Category: Sports News

NBA News: Celtics vs. Nuggets Takeaways

Celtics vs. Nuggets Recap:

The Boston Celtics kicked off their five-game west coast road trip on Monday against the Denver Nuggets. The C’s made no adjustments in slowing down Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray, who finished with a career high 48 points.

The Nuggets improve to an impressive 9-1 record to start the season, second in the western conference behind the Golden State Warriors (10-1). Boston on the other hand continues to search for answers with their new assets, now holding the fourth seed in the east with a 6-4 record.

 

Expectations in the NBA world:

The Celtics have not lived up to the hype as it pertains to expectations coming into the season. After coming one game shy of reaching the NBA Finals after losing to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the hype around Beantown was that the Celtics were the new kings in the east. Although all that seems certain is that the Toronto Raptors are the team to beat in the East holding the best record in the east at 10-1.

With a lethal starting line-up of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford the C’s were projected to take the east by storm with their elite defense that separated them from the league as the number one defensive team last season. The Celtics are second in the league on the defensive side holding teams to 100.8 ppg (points per game), but right now its Boston’s offense that hasn’t clicked ranked 27th in the league.

Irving Fined $25k for Post Game Antics :

This is the second straight game were the Celtics defense came up short in stopping the opposing team’s star players. In Saturday’s loss to the Pacers the Celtics failed to put a hand up on Victor Oladipo’s game winning 3-point attempt. On Monday the C’s made no adjustments in slowing down Murray, allowing him to get open down the stretch hitting clutch shots that would steer the Nuggets to victory.

But the shot that irritated Irving and the Celtics more was Murray’s 3-point attempt with less than five seconds remaining. Irving took Murray’s hoist as disrespect, as he heaved the game ball into the crowd after the game. “He was the primary concern tonight and he made us pay in certain instances of making some tough shots and some tough layups,” said Irving. “But the ball deserves to go in the crowd after a [expletive] move like that. So I threw it in the crowd.”

Murray on the other hand meant no disrespect, “My emotions took over as it normally does when I get going like that,” Murray explained. Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said the veterans on the team spoke with Murray about the shot, “He’s young, he’s learning. You never want to try to disrespect anybody. It wasn’t disrespect. He was trying to get to 50 points,” Malone said.

Although it looks like Irving has circled the Celtics next meeting with Murray and the Nuggets, “You just don’t play basketball like that. It’s just petty. It’s immature. But we’ll see him again,” Irving said.

 

XFL is back, buckle up

The XFL is back.

By 2020 the league will be reinstated, and this may be some of the greatest news of our lives. Well, maybe not the greatest but, for those who crave entertainment and like to watch ruthless football, this is your new favorite league. With the likes of Vince McMahon, the famous WWE character, McMahon has officially stated he is looking to bring the XFL back.

Just a warning for those under the age of 70, this game may be too much for your heart. The league was founded in 1999, a controversial football league is making its return, and probably at a terrible time. As a society, we have lamented the effects of concussions and head injuries, all the news coming out about CTE, players retiring at an early age. To say the least, the NFL/football as a whole was on the hot seat. Now, to bring back one of the most controversial leagues in football is a questionable call. Just take a look for yourself…

By god, this is going to be a nightmare, the XFL may get shut down quicker President Trumps wall installment plans. Literally, look at this, it is basically the WWE but with football. Is anyone else alarmed by the fact the QB Jeff Brohm was lying there like a dead corpse after he got hit(1:15), then came back and played six days later? No, yeah I figured and that is why this league will excel. The demographic they are targeting are just about as careless as a college students on social media. I am not sure where this league is going to get players, not many ex-NFL players will be willing to sign a contract again to take a beating to the head for another year or more. The exact reason many of these players left was due to head injuries and physically not being able to go anymore. We will see a lot of players like Vince Young, Trent Richardson, Johnny Manziel(if possible), and other CFL players that maybe if the contract is more lucrative would come over to the XFL.

The thing that worries me, for the good, is the fact that Vince McMahon will have nothing else to focus on besides developing the XFL. The first time around he had to worry about professional wrestling, and when he pushed the XFL aside and focused more on wrestling look how that industry grew. McMahon is a businessman, but I just have two questions, who is willing buying this league to air it on their television network and where are they are going to find players to fill rosters?

