The Stanley Cup Finals have an East Coast vs. West Coast flavor to it. The Eastern Conference will be represented by the New York Rangers and the Western Conference by the Los Angeles Kings. What a series the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks played in the Western Conference Finals. It was one of the best NHL playoff series I had watched in a long time. The overtime games were spectacular and nerve racking to watch. I can just imagine what it was like for the two teams’ fan bases. I, of course, was rooting for the Kings due to my hatred for the Chicago Blackhawks, the Red Wings long-time Original Six rivals. When the Kings eliminated the Hawks it made sure there would be no repeat Stanley Cup champion once again.
The last back-to-back champs were the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. How about what the L.A. Kings accomplished so far in their remarkable run to the Cup? They were winners in three straight game sevens and won them all on the road. That is almost to the point of unbelievable if you ask me. The question is, do the New York Rangers have a chance of defeating the Kings? Of course, but it won’t be much of one in my opinion. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist will have to steal a couple of games for the Rangers to win. The L. A. Kings are so physically and mentally tough on the ice, I just can’t see them losing this Stanley Cup. The Fat Guy prediction is the Kings in only five games.
The NBA Finals are the two best teams from each conference. The Western Conference has the fossil-aged San Antonio Spurs. The average age for the Spurs is a robust 63 years old (just kidding). This team just keeps finding ways to win and make NBA Finals appearances. I mean, seriously, Tim Duncan has to be collecting a social security check, doesn’t he? Manu Ginobelli, too. It’s pretty funny when Tony Parker is the young buck. The Miami Heat and the big three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade would like to win another title. Who really knows if this is it for these three players as teammates. I personally think it is going to be their last together. This is a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals. The Heat were victorious last year. Can the Spurs get the revenge and redemption they are looking for this time around? Las Vegas thinks so, as it has the Spurs a slight favorite to win. I like the Spurs myself in this series. They realize this is their last shot at a title before rocking chairs start calling their names. Manu and Duncan will never get another shot at a title after this one, I don’t think. I like the Spurs in the revenge spot. The crystal cheeseball says: Social Security Spurs in seven games over the Burnt Out Heat Lamps.
The Belmont Stakes is Saturday and California Chrome will try to complete the last leg of the Triple Crown. Numerous horses have made it this far winning the first two legs — the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby — only to fail at the Belmont. The race is the longest leg going a mile and a half. It is a true test of endurance for sure.
The Chrome man will have to beat some horses that have not even run in the Preakness or the Derby. That isn’t fair, is it? These horses will be rested and fresh. A few of the horses have run in only the Derby or the Preakness not running in both.
Who should California Chrome fear on Saturday is the question? I think Wicked Strong will be tough in this race as he finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby. He will be about a 10-1 shot to win. He must also watch out for Ride On Curlin who finished second in the Preakness. Curlin will be about 5-1 in price on Saturday. Remember the horse Ruler On Ice in 2011? Me neither, to be totally honest. He was the last horse to win the Belmont after skipping the Derby and the Preakness. Tonalist, a horse I really like, will try to do it that way. Tonalist will be the Chrome’s biggest challenger on Saturday. The horse is fresh and he won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park back on May 10. I would love to pick California Chrome to win the Triple Crown, but I am going with Tonalist. I hope I am wrong as horse racing could use a Triple Crown winner. firstname.lastname@example.org.