Posts Tagged ‘Carolina Panthers’

As far as Thursday night games go the Carolina Panthers 23 to 20 win over the New Orleans Saints was one of the better games the NFL has had on Thursday. Now from a fantasy perspective the game was terrible. Carolina’s pass defense was ranked 25th going into the game with New Orleans pass defense being ranked even lower at 29th. With Drew Brees and Cam Newton as the quarterbacks in this game you’d think there would be a lot passing yards and fantasy points going up. While Brees did throw for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns his negatives really hurt him. Brees threw an interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked 3 times. I was betting that Brees would throw for 350 yards against a struggling Carolina pass defense. Newton’s numbers where bad, just bad. Newton completed 14 of 33 passes for just 192 yards, but did throw a touchdown pass. It was the second lowest number of passing yards Newton has thrown for this season and the first time he had been under 200 passing yards since Week 4. Now in a lot of cases when Newton struggles he makes up for it with his running. Newton ran 5 times against the Saints, but managed just 7 yards. So neither of these big name quarterbacks are going to be any help for their fantasy owners this week. With the quarterbacks not having big nights that means the wide receivers and tight ends probably didn’t out up any fantasy points for you either. Bradin Cooks (New Orleans) had the most receptions with 7 while Michael Thomas (New Orleans) had the most receiving yards with 68. Even Panthers tight end Greg Olsen had a down night. The three passing touchdowns went to Colby Fleener the Saints tight end, Brandon Coleman the Saints 4th wide receiver and Ted Ginn Jr. of the Panthers. Depending on the size of you fantasy league there’s a chance that none of these players where in a starting line up. There where two or maybe three useable fantasy players in this game, Tim Hightower had 69 rushing yards on 12 carries and also caught 8 oases for 57 yards. Hightower was the highest scoring fantasy player in the game and he didn’t score. Jonathan Stewart was solid picking up a rushing touchdown while gaining 31 yards on 18 carries. Stewart also caught a pass for 8 yards. Hey every fantasy point helps. Ginn  Jr. was the highest scoring fantasy receiver by catching 3 passes for 46byards and a touchdown. Ginn Jr. also had 10 return yards and ran the football 1 time for 13 yards. Ginn Jr. may have been the top fantasy player in this game had he not had a rushing touchdown called back because of a penalty. While not putting up the most fantasy points in this game the best fantasy play may have been the Carolina Defense/Special Teams unit. The Panthers had 3 sacks, an interceptions, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick to go along with 66 return yards. With the fantasy points the Panthers Defense/Special Teams unit out up I won’t be surprise if they end up in the Top 5 in scoring among Defense/Special Teams this week. I’m interested to know how many people even started this unit against an offense like the Saints.

Now I have a few of these guys on my various fantasy teams and I’m hoping that either I’m playing a team that also had players in this game or that someone else on my fantasy team will step up and make up for the points that weren’t scored in this game. Hopefully you where in on the right guys in this game even though there weren’t many and the rest of Week 11 goes well for you.

The Columbus Blue Jackets scored 2 goals in the 3rd period last night to beat the New York Rangers 4-2. Now the story in this game was Blue Jackets winger Matt Calvert. Yes; it’s one of those stories that show how tough hockey players are. In the 2nd period with the Blue Jackets up 2-1 and 9;28 of the period gone Calvert blocked a shot by the Rangers Nick Holden. While Calvert was credited with a shot block he blocked it with his face and started bleeding. Calvert left the ice to be stitched up and checked for a concussion. After receiving 36 stitches and passing the NHL’s concussion protocol you guessed it Calvert returned to the ice. Mika Zibanejad of the Rangers scored at the 8:32 mark to tie the game at 2 apiece. Then while short handed Calvert scored the game winning goal for Columbus at the 11:35 point of the period with his head wrapped in a bandage. Calvert was assisted by Ryan Murray and William Karlsson on his game winner. The Blue Jackets did add an empty net goal to get to the 4-2 final. Calvert was named the #1 star of the game.