Anyways, once the league is finalized and everything in two years, it will be a game where fans have a ton of interaction and say in the league. As Vince McMahon stated

“McMahon also made it clear he does not want any political affiliation or social controversy to surround the league, which he said will have rules put in place that everyone must abide by. He wants fan input and integration to be a major part of developing the league over the next two years, from rules and team locations to everything in between.” – (Adam Silverstein CBS Sports)

Well, people, enjoy the XFL and the build to it because this is going to be very interesting, to say the least. The positive side it opens a ton of jobs within sports management, agents, marketing, game day operations, production, journalists, reporters, commentators, etc. That’s the good thing, hey I wouldn’t mind being a reporter or something for an XFL team, sign me up, I’ll do the writing while those players take the beating.

Not surprising. The Avs lost.

I will tell you what. I do not like the person who schedules the games for the Avalanche. There have been like four times this year where Colorado have has had four days off in a row, but the idea of traveling to Canada for two games in two days does not warrant a rest day? Actually after this next game against St. Louis the Avalanche have four days off for the All-star weekend/break. Hopefully the Avalanche don’t lose to the Blues on Thursday because it wouldn’t bode well for the tone of the break.

Last night’s loss was expected despite what I predicted, I did not want to watch because i knew they were going to lose after not scoring through the first. The Canadiens wore them down throughout the first period and scored two quick goals. The first goal was scored by Nicolas Delauriers (7) who slammed home a blocked shot off the stick of Drouin.

Nicolas Delauriers Goal (7)

The second goal was a PPG by Alex Galchenyuk (12), Galy finished off a muffed pass that was sent to Paul Byron. while he was sitting on the Back door.

Alex Galchenyuk (12)

The bleeding did not stop there former Halifax Moosehead, no not Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin sent home his seventh goal of the season to put the Canadiens up 3-0   early in the 3rd period. This goal I have some qualms with. It is purely a defensive breakdown. Not soul was challenged entering the zone and Jeff Petry found Drouin driving the back door for an easy tap in goal.

Jonathan Drouin (7)

Of all people Erik Johnson, the most senior person on the defense should have not been watching the puck but picking up his guy in front. I am going write this one up as a little fatigue from playing the night before. Another problem with the play is that we have 2 guys (Girard and Comeau) covering Petry as he drives the outside. Comeau should have peeled off and been looking for Pacioretty gliding through the middle, who was also wide open. Just abysmal.

Who but Nathan MacKinnon would start the scoring for the Avs in this game? This was MacKinnons 24th on the year. A wicked wrister from the point abusing a three man screen in-front and going top-corns on Carey Price.

Nathan MacKinnon Goal (24)

4 Minutes later Brendan Gallagher sealed the game with an empty-netter. but you don’t need to see that. JT Compher (8) though, they need to upgrade his shooting accuracy  and and speed in NHL 18 because this kid can fly and snipe. Compher breaks into the zone with Nail Yakupov and fires once, blocked, collects the puck again and fires and finds the same corner that big MacK found earlier in the game.

JT Compher Goal (8)

I think we found Carey price’s weakness, top glove for anyone who is wondering. The Avs need this off day today to get ready for the blues on Thursday. Let’s see if the Avalanche can maintain their playoff hopes going forward.

-Conner

 

W8 Game 44- San Jose Sharks Post Game

This game went exactly the way I expected it to go. Not to be self aggrandizing but, I called it, literally. If you go back to the preview blog for this game I nailed the final score, right on the head. 5-3 Avalanche win. I guess I know my boys in burgundy and blue.

I mean it probably is not that impressive because the Avalanche almost always score 4 or more goals at home and have 17-7-1 record in Denver. It’s nice to see that they actually have a home rink advantage this year especially when they are playing at altitude.

The game started with 2 quick goals from SUPERSTAR Nathan MacKinnon (21,22). Nothing crazy to see with those goals. One was a one-t power play slap shot goal that went off of Martin Jones’ glove and the other was a wrister that managed to slip five-hole off of a misdirection.

Nathan MacKinnon Goal (21)

Nathan MacKinnon Goal (22)

Not too much later Carl Soderberg had a quick tap in goal that was set up by Matt Nieto. Nieto was stuck behind the net and sent a quick little backhand sauce pass to Soderberg who was perched out front. Soderberg ended of finessing a shot over the right pad of Jones to make the game 3-0. The Avalanche were able to take the lead into the dressing room.

Carl Soderberg Goal (10)

The second period the sharks dominated the avalanche outshooting them 17-7 and Bernier again, stood on his head in place of Semyon Varlymov. Mikko Rantanen Scored a 1:34 seconds into the period on a tipped shot from Mark Barberio.

