The Leafs get rid of one of 2 pillars of their defensive problems, clear some salary cap, and create an opening for a younger player to develop.
Penguins get a talented guy who shoots the puck as good as anyone to mix in with an already offensively talented lineup. Penguins won a cup in a year when they essentially played with complete disregard for defense. A great fit for Kessel and I'd expect a lot of 6-5 type final tallies in Pittsburgh games next season.
posted by cixelsyd at 01:39 PM on July 02
Hamilton by 7
Calgary by 7
BC by 7
Toronto by 10
posted by cixelsyd at 11:24 PM on June 29
And the Jays have been awesome this year.
But he is Mike Trout, a guy with more "no way" defensive plays than anyone I've seen for years (my Willie Mays bobblehead nods in agreement).
posted by cixelsyd at 01:48 AM on June 27
great cap, rcade
posted by cixelsyd at 01:31 AM on June 27
Thanks for the thanks ..
And thanks to rcade for organizing the pool.
(Noticing that my round scores are almost exactly like the first 4 holes of my normal golf game)
posted by cixelsyd at 11:49 AM on June 25
Um, there's this guy named Mike Trout ...
posted by cixelsyd at 09:40 PM on June 24
Montreal by 10
Calgary by 10
Edmonton by 7
Winnipeg by 3
posted by cixelsyd at 11:24 AM on June 23
Iguodala (like Kawhi Leonard last year) kept the best player in the game from winning the championship.
Iguodala was key both defensively and offensively. He enabled the Warriors to completely blow up the Cavs scheme of double teaming Curry every time Seth got the ball. Iggy served as a double team outlet option then essentially ran 4 on 3 drills as a second 1 (point guard).
The Cavs only success came earlier in the series when the Warriors played a lineup where Draymond Green was the outlet. Draymond can handle the ball well for a big but he is certainly no comparison to Iggy in the position.
Curry merits consideration for his unbelievable ability to draw the double and make great passes out of it. He had more turnovers than usual but was battling 2 taller and usually pretty decent defensive players.
posted by cixelsyd at 03:14 PM on June 17
the obvious most valuable player in the Finals (James)
James is the best player in the world and had great numbers in the series but I don't disagree with the Iguodala selection. Don't know if it was fatigue or just a sense of hopelessness but James appeared to shut it down early in games 5 and 6.
If James had some support such as a partially healthy Irving the outcome may have been different. Interestingly this is always the discussion when he doesn't win.
posted by cixelsyd at 09:49 AM on June 17
Kerr appears to have found a lineup that can overcome the Cavs emphasis of constant physical contact on Curry and Thompson even though the Cavs are dictating the style of play and flow of the game.
The Cavs need to find a way to get LeBron a 5 or so minute blow (elapsed, not game clock time) early in 2nd and 4th quarters . Problem is they don't have anyone on the bench who can buy minutes against the warriors second string. James and Thompson have been solid throughout, Mozgov and Delladova are playing way above their normal levels of play and are contributing.
Shumpert and JR Smith have been horrible.
posted by cixelsyd at 02:25 PM on June 12
After bashing Toronto late last week for it's frequently questionable air quality I awoke this morning of the opening Women's World Cup matches in Winnipeg to an air quality statement.
The smoke isn't heavy here but it is noticeable without much breeze to speak of.
Not great conditions to be sprinting around a pitch regardless.
posted by cixelsyd at 08:07 PM on June 08
Sharp (?) also gets the bottom foot.
That sequence looks like it was a set play.
posted by cixelsyd at 11:10 AM on June 07
There was a total of one "smog alert" (for two days) for all of 2013 and 2014
Must be improving ... or the criteria has changed.
I'm an old timer, and I'm referring to to the mid 2000's where 20 - 50+ days of alerts were the norm.
Hell, just watching a sport in those conditions today would do me major harm.
posted by cixelsyd at 09:57 PM on June 05
Toronto media trolls the rest of the country
I'd have to imagine the author has never left Toronto in his entire life and has no perspective on the rest of the country. Sucks to be him.