The Houston Astros had made some minor moves this off season. They picked up the option on Evan Gattis contract; they also claimed Nori Aoki off waivers from the Seattle Mariners and they dealt reliever Pat Neshek to the Philadelphia Phillies, but this week the Astros made a bigger splash. The Astros week started by signing pitcher Charlie Morton to a two year $14 million dollar deal, but that was just the start for Houston. On Thursday the Astros two minor league pitchers; Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman to the New York Yankees for catcher Brian McCann. McCann will be 33 years old at the start of what will be his 13th major league season. McCann is a career .266 hitter and has 245 career home runs. Career stats McCann caught in 92 games for the Yankees last season. He was the Designated Hitter in 32 games and played 1st base in 3 games last season. How will the Astros use McCann might be the question. That’s something will have to wait and see on. Even after the McCann trade the Astros weren’t done as they signed outfielder Josh Reddick to a 4 year $52 million dollar deal. Reddick started last season with the Oakland A’s, but was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 1st with pitcher Rich Hill. Reddick had his struggles with the Dodgers hitting .258 in in 47 games with 2 home runs and 9RBI’s. Reddick will be 30 years old at the start of his 9th season. Reddick is a career .258 hitter and has 96 career home runs. Career Stats There are some reports that the Astros aren’t done as they have interest in talking to free agent Edwin Encarnacion. I thought the Astros might go after starting pitching help and we’ll see what they got in Morton, but it does look as they’ve improved there hitting. Do you like these Astros moves?

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Let’s Call it Wednesday

Posted: September 7, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in sports
Tags: , , , ,

I hope you’re ready for it; because it starts tomorrow. That’s right the Carolina Panthers are at the Denver Broncos in a rematch from last seasons Super Bowl to kick off the NFL season.

Now both teams should bring top defenses to the game, but the offenses from each team will look a little bit different. The biggest change for the Broncos is under Center. Peyton Manning did retire after the Super Bowl win and it looked like Mark Sanchez was going to take over at quarterback. The Broncos signed Sanchez as a free agent, but he didn’t play all that well in the pre-season and ended up being released. Now the Broncos did draft Paxton Lynch in the 1st round of the draft, but he’s not the starter either. Denver is going with Trevor Siemian. Siemian is in his 2nd season with the Broncos; he took 1 snap last season, but it was a kneel down. Siemian is making his 1st career NFL start against one of the toughest defensive in the leagues. Siemian still has a pair of top wide receivers to work with in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Virgil Green is the starting tight end, but he hasn’t really broken though in the passing game. C.J. Anderson was resigned in the off season and should get the majority of the carries when the Broncos run the football. Now there has been a lot of talk that the Broncos like rookie Devontae Booker; so expect him to get some carries as head coach Gary Kubiak is known to use more than one running back. As a new quarterback Siemian will have some weapons to work with; so as he goes so should the Broncos offense.

Now the biggest change for the Carolina offense is health. They’ll get wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin back after missing all of last season with a knee injury. Tight end Greg Olsen was dinged up pretty much all of pre-season and may start the regular season injured. Olsen produced as the feature receiver in Carolina’s offense last season and they need him to be healthy to start the season. Ted Ginn Jr. looks like the receiver teams thought he would be years ago and Devin Funchess will also catch some passes for quarterback Cam Newton. Newton should be an MVP contender this season. Jonathan Stewart is the #1 running back for the Panthers, but Mike Tolbert is still on the roster to get those tough yards and short touchdowns. If Newton continues to mature as a quarterback and if his legs are good to go the Panthers look to have one of the top offenses in the NFL and should be the NFC front runner to got to the Super Bowl.

