Monday was a busy night for the record books. What’s Playoff Season without making a little history, right?? And what’s better than Playoff Season?!
“What do you like better, Christmas or Wedding Season?”
“Yes. The answer would be, um, Wedding season?”
Yes. I like Playoff Season better than Christmas. Don’t judge me. From the hardwood to the ice, last night was a channel flippin’ kind of night. I’m surprised the ‘last’ button on my television remote didn’t fall off. Where shall we start first? NHL or NBA? Competitive or ahem..non-competitive? Nail-biting finishes or ummmm..beat the traffic? I guess I shouldn’t beat up the NBA too badly if I want you to read about it….
But first, lace up those skates because we’re heading to the rink.
How many times have you seen the Nashville Predators play hockey this year? Or ever? Well, you should start because they are a lot of fun to watch. And talk about an exciting venue. Bridgestone Arena was absolutely rockin’ last night. The Predators ousted the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals (by the score of 6-3). The Predators are heading to their 1st Stanley Cup Finals in franchise history. They await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals (Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators). The Penguins lead 3 games to 2 and Game 6 will be played tonight on NBC Sports @ 8:00 P.M. Sydney Crosby is good at hockey. Anyway….
The Predators jumped out to an early 2-0 lead just 8:47 into the 1st period. After going up 3-1 early in the 3rd period, enter the “most dangerous lead in hockey”. This of course is the myth that having a 2-goal lead is a bad thing. Well, Monday night, it almost was. The Predators surrendered 2 goals in the span of 3 minutes and 52 seconds. Just like that, the game was tied at 3. The Predators, as they have throughout the playoffs, showed their resiliency. With 6 minutes to play, Colton Sissons completed his hat trick, putting the Predators up 4-3. They would add 2 empty-net goals, after the Ducks pulled their goalie inexplicably early (2:30 left to play!). Apparently, that is new school hockey. Where’s Steve Yzerman when you need him??
Did I mention the Nashville Predators are the #8 seed in the Western Conference?? Oh yeah. It is only the 3rd time a #8 seed has reached the Stanley Cup Finals. Immediately following the game, Michael Bosnack of Floral Park, an NHL enthusiast, said, “Nashville may be famous for their country music, but the Predators are slowly becoming the hidden gem down in the Music City. The pulse of the city runs through Bridgestone Arena these days.”
Predators coach, Peter Laviolette, became just the 4th coach to bring 3 different teams to the Stanley Cup Finals. That is an exceptional honor, but Laviolette made light of it by saying, “That probably means I’ve been fired a lot.” Laviolette should be proud of his team. They have only lost once at home in the playoffs. For now, they celebrate!!
The Golden State Warriors Won aga…….
Man, I sound like a broken record. I can picture the millennials now: What’s a record? Can I swipe it to the left?? Can I post about it right now???
NO. You can’t. Just show up for work on time.
Anyway, the Golden State Warriors won again by double digits (129-115), sweeping the San Antonio Spurs. This not only completed the sweep of the Western Conference Finals but of the entire playoffs!! This hasn’t happened since the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers swept their way to the NBA Finals. The Lakers accomplished this in 11 games because the 1st round was previously a best-of-five series. The Warriors became the 1st team to win 12 consecutive games to start the playoffs and to also sweep three 7-game series in one playoffs. And now, they will wait for Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to quit messin’ around and dispose of the Boston Celtics already.
While the Warriors were busy steamrolling the Spurs, fans seemed more preoccupied with paying homage to Manu Ginobili. The soon to be 40 year-old most likely put on his Spurs’ jersey for the last time. Ginobili was the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. That’s the 2nd to last pick in the draft for those of you keeping score at home. Ginobili played internationally for a few years before entering the league in 2002. And the rest, as they say, is history. 15 NBA seasons and 4 NBA Championships later, Ginobili will more than likely be ‘hangin’ it up’. He will go down as one of the best international players to ever play in the NBA. His high energy and pesky style of play made him a staple as the 6th man on the Spurs’ dynasty of the past decade and a half. Thanks for the good times Manu.
What were you watching last night? The NBA Playoffs, the NHL Playoffs, or something weird I’ve never heard of before? Let me know in the comment section below.
Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!