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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Boston Bruins weren't content to blow a 3-0 series lead, they had to go and blow a 3-0 lead in game seven as well. Mix in a late too many men on the ice call - the 33rd of all teams combined this playoffs - and the Philadelphia Flyers scored to win 4-3 and move on to the next round where they'll have home ice advantage against the Montreal Canadiens. Not bad for two teams that waited til their 82nd game to qualify for the playoffs as the #7 and #8 seeds.

Check out the average numbers for American League DH's going into yesterday: .231 batting average, 4 home runs and a .699 OPS. Says one GM to Peter Gammons: "drug testing at work."

Most Slashing Penalties, Most Dives, and a whole lot more in the 2010 Alternative NHL Awards.

Ahh, the internet. It isn't enough that the Cleveland Cavaliers can lose a series, that LeBron James had a less than stellar series, or that he may be leaving Cleveland. But here's one - I'm gonna say "ridiculous" - theory as to why they lost: LeBron found out teammate Delonte West was tapping LeBron's mother. I will say ridiculous as there's no way that story didn't go mainstream if true, not with how many media members are watching LBJ's every move right now.

Don Cherry says he'd invest in the return of the Winnipeg Jets?  Finally, we have good reason to keep the team in Phoenix.  Sincerely, Don Cherry's Restaurants, and the Mississauga IceDogs.

Toronto FC are in LA tonight to face the Galaxy. Kickoff is 10:30pm Eastern and TFC looks to grab their first road points of the season and continue a fine run of form. They've had success at LA in the past, but a second game in 3 days across the continent seems a big ask.

Friday, May 14, 2010

LeBron is Le-Gon

Man is that wager that LeBron James will skip town on Cleveland ever looking good after the Cavs were a second round flameout to the Boston Celtics thanks to a game six 94-85 loss. Does anybody think he'll stay?  There are some great hoops fans that read here daily and curious what they're figuring.

The Philadelphia Flyers are in Boston for game seven in their bruising series. The Flyers have won the last three games and Chris Pronger has turned back the clock. If they get decent goaltending again, they'll be hosting Montreal Sunday night. San Jose visits Chicago Sunday afternoon as that series gets under way.

ESPN The Magazine's May 3rd issue ran an article on whether playing fantasy sports for money is gambling and concluded that if the definition of gambling is "to put something of value at risk", fantasy has to be gambling. To pretend it is anything but gambling is laughable.

If the Boston Bruins should win tonight, it'll mark the 33rd time they've met in the playoffs, the most of any of the playoff matches in the NHL/NBA/NFL/MLB. The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs are a distant second at 23.

Tough year to be a Hart Trophy or Vezina Trophy nominee in the NHL, and tougher still for at least one, if you check out the picture to the right.  All said nominees have been bounced for the playoffs with a couple rounds to go.

Mike Tyson is going vegan?  How long til somebody gets off an "ear of corn" joke?

The always quotable Chicago White Sox Manager - he of the no filter - Ozzie Guillen gets off this gem on Chicago's sports teams: “We all suck, all sports in Chicago are very bad…  we need something good and positive for the city.  We need the Blackhawks to eat some Sharks.” I'm sure his boss will be thrilled he just did his team like that.

How to silence a Habs fan?  Well, here are four solid ways.

Sometimes, you read a headline and it doesn't have any more significance than normal.  But there are other time's - like this - where the same headline takes on a whole new meaning, or is funny.  Or both.

Umm, what?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Habs do it again in Game 7

There was no doubt left as to whether the Montreal Canadiens were the deserving winners last night, and in the series.  When you hold Sidney Crosby to one goal and four assists over the course of seven games, you're doing something right.  Had to laugh hearing Crosby mocking their style of giving up twice as many chances and shots and finding a way.  Isn't the latter the point?  Only fans should talk about style I think.  He would have a lot more credibility had his squad not found a way to lose three straight.  As for the rioting in Montreal last night, you'd think that a fan base that has seen as many Cups as they have might act a bit more like they've been there before, considering they're not even "there" yet.  I get that it is a small segment of the overall - and interestingly, growing - fan base, but come on people.  At least wait until the Cup is lifted before going LA Laker Fan on us.  It would not at all shock me to see the Habs in the Stanely Cup final as they'll be facing a very beat up Boston or Philadelphia team, both with considerable question marks of their own.  If I'm the Habs, I'd rather see Boston who don't have the playoff type warriors the Flyers do in Mike Richards and Chris Pronger, among others.