On the defensive side of the football Denver did lose defensive tackle Malik Jackson in free agency this off season, but they where able to work out a long term deal with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. Miller will man the strong side linebacker spot and cause havoc for quarterbacks league wide. DeMarcus Ware is going to start the season on a play count, but you can bet he’ll be on the field in all passing situations. The other key for the Broncos last season was the defensive backfield. Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. and T.J. Ward all return in the secondary where they’ll be joined by Darian Stewart. Denver’s defense should be one of the better ones in the NFL and with a young quarterback it may be counted on to keep them in games early in the season.

Josh Norman was the top cornerback in the NFL last season as part of this Panthers defense. He signed a big money deal with the Washington Redskins; so the Panthers will have to replace him. James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, Robert McClain, Teddy Williams and Bene Benwikre will be the guys looking to fill that role. Luckily the secondary may be working with the best group of linebackers in the NFL. Luke Kuechely is the top linebacker in the NFL and Thomas Davis is very good as well. Shaq Thompson fills out this trio of linebackers and his play will dictate how this group is ranked. Kony Early played well in the Super Bowl, but will that carry over into this season. It’s a good group and should be one of the top defenses in the NFL.

The Miami Marlins entered play last night 5 games out of the 2nd wild card spot in the National League. Before last nights 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies the Marlins activated 1st baseman Justin Bour and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton from the disabled list. Both player pinch hit in last nights game. Bour drew a walk on 4 pitches while Stanton single in his at bat. The loss last night did drop the Marlins to 6 games back in the wild card race and with just 23 games left in the regular season and three teams to get past; is there enough time for the Marlins to get into a wild card spot? I don’t think the Marlins can get there. Here’s the rest of their schedule and you can tell me what you think. They wrap up their series with the Phillies today then the Los Angeles Dodgers are in Miami for 3 games. Then it’s on the road for 3 against the Atlanta Braves and then 3 in Philadelphia. The Marlins return home for 3 against the Washington Nationals,3 against the Braves and 3 against the New York Mets. The finish the season with 3 games in Washington against the Nationals. I don’t think they have a very favorable schedule and they are still dealing with some pitching injuries. Don’t forget that Wei-Yon Chen, Adam Conley and David Phelps are all still on the disabled list. They do still have Jose Fernandez in the rotation, but he can’t pitch everyday. Can Andrew Cashner, Tom Koehler and Jose Urena support Fernandez enough to get the Marlins in the playoffs; sorry I just don’t see it.

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The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Sunday. Denver used the best defense in the NFL to shutdown the Cam Newton led Panthers offense. Newton was sacked 6 times threw an interception and was hit 13 other times on top of the sacks. It was the first time all season that the Carolina offense was shutdown like it was in the Super Bowl. The Broncos defense actually had 7 sacks on the night, but one of them was on Ted Ginn Jr. on a trick play that the Panthers where trying to run. Newton ended the game 18 of 41 for 265 yards. Newton also ended the game as the Panthers leading rusher. Newton had 45 yards on 6 rushing attempts. The Carolina offense also fumbled the football 4 times losing 3 of them. Carolina’s receivers where producing, but they just couldn’t string any plays together because of the pressure Newton was under all game. Corey (Philly) Brown, Greg Olson and Ginn all had 4 receptions in the game. Brown went for 80 yards and looked like he was in position to be the key to Carolina’s offense, but had to leave the game with concussion symptoms. Carolina’s defense played a good game as well and actually kept them in it. Peyton Manning was 13 for 23 for just a 141 yards with 1 interception. Manning was also sacked 5 times. Even Denver’s running game couldn’t really get going. C.J. Anderson did carry the football 23 times for 90 yards and 1 touchdown; he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry. To be fair Anderson’s rushing touchdown was a gift from the Broncos defense and if T.J. Ward would’ve been able to stand up he would’ve scored that touchdown. Emmanuel Sanders was Manning’s main target as he had 6 receptions for 83 yards. Anderson did add 4 catches as well, but went for just 10 yards on those catches. With the game playing out the way it did you knew that someone from the Broncos defense would be the MVP The award went to Von Miller who had  tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble. Miller set the tone for the game as he just took the football away from Newton down on the goal line and Malik Jackson recovered it in the end zone for the 1st score of the game. Miller was far and away the best player on the Broncos and deserved the award. I believe that if the Panthers would’ve found a way t comeback and win the game Kony Early would’ve been the MVP. Early had 3 sacks and 1 interception for the Panthers defense. Of course I was happy to see Miller get the MVP as he was my pick in the Saturday blog.

