Pick A Sport, Any Sport

yankees-at-indians

This is the best time of the year in sports. Football, Baseball, Hockey, and Basketball. It’s like Christmas in October….

NL Wild Card Game

Another Wild Card Game, another 3-run lead in the 1st inning. Thanks to Paul Goldschmidt’s 3-run home run, the Arizona Diamondbacks jumped out to an early lead Wednesday night.

Paul Goldschmidt is the 2nd best baseball player in the world.

They led by as many as 6 runs, before the Colorado Rockies came storming back with a 4-run 4th inning. The Rockies ‘kept hanging around’, as they trailed just 6-5 in the 7th inning. And then, Diamondbacks’ relief pitcher Archie Bradley did something unexpected. He hit a 2-run triple, providing insurance, with his bat. The Diamondbacks would go on to win 11-8, advancing to the NL Division Series. Now, they have the great pleasure of taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB Best Record). Yay!

The Dodgers had a phenomenal season, but don’t sleep on the Diamondbacks. They CAN win this series, and they will….

Diamondbacks in 5

You heard it here first.

WNBA Finals

In case you didn’t notice, there was a decisive Game 5 played last night in the WNBA Finals. The Los Angeles Sparks took on the Minnesota Lynx. The Minnesota Lynx may be the quietest dynasty in the history of sports. New England who?? Alabama who?? The Lynx have now won 4 championships in the last 7 years. They were led by Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore. Fowles became the 1st player in WNBA history to win the MVP in the regular season and finals.

NHL Drops The Puck

Speaking of things you didn’t notice, the NHL season started last night, with 8 teams in action. The Toronto Maple Leafs stormed out of the gate, dominating the Winnipeg Jets to the tune of 7-2. Interestingly, the Maple Leafs and Arizona Diamondbacks simultaneously took 6-0 leads.

There was 1 overtime thriller last night, between the St. Louis Blues and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blues nearly blew this one, as the Penguins came back from a 4-2 deficit in the 3rd period. The Blues would ultimately take down Sidney Crosby and the defending champs 5-4 (F/OT).

The New York Rangers open their season at home, tonight, against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Islanders open their season Friday night at the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Let’s Go Islanders!!

Thursday Night Football 

And then, there was football. Those who stay up to watch horrid matchup after horrid matchup on Thursday Night Football, are finally being rewarded. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the New England Patriots tonight. Expect New England, who I hate, to bounce back after last week’s home-loss to the Carolina Panthers. I’d say they’re going to blowout the Bucs, but a defense this bad doesn’t do blowouts. Expect Jameis Winston and the Bucs to put up impressive offensive numbers, but fall short of victory.

Patriots 31, Buccaneers 24

AL Division Series

New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians. That’s what I’ll be watching tonight. The Yankees have announced that Sonny Gray will get the ball in Game 1 against Trevor Bauer, and CC Sabathia will pitch Game 2. In a surprise move, the Indians will opt to hold their ace, Corey Kluber, until Game 2. Indians’ manager, Terry Francona, said he wants Kluber to pitch on normal rest. If this series goes the distance, Kluber will be available to start Game 5.

Game 1 is the game for the Yankees to steal. While Bauer had a nice year, the Yankees’ lineup will be pleased not to see Kluber on the bump. The Yankees will carry the momentum from a fantastic Wild Card Game into tonight….

Yankees 5, Indians 4

 

What will you be watching tonight?? Will the Yankees win Game 1 of the ALDS?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

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The Sports World’s Amazing Weekend

crosby

When it’s 95 degrees outside, you can either go to the beach or do what I did. Yup. I sat in an air conditioned living room and watched sports all weekend. As my Boston people would say, “That was wicked smart.” It was a good weekend to reacquaint yourself with the special a** groove in your couch, because the sports world was busy. Let’s start with the most important (but probably least watched) sporting event of the weekend:

