Donald Sterling is in trouble yet again for being a worthless asshole, and this one might be the final straw (at long last). Sterling reportedly made incredibly racial remarks to his girlfriend, saying that he has a problem with her showing people that she’s associated with black people.
I believe in being innocent until proven guilty… almost always. Usually, I’d say that Magic Johnson probably shouldn’t tweet what he did, which included saying that he’ll never attend a Clips game until Sterling is gone and that Sterling is a black eye on the NBA. Usually, I’d hope that there was something false about this recording, and I’d wait until the investigation was finished in order to make a judgment.
But not with Donald Sterling. Not when his Wikipedia page will make you wonder how a guy so terrible could have such a prominent role in society in 2014. I’m willing to bet that the audio of him saying that his girlfriend shouldn’t associate with black people is incriminating enough.
And this has to be the final straw. I’m not naive — I do realize that it’s incredibly hard for anyone to take a possession that’s worth more than hundreds of millions away from anyone in society. But the NBA, and Adam Silver specifically, has to make sure that Sterling is gone. This will be Silver’s first test as Commissioner, and I hope that the NBA can use a “betterment of the league as a whole” clause or whatever in order to get Donald Sterling out of the NBA.
First of all, Tuukka Rask is sensational. Just an absolutely amazing goalie to watch. Because the idea of jinxes is stupid, I have no problem saying that we might remember this postseason from Tuukka the same way we remember Timmy’s 2011 playoff run. But what’s even more amazing about Tuukka than Timmy is that Tuukka makes everything look easy. Thomas would sometimes bail himself out for being out of position, while #SaveByRask rarely has to do that. Just makes everything look easy, and then we always say after, “Of course he made that save.”
The B’s didn’t dominate this game, but they did play better. More specifically, the Bruins’ special teams look to be in full beast mode this postseason, with 6 goals with the man advantage. In a 5 game series. Last time I checked, I think that’s pretty good. When you play better and have the best goalie in the league, your chances of winning are pretty good, and I don’t even care how much my analysis right there sounded like John Madden trying to talk hockey.
The Bruins are the best team in the league, and they should keep showing that against the Bitch French Pussies from Quebec. The only way the Habs will win is by annoying the Bruins enough to get them off their game, which, unfortunately, they’re quite good at. But I think the 2014 Bruins will keep their heads on straight. Bruins in 5. Bring on the Canadiens.
At the end of the Bruins-Red Wings game from last night, on Jarome Iginla’s OT goal, just listen to the crowd, the players, and Doc Emrick here.
(It’s at about 4:05 in the video. I tried using Dafoomie’s highlights on YouTube, which every Bruins fan should see after every playoff win, but NESN didn’t pick up the sound as well as NBCSN did last night.)
You hear that? Most of the crowd goes absolutely silent, but then there are a few who get louder than ever. You can actually hear the Bruins yelping from the bench, and we get a Doc Emrick “…SCORE!!!” to cap it off.
The atmosphere in playoff hockey is the most important reason why it’s so amazing, and sometimes it’s the nanoseconds like that which make or break the atmosphere.
Reminds me of the exact moment that Brad Marchand scored in Game 6 of the 2011 SCF. (Around 1:10 of the video below.) Listen to the crowd. Just gets louder than I’ve ever heard the Garden, and, because I was there, I can confirm that it was louder than I’ve ever heard the building.
There’s really nothing to see here. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check out the story and video, but there’s nothing really insightful that anyone can add that we haven’t already heard. Michael Pineda is an idiot, but you already knew that. Tons of baseball players try this, but you already knew that also.
Suspension for 7-10 days, his numbers might go down a little, but, after a few starts, he’ll probably use it again and be smarter about where to hide it. It’s pretty insane that Sportscenter is going HAM with this story — actually, no it’s not, Sportscenter always beats everything into the ground, especially if it involves Red Sox-Yankees. But is it really necessary for ESPN to have Doug Glanville do a 5 minutes Sportscenter piece on how to use pine tar? I’m gonna go with NO.
Sorry if this falls under the “No Shit” category, but Patrice Bergeron was nominated for the Selke Trophy yet again as the NHL’s best defensive forward along with Jonathan Toews and Anze Kopitar.
I don’t think I need to analyze this nomination much. The only thing that will need analysis is if the NHL somehow decides to give the trophy to Toews and not Bergy again.
But for now, let’s look at this:
According to NHL.com, Henrik Zetterberg could be a game-time decision tonight.
Obviously, this is huge news, and it’s unfortunate for Bruins fans. Part of the problem with starting this series so late (last Friday as compared to Wednesday or Thursday for all other series) was that it’d give Zetterberg more time to return. It should also give Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille time to return, but it’ll apparently help the Wings’ Captain more than the Bruins’ penalty killers. Paille was wearing a no-contact sweater at practice today, but it sounds like he may not even return until after the series. Hopefully by Game 6 or 7, but I’m not even counting on that now.
According to DailyFaceoff, as well as what we’ve heard from the media in the past few hours, Zetterberg will play on Datsyuk’s left wing with Justin Abdelkader on the other side. Johan Franzen goes to 2LW, Tomas Tatar goes to 3RW, and Todd Bertuzzi will make his playoff debut at 3LW. Daniel Alfredsson is out again, which explains the decision. That first line will be damn good now with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, although Henrik won’t be at full strength yet.
Another important aspect of this news is that it makes the Red Wings’ depth that much more impressive. Putting Tatar at the third line and moving a guy like Tomas Jurco or Drew Miller out of the lineup would give the Wings a depth advantage over the B’s. So much for depth being Boston’s biggest strength.