Our Super Bowl predictions where decent this season. Mr. Fantasy and I had Denver winning and I mentioned that I some how got the MVP right. Sadly Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu had Carolina winning. No one got the final score right, but Mr. Fantasy did have Denver’s point total correct. Overall for our playoff predictions Mr. Fantasy and I went 8-4, but since he got Denver’s point total right he would win the tiebreaker. Dan the Man went 7-5 for the playoffs and Schaumburg Stu finished at 6-6 overall.

With the game being a defensive battle there where a lot of people complaining that they didn’t like it. I’m sure everyone and even the NFL expected more of an offensive battle, but both defenses controlled the action. Neither team had an answer for the others pass rush and turnovers made the difference in the game. I don’t have the energy to go through the post game stuff that went on wit Cam Newton, but what I want to know is did you enjoy the game?

The Ottawa Senators made a deal yesterday with the Toronto Maple Leafs to try to get themselves into the playoffs. It was a 9-player deal between the 2 teams with the center piece being Dion Phaneuf going from Toronto to Ottawa. Along with Phanuef the Senators received forward Matt Frattin, forward Casey Bailey, forward Ryan Rupert and defense prospect Cody Donaghey from the Maple Leafs. In return the Maple Leafs got defenseman Jared Cowen, forwards Colin Greening, Milan Michalek and Tobias Lindberg, and Ottawa’s second-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. What may have been the biggest key to the deal for the Maple Leafs is that Ottawa was willing to pick up the remainder of Phanuef’s contract which has 5 years still on it and is a salary cap hit of $7 million. As it appears Toronto will rebuild with the extra salary cap room will the Maple Leafs go after free agent to be Steven Stamkos now of the Tampa Bay Lighting. Phaneuf spent the first four-plus years of his career in Calgary before being traded to Toronto in January 2010. The three-time All-Star has 45 goals, 151 assists and is a minus-30 in his career. This may be the first of a few deals the Maple Leafs are involved in if they’re going to try and clear some salary cap room.

The Senators are currently 25-23-6 on the season for 56 points. That puts them 5 points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and 6 points behind the Boston Bruins for a Eastern Conference wild card spot. Ottawa has won it’s last 2 games putting up 11 goals total in those games. The Senators will play 3 games in 4 days starting tonight against the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit. They head home for Thursday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche and then Ottawa has a day off before going back on the road to play the Columbus Blue Jackets. That’s a tough set of games; so we’ll have to see if the Senators can make up some ground in the wild card race over these next 4 days.

Is anyone else confused by the Sacramento Kings. At the start of the season there was talk that they where going to fire head coach George Karl. That move seemed to stem from Karl’s suggestion of trading Sacramento’s best player DeMarcus Cousins. The team got off to a good start and the firing talk went away. Well as soon as the team hit a bad stretch the talk of removing Karl as coach came right back. There where quite a few reports that Karl would be removed over the All-Star break which is this weekend. Then there was a report yesterday that Karl met with the Kings owner and he would remain coach for the rest of the season. I guess at this point in time; why would Karl want to coach this team? Sacramento is 21-31 and is 5 games out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Here you go; say the Kings rebound and get themselves into that #8 seed and make the playoffs. How do you think they would do against the Golden State Warriors in the 1st round of the playoffs?

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com and today (Wednesday) Schaumburg Stu is filling in for Dan the Man.

