2018 Stanley Cup Finals

It is official now, we have winners in both Conferences. This year we will have a team winning the Cup for the first time and this is the first time it has happened since 2007.  Out in the West the Las Vegas Golden Knight have made it in their first year matching the St. Louis Blues, now hopefully the Golden Knight will not be swept like the Blues were in their first three seasons. In the East the Washington Capitals have made it back to the finals for the first time in 20 year and hopefully they will improve over the last time, when they were swept by the Detroit Red Wings.

This series has a bunch of interesting match-ups with the former GM for Washington, George McPhee, is the GM for Vegas and the chance for Marc Andre Fleury going for cup number four, his third in a row. This is the first time that the teams will meet in the playoffs.Now will the well rested team get off to the poor start as they did in the last round or will the hot team. Vegas is the favorite so many odds makers are saying, however the Capitals are now 8-2 on the road this post season and are the underdogs yet again. As for predictions I have to say Capitals in 7, since I remember the last time they made it to the Finals. Sure both cities have been long suffering Vegas not having a major sports team like ever and the Golden Knights being the first professional team in town and Washington not winning anything as most put it based on the “Big Four” (NFL/MLB/NBA/NHL) since 1992 or 2004 if you add MLS or 2015 if you want to talk about World TeamTennis , but the Capitals have been waiting 42 years to bring home Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Games 1 is on Monday night

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2018 NHL Stanley Cup conference finals

Well two big surprises first off the Vegas Golden Knights are in the finals following in the steps of the St. Louis Blues who made it all the way to the Stanley Cup way back in the 67-68 season. The other to a lesser degree is the fact that the two teams from the last years Stanley Cup are both out. There is another big thing as there could be a team taking home the Stanley Cup for the first time as three of the four teams left haven’t won yet. The only team that’s won is the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2004. The Conference finals begin tonight in Tampa Bay as the Capitals take on the Lightning.

On to the predictions:
In the Western Conference we have the Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets. This will be the first time that they will be meeting in the Playoffs, during the season Vegas took two of the three games. It seems like the Golden Knights have the best shot but who really knows as both the Jets and Knights could win it.

In the Eastern Conference we have the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals. This is the third time they are meeting in the playoffs and Tampa Bay has won both of them. Tampa last was here in 2016 losing to the Penguins in seven games. Washington last was here in 1998 when they beat the Sabers on their way to the only Stanley Cup final.  For both series  you could just flip a coin to decide.

Although it seems like it might end up with Marc-Andre Fleury hoisting the Cup yet again. This season there have been some crazy surprises so anyone could be hoisting it. Of both games I don’t care who wins in the West but  I’d really like it if the Capitals can make it back Stanley Cup Final and actually win a game this time around.

2018 Stanley Cup playoffs

It’s that time of year again, the NHL season is over and the playoffs have begun. For the most of the series it has gone to the second round. We’ve got some big surprises and some of the usual suspects.

We start in the West with the big surprise the Vegas hockey team, the Golden Knights, have done the impossible, well really not that impossible thanks to the Expansion Draft. The Vegas Golden Knights swept the LA Kings in the first round and are playing the other team that swept in the first round the San Jose Sharks. On the other side we have another first time playoff winner in the new Winnipeg Jets and they are playing the Nashville Predators. The Predators made it to the Western Conference finals last year this will be a tough road for the Jets. I think that Nashville will be making it back to the Finals. As for the Golden Knights and Sharks it could go either way but it seems like Vegas has a team that consists of people with some playoff experience so the Golden Knights might have an edge.

In the East we’ve got rematches this will be the third time in a row that the Capitals and Penguins will meet in the second round. It seems like a broken record as this will be the 11th time that they will play each other in the playoffs. The Capitals haven’t do much against them in the playoffs winning only once way back in 1994, they split the season series. I am pretty sure it will be going 7 games, with several going to OT perhaps even shootouts. The other match up will be the Lightning from Tampa Bay will be playing either Boston or Toronto, their final game is tonight. Tampa did well against Toronto this year but not so great against Boston so who knows.

On to the predictions. Nashville and Vegas in the West. In the East either Boston or Tampa along with I’m going to go with the Capitals just for the sheer hope that they can finally break through and beat the Penguins

 

NFL Playoffs 2017 (Championship)

On Sunday we have the Championship games for the AFC and NFC. It starts on CBS at 3 eastern time in New England where Tom Brady and company are going to try and win another Championship (10) this is their seventh consecutive time in the AFC Championship game. New England is playing at home and they will face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are looking to win their first. Everyone has to be thinking that the Patriots are going to win given that, but maybe Jacksonville can eek out a win. These teams met in the first week of the Preseason and Jacksonville won but who really knows.  After this game is over on FOX the NFC Championship will begin at 6:40 or so eastern time in Philly where the Eagles will face off against the Vikings. Both of which have made it to the Super Bowl in the past but have not won The Big Game yet. It has been 40 some years since the Vikings have won the NFC Championship game while it been only a dozen years for the Eagles. As for predictions I would love it if the Vikings win on Sunday and become the first team to play the Super Bowl at their home stadium. Minnesota also had one of the strongest defenses all season and we all know that Defense wins Championships. As for that other game It would be amazing if Jacksonville could win but I think we all know that New England will be winning number 10 and going to yet another Super Bowl.

