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Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 NFL Season Predictions

My 2014 NFL Season Predictions. Packers bring another Lombardi back to Titletown.
Thursday, August 28, 2014

2014 Sleeper Targets

With one final weekend of drafting set to get underway following tonight’s preseason finales, it’s a good time to re-examine who some of the better sleepers are to snag in those mid-to-late rounds.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Preview of USA vs Belgium

Some items of note heading into the USMNT game:
Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blue Jackets Draft Recap

Not quite the huge haul they got last season, but the Blue Jackets still added some new pieces to a depth chart that is suddenly looking very impressive.
Sunday, June 15, 2014

What I Think You Should Know About The USMNT

Needless to say, it's been a great World Cup thus far. The USMNT having some success would be awesome.
Friday, June 13, 2014

La-La-La-L.A. Gets Lord Stanley!

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Alec Martinez's Cup-winning goal celebration? # priceless. I wonder if he'll ever get his gloves back.
  • Henrik Lundqvist stopped the 50th shot of the game. He couldn't stop the 51st. #connsmythe if the Rangers had found a way to come back in this series.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Stanley Cup Final: No Sweep

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • So, the Kings get to lift the Cup on home ice. Isn't that sweet. Then again, the Rangers could have been lifting the silver chalice tonight. They've played well, but have almost nothing to show for it.
  • How many times can a puck stop on the goal line if a puck could stop on a goal line? Now I understand why my beer league goalie is always scraping the crease and piling the snow along the goal line and in a pile at each post ...
Sunday, June 8, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Stanley Cup Final Game 2

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Justin Williams for Conn Smythe? It's really not a stretch any more. Anze Kopitar should get it, but he who gets quiet in the Final often gets the shaft.
  • When is goalie interference not goalie interference? We shouldn't be surprised, though -- wasn't it the ref at center ice that made the interference call when Henrik Lundqvist got elbowed in the head in the trapezoid? Maybe things look bigger -- and more obvious -- from far away.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Stanley Cup Final Game 1

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Three goals, all on the blocker side. Coincidence or a chink in King Henrik Lundqvist's armor?
  • Note to the Rangers -- keep your foot on your opponent's throat once you have it there. Do not take pity on them. Do not let them up.
Sunday, June 1, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- The Cup Is Set

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Three of the Kings' five goals were scored when blocked shots went wrong. Don Cherry is right in this case -- make damn sure you block it or get out of the bloody way.
  • Two more points for Justin Williams. Most points EVER in the history of Game 7s. Seriously.
Friday, May 30, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Headed to Game 7

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • How is it that the deeper the Hawks go in a series, the better they get? They're 13-0 in games five, six and seven over the last two years. #clutch.
  • Two words: Patrick Kane. No, Patrick FREAKING Kane. Four assists last game and now two goals and an assist this one? He had one point in his first four games this series. Conn Smythe ... again?
Thursday, May 29, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- One Down, One to Go

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Was that Dominic Hasek inside Henrik Lundqvist's equipment? Holy twist/roll/backflip blocker save, eh! He was lucky he didn't accidentally score an own goal.
  • Every year, there's a foreshadowing of future greatness one or two young players. Is Brandon Saad this year's version? I like what I see. A lot.

Lance & LeBron

Nice home victory by the Pacers last night to get back in the series. It's now 3-2, as you probably know, with the series returning to Miami. Lance Stephenson continued the trash talk and tight D on LeBron James. But did he take things to far? See below. I think it's cute...

Monday, May 26, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Conference Finals Nearing End?

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • #outofgas. Chicago and Montreal. Sad really. I wanted that final.
  • Jake Muzzin: five goals in 18 playoff games. It took him 76 to hit that mark in the regular season. Sell high. Just because Frank the Tank has a Muzzin jersey doesn't mean you should, too.
Thursday, May 22, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Conference Finals Thursday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Puck luck. That's what you get when you just fire the puck at the net, Montreal. Good things happen ... like Alexander Galchenyuk scoring with his eye teeth. #takewhatyouget
  • Six straight. L.A. out-Chicagoed Chicago. Wow.
Monday, May 19, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Conference Finals Monday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Four and done? I HATE the thought of the Rangers skating their way into the Cup Finals. Spit.
  • Corey Crawford -- the Rodney Dangerfield of goalies. He don't get no respect. Pity. The guy has been dialled in for a few years now and people still doubt him.
Saturday, May 17, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Eastern Conference Game 1

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Do you think the Habs regret that Ryan McDonagh trade? Where are Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto any way?
  • Saturday night is for hockey. Saturday afternoon is for mountain biking, at least in my world. NBC ratings have sucked for years -- why does the league sacrifice -- or should I say, take for granted -- Canadian audiences? Ugh.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- The Night the Lights Went Out in Boston