Possibly Toronto sportswriters just need to find something, anything, to write about with all the downtime they have covering their local teams when writers in other cities are covering the playoffs.
I'll admit Edmonton isn't my favorite Canadian city. But on my trips to Edmonton I haven't ever had to think about scheduling my golf or tennis around the smog index as I do in the "big smoke".
Good God - the Pan Am games are in Toronto? I certainly hope not during the summer/smog months. Made the mistake of playing through an alert there in a tournament and had trouble breathing for weeks afterwards. Can't imagine what it would be like to play a match or 2 of soccer in that environment.
posted by cixelsyd at 09:30 PM on June 05
posted by cixelsyd at 02:40 PM on June 02
There was a $25k fee just to be considered for games
No Sepp Blatter involvement here.
posted by cixelsyd at 01:34 PM on June 01
Winner: Chicago +1
Duration: 7 games
Longest game: 1OT
TV rating: 2.1
First goal: B.Saad
Conn Smythe: Duncan Keith +1
Plus/minus: Keith +1
Penalty minutes: Tyler Johnson
GAA: Crawford +1
SpoFite: cixelsyd +1
posted by cixelsyd at 01:26 PM on June 01
Keith was zoned in and made at least a dozen jaw dropping plays.
When he is on he appears to be thinking the game a second or 2 faster than his opponents.
posted by cixelsyd at 11:11 AM on May 28
Enjoy the conference trophy.
Warriors are in tough against the Cavs.
Even tougher if Thompson has a concussion.
posted by cixelsyd at 11:03 AM on May 28
keep an eye on the officiating when the US Women's team plays at the upcoming tournament. There could be some really interesting calls.
Ouch! That opened a nearly healed wound.
posted by cixelsyd at 03:46 PM on May 27
Tristan Thompson's stock certainly is on the rise
With LeBron and Irving on the court hoisting 60 shots per game the Cavs need a player like Thompson who does everything else well without the ball much more than they need Love or JR Smith. Thompson is basically a more offensively talented version of what Dennis Rodman brought to the Jordan/Pippen led Bulls.
Just imagine if the Cavs hadn't traded for Love and also had Andrew Wiggins in the mix.
Love is an exceptional player but his game duplicates skills the Cavs already have being essentially a 1st or 2nd offensive option player on a team that already has those roles filled for years to come. Wiggins running off the ball offensively is an ideal compliment to what the Cavs have and defensively he is far superior to Love.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:48 AM on May 27
And it's official
Love one of the first comments:
"He's getting older now and wants shorter seasons to spend more time with his family"
posted by cixelsyd at 03:01 PM on May 20
Rumblings are that Mike Babcock is out of Detroit and on his way to Toronto.
If true much challenge, and money, awaits.
posted by cixelsyd at 01:42 PM on May 20
I think that Kraft knows that either A) they did it, or B) there's no way in hell it can be proven that they didn't do it.
Kraft sold out the team he owns
I would expect Kraft is pretty pissed with a few folks in his own organization for not properly informing him of some important details before he went on his initial tirade against the NFL in support of those same people.
Goodell will explain that Wells overlooked something or other in his report
Unless Wells comes out with some previously unreleased information in support of the Patriots claims it's not going to happen. Imagine the damage the optics of Goodell making a back room deal to kiss Kraft's ass would create. At best, Goodell praises Kraft for making a difficult decision for the betterment of the game.
The NFLPA continues it's appeal on behalf of Brady - it's what unions do for their members.
I'd expect the appeal to be limited to the mechanics of the application of the suspension and stop short of any further investigation into Brady's involvement.
I see the outcome as Brady reluctantly agreeing to serve a reduced 2 game suspension.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:27 AM on May 20
can we all agree or explain where we disagree with this
The NFL must have a respected commissioner.
Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft got together and agreed to resolve the issue internally.
The Patriots acknowledge breaking a rule that had zero impact on the outcome of a game that the offense was detected in. The NFL issues a fine and decides to review how relevant the rule is going forward.