Speaking of the Flyers, they beat the Bruins 2-1 last night to escape a 3-0 crater in that series and force game seven tomorrow night.  The Flyers are the first team since 1975 to dig out of a 3-0 hole.

If you were at all wondering, wonder no more: Sammy Sosa is back to being black.

Lawrence Taylor's defence to the rape of a 16-year old will be that he didn't rape her, he was merely rubbing one out.  Guess that's at least slightly better.

Isn't it funny that the NFL's defensive rookie of the year Brian Cushing gets popped for performance enhancing drug use, and is suspended for four games, and that barely makes a ripple among every day sports fans?  And funnier still that they took a second vote for his award after the information came out and he still won?  A baseball player pops a Sudafed and it is days of discussion among the major media outlets and he's treated like he tried to kill the Pope. 

Dwayne Wade is going through a messy divorce, and he's now being sued for $25 million in a failed restaurant venture.  He's going to need a max contract to help pay for these lawsuits if he starts falling short in court.

Oakland A's pitcher - and the "before" poster boy for orthodentist's everywhere - Dallas Braden appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and read the Top Ten a couple nights ago.  He also said the matter with A-Rod has been "taken care of."  For what it is worth, Daryl Strawberry told The Michael Kay Show that "he's never heard of" the unwritten rule Braden cried about, and he'd be pounded if it were him for his act a few weeks back.  Orel Hershiser added "traditions are passed from older players to the younger, not the other way around, and I'm going to side with Alex here, this guy is too big for his britches and arguing for some not deeply set rule.  I don't have a problem with it, I really don't."
RM returns early afternoon after the riots in Montreal settle...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Game 7!

The Vancouver Canucks met their demise with a 5-1 thumping - at home no less - to the Chicago Black Hawks.  The Hawks now face the San Jose Sharks in what should be a dynamite series, and I suspect the winner their lifts the Stanley Cup when the dust settles.

Tonight, the Boston Bruins are in Philly for game six, but the big one of the night sees the Pittsburgh Penguins try to maintain their Cup defence with a game 7 hosting Montreal.  The Habs are already playing with house money, and aren't making near the mistakes the Pens are on defence.  Mix in a goalie playing out of his mind in Jaroslav Halak against one who looks terrified at times in Marc-Andre Fleury and you have to think an upset is somewhere from possible to probable.  But, tough to go against any team with Sidney Crosby on it.  Too close to call, but I'm going to say the Habs do it.  If it goes OT, that pick changes to the Pens who would be a lot better four on four with the added room around Halak.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now down 3-2 to the Boston Celtics after getting hammered at home 120-88 in a game where LeBron James didn't score til 30 minutes in, and shooting 3 of 14.  Last home game for LeBron?  Could well be.

Interesting thought on the NBA playoffs and how quick series have gone: the brevity of so many series will directly impact next year's salary cap negatively, so if a team like the New York Knicks was counting on an extra million or three in the pile to let them chase two max contracts, that is now under threat as the revenue pile won't be as large as it would in an average year's playoff run.

Who but the Cincinnati Bengals could be so quickly contemplating bringing in JaMarcus Russell already?  That team is threatening to replace the Oakland Raiders for where a player ends up rather than being a destination you aspire to.

