Three Teams That Will Challenge Pittsburgh For The Stanley Cup

As NHL training camps officially underway it’s time for hockey fans to start making their predictions. Take into account a new expansion, team hockey should be better than ever this year. Welcome NAs, NHL training camps officially underway it’s time for hockey fans to start making their predictions. Take into account a new expansion, team hockey should be better than ever this year. Welcome NHL’s newest team the Las Vegas Knights. Let’s examine three teams that will give the Penguins a run for their money.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A team to keep a close eye on is Edmonton. General manager Peter Chiarelli has developed the Oilers into a contender in just three years. He has two of the games elite Stars. Forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are two of the games best.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Both signed long _term deals over the summer. McDavid’s deal is for eight years one of the largest in team history. Defensively the Oilers are solid with veterans Kris Russell and Matt Benning protecting goalie Cam Talbot In other moves,  the team also added winger Ryan Strome from the Islanders. Strome is regarded as a depth move and brings a physical presence to the roster.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dallas is a team that was very busy this past offseason. The First order of business was the firing of head coach Lindy Ruff. Ruff was replaced by longtime veteran Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock previously coached the Stars ten years ago before moving on to  St Louis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               They also added veteran goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop signed a six _year deal that should bring depth to the goalie department Last years goalie Kari Lehtonen struggled through most of the season. Defensively Dallas acquired Marc Methot from Las Vegas. Plus the team signed Martin Hanzal and Tyler Pitlick.                                                                                                                                               The new additions plus Hitchcock as the coach should mix in well with star players Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Within time the Stars should be serious contenders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This leads us to the Bruins. With a new head coach and a nice mix of veterans and rookies the Bruins could be the surprise of the league. Veteran goalie Tuukka Rask is only thirty and still has plenty of upsides. Look for youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to be the future elite defenseman. In time for the Bruins to challenge in the Stanley Cup finals.                                                                                                                                      A team to keep a close eye on is Edmonton. General manager Peter Chiarelli has developed the Oilers into a contender in just three years. He has two of the games elite Stars. Forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are two of the games best.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Both signed long _term deals over the summer. McDavid’s deal is for eight years one of the largest in team history. Defensively the Oilers are solid with veterans Kris Russell and Matt Benning protecting goalie Cam Talbot In other moves,  the team also added winger Ryan Strome from the Islanders. Strome is regarded as a depth move and brings a physical presence to the roster.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dallas is a team that was very busy this past offseason. The First order of business was the firing of head coach Lindy Ruff. Ruff was replaced by longtime veteran Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock previously coached the Stars ten years ago before moving on to  St Louis.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               They also added veteran goalie Ben Bishop. Bishop signed a six _year deal that should bring depth to the goalie department Last years goalie Kari Lehtonen struggled through most of the season. Defensively Dallas acquired Marc Methot from Las Vegas. Plus the team signed Martin Hanzal and Tyler Pitlick.                                                                                                                                               The new additions plus Hitchcock as the coach should mix in well with star players Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Within time the Stars should be serious contenders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This leads us to the Bruins. With a new head coach and a nice mix of veterans and rookies the Bruins could be the surprise of the league. Veteran goalie Tuukka Rask is only thirty and still has plenty of upsides. Look for youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to be the future elite defenseman. In time for the Bruins to challenge in the Stanley Cup finals.

Is It Still To early To Trust Tuukka Rask Only Time Will Tell ?

So far the 2018 NHL playoffs have been pretty impressive for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. With a game seven win under his belt over Toronto, Rask is enjoying early success over the Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Lightning. In this post, we’ll discuss three areas the Bruins and Rask need to focus on in order to advance to the next round.