STANLEY CUP FINALS

Following a bad loss in Game 5, the Nashville Predators were happy to head home. Prior to Game 6, the Predators stood an impressive 9-1 in their home arena in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Predators, the Pittsburgh Penguins handed them their 2nd home loss. The Penguins broke a scoreless tie 58 minutes and 35 seconds into the game, scoring what would be the game winning goal. They would add an empty-net goal 1 minute and 21 seconds later, securing a 2-0 victory. And just like that, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in 20 years to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Sidney Crosby (duh) won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the Playoffs) for the 2nd straight year. I don’t normally talk about shoulda, woulda, couldas..but ah..what the hell. The Predators actually scored in this game. Just 1 minute and 7 seconds into the 2nd period, Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a quick whistle. The goal shoulda counted, but we can’t go back in time. Also, Sissons and fellow Predator, Filip Forsberg, both hit the post in the 3rd period. That sucks! I feel for the Predators, as their run through the playoffs was fun to watch. Better luck next year!

NBA FINALS

No sweep. No history. Well, history was still made, just not by the Golden State Warriors. The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won a game (137-116), and they did it in historic fashion. When so many changes are made to the record books, a list is necessary:

  1. The Cavaliers scored 49 points in the 1st quarter
  2. The Cavaliers scored 86 points in the 1st half
  3. The Cavaliers made 24 3-pointers
  4. Lebron James recorded his 9th triple-double in the Finals (breaking Magic Johnson’s record)
  5. Dahntay Jones became the 1st player to get a technical foul from the bench in the NBA Finals (I don’t actually know if this is true – but I think it’s really funny)
  6. Lebron James passed Michael Jordan for 3rd all-time in points scored in the NBA Finals (trailing only Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

Heading into Game 4, the Golden State Warriors were looking to become the 1st team in NBA history to sweep through the playoffs at 16-0. If they win Game 5 they will still be in rarified air. They will join the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as the only 1-loss teams to win a championship.

All you Lebron fanatics can pump the brakes. Don’t expect the Cavaliers to hit 24 3-pointers and score 137 points again. You can also expect Lebron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love not to combine for 94 points again. The Cavaliers are David Wells. They are capable of throwing a Perfect Game, but they aren’t bringing home a Cy Young Award anytime soon. Expect the Warriors to roll in Game 5. 124-111. Warriors win another title. Book it.

U.S.A. VS. MEXICO

Soccer?! Yes. We are going to talk about soccer. Have you ever seen anyone happier to end in a draw before?? That is the question to ask following a draw between U.S.A. and Mexico on Sunday night. You’d think U.S.A. had just won the World Cup. The two nations squared off in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match. The match was played in front of 87,000 screaming fans in Estadio Azteca, the famed stadium in the heart of Mexico City. Michael Bradley of U.S.A. scored a shocking goal (from about 40 yards out) just 6 minutes into the match. But, thanks to incredibly poor defense by U.S.A, Mexico tied the match in the 23rd minute when Carlos Vela ran untouched for what seemed like 8 miles before putting home a left-footed strike from just outside the box. The match would end in a 1-1 draw. Maybe there is reason to celebrate, as the U.S.A earned just their 3rd win or draw in 22 tries playing in Mexico City. Pop the champagne……?

AARON JUDGE FOR MVP

Before you laugh, check out the numbers. If the MLB season ended today, Aaron Judge would be the Rookie of the Year and MVP. That hasn’t been done since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. Aaron Judge is hitting .344 with 21 home runs and 47 r.bi.’s. Yup, that would give Judge the lead in the Triple Crown. Plus, Judge’s Yankees are in 1st place in the American League East with a record of 37-23. PLUS, Aaron Judge hits baseballs really, really FAR. Yes, that baseball really travelled 496 feet. That would be the longest home run since ESPN began tracking distance in 2009. The Yankees are now riding a 5-game winning streak. In their last 5 games, the Yankees have scored a total of 57 runs. That is insane!! This offensive outburst is still being done without future 1st baseman Greg Bird. As good as the offense has been, it is the pitching that has the Yankees in 1st place on June 12th. C.C. Sabathia’s resurgence has been the untold storyline of the Yankees’ season. Let’s hope it continues.

