NHL News: Cup craziness commences
3DW View: I know not everyone is jacked up about the Stanley Cup playoffs, but for pure entertainment (Way more interesting then the NBA playoffs) and maddening betting experience, this sport is bliss. On the opening night, Pittsburgh, who is among the favorites to garner another of Lord Stanley’s trophy’s, takes a 3-0 lead over Philadelphia. But the Flyers never stop working and score the next four goals, including the winner in OT and take Game 1 as a +165 money line underdog. This was no fluke, as Philly won the last two periods and overtime. This doesn’t mean the Penguins are done, but Philadelphia has to believe now they can win this series if they keep grinding away.
In recent days, the L.A. Kings have popped up as possible upset outfit in an 8 vs. 1 matchup with Vancouver. For those backers, Los Angeles went out and proved it with a 4-2 win over the Canucks. The Kings outshot Vancouver 39-26 and did not look offensively-challenged in the least in the series opener on the road. The difference in the game was L.A. was 2 for 8 in power plays while the Canucks were blanked in five man-advantage situations.
Nashville has one of the best home ice advantages in the NHL and they made it stand up with 3-2 triumph over Detroit. The Red Wings road woes continue; now 17-25 SU away from MoTown.
The zaniness continues with four more matchups tonight.
NBA News: Proud Pooches
3DW View: It was a good night Wednesday to like road underdogs. These puppies were 5-3 against the spread and even picked off four outright upsets.
Tinsel-town had an unexpected quality night in the Central Time Zone. With Kobe Bryant wearing a tie instead of a Lakers uniform, what chance did LA/1 have in San Antonio? Obviously more than most thought, as center Andrew Bynum got all Bill Russell and snared 30 rebounds by himself and added 16 points, as the Lakers cruised to victory over the Spurs as a +450 money line winner.
The Clippers Chris Paul was not going to be denied, even if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were in opposing uniforms. Paul’s ultra-clutch shot was the difference for LA/2.
Utah did not appear to be much competition for Houston, sporting a 9-20 SU road record, while Houston was 20-8 SU at home and riding a three-game winning streak. However, the Jazz took control of the game in the second quarter and never looked back as Gordon Heyward and Paul Millsap dominated their Rockets counterparts.
In Milwaukee, the Bucks had a golden opportunity to take control of their own destiny, but the inability to stop Carmelo Anthony and take good shots in the last three minutes did them in. Brandon Jennings played more like he wanted to be a hero than a facilitator, taking thoughtless shots in the second half. Milwaukee is now two games behind New York for the final playoff spot and the Knicks also hold the tie-breaker. This would mean the Bucks would have to close the season 7-1 or better to have a chance, which seems unlikely for a team that is 28-30 overall.
MLB News: No, come on, seriously, you have to be kidding
3DW View: If you had Kansas City as an underdog like I did, you had to feel pretty good after taking a 4-3 lead in extra innings at Oakland. But when it comes to additional baseball to be played, you don’t want to be on the same side as me on a game.
Kansas City gave up two runs and lost the contest in the most unbelievable of ways. The Oakland offense is not going to score a lot of runs and will have to manufacture ways to touch home plate. In this game, the A’s scored two runs without a hit and the ball ever leaving the infield.
The Royals committed one error and Jonathan Broxton walked two batters and hit two more to be tagged with the loss. The last two A’s batters that were hit by pitches, “drove in” the tying and winning runs. Broxton is the first pitcher in 46 years, according to ESPN Stats and Info, to lose a game in such a manner. Starting my third season extra inning nightmare, I am now 20-41 beyond nine innings.
MLB News: Nothing comes easy
3DW View: It’s not like Justin Verlander was not aware this could happen, but after two starts, the Cy Young winner has a 2.20 ERA a WHIP at a laughable 0.55 and has not notched a victory. Verlander was kept in just a little too long by manager Jim Leyland and for a second time yesterday and closer Jose Velarde was ineffective in helping JV.
I wonder if Bobby Valentine will be booed in Boston’s home opener on Friday with his team’s 1-5 start. Ironically, the game will be played on Friday the 13th.