With the Toronto Blue Jays hosting of the Philadelphia Phillies June 25-27 moved to Philly thanks to the G20 - and isn't that a commentary on the state of baseball in Toronto? - New York Met Jeff Francouer is arguing the extra home games for Philadelphia aren't fair.  He may have a point, but would love to hear his suggestion as to how you reschedule three interleague games.  It isn't like the Jays were hosting a divisional rival where there are a lot more opportunities to make games up with the odd double header.  That said, surely they could've gone to a neutral site to eliminate this discussion.  Montreal, perhaps?

Curious as to how your NFL team drafted relative to the Dallas Cowboys draft board?  Find out here, as the Cowboys board has been revealed.  A few bargains for the Miami Dolphins, the Tampa Bay Bucs got a better player at #3 in the Cowboys estimation than the Detroit Lions at #2, the Bills took CJ Spiller right where Dallas had him, and the Cowboys nabbed Dez Bryant a lot later than the 11th pick they had him projected.  Loads more at that link.

Maxim's annual Hot 100 is out.  Katy Perry topped the list.  Discuss.

The Bleacher Report weighs in with their take on the 25 worst uniforms.  For my money, the Pittsburgh Pirates aren't checking in nearly high enough at #15, nor are the Toronto Raptors at #9.

Do yourself a favor today, go hit your fav record store - yes, they still exist - and grab Danko Jones "Below The Belt".  You're welcome.  Caught Danko last night in Toronto at the Mod Club, and Jennifer Hedger and hubbie Sean McCormick were beside me for the show.  McCormick was jacked.  Hedger seemed astounded at Danko's tongue. 

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Habs survive, thrive

The Montreal Canadiens not only survived game six to even the series 3-3 with a 4-3 win, it is pretty safe to say they were full value for the win. Interesting that many of those that crack of Alexander Ovechkin as being a cheap shot artist while pumping up the virtues of Sidney Crosby aren't saying a word about his after-the-buzzer crosscheck on Tomas Plekanec. Game 7 goes tomorrow in Pittsburgh.

The Philadelphia Flyers shut out the Boston Bruins 4-0 to narrow the gap in that series to 3-2 with the next game set for Philadelphia.

I miss Kelly Kelly on Monday Night Raw.

It is almost a lock that the first game coming out of a series with Boston that the New York Yankees will lose, and that they did again in Detoilet last night.  Scoring more than two runs when they twice had the bases loaded with none out might have made a difference.

Says Bill Simmons (aka "The Sports Guy") via Twitter on Tiger Woods, with sarcasm oozing:
"I believe Tiger - there's no way a mysterious car accident that knocked him out for 10 mins had anything to do with his neck injury." Awesome. More on Tiger's injury below on video.

The Orlando Magic are 13-2 their last 15 against the spread.  In the two they didn't cover, they missed covering by a basket.  They're 8-0 straight up through two rounds of the playoffs.

The Toronto Blue Jays are 6-8 against teams above .500, and are also are 0-4 against Boston, 1-2 against Tampa and have yet to play Minnesota, Detroit or the New York Yankees.

What is going on with Adam Lind?

Check out this look at the five worst moves in the AFC East this off-season.  Not good news for Buffalo Bills fans, of which there are many reading here: the Bills check in with the top two bad moves.

There have been an incredible 498 arrests of NFL players since the year 2000.  Almost as impressively, somebody has taken the time to set up a database with all of them.

Over the weekend, Buster Olney said he'd be "stunned if [David] Ortiz finishes the month on the Boston roster."  Can't wait for that press conference by Big Papi!

Elisha Cuthbert, girlfriend of Dion Phaneuf (aka "The Next Leafs captain")...what happened?

Because the truth is always way funnier than fiction, check out this clip from the Golf Channel on Sunday after Tiger Woods pulled out (heyooo!) with a bulging dick...err...disc in his neck.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Champions crowned in the EPL

Chelsea eliminated any drama in the final day of a fantastic English Premier League season with an 8-0 pounding of Wigan giving them the championship with a one point gap over defending champion Manchester United, 4-0 winners over Stoke City. Chelsea and United will be joined in Champions League play next season by Arsenal and Tottenham.

