightly with the Indiana Pacers since he does not get as much playing time as he used to, but he is still a terrific inside shooter and team player.

Larry Sanders: Sanders is arguably the best shot blocker in the NBA, and his injury problems this past season were a big part of Milwaukee’s horrible record. With Sanders healthy and Jabari Parker joining the squad, the Bucks should see some decent improvements this season.

Omer Asik: The New Orleans Pelicans acquired the big man from the Houston Rockets this offseason, and he should prove to be a great addition to the team. Asik has always struggled on the offensive side of the ball, but he has improved significantly as his career has progressed, and he has always been a great defender in the NBA. Now that he will be playing alongside Anthony Davis his talent may start to be recognized.

Nick Collison: Anyone that watches the Oklahoma City Thunder regularly could tell you that Collison is one of the hardest workers in the NBA. Although he does not score much, Collison hustles on every play and is one of the better defenders in the league. The Thunder can always count on him for an energy boost late in the game.

Chris Bosh: Bosh may have been part of Miami’s “Big 3″; however, he was always the least respected of the three guys. With LeBron leaving the Miami Heat, Bosh will be the go to guy in Miami this season; so he will be putting up the kind of numbers he used to with the Toronto Raptors and hopefully earn the respect he deserves as a super star in the NBA.

BY: Chris M.

Lakers Tickets

Toughest Games for Lakers in 2014-2015 Schedule

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering a 2014 – 2015 season full of mysteries and question marks. Will this be the season the Lakers will manage to bounce back? Will Kobe be back at his 100 percent and how will the new stars of the team end up performing? Let’s have a look at the most significant games of the 2014 – 2015 regular season for the Lakers.

Lakers vs Rockets
The Lakers start the season with a tough game against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets, in the Staples Center on October 28. Kobe Bryant and his company will try to achieve a statement victory. The Lakers will once again host the Rockets on January 25. The only meeting between the two teams in Houston will take place on November 19. Lakers Vs Rockets Tickets

Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Lakers will host Lob City on October 31 and this will be a great test for them. The Clips are once again entering the season as strong title contenders while the Lakers will be looking to just make it to the playoffs. On April 5 the Lakers will once again play against Lob City with their championship banners raised. The Clips will be the ones to host their city-rivals on January 7 and April 7. Lakers Vs Clippers Tickets

Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Kobe will play against his buddy, LeBron James but this season, The Chosen One will be wearing the wine and gold once again. The Lakers will host the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 15. The two teams will square off against each other once again in Cleveland on February 8. The Cavs are the obvious favorites for the victory in both meetings. Lakers Vs Cavs Tickets

Lakers vs Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers will host the Los Angeles Lakers on January 5 and then again on February 11. Portland will enter the 2014 – 2015 season with many improvements on its roster. The Lakers will take on Rip City at home on January 11 and April 3. Lakers Vs Blazers Tickets

Lakers vs Thunder
One of the toughest opponents for the Los Angeles Lakers will be the OKC Thunder. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and their company are looking to make it to the NBA Finals once again. The first meeting between the Lakers and the Thunder comes on December 19 in the Staples Center and the second one on March 1, once again in LA. The Thunder will host the Lakers on March 24. Lakers Vs Thunder Tickets

Lakers vs Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have established themselves as a powerhouse in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers will try to take the Splash Brothers and their company down on November 1, in the Oracle Arena. LA will once again play against the Dubs on November 16 and on December 23, in the Staples Center. On March 16, the last meeting between the two teams will take place in Oakland. LAKERS Vs Warriors Tickets

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Update: The you can now purchase Lakers Tickets for their entire 2014-2015 schedule.

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LA Clippers Tickets

LA Clippers Big Games on the 2014-2015 Schedule

The NBA released the schedule for the 2014 – 2015 campaign just recently. Let’s have a look at the Clips’ schedule for the upcoming season and examine the most important games of the regular season for Lob City.

Clippers vs OKC Thunder
The season for LA opener is a derby against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder and it takes place on October 30, in the Staples Center. This will be the first out of the three regular season meetings between the two powerhouses. On February 8 the two teams will square off in the Chesapeake Energy Arena and the last meeting will be again on the road for the Clips, on March 11. Clippers Vs Thunder Tickets

Clippers vs Cleveland Cavaliers
The first time Lob City will square off against LeBron’s new company, the Cleveland Cavaliers, will be on January 16, at home. After acquiring both King James and Kevin Love, the Cavs are entering the 2014 – 2015 campaign as the strongest favorite for the title from the East. The two teams will play against each other once again, in Cleveland on February 5. Clippers Vs Cavs Tickets

