Kyler Murray, the Heisman trophy winner, the first round overall MLB draftee, and soon to be first-round NFL draftee has been in the news for his decision to go the NFL route over the MLB route. But the MLB route is not out of consideration. By Murray declaring for the draft this allows him to be scouted, drafted and still have the option of football. Either way I think Murry sticks the NFL route throughout his professional career.
A lot of fans find this to be the wrong decision as the NFL has a shorter career expectancy for most athletes than the MLB does. But with the way game has transitioned to protect the QB’s Murray will be fine. Plus the MLB is no slump to make, going through the A, AA, AAA ranks to hopefully and finally get a shot at the MLB is a lot harder than going to the NFL Combine putting up solid numbers and letting time do its part. Murray is going to have a QB job in the NFL at some point. I don’t think he will come in and be a starter right away, but it does depend on the team who drafts him.
Speaking of teams drafting him. Who will take the very athletic, versatile, Oklahoma Sooners QB this draft? We saw the concern and love over Baker Mayfield last year. Mayfield came from the same program, relatively the same height (Murray is two inches shorter), has a better arm and a better football IQ but Murray ranks up similar to Mayfield. Murray although did throw 4,361 yards last year with a 69.0 completion percentage, 42 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The kid can run the ball too which makes him a very valuable QB much like a Lamar Jackson but with a better arm. Murray had 140 attempts for 1001 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns last season.
Where does he land?
- Oakland Raiders: The Raiders QB concerns are no secret. David Carr was not happy, Jon Gruden was not happy with Carr and the Raiders need a fix. If they do not land Nick Foles. Murray could possibly be an option but at #7 it may be too high for the Raiders to draft Murray as they have many other concerns to address right now.
- New York Giants: If Dwayne Haskins the Giants projected first round pick either gets drafted earlier or some other team like the Jaguars trade up to take Haskins the Giants could be left with the decision to go after Murray or get an o-lineman.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: If the Jaguars do not land Nick Foles this off-season, they do not trade up in the draft it could make sense to draft Murray. Maurice Jones-Drew former Jags running back did a mock draft with Murray landing in Jacksonville. The Jaguars seem to be moving on from Blake Bortles therefore they need a QB.
- Cincinnati Bengals: The most possible landing spot at #11 this is right around the spot Murray is projected to go in many mock drafts. The Bengals have Andy Dalton aging and they will need a new QB to step in as Dalton only continues to age and regress. Having Murray sit on the bench and watch Dalton for 1-2 years could be very beneficial for his development like a Patrick Mahomes situation.
- Miami Dolphins: With the uncertainty of Ryan Tannehill every season the Dolphins cannot call in Jay Cutler once again or Brock Osweiler to come in fix the damage. They can draft Murray let him get a year of NFL play under his belt and be ready for the following year more experienced and tenured.
Edmonton Oilers vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Not an exciting night in terms of games for the NHL tonight. Only two on and this is one of them. Pittsburgh at home this year are 15-10-2, they are 4-5-1 in their last ten but coming off a big win vs the Flyers two nights ago. The Oilers on the other hand are 12-11-4 on the road, 3-5-2 in their last ten coming off a loss to San Jose. The Oilers have not played since Saturday night, as the Penguins last game came Monday. The Oilers should be well-rested and prepared for this game. The Penguins go with Matt Murray who is essentially impossible to get a read on this season. He played unbelievable vs the Flyers Monday but who knows what he can do tonight. Murray is 2-3 in his last five starts allowing 15 goals over that span. The Oilers go with Mikko Koskinen who has been very subpar since his signing. Koskinen is 1-3-1 in his last five starts allowing 17 goals in that span, he has allowed 3+ in four of these five starts. The Penguins are currently one point ahead of the Hurricanes for the final wild card spot and have no time to waste right now with the way the Hurricanes are playing. They need these two points desperately. We will see what they can do after a big win and no Evgeni Malkin tonight. Going Penguins.