Goodell (finally) comes across as a respected leader, and the Patriots a class organization and deserving champion.
No Wells report, no fake science, no fat guy nicknamed "the deflator".
posted by cixelsyd at 01:14 AM on May 16
an inviolable law of physics?
Are you basing your opinions on Robert Kraft's associate's initial explanation of physics or have you researched what scientific experts have presented?
Every reputable source of information points out that science proves the Patriots explanation as not possible.
posted by cixelsyd at 07:19 PM on May 15
admit a possibility that the case is not "clear cut"?
I guess I could approach this two ways:
I'll concur with 1).
2) would do nothing to prove the rules weren't intentionally broken.
I am assuming this is a response to proving the "Goodell and the NFL are intentionally targeting a flagship franchise (Patriots) and its most marketable player (Brady)" conspiracy theory.
The principle here is to enforce the rules of the game to ensure it's integrity.
If others are caught they should also be penalized accordingly.
When the news broke my first thought was the damage the Colts had done themselves by even mentioning anything after the way they were destroyed. Brady could have been throwing Jet-Puffed's and it would have had no bearing on the outcome. Enter Robert Kraft and his poorly executed attack on everyone non-Patriot. It's now crystal clear he did so without even investigating his own organization.
The "We are the Patriots, and we don't need to comply with or answer to anyone - We'll show the NFL who is boss" approach was and continues to be exothermic.
Until we get to the point where we are now.
It would appear Goodell and the NFL levied punishment based upon the circumstances surrounding the infraction rather than the infraction itself. A slap on the wrist penalty here would have been confirmation that the tail is wagging the dog.
It is highly probable that he got it right.
posted by cixelsyd at 04:48 PM on May 15
Chicago 7 +2
Tampa Bay 7 +2
PP Goals: Kucherov
Penalties: Shaw (Chicago)
Save %: Lundqvist
posted by cixelsyd at 11:46 AM on May 15
Missing the point here.
I'll concede that Goodell has generally mishandled league PR issues during his tenure.
If you buy into Goodell being the offender in this situation then the Patriots legal representatives and spin doctors are doing a better job than the league office.
This a clear cut case of official league rules being broken and the refusal of the offending parties to provide requested information in a league investigation. Information that would allow proper penalties being applied to the appropriate parties.
Goodell did not doctor the Patriots footballs and he did not hide evidence from an investigation.
What the heck could a third/fourth/fifth party do to resolve the situation?
And if somehow the NFL was overruled on application of it's own performance rules would that be considered a positive outcome?
posted by cixelsyd at 11:36 AM on May 15
Mr. McNally is a big fellow and had the opposite goal: to lose weight. "Deflate" was a term they used to refer to losing weight.
I now am officially considering approaching the Patriots for a new keyboard and 1/8th cup of coffee. I will provide photographic proof and also allow them access to specific messages of interest on my phone they deem required to resolve the situation.
posted by cixelsyd at 03:25 PM on May 14
Net Savings to Patriots: $2,700,000
They also get the perfect opportunity to give a potential successor some playing time in winnable games. It's not all bad for the Patriots.
posted by cixelsyd at 09:40 PM on May 12
the whole thing looks like a giant fiasco and a witch hunt
Don't cheat. No story, no fiasco.
The whole thing looks like a team cheating, getting caught, and refusing to accept responsibility. By a repeat offender.
Forget about the rule that was broken, whether you think it has any realistic bearing on the play, etc. It's a rule that all teams are to expected to abide by. Any team that deliberately breaks a rule is doing so to get an unfair advantage over an opponent. This destroys the integrity of the sport.
posted by cixelsyd at 03:23 PM on May 12
Punishment must be harsh to hopefully help them and the league see that if you break the rules, there are consequences
And hopefully the offenders, the NFL, and it's other members learn from this shit storm and come to the realization that all parties need to work to resolve any future occurrences appropriately together in a timely manner.
posted by cixelsyd at 01:09 PM on May 12
Brady has already said he will appeal. Also means the NFL will get those phone records.