NFL 2017 Playoffs (Divisional)

This weekend everybody is in the pool as the “bye week” is over and everyone is playing. On Saturday we start with NBC offering up the Atlanta Falcons in Philly playing the Eagles, and later in the evening on CBS the Tennessee Titans  are in New England facing the Patriots. These games seem pretty cut and dry with Atlanta and New England winning. On Sunday, we have some interesting games. We have rematches of game from earlier this season, we start in Pittsburgh on CBS where the Jacksonville Jaguars will try and do what they did a decade ago and beat the Steelers at Pittsburgh twice in the same season. Later in the afternoon on FOX in Minnesota the Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints hope to avenge a week one loss. If I had to pick these games I think that it will not go like it did during the regular season so I’m pulling for the Steelers and Saints.

NFL Playoffs 2017 (Wild Card Weekend)

This weekend the NFL begins the playoffs with Wild Card Weekend. There are some interesting games to watch. On Saturday there is the Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC on ABC/ESPN and Atlanta Falcons at LA Rams in the NFC on NBC. Then on Sunday we’ve got the Buffalo Bills at the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC on CBS and the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints in the NFC on FOX.  Of all the games only the Panthers and Saints will be a rematch of a regular season game the Panthers lost both times. As for predictions it seems like the home teams have the best shots at winning, however that Bills/Jaguars game looks like it will be a close one and the Falcons/Rams game might end with the Falcons coming out with a win since they were there last year. My predictions Chiefs, Falcons, Bills and Saints.

NFL playoff picture and MLS playoffs

With roughly half of the NFL season over it is pretty crazy that most of the league still has a chance to make the playoffs with about 21 of them likely to have upswings in their seasons. This is the results of parity throughout the league for better of worse. Hopefully nothing will be decided until at least December where it could make for some interesting division games to wrap up the season.

Over in Major League Soccer they have shifted to the Conference Finals. These four teams will play a home and home with the aggregate goal total advancing to the MLS Cup. In the East we have a match between the previous two winner of the Eastern Conference in Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC. So both teams have experience in playing in these gamesIn the West we have the defending Champions in the Seattle Sounders and a team from Houston the Dynamo matching up. Who knows how these games will go we might get to see another team from Houston playing for a Championship or Seattle could be the first to defend a championship since the LA Galaxy back in 2011-2012. It will be an exciting couple of games upcoming.

World Series 2017

Well, the long wait is over yet again this seems to be the thing recently since we’ve had the Cubs and Royals win the past two years  we add another long drought to the scrap bin of history. This is the Astros’ first World Series win in team history that’s 56 years and who would have though it would have ended like this. It was a up and down series and just about every game could have been won be either team. This s a great thing for the city of Houston as well. Hopefully this trend of long World Series droughts ending will continue over the next couple of years as well.

MLS Playoffs

Sure Major League Soccer doesn’t get much exposure so it isn’t that big of a sport in America but Professional Soccer has been a thing for over two decades now. Currently they are in the Conference semifinals with a home and home series for all the teams with the aggregate score winner moving on to the Conference Finals. In the East we have both New York teams the Red Bulls and NYCFC along with Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew SC. In the West we have the last two MLS Cup winners in the Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers alongside the Houston Dynamo and the Vancouver Whitecaps. While we might be a rematch of last year MLS Cup, Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC, I and many others are hoping for a good story to come out with the Columbus Crew winning it all. They are currently a pawn in another stadium exhortation scheme as ownership of the Crew, Anthony Precourt has threatened to move the team to Austin, Texas if he doesn’t get a new downtown stadium. Columbus does play in a stadium built in 1999 but it’s not like it is a bad location compared to other stadiums it still hosts a great energy, and the US Men’s National Team has had some great success there as well. According to the reports the move is to keep up with all the new teams and new stadiums that have come to the league since 1999 and if they move or build a new stadium it would be several years from now the are in a 25 year lease on the current stadium.
Enough about the Crew, but it would be nice to the see the Eastern Conference win as the West has been dominate since 2000 winning 15 of the titles. Hopefully, this can evolve to closer to parity between the two conferences.

2017 World Series

Well as it turns out the Astros from Houston came out victorious from the ALCS and will be facing the LA Dodgers. It’s been a dozen years since Houston last was in the World Series they represented the National League when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox. With the Dodgers it’s been almost 30 years since they last won the Series. It will be the first time that the Dodgers and Astros will meet in the playoffs since 1981 in the NLDS. They didn’t face each other in interleague play so it’s a bit tough to pick. It’s the top offense against the top defense so it’s bound to be a great series. It would be a wonderful story if Houston could take home the Commissioner’s Trophy, it would be the first for the team. However, it seems like the Dodgers might have the advantage in the series as it’s going to be a hot one along with the fact that they haven’t given up a game at home yet in the playoffs and it could go seven as Houston also hasn’t given up a game at home yet.