Mikko Ranatanen (16)

Despite scoring first the Avs seemed to become complacent with their lead and sat back. This lead to Timo Meier’s 9th goal of the season. A muffled shot by Labanc from the point seemed to fool everybody. The shot eventually hit hit Bernier in the pads and Meier collected the rebound and stuffed it home. The Avalanche managed to maintain their three goal lead throughout the second. They period ended and took the 4-1 lead into the locker room.

Timo Meier Goal (9)

In the third the Sharks came out and punched the Avs right in the mouth, scoring two quick goals. One was rebound scooped up by Vlasic in front. The other was a 2-1 by Brent Burns and Joe Thornton. Burns threaded a pass underneath the stick of Nikita Zadorov, and Thornton took a quick wrist shot upstairs pulling the sharks within one (4-3). The Avalanche’s back was against the wall.

Vlasic Goal (6)

Joe Thornton Goal (12)

The line of Soderberg, Nieto, and Comeau has been incredible all season, to say the least. They have really carried the bulk of the secondary scoring for the team. The Avs were not in a good place and this line stepped forward. This time the goal was scored by Matt Nieto. Nieto ended up with a goal and an assist in this game, it had to have been a good feeling putting up two points and beating the team that waived you the season prior. Nieto’s goal was a redirection on a shot from the blue line from Blake Comeau.

Matt Nieto Goal (9) 

8 Wins in a row for the Avalanche, something even the most optimistic fan from last season would not have expected.

For those who don’t know, The Colorado Avalanche are a playoff team!

5-3 Avs win don’t @ me

-Conner

The Correlation of Hockey and Hair

I have been workshopping a theory for a while now. This is a theory as old as time. The theory is that hockey players perform better when they have better hair. I don’t know what the correlation would be on this one but something that has stuck out to me for some time now is the picture of Patrick Kane with a mullet and racing stripes. This picture was taken on road to winning a Stanley Cup.

kanemullet

In this picture you can see the luscious lettuce that would sprout out from beneath the rim of his Bauer Bucket. As a defenseman I can only imagine not only how distracting this hairstyle can be but also how intimidating. These my friends are locks of hair maintained and groomed with a purpose. That purpose is to strike fear into the mind of your opponent. The racing stripes are not only aesthetically pleasing they add a some aerodynamic principals that only Bernoulli himself could explain. I imagine they work like the stitching on a baseball enabling Mr.Kane do dipsy-doodle and dangle opponents without them being able to recognize what pitch is being thrown at them.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Media Day

I mean look at that stuff.

According to Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post Patrick Kane’s Hair style was modeled after an old picture of Jaromir Jagr. I imagine the photo looked something like this.

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A person can not help but notice a 149 point season in the record books for Jaromir when he was rocking this look. Everyone knew when this head of lettuce was ripping around the ice in the berg.

A victim to this theory would have to be Artemi Panarin. Over the last 2 years on the Blackhawks Artemi was producing like a machine. He had 152 points in 161 games. He also had a shooting percentage of 15.3%. For the NHL that is very good. This is what Artemi looked like before he left Chicago. Hair with plenty of potential seeping out.

Artemi-Panarin2

When he arrived in Columbus he looked like this.

artemi-panarin-bringing-skill-lwoh

The issue is that, he now he looks like a neutered puppy dog. No pizazz. Nothing to draw a defenders gaze away from his chest. He can no longer make a defender bite on a head fake with his serious lack of hair. Is it starting to make sense? Artemi’s Points-per-game total has fallen since the hair cut( .944 to .826). His shooting percentage has dropped by 6% (to 9.2). This is the difference we are talking about. The difference between a good and a great player. Its literally just a couple of inches.

The theory poses another question. Do we only notice hair when good players have it? I think yes, but that would prove there is a bias that exists. We would have to have more empirical data but I do not have the time nor resources to gather that level of information.

Some people have given some recognition to the Minnesota High School Hockey League for their all-hair team, and I think they get it. One notable player that came out of that league is Casey Mittlestadt, fresh out of Eden Prairie, Minny. Casey put on a show in the WJC earlier this month and he has really made a name for himself. Watch below.

 

The dude ripped off the Slovakian defenders jock and served it to him on a silver platter. Mittlestadt was drafted 8th overall in the 2017 NHL entry draft by the Buffalo Sabres. Lo and behold he pulls off this move in front of his future fans. A shimmer of hope for a city who’s beloved Bills recently  lost to the Jaguars in the playoffs.