If he does appeal and the phone records are revealed everyone gets the truth ... at last.
If an appeal requires the phone records be disclosed to the NFL Brady will not appeal.
He could have doused this whole event way back when before it became a huge bonfire and most likely for a rather meaningless financial penalty. He chose not to.
The truth would be preferred, but ...
I'm betting he serves the penalty and comes back ready to play. Pats will still have 7 games against weak divisional opponents to qualify for the playoffs. And they didn't do too poorly the last time Brady was out anyways.
posted by cixelsyd at 08:22 PM on May 11
LeBron might be the most capable player-coach possibility we've had in a while
Some would say he already is and has been starting with his previous stint in Cleveland where he had the previous coach fired.
No question he is the best option on the court offensively. Only 1 player in the league that can defend him well on a regular basis (Kawhi Leonard). As long as he wants the ball he should have it.
He is not capable of being a player coach because of his makeup. (His emotional involvement often results in defensive lapses .. someone needs to be in place to keep his head out of his ass).
If there ever is a player coach I'd suggest someone like Chris Paul, Tony Parker, or Tim Duncan would be a prime candidate (as would Steve Nash if he were still playing).
posted by cixelsyd at 01:14 PM on May 11
but prove it instead of weaving a tale fraught with holes
What holes are there?
Balls that were deliberately deflated to levels outside of the limits of the rules by Patriots employees were used during a game.
Considering it was a voluntary offering, he was offered the opportunity for his attorney to be in total control of the phone and to limit the inquiry to just a particular time period and on subject. The phone didn't need to leave the hands of him or his people for any moment at all. He chose not to even do that.
Makes no sense at all that someone would avoid the opportunity to prove their innocence.
.. Enter Brady's agent trying to deflect the entire event back on the NFL crying conspiracy. Only deepens the hole his client is already in.
The NFL conspiring to discredit one of the staples of it's brand?
Man up. Quickly. The longer this goes on the worse it gets for everyone involved.
If those involved had owned the responsibility when caught the whole issue would have been quickly dealt with.
posted by cixelsyd at 11:00 AM on May 07
If my employer demanded my phone records I'd tell them to pound sand
If my employer's legal representative was investigating a crime where I was the prime suspect I'd have to comply to keep my job.
I'd also have no reason not to comply as I had already proclaimed my innocence and would want to prove my innocence.
If I was actually guilty and had been lying all along I'd realize it was time to man up.
posted by cixelsyd at 05:10 PM on May 06
... Waiting for Kraft to counter with another nonsensical response.
And, of course, the blind eye treatment the Patriots will receive from the NFL.
posted by cixelsyd at 03:05 PM on May 06
In the pre-Calipari Kentucky era Donovan won the recruiting battle in the SEC yearly. What I think elevates him above other college coaches and makes him a good fit for the NBA is his ability to get rosters loaded with top talent to play cohesively and unselfishly.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:55 AM on May 01
Chicago in 7 +1 (Toews)
Anaheim in 5 +2 (Perry) +1
Tampa in 7 +1 (Stamkos) +1
NYR in 6 +1 (Backstrom)
GAA: Lundquist +1
posted by cixelsyd at 12:04 PM on April 30
Oh what a dream it will be to coach Kobe and Rondo on the same squad.
posted by cixelsyd at 02:44 PM on April 22
Sooner or later, one or more of these players will move to a stronger team in a more noticeable city, and then the recognition will come
Many of the best NHL players play in smaller Canadian and US markets and don't get the media play others do. True hockey fans know who the best players are and could care less about what share of media attention they get. Stamkos plays in Tampa, Benn in Dallas, Tavares for the Islanders, Giardano in Calgary .. none of whom get a lot of ink until they visit a big market and scorch their opponents. They make great money and play for highly competitive teams.
