Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Sharks’

Even though the Golden State Warriors came back from being down 3 games to 1 in the Western Conference Finals and advanced with the chance to win the NBA title for the second straight season. It seemed that the talk turned pretty quickly to where Kevin Durant will be playing next season. Durant is entering free agency for the first time in his career and has played his entire career for the Oklahoma City Thunder. You have to figure that just about every team in the NBA will contact Durnat’s agent to see if there’s a chance he’d be willing to come t there team. Don’t forget the Washington Wizards hired Durant’s former head coach Scott Brooks hoping that might give them an inside track. Even the top Western Conference teams have been mentioned as a posssible landing spot for Durant. Golden State has been mentioned as being interested as well as the San Antonio Spurs would be interested in Durant’s services. There’s also been mention of the Boston Celtics who have a ton of draft picks and could build the team around Durant. Then there was some talk of Durant going to Los Angeles, but not to play for the Lakers, but for the Clippers. Of course I believe that might have to be a sign and trade with a player like Blake Griffin heading to Oklahoma City, but it could be possible. Not I’m sure between now and when NBA free agency kicks off in about a month there will be even more teams added to the Kevin Durant derby. Now if I had to put my money down on something happened I’d go with him staying wit the Thunder. I’m guessing he’ll sign a short term Max deal with an opt out like LeBron James has done with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant could get just under $26 million a season from the Thunder; so maybe he signs a 2-year deal with an opt out after the first year and then he could get even more money as the NBA salary cap continues to go up. Don’t forget that Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are both under contract with Oklahoma City for one more season. Wouldn’t it make sense for Durant to return to the Thunder for one more run at the NBA title; especially after as close as they where to knocking Golden State out of the playoffs this season. It could be quite a situation for Oklahoma City if Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka all hit free agency at the same time after the 2016-17 season. Would it be worth it if they won the NBA title next season and then those three players headed into free agency?

The NBA Finals tip off tomorrow and it’s rematch of last season with the Golden State Warriors defending their title against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The biggest difference between this season and last is that the Cavaliers will be healthy than last years finals. Both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving are 100% this time the two teams meet for the title. Even with the Cavaliers being in better health it appears as though Golden State is still the trendy pick. On the Sports Time radio podcast Ben Beeken from DunkinWithWolves.com has the Warriors winning the series in 6 games. Even though Dan the Man didn’t give a number of games for the series he also has Golden State repeating as champions. I didn’t make a pick on the podcast yesterday, but I believe that Golden State will will the series in five games. It seems that everyone I’ve heard predict the series has Golden State winning in five or six games. Who do you have winning the NBA title?

Here’s an odd stat for you and maybe you can win a bar bet or two with it. Anderson Varejao is the first player to play for the teams meeting in the NBA finals in the same season. Varejao started the season with the Cavaliers where he played 31 games. After being realeased by Cleveland he signed on with the Warriors where played in 22 regular season games. and 11 playoff games so far.

The Stanley Cup Finals dropped the puck on Monday night as the San Jose Sharks where in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the 1st period on goals by Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary.The Penguins really looked like the better team throughout the 1st period. Pittsburgh had 15 shots on goal in the 1st period while San Jose could only muster 4 shots on goal. In the 2nd period it appeared as though the teams switched roles. Goals by Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau even the game at 2-2 after 2 periods of action. The game stayed at 2-2, but the Penguins where getting quite a few shots on goal and you had to wonder if soponer or later if the puck would find it’s way into the back of the net. At 17:27 of the 3rd period Nick Bonino beat Sharks goalie Martin Jones and give Pittsburgh the 3-2 lead and as it turned out the game winning goal. The Penguins doubled up the Sharks shot totals in the 3rd period as Pitttsburgh had 18 shots on goal to San Jose’s 9. The Penguins did go 0 for 3 on the power play while the Sharks went 1 for 2. So Pittsburgh won Game 1 at home and tonight the Penguins look to win Game 2 at home before the series shifts to San Jose.

While the St. Louis Blues didn’t quite make there goal of winning the Stanley Cup the team did well enough for them to want to bring back head coach Ken Hitchcock for next season. During his press conference;  Hitchcock announced that the 2016-17 season will be his final season coaching in the NHL.Hitchcock guided the Blues to the Western Conference finals this year following a regular season in which St. Louis finished with 107 points, the fourth-highest total in franchise history. Four of the top five regular-season finishes in St. Louis franchise history have come with Hitchcock behind the bench. Next season will be Hitchcock’s 20th as an NHL head coach. He won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and has a career record of 757-453-194. He ranks fourth all-time in regular season wins and is likely headed to the Hall of Fame when he’s done.

You can listen to The Podcast by clicking the link and you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Advertisements

MLB

With the MLB coming up on the 20 game mark of the season it’s difficult to make decisions on how the season is going to go. One thing appears to be certain and that the National League isn’t going to be happy about it. Through 4 starts this season Jake Arrieta looks better on the mound than he did last season. Arrieta is 4-0 in his 4 starts for the Chicago Cubs. He’s thrown 31 innings giving up 15 hits, 3 earned runs and 2 home runs while walking 6 and striking out 26. That translates to an ERA of 0.87 and a WHIP of 0.68 for Arrueta.  On Thursday Arrieta threw his first shutout of the season which just so happened to be a complete game no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds. It looked as though Arrieta didn’t have his best stuff when he no-hit Cincinnati. Arrieta issued 4 walks in this start against the Reds while striking out 6 and throwing 119 pitches over 9 innings of no-hit baseball. This is Arrieta’s second no-hitter as a member of the Cubs.  On August 30th of last season Arrieta no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in Dodger Stadium. That no-hitter against the Dodgers was part of a Cy Young award winning season for Arrieta. In 2015 Arrieta went 22-6 with an ERA of 1.77. He made 33 starts covering 229 innings with 4 complete games; 3 of those being shutouts. Arrieta also struck out 236 batters last season while walking just 48 and his WHIP was 0.87. Arrieta picked up 17 of a possible 30 1st place votes as he edged out former Dodgers teammates Zack Greinke (2nd) and Clayton Kershaw (3rd) for the N.L. Cy Young award. While we can’t forget that it’s only April, but with the way his season has started off could Arrieta be a back to back Cy young award winner after this season.

On Thursday, Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers threw a 47 pitch bullpen session and things looked like they where on track for him to make his first rehab start on April 26th as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. After the bullpen session Darvish himself was dissatisfied with the fact that not all his pitches where he wanted them to be, especially his curveball and his change-up. After the bullpen session and the dissatisfaction that Darvish showed the Rangers have decided to push his first rehab start back to May 1st. The Rangers will still have Darvish pitch on Thursday, but it will be a longer bullpen session. The Rangers are hoping that Darvish can throw a 60 pitch bullpen session or close to 4 innings total. Even with his first rehab start being pushed back this hasn’t thrown off the timetable for his return to the Rangers if things go well. If Darvish looks ready to go he could return to the Rangers rotation as early as May 16th. If Darvish isn’t ready to go after those 3 rehab starts the Rangers could  expand his rehab assignment to a full 30 days and six starts. Texas is off to a 10-7 start and they are tied with the Oakland A’s for 1st place right now. Adding Darvish to a starting rotation that already features a 3-0 Cole Hamels could be the key to another post season appearance for Texas.

Now I was unable to do this in any of my fantasy leagues, but a lot of owners tried to grab Darvish late in their fantasy drafts. They would either have to hide him on their bench until he returns or put him on the disabled list if your league offers that feature. If Darvish returns in May this could turn into a move that might make or break your fantasy season. Depending on where you had to draft Darvish it might be hurting your team right now, but once he returns it’s tough to find an ace through trades or waiver pick ups. In this case you just have to wait for your ace to get healthy.

NFL

The NFL is gearing up for the draft which starts with the 1st round on Thursday. While the draft has taken center stage as far as NFL news goes there was a big move made by the Carolina Panthers.On Wednesday the Panthers removed the franchise tag from cornerback Josh Norman making him and unrestricted free agent. After becoming a free agent it only took Norman 2 days to become the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. On Friday the Washington Redskins announced that they had signed Norman to a 5 year $75 million dollar deal. It’s being reported that $51.1 million dollars in the deal is guaranteed. With an average salary of $15 million dollars a season Norman supplants Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals; who makes $14.01 million dollars a season; as the highest paid cornerback in the NFL.

Norman makes his regular season debut on ESPN’s Monday Night Football September 12th against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Norman and his new Redskins teammates will appear on Monday Night Football again on December 19th; this time against his former Panthers team. On course signing with the Redskins out Norman in the NFC East where he’ll get to match up with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. twice a year. The Giants host the Redskins on September 25th and then the two teams meet again on New Year’s Day with Washington being the home team.

Norman had a career-high four interceptions with 16 passes defensed and 56 tackles last season for the Panthers last season, but was looking for a long term deal with Carolina. The Panthers had placed the franchise tag on Norman last month, guaranteeing him $13.952 million in 2016. Norman never signed it and was planning to skip at least the first part of off-season workouts, which begin Monday. There are reports that the Panthers made Norman a contract offer of $11 million dollars, but Norman wanted to be paid in the range of $15 to $16 million dollars a season. Carolina never moved off their offer and on Thursday Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman said the Panthers chose to rescind Norman’s franchise tag because of the flexibility the team would have without him counting toward its salary-cap number. With the draft starting Thursday does Carolina have an eye on someone to fill Norman’s role with there defense.

NHL

The San Jose Sharks and the Tampa Bay Lighting have advanced to the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs. The Sharks knocked the Los Angeles Kings out of the playoffs winning that series 4 games to 1. The Lighting also won there series 4 games to 1 as they knocked out the Detroit Red Wings. We could see two more series end today. If the Pittsburgh Penguins or the St. Louis Blues pick up victories in their games today they will both win there series and advance to the 2nd round. Then on Sunday we could have three series come to an end. If the Washington Capitals, Dallas Stars and New York Islanders all win on Sunday their series will be over and they’ll all move into the 2nd round. Sadly the Kings where my pre-season pick to win the Stanley Cup. Is your pick or team still alive?

Listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime