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.

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.

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.

MLS Playoffs 2018 Semifinals

Well, playing at home wasn’t the best in the knockout round where only NYCFC advanced at home, all the other visitors came and won some in heart breaking fashion, DC United and Columbus went to Penalties to decide the game, other not so much as LAFC is out thanks to an own goal and Portland advanced over Dallas.

As for this upcoming round which begins on Sunday in the lower seed home followed by a game at the higher seeds home the following Sunday or Thursday in the case of Seattle. In the East, Columbus Crew host New York Red Bulls and NYCFC host Atlanta United. I really hope that it doesn’t end up with the two teams from New York meeting in the Conference Finals. I think that everyone should have a soft sport for the Crew one of the original teams with the threat of them moving to Austin is the team didn’t get funding for a new Stadium remember it was only last year when it was all #SavetheCrew. If I had to pick Columbus and NYCFC make it out of this round. In the West Real Salt Lake host Sporting KC and the Portland Timbers host Seattle Sounders. I’m hoping that Sporting KC and the Timbers make it to the Finals. Although the Sounders seems more likely to advance as they have been the most dominate team in the League since they joined and they have made it to the MLS Cup Finals the past two years.

MLS Playoffs 2018

Sure the least know major American Sports League, Major League Soccer has reached the end of their regular season and are going to begin their playoffs.  MLS starts their playoffs with knockout games before the typical home and home for the next two round before the final game, scheduled for December 8.  The top six teams from both Conferences made the playoffs and the top two seeds have a bye through the knockout round. with the high seed hosting the lower seed. After this round the teams get reseeded so the top team will play the lowest seed left.

In the East: Atlanta United, Columbus Crew, DC United, NYCFC, NY Red Bulls, and Philadelphia Union are the teams that made it, and in the West: FC Dallas, Los Angeles FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City have gotten in.  We will be getting a new MLS Champion this year as Toronto FC didn’t make the playoffs. The Knockout round begins on Halloween, with NYCFC hosting Philadelphia Union at Yankees Stadium and FC Dallas hosting Portland Timbers in Frisco, Texas. The next day DC United host Columbus Crew SC at Audi field and the LAFC host Real Salt Lake in LA. This is the first season from the LAFC. This is a single game and the winners we go on to play the top seeds in the Conference Semifinals, the lowest seed will play at NY Red Bulls and Sporting KC and the other winners, the higher seed will face Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders.

Some predictions for the knockout round, DC United have been lights out at home so they have the advantage, that’s the only solid pick I have. Philly played NYCFC in New York on Sunday and lost 3-1 can they bounce back before Wednesday’s game? NYCFC wins, and we have them playing Atlanta in the Semifinals and the classic oldest MLS Rivalry United/Red Bulls in the other game.  In the West, while it would be real cool to see more rivals meet up in the semifinals it seems unlikely but these are just dumb guesses let’s have Real Salt Lake beat LAFC and the Timbers beat Dallas, so we have the Real Salt Lake playing Sporting KC, and Timbers/Sounders. Although it seems more likely that Dallas will beat the Timbers and then facing Seattle.

 

Championship Series 2018

Every series is now set. In the American League it’s a rematch of last year ALDS where the Astros beat the Red Sox in four games, this was the only time they have met in the postseason. During the Regular season Houston took four of the seven games similar to last year. Boston and Houston are the top two teams in the league so this should be an exciting series.  Over in the National League we have a first time meeting of two team who had tie breaker games to win their divisions in the Brewers and Dodgers. This is also the first time that these two team will play each other in the post season. Dodgers won the regular season series four games to three. The National League Championship Series begins on Friday and the American League Championship Series begins on Saturday.

Quick  Predictions: The Brewers are the hottest team having won the past about dozen games and I fully expect them to make it to the World Series by beating the Dodgers. In the other series it seems like you could flip a coin to determine the winner but with Houston having swept the Indians haven’t really faced a challenge so I’m not sure who to back I’d like Boston but it be a great story with Houston being there again.

Baseball Playoffs 2018

After a long regular season a whole extra game was added as there were two tiebreakers necessary to determine the NL Central and West winners. It is once again time for playoff baseball.  Looking back at those predictions I made at the beginning of the season I did great in the American League but miss two in the National League, although the Cubs did make it to the playoffs. Atlanta is the biggest surprise of the team with the emergence of Ronald Acuna Jr. and all those other young kids showed up to play. In the National League we’ve got some exciting games starting with the wild card between the Cubs and Rockies this game is today, this is the second time for both teams in this game, the winner of this game will get to play the Brew Crew as they beat the Cubs on Monday. The other game is the Braves against the Dodgers. The winner of these two game will meet in the NLCS.

Over in the American League we start with the Wild card with the Yankees facing off with the Oakland Athletics this is the third appearance in the Wild Card for the Yankees and the second for that A’s. The home team has won this game the past two years so it is looking like we might have another Yankees-Red Sox Series. In the other game we have the Astros facing the Indians. These two winner will meet up in the ALCS.

Time for some predictions

in the National League I am hoping that either the Brewers or Rockies make it out as neither has won the World Series yet and it would be awesome if the Brewers could make it and follow the Houston Astros in winning both AL and NL Pennants. In the American League it would be great to see the Athletics or Indians win for the first time in forever. Although, there is the ever so unlikely chance of an Indians/Braves World Series that would be great for those who want to complain about the Native American Mascot/name. Sure I’m going to be changing these as get to the Division series.

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