As for "strong teams in more noticeable city" - teams like Chicago, Pittsburgh, and the Rangers are already struggling with cap issues and can't possibly sign any of the Oilers young stars. Detroit may be the only location that fits your criteria.
posted by cixelsyd at 04:39 PM on April 20
Oilers have a wealth of skilled young offensive players and McDavid only adds to that.
They are in great position now to deal a highly valued player and obtain a few NHL level defensemen and defensive minded forwards to round out their squad. RNH and Hall would fetch top value but the Oilers would be stupid to deal RNH.
McDavid in Toronto? Good god, couldn't be a worse place for a young player to begin a career. Especially with the current Leafs roster filled with older overpaid players who only show up on pay day. Leafs haven't even begun rebuilding. They have a less than stellar record identifying young talent in the draft and trade away any decent young players that fall into their lap. They are at least 4 years behind where the Oilers currently are in building a competitive team.
Leafs will have a great shot at the 2016 draft lottery.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:08 AM on April 20
He might even trade Phil Kessel back to Boston for a couple of bags of pucks
Nonis already made that offer to the Bruins in an attempt to get rid of the associated contract but the Bruins passed.
posted by cixelsyd at 06:14 PM on April 15
If Spofi had a pickem lottery similar to the NHL draft lottery I'd be first up, so here goes ...
Ottawa in 6
Washington in 6 +1
Chicago in 6 +2
Calgary in 7 +1
Rangers in 5 +2
Tampa Bay in 6 +1
St.Louis in 7
Winnipeg in 7
Goal scorer: Monahan (Calgary)
posted by cixelsyd at 12:25 PM on April 15
Leafs fire GM Nonis, interim head coach Horachek, 3 assistant coaches, Director of Scouting Kasper, 18 scouts
Leafs need to somehow rid themselves of 4 or 5 players Nonis signed to high priced long term contracts with few or no interested parties.
The verdict is out on Horacek. Poor guy was brought in with a mandate and simply did what he was told.
The Leafs have drafted poorly for a long time. When they have managed to select a future all-star they have traded the player away. One wonders what the Leafs might look like with Tuuka Rask, Tyler Seguin, Alex Steen, and Dougie Hamilton on the roster instead of Kessel and Phaneuf.
Randy Carlyle certainly had a much better take on the Leafs when he was there than anyone else in the organization ... I wonder if he would consider a GM position.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:21 AM on April 13
NCAA Men's Basketball Officiating Constitution clearly states:
Duke until proven otherwise
Duke games are normally painful to watch because of the preferential calls they receive.
Trust me, last night's game was not as bad as most are, probably because Wisconsin is an experienced squad who doesn't place themselves in many situations that give officials opportunities to blow the old Blue whistle.
If you don't believe me watch a Duke home game next year against a decent opponent.
Standard fare to need to score 20 more points than Duke from the field to be close at the end of the game.
posted by cixelsyd at 05:11 PM on April 07
One and Done dilutes college ball but is also killing the NBA. Teams are forced to invest heavily in players who have talent but can't really play. Many of these college "one and dones" become "three years on the bench and dones" .. done meaning they are playing in some foreign country without a college degree.
I have no issue with the LeBron James / Kevin Garnett / Kobe Bryant type players who step in and play immediately. Last night we watched 2 likely lottery picks, Okafor and Winslow, get dominated by less talented experienced college players. These "lottery" players are nowhere near ready and much more likely to fail than players who have developed their game in college.
I hope young players start to approach the likes of Darius Miller, Deandre Liggins, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague, and others who have been sold on and then spit out of the "one and done" factories for advice before committing to these types of programs.
posted by cixelsyd at 04:11 PM on April 07
For Duke to be in the double bonus roughly halfway through the second half against a seasoned, veteran team that doesn't foul is rather eye opening
The calls Duke received during their comeback were huge. But Duke always gets more calls than their opponents. From my vantage point there were a few that could/should have gone the other way, but this game wasn't your typical contest where Duke benefits by 20 more free throw attempts than their opponent (I submit the win over Michigan State as a clear example of that).
