2019 NHL Playoffs begin

It started yesterday with half of the games starting and continues today with the others.

In the East we begin in the Atlantic Division with the Tampa Bay Lightning, winners of the Presidents’ Trophy taking on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Tampa Bay won all three games during the season, but winning the Presidents’ Trophy isn’t the best indicator of success in the playoffs as in the past decade only 1 team has managed to win both, the Blackhawks in the lockout in 2012-13 season.  In the next game out of the Atlantic it is the Boston Bruins playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston took three of the four games during the season, and this is a rematch from last year when the Bruins advanced in seven games, however Toronto has won eight of the previous 15 playoff match ups. Over in the Metropolitan Division we’ve got the Washington Capitals playing the Carolina Hurricanes. Washington took all four games during the season. In the other game we have the New York Islanders facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They split the games during the season. This is the fifth playoff meeting between the two teams with New York winning three of the past four, they last met in 2013 where the Penguins won.

In the West we begin with the Central Division with the Nashville Predators facing the Dallas Stars. Nashville won three of the five games during the season. The other pair is the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues. The Jets and Blues tied overall during the season 99 points with the Jets winning three of the four games during the season. Out in the Pacific Division we have the Calgary Flames matched up against the Colorado Avalanche. During the regular season the Flames won all three games they played. The other series is San Jose Sharks facing the Las Vegas Knights, this is a rematch from last year where the Knights won in six games. They split the regular season meetings.

It is pretty cool that five of the match ups are for the first time in the playoffs. A lot of people are saying that the Lighting are the team to beat in the East while in the West it could just be about anyone.

First round predictions: Tampa Bay wins and will play Toronto in the second round while the Capitals will take on their old Coach and the NY Islanders. Over in the West Nashville will be playing the Jets and Calgary will see the Sharks in the next round.

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NCAA Final Four National Championship game

The College Basketball season is over and boy were the last couple of games exciting on both the men’s and women’s side. We knew we’d see a first time winner on the Men’s side and there was plenty of excitement the tournament. On Saturday we have The University of Virginia get fouled on a three down two with .3 seconds left after leading by about ten, the University of Auburn overcame that and it seemed like they would be going to be Championship game. However, Kyle Guy from UVA hit all three shots on that foul to be up one and go on to win. Sunday in the Women’s Championship game we had a similar moment as Notre Dame was on the line with the chance to tie but missed one of the shots and lost to Baylor by 1. Monday night Texas Tech and UVA played a very close game we got to overtime in the Championship game for the first time since 2008 and the Virginia Cavaliers almost lost it in regulation but took home the trophy. Many are talking about the shock of how they were the first 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed last year and this year they come out and win the National title. It’s pretty cool and all you can say is “Wahoowa”

2019 Baseball Season begins

Well, technically this is a week overdue as there were two games this year in Japan where Ichrio Suzuki and the Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics in both of those games then the legend himself, Ichrio, retired from baseball in a fitting manner. Then a week went by with no real games and now it’s time to play ball.

As the season begins we say farewell to Chief Wahoo in Cleveland who has been pushed to the sidelines although die hard Indian fans can still get him if they look for it. This season marks the 150th anniversary of professional Baseball with the founding of the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The Reds will be breaking out 15 different throwback uniforms this year ranging from 1902-1999. The season also has games played in Monterrey, Mexico; London, England; Omaha, NE; and Williamsport, PA. That is ten games at different locations so it is pretty cool.

It’s a bit too early to make any real predictions about what’s to come at the end of this season but it looks like the NL East is going to be tough with the Nationals, Braves and Phillies all upgrading this off-season. Teams look good on paper but who knows what that means in real life.

Super Bowl LIII

Well, the Patriots won again which really didn’t surprise anyone who follows the sport. Tom Brady is the Greatest (System) Quarterback of All-time with this his 6th win in his 9th time going, Brady’s got most all of the records in the Super Bowl for the sheer fact that he’s been to about 1/5 of them.  The Patriots joined the Steelers as the teams with the most Championships with their sixth. The Patriots also hold the records for the most appearances and losses as well. The game, commercials and halftime show were all sort of letdowns. Bud light hammered Corn Syrup in their ads, Michael Buble cashed in on Bubly water and there weren’t that many movie ads that I really remember,  sure Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame offered a bit more information about the films but that was it. Maroon 5 and company were horrible and it seems like Pepsi should be fired from sponsoring the halftime show. I guess the NFL gets this for that horrible call in New Orleans game two weeks ago when the Saints should have won the NFC Championship and perhaps them the Patriots might not have won again.

Super Bowl Prediction

It’s that time of year again. The Patriots are back in the Super Bowl for a record time and this time it’s a rematch of Super Bowl 36 when ‘The Greatest Show on Turf” lost by a field goal. It was the Super Bowl after September 11 and I’ve always thought that it ended with the Patriots winning with the Red/White/Blue color scheme was planned by the NFL. It was the Patriots first Super Bowl win and they gone on to win a couple more since. If we were going by post season experience it would be stupid to pick against New England as a majority of the team was in the Super Bowl last year where as the Rams have stunk as of late.