At 5 on 5 close, the Bruins had 64% of the corsi events in the game, and that’s just where this recap starts. They outshot the Red Wings 34-23 in all, killed every penalty, and Tuukka Rask proved once again that he’s the best in a 3-0 win.
The only guy who had a corsi below 50% and also lower than his Offensive zone start percentage was Johnny Boychuk, and it’s not like Boychuk played badly. Boston also killed every penalty, and went 1/3 on the power play to now improve to 3/8.
The Bruins also showed that what Mike Milbury said at the first intermission, after one of the best periods I’ve seen from the Bruins this year, was true. He explained why the idea that some people have that the Bruins will beat Detroit’s speed with its physical play are forgetting that the Bruins also have a lot of skill, and they’ll win with both. Tonight, that was true. In fact, it was the best possible example of what he was saying.
Tuukka and the Bruins were in the zone from the start. Look him, he’s not even budging. Pretty representative of the rest of the night.
The Bruins will still be without penalty killers Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly, while Matt Bartkowski is in for Andrej Meszaros. Kevan Miller is still in, as his illness seems to be done.
The Bruins are starting with the Bergeron line with Chara and Miller. Chara and Miller likely won’t be together, but that’s what a team does when they’re on the road, since they have to submit their lineup first. They’ll stick for Chara for the first shift if the Wings put a good line on the ice, and stick with Miller if they don’t.
The Paille and Kelly news will still really hurt the Bruins penalty kill and depth, although the PK seems to be holding up. But the Bruins’ depth has taken a hit, as the 4th line now looks like a pretty bad one and not “arguably the best 4th line in the league” of 2013.
And it should. I’m trying to separate my personal hatred of all things from Matt Cooke when writing this in order to make a rational judgment, but even when doing that, I don’t see how whoever-is-the-new-Brendan-Shanahan can show any mercy towards him. His history is just too long. Remember this?
Remember… screw it, let me just link Don Cherry’s piece against Matt Cooke after the Savard injury. Cherry nailed it, and it shows you just how much of a rat that Cooke is.
He really shouldn’t be in the league anymore. It’s just injury after injury, intentional, dirty hit after intentional, dirty hit. I have no respect for him, and no one should. Any league that cares about player safety should throw the book at him.
If you’re wondering, Barrie is out for 4-6 weeks with an MCL strain, which is a huge blow for the Avs. This is one of the few times that I like that the NHL punishes by retribution, which means that Cooke’s suspension will be a good one. Thank God.
While I will admit to not spending as much time researching the NBA this year as the NHL for the simple fact that the Celtics suck and the Bruins are awesome, I still think I know enough to make some predictions. And, more importantly, what’s the first round of any sports league’s playoffs without some predictions? Let’s get started.
Indiana Pacers over Atlanta Hawks in 4.
This is the NBA, after all. The 1 seeds rarely lose to the 8 seeds, especially when said 8 seed went 38-44 and almost lost their playoff spot to the New York Knicks.
Miami Heat over Charlotte Bobcats in 5.
I almost went with another sweep, but I think the Heat might just forget to care about a game. Either way, who cares. Michael Jordan’s franchise ain’t winning more than a game.
Brooklyn Nets over Toronto Raptors in 6.
I know that everyone and their brother will make this exact pick, but I really think it’s the smart call. The Nets are better than what they showed in the first month of the season, and, more importantly, I can’t pick against Pierce and Garnett unless the other team is far better than they are. Everyone will pick the Nets in 6 because the Nets are home in Game 6 but not 5 or 7, and I think that’s the smart call here.
Chicago Bulls over Washington Wizards in 6.
The Wizards really, really hurt themselves by winning their last 4. I realize that Toronto had a better point differential than Chicago, but would anyone rather play Joakim Noah during his Top 5 MVP Candidate season than the Toronto Raptors? John Wall should put himself on the map in this series, and he’ll be a big reason why it goes 6 games. But, if there’s one time that coaching really matters in the NBA, it’s in a tough playoff series, and Tom Thibodeau is involved. Bulls finish it off on the Wizards’ home floor
San Antonio Spurs over Dallas Mavericks in 5.
Finally, a conference with a lot of good teams. Spurs-Mavs will be a really, really hard fought series, so it’ll basically be the opposite of the Heat’s 5 game series. But the Spurs will be too much, and will win the close games that they need in order to dispatch the Mavs at home in 5.
Oklahoma City Thunder over Memphis Grizzlies in 6.
Zach Randolph has always done pretty well against Kendrick Perkins, and the Grizz’s size will give the Thunder issues. That’s why this series will go 6, which is a marathon of a series for a 2-7 matchup in the NBA. But, ya know, Kevin Durant.
Los Angeles Clippers over Golden State Warriors in 7.
Stephen Curry will go off in this series. Just be an absolute animal. Golden State is actually a pretty good road team, so I would not at all be shocked to see them take a game in the Staples Center. But I’m gonna have trouble going against Doc Rivers, and I think that Rivers and Co. will be able to take a game back in Oakland, as hard as that may be. They’ll then win in 7.
Houston Rockets over Portland Trail Blazers in 7.
Houston 33-8 at home and 21-20 on the road. Portland was 31-10 at home and 23-18 on the road. There will be no road wins this series, and that includes Game 7. The series will be by far the best in the first round, especially with LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard going at it. But the Rockets will prevail, and Sam Presti should continue to hate himself for trading James Harden for 12 cents on the dollar.