Posts Tagged ‘Duncan Keith’

So counting today it’s just four days until the 2016 Major League Baseball season starts. The St, Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates start the season off at Noon followed by the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Tampa Bay Rays. The night game features a rematch of last seasons World Series as the New York Mets take on the Kansas City Royals. All these games will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN-2. Now as you look at the schedule for Sunday April 3rd you’ll notice there’s a fourth game on the schedule. It has the Chicago Cubs taking on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is just an exhibition game and while these two teams will open the regular season against each other on Monday this games doesn’t count in the standings. Now this is an incredibly stupid game scheduling. If you;re the Cubs or the Angels there’s no way you can play even one of the guys on your 25 man roster in this game. Why is this game even here? Just imagine if one of these tams starters got injured in this stupid game the day before the season is schedule to actually start. I would love to hear MLB try to explain why they put this game hear because I’m sure they have a very stupid reason for it, but it’s always good for a laugh when they try to make sense of something like this.

With the regular season getting ready to start we’ll be making our predictions for the 2016 season. I believe that Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu have there’s all ready to go. I am in the process of finishing mine and I believe we’re still waiting on Mr. Fantasy to turn his in. I will get them all organized and they will appear right here in the Saturday blog as well

Last night the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 to sweep the season series; winning all 5 games the teams have played against each other. Unfortunately the Wild’s dominance of the Blackhawks this season wasn’t the story of the game. With 9:27 left in the 1st period Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was ejected for swinging his stick and catching Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle in the face. Keith was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure and is suspended until the NHL can review the play. Keith has had an incident like this before was knocked to the ice by Coyle and retaliated by swinging his stick while laying on the ice. Coyle was left with blood dripping down the bridge of his nose. The penalty left the Blackhawks shorthanded for five minutes, though the Wild did not score during the extended power play. The ejection left the Blackhawks without two key defensemen since Brent Seabrook missed the game because of illness. Keith has had an incident like this before. He was previous suspension, in the 2013 playoffs for swinging his stick and hitting Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face. The Blackhawks have 5 games left in the regular season. Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets, April 3rd against the Boston Bruins, April 5th against the Arizona Coyotes, April 7th against the St. Louis Blues and April 9th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL keeps Keith out for the rest of the regular season. Now Keith is one of the best defenseman in the NHL and the Blackhawks would miss him in those 5 games. This may not be the worst thing for Keith. He plays a lot of minutes for the Blackhawks and the time off might be good for him heading into the playoffs. The Blackhawks are trying to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. A feat that hasn’t been done since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1996-97 and 97-98 seasons.

The Washington Capitals have clinched the President’s trophy. The President’s Trophy is an award presented by the NHL to the team that finishes with the most points during the NHL regular season. As the team with the best regular season record, the President’s Trophy winner is guaranteed home-ice advantage in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, provided they advance that far. However, it does not guarantee that success; only eight of these winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. The last team to win both the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the 2012–13 Chicago Blackhawks. The Capitals last won the President’s trophy in the 2009-10 season, but they where beaten in the Quarterfinals by the Montreal Canadiens. I mentioned us making picks a little earlier and in case you don;t remember Dan the Man had the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup at the start of the season.

If you’re a New York Mets fan you had to be a little concerned when the news came out that Matt Harvey was going to miss his last spring training start. The reason that was giving was that Harvey had a non-baseball related issue. At that time there was also a chance that Harvey would miss his schedule opening day start against the Kansas City Royals. As it turned out Harvey was dealing with a blood clot in his bladder as well as a bladder infection. Now the Mets play their last spring training game today against the Washington nationals and luckily for Harvey his medical issues have cleared up and he’s going to start the game today and will be on schedule to start opening day for the Mets. Harvey is schedule to pitch 2 innings against the Nationals and then Noah Syndergaard who was originally schedule to make today’s start will take over on the mound. Harvey is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in three starts this spring while Syndergaard has a 2.04 ERA in four appearances.

It seemed like there where reports all winter long that the Texas Rangers might add a catcher. Well they waited until the end of spring training to make a deal. The Rangers acquired catcher Bryan Holaday from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for catcher Bobby Wilson and righthander Myles Jaye. Holaday who is from Dallas has had a terrific spring training, but he found himself 3rd on the Tigers depth chart at catcher behind starter James McCann and off-season acquisition Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Holaday was out of minor league options; so the Tigers could expose him to waivers and hope he wasn’t claimed by another team or deal him; which they choose to do. Holaday was recently scratched from Monday’s game to get a thumb issue checked out, but was cleared for action. The Houston Astros where another team that had been reported to be looking for a catcher this spring. On Monday they completed a deal with the San Diego Padres for catcher Eric Kratz. The Padres/Astros trade is believed to have expedited the deal between the Tigers and the Rangers for Holaday.