In Italy, the race is also going down to the wire as Inter Milan maintained a two-point gap over AS Roma with a game to play. Spain has a tight race going to the wire with Barcelona up a single point on Real Madrid with a game to play. Great season in all the major leagues this year.

The Phoenix Suns swept the San Antonio Spurs to exorcise a rather large demon of theirs over the years. They could use a few extra days to heal Steve Nash's eye, looking pretty horrific in the picture above.

The Oakland Raiders finally released JaMarcus Russell, who earned $36m for going 7-18, with 18 TDs in 3 years. Hell of an argument, on top of logic, for a rookie  wage scale in the next round of collective bargaining, no?

The Boston Red Sox are 2-8 at home against Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees, outscored 67-37 in those games.  Ouch.

Is it me, or does PJ Stock on Hockey Night in Canada seem as comfortable on TV as the "Boom Goes The Dynamite" guy?

Gotta hand it to Dana White. With the public perception his is a dirty sport - right or wrong - he acts swiftly to address a cheap shot from Paul Daley on Josh Koschek following their fight on Saturday in Montreal, tossing Daley from UFC permanently, despite him being a talent and in the championship mix. And people think Roger Goodell is tough on NFLers. If you hadn't heard, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua beat Lyoto Machida for the Light Heavyweight title with a first round knockout. Good card in Montreal.

Toronto FC looked as good as they've ever looked in a 4-1 win over the Chicago Fire Saturday at a ridiculously windy BMO Field. Chad Barrett, O'Brian White and Dwayne De Rosario looked fantastic together attacking Chicago in the second half. If TFC can get it going on the road, they're gonna be something. As it stands, a hell of a turnaround from the first two games of the year when things seemed dire.

As customized jersey's go, this LA Dodgers one is stellar. Gonna go out on a limb and suggest this guy is single. 

The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated Saturday by the San Jose Sharks, who are gaining steam the deeper the playoffs get.  Last night, the Vancouver Canucks had a stay of execution with a game five 4-1 win in Chicago. Tonight, the Pittsburgh Penguins have the guillotine poised over the necks of the past best-before-date Montreal Canadiens in Montreal while the Boston Bruins look to finish off the Philadelphia Flyers.

Those Phoenix Coyotes to Winnipeg rumors continue to percolate. Have to say I'd love to see the Jets back, even though a second team in Toronto or another in southern Ontario make far more sense.

Interesting argument put my way on drug use in baseball this weekend. For all the talk of Barry Bonds having used steroids in breaking the all-time record, nobody talks of how amped on amphetamines Pete Rose was for decades in breaking the all-time hit record, and that was done openly with plenty of witnesses in the media. For me, same principle applies in both cases: if there wasn't a rule against it at the time, he didn't break a rule. Period. 

Finally today, early win total lines for the NFL season...
Team Venetian/Palazzo Lucky's
Indianapolis Colts 11 11
San Diego Chargers 10.5 11
New Orleans Saints 10.5 10.5
Dallas Cowboys 10 10
New York Jets 9.5 9.5
New England Patriots 9.5 9.5
Minnesota Vikings 9 9.5
Baltimore Ravens 9 9.5
San Francisco 49ers 9 8.5
Green Bay Packers 9 9.5
Philadelphia Eagles 8.5 8.5
New York Giants 8.5 9
Houston Texans 8.5 8.5
Tennessee Titans 8.5 8.5
Atlanta Falcons 8 9
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 8.5
Cincinnati Bengals 8 8
Miami Dolphins 8 8
Chicago Bears 7.5 8
Carolina Panthers 7.5 8
Washington Redskins 7.5 7.5
Arizona Cardinals 7.5 7.5
Jacksonville Jaguars 7.5 7
Denver Broncos 7 7.5
Seattle Seahawks 7 7.5
Kansas City Chiefs 6 6
Buffalo Bills 5.5 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5.5 5.5
Oakland Raiders 5.5 6
Detroit Lions 5.5 5.5
Cleveland Browns 5 5.5
St. Louis Rams 5 5