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Believe it or not the Golden State Warriors did it to another contender. This time the San Antonio Spurs fell victim to a 30 point Warriors blow out 120-90 on Monday night. Tim Duncan was held out of the game due to a knee issue, but even if Duncan had played it wouldn’t of changed the outcome of the game. The Warriors took a 6-point lead after the 1st quarter 29-23. Golden State added 9 points to the lead going into halftime 62-47. The Warriors out the game away in the 3rd quarter adding 14 points to there lead 95-66. The Golden State lead was big enough after 3 quarters for Stephan Curry to sit out the entire 4th quarter. Even without Curry in the 4th the Warriors outscored the Spurs 25-24 to get another 30 point victory over a team many experts thought might be an NBA title contender.

Curry led the way for Golden State with 37 points in 28 minutes of game action. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were the other Warriors starters scoring in double figures with 11 points apiece. Brandon Rush and Shaun Livingston came off the Warriors bench to score 13 points; Marreese Speights added 12 points off the Golden State bench as well. Green led Golden State in both rebounds with 9 and assists with 6.

San Antonio was led by Kawhi Leonard in scoring with 16 points. David West was the only other Spurs starter to score in double figures with 12. but Boban Marjanovic did come off the San Antonio bench to score 12 points. Marjanovic also grabbed a team high 6 rebounds while Tony Parker, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili all tied for the team lead in assists with 3.

The Warriors improved to 21-0 at home and 41-4 overall. The loss was the Spurs 7th of the season; all on the road and there record dropped to 38-7. Golden State is back in action tonight as they play host to the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are 26-21 on the season, but just 13-13 on the road. Can they be the team to hand the Warriors their 1st home loss of the season? If Golden State gets a win tonight over Dallas they’ll take their winning streak on a 3 game road trip starting Saturday in Philadelphia against the 76ers. The game against the 76ers is the first of a back to back as Sunday night the Warriors face off against the New York Knicks. After the back to back the Warriors get a couple of days off before going up against the Washington Wizards to end the road trip. Philadelphia is 7-39 on the season and it would be the biggest upset in I don’t know how long if they beat the Warriors. Back to backs are always tough for teams; so maybe the Knicks have an outside shot at getting a win against Golden State. The Knicks are 22-25, but do have a winning record (13-10) at home. The Wizards have been a bit of a disappointment this season. They’re 20-23 this season and have actually played better on the road than they have at home. Don’t forget that the Warriors did stumble on their last road trip and lost a game to the Detroit Pistons. Could we see something like that happen on this road trip? It’s doubtful with the match ups they have; Detroit is 24-21 and looking to grab an Eastern Conference playoff spot this season.

There are 4 games left on the NHL schedule tonight before the teams head into the All-Star break. The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Philadelphia Flyers take on the Washington Capitals. The Nashville Predators take on the Calgary Flames and the night wraps up with the Colorado Avalanche against the Los Angeles Kings. Win or lose tonight the Capitals will head into the All-Star break with the most points. Washington has 73 points heading into tonight’s game against Philadelphia. Washington is followed by the Chicago Blackhawks with 70 points. The Dallas Stars are next with 67 points. Then the St. Louis Blues have 64 points while the Kings and the Florida Panthers are tied at 63 points. Three of the those teams (Blackhawks, Stars and Blues) all come from the Western Conference Central division.

The Blackhawks Patrick Kane leads the NHL in scoring with 73 points. Kane also leads in goals with 30 and assists with 43. Jamie Benn of the Stars is 2nd in scoring with 58 points and his teammate Tyler Seguin is 3rd with 53 points. Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is 4th in scoring with 52 points and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks rounds out the Top 5 scorers with 49 points. Benn and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin trail Kane by 2 goals with 28 each then comes Sequin, Pavelski and the Blues Vladimir Tarasenko with 26 goals each. Karlsson trails Kane by 2 assists with 41 on the season. Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets is 3rd with 35 assists. John Klingberg from the Stars is 4th with 34 assists and then P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Capitals are tied for 5th with 33 assists.

