Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spelling Bee: We have Spell Check nowadays

With the Scripps National Spelling Bee underway I find it fitting to do a post on this.

First off I want to clarify this, I love watching the spelling bee, it is very interesting and I am always amazed at how smart these kids are.

But really now, I mean this is really pathetic. We have these kids studying and learning to spell these insane words all day.

Many of these kids spend all day couped up inside their homes studying to be the best and the smartest, I mean come on now. We even have spell check now (and boy I am glad we do)! So why can't they use it?

Well we obviously need to have some sense of how to spell words, but if I can make it by then these kids can too. There is no need for these kids to spend their whole lives studying these words the majority of America can't even pronounce.

Being a kid is living life to the fullest, being able to play with your friends, go and enjoy the outdoors, playing catch with your dad, fun stuff like that.

How are these kids supposed to be social at all when they get older? I mean, not to be too rough but these kids need lives. How will they be able to go out into the job world and handle anything? Get a date? Go to a party in college? Or anything? These kids will not be able to deal with real life and it is important for people to have a social life, which is sad really, we need to enjoy life every once and awhile.

The first to blame is the parents, they have their kids inside studying, learning these outrageous words, and sadly, mainly because the parents (not all of them but I would say a good majority of them) are trying to fulfill their past lives with their kids. And it's sad.

On a side note, I would like to thank spell check for this post, because without you this post wouldn't be possible...

Can Chipper Jones hit .400 this year?

Well we've been so busy with summer, the NBA Conference Finals, and the Stanley Cup Finals that we haven't been going a lot of MLB posting. So here's something for you!

So when do we start the Chipper .400 Watch? The Sports Flow is starting now and so should you! Only three times in the past 50 years has any hitter had as high a batting average as Chipper has now (.418), Rod Carew (1983), Rico Carty (1974) and Hank Aaron (1959). So why not start the speculation?

I realize it's been 67 years and counting since Ted Williams hit .400. And it's 28 years since George Brett even became the last man to carry a .400 average into September. But why not Chipper? He's a switch-hitter who's batting .409 left-handed and .431 right-handed. He hit .422 in April. He's stayed hot in May hitting .429. And over the past year, he has had only one month when he's hit lower than .364. This leads me to believe this is no fluke.

In fact, if you look back over that year, Chipper batted .376 (with a .459 OBP and .622 SLG) for a full season. How close is that to hitting .400? Well, if he'd just gotten one extra hit every two weeks, he'd be a .400 hitter for the equivalent of one complete season. So obviously this isn't just coming out of no where.

I'm not going to lie. Sure, I'm a little surprised by Chipper putting up softball-type numbers thus far this year. However, I think it's time we start to watch carefully. Lance Berkman has also been having a great year and does pose some .400 threat. However, I think Chipper has the best chance to do it. As I've stated the stats show that Chipper is locked in from both sides of the plate right now, and has been for a while. This is no fluke. Plus, Berkman has never hit over .318 in a season.

Chipper is for real and I think it's going to be really fun to watch him make a run at .400 this year. My only concern would be his durability being a bit older now. But as for now I'm along for the ride!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NBA Playoff Thoughts

Here's some playoff thoughts thus far from an ordinary guy:

-The Spurs-Lakers series is closer than it indicates. In game 1 if the Spurs hit a few more buckets and make one or two more defensive stops, they steal game one.

Also, in game 4 the Spurs could have won this one too. The Spurs just couldn't get over the hump. Poor shot selection when they had a chance to tie or go ahead. Plus, Brent Barry easily got fouled by Derek Fisher at the end.

I am an advocate for refs not deciding games, mainly at the end, but man this was a blatant foul. The Spurs could easily be the ones up 3-1, but you have to give Kobe his dues, he is finally winning without Shaq (No pun intended).

-The Celtics will win the NBA Finals. Sorry Detroit fans, but there is no way you will win any more games in Boston. The Big 3 are just unstoppable there and the fans are right there behind the Celts. Boston just seems to be on their game when they're at home. Now that they have shown they can at least steal a game on the road I think they can top the Lakers (or Spurs for that matter).

-I am finally enjoying the NBA Playoffs for the first time in probably 6 years. Although I am a Spurs fan and it is great to see them win it all, but in all seriousness I have not enjoyed watching the NBA at all since they left NBC and stopped playing defense. But I have to give the players, top teams, and even David Stern some credit for the enjoyable 2008 season and the playoffs. The NBA hasn't had this quality of play in a longtime.