Vancouver Canucks vs Anaheim Ducks
This is a rough match up. The Ducks are still spiraling out of control it feels like, they have their GM as their new head coach, they can barely score goals and things are not looking good. Chad Johnson is a probable in net for tonight as John Gibson either is hurt or has given up on the Ducks. Johnson is 2-11-0 on the year with a 3.63 GAA but is 0-5 in his last five starts allowing 15 goals in that span. The Ducks are on a seven-game skid and 2-8-0 in their last ten but 10-8 at home. The Canucks are 12-14-4 on the road, 4-4-2 in their last ten and coming off a loss vs San Jose. The Canucks are currently two points out of a playoff spot right now. They are a hopeful team just playing the season and taking whatever comes their way. They are a very young, competitive team that can sneak into the post season and a win tonight helps those chances. The Canucks go with Jacob Markstrom (probable), who is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 13 goals in that span. I like the Canucks tonight but something tells me that with Bob Murray behind the bench for his first game, the Ducks pull this one out and end their skid. Going Ducks.
It seems as if the Baltimore Ravens are fully on board with moving forward and building their offense and team around Lamar Jackson. As the news surfaced the Twitter sphere reported by Adam Schefter the Denver Broncos have mutually agreed to terms with former Super Bowl MVP QB Joe Flacco.
The Broncos new head coach Vic Fangio spent one season in Baltimore and seemed to like Flacco along with former Broncos executive Gary Kubiak. This seems to be a solid landing spot for Flacco.
Flacco will immediately come in and compete/steal the job of Case Keenum. Keenum went 6-10 with 62.3 completion percentage, 18 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 3,890 passing yards.
Per Adam Schefter the trade cannot be processed or announced until March 13th, 2019. The new year for the NFL.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Boston Bruins
The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to continue their streak as they head to Boston. The Hawks are on a 7-game win streak and 7-2-1 in their last ten games and looking to continue their push for the playoffs. As the Bruins look to continue their own win streak although not as large, they have won their last two games are 5-2-3 in their last ten games and have a 20-7-3 record at home this season. The Bruins will be without David Pastrnak tonight due to thumb surgery, therefore that either bumps Jake DeBrusk up or Danton Heinen. Either way the absence of Pastrnak will be felt for the Bruins. The Bruins go with Tuukka Rask tonight who has won four of his five starts allowing 10 goals in those starts. Colin Delia is going tonight for the Hawks the recently 3-year, $1 million dollar a year goaltender looks to continue his great play. Delia is 3-1-1 in his last five starts but has won his last three starts. Delia has allowed 18 goals in five starts though (3.6 goals per game). Tonight is a big one for Chicago, Delia has been giving the Blackhawks what they need, not excellent but solid. Tuukka clearly out plays him, but with Pasta out and the Blackhawks rolling this could go either way. Going unpopular like always and taking Blackhawks.
New York Islanders vs Buffalo Sabres
The Islanders look to continue their tear coming off a win vs the Wild, they get a days rest and head to Buffalo vs a playoff hungry Sabres team. With the way the Sabres have been playing defensively and the amount of shots they allow per game this could be a lopsided game with the way the Islanders offense has been playing. The Sabres are going with Linus Ullmark who is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 17 goals in that span. The Islanders go with Robin Lehner who will look to pick up his 4th win in his last six starts. In his last five games though he is 3-1-1 allowing 9 goals in that span. The Sabres struggle defensively therefore they are going to need to either (A) out perform and possess the Islanders defensively, (B) take away second chances for the Islanders or (C) out-score the Islanders. All three choices are going to be tough with the way the Islanders posses the puck offensively and have been playing excellent on both sides of the puck. Therefore, I am going Islanders tonight.
Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets
The Capitals go back to back here, coming off a 6-4 win vs the Kings Monday night it will be a quick turn around to Columbus now. The Capitals did save Braden Holtby for the Blue Jackets tonight which makes me more confident. The Blue Jackets give Bobrovsky the nod as well. Holtby is 2-2-1 in his last five starts allowing 16 goals in that span. While Bobrovsky is 3-2-0 winning his last three starts allowing 17 goals in that span. The Capitals are 4-4-2 in their last ten and the Blue Jackets are 5-5-0, the two are separated by four points. The Blue Jackets could use these two points and it helps they are at home. I like the Blue Jackets at home here tonight, Capitals coming off a back to back game, on the road. Columbus is fresh and needing a win. Also the last time these two played was exactly a month ago and the Blue Jackets won 2-1. Except a 3-2 game here in Columbus’s favor.