Washington’s Braden Holtby leads all goaltenders in wins with 30. Chicago’s Corey Crawford is next with 28 wins then Jonathan Quick of the Kings comes in with 26 wins.  Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Martin Jones of the Sharks are tied with 23 wins. John Gibson of the Anaheim Ducks has the best Goals Against Average at 1.91. Holtby is next at 2.01 with Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lighting eight behind him at 2.02. Peter Mrazek of the Detroit Red Wings and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils are tied at 2.03. Chicago’s Crawford leads all goaltenders with 7 shutouts on the season. Jake Allen of the Blues is next with 5 shutouts while there are 7 goalies tied with 4 shutouts.

I’m sure you noticed going through the stats, but the teams with the better records seem to have the most players on top of the stat sheet. If your favorite is doing well they’ll need their top players to continue to produce to stay in playoff contention.

We’ve got our Super Bowl match up. It will be the #1 seeds from each conference as the Denver Broncos will represent the AFC as they take on the Carolina Panthers of the NFC. The Broncos had a little tougher time getting to the Super Bowl as they held on for a 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots. The Panthers had a much easier time advancing to the Super Bowl as they cruised to a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. There’s plenty of time to break this game down; so I’m not going to start on it today. What I will tell you is Carolina opened as a 4 point favorite for the game with the over/under being set at 44 1/2 points.

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Week 15 ended up being a good week for us as we all got into double digit wins. I won the week with a 13-3 record. Mr. Fantasy finished 2nd going 12-4. It was Dan the Man in 3rd place for the week with a record of 11-5; so that means Schaumburg Stu ended up at the bottom on the week at 10-6. With just a couple of weeks left in the season I find myself in the overall lead with a record of 138-85. Dan the Man is 7 games behind me with an overall record of 131-92. Mr. Fantasy has found his way out of the cellar and is in 3rd with an overall record of 125-98. That means that Schaumburg Stu is back in the cellar, but only by a game as his overall record is 124-99. Week 16 starts tomorrow (Thursday) with an AFC West match up as it’s the San Diego Chargers vs. the Oakland Raiders. Let’s see how the picks go for us.

I’m sure by now you’ve seen or heard about what took place on the field between Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman during the New York Giants/Carolina Panthers game. Beckham Jr. ended up being suspended for 1 game and if it was me I would’ve sent him packing for the rest of the season which would’ve been 2 games. I’ve heard the excuses the Giant tried to make for Beckham Jr, and I don;t believe any of them. I’m not here to go into any of that garbage. What I’m interested in is how this affect the Panthers. Remember at one point in time the Panthers where up 35-7 on the Giants and ended up winning 38-35. So now the Panthers take their 14-0 record to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons. Two weeks ago the Panthers easily defeated the Falcons 38-0, but I’m not sure that this game will go the same way.  First off the Falcons are at home; so that should help a little. What I think may have an even bigger effect on this game might be the fact that the Panthers could have an emotional let down. With all the Beckham Jr./Norman garbage and now the fallout from that it may also start to prove as a distraction to the Panthers. Are the Panthers a better team than the Falcons; yes of course they are, but you know from watching the NFL that the best team doesn’t always win the game. It may also be possible that Atlanta found something last week in their 23-17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaquars. The win snapped a 6 game losing streak for the Falcons. Remember Atlanta reeled off 5 wins to start the season. Call it a hunch or maybe I’m just stupid, but I think that Atlanta has a better than average chance to win this game. I don;t have to make a pick on this game right now, but Sunday on the Sports Time Radio podcast you’ll get to hear who I decided to go with in this game.

