Connect with us

Uncategorized

Stanley Cup Takeaways: Zibanejad keeps Rangers alive, Vergretzky sinks Caps

Published

on


The Florida Panthers have taken down the Washington Capitals in Game 6 to eliminate Alex Ovechkin’s side from the 2022 post-season. Which means the Cats will either face the Toronto Maple Leafs in an all-offence thriller, or the Tampa Bay Lightning in an all-Florida battle, depending on how Saturday’s Game 7 shakes out.

Speaking of Game 7’s, the New York Rangers outlasted what’s left of the Pittsburgh Penguins to stay alive in their first-round series, pushing the battle back to Manhattan for an all-or-nothing finale of their own.

And they did it in eerily familiar fashion.

Advertisement

Here’s how things shook out the first time the Rangers managed to stay alive, in Game 5: Pittsburgh got off to a solid start, building up a 2-0 lead. The Rangers woke up in the second period, and tied it up with two quick goals, and then added a third to take the lead. Pittsburgh managed to pull level with one themselves, tying the game at 3-3, before the Rangers iced it with two more goals in the third.

Here’s how Game 6 went: Exactly the same. Two-goal Pens lead, two quick ones from New York to tie it, a third from the Rangers to take the lead, one more from Pittsburgh to even it up, and two more from the Rangers to ice it. 

Copy and paste.

But the way these two games have gone tracks with where each club is at right now. In both matches, both sides have proven to be resilient, have shown they have enough talent to get key goals in key moments. But with all the bodies they’re missing, the Penguins seem to be lacking what they need to get over that last hill.

That they’re even this close is impressive enough, considering they’re without their best forward (Sidney Crosby), their two best netminders (Tristan Jarry, Casy DeSmith), their most steady defenceman (Brian Dumoulin), and the offensive balance that comes with being able to slot in Rickard Rakell.

Advertisement

They’ve been able to come close, but not quite match the Rangers. Now they’re down to one last shot at keeping this train rolling.

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
gap: 20px;
}

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a {
pointer-events: none;
cursor: default;
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}

MIKA MAKING NOISE

After putting up 29 goals during the regular season, and amassing 151 over the past half-decade, Mika Zibanejad found himself sitting with a goose egg in the goals column heading into this pivotal Game 6.

Counted on to be one of the club’s key offensive threats, the 29-year-old  posted just four assists over the first five games of this series. Most concerning was the fact that he wasn’t helping himself out by putting pucks on the net. Finishing with the second-most shots of any Ranger during the regular season, Zibanejad had just three on net during the teams’ Game 1 triple-overtime marathon. He came alive with five the next night, but in each of the past three games, he had only two shots apiece.

Advertisement

Friday night, it finally started breaking No. 93’s way.

It was the smooth-skating Swede who tallied two quick goals to tie the game up early in the second period — sniping off a pair of one-timers a minute-and-a-half apart — to keep his club in the fight. That pair ranks as the fastest two goals any Ranger has tallied in the playoffs in four decades. Zibanejad also became the only Ranger to score more than once in a potential elimination game since he joined the organization.

And then he went out and set up the Rangers’ next two goals alongside Chris Kreider, putting it away.

It’s always come in bunches for Zibanejad, and that remains true in these playoffs. All told, he finished Game 6 with six shots and four points, a crucial performance from one of New York’s most important leaders as they keep their season alive.

.acf-block-preview .instagram-twitter-container {
width: 340px;
margin: 0 auto;
}

Advertisement

CLAUDE COMES UP CLUTCH

Last night, we saw two teams benefitting significantly from their trade deadline pickups, with the St. Louis Blues getting a key goal from deadline add Nick Leddy to finish off their series, and Hampus Lindholm looking great in his return for the Bruins, who similarly forced Game 7.

Friday night, the most high-profile deadline acquisition of the season proved his worth, too.

On three different occasions in Game 6, Claude Giroux showed the Panthers brass why he was worth the haul they gave up to bring him to town. The first came midway through the third period, with the Capitals holding a 2-1 lead as they looked to join the Game 7 parade. Deep in his own end, Giroux started the sequence off by air-mailing it out of the zone to safety. Carter Verhaeghe got the puck to Aaron Ekblad, who pushed forward into the offensive zone.

By the time Ekblad looked to dish it, Giroux had sprinted the length of the sheet to join him — the 34-year-old took the pass, sniped it five-hole, and knotted the game up at two apiece.

Advertisement

.acf-block-preview .instagram-twitter-container {
width: 340px;
margin: 0 auto;
}

With five minutes left in the frame, Giroux came up big again, fishing a puck out of a scramble in front of the Caps net and getting it over to Aleksander Barkov, who tucked it home to give Florida a temporary lead. A goal from T.J. Oshie in the final minutes of the period knotted things up yet again, sending the tilt to overtime.

