Posts Tagged ‘Sidney Crosby’

The Pittsburgh Penguins evened up there Eastern Conference finals series with the Tampa Bay Lighting at 3 game apiece with a 5-2 win in Game 6 last night. It looked as tough Pittsburgh was headed for an easy victory. Phil Kessel scored the only goal of the 1st period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Then in the 2nd period a goal by Kris Letang and then another by Sidney Crosby gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead and it seems as the game was pretty much settled. Then in the 3rd period Brian Boyle scored unassisted for Tampa bay t make it 3-1. Then a second goal by Boyle cut the Penguins lead to just one goal at 3-2. That was as close as the Lighting would get as Bryan Rust and Nick Bonino added 3rd period goals for the Penguins to make the final score 5-3 and send the series to a Game 7 Thursday night in Pittsburgh. The Penguins went back to Matt Murray on goal and he stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in Game 6. You have to figure he’ll get the call in net for Game 7. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been solid in goal for the Lighting, but you have to wonder if we’ll see Ben Bishop in Game 7 if he’s close to being ready to go.

Over in the Western Conference the San Jose Sharks took a 3 games to 2 lead in there series against the St. Louis Blues with a 6-3 win in St. Louis. San Jose will have a chance to close out the series tonight as they host the Blues in Game 6. With there season on the line tonight the Blues announced that Brian Elliott will be the starting goalie for Game 6 in San Jose. Jake Allen started the previous two games against San Jose. Elliott is undefeated this postseason in elimination games, winning a pair of Game 7’s against the Blackhawks and Stars. Overall, Elliott is 9-8 with a .925 save percentage this postseason. San Jose will stick with Martin Jones in goal. Jones is 11-6 with a goals against average of 2.13 and a save percentage of .918.  Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture are leading San Jose in points this post season with 21 apiece while the Blues are led by Robby Fabbri who has 15 points. If St. Louis wins tonight and forces a Game 7 it will be played back at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday night.

Are the Golden State Warriors in trouble? Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder took a 3 games to 1 lead in the Western Conference finals over the Warriors with an easy 118-94 victory. This is the second game in a row that Oklahoma City has won the game by 20 plus points. While it was a 24 point margin of victory last night in Game 4 in Game 3 they won by 28 points 133-105. Oklahoma City got out to a double digit lead early, but by the end of the 1st quarter Golden State had cut the lead to just 4 at 30-26. The 2nd quarter is where the game really swung Oklahoma City’s way as they outscored Golden State 42-27 in the quarter and took a 72-53 lead into the locker room at halftime. Golden State did manage to knock 7 points off the lead by outscoring Oklahoma City 29-22 in the 3rd quarter, but it was already to little too late. With a 94-82 going int the 4th quarter Oklahoma City actually added to there lead outscoring Golden State 24-12 in the final quarter.

All five of the Thunder’s starters scored in double figures led by Russell Westbrook’s 36 points. Those 36 points where part of Westbrook’s triple-double as he added a team high 11 assists and 11 rebounds. Kevin Durant had 26 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson each scored 17 points while Roberson grabbed a team high 12 rebounds. Steve Adams chipped in 11 points for Oklahoma City while Dion Waiters scored 10 points off the Thunder bench.

Golden State was led by Klay Thompson with 26 points. Stephen Curry scored 19 points, but was just 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point line. Curry did hand out a team high 5 assists. Harrison Barnes was the only other Golden State player to reach double figures had 11 points. Draymond Green who let’s face it shouldn’t even of been playing in this game led the Warriors in rebounds with 11. Golden State shot 9 of 30 (30.0%) from behind the 3-point line in the game. Golden State does head home for Game 5 facing elimination, but as we know they’re very good at home.

In the Eastern Conference finals; who had the Toronto Raptors winning both of there games at home and evening the series at 2 games apiece. There where people who thought that the Raptors wouldn’t win a game in this series and now they’ve won two. Are they a real threat to win this series? Game 5 is tonight in Cleveland and it’s going to be tough for the Raptors to win there as the Cavaliers get a large disparity in fouls called. I did get a chuckle out of the huge flop LeBron James took when he git hit in the face in I think Game 3. The referees being incredibly stupid called a technical foul on one of the three Toronto players standing there when as it turned out it was LeBron’s own teammate Tristan Thompson who hit him in the face. Does the NBA still fine players for flopping? and would there dare try and fine LeBron for his terrible flop?

The NFL handed out the Super Bowl for the 2019, 2020 and the 2021 seasons. For 2017 the game will be held in Houston’s NRG Stadium. The other Super Bowl that was already on the books was 2018 and that will be played in the Minnesota Vikings new U.S. Bank stadium. For 2019 the Super Bowl goes to Atlanta and will be played at the Mercedes-Benz stadium. The 2020 game will be at the New Miami stadium, Miami Gardens home of the Dolphins. I’m not sure why, but for some reason the NFL listed this game as being played in South Florida with no details of which city it would be in. Then finally the 2021 Super Bowl will be played at the home of the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, California as long as the stadium is ready; which hopefully it will be by 2021.



