Posts Tagged ‘Columbus Blue jackets’

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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Sadly it looks like it’s time to ask the question is Kobe Bryant’s career over? Bryant is scheduled to have season ending rotator cuff surgery today. Bryant’s 19th NBA season will end with him playing in 35 games. This is coming off a 2013-2014 season where he played in just six games. Bryant almost played the entire season in 2012-2013 appearing in 78 games, but the season before 2011-2012 he was limited to 52 games. The injuries are starting to pile up and you have to wonder if it’s too much for Bryant to over come. He’s bounced back from an Achilles and a knee injury; now we add the rotator cuff to that list.Bryant was averaging 22.3 points per game this season, but that’s down from 27.3 in the 2012-2013 season and he averaged 27.9 in 2011-2012. His field goal percentage this season is .373 down from .463 in 2012-2013 season and his shooting percentage was .430 in the 2011-2012 season. Bryant is also shooting .293 from behind the three point line this season. The Los Angeles Lakers have managed to cut Bryant’s minutes a little this season to 34.5 per game, but is the wear and tear of a long NBA career catching up with him. Bryant has appeared in 16 All-Star games winning the MVP award four times. He won the league MVP award following the 2007-2008 season and also won back to back finals MVP awards in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. Bryant is 3rd among players in career points scored with 32,482. Bryant has proven people wrong before coming back from injury and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him playing next season. What I don’t want to see is Bryant come back next season and not be in a Lakers uniform. While Bryant has been able to live up to the Michael Jordan comparisons I don’t want to see him follow in Jordan’s footsteps and end up finishing his career playing somewhere he shouldn’t be. Bryant turns 37 years old in August and would he come back for a farewell type of tour in 2015-2016. With every team in the NBA playing more than half of their regular season games to this point let’s look at the lower seeded playoff teams and who might get left out. In the Western conference this should be interesting as right now the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the outside looking into the playoffs. The Thunder are 10th right now in the West; three games behind the 8th seeded Phoenix Suns. Phoenix finds itself two games ahead of the 9th seeded New Orleans Pelicans, but just three games behind the 7th seeded and defending champion San Antonio Spurs. The Dallas Mavericks would be seeded 6th, but they are only four games ahead of the Suns and just 1 game ahead of the Spurs. This should make the second half of the season interesting as five teams will try to fit into three playoff spots. Could you imagine the 1st round of the Western conference playoffs without San Antonio, Dallas or Oklahoma City. The bottom seeds in the Eastern conference may shake out the same way just with worse records. The Charlotte Hornets are holding onto the 8th seed, but they are just one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets and three games ahead of the Boston Celtics. Charlotte also finds itself just one game behind the Miami Heat who are the 7th seed right now. Charlotte is also just four games behind the 6th seeded Milwaukee Bucks. Can Charlotte hold onto a playoff spot with Kemba Walker being out possible for the rest of the season? Walker had surgery on a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee and may be back in six weeks. Walker had been Charlotte’s best player this year, and during the month of January was averaging 23.6 points per game, better than his 18.8 average for the season. So holding onto the 8th seed or even a playoff spot with Walker out might be tough for Charlotte to do. The NHL had its All-Star game on Saturday night where Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12; yes that’s right there where 29 combined goals scored. The game didn’t look anything at all like an actual NHL game. There where eight goals scored combined in the 1st period alone. Only two out of the 11 games played last night had eight or more goals scored total. If you’re an NHL goaltender why would you go to the All-Star game if you made the team. It’s not like anyone if going to play any defense in front of you and each team might as well just skate six players a side and leave the goals empty. I didn’t really watch much of the game and just flipped by it a couple of times. These type of All-Star games don’t interest me. The game was played in Columbus and Ryan Johansen of the home town Blue Jackets was the games MVP Johansen did have a good weekend; not only was he the #1 pick in the All-Star fantasy draft he also was in the Breakaway competition during All-Star Saturday night. In the Breakaway Challenge Johansen on his first attempt donned an Ohio State football jersey in honor of the national championship won by the Buckeyes on January 12th. On his next try he brought out 7-year-old Cole Vogt, the son of Blue Jackets trainer Mike Vogt, to score a goal and wrapped up his set with a “Flying V” formation from the Mighty Ducks movies with the help of his teammates. The fantasy draft I enjoy and I thought it was an innovative idea for a league that is considered 4th of the big four sports. The Skills Challenge is fun and interesting to see the players do the different events, but the game itself it terrible. I’m not sure if it’s as bad as the NBA All-Star game or the NFL Pro Bowl, but it’s right up there with them. Sadly there’s no way to change this type of game as star player aren’t going to check and bang with the chance of getting hurt and costing their actual team a chance to win the Stanley Cup. I wonder if moving the game to the end of the season would make it different, but with the NHL season as long as it is that’s not really an answer either. For me though I can’t watch these types of games; can you?

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