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On Monday the night the NHL season came to an end as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals to win the series 4 games to 2. Then last night the NBA season came to an end as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 to win that series 4 games to 2.

Golden State pulled out to a 13 point lead after the 1st quarter 28-15. The Cavaliers cut into the Golden State lead in the 2nd quarter going into halftime down just 2 points; 45-43. Golden State stretched their lead to 12 points by the end of the 3rd quarter; 73-61. The Cavaliers did outscore Golden State in the final quarter 36-32, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors held on for an 8 point victory and their first NBA title since 1975. Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry led Golden State in scoring with 25 points apiece. The move of Iguodala into the starting line up by Golden State coach Steve Kerr not only help the Warriors win the NBA title, but Iguodala was named finals MVP Iguodala added 5 rebound, 5 assists and 2 steals in Game 6. Draymond Green scored in double figures with 16 points and had a triple double adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 6. Festus Ezeli and Shaun Livingston came off of the Golden State bench to score 10 points apiece. LeBron James was led the Cavaliers in scoring with 32 points, rebounds with 18 and assists with 9 missing another triple double by just that 1 assists. J.R. Smith added 19 points. Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson had double, doubles for the Cavaliers. Mozgov had 17 points and 12 rebounds while Thompson cored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. In Game 6 Golden State was the better shooting team from the field making 43.5% of their total shots and hit 38.2% from behind the 3-point line. Cleveland made 39.0% of their total shots and 23.1% from behind the 3-point line. Cleveland was the better free throw shooting team making 27 of 39 (69.2%) of their foul shots while Golden State hit 18 of 29 (62.1%) from the foul line. It was quite surprising that the finals M.V.P. went to Iguodala as James was the best player on the floor even in a losing effort. You have to wonder if James coming out yesterday (Tuesday) saying he didn’t want to be named M.V.P. if the Cavaliers lost the series had an affect on the M.V.P. finals voting. James logged a ton of minute in this finals series and he did everything he could to help the Cavaliers win, but with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving missing significant time with injuries it proven that one great player couldn’t carry a team to a title.

On Monday night Duncan Keith scored in the 2nd period to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead and it turned out to be the only goal they would need, but Patrick Kane did add another Chicago goal in the 3rd period to give the Blackhawks a 2 goal lead and get to the score the game ended at 2-0. It was the Blackhawks 3rd Stanley Cup victory in 6 season and Keith won the Conn Smythe trophy given to the outstanding player in the playoffs. Keith became the first defenseman since Bobby Orr in 1972 to score the Stanley Cup winning goal and win the Conn Smythe trophy. Orr actually pulled this feat off twice; he did it in 1970 as well. Corey Crawford came up big for the Blackhawks when they needed him as Tampa Bay had some quality scoring chances and Crawford even stopped Steven Stamkos on a breakaway. The victory tied Crawford with Tony Esposito for career playoff wins by a Blackhawks goalie with 45. It seemed to have been a series where experience triumphed over youth. Throughout the series it seemed as Tampa Bay was the better team and was outplaying the Blackhawks. Chicago never seemed to panic and never found themselves down by more than 1 goal at any time in the series. Actually the 2-0 win by the Blackhawks in Game 4 was the only game decided by more than 1 goal. It was a good time for Kane to come through with his 1st goal of the series.

After their Stanley Cup victory there were a few experts debating on if the Blackhawks were a dynasty. Some have pointed out that they’ve never won the Stanley Cup in back to back seasons, but the counter is that even in the seasons were they didn’t win it all they went to the conference finals. The Blackhawks are also the first team to win 3 Stanley Cups in the salary cap era. Remember the salary cap is designed to make the teams even.  The Blackhawks have sustained their success the same way the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings did: with a stable and special group of players and some of the best coaching in NHL history. If the Blackhawks find a way to win another Stanley Cup or two in the next few seasons; would that make them a dynasty? While there will be some changes in the off season for the Blackhawks their core group of player is intact and young. The Blackhawks have been involved in the Stanley Cup Playoffs every season since 2009.  The Blackhawks have reached the Western Conference Final five times and the Stanley Cup Final three times in those seven seasons. They were within an overtime goal of being a favorite to win the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers last season; so is another Stanley Cup or two out of their reach. Being a dynasty is subjective to each person, but dynasty or not the Blackhawks are a Cup contender and should be for the foreseeable future.

I’m getting a kick out of the American League All-Star balloting. As of yesterday the Kansas City Royals had 8 players that would start the All-Star if voting ended right now. I’be heard a lot of the experts complaining about this and I actually heard one suggest that if Omar Infante wins the vote at 2nd base he should decline the honor. Infante isn’t having the best season; he’s hitting .221, but it’s fans vote and if that’s who wins the vote he should play in the game. Royals manager Ned Yost was asked about this situation and was told about some of the complaining and he had a great response. Yost told everyone who didn’t like the way the voting was going to “go out and vote”.

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