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Is Zdeno Chara hurt or is he just getting old? Maybe it's a bit of both ... That own goal was unlucky, but that wouldn't have happened a couple years ago.
  • Carey Price is so laid back he might actually be comatose. Don't crack a smile, dude. Don't do it.
Monday, May 12, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round Two, Monday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Speed kills ... at least it does at home. It's clearly the Bruins' kryptonite. Now if only Montreal could figure out how to bring that game to Boston.
  • I guess King Henrik Lunqvist didn't want to be outdone by a fourth-liner in Boston. Or maybe he thought the electrolyte mix in his bottle would be like salt in the wounds of Sidney Crosby. That little squirt was expensive.
Saturday, May 10, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round 2 Saturday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Is John Gibson Bruce Boudreau's Ken Dryden?
  • So ... you land here from outer space and you've never seen hockey. You've dropped into New York and you're watching the Rangers. Is it fair that you think Mats Zuccarello is a much better player than Rick Nash?
Thursday, May 8, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round Two Thursday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Matt Fraser -- the first player to score OT winners in both the AHL and NHL playoffs in the same season. #livingthedream.
  • The Leafs re-upped Randy Carlyle. Really? Was firing all of his assistants, including "his" guys, a not-so-subtle signal that he needs to reinvent himself? Does a leopard ever change his spots?

Mock-It-Yourself: The Cowboys 3.0

Is anybody on the clock yet?
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Could Thunder Ride Durant's MVP Speech to NBA Finals?

Did you catch Kevin Durant's amazing 11 minute MVP acceptance speech? It was impressive. Very impressive. Have you ever heard a superstar be this team-oriented? Give it a listen here...
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round Two Tuesday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • The Kings and the Blackhawks are the class of the league. The Bruins are a step behind them. The rest? They might as well be in the AHL.
  • Has Marc-Andre Fleury exorcized his demons? I thought not. Neither has Ilya Bryzgalov.
Sunday, May 4, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round Two Sunday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Come here; go away. No, come here. No, no, no -- go AWAY. OK, come here. It's every fan's love affair with Marc-Andre Fleury.
  • Bryan Bickell has three goals against the Wild. The Wild have three goals against the Hawks. Just saying. BTW, how much as the Wild paying those two big free agents?
Saturday, May 3, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round Two, Games 1

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Hey Tuukka Rask -- pucks are not flies. Stop slapping at them. You'll miss them. Every time.
  • Don't blame the Bruins -- or their real fans -- for the vitriolic and racist tweets of cowardly, boneheaded trolls who haven't got enough self-respect to live somewhere other than their mother's basement. P.K. Subban is having a brilliant postseason. Real Bruins fan respect that. And they'd want him in black and gold if he came on the market.

Mock-It-Yourself: The Cowboys 2.0

Five sleeps until the draft!
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round One Ends

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • How does Patrick Roy spell deja vu? Minnesota Wild. The last game he played was a Game 7 loss to the hands of the Wild. In overtime. And now his first playoff series as a coach ends the same bloody way.
  • Will there be an NHL Black Thursday, just like Black Monday in the NFL? Better yet -- should there be?
Monday, April 28, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Monday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Backchecking. I looked it up on Wikipedia and sent a text with the link to Little Joe Pavelski. Justin Williams should NEVER have scored on that play.
  • Did you put something in Trevor Daley's Wheaties on Sunday? That was probably the single best individual performance of the playoffs (so far). The guy is a stud ... but only when he decides to be.
Saturday, April 26, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Saturday (with a pinch of Friday)

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • At some point, you have to stop and look at the real problem in Washington. And I don't think it's the coach. The Caps will not win with Alexander Ovechkin as captain.
  • The Red Wings gave everything just to get to the playoffs. Now they might have a real shot at winning the Calder Cup. Just saying.

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What I Think You Should Know About The USMNT
Needless to say, it's been a great World Cup thus far. The USMNT having some success would be awesome.
La-La-La-L.A. Gets Lord Stanley!
Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Alec Martinez's Cup-winning goal celebration? # priceless. I wonder if he'll ever get his gloves back.
  • Henrik Lundqvist stopped the 50th shot of the game. He couldn't stop the 51st. #connsmythe if the Rangers had found a way to come back in this series.
Do Analytics Take the Fun Out of Sports?
Apparently that was the topic of one of the presentations at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston last week. The presenter, Yale's Edward Tufte, opined:

Don't let people tell you analytics are reductionist and take the joy out of sports. They mostly just take the stupidity out of sports.

Is he right?

RotoWire's AL LABR Squad
The 2014 AL LABR auction went down at the Arizona Republic offices in downtown Phoenix Saturday night. It's a 12-team, 5 x 5, AL-only league with 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B. 1 3B, 1 SS, 1 CI, 1 MI, 5 OF, 1 U and 9 pitchers. Everyone has $260 to spend.
The Problem With Drafting Billy Hamilton
Billy Hamilton went for $28 in the NL LABR auction this past weekend. I discussed this with a fellow writer who participates in Tout Wars with me later this month and we discussed the problem with investing heavily into Hamilton.

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