Calgary Flames vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The two best teams in the NHL go at it for the final time this season. These two have played each other just one time, the Lightning ended up winning in a shootout 5-4. The Lightning were on the road for the first game and are home for this one vs Calgary now. The Flames are on a two-game losing streak but still 6-2-2 in their last ten with a 17-10-1 record on the road. As the Lightning are 6-2-2 in their last ten, on a two-game win streak and 21-5-2 at home. The Lightning go with their obvious number one and Vezina candidate, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasilevskiy is 2-1-2 in his last five games, allowing 11 goals in that span. As the Flames go with their number one David Rittich. Rittich is 3-0-2 in his last five starts coming off an over time loss to Vancouver. Rittich has lost just four games all year and currently posts a 20-4-5 record. The Lightning have been the best team in the NHL since day one and they are currently showing why they are number one and cup favorites. They are 4-0-2 in their last six, having allowed two or fewer goals in four of six games. The Flames were riding a 8-0-1 streak just before their last four games in which they have lost two of their last four and now are one point behind the Sharks for first place in the Pacific division. This is going to be a great game, probably a 3-2 game in my opinion. I like the Flames here but it is tough to go against Tampa at home. I am going unpopular again and going Flames. Except a big one from Rittich.
New Jersey Devils vs St. Louis Blues
The Devils are coming off a win vs the Hurricanes their third win in their last ten games. The Devils are 3-6-1 in their last ten, 7-17-3 on the road. These two have yet to meet this season and know relatively nothing about each other. Which could be beneficial for the Devils. The Blues though are looking to extend their six-game win streak to seven games and Jordan Binnington looks to continue his tremendous play and build off his first star of the week honor. Binnington is 9-1-1 on the year with a 1.72 GAA, he is 5-0-0 in his last five starts allowing just seven goals in those 5 games. The Devils go with Keith Kinkaid who is having a mediocre season due to the circumstances he has faced. In his last five he is 2-3-0 allowing 18 goals in that span. The Blues are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and 10-2-1 in their last 13 games. The Blues have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 10 of the last 13 games. The Blues have everything going for them right now and with the playoff talk back in business and the wild card spot in place right now for St. Louis I cannot see them dropping this game to the Devils at home. Going Blues for sure.
Recap of picks:
The Browns did exactly what we all knew they were going to do. They signed Kareem Hunt. The Kansas City Chiefs star running back that got into domestic violence trouble this past year. Was released by the Chiefs weeks before the playoffs and there were a lot rumors about who would sign them. Some thought the Patriots, some thought the Eagles, but mainly everyone thought the Browns and the Browns did it. Hunt was placed on the commissioners exempt list after a video of him kicking a women came to surface in February.
We are not sure what the deal is, money wise yet but it is said to be one-year. Hunt rushed for 827 yards, 7 touchdowns, 4.6 yards per attempt, 26 receptions, 378 receiving yards and 7 receiving touchdowns before getting cut by Kansas City. In 2017 he rushed for 1327 yards, 8 touchdowns, catching 53 passes for 455 yards and 3 touchdowns. Let’s see what kind of controversy this stirs and what the Browns can do with one of the bets running backs in the NFL.
More to come.
The NHL releases three stars of every week and this week it happened to consist of two “unlikely” names per say. The first star was Jordan Binnington the rookie sensation in St. Louis who has surged the St. Louis Blues to a seven-game win streak and a wild card spot. Star number three was Dylan Strome the Chicago Blackhawks center, who was sent to Chicago from Arizona for Nick Schmaltz.
Binnington earns 1st star of the week
The reason this is being reported is because it is awesome news for these two guys. First off Jordan Binnington was drafted in 2011 3rd round, 87th overall never made his way up the NHL ladder and from 2011-2018 until he was called up he spent all of his time (besides one year when he played in ECHL for the Kalamazoo in 2013-14) in the AHL, emerging as a starter in 2014-15 in the AHL and at 26-years-old Binnington finally got his shot in the NHL this season when the Blues needed some resurgence at the goaltending spot.