RAFAEL NADAL

And last but not least….words you’ve heard many times before. 10 times now to be exact. Yes. Rafael Nadal won his 10th French Open title. What words could I possibly find to explain the greatness that is Rafael Nadal?? I don’t know, but I’ll try. He is the best clay-court tennis player ever. We have never seen a player this dominant at anything..ever. Not Wayne Gretzky on ice. Not Bill Russell on the hardwood. And no, not Tom Brady on the gridiron. Rafael Nadal dominates clay like nothing we’ve ever seen. Think about this. Nadal just won the French Open without dropping a set in the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT!! The finals was about as anti-climatic as they come. He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. At age 31, Nadal is finally healthy again, and that means only one thing..the sky is the limit.

With all these fantastic sporting events on TV this weekend, what did you watch?? Tell me what was on your TV 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!

 

Crosby, Penguins Dominate Game 5

penguins

If you like blowouts, 2017 has you covered. The Stanley Cup Finals did their best NBA Finals impression Thursday night. Game 5 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators was for lack of a better word, not competitive. The Penguins took an early lead, scoring just 1 minute and 31 seconds into the game. They would not look back. They added 2 more goals in the 1st period, forcing Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators coach, to pull his goalie. The Predators’ hero from Game 4, Pekka Rinne, would watch the rest of the action from the bench. Nashville’s backup goalie, Juuse Saros, didn’t fare much better, giving up 3 more goals in the 2nd period. The Predators would lose by the final score of 6-0. The Penguins now own a 3-2 lead in the series.

Thursday was an eventful evening for Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby. Crosby, regarded by many as the best player in the world, showcased his skills with 3 assists (he was the 1st star of the game). However, Crosby’s evening did not end there. With 1:32 left in the 1st period, Crosby thought it would be a good idea to slam P.K. Subban’s head into the ice..multiple times. Oh yeah, you heard that right. Now, before you watch the video, I’ll say it wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but he definitely deserved a more severe penalty than he received. Check out the head slamming here. I’m pretty sure you can’t do that. Both Subban and Crosby received 2-minute, minor penalties. Naturally, the Penguins scored while playing 4 on 4.

After watching the replay of Crosby’s head slam, I’m having a hard time understanding why Subban was assessed a penalty at all. And at the same time, I’m puzzled as to how Crosby wasn’t assessed a 5-minute, major penalty. Is it just me? Am I crazy?? It must be nice to be a superstar, because they seem to get away with murder (sometimes literally). Crosby’s shenanigans did not stop there. Allow me to break into an entire scene from Super Troopers:

But our shenanigans are cheeky and fun!

Yeah, and his shenanigans are cruel and tragic.

Which… makes them not really shenanigans at all.

Evil shenanigans!

I swear to God I’ll pistol whip the next guy who says “Shenanigans.”

Hey Farva what’s the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy sh*t on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

You mean Shenanigans?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Love that movie. Anyway, with just over 12 minutes to play in the 2nd period, Crosby kept his shenanigans going from the bench. He launched his water bottle onto the ice in the middle of play. You can see the throw heard ’round the world here (the throw happens at 44 seconds in the video). Although Crosby claimed it was a complete accident, you can see the wind up and intentional throw very clearly. He was not assessed a penalty (no shocker there), and the Penguins subsequently went up 5-0. The water bottle did not interfere with the on ice action, but last time I checked you can’t do that either. It must be nice to be the king.

Crosby’s Penguins are now 1 win away from winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. They will travel to Nashville to try and close out the series on the road. You can tune into the action on NBC on Sunday night @ 8:00 P.M. EST. I guess the NHL is sticking with giving teams 147 days off in between games.

Will the Penguins win the Stanley Cup on Sunday?? Or will the Predators continue their strong play at home and force a Game 7?? Give me your thoughts 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!

 

 

 

One Liner Friday’s

Hey Derrick Rose, how’s your knee feeling?

Are you comfy?

Those chairs on the bench do look pretty comfy.

I think it’s safe to say that the Miami Heat are done messing around.