 Is It Still To early To Trust Tuukka Rask Only Time Will Tell?
                                                                                                                                                                            Previous  Playoff Experience;
 If history is any indicator of how players or teams are then Bruins have time against them. Bruins fans share painful memories of the 2010 collapse against Philadelphia. The sad part of that series was that the Bruins were up 3-0 only to have Rask give up fifteen goals in four periods for an 839 save percentage.
  And who could forget the 2012 catastrophe against Chicago? The Bruins were up 3-2 only to lose to the Black Hawks in seven. in that series, Rask was responsible for six goals in the last two games. Considering Rask had a fairly good game five the end was in Chicago’s favour.
                                                                                                                                                                                              In 2013 against the Canadiens Rask did not fare any better. Boston had a 3-2 series lead where Rask let in four goals on thirteen shots simply to send the Bruins home for a lengthy vacation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The succeeding season had the Bruins facing the Canadiens for the second _season in a row. With an experienced Rask in the net, the result was a triumph for Montreal in game seven at Boston.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rotating Goalies;
                                                                                                                                                                             Early in the 2017/18 season, 1st _year coach Bruce Cassidy decided to rotate Rask with backup goalie Anton Khudobin.  Khudobin filled in brilliantly when called upon with a 16-6 record and 2.47 Goals Against. The only drawback on Khudobin is he only has one playoff game under his belt and no record to show for it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This method seemed to work for the Bruins as Cassidy pulled Rask in game five against Toronto and the Bruins collecting their first playoff series win since their Stanley Cup year in 2011.
                                                                                                                                                             Boston vs. Tampa Bay;

                                                                                                                                                                             Bruce Cassidy’s system of rotating goalies has so far worked in the Bruins favour, The question is how will Khudobin respond to pressure cookers as the playoffs go deeper and deeper. Many Bruins fans feel that Cassidy is pressing the right buttons and continue rotating the two netminders. The difference between this year and previous years is Rask is well rested not So far the 2018 NHL playoffs have been pretty impressive for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. With a game seven win under his belt over Toronto, Rask is enjoying early success over the Eastern Conference leaders Tampa Bay Lightning.

 If the Bruins and captain Zdeno Chara Expect to carry the Stanley Cup around the TD Garden ice then Rask and teammates will have to learn how to win under playoff pressure.

 

Why The Red Sox Should Consider Trading Jackie Bradley

So far after nine games of the 2018 MLB season rookie manager Alex Cora has the Red Sox off to an impressive 8-1 start. The 8-1 record is the best start in franchise history.With the early success, there are reasons for concern. Five_ year veteran Jackie Bradley Jr continues to struggle at the plate. Bradley who is known for acrobatic catches is off to a slow start at the plate with a weak 118 average.In this post, we’ll discuss three reasons why the team should consider trading Bradley.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Why The Red Sox Should Consider Trading Jackie Bradley Jr.

  Upside;

 Still, only 28 years old Bradley continues to struggle at the plate Bradley is hitting an embarrassing 118 with no home runs and no runs batted in. With the early Red Sox success, Bradley is going to have to step it up offensively or he’ll continue to put pressure on the other batters in the lineup At 28 years old Bradley still has plenty of upsides. Despite having the reputation of being a weak hitter Bradley could still bring some value in a trade. With a depleted farm system, it is time to start to think of trading Jackie Bradley.
The Harper Watch;
 With one week already in the books for the 2018 season rumours have started to surface in Boston of the Red Sox pursuing potential free agent Bryce Harper. Harper who’s spent his entire career has a National becomes a free agent after the 2018 season Harper has a career 155 home runs and an impressive 510 slugging percentage and a 310.Harper’s power and swing would be tailor_ made for Fenway Park.  With a talented outfield, the Red Sox could move Mookie Betts back to center field and platoon JD Martinez and Andrew Benintendi in left. Harper’s current salary is 13 million per year. Pursuing Harper would be at least five years and 20 million per season.
  Lack of Prospects;

  When General Manager Dave Dombrowski was hired five years ago, he’s made some shrewd trades that have brought Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel to Boston. By, acquiring Sale and Kimbrel the Red Sox farm system has paid the price. By trading Bradley this could be one way of retooling the system

Why The Cetics Still Have A Chance At The 2018 Finals

Head Coach Brad Stevens leads his 55-27  Celtics to the opening round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. All things considered, Stevens did a masterful job guiding the Celtics to a second seed despite a quarter of a roster injured. In this post, well examine three areas the Celtics need to focus on beating the Bucks and still have a chance at 2018 NBA Finals.

Why The Celtics Still Have A Chance At The NBA Finals

Containing Antetokounmpo,

When discussing the Milwaukee Bucks the first name that comes to mind is    24 _year old power forward,   Giannis Antetokounmpo Otherwise known as the Greek Freak.  Aside from Antetokounmpo, the 44-38 Bucks are stocked with talent.   With a surrounding cast of Eric Bledsoe, Sterling Brown, Khris Middleton, Shabazz Muhammad, Milwaukee will be a handful for the Celtics.

