Should be a fun series. I’ll pick the Penguins in 7, but I certainly think the Preds have a solid chance and I’ll be rooting for them. Some other stuff to discuss:
- Good Bruce Arthur piece on GLORY BOY P.K. Subban. Sure, Nashville is playing for a championship, but if there were a GRIT and SANDPAPER finals Game 1 would be played tonight at the Bell Centre.
- I really enjoyed David Roth’s piece on Suzy Waldman and the Clemens signing.
- I also enjoyed his piece on the early-2000s Sacramento Kings. If I might be permitted to mount a hobbyhorse, though — look, like pretty much all non-Lakers fans I was cheering for Sacramento, and if there was some metric by which you could adjust how much you hate a team by your normal level of interest in the sport, the Kobe-Shaq Lakers might be my highest Hatred Above Replacement team of all time. But the idea that the Kings lost that series because of officiating is bullshit. Game 6 was awful to watch, and it was a poorly officiated game in which the bad calls on balance favored LA. But the first problem is that the Lakers could make similar complaints about Game 5 — not only did Shaq only get to the line once being guarded by Vlade Divac, the Kings benefited from a terrible possession call towards the end of the game. And an even bigger problem with the argument is that even after getting screwed in Game 6 the Kings had a Game 7 at home, and they airballed threes and missed free throws and just got outplayed by a more experienced and better coached team. Sorry, but they lost fair and square.
- To underscore the fact that while Felix Hernandez might come back as a serviceable innings-eater the era of KING FELIX is over, the Mariners recently had the worst 4-game run differential in their largely dismal history. Being a Mariners fan is great!
- I enjoyed this story about the Orr-Esposito Bruins. If forced to pick any player in history for one season, I’d lean towards early-70s Orr above even Gretzky (who obviously is #1 in career value) and Lemieux.
- “Just Like The First-Round Pick He Traded For Trent Richardson, Ryan Grigson Is Going To The Browns.”
- How Peyton Manning potentially could have been QB of the NYJ.
- …and, as a commenter notes, I should acknowledge the death of Frank Deford.