No no, don’t stop shooting J.R. Smith, please don’t!

Tigah Tigah Woods y’all.

If the Yankees can win with a Minor League lineup, why can’t the Mets?

Yay, Floyd Mayweather won…….again.

That lady at the Miami Heat game looks so nice I think I want to invite her over for thanksgiving dinner.

You know instant replay doesn’t work if your looking at a TV from 1979, right?

Valiant effort New York Islanders (I hate you Sidney Crosby, I hate you).

Stephen Curry is really really good at basketball.

Does anyone on the planet have a smoother jumper than Curry?

There is one word and one word only to properly describe Matt Harvey and that word is FILTHY!!

Hey Los Angeles Angels, you guys stink!

Don’t you have to do something wrong to get ejected from a Major League Baseball Game?

Apparently John Hirchbeck didn’t know that when he threw Bryce Harper out of a game for not saying excuse me after he burped.

Hey Jason Kidd, the baskets that way
——–>

Phil Jackson, hi, we all know you are a great coach, but just stay home, be retired, and enjoy the rest of your life.

The NBA needs to fire whoever schedules their games.

Whoever decided that the Heat and Spurs series’ should play Wednesday/Friday while the Knicks and Thunder series’ should play Tuesday/Saturday needs to see a doctor immediately.

I’m surprised no one is making a big deal out of that.

By the way, could NBA players dress worse?

I don’t think so.

And finally if you missed Iman Shumpert’s dunk from Game 2 of the Knicks/Pacers series then click here:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=uirM5sljfO8

This has been another installment of One Liner Friday’s.

Please comment in the section below with your feedback.

Thanks.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can 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!

NHL Playoff 1st Round Predictions (better late than never)

I think I’m coming down with a fever, and no I’m not sick. I have that playoff hockey fever thats going around. After a lockout shortened season, the playoffs have finally arrived, and I for one am excited. If you want to gear up for the NHL playoffs too, you are going to need to know when the games are. Here is a quick look at the schedule:

First Round

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1 Chicago BLACKHAWKS
8 Minnesota WILD

Game 1: at CHI, Tue., April 30, 8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 2: at CHI, Fri., May 3, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 3: at MIN, Sun., May 5, 3 p.m., NBC, CBC
Game 4: at MIN, Tue., May 7, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 5: at CHI, Thu., May 9, TBD, CBC*
Game 6: at MIN, Sat., May 11, TBD, CBC*
Game 7: at CHI, Sun., May 12, TBD, CBC*

2 Anaheim DUCKS
7 Detroit RED WINGS

Game 1: at ANA, Tue., April 30, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at ANA, Thu., May 2, 10 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 3: at DET, Sat., May 4, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at DET, Mon., May 6, 8 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 5: at ANA, Wed., May 8, 10 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at DET, Fri., May 10 TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at ANA, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*

3 Vancouver CANUCKS
6 San Jose SHARKS

Game 1: at VAN, Wed., May 1, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at VAN, Fri., May 3, 10 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 3: at SJ, Sun., May 5, 10 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at SJ, Tue., May 7, 10 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 5: at VAN, Thu., May 9, 10 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at SJ, Sat., May 11, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at VAN, Mon., May 13, TBD, TSN*

4 Saint Louis BLUES
5 Los Angeles KINGS

Game 1: at STL, Tue., April 30, 8 p.m., CNBC, CBC
Game 2: at STL, Thu., May 2, 9:30 p.m., CNBC, CBC
Game 3: at LA, Sat., May 4, 10 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 4: at LA, Mon., May 6, 10 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 5: at STL, Wed., May 8, TBD, CBC*
Game 6: at LA, Fri., May 10, TBD, CBC*
Game 7: at STL, Mon., May 13, TBD, CBC*

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1 Pittsburgh PENGUINS
8 New York ISLANDERS

Game 1: at PIT, Wed., May 1, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at PIT, Fri., May 3, 7 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 3: at NY, Sun., May 5, 12 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 4: at NY, Tue., May 7, 7 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 5: at PIT, Thu., May 9, 7 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at NY, Sat., May 11, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at PIT, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*

