May 14, 2013

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 13 comments

And Justin Blackmon is in purgatory in Jacksonville.

I hadn't seen that mug up of Jimmy. Rough moment.

posted by beaverboard at 08:17 AM on May 14

This comment is not made in a snarky manner, but rather as a result of curiosity about crowd psychology. During the Leafs - Bruins series, there were frequent shots of the crowd in Maple Leaf Square, usually in wild celebration of a Leafs' goal. What was the scene after the OT loss last night? There have been no reports of ugly incidents, so I will say that Toronto fans are to be commended for not trying to burn down the town in frustration as happened in 2011 in a certain Western Canadian city.

All-in-all, this was a great series. It happened because Bruins initially seemed to think the Maple Leafs were the local college JV team. Meanwhile the Leafs came in with a chip on their collective shoulder and a willingness to get into the faces of Boston. Toronto's speed and some tentative play by the Boston defense kept Bruins from executing the rush off the breakout that is their favored offense. Bruins won the series only because their depth of talent was greater than Toronto's, and the talent finally decided to play over the final, fatal 17 minutes of hockey. Give a moral victory to the Leafs, and watch out for them next season. They are good and will get better.

posted by Howard_T at 04:11 PM on May 14

It appears Wigan FC will be celebrating the FA Cup and a relegation in the same seven days. They have to win tonight in London against Arsenal to extend their chances to the final game of the season, but to do that they'll have to score four goals in 20 minutes.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:18 PM on May 14

Howard, I think this will at least begin to answer your question.

posted by yerfatma at 04:21 PM on May 14

The Leafs have some good young talent and a great coach. What is missing is absolute commitment and buy-in by the team's leaders / veterans and a few tougher players who can actually play. The Bruins are a good example of what the Leafs are missing; there are no superstar level players on the Bruins (with the possible exception of Chara), just a collective group that works together to win.

Oh ... and for certain, a player or 2 who can defend and clear the front of the net. A goalie should never have to perform more than 3 backflip saves on the same play sequence without some help out front. A slow / smart defenceman like Carlyle was would fit nicely.

posted by cixelsyd at 04:30 PM on May 14

I have to wait 24 hours before I can turn on any sports highlight package.
I don't want to see the talking heads dissecting the collapse.
I don't want to see any of the players trying to explain it.
I don't want to see any of the fans being upset about it.

I'm happy the Leafs made the playoffs.
I'm happy the Leafs were more than just participants in the playoffs.
From 1000 miles up, I'm happy the younger Leaf players get this experience.

But if the Leafs could go ahead and deal Dion Phaneuf for a more stable, mobile defenseman, I would be even happier.

posted by grum@work at 04:56 PM on May 14

I guess the saving grace is that Toronto didn't hold a 3-0 lead in the series, and go up by three goals in the 7th game, and still lose. That would be much harder to watch happen.

/bitter snark

posted by grum@work at 05:04 PM on May 14

Sorry about the "I don't want to see .." stuff grum, but you must know if you live anywhere in Canada it's mandatory that every single national sports broadcast must start with something Leafs.

posted by cixelsyd at 05:26 PM on May 14

Jimmy Smith is one of my favorite Jaguars. A shame to see him end up like this, which I assume is due to his longtime drug problems.

He was drafted by Jimmy Johnson in Dallas as a second rounder, but they let him go quickly because of injury. If I recall correctly, he got a chance in Jacksonville because his mom prepared a scrapbook of his athletic exploits and managed to get a team exec to look at it.

The Jags haven't been lousy at receiver since he left.

posted by rcade at 06:05 PM on May 14

I can't even imagine how incredibly sad this makes me:

Man dies dribbling ball to Brazil, raising money for One World Football.

posted by owlhouse at 11:19 PM on May 14

I guess the saving grace is that Toronto didn't hold a 3-0 lead in the series, and go up by three goals in the 7th game, and still lose.

Believe me, grum, this was mentioned often by the Boston broadcast team during the game last night. Since Tuukka Rask was in the nets for Boston both last night and in that game vs Philadelphia, the reference was inevitable. I have no problem at all with it, as there were excuses then, and it's water over the dam (or is it water under the bridge, or maybe over the bridge and under the dam -- anyway, then was then, and now come the Rangers)

posted by Howard_T at 11:34 PM on May 14

Owlie, ditto!

posted by billsaysthis at 12:13 PM on May 15

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.