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The National Hockey League returned to the ice last night after the All-Star break with 12 games on the schedule. Connor McDavid returned to action for the Edmonton Oilers and scored a goal and picked up 2 assists in the Oilers 6-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sidney Crosby scored 3 goals and added an assists in the Pittsburgh Penquins 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Crosby had a natural hat tick meaning his 3 goals came in a row. In a battle of 1st place teams the Atlantic leading Florida Panthers beat the Metropolitan leading Washington Capitals 5-2. Jonathan Huberdeau scored 2 goals and had an assists in the Panthers victory.Brian Elliott of the St. Louis Blies faced just 16 shots stopping them all as St. Louis picked up a 1-0 win over the Nashville Predators. Pekka Rinne stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced, but all St. Louis needed was that 1 goal to get the win. In the other games the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1. The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-3. The New Jersey Devils beat the New York Rangers 3-2.The New York Islanders beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. The Philadelphia beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2. The Dallas Stars beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-3. The Los Angeles Kings beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-2 and the Anaheim Ducks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2. There are just 3 games on the ice tonight and the Canadiens are the only team that is playing back to back as they’re hosting the Buffalo Sabres. Also playing tonight the Detroit Red Wings are at the Tampa Bay Lighting and the Carolina Hurricanes are at the Calgary Flames. After tonight’s games the only team that hasn’t played a game after the All-Star break is the Vancouver Canucks.

The NHL has rescheduled the 3 games that where cancelled because of the snow storm that hit the east coast. The Pittsburgh/Washington game will be played March 1st in Washington. The other two games Anaheim at Washington and Philadelphia at New York (Islanders) will be played on April 10th and will end the regular season.

Behind 38 points from Kobe Bryant the Los Angeles Lakers ended their 10 game losing streak last night beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-115 at the Staples Center. Bryant played 33 minutes going 10-21 from the field. 11 of his attempts where 3 pointers and he made 7 of them. Bryant added 5 rebounds, a team leading 5 assists and 2 steals on the night. Louis Williams scored 20 points. D’Angelo Russell came off the Lakers bench to score 18 points. Jordan Clarkson scored 16 points while Julius Randle added 15 points and a team high 12 rebounds. The Timberwolves had 6 players score in double figures led by Andrew Wiggins with 30 in 41 minutes. Gorgui Dieng had 19 points. Zach LaVine and Karl-Anthony Towns had 14 points; Towns also had a team high 9 rebounds. Shabazz Muhammad had 12 points while Rickey Rubio scored 10 points and had a team leading 15 assists.

The win improved the Lakers record to 10-41 this season. Los Angeles will try to extend there winning streak Thursday night as they start a 4 games road trip against the New Orleans Pelicans. After New Orleans the Lakers road trip will see them face the San Antonio Spurs, the Indiana Pacers and then they wrap up the road trip against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In other NBA action the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 97-89. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 20 points while Arron Afflalo had 18 points to lead the Knicks. The Houston Rockets beat the Miami Heat 115-102. James Harden led the Rockets with 26 points while Luol Deng had 17 points to lead the Heat. The Toronto raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 104-97. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors 26 points while Markieff Morris put up a double-double 30 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Suns. The Portland Trailblazers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-95. C.J. McCollum led the Trailblazers with 30 points while Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 21 points.

There are quite a few games on the NBA schedule tonight. There are 11 games on the court tonight and it’s an ESPN television night. The first game on ESPN has the Golden State warriors at the Washington Wizards while the night cap features the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Los Angeles Clippers. Interestingly Minnesota is playing back to back games on the road against different teams in the same arena. Alright; maybe that’s just interesting to me.

I have to tell you I’m still not all that excited about the Super Bowl. I guess there could be some solid story lines. If the Denver Broncos win and Peyton Manning could ride off into the sunset as a Super Bowl champion. On the other hand if the Carolina Panthers get the win will that establish Cam Newton as the top player in the NFL. The original line had Carolina as a 4 point favorite. The betting line has jump and now Carolina is a 6 point favorite. The over/under for the game is at 45 and I believe it started around 44 or 44 1/2; so there wasn’t much movement in that betting line. If your not interested in betting your money on either of those two lines there are 37 other prop bets you can wager on. You can bet on stuff like what will the coin flip be heads or tails. How about putting some money down on what Stephen Curry will be wearing if he’s shown on television. Since the game is in San Francisco or I guess technically it’s Santa Clara, but you can actual bet on if there will be an earthquake during the game. On the Sunday Sports Time Radio podcast I’ll have to pull up some of these prop bets and see where Mr. Fantasy stands on these. The Sunday podcast is from 10:00 a.m. until Noon on As always will make our picks for the game, but will extend those a little as Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and myself will not only pick the winner of the game, but also what we think the final score will be and who we think will win the MVP. Mr. Fantasy and I will also try to put together a winning FanDuel line up for you as well as a breakdown of Super Bowl 50.

Who’s your pick to win?