Prediction while it would be cool if it was like 20-17 mirroring the first game but I expect a high scoring game with the Patriots coming up a yard short at the end, and the Rams winning. Sure this would hurt all those in St. Louis yet again with the Rams having moved out so recently.

AFC/NFC Championship Sunday

Today we’ve reached the penultimate week of Professional Football season until the Alliance of American Football kicks off on February 9th. It begins with the NFC and the Rams facing the Saints in New Orleans while in the AFC the Patriots travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs.  Now both of these games are rematches from earlier in the season, in the NFC the Saints hosted back in November and won by 10, in the AFC the Chiefs traveled to New England back in October and lost by 3. It seems like the NFL might be hoping for another rematch in the Super Bowl with the Chiefs and Rams who combined for 105 point back in the middle of November. I’m sure that most of the nation would like to see Brady and Belichick not make it to the Super Bowl for their ninth time. They have struggled on the road this season and on the road in the Championship game as well. It would be great if Kansas City could get back to the Super Bowl after almost a half century.

Predictions: Saints and Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl.

NFL Playoffs: Divisional

Well the past weekend was rough for the home teams with only Dallas coming out on top. However this weekend the home teams have a better edge since they’ve had a bye week, though others argue that playing and having the “hot” hand gives you the advantage.  This weekend there is only one rematch from the season.

Today we have the Chiefs hosting the Colts, now Kansas City has struggled against the Colts in the Playoffs having lost every time they have played. Now I’d love to see the Colts win but it would be nice to see Andy Reid actually get back to the Championship Round but in the AFC and I really hope that he can win a Super Bowl before he retires.  The other game is the Rams hosting the Cowboys, here’s hoping LA wins.

On Sunday it’s time for the Patriots to take the field where they host the Chargers, this it a match up of the old guns with Brady and Rivers having played for quite a long time. As I said earlier it would be great if Tom Brady and New England weren’t in the Championship game or Super Bowl for once. The other game is the only rematch of the season when the Saints host the Eagles. The last time Philly traveled to New Orleans it was an ugly game and hopefully it won’t be as one sided this time around.

Predictions: Chief, Rams Chargers, Saints.

College Football Championship Game

It’s Monday and the most exciting games of the whole NCAA football season FBS (I-A) is going to be played tonight as we have Alabama and Clemson meeting again in the CFP, for the third time in the National Championship game and the fourth time overall.  Boy are we all excited to see this game again, I hope that Clemson wins and we all get part 5 at the end of next season. Now this is nothing like the dominance of North Dakota State in the FCS, the lower division (AA) who have won 7 titles in the past decade to be clear that really is 7 titles in 8 years.

This year will be the first time since 2013 that the Champion will be undefeated, if we forget about UCF being undefeated last year and claiming a National title for being Undefeated. Will Saban over take the great Bear Bryant with another Championship, with a win Nick Saban will have 7 overall and tiring Bryant with six at Alabama. While it would be wonderful if Alabama or Clemson wins again I would surely like to see some other teams emerge as title threats but it doesn’t help when Alabama is the top recruiting class each year and Clemson is up there as well.

So best of luck to those kids playing in the game tonight and hopefully the game is better than what we watched last week in the semifinals.

NFL Playoffs Wild Card games

Today, is the beginning of Wild Card Weekend in the NFL and sure we have some games to watch but do they really matter. Today we have games in Texas, The Texans host the Colts and The Cowboys host the Seahawks. Houston and Indy will be matching up for the third time this season they split both game with the host team losing both games.  While Dallas is looking the right their poor performance in Seattle from earlier in the season.

On Sunday we’ve got The Ravens hosting the Chargers and The Bears playing host to the Eagles. Baltimore and LA faced off in week 16 so they should be familiar with what each other will be doing, While in Chicago this will be the first meeting this year with Philly.

Predictions: It would be wonderful to see the Colts win and then eventually play the Patriots but that would be the Championship game and I doubt that would happen with Luck getting the best of Tom Brady, but since the game is in Houston and it’s been awhile since the Colts were last in the Playoffs I think the Texans will advance.  Over in Dallas they will lose to the Seahawks once again. The Chicago defense will be dominate as it was early in the season and the Eagles will struggle. In Baltimore age will win out as Phillip Rivers will lead the Chargers over the Ravens and Lamar Jackson.

World Chess Championship 2018

The Championship is over and Magnus Carlsen has defended his title once again. This is his fourth overall title and third defense. Fabiano Caruana tried to keep pace with Carlsen but after 12 matches the rapid chess is what did him in losing all three matches, time was not his friend. Perhaps in 2020 Caruana can come back and try again.