Clippers vs Warriors
Lob City did eliminate the Dubs in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs but Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and their company met much resistance. On November 5, they will cross their swords once again versus Steph Curry and the powerful Golden State Warriors in the Oracle Arena. On Christmas Day, the Clips will host the Warriors in LA and on March 8 they will play once again versus the Dubs in Oakland. On March 31 the last regular season game between the two title contenders will take place in the Staples Center. Clippers Vs Warriors Tickets

Clippers vs Blazers
Rip City showed its teeth last season, as it reached the Western Semis. The Clips will meet them at home on November 8 and March 4. Rip City will host Doc Rivers’s group on January 14 and the 1st of April. Clippers Vs Blazers Tickets

Clippers vs Rockets
The Houston Rockets failed to land a third superstar this summer but they will still enter the upcoming season one of the strongest contenders from the West. Dwight Howard, James Harden and Co. will host Lob City on November 28 and again on February 25. Houston will travel to LA to meet the Clips on February 11 and March 15. Clippers Vs Rockets Tickets

Clippers vs Lakers
For yet another season, the Los Angeles Clippers will be the bosses of LA. However, the intensity levels will be extremely high when the two teams play against each other. The Lakers will be the first ones to host their city-rivals, on October 31. The two teams will once again square off against each other on January 7 with the Clips being the hosts and the last two battles of LA will take place on April 5 and April 7. Clippers Vs Lakers Tickets

You can purchase Clippers Tickets for all games of the 2014-2015 regular season now from Official Clippers Partner Barry’s Tickets with no service fees!

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BY: Chris M.

Clippers Announce 2014 Schedule

Clippers 2014 Preseason Schedule Announced

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Clippers Blazers Tickets

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Clippers 2014 – 2015 Preseason Schedule
The Los Angeles Clippers announced their 2014 NBA preseason schedule which will include Oct 7th Vs Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center, Utah Jazz on Oct 17, Phoenix Suns Oct 22 and the Clippers Vs Blazers at the Staples Center on Oct 24th as their last preseason game at home.

The Clip’s will hit the road for Oct 12th Vs Blazers at the Moda Center, Vs Jazz at the Energy Solutions Arena on Oct 13th, Vs Warriors at the Oracle Arena on Oct 21st and the Clippers Vs Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Oct 18th which is a great excuse to hit “Vegas Baby Vegas”!

Clippers 2014 – 2015 Schedule:
The Los Angeles Clippers will enter the 2014 – 2015 season as one of the top championship contenders. Their schedule for the upcoming season will include several difficult games. The Western Conference will be even stronger than last season. Amongst the toughest games of their schedule, the Clips will square off against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who eliminated Lob City in the Western Semis. The San Antonio Spurs will also be one of the most difficult opponents and teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers will be very tough to beat, too. In the East, the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be the two strongest opponents for Lob City, keeping in mind that the Indiana Pacers will be playing without Paul George.

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Updated: See the Clippers Schedule for 2014-2015.

BY: Chris M.

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

Lakers 2014-2015 Preseason Announced

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Lakers Vs Warriors Tickets

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Lakers Announce 2014 – 2015 Preseason Schedule!
The Lakers announced their schedule of 2014 preseason games which will include the Golden State Warriors on Oct 9th and the Utah Jazz on Oct 19th at the LA Staples Center. The rest of the Lakers preseason will be spent on the road where they open up against the Denver Nuggets on Oct 6th in San Diego at the Valley View Casino Center. The Lakers and Warriors square off on Oct 12th in Ontario at the Citizens Business Bank Arena then the Utah Jazz at the Honda Center.

The last three games Lakers preseason games are at the Honda Center against the Phoenix Suns, back to Ontario where they face the Blazers on Oct 22nd then off to Las Vegas where the play the Sacramento Kings at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Los Angeles Lakers 2014 – 2015 schedule preview
The Los Angeles Lakers have made lots of changes this summer. They will be a different team in 2014 – 2015 and hopefully, they’ll do better than the previous season. The Western Conference will be highly competitive for yet another season, and the Lakers’ schedule includes lots of very difficult games. LA’s main target will be a playoff berth. The Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers will be the top contenders from the West. The Lakers will be fighting for a playoff ticket so they will fight against teams like the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies for a spot within the top eight ones.

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You can purchase Lakers Tickets for all games at the Staples Center with No Service Fees or Handling Charges. Barry’s Tickets has been serving Los Angeles and Lakers Fans since 1985.

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Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the Staples Center
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Updated: The NBA Announced the Lakers Schedule for 2014-2015 .

You can follow Chris Cabrera on G+ or Twitter for tiny bits of wisdom.

