Chris Olmstead from Beyond the Flag was on the podcast Sunday morning and one of his picks to go to victory lane was Jimmie Johnson. Earlier in the week I had heard one of the Waltrip brothers mention that he thought there might be some troubles on the #48 team. He Aric Almirola. We’re halfway through the NASCAR regular season and the circuit still has to go to Pocono Raceway and Michigan International Speedway twice. There are still 2 road course races at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. There’s also a stop at the newest track on the schedule Kentucky Speedway just to go over a few of the races left on the schedule.
Is there anyone out there really surprised that Adrian Peterson showed up at Minnesota Vikings O.T.A.’s this week. I like the statement Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made when he more or less said that Peterson could play for the Vikings or not play at all. Peterson and his representatives have done a lot of crying this off season as they tried to force the Vikings to trade him. Minnesota held it’s ground and it looks like Peterson will be in a Vikings uniform for the 2015/16 season. Once Week 1 rolls around Peterson’s salary of $12.75 million dollars will be guaranteed. Peterson is trying to get the last 2 years of his deal guaranteed, but that’s brought even more criticism from fans who believed he should be grateful for the organization’s continued support after his legal troubles. This story is just getting started; so I’m sure will hear a lot more complaining if not from Peterson himself, but from the people who represent him.
Are you ready for the Stanley Cup Finals to get started? They’ll drop the puck tonight in Tampa Bay for Game 1 at 7:00 p.m. Central time. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville did quite a bit of line juggling in the Western conference finals against the Anaheim Ducks and you have to wonder if he’ll match up his 4th line of Marcus Kruger, Andrew Desjardins and Andrew Shaw against the Tampa Bay Lighting’s triplet line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov. I would think that the 1st lines will match up against each other. We should see Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Brandon Saad match up with Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn. Patrick Kane did skate with Toews during Game 7 of the conference finals; so we’ll have to see if the Blackhawks will continue to keep them together. Tampa Bay will have to decide if they’ll try to match their top defensive pairing of Anton Stralman and Victor Hedman against the line with Kane on it or the Blackhawks top line with Toews on it. The defensive pairings are easier for the Blackhawks just for the fact that Duncan Keith is always on the ice. Keith is normally paired with the underrated Niklas Hjalmarsson, but did skate with Brent Seabrook in the conference finals. The Blackhawks other 3 defenseman Kimmo Timonen, Kyle Cumiskey and Johnny Oduya really need to step up and help the Blackhawks defense. Hedman and Stralman have been getting quite a bit of ice time for Tampa Bay and the Lighting will need their other 4 defenseman Jason Garrison, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and Andrej Sustr to factor in this series. Defense and goaltending should become more important as a lot of experts are predicting and offensive series with lots of goal scoring.
How do you feel about Tampa Bay trying to prevent Blackhawks fans from getting tickets to the games in Tampa Bay. They’ve even went so far as to say that you won’t be able to wear Blackhawks gear in the bars and restaurant at Amalie Arena. This has always seemed kind of stupid to me and Dan the Man is convinced that teams do it just for the publicity. The Nashville Predators have been trying to do this with Blackhawks fans for a few seasons now and there still seem to be a good amount of Blackhawks fans at those games. I’m pretty sure when the puck drop for Game 1 and Game 2 in Tampa bay there will be plenty of Blackhawks fans in attendance.
Thursday night the NBA Finals tip off at Oracle Arena as the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Golden State received the best news it probably could’ve gotten as Klay Thompson was
To no surprise at all the Chicago Bulls hired Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg to replace Tom Thibodeau as their head coach. Hoiberg received a 5 years $25 million dollar contract from the Bulls. Hoiberg went 115-56 at Iowa State and led the Cyclones to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back Big 12 tournament titles. Hoiberg had a 10 year NBA career including 4 seasons with the Bulls. Hoiberg had career averages of 5.4 points per game, 1.6 assists per game and 2.7 rebounds per game. It also looks like the Bulls will get their wish and Thibodeau won’t be getting an NBA head coaching job next season. The Bulls plan all along was to try and shut Thibodeau out of any open head coaching positions and right now only the Denver Nuggets are in the market for a head coach and I don;t believe Thibodeau’s name has been mentioned. It’s was petty of the Bulls to do that to Thibodeau even of they didn’t like him or couldn’t get along with him, but sadly they weren’t above being childish. Thibodeau is due to receive $9 million over the next couple of seasons from the Bulls which was another reason I thought the Bulls would like to see him get another head coaching job. Unless something else opens up or the Nuggets come calling Thibodeau will either have to take an assistant coaching job or sit out and wait for an NBA head coaching opening.