2 Montreal CANADIENS
7 Ottawa SENATORS

Game 1: at MON, Thu., May 2, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: at MON, Fri., May 3, 7 p.m., CNBC. CBC, RDS
Game 3: at OTT, Sun., May 5, 7 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: at OTT, Tue., May 7, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 5: at MON, Thu., May 9, 7 p.m., CBC, RDS*
Game 6: at OTT, Sat., May 11, TBD, CBC, RDS*
Game 7: at MON, Sun., May 12, TBD, CBC, RDS*

3 Washington CAPITALS
6 New York RANGERS

Game 1: at WAS, Thu., May 2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at WAS, Sat., May 4, 12:30 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 3: at NY, Mon., May 6, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at NY, Wed., May 8, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 5: at WAS, Fri., May 10, 7:30 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at NY, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at WAS, Mon., May 13, TBD, TSN*

4 Boston BRUINS
5 Toronto MAPLE LEAFS

Game 1: at BOS, Wed., May 1, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: at BOS, Sat., May 4, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 3: at TOR, Mon., May 6, 7 p.m., NHLN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: at TOR, Wed., May 8, 7 p.m., NHLN, CBC, RDS
Game 5: at BOS, Fri., May 10, 7 p.m. CBC, RDS*
Game 6: at TOR, Sun., May 12, CBC, RDS*
Game 7: at BOS, Mon., May 13, CBC, RDS*

*If Necessary

Now that you know the schedule and the matchups, let’s breakdown each series and predict the winners. I’m going to start in the Western Conference. Why the Chicago Blackhawks are in the Western Conference I’ll never know, but they are, and they are clearly the best team in the NHL. You might remember them from their record breaking “winning” streak earlier in the season. They will handle the Minnesota Wild without a hiccup in the first round (4-0). As for the Anaheim Ducks vs. the Detroit Red Wings, I think we are going to hop in my time machine and go back about 10 years (ya know when the Red Wings were the best hockey team in the world). I see the Red Wings defense stifling the Ducks and winning a highly competitive series in 7 games. On we move to the Vancouver Canucks vs. the San Jose Sharks. This series is going to be a low scoring defensive affair. San Jose has the better defense, and they won the regular season series with the Canucks 3 games to none. Look for San Jose to continue their success and win this series in 6 games. Ah yes, the oh so difficult to predict 4 vs. 5 matchup. This year in the West we have the St. Louis Blues taking on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The kings swept the regular season series against the Blues(3-0). I think that the Kings will carry the momentum of their solid play late in the season to advance to the 2nd round. It should take 6 games for the Kings to oust the Blues.

Let’s take a road trip back to the East coast and take a look at the Eastern Conference matchups. The first look we will take is at the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the 8th seeded New York Islanders. Now I am an Islander fan, but even I can be objective; sometimes. The only way the Islanders remotely have a chance to win this series is if Sidney Crosby doesn’t play, and they beat up half of the Penguins starting line. Otherwise, they have little to no chance of advancing. I do believe that Sid the Kid is going to sit this round out, however it won’t be enough for the Islanders to move on. While the world will learn just how talented John Taveres is this week, he won’t be able to take the Penguinos down singlehandedly. Look for my Islanders to hang tough and lose this series in 6 HARD FOUGHT games. Lets Go Islanders!! (objectivity shmobjectivity). The second seeded Montrael Canadiens should handle the anemic offense of the Ottawa Senators in 5 games. Don’t look for any miracles in that series. I know I know, you want to see some upsets in the East too. Don’t worry they’re coming up right now. Let me preface this next series preview by saying that I strongly dislike the New York Rangers. However, they will take down the Washington Capitals in 6 games. You heard it here first. Lastly, the 4 vs. 5 matchup in the East should be equally as exciting as the 4/5 matchup in the West. All I have to say is, “Boston Strong Baby!” The Boston Bruins will do away with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 7 tough games.

Check back for 2nd round previews and predictions. Enjoy the NHL playoffs everyone!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can 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!