Regarding coaching Milwaukee head coach Joe Prunty has transformed the Bucks into a serious playoff contender.

Celtics Injury Issues;

Overall, the Celtics had a very successful 2018 season. With injuries to key players, Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving, and Daniel Theis the Celtics are will rely on a strong performance from their bench to beat Milwaukee.  The group of Greg Monroe, Marcus Morris, Shane Larkin and Semi Ojeleye will have to play tough against Bledsoe, Middleton Antetokounmpo.  If they can contain the Freak, then they should have a decent shot at beating the Bucks. If the Celtics can get past Milwaukee guard Marcus Smart received clearance to play in round two. Smart has been for a month with a fractured thumb.

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Bucks  Have the edge;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Although Milwaukee are  healthier than the Celtics, the series should go seven games Considering, the Celtic are physically beaten up don’t count them out just yet.If they can a balanced production from their first and second units Boston could give the Bucks fits. On the whole, it should be a very exciting series.

Why the Red Sox Will Go As Far As the Pitching Will Take Them In 2018

There’s an old saying in baseball that a team will go as far as it’s pitching. This can be applied to the 2018 Red Sox. If David Price can resurrect and pitch like Davis Price then they should be ok. Also if the bullpen can be dependable then the team should qualify for the postseason. In this article,  we’ll discuss three areas which will determine the team success.

Why the Red Sox Will Go as Far As the  Pitching will take them in2018                                                                                                                                                                                                The Price Factor;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               If there’s any hope of postseason in2018 a lot hinges on the health of David Price.  Midway through last season Price came back and proved to be a very effective coming out of the bullpen. Regaining his old form could determine  who will win the AL East in 2018.  With managers cutting down on the starters innings, the team should be ok.                                                                                                       Coupled with a dependable bullpen the Sox should be serious contenders all season long.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Stanton Factor,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This year’s free agency market saw a huge demand for relief pitchers. The Yankees however, snagged the biggest fish of anyone by signing Giancarlo Stanton.   Stanton and Aaron Judge could combine for over 100 homer uns. The Yankees are gambling heavily on power over pitching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Also, the Angels were active by signing Japanese phenom Shohei Otani  Both teams spent money on power rather than pitching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Skillful Managing;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             With both teams having first _year managers a lot _depends on their decision making.  Like Alex Cora Yankee skipper Aaron Boone have no managerial experience. Both will be under heavy scrutiny if either one of the teams doesn’t perform.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 This season should be very interesting for both teams. Each is extremely talented .But with two rookie managers, the outcome may not only be determined by pitching or power but which manager makes the right decision.

The NFL Dtaft 2018 Analyzing the Patriots Needs

Now that the Patriots have moved on after suffering a 41-33 loss to the Eagles it’s time to restructure through the draft. Currently, the Patriots have six picks whether Bill Belichick keeps his first_ round pick remains to be seen. In this post, we’ll analyze the Patriots needs.

  The Nfl Draft 2018 Analyzing the Patriots Needs

  Pass Rush,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             For those of us who witnessed the Eagles run wild against the defense .it’s safe to say the team lacks an effective pass rusher. Eagle running back LeGarrette Blount averaged 3.1 yards per carry   This is truly an embarrassing statistic whether it’s the Super Bowl or a regular season game.Some quality defensive tackles that may be available at 31 are Michigan’s, Maurice Hurst. Hurst had  56 tackles last year 12 which went for a loss An interesting prospect is RJ McIntosh of Miami Fla also could be available.He had 56 tackles to his credit 12 which were for a loss.  Mc Intosh was one of the best players in the country last year. Another name to keep an eye on is USC’s Rasheem Green. Green had 46 tackles last year and had an impressive 10 sacks.                                                                                                                                                    Pass Coverage;                                                                                                                                                                            Not only did the Eagles run all over the Patriots Foles had one of his best days as a pro by throwing for 300 yards. Even though cornerback Malcolm Butler was benched by Belichick moments before the game New England’s secondary was lost.  This year’s secondary class is deep with quality cornerbacks and safety’s.  Two names to keep an eye on are Pittsburgh’s Jordan Whitehead and Stanford’ s Justin Reid. Reid was one of the best safety’s in the country last year has he had 99 tackles and six interceptions.  Whitehead is one of the most physical defenders in the country who can also play receiver. Ronnie Harrison of Alabama could be a mid _round pick. Harrison had 70 tackles last year plus 2 sacks.
Offensive Line;

The Patriots suffered a huge loss in free agency with the loss of tackle Nate Solder signing with the Giants. With two second round picks look for the team to draft a tackle and a blocking tight end.  Brian Oniel of Pittsburgh is one of the best linemen in the draft who can also play tight end. Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli is one of the best blocking tight ends who could be available.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         As we have seen many times in the Belichick era, he has a history of trading his first pick for mid _round picks. This year may be no exception since the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo in October.

Bruins Hoping For Deep Playoff Run After A Flurry Of Activity

 With, fifteen games remaining the Bruins are hoping for a deep playoff run. At the trade deadline, the Bruins welcomed Brian Gionta, Nick Holden, Tommy Wingels, and Rick Nash. So far all four have contributed to Bruin victories.          Bruins Hope For Deep Playoff Run after A Flurry Of Activity                                                     Injury Woes;

The new faces could not have come at a better time as injuries continue to mount for the Bruins.  Injuries to Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Charlie McAvoy,  and Brad Marchand have kept the Bruins at bay.  Out of the four McAvoy’s is the most serious. Despite injuries, the team has remained competitive trailing Tampa Bay with 98 points                                                                                                                                                        So far the moves are making General manager Don Sweeney look brilliant considering he didn’t have to give up that much.  This season is a big difference from last year has the Bruins made only one deal at the deadline That player turned out to be Drew Stafford who is no longer with the Bruins.
Solid Goaltending;                                                                                                                                                             Aside from getting quality play from the veterans the Rask is having one of his most clubs has gotten excellent goaltending from Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin. Rask is having one of his best years as a  Bruin with a 29-11-and a 2.31 Goals against. Backup Anton Khudobin is also contributing with a 15-5  record and a  2.48 Goals against average.
By resting Rask the Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season. The past two seasons Rask has been a victim of being overused. By the time playoff time comes around Rask has been burned out which results in an early Bruin exit from the playoffs.
           Playoff Experience;
With 94 points the Bruins should be in excellent shape for the playoffs. There are however two factors against the Bruins. One is getting to the Washington Capitals. Two is having Tuukka Rask getting some playoff series victories under his belt.   Since their last Stanley Cup in 2011 Rask has not won a playoff round. Hopefully, if McAvoy can return healthy, the results may be different this year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Head coach Bruce Cassidy has the Bruins believing in themselves.  Since the trade deadline, the team has gone 7-1. If the Bruins expect to get by Washington then it will have to be a total team effort. Playing smart and not getting foolish penalties is just one area it takes to beat the Capitals.   The other area is playing good in transition. Beating the Capitals will be no easy task but keeping Rak rested maybe the Bruins best strategy.

Strong Minor League System Makes The Astros The Team To Beat For Year’s To Come

With the 2018 MLB  spring training officially underway. since coming off their first world series in club history the Astros are a club well stocked for the future. In this post, we’ll cover the Astros as a whole and minor league system.                                                                                                                                                                                Strong Management;                                                                                           Team manager AJ Hich guided the Astros first world series title ever. Hinch has still basically the same team as last year look for the Astros to return to the 2018 World Series.  General manager Jeff Luhnow should get the executive of the year award. Luhnow pulled off on the slickest moves ever last year by prying away Tiger ace Justin Verlander. Verlander was the main force in last year’s postseason run to the World Series. Verlander, Colin McHugh, and Dallas Kuehle.                                                                                                                                                                              Minor League System; Currently, the Astros rank second behind the Atlanta Braves.and the New York Yankees third. According to Baseball America, the Astros have ten players in the top 100. Youngsters Frances Marte, David Paulino, AJ REED and Franklin Perez, are all grade A  prospect. By being a grade A prospect that usually means that the player depending on injuries has a good chance of being a  star player. This means that if other teams are sellers at the trade deadline, the Astros have a considerable amount of bargaining chips.