Here in Canada, we had a different broadcast team than what you got in the US
There was a time 15 years ago when Vitale added the slightest bit of wisdom about what was going on for the seasoned fan but that tank is empty. Throw in the TSN resident basketball/golf/soccer/curling/lawn bowling experts' take during commercial breaks and halftime and it makes the entire event painful to watch.
posted by cixelsyd at 12:43 PM on April 07
Interesting NCAA Final last night. Wisconsin and Bo Ryan did a great job of limiting Duke's strengths, specifically Okafor and Winslow, and was dictating exactly the game they wanted midway through the second half. The Badgers defense also was forcing the ball away from Tyus Jones and to what would be considered the 4th or 5th option on the floor for Duke.
Grayson Allen won that game for Duke. He carried them back into contention and forced the Badgers out of their defensive game plan resulting in better opportunities for Jones and Okafor at the end.
Amazing - 16 points in 21 minutes in the championship for a guy who averaged slightly over 1 basket and 9 minutes during the season.
Proves there is still some value in having "4 and done" players like Allen around.
posted by cixelsyd at 11:13 AM on April 07
I'd much rather have similar missed calls in the championship rather than the officiating in the earlier game. 26 free throws to 9 for some reason is considered normal fare in a Duke home game but in a regional final? Michigan State was not given a chance to compete.
What a wonderfully coached ball club the Badgers are
Bo Ryan really knows his squads and is a great game coach.
However there is a pattern of opposing coaches shining in big games against Kentucky's current coach.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:26 AM on April 06
joined .... automatically grabbed my entries from Yahoo Best Bracket pool and duplicated them in Spofi. No worries.
posted by cixelsyd at 03:51 PM on March 18
Admittedly saw more of Harvard in the previous 2 seasons and not 2015. That UVa game was a total beat down.
posted by cixelsyd at 04:56 PM on March 16
Who better than Harvard to school UNC ...
Harvard is an incredibly hard team to play against and well coached.
Carolina has NBA size and talent but doesn't appear to know how to use it against tough well coached opponents. Harvard could win this game. But if Carolina finds itself it could win the Championship.
posted by cixelsyd at 01:36 PM on March 16
Murray made Romo look like a serviceable QB and Dallas a playoff team.
Guess the Cowboys plan to revert to old ways ... sling 40 to 45 passes a game and hope for more TDs than Ints.
And the Eagles brutal run defense gets a boost by only having to face Murray in practice ..
posted by cixelsyd at 04:59 PM on March 12
we won't be challenging the Seahawks for the division title but the Rams for the cellar
Won't be a challenge at all.
Rams will beat the 49ers twice this season and be 3 games up by the end of the 2015 season.
Rams might even make the playoffs. They've been a pretty solid team for 3 years and the only real major fault they had was depending on a "franchise" QB made of thin porcelain.
posted by cixelsyd at 12:51 PM on March 11
and the 49ers, new head coach in tow, seem to be reeling after losing a giant chunk of their team
49ers need to bank on the draft for players. Any decent player they have on the roster will be bailing on the ownership/organizational clusterfuck on the dawn of their free agency.
posted by cixelsyd at 10:48 AM on March 11
Twitter trolls versus Twitter mobs... I have no idea who to root for.
An ignorant social media posting requires no response.
The damage to the poster's reputation is immediate and permanent by the post itself.
posted by cixelsyd at 12:50 PM on March 03
How convenient for the Patriots.
Coupled with the great dinner Goodell had at the Kraft's place smart money is they'll get yet another pass from the NFL.
Oblivion appears to be the objective.
posted by cixelsyd at 06:09 PM on February 18
One of the greatest coaches of all time.
Tark was an unbelievable motivator. He took cast-offs and 2nd tier players and made them into NBA prospects, frequently thrashing opponents whose rosters were filled with much higher level McDonalds All-America talent.
He didn't have a single system or style. He adapted his coaching to the strengths of his current roster and executed that style of play at top level.
posted by cixelsyd at 08:38 PM on February 11
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