Last night in the NHL the marquee match up was the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks vs. the team with the most points (54) in the NHL the Dallas Stars. Even with the season not quite to the halfway point this was still a bit of a statement game. Both teams where coming into this game with a win. On Sunday the Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime while on Monday the Stars topped the Minnesota Wild 6-3. It appeared as though the Blackhawks had a couple of things working in their favor going into the game. Dallas had to fly into Chicago for the game and it was the 2nd game of a back to back for the Stars. As it turned out none of that mattered as it was the Stars that made the statement in the game. There was no scoring in the 1st period, but the Blackhawks did have 2 power plays. Oddly the Blackhawks didn’t get a shot off on either of those 2 power plays and had just 3 shots on goal in the 1st period. Dallas out shot the Blackhawks 7 to 3 in the 1st period, but no scoring. The Blackhawks got quite a few more shots on goal 914) in the 2nd period, but Dallas goaltender and former Blackhawk Antti Niemi stopped them all. Dallas had 8 shots on goal in the 2nd period and Jason Spezza was able to put 1 of those shots past Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford for a 1-0 Dallas lead. Patrick Sharp and John Klingberg got the assists on Spezza’s goal. That was the only goal of the period and the teams went to the ;locker room with the Stars ahead 1-0. The Stars got on the scoreboard very quickly in the 3rd period as the former Blackhawk Sharp scored his 12th goal of the season with assists from Jamie Benn and Jason Demers to give the Stars a 2-0 lead. Colton Sceviour was the next Dallas player to light the lamp with his 2nd goal of the season giving the Stars a 3-0 lead. Jordie Benn and Antoine Roussel assisted on Sceviour goal. Mattias Janmark ended the scoring for the Stars and for the game with his 8th goal of the season to put the Stars up 4-0. Demers picked up his 2nd assist of the night on Janmark’s goal. Former Blackhawk Johnny Oduya also picked up an assist on the Janmark goal.

Antti Neimi was the #1 star of the game with the shutout. Neimi stopped all 20 of the Blackhawks shots. With 1 goal and 1 assist Patrick Sharp was the #2 star of the game. With the first goal of the game Jason Spezza was the 3rd star of the game.

The NHL takes a few days off for the Christmas holiday. The schedule picks up on Saturday when the Stars will face the St. Louis Blues; in St. Louis. The Blackhawks get an extra day off as they take the ice Sunday as they play host to the Carolina Hurricanes.

I mentioned that Dallas has the most points in the NHL with 54, but their lead isn’t that big. Dan the Man;s pick to win the Stanley Cup the Washington Capitals have 52 points on the season and the Stars have played 2 more games the Capitals have. The Stars and the Capitals are the only two teams over 50 points, but there are some teams closing in on 50 points. The St. Louis Blues have 46 points. While the Blackhawks and the New York Rangers are at 44 points with the Montreal Canadiens sitting at 43 points.

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For Thanksgiving the NFL gave us 2 blowouts and an upset. The day in football started out with a game I thought would be closer than it turned out to be as the Detroit Lions blew out the Philadelphia Eagles 45-14. In the second game the Dallas Cowboys where a 1 point favorite going into it. I hope you bet what would’ve been the underdog and took the 1 point and went with the Carolina Panthers. Even before Tony Romo got injured and had to leave the game Carolina was far and away the better team in this game and easily won 33-14. The third game of the night brought us an upset as the Chicago Bears went into Lambeau Field and defeated the Green Bay Packers 17-13.  Green Bay had 4 chances inside the Bears 10-yard line with under a minute to go in the Chicago defense kept the Packers out of the end zone to win the game.

Believe it or not we actually pick 2 out of the 3 games correctly for a 2-1 start to our week in picks. Schaumburg Stu, Dan the Man, Mr, Fantasy and I all had Detroit, Carolina and even though we all live in the Chicago suburbs we had Green Bay. Of course I think us living in the Chicago suburbs may have made us pick Green Bay to win that game.