A little bit of advice for this kid if you want Buffalo to be great again you are going to have to grow some hair man.635709465678055267-USP-NHL-NHL-Draft I mean take it from former second overall pick Jack Eichel, fellow Sabre, also born in the U-S of A. Jack has been having a rough time up in Buffalo and the team has yet to turn itself around.

Guess what, the dude looks like he got a perm yesterday. Perms weren’t in when they were in man. Jack is a good hockey player but he has not proven to be great yet and I think its a simple fix. Grow out a fro. Its an easy solution and it still blows my mind that other people are not noticing the trend. Some tend to over compensate for the lack of hair with a beard. We have to start reversing this trend. Less beard, its been beaten to death. Grow out the hair. Now Casey has been flirting with it and I think we all see some serious potential here. From what I understand the level of hair is just not going to cut it in the Show. It works on Slovakian Defenders but this is the big time.

images-3

You can see he has some understanding of what he can do with it. I’m calling for a slick-back but he is young and creative. I imagine he will figure something. I can only sit back and hope he takes my advice. Good luck Buffalo.

Hair has been important for a long time now. Some would call it peacocking, those people would be ignorant. There has to be some affect it has on the player, maybe a boost in confidence just because you know you look good. The mantra look good, feel good, play good exists for a reason. Other noticeable greats in todays game would have to be Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators who has won two Norris trophies for best defenseman (2012,2015).

karlsson.jpg.size-custom-crop.1086x0

Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning who is constantly in discussion for the Norris

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Jamie Benn with his Jet-black slick-back, Paddy-wack.

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This is merely a few of  cases of Phenomenal hair cases that currently exist across the NHL.

Really makes you think, huh.

 

NHL: Jaromir Jagr Watch; Time in Calgary Done…

A lot of speculation has hit the hockey sphere about Jaromir Jagr’s future in Calgary. The 45-year-old winger has spent 25 years in the NHL and holds a grocery list of accomplishments to add to his already storied career.

Before the season a lot of rumors hit the hockey world that Jagr would not sign with another team and he would eventually retire from the NHL. Well, as of October 2, 2017, Jagr joined the Calgary Flames, once he joined the team he played his first game October 11th. Since joining the Flames Jagr has yet to establish a role or identity on this team. The Flames are a “younger” team we might say but the veteran, hall of fame presence of Jagr has been misused and disrespected by the Flames.

Jagr obviously is not expected to score 40 goals and tally 80 points a year anymore, but as a storied player and someone who has been around the league before some of the Flames players were even born, can be of use to help develop some of these young guys. Well, Jagr has played in a total of 22 games of the 41 games the Flames have played this season. In the games Jagr has played he is seeing anywhere from 11:00 minutes a game to at most(only happened two times) 15:00 minutes a game, averaging around 13 to 19 shifts a game. The 45-year-old hall of fame winger future in the NHL seems bleak. Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda has been given to permission to talk to every other NHL team trying to find a fit for him, but it seems there is not one available. If Jagr does not stay in the NHL, he has been rumored to go to the European Hockey league, but nothing is set in stone in yet.

All we know so far is that Jagr’s time in Calgary is done, he will no longer be with the team and until he finds another NHL team to take him than inevitably Jagr’s time in the NHL is over. This will be the first time in Jagr’s career that has been cut by an NHL team. The future seems uncertain right now for the storied forward but all we can do is wait at this moment.

BREAKING: UCLA Basketball PLAYERS ALLOWED TO RETURN HOME

On Tuesday, November 14th, it was announced that UCLA teammates Cody Riley, Jalen Hill, and LiAngelo Ball would all be allowed to leave China, after they were placed under house arrest for several days. The three ballplayers were forced to stay in their hotel room after they were caught stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in China. Reportedly, these player’s release came after President Donald Trump intervened and requested their release after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

 

Originally, UCLA was in China to play Georgia Tech on November 10th for the Pac-12 China Game. UCLA went on to play this game, but they were without Ball, Riley and Hill, since they were confined to the hotel at this time. However, UCLA still won the game 63-60 after solid play from Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes.

 

The release of these players couldn’t have come at a better time because this Wednesday will be UCLA’s home opener and second game of the season. All eyes will most likely be on Ball, to see if he can live up to the expectations put on him by his dad. Ball has a lot of doubters and has already gotten off to a rocky start, but the college season is long and if he plays the way his dad claims he can, he will be just fine when the NBA draft comes in June.