Josh-Beckett

Is Beckett likely out for the season?

In the Dodgers recent series victory over the Angels in the freeway series they received a much needed strong performance from veteran right-hander Dan Haren who gave up no earned runs in seven and one third innings pitched, after retiring the first fifteen batters he faced. Haren’s quality start came on the heels of five consecutive poor outings that left many questioning his spot in the rotation. Haren’s effort gave the Dodgers faithful some faith in his ability down the stretch, quieting some of the critics who questioned why the Dodgers didn’t acquire a big name starting pitcher at the recent trade deadline.

The positivity around Haren’s solid performance was short-lived with reports that veteran starter Josh Beckett may be out for the season after being placed on the fifteen day DL with a hip impingement and groin strain. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com this may be the end of the road for Beckett who reported that the right-hander has a torn labrum and cysts in his left hip. The injury reportedly won’t heal without surgery with Gurnick reporting that teammates feel Beckett might retire. Beckett was viewed by many as the logical 4th starter in the playoffs after putting together an outstanding season. Beckett was 6-6 on the year but his record didn’t reflect how strong of a season he put together. After starting the year with a no-hitter, Beckett was consistently good all season with a 2.88 ERA. It was a great comeback for a pitcher who had struggled the last couple of seasons.

With Beckett likely out the Dodgers acquired Roberto Hernandez from the Philadelphia Phillies for two players to be named later. Hernandez, who used to go by the assumed name Fausto Carmona when he was a member of the Cleveland Indians, made an immediate start in Beckett’s spot in the rotation on Friday versus the Brewers. Carmona pitched well, giving up just two earned runs in six innings, retiring the last seventeen batter he faced. Manager Don Mattingly inexplicably batted Justin Turner for Hernandez in the top of the seventh, because the Dodgers were down 2-1, even though the starter had tossed just 65 pitches. The Dodgers evened the score at two in the seventh only to see the Brewers blow the game open in the bottom of the seventh, helped by a defensive miscue by Turner.

Two days after acquiring Hernandez the Dodgers finalized a deal with the Minnesota Twins for veteran right-hander Kevin Correia, in exchange for a minor league player to be named later. The acquisition of Correia won’t have a massive impact on the Dodgers rotation but it will give them another veteran capable of starting games or pitching in long relief, much like Paul Maholm, who was lost to the season to a knee injury. Correia, who has a 4.94 ERA this season, will not excite Dodgers fans, but he will give the team a potential better option in Carlos Frias as the emergency starter and long reliever. Chris M.

The Dodgers return home on August 11th for a three game home stand against the Brewers which will include Friday Night Fireworks Aug 15th, “The Natural” screening Aug 16th and Kids Lunch Box giveaway on Sunday Aug 17th. You can see the entire month of August Dodger Game Giveaways now. Dodgers Vs Brewers Tickets start at just $5.00 a ticket.

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Off Season Moves For The Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim Ducks TicketsAfter finishing with the second best regular season record in the National Hockey League but losing in the second round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Kings the Anaheim Ducks realized they needed to upgrade the center position in the offseason. In the second round series loss versus the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Kings the Ducks were overmatched at the center spot on the second through fourth lines. Looking to upgrade the position the Ducks struck aggressively the day before the NHL draft by trading for former Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler. Kesler, who had requested a trade earlier in the 2014 season, was one of the top trade targets in this year’s NHL offseason. The Ducks dealt forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and the 24th and 85th overall pick in the NHL entry draft. In return the Ducks received Kesler and Vancouver’s 2015 third round pick.

The Ducks gave up some talented players and draft picks but returned an elite plakyer in Kesler. He’s one of the better two-way players in the NHL and a former winner of the Selke Trophy, given annually to the top defensive forward in hockey. In addition to winning the Selke in 2011 Kesler has finished in the top five in the Selke voting on three other occasions. The 29-year-old Kesler, a native of Livonia, Michigan should be the perfect second-line center to provide goal scoring and grit behind the Getzlaf/Perry line. He’s scored more than 25 goals four times in his NHL career, including a 41 goals season in 2010-2011. Overall Kesler has notched 182 goals in his nine-season career.

In dealing Sbisa the Ducks gave up on a once-promising prospect and former first round draft pick who’s battled injuries the last few seasons. In order to get a player the caliber of Kesler they had to relinquish some talent, including dealing Bonino to a division rival. Bonino had the best year of his professional career this past season, scoring 22 goals and registering 49 points.
The trade is cap friendly for Anaheim since Kesler still has two years left on his contract with a salary cap hit of $5 million per season. If Anaheim can get the production out of Kesler that he had in Vancouver he’s well worth the price. The Ducks badly needed a second center like Kesler to make a deep playoff run and contend with a talented Western Conference that includes the defending champion Kings, a talented Chicago Blackhawks team and a big and physical St. Louis Blues club. With Kesler in the fold they should be favorites to contend for the Pacific Division and top record in the Western Conference once again.

In addition to trading for Kesler the Ducks also had the tenth pick in the NHL draft, selecting forward Nick Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes. Ritchie is an imposing winger, with size ready-built for the NHL. Ritchie has a reputation as a tough and skilled forward, someone who can potentially be a power forward in the future. In 61 games with the Petes this season Ritchie scored 39 goals for a total of 74 points. The big forward likely won’t arrive in Anaheim for a couple of seasons, but should give the Ducks a big goal-scorer when he does.

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LA Kings Preview 2014-15 NHL Season

LA Kings TicketsThe Los Angeles Kings have become the perennial cup contender their fan base has long dreamed of by winning Lord Stanley’s trophy two of the past three years while having a core of players both in their prime and under contract for the foreseeable future.

General Manager, Dean Lombardi, has created a locker room of talented focused characters surrounded by an organization built on a foundation of accountability. He spoke to the team camaraderie at the victory parade rally this past June:

“The franchise has now evolved to another level.[The fans], myself and my staff are now super-charged by another motivating force. Simply stated, to watch this group of men make a commitment to themselves, as individuals, to be the best they can be, and most importantly, their commitment to each other, that touches all of our souls and transcends their sport.”

Dean has become a cap magician who is now emulated by other franchises. He has an uncanny ability to target players who possess “team first” DNA coupled with on-ice success. Yet, under the new cap of $69 million for the 2014-15 season, Lombardi has put together a complete 23 player roster signed at $68,791,894 1 with other teams like Chicago, mulling over tough decisions in order to balance their budget.

Tickets for la kings gamesThe Kings stand pat with nearly all of their 2013-14 teams returning to defend their title. They have core players such as Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter locked up well through the latter part of the decade and last year’s spring addition of Marian Gaborik, has blossomed in to a 7-year cap friendly $4.875M.

Gaborik could have signed with other teams for bigger money but his chemistry with Anze Kopitar and his belief in the organization’s dedication to each other boasts that the Los Angeles Kings possesses the aptitude for continued success.

Jeff Carter paralleled his homecoming to Gaborik’s:

“You know what? The same thing happened for me when I came here. That’s what these guys do here. They teach you to do the right things, and I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

Though the path to Jeff Carter and the LA Kings first Stanley Cup Championship in 2012 had exalted such dominance; the journey of the 2014 Los Angeles Kings was a living testimonial of how perseverance and mental toughness are the bone and marrow of professional sports. Their resiliency forged broken and bruised bones into Stanley Cup silver.

They were the first team in NHL history to win three playoff games 7’s on the road.
They were crowned the ”Kings of California” by resurrection from an 0-3 series deficit against the San Jose Sharks- a fete only done by 3 other teams in NHL history- and by ousting the Anaheim Ducks in a 7-game display of back-and-forth offense.

Despite trailing 3-times, they took their prior playoffs season redemption against the Chicago Blackhawks by beating them in a thrilling overtime game 7.

In the Stanley Cup Final, they closed out 3 of their 4 wins in overtime against, all-world goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers, to again, ascend to their throne.

They were able to muster enough perseverance and resolve to crown their Stanley Cup journey with
another Championship.

So what does that mean for the expectations of the 2014-15 Los Angeles Kings?

The expectation is not a secret. The Kings must defend their crown and become the first team in the cap era to win back-to-back championships. Unless you count them as back to back FULL-season Champions (get your shirt via royalhalf.com).

Joking aside…

There is no doubt that the Kings have proven that they are a franchise built for playoff success.
However, during the regular season, inconsistencies in play and scoring prowess are areas the Kings will want to improve on.

In the past three seasons, the Kings have finished 26th (2013-14), 10th (2013) and 29th (2011-12) in goals-for amongst 30 NHL teams. The re-emergence of Jeff Carter (27G, 23A) and the addition of Marian Gaborik bolster an already fearless offense of Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Trevor Lewis, Dwight King and their two budding rookies, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson.

It’s hard to predict that adding a single player will nourish their regular season scoring drought, but despite sparse scoring how do they still manage to make the playoffs and bring two championships to the city of Los Angeles?

What gives, or better yet, what doesn’t give?

Their defense.

The reigning Jennings Trophy winners are a stingy team. Last year they allowed the league’s lowest average of 2.05 goals against per game.

Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Slava Voynov, Matt Greene, Robyn Regehr (if healthy) and, Stanley Cup goal clincher, Alec Martinez, account for their defense. The loss of veteran blue-liner, Willie Mitchell, to cap space and ultimately free agency, is a point of interest or concern, depending how you want to interpret it.

Mitchell’s absence may provide the opportunity for young talent like 6’4 Brayden McNabb to crack the roster, or allow the Kings to option other players with more NHL experience such as Jeff Schultz (re-signed) to fill in for Regehr or in back to back game situations.

NHL LA Kings GoalieThe play of goaltender, Jonathan Quick, never ceases to amaze. Though his numbers in 2013-14 (2.07GAA, .915sv %) found him 14th in the league, there is no doubt that the confidence he has in the team in front of him is shared by his teammates. (Reminisce about unbelievable saves from 2013-14 NHL here courtesy of KingsVision).

Martin Jones showed that he is more than capable to back up Jon Quick, with his 7-game winning streak and .934sv% and 1.81 GAA in 19 games played.

Finally, at the helm is head coach Darryl Sutter with returning assistant coaches John Stevens, Davis Payne and goaltending coach, Bill Ranford. Multiple NHL teams inquired about John Stevens for a head coaching position, yet he decided to stay in LA. The belief in the system in place in Los Angeles has everybody drinking the water. It’s not a matter of luck or fortune. It’s about attitude and commitment.

I’m reminded of a quote from Darryl Sutter from 2012 when asked by a reporter whether the LA Kings were a team of ‘destiny’, where he replied, “What’s that?” The coach makes no excuses for what he sees transpire on the ice.

LA Kings NHLIn 2014-15, who knows what records will be broken, which players will become legends or if the Kings will hoist Lord Stanley even that much higher. I do know that with this Kings team, you have to expect the unexpected and that is another piece of their history, their armor.

The Kings season begins October 8, 2014 where they will raise their second banner and simultaneously pour salt in the open wound of the San Jose Sharks.

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Chris M.

Chargers to open the preseason Aug 7th Vs the Dallas Cowboys

Chargers Vs Cowboys TicketsBy all accounts it’s been a good early preseason for the San Diego Chargers. This past Friday they finished their ninth day of training camp with very few injuries. Saturday the team held their annual open to the public fan fest with a record 18,000 fans attending the event at Qualcomm Stadium. Although the 18,000 was dwarfed by the fan attendance for similar events in other NFL cities (67,000 in Green Bay!), the attendance is indicative of the excitement from the fan base and the progress that General Manager Tom Telesco and Head Coach Mike McCoy have made in the last two seasons to rebuild the Chargers franchise. Those attending Saturday got a glimpse of a Chargers team that should contend once again for the playoffs in a touch AFC West due to a solid offseason that saw continued improvement had problematic positions for the club last season, like cornerback.

Qualcomm StadiumThe Chargers open the preseason on Thursday, August 7th when they host the Dallas Cowboys at Qualcomm Stadium. The opener with Dallas, who has one of the most passionate fan bases in the NFL and trains north of Los Angeles, should create a fantastic atmosphere for the opener. The key for the Chargers in the upcoming season is keeping the momentum they finished the year in 2013. The Chargers won their final four regular season games to finish the season 9-7 and then defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card round before losing to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional Playoff round. This offseason they improved the overall depth of the roster while keeping the veteran core intact.

Chargers Vs CowboysIt’s unlikely the Chargers face Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on Thursday night in the preseason opener. After offseason back surgery the veteran Dallas Cowboys quarterback has slowly eased into the preseason, playing in roughly half of the practices. According to the Dallas Morning News the Cowboys plan to sit Romo in the first and last preseason games, limiting his chance for re-injury while giving him further time to recover. Even without Romo the Cowboys will bring a roster full of well known players, including receiver Dez Bryant, tight end Jason Witten and running back Demarco Murray.

Cowboys Vs ChargersFor Chargers the preseason opener will be an opportunity to see some of the new players the Chargers added via the draft and free agency in a game situation for the first time. This includes cornerback Brandon Flowers, a former Pro Bowler, who the Chargers signed after Flowers was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs for salary cap reasons. Flowers will be joined in the Chargers secondary by the Chargers first overall pick, Jason Verrett out of TCU. Verrett is a talented but undersized corner, who should find a home as the Chargers third corner. Offensively the Chargers will have solid cohesiveness heading into this season, with the offensive line and receiving core returning. Malcom Floyd will be back from injury this season and should start alongside Keenan Allen, the best rookie receiver in football last season. Donald Brown, who the Chargers acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in free agency, will give the Chargers quality depth at running back.

Chris M.