And there, in the most important period of Florida’s season, was Giroux again, picking up the puck behind Washington’s net, spinning and whipping a gorgeous pass to Verhaeghe, who made no mistake on the winner.

The veteran didn’t exactly dominate over the course of the six-game series, but posted four points through the first five games nonetheless. In the last one, though, he flashed just the type of all-world skill that prompted the Panthers to go get him at the deadline, and it wound up being the difference.

.acf-block-preview .instagram-twitter-container {
width: 340px;
margin: 0 auto;
}

Advertisement

CARTER VERGRETZKY?!

What else can be said about this ridiculous run from Verhaeghe so far?

We recounted a couple nights ago just how crucial he was to the Panthers’ success over the tail end of their series, but with each passing game, the 26-year-old just keeps adding to the pile.

Through the first three games of this series, Washington came out with a 2-1 series lead, an upset looming. Then the Cats won three straight to close it out — here’s what Verhaeghe did in those three:

Game 4: Verhaeghe scores in the first to tie the game up, and then scores again in overtime to finish it. Series tied.

Advertisement

Game 5: With Florida trailing 3-0, Verhaeghe takes over and leads his club back — the Panthers put up five straight goals, No. 23 factoring in on all five, putting in two himself and registering a primary helper on the three others. Florida takes the series lead, pushing the Caps to the brink.

Game 6: Just when it seems like a quiet night for Verhaeghe, only a secondary assist to his name through three hard-fought periods, there he is with the series clincher in overtime — going skate-to-stick, and top shelf off the backhand. Yeesh.

.acf-block-preview .instagram-twitter-container {
width: 340px;
margin: 0 auto;
}

In netting that last overtime winner, Verhaeghe joined some elite, elite company. He’s just the fourth player in NHL history to score multiple overtime goals in a single playoff year (the others: Mel Hill in 1939, Maurice Richard in 1951, Corey Perry in 2017). He also became just the 12th player in NHL history — and just the fourth in the past 20 years — to score the game-winning goal in three straight playoff contests.

He now has 12 points through these playoffs so far, tied with Connor McDavid for the league lead. His six goals sit just one behind the league’s top spot.

Advertisement

The wildest part of it all: Guess how much Florida paid this year for this all-world production? A tidy sum of $1 million.

The former Bolts castaway, who’s absolutely showing out for the Cats right now, is the ninth-highest-paid forward on Florida’s roster. He’s the 18th-highest-paid player on the roster overall — in fact, the Panthers’ cap recapture penalty for retired netminder Roberto Luongo cost them more this season than Vergaeghe ($1,092,122).

Yet, so far, Verhaeghe’s been the most important Panther in these playoffs, and it’s not particularly close.

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
gap: 20px;
}

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a {
pointer-events: none;
cursor: default;
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}




Source link

Advertisement

Uncategorized

Jayson Tatum Is Stepping Up On Both Sides Of The Floor

Published

on


(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

A lot of people talk about the scoring power of Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

There is good reason for that: he has averaged 26.9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists a game this year.

Advertisement

He is easily one of the most powerful forces in the league and the star player of the Celtics.

He’s also been on fire in the playoffs too, averaging 27.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.

But Tatum isn’t just good at getting the ball in the basket – there’s a lot more to his game.

When Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and Jrue Holiday have been defended by Tatum during these playoffs there have been 291 possessions, 60 minutes of matchup time, and just 44 points.

Tatum has held those incredible players to 15-of-53 field goals and forced 16 turnovers.

Tatum has also had 5 blocks too.

All in all, Tatum is both an offensive and defensive powerhouse and should be feared on both ends of the court.

Advertisement

 

Two-Way Tatum

Tatum is one of those players who has quietly become one of the greatest players in the league.

Throughout the last few years, he has done some powerful, impressive work for his team.

But things have reached a new level this year under the leadership of head coach Ime Udoka.

Alongside Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, and others, the Celtics have surged through the Eastern Conference to become one of the best teams in the league.

Advertisement

They are now battling it out against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It’s no easy fight with back-and-forth energy that is great for the fans and exhausting for the players.

If the Celtics end up winning the series and making the Finals, a lot of their success will be due to Tatum and his dedication to creating havoc on both the offense and defense.

The post Jayson Tatum Is Stepping Up On Both Sides Of The Floor appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

NBA Playoff Pick ‘Em: Warriors-Mavericks Game 4 betting preview

Published

on


Perhaps the Golden State edge in the paint doesn’t come down to lack of effort from the Mavericks. The Dubs have outscored Dallas by 56 in the paint and out-rebounded them by 44 over the course of three games, and they’ve done it without a single player over 6’9”. It’s not just effort, it’s a matter of personnel.

We talked about it a lot in the Memphis series, but the Warriors continue to rebound by commission, and the books are finally starting to adjust the player prop numbers for Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.

I did say, before Game 3, that this series wouldn’t be a sweep. Now, I’m thinking it’ll be a classy Gentleman’s Sweep, with the Mavs taking Game 4 at home before Golden State wraps it all up in five. There’s still plenty of fun to be had here.

Advertisement

.acf-block-preview .br-snippet {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: 200px 1fr;
gap: 20px;
width: 100%;
margin: 0 auto;
padding: 16px;
border: 1px solid #CECECE;
background-color: #FFF;
border-radius: 4px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info a {
text-decoration: none;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-title {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘roboto’;
font-size: 20px;
font-weight: 600;
line-height: 22px;
margin-bottom: 10px;
top: -3px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-body {
color: #343434;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
line-height: 20px;
margin-bottom: 12px;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title {
display: inline-block;
font-family: ‘urw-din’;
font-size: 16px;
list-style-type: none;
width: auto;
}
.acf-block-preview .br-snippet-info .br-snippet-link-title:not(:last-child):after {
content: ‘ | ‘;
color: #343434;
}

Advertisement

Overall record against the spread: 26-26-1

Golden State Warriors (+1, -105) at Dallas Mavericks (-1, -115) — 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

If ever there was a game for the Warriors to take their foot off the gas, it’d be this one. In Game 2, they spotted Dallas 19 points before storming back to win. In Game 3, they won pretty comfortably despite 86 combined points from Luka, Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie. You could make the case it should be 2-1 for Dallas. But the Warriors are up 3-0.

They did that by giving up just 14 points to the rest of the Mavericks’ roster in Game 3. Are the Dallas Mavericks completely overmatched in this series? Yes. Was I (and a surprising number of basketball writers) completely wrong about how close this series would be? Definitely. But the Mavs can still win a game.

I think this Dallas squad is better than Denver was, and even the Nuggets managed to take a game off Golden State in this exact scenario. Denver did it with a monster game from Nikola Jokic and stellar three-point shooting from the supporting cast while forcing the Dubs to turn the ball over.

Advertisement

That’s a formula Dallas can replicate. Plus, no matter how overpowered they may have been, Golden State has found a way to drop a road game in all but 6 of their 22 playoff series in the Steve Kerr era. I like the Mavericks (-1), but I’m going to keep riding Klay Thompson OVER 4.5 rebounds, as well as Andrew Wiggins OVER 5.5 rebounds. This Warrior rebounding thing is clearly real.

I’m going to go with Stephen Curry OVER 3.5 turnovers and Draymond Green OVER 2.5 turnovers, because frankly those are low numbers even for a good Dubs’ game.

The Sicko Same Game Parlay of The Night pays off at +3000

· Klay Thompson OVER 4.5 rebounds

· Andrew Wiggins OVER 5.5 rebounds

Advertisement

· Luka Doncic OVER 3.5 threes made

· Luka Doncic Double Double – Yes

· Stephen Curry OVER 3.5 turnovers

· Draymond Green OVER 2.5 turnovers

As always, play safe and don’t chase.

Advertisement

 

Editor’s Note: Gambling problems aren’t only about losing money. They occur on a continuum, and can affect a person’s whole life. To learn more about developing a healthy relationship to gambling, and to find resources for support, click here.

 

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: repeat(2, 1fr);
gap: 20px;
}

.acf-block-preview .br-related-links-wrapper a {
pointer-events: none;
cursor: default;
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Jayson Tatum Keeps Proving A Loss Doesn’t Get Him Down

Published

on


(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

The Boston Celtics are back and a big reason why is, once again, Jayson Tatum.

Tatum and his squad fought hard – and well – on Monday night and, in the end, his Celtics won 102-82 to even the Eastern Conference Finals, 2-2.

Advertisement

The entire team played very well but Tatum was of particular interest because he scored a team-high 31 points.

Monday night’s victory means that Tatum is scoring an average of 32.6 points per game after a loss in these playoffs.

And in those games, the Celtics are now 5-0.

Advertisement

Tatum and his Celtics are learning how to bounce back and that’s one of their biggest strengths.

 

Boston Bounces Back

The Miami Heat pulled off a surprise win in Game 3, winning 109-103 and taking a 2-1 lead.

They achieved this victory in Boston, which hurt the Celtics in more ways than one and made fans of the team very nervous.

However, Boston was able to recover and secure a huge win, keeping the series alive.

Advertisement

As usual, Tatum was in fine form all over the floor, leading his team and putting up yet another incredible score for his team.

The challenge ahead for the Celtics is large because the team is moving back to Miami to continue the series.

Both the Heat and Celtics have raucous hometown crowds and the Heat have two games at home while the Celtics have only one left.

That means that the next few games will be very intense as both teams attempt to take out the other and make the Finals.

The chances of the Celtics winning the next two games are slim although not impossible.

Advertisement

That means they may need to achieve another bounce-back in the near future.

Do they have it in them?

The post Jayson Tatum Keeps Proving A Loss Doesn’t Get Him Down appeared first on The Cold Wire.





Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending