Tuesday, April 25, 2017

NFL Draft Special

This Thursday marks the annual NFL Draft and this year, like every year, is covered in storylines and debate. Who will the Browns pick? How many teams will take a QB higher than they should? Which guys are the busts and which are the diamonds in the rough?

For the first pick of the draft it still appears the Cleveland Browns will pick Myles Garrett. A guy who is an absolute monster in all the tests. Plus an immediate pass rusher that should be able to make an impact like Joey Bosa did once he got going.

The only issues are that some former players have openly spoke against Garrett. Saying "he's lazy," or that "he only makes about 4 great plays a game." Those coming from Warren Sapp.

Next, you have the issue of who will pick a QB and which one will it be? At the moment it looks like Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina is who people are liking more. Which confuses me because the kid has only played 13 games!

I know his mechanics looks good and he could be great in the future. But none of the teams that are going to be picking him will be getting him to develop. They are going to throw him out on the field too soon and ruin him.

You haven't seen enough from this guy to say "Oh yeah he's our guy right now."

Whereas Deshaun Watson from the National Champion Clemson Tigers has a lot more tape. Not only does he have the quickest release out of the field of QBs in the draft, but you can see how he played in virtually every situation possible.

You know what you're getting more with Watson, a great playmaker, who has always shown great poise under pressure, durable, and reliable. The last one being the most important, he's not an off the field headache.

I'm not saying he's going to have a Dak Prescott breakout year or anything, Watson's still got a lot of work to do as well. But if we're talking about the QBs in this draft he's the most ready to begin play in the NFL.

Down Go The Blackhawks!

It's official, the Chicago Blackhawks are knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs. All done by the eighth seeded Nashville Predators non less! The dynasty that was the 'Hawks is now over.

Whether it's getting to be around the time the veteran players are too dinged up while the younger players don't have the experience to overcome it. Especially when you go down three games and scoring only two goals.

As a Blues fan I can't help but feel happy. Even if it's just for a short time, we still have to finish off Minni. The Western Conference is full of teams that seem more than capable to go all the way.

Unlike that of the East, where it's going to come down to New York Rangers or the always annoying Penguins. Washington is facing issues handling the young inexperienced Maple Leafs team. Let alone a team like Pittsburgh who has seemed to have their number.

Not even a couple of former St. Louis stars can catch a break in the playoffs. Both going from one team who blows it in the playoffs to the other.

I can't not talk about Jake Allen here, over the past few games is playing lights out again. Just unfortunately the rest of the team came out slow, dead, and nervous. Game 5 will be interesting in St. Paul with the series on the line.

I'm not so sure if we can get it done there. Bringing it back to home ice for Game 6, that's when the Blues take it. Luckily in the second round they will have home ice advantage against Nashville.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nothing Like Playoff Hockey

With the first round of the playoffs coming to an end, there has been no disappointment. Unless of course you're a Blackhawks or Wild fan, to which I just have to say "HAHAAHAHAH."

Last night all four games managed to go into overtime, also every game had a team comeback from down at least two goals. What an outrageous night of hockey. Already this year there have been some major surprises and upsets.

Lets start with the obvious, the Chicago Blackhawks have somehow forgotten how to play hockey. The first two games, at home I'll add, they didn't even score a goal! Only in hockey can you see an eighth seed go up 3-0 on the number one seed.

I thrive in this misery of the 'Hawks. As an avid Blues fan seeing these struggles makes me smile, unfortunately they will have to play Nashville next. Which will be a great serious.

The Minnesota Wild surprise surprise are choking in the playoffs. Like I said in previous posts they are consistently one of the best teams in the NHL all season long, then fall apart in March and the playoffs. While on the other side St. Louis is firing on all cylinders for the first time all season.

Jake Allen has been lights out, and I'll admit, I've given my fair share of critiques on him but he's figured it out. Ever since the firing of Hitchcock and the new regime of Mike Yeo, Allen has been the best in the league. Through the first three games of the series he's posted an astonishing .91 GAA while also having a .974 save percentage. Lets not forget that 51 save performance in Game 1.

Wow, is that a good three game stretch or what?!

Over in the East the number one overall seed and Presidents' Cup winners are struggling more than ever. All by the likes of a bunch of teenagers out just having fun. The youth and inexperience of Toronto might be a strength rather than the weakness most thought.

Now I said the Leafs would give Washington some trouble, but through three games I didn't think they would play this well. Giving the Capitals everything they can.

It's a little early to predict the final outcomes I know, but unless Minnesota, Chicago, and Washington make some major changes their season will be over soon. Tonight will be the final test and if the Blues get a first round sweep, that will give all the momentum in the world.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Playoffs?- East

This year's Stanley Cup Playoffs are going to be exciting this year in the East. Unlike the Western Conference where it really only comes down to a few teams and a wild card (Go Blues!).

But the other half of the league is a little more open for the taking. The Metropolitan Division with Pittsburg, Washington, Columbus, and the Rangers. Then you got the always powerful Montreal Canadians and the young guns in Toronto.

The saying "anything can happen," never truer than in this case. While I would like to sit here and say that this is going to finally be the year the Capitals get over the hump; I don't know for sure.

Yeah they have some of the best goal scorers in hockey and just locked up their defense, with another acquisition from the Blues; but the road this year is going to be tough. Lucky for them though is if the current standings hold, Columbus and Pittsburg will knock each other out.

If the Capitals can get past the fast and electric Maple Leafs, led by the outstanding rookie Austin Mathews, they won't have to face them until the Conference Championship.

The problem, they most likely will face the ever dangerous Habs in the second round. It's a tough road to get over the youth and speed in the first, then the veterans and physical play of Montreal.

All followed by either the Penguins or Blue Jackets in the Eastern final.

Who knows for sure if they can pull it off. But if Washington can get moving and get momentum on their side, then they might be able to finally reach the mountain peak.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Playoffs?- West

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are around the corner and that's when Murphy's Law takes over. Many times before as the underdog gotten hot at the right time and manages to sneak through the cracks.
Then, before ya know it they're lifting and kissing The Cup after you failed to realize the magic.

That's why I love the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It looks like at the moment when the puck drops the Blues' will be matched up against division rival Minnesota. The Wild started out as one of the league's top teams, but since the turn of the new year have fallen off slightly.

It's a common assumption that the Wild will consistently be great in the regular season and then blow it in the postseason. That's what this blogger is hoping for, the Blues are playing at the near top of their game (finally). Also Jake Allen has remembered how to play goaltender (FINALLY).

If we can get past the Wild in the first round I believe will give St. Louis the confidence needed to beat Chicago. Which is always a helluva series, this year being no different. After Chicago the Western Conference should be theirs for the taking.

Outside of the 'Hawks and Wild the Pacific Division is weak this year. Although you never know what can happen as stated before. The Blues should be able to handle any team after defeating those previous two.

Putting St. Louis over the hump that is the Western Conference Championship and into the Stanley Cup Final. At that point, I'm not as confident if they can complete it. The East is extremely tough, but that's for another day.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Short Stacks Are The Best Stacks

Something important I've learned over the past few months is to be short and sweet. Keep what you want to say short and to the point. People, including myself, turn away when a story is too long. Learning how to balance getting everything I want to say in fewer words is big skill.

My poor poor heart is gets bluer and bluer

When I first started out on this blog it was a tail-end of the football season and hockey. But now that obviously football is over it has become more about just hockey. Furthermore, it has more so evolved into a St. Louis Blues' blog. I'm an avid fan of the Blues and know them best to talk about.

"You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take"

This quote from "The Great One" says it all. If you want to make it in the sports journalism or even broadcast world, you need to take a shot. Having a blog, as insignificant or famous it is, can be the key. Why not at least take the shot and see what happens.

It's a star in the making

This class has affected me in the way that now I have something to put out into the world. Blogging is a great tool to get one's voice heard or at least available to be. Maybe someday someone will like what they hear and want more.

Nobody can be you better than you

Write like you really are. That is the biggest lesson from this class. It may be formal or educational or even humorous; but make sure to still have your voice. Write something like you're talking to the reader and having a conversation. Not just meaningless words on a page saying something.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Basketball vs. Hockey Season

I know I might be a little biased on this topic being the nature of this blog is about hockey. But, over the past few weeks a topic has risen up in the NBA that has gotten a lot of attention. The epidemic of NBA players skipping games for "rest."

Yes I realize I called it an epidemic, I call it this because that's what it is. Healthy player missing a game because they're tired is embarrassing. How as a professional athlete, and a competitor of the highest degree, decide to not play a game purely on the fact that you don't feel like it.

I won't even get into the argument about money and the fairness to fans that don't get to see big time players. Or the billions of dollars networks are paying the league to air games that don't even have the players they are promoting.

No disrespect to the NBA or its players, everything they do is far more than any average person could do. But they aren't average, which is how they got to where they are, so why not do they not rise up to the challenge.

This is where the NHL comes into play.

Although hockey doesn't bring in the same revenue as other major sports, and has been overshadowed by basketball. It's a great league of competitors.

You would NEVER see someone like Alex Ovechkin just say, "Ya know what? I need rest I don't think I'm going to play today." That just wouldn't happen.

Anyone who argues that the NBA is tougher and longer than the NHL regular season is wrong. The two seasons and playoff structures are completely identical. Only in the NHL, there isn't as much parity in the league.

Teams that squeak in the playoffs have won the whole Stanley Cup on several occasions. Hockey is the most physical game in the country behind obviously football.

It's sad to see the NBA going through this after the new CBA agreements and is on TV more than ever. I hope it gets better, but at the same time if the game of basketball and the NBA continue to not give the fans what it wants then maybe we should look elsewhere.

Look, every sport in America is ultimately competing for second place behind the NFL. So maybe we should stop looking at this watered down product that the NBA has become, and turn our attention to a league of stars that actually love to play the game they're in.