Listen to the live radio show Wednesdays from 9-11pm HERE Coming up this week, 4/6: MLB Opening week, NHL/NBA Playoff chalk-talk, and NFL Lockout?

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Jet By Any Other Name...


Quick: name the all-time points leader for the Winnipeg Jets. Bet you think it's Dale Hawerchuk, right? Wrong. The correct answer is Ilya Kovalchuk, with 615 points in 594 games.

That's because for all intents and purposes, the Hawerchuk-led Jets currently play in the desert under the moniker of the Phoenix Coyotes, and have done so since 1996. The franchise formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers now bears the Jets handle, but the similarities stop there.

When True North Sports and Entertainment unveiled the name to the hockey world at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft this past Friday, they perhaps unknowingly opened up a can of worms. Or maybe it was a can of New Coke. And just like the retooled soft drink that was an unmitigated disaster in the 1980s, it seems primed to leave fans with a bad taste in their mouths even before the Jets take to the MTS Centre ice in the fall.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tootoo's Resurgence Sparks Preds


When you think of the "stars" of the Nashville Predators, your thoughts likely drift to goalie Pekka Rinne, captain Shea Weber and perhaps forward Steve Sullivan. Odds are punishing winger Jordin Tootoo isn't in the mix.

Truth be told, this is a club that has never had a true superstar, unless you count Peter Forsberg's 22-game cup of coffee as a playoff rental in 2006-07. Hell, does anyone even remember that?

To the average person, Tootoo is a guy known more for his brief fling with American Idol singer Kelly Pickler than he is for smashing an opposing player into the boards or scoring a timely goal. You want proof? This is the first result when you do a Google image search for Tootoo.

In a city where you would not expect hockey to have a devout following, the Predators are finally starting to reap the benefits of what they have sowed for 13 seasons. Nashville finally advanced to the conference semi-finals for the first time ever, and they've got Tootoo to thank for their run at history.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NBA Western Conference Playoff Preview



The NBA season has finally concluded. And while much has been made of the Eastern conference and the likes of the Miami Heat, probable MVP winner Derrick Rose, and the ageless Celtics, the Western Conference is certainly formidable in its own right. Check out how the West might play out.

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs.  #8 Memphis Grizzlies

The Spurs have heard the criticisms before.

Theyre too old. Their time has passed. Theyre boring to watch, and havent adjusted to the new NBA.

Well, Ill take boring and effective over flashy and on the outside any day (a’hem, Golden State Warriors).

The Spurs finished first in the Western Conference this year, amassing 61 wins, giving them home court throughout the West’s playoffs. They did so with the many of the same faces -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili -- but also an infusion new producers: DeJuan Blair, George Hill, and Gary Neal.

Even Richard Jefferson, whose acquisition was supposed to be a bust, came up big for the Spurs this year.

So, as always, this team was a defensive juggernaut. Although their 98 points allowed per game is deceptively high, the Spurs will wear you down on D. They’ll make you work on every possession just to get a decent look, and on many possessions, teams won’t. Defense wins championships; plain and simple, just ask Spurs head coach Greg Popovich (the guys has won four NBA titles).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NHL East Playoff Preview



With the NHL season finally concluding, eight teams in the Eastern Conference are all set and ready to make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. 

With no clean sweeps in any of the regular season matchups between the playoff pairings, here is the low down on how the first round could shape up.

#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 New York Rangers

Conventional sports wisdom would tell you to pencil in the No. 1 seed in any one-eight tilt. But then again, conventional wisdom may be thrown out the window when these two rivals face off in the first round. 

The season series went to the Rangers 3-1. And not only did the Blueshirts take the series 3-1, they did it by winning the last three games of the series by a whopping combined score of 15-1! Plain and simple, the Rangers have owned the Caps this year. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April Fools

Check out Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in this funny MLB commercial, as part of their new "Always Epic" campaign for the 2011 season.

Unfortunately for Felix…this April Fools, I think the jokes on him…as those stuffed animals will be about all he wins this season. Can a fella get some run support?

Or wait…maybe the joke's on us, since he reels in about 20 million dollars a year…

Monday, March 21, 2011

NBA East Playoff Update


Beasts of the East

With the All Star game and the trade deadline behind us, the playoffs are just around the corner. With 11 teams within 4.5 games of a playoff spot, we size up not only who will make it to the playoffs, but ultimately come out on top.