Binnington has started in 11 games this season with a record of 9-1-1, a 1.77 goals against (GAA), .929 save percentage and 2 shutouts in his time so far. In his last five games he has five wins, most notable win coming in shutout fashion vs the best team in the NHL (Tampa Bay), allowing seven goals in those five games. All the talk about Carter Hart and his resurrection of Philadelphia is over shadowing what this kid Binnington has done for the Blues.
Strome earns third star of the week
Dylan Strome another young player who has had his fair share of difficult stretches finally gets a chance in Chicago and has been lights out since coming to Chicago. It doesn’t hurt playing the power play with Patrick Kane and some 5 on 5 time with Kane, Jonathan Toews and Alex Debrincat, nevertheless Strome has been a major reason the Blackhawks are back in playoff contention. Since his arrival to Chicago Strome has recorded 11 goals and 19 assists, 30 points in 32 games. During his 32 games in Chicago the longest Strome has gone without a point has been three-games so far. The kid has been on fire and earned himself third star of the week (this week) recording 2 goals and 5 assists in three games.
Strome was drafted in 2015 1st round 3rd overall by the Coyotes after playing the 2015-16 season in the OHL recording 111 points in 56 games (37G, 74A) Strome headed to the NHL in 2016-17 where he only played seven games. In 2017-18 he played 50 games in the AHL and 21 games in the NHL recording 9 points that year. At the start of this season the Coyotes expected him to be a number two, borderline number three center, Strome played 20 games with Arizona recording 6 points and -10 rating before being shipped out to Chicago. The Coyotes essentially gave up on Strome after just 48 games. They did receive Nick Schmaltz in return but it was still a very questionable decision by Arizona and Strome is surely making them regret it now as he continues to roll in Chicago.
The Anaheim Ducks continue to circulate the media world for all the wrong reasons though. If this is new to you the Ducks have been one of the worst teams in hockey the last two months.
Anaheim’s Last 21 Games…
Th Ducks have won just two games since December 18th 2018, went on a 12-game losing streak December 18th to January 15th after winning back to back games and their only two wins in the last 2 months. They are on a current 7-game losing streak and being out scored drastically in this 7-game span. The Ducks have scored 8 goals in seven games while allowing 37 goals against in seven games. Looking at the bigger picture of the Ducks 21-game disaster they have allowed 82 goals against, while scoring 34 goals for. The Ducks have been shutout five times, average 1.62 goals for per game over the last 21 games, 3.9 goals against per game. In this 21-game span they have a record of 2-15-4 a -48 goal differential, -105 shot difference, 12.7 percent power play and 78.9 penalty kill.
Clearly things have not been well in Anaheim and their small pre-All Star break/deadline moves did not do anything. It was inevitable that the Ducks were going to can Randy Carlyle, a head coach of his stature, Stanley Cup experience (winning one with Anaheim) etc. not getting the job done the end decision was firing him before the season ended. We are all surprised he lasted this long though, either way we all knew he was going to get fired. Stuff has been sh*tty to be blunt. I don’t think anyone expected the Ducks to have their GM Bob Murray step in and be the head coach though. Murray has no NHL coaching experience and this will be the first time we will see a GM behind the bench and making executive decisions at the same time.
Murray Feels It Is Necessary To Be Behind The Bench
In a recent article on NHL.com with Mike Zeisberger, Murray addressed a lot of concerns fans have. He said he feels as if this is the best way to figure out what is going on and get to the bottom of the problems right now. He agrees that he should be “in the trenches” with the team during this rough patch. He also said he does not think it is fair to bring someone at this point in the season and how rough it is in Anaheim right now.
Captain Ryan Getzlaf said he understands why Murray is coming to coach and supports his decision fully. He believes it may be beneficial to see what the locker room is like and hopefully give them a spark.
The Ducks play the Vancouver Canucks Wednesday night. Murray will have two and a half days to fully prepare for what his first day behind the bench will look like. Wednesday night vs Vancouver could end the Ducks dry spell, we have seen new coaches come in and be successful their first game and following weeks after it. (Ken Hitchcock in Edmonton, Doug Weight in New York) I would not be surprised to see a Ducks win Wednesday night. Things cannot get much worse for Anaheim than having tickets being sold for as low as $17 and fans wearing brown bags to games.