Strong Nucleus; The nucleus of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa remains intact for many years to come. During the offseason, the Astros added relievers Joe Smith and Hector Rondon to bolster the relieving group. Every team in any sport has to battle injuries, with a deep minor league system there no reason that the Astros shouldn’t repeat as world champions in 2018.                                                                                                                                                                              For year’s Houston fans have not much to cheer about as the Astros were constant cellar dwellers. Other than Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell Houston was a team struggling just to get out of the gate. With the tragedy of hurricane, Harvey  Astro fans now have a team they can be proud of

Best Available Free Agents Left That THe Bruins Should Target

With NHL training camps just around the corner. There are still some quality free agents available that could be an attractive bargain that the Bruins Should target. In this article, we’ll  three areas that the Bruins need to shore up on before tha start of the 2018/19 hockey season.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Playoff Aspirations;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         For the first time in three years the Bruins qualified for the 2017/18 playoffs. With a nice mixture of youth and veterans, General Manager has the Bruins going in the right direction. Despite a first_ round exit at the hands of the Ottawa  Senators postseason has returned to Causeway Street.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Improved Defense;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Boston has a nice group of veteran defenseman and youth too work with. Ageless wonder Zdeno Chara continues to pile up the minutes.  Injury prone Adam McQuaid is still productive when healthy. Youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo bring energy with every shift.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Re-sign Pastrnak;                                                                                                                             The Bruins are coming off a very quiet offseason.  First and foremost the team needs to re-sign forward David Pastrnak. Pastrnak a third _yeaplayer has put up _put up big numbers in his three short years. If the Bruins hope to go deep in the playoffs then re-signing Pastrnak would send a positive message.                                                                                                                                                                                             Available Free Agents;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   With the big name free agents already committed to other teams, there are still some quality free agents available.  One name that would be a good fit in Boston , is  Roman Polak. The 31 -year old defenseman  Polak would provide depth for the defense.  Two more names that could help the  Bruins would be Sabres blueliner, Cody Franson. Franson a thirty_seven year _old veteran would be a character player for a team on the rise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lastly, first_year coach Bruce Cassidy needs to practice patience. This is a young team seeking an identity.  With a  veteran core group and young  players this is a team to take seriously.  If Cassidy can keep goalies Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin fresh then the Bruins could make things interesting.  Other than Pastrnak spending money on big name free agents has never been the Bruins style.                                                                                        ,                                                                       ,

Leadership Is The Main Focus For The 2018 Red Sox Spring Training

An error occured for when trying to retrieve feeds! Check the URL's provided as feed sources.It’s safe to say that baseball is literally in the air.  Major league teams have   officially begun workouts for both position players and pitchers.  In Fort Myers The Red Sox main theme for this year is leadership. Rhe club is coming off a successful 2017 campaign in which they clinched the AL East for the second year in a row. For a team loaded with talent, they still lack the most important  characteristic of all. And that characteristic is leadership. In this post, we’ll cover three areas the club needs to focus on plus other issues going forward in 2018.                                                          Locker Room chemistry;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For a team coming off a successful 2017 season the average baseball fan would never know it. The Sox were a team with basically no identity.  Over the course of 162 games and playoffs,  it was the blind leading the blind. Several distractions kept occurring. Incidents such as Dustin Pedroia fighting with Oriole third baseman Manny Machado.   In another incident, Red Sox pitcher David Price insulted Hall of Fame broadcaster Dennis Eckersley. And of course, there was the ongoing saga firing manager John Farrell. If the club can elect a  capable team captain then within the time they can put the drama behind them and focus on winning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lack Of Home Run Power;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since the retirement of favorite David Ortiz finding a replacement has not yet been accomplished. For the first time in a long time, the club had a  realatively quiet offseason.  The free agent market consisted of Mitch Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Jose Bautista and JD Martinez. Martinez’s name has been popping up all winter. But has spring training has gotten underway Martinez still remains a free agent. Only Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez are the only free agent signees. If the club can find ways to manufacture runs like last season they could be serious playoff contenders.                                                                                                                                            Fresh Approach;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After a disappointing playoff elimination for the second straight year Red Sox general manager decided it was time for a managerial change. Just hours after losing to Houston the Sox said terminated to four- year manager John Farrell. In return the team.  In return, the club thought it was best to hire a younger manager to lead a  fairly young team.  As for Cora’s resume, he has an impressive,  backround that includes two world series rings. Cora to his credit was a member of the 2004 champion Red Sox  If Cora can send a message early enough the end result.will be worth it.                                                                          ,

Being a big league manager is not an easy task for a first_ year manager. The key for Cora is to send the message early and when needed. If the  team  expects to get back to the world series then finding leadership is a step in  the right direction.

 

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