The Big Three

Boston: Currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference by mere percentage points, this veteran Celtics squad has been winning games with its defense. Allowing only 91.7 points per game, the Celts boast the stingiest defense in the league and have all of Boston excited for another title run.

However, a trade deadline shakeup has many fans scratching their heads. Shipping Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Celtics lost a premiere post defender, and an excellent candidate to match up against the likes of Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire in the playoffs, or even a guy like Andrew Bogut.

However, the player they acquired in return, Jeff Green, certainly adds a different dynamic to these Celtics. At times, this team can at times get wrapped up in a half court offense, and Green will surely make the Celts push the pace. Guarding the Celtics with Green at the four and Garnett at center could prove to be difficult for any team trying to match that versatility.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Super Bowl For Your Thoughts


Remember that kid in class who would always get a 99 percent on his math test, but still complain about it?

And you would sit there with your lousy 83, thinking, ‘Why is he complaining? He has it nice. He can’t even appreciate what he has.’

So, with that, I’ve got a message for all the Patriots fans that for some reason can’t be happy with their freakin’ 99: watch the Super Bowl.

I know your beloved gridiron pantheons weren’t as successful this season as you hoped for, but that should not inhibit you from watching what is shaping up to be one of the best sporting spectacles in recent memory.

There are too many subplots and intriguing storylines to tune out and watch whatever re-runs competing networks might peddle that night.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Top 10 Storylines: 2011


According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 was the year of the tiger. Boy did someone mess that up. Anyway, without dwelling too much on the past year of sports, here are 10 major storylines as we hop into 2011, or, the year of the rabbit.

     1.     NBA and NFL Labor Agreements

Before any 2011 NFL or NBA storylines can be addressed, what first needs to be tabled are the statuses of collective futures of those leagues.

As of now, there is no labor agreement in place between the player’s association and the owners of both leagues.

What could that mean potentially? A lockout… or lockouts.

Right now, neither the NFL nor NBA are even remotely close to signing a labor agreement, with both sides very far apart. I don’t think that average sports fan has really processed what this could mean, or the huge effect this could potentially have.

These are billion dollar corporations that employ mass amounts of people. So forget about the athletes. They’ll survive without their salaries for a year. But think about all the unemployment that would accompany a lockout. Those who work for the league would be left jobless, and that could be catastrophic.

Also, imagine those months in-between the baseball season without football or basketball.

Major factors in getting these deals done? For the NFL, if the owners want to move to an 18-game schedule, the league will have to remain un-capped as players’ will expect some higher numbers on their paychecks.

The NBA wants to cut contract length, and decrease both salary length and guaranteed money. The players… not too happy. There has to be a middle ground, right?

As of now, things are not looking good for David Stern or Roger Goodell.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome to the Other Side


Take yourself back nine years.

The date is February 2, 2002. The place is the Louisiana Superdome.

Outside, it’s quiet. Warm. Damp. Humid.

Inside, it’s equally as quiet. Warmer. Damper. Sweatier. 73,000 fans collectively holding their breath as fabled kicker Adam Vinatieri lines up to cement his name in the NFL history books.

Kurt Warner meanwhile, sat on the bench, bloodied, looking on helplessly. Marshall Faulk sat there too, just as his quarterback, every bone in his body aching. Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, there all the same, mimicking their general -- their quarterback -- who had been knocked around and smacked in the face more than those kids at the end of Step Brothers.

Seconds later, Vinatieri’s arms shot through the air like red and blue fireworks, igniting a Patriot celebration. They had toppled the Goliath. They had beaten the giant.

The Greatest Show on Turf however, was over. They had hit the wall, and were upset by a team that had no business being there, and no business winning. The most powerful team in the NFL -- the Super Bowl favorite -- a team that had all the marbles, all the cards, and all the tricks, had come up short.

It’s a tale as old as time. It’s a tragic storyline. And it’s also the way sports are.

Because nine years later, the Patriots are on that sideline. Wounded. Bullied. Beaten. And Braylon Edwards and the Jets are doing backflips on the field.

I’m not saying it’s a direct parallel, but it’s pretty damn close. One year you’re writing the history and ten years later you’re drowning in it, unable to get out of your own way. Three straight playoff losses will do that to you as a fan, and suddenly, you don’t feel so high and mighty anymore.