Tag Archives: playoffs

Penguins Gaining, But Risk A Net Loss

After posting my recent critique of the NHL’s so-far lackluster season, I’ve been making a concerted effort this past week to watch more games. And one thing stood out in the play I witnessed, something that’s reflected in the current standings: the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to actually look like a two-time defending champion.

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Tristan Jarry: a potential crack in the Pens’ championship ice

The Pens have reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, and they’ve looked good doing it. They’re riding a three-game winning streak (as of this writing), and they showed a smothering defense–particularly in the third period–in their win Wednesday night over the previously hot but now suddenly ice-cold Flyers. Combine a tight D with that team’s world-class offensive skill and the idea that we’re seeing a team in the midst of an Islanders- or Canadiens-like string of three or four consecutive Cup wins starts to look very plausible.

But that win Wednesday night revealed something else that may give Pens fans a moment’s pause: without the sidelined Matt Murray in goal, Pittsburgh may have a major problem in the playoffs, no matter how many snipers skate on their forward lines. Continue reading Penguins Gaining, But Risk A Net Loss

A Muted Sound Of Thunder

On an idle Thursday night, I happened to tune in to the second half of the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets game on TNT. To the surprise of seemingly everyone–except yours truly–the Thunder are not playing like the new superteam that they were supposed to be.

The conventional wisdom going into the season would have had the newly reformulated Thunder easily handling the Nuggets. Instead, Denver pulled away from OKC and sent the struggling Thunder to a fourth straight loss. The presumed “big three” of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George are now looking that much further up at the Nuggets from last place in the Northwest Division.

It wasn’t supposed to be like that, for sure. The apologists are saying that the new-look Thunder just haven’t gelled yet; that once they get to know each other, they will surely right the ship and take their place as at least the third, and maybe even the second, best team in the West.

This result is a surprise, if you look at the thing as adding two All-Stars to a third. However, if you view the new additions, Anthony and George, in terms of accomplishment, the wisdom of the move suddenly becomes much less clear. Continue reading A Muted Sound Of Thunder

What’s In A Lame Name?

a DFR audible

The ALDS presented by…huh? What the hell is a “Doosan”?

Whatever Doosan is, I’m not sure they’re getting much out of their title sponsorship. Even their ads don’t seem to convey anything meaningful about who they are and what they do. All they seem to be accomplishing is making MLB and FOX (via FS1) look ridiculous.

What can we look forward to in the later rounds? “The World Series presented by Hinky-Dinky”?

Not all sponsorship dollars are created equal. Major League Baseball could have had someone else–virtually anyone else–sponsor the playoff series, and while they might have grubbed up a few less dollars by doing so, they would have saved themselves far more than the difference in maintaining some dignity and prestige.

The Dodgers Go ‘Click’

Remember back when the Los Angeles Dodgers were the greatest team in the history of teams?

Remember when the Dodgers had fallen, and they couldn’t get up?

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The Los Angeles Dodgers: switch-flippers?

If you don’t, in either case, that’s OK, because apparently it doesn’t matter. Because once you get to the playoffs, it’s just about what you’re doing at that moment. And at this moment, the Dodgers are wringing the champagne out of their jerseys after sweeping away the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS.

Beyond the immediate importance of this–LA is headed to the NLCS and another showdown with the Cubs (seriously, the Nationals are still the Nationals), there’s also an interesting implication in the once-dominant, once-stumbling Dodgers turning it on again just in time for the playoffs:

Maybe all those announcers and experts who say you can’t do that are wrong. Continue reading The Dodgers Go ‘Click’

Logo for the DFR Audible post category

Snakeskin Snark

As much as I would like to see the Dodgers lose, just for the sake of the Dodgers losing…No, sorry–any team with uniforms as ugly as those Diamondbacks unis deserves to lose. Yuck!

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The D-backs unis: poisonous to the eyes

Seriously, that picture doesn’t even do justice to how butt-ugly those jerseys are. Just awful.