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The NHL awards the Hart Trophy to its MVP and I thought we’d take a look at some of the contenders to win the award are. Pretty much any MVP conversation can start with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby is 3rd in the NHL with 70 points; 23 goals and 47 assists. The Penguins are 39-18-10 and have 88 points and they are currently 3rd in the Metropolitan division. Crosby is still the best player in the NHL and barring injury he should always be included in any M.V.P. talk. Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks is close to having the best year of his NHL career. Getzlaf has 63 points on the season; 22 goals and 41 assists through 67 games. The Ducks have the most points in the NHL with 93 and a record of 43-20-7. There are some people who think Getzlaf doesn’t belong in the M.V.P. conversation, but the best player on the best team is always a contender to win the award. You’d have to think that New York Islanders Center John Tavares would be in the MVP talk. Tavares leads the NHL in points with 72; 33 goals and 39 assists. The Islanders have 90 points with a record of 43-23-4 and are in 2nd place in the Metropolitan division, but are just one point out of 1st.  Being the leagues leading point getter will get you votes and your team going to the playoffs doesn’t hurt either; so look for Tavares to get some MVP votes. How about Washington Capitals Left Wing  Alex Ovechkin for MVP Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 45 and has added 26 assists for a season total of 71 points just one behind Tavares for the league lead. While Ovechkin may not have the name value that Crosby does, but he’s a name people will recognize. Ovechkin has had a couple of down seasons; well down for him and has bounced back this season. Washington is holding on to one of the Eastern conference wild card spots and you have to wonder if the Capitals don’t make the playoffs if voters would consider Ovechkin for MVP Let’s look at one more MVP candidate and it’s a Goalie. There are people who think goalies shouldn’t win this award, but I have to tell you if I had a vote it would go to Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. Rinne did miss a little time with an injury, but he’s 36-14-3 in the net with a Goals Against Average (GAA) of 2.09 a Save Percentage of .927 and has three shutouts. The Predators are 42-20-7 and tied for 1st place in the Central division of the Western conference with 91 points. I think Rinne should get some votes because I’m not sure the Predators are a playoff team with him. Here’s five more players that should be in the MVP conversation and might pick up some votes for the award. 1) Rick Nash, New York Rangers. 2) Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens. 3) Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals. 4) Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers. 5) let’s throw out another goaltender; Carey Price, Montréal Canadiens. As the N.H.L. regular season comes to an end will one of these players set up and win this award or will someone who’s not even mentioned here surprise voters and find a way to become MVP

Now I understand when you’re running a NFL organization you have a salary cap to deal with, but if you’re a fan of the New Orleans Saints are you wondering what their team is doing. Your off-season starts off by bringing Mark Ingram back; you’d think that’s a good start. They add a defensive lineman in Tyrunn Walker; solid move the defense needs help. Linebacker Curtis Lofton is released. I think they said failed physical, but there were salary cap reasons involved. They also terminated the contract of running back Pierre Thomas. While they released a couple of players that had some service time with them not anything earth shattering. Then they send Jimmy Graham and a 4th round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Max Unger and Seattle’s #1 pick which is 31st in the upcoming draft. While they got a quality player back in Unger; he did have some injury issues and picking at #31 doesn’t guarantee you’ll land a star player. You gave up one of the top tight ends in the NFL It’s clear that Graham and Rob Gronkowski have separated themselves from the other tight ends in the NFL Did they get enough in return for Graham besides moving his salary. The next move saw the Saints send two time Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to the Kansas City Chief for a 2015 5th round draft pick. Grubbs did have a down year in 2014 and the Saints wanted him to take a pay cut, but when they couldn’t agree he was dealt. In another deal the Saints sent wide receiver Kenny Stills to the Miami Dolphins for linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a 2015 third-round pick. Then the Saints added a free agent as they signed running back C.J. Spiller to a four year $18 million dollar deal. Spiller is a former 1st round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills who at times showed flashes of brilliance, but never turned into the every down back the Bills had hoped he would. He’s battled some injuries throughout his career, but the Saints offense looks like it should be a good fit for him. So it looks like the Saints are going to rely on the running game  Ingram, Spiller and Khiry Robinson working in the backfield together, but who is Drew Brees throwing the football to. Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks look to be the top receivers on the roster. Will Nick Toon get a look as the 3rd wideout or is there a free agent out their the Saints might try to sign. Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson are the tight ends on the roster, but they are down grades from Graham. Brees is 35 years old and you have to wonder how many more seasons he’ll have as an elite quarterback. The Saints added some draft picks and may have saved some money or made some salary cap room, but did they improve is the question.

Most experts have already picked the Washington Nationals as the best team in Major League Baseball even though we’re only a week plus into spring training. With their returning roster and the addition of big time pitching free agent Max Schrezer the Nationals look great on paper, but remember they don’t play the games on paper. What;s the one thing that can derail a teams World Series dreams very quickly? Injuries and the Nationals are piling them up. Here’s what the nationals are dealing with right now; Anthony Rendon’s sprained left medial collateral ligament and Drew Storen’s hamate bone joined Yunel Escobar’s strained oblique, Jayson Werth’s surgically repaired right shoulder and Denard Span’s recently repaired core. Is this just a fluke or they way the Nationals season will go.

So how was your week?

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