Fantasy football wise in Thanksgiving if you had Matthew Stafford as your quarterback you got off to a good start. Stafford scored right around or in the 40 point range depending on how your league is scored. No matter how it’s scored he was the best quarterback on Thanksgiving.Cam Newton came in right around the 20 point mark while Mark Sanchez, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers all finished in the 12 to 15 point range. Matt Cassell actually outscored Tony Romo as Cassell end up at about 10 points and Romo was in the negatives if your league scores negative points. With the way our longest running league is scored Stafford had 37.54 points. Then it was Newton (16.66), Sanchez (11.88), Cutler (11,40), Rodgers (11.34), Cassell (10.76) and Romo with -4.38 points.

Eddie Lacy was the top fantasy running back on Thanksgiving. Lacy ran for 105 yards and caught a touchdown pass as well. Lacy totaled 25.15 points in our fantasy league. Two Lions running backs came in 2nd and 3rd on the day. Joique Bell scored 17.45 points and Theo Riddick scoced 17.05 points. Bell rushed for 57 yards, but out one in the end zone. Riddick rushed for just 6 yards, but caught 5 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart scored 15.20 fantasy points with 68 rushing yards and the Bears Jeremy Langford scored  15.05 points 48 rushing yards and a touchdown to round out the Top 5 running backs.

It’s not a big surprise that the Lions had the 2 highest scoring wide receivers on Thursday. Calvin Johnson led the way with 33.30 fantasy points. Johnson caught 8 passes for 93 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. Golden Tate was 2nd with 16,43 points. Tate caught 7 catches for 50 yards and 1 touchdown. Cole Beasley is a free agent right now in our longest running league. Beasley scored 14.90 points on 6 catches, 44 yards and a touchdown. Jordan Matthews and Alshon Jeffeys tied for 4th with 14.25 points. Jefferys had more catches 7 to 3 and more yards 90 to 60, but Matthews scored a touchdown and Jefferys didn’t. Randall Cobb rounds out the Top 5 receivers with 11.92 points catching 6 passes for 74 yards.

Greg Olsen of Carolina was the top scoring tight end on the day with 10.75 fantasy points. We start 2 tight ends a week in our league and no one has Philadelphia tight end Trey Burton who ended up being the 2nd highest scoring tight end on the day with 8.90 points. The other Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek was tied with Zach Miller of the Bears for 3rd with 8.50 points. Jason Witten was 4th with 6.60 points and Richard Rodgers was 5th with 6.00 points.

Carolina’s Graham Gano was the best kicker to have as he totaled 20 points on the day.  Matt Prated (Detroit) and Mason Crosby (Green Bay) each had 10 points. Dan Bailey had 7 fantasy points for the Cowboys while Robbie Gould put up 5 in the Bears victory. The eagles Caleb Sturgis came in at the bottom of the kicker list with 2 points on the day.

It was Carolina’s defense that led in fantasy scoring with 22.62 points. They where followed by the Bears (13.26), Detroit (12.90), Green Bay (6.57(, Dallas (3.57) and Philadelphia (-2.38); I’m hoping you didn’t play Philadelphia’s defense.

As far as my team. I had Jay Cutler, Eddie Lacy and Green Bay’s defense; so I ended up with a total of 43.12 fantasy points. I am off to a little better start than I was projected to have. My outlook for the day was 37.87 points; so all in all it was a good fantasy day for my team.

The Golden State Warriors improved to 17-0 last night with a 135-116 win over the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors set the tone for the game with a 44 point 1st quarter. Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors with 41 points. Curry was 11 for 20 from the field going 9 of 16 from behind the 3-point line. Draymond Green grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists to lead Golden State in those categories. Green also had 14 points on the night for a triple-double.  Leandro Barbosa came off the Golden State bench to score 21 points while T.J. Warren came off the Suns bench to lead them in scoring with 28 points. The Golden State 17th win to start the season was the first of back to back games as tonight they host the 6-11 Sacramento Kings. Will it be 18-0 for Golden State? Or can the Kings be the team that hands then their 1st loss?

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