Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 31, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Stanley Cup finals started on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Nashville Predators in game 1. This was the first time in team history that Nashville has been to a Stanley Cup finals and you have to wonder if maybe there was some nerves early on. Pittsburgh jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st period. Evgeni Malkin got the first goal for the Penguins. Connor Sheary scored Pittsburgh’s second goal while Nick Bonino added the third goal. Sidney Crosby assisted on two of the three goals.

With a 3-0 lead heading into the 2nd period it looked as though the Penguins would cruise to an easy victory. The Predators and the game really settled down in the 2nd period. Ryan Ellis scored the only goal of the period for Nashville to make it a 3-1 game. P.K. Subban and Mike Fischer assisted on the goal.

Nashville had been playing as good if not better than every other team in this years playoffs, but you have to wonder if they had out themselves in to big of a whole against a top offensive team like Pittsburgh.

The Predators made it a one goal game when Colton Sissons scored on the power play. Then Nashville evened things up at 3-3 when Fredrick Gaudreau scored. It was a tie game for a little over three minutes before Jake Guentzel score for the Penguins to make it 4-3. Nick Bonino scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to  seal a Game 1 5-3 win for the Penguins.

A game that started off looking like a blow out turn out to be a very close contest. The offensive minded Penguins managed just 12 shots on Pekka Rinne in the game. Even though they picked up the win you have to think that the Penguins will have to find a way to generate more scoring chances as the series moves forward. Now Nashville did get 26 shots on Matt Murray; so they have to be happy with the shot total they had. You look back at the game and you have to wonder if the Predators had just gotten off to a better start things may have been different.

Game 2 is tonight in Pittsburgh. I don’t think you can say this is any type of must win for Nashville. I’m sure they’d love to get a win on the road, but even if they go down 2 games they’re headed back home for Game 3 on Saturday night and then Game 4 on Monday night. To win the Stanley Cup Nashville will have to win a game in Pittsburgh; so maybe Game 2 could be that game. Will find out tonight.

Now the Washington Capitals where the best team during the NHL regular season, but where eliminated from the playoffs by the Penguins in the 2nd round. That of course has brought up some questions about a team that has won the President’s trophy in back to back seasons.

Would the Capitals make changes? Washington’s General Manager Brian MacLellan address what the team would be looking to do this off season on Tuesday. MacLellan explained that he’d look to “tweak and retool on the fly rather than overhauling the roster”.

There have been some rumors that the Capitals may look to trade Alexander Ovechkin or All-Star center Nicholas Backstrom. Neither of those deals look to be happening. The Capitals aren’t even looking to make a coaching change. Barry Trotz will be back behind the Washington bench at the start of next season. 2017-18 is the last year of Trotz’s contract; so maybe we’ll see a coaching change after that.

Now there are some big decisions that Washington will have to make this off season. Wingers T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams along with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner are unrestricted free agents. The Capitals also have four of their young players Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Andre Burakovsky and Nate Schmidt as restricted free agents. The restricted free agents usually take priority and all four of those will be looking for raises. Since the NHL’s salary ca[ isn’t expected to move much from the $73 million dollar figure that it’s at Washington might be making some changes by default. The Capitals will have to figure out who stays and who goes as well as the possibility of losing a player to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.

Will the Capitals bring enough players back to win the President’s trophy for a third season in a row? Or better yet will they find some success in the playoffs for the first time with Alex Ovechkin.

Albert Pujols should make the baseball Hall of Fame the first year his name is on the ballot. Pujols was the best player in baseball when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and while he hasn’t quite been the same player since signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pujols is on the brink of hitting his 600th career home run. Pujols hit home run #599 in the Angels 9-3 win over the Atlanta Braves last night. You have to figure #600 won’t be far behind. Remember just three year ago to get to the 500 home run mark Pujols hit #499 and #500 in the same game in Washington. While that didn’t happen last night; he does just need one more home run to get to that 600 total. When Pujols hits that 600th home run he’ll be the 9th player in baseball history to reach that total. Now remember Pujols is signed through the year 2022 with the Angels; so there’s a chance if he stays healthy that he’ll actually get to the 700 home run plateau. If he did get tp that 700 number Pujols would be just one of four players to reach that number.

While Pujols might not be the player he use to be he still has a resume that should get him easily into Cooperstown. Pujols was Rookie of the Year in 2001. He’s won three M.V.P. awards 2005, 2008 and 2009. He’s also finished 2nd in the M.V.P. voting four times and 3rd once. Pujols is a 10-time All-Star, has won 2 Gold Gloves and 6 Silver Slugger awards. He’s also a .308 career hitter who won the N.L. batting title in 2003.

Do that look Hall of Fame worthy to you?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

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