Monday, May 26, 2008

2008 NBA Mock Draft

1. Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose (PG - Memphis)

Really I think that Beasley is the best fit for the Bulls since then need a low-post scorer. However, Rose is simply the best player in the draft and the Bulls will take the best available. Plus he's a Chicago-native so he'll draw in a crowd.

2. Miami Heat - Michael Beasley (PF - Kansas State)
Wow, what a catch at #2! Who won't pack the house to see the high-flying trio of Marion, Beasley, and Wade! Beasley will no doubt bring the Heat back to the post-season in the East. However, don’t sleep on the possibility of Riles dealing the pick down for a couple of quality players.

3. Minnesota Timberwolves - O.J. Mayo (PG - USC)
Although some skeptics have him dropping as of late, we are still high on O.J. This cat has amazing size and athletic abilities for a point guard. He’s NBA ready. Although the Twolves currently have quite a few PGs he is more of a scoring PG and would suit big Al Jefferson's skill set perfectly!

4. Seatle Supersonics - Jerryd Bayless (PG/SG - Arizona)
This year’s draft will have more PG’s in the top ten than in the past. Although most Bayless skeptics aren’t quite sure if he’s really a PG or a SG because ge’s a bit of a tweener size wise. The Sports Flow likes his game and think he can finally rid the Sonics of the Earl Watson/Luke Ridnour debate that is boring fans to death. Look for him to have a good rookie season too (due to the fact that he'll be playing with Durant!)

5. Memphis Grizzlies - Brook Lopez (C - Stanford)
After arguably one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history for Pau Gasol this season, the Grizz have a hole in their front line that Kwame Brown could never hope to fill. Maybe the selection of Lopez to log time at the 5 spot will start to heal the pain?

6. New York Knicks - Danilo Gallinari (PG - ITALY)
I don't know a whole lot about this kid. However I have heard that he has great size (6 foot 10) and he has good outside game and can create his own shots. Although taking international players is risky (think Darko) I think he fits D'Antoni's system well and his international experience makes him more game-ready and carries some experience

7. LA Clippers - DJ Augustin (PG - Texas)
I’ve been hearing lots of rumors about Elton Brand being a bit unhappy with the personnel moves of the Clipper execs. This makes me think that Kevin Love would be the perfect pick. But until a time that Brand is moved, he’s their franchise man and more than enough skill at the PF spot. DJ might be a bit undersized but he’s got tons of upside. If Brand stays, they take Augustin.

8. Milwaukee Bucks - Eric Gordon (PG - Indiana)
With Bogut, Yi, and Villeneuva already young prospects my Bucks don't need to take another PF in Kevin Love. They need to take a good young PG who can score the ball. This would be Gordon. And as Complete Sports mentioned, they then could look to dump Michael Redd's monstrous contract to rebuild the team.

9. Charlotte Bobcats - Kevin Love - (PF - UCLA)
If Tyler Hansbrough had left for the draft I assume that MJ would be lobbying for him. However, he's not and if Loves slips to the 9 spot, which I think he will, the 'Cats will jump at him!

10. NJ Nets - DeAndre Jordan - (C - Texas A&M)
The Nets need a Center. There is no question that the 5 spot is their biggest weakness. DeAndre Jordan is a 7-footer with a huge wingspan and good timing. He’s generally knocked for being a bit soft. Might be a risky pick.

11. Indiana Pacers - Anthony Randolph - (PF - LSU)
Randolph may be skinny but a bit more size will come with age. He has pretty good handle and a soft touch, so you could always give him some time at the 3 spot. Picture this kid running with Granger, Dunleavy, and Tinsley. Could but fun to watch. Could develop into a poor man’s Chris Bosh

12. Sacramento Kings - Russell Westbrook (PG/SG - UCLA)
The Kings need a point guard bad. And although some would argue that Russell Westbrook isn’t a true point guard, who says the Kings system requires one? Coupling Westbrook with Kevin Martin in the backcourt creates a ton of match up problems for the opposition. With Artest at SF it makes it even more difficult so this makes sense to me.

13. Portland Trailblazers - Donte Green (SF - Syracuse)
Wow, so this just seems unfair that the Blazers get another high pick! In 3-4 years this team will be scary good! Think of a lineup of Oden, Aldridge, Green, Webster, and Roy!

14. Golden State Warriors - JaVale McGee ( C - Nevada)
Golden State is a finely tuned offensive machine. McGee could contribute on the glass, and has excellent timing on his shot blocking ability. Although skeptics knock his shot-selection, I don't think it will bother the Warriors!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

When Hard-Nosed meets Stupid

When the Dolphins hired Bill Parcells to run the show everybody knew what they were getting. Hard-nosed, big, and tough is what Parcells brings to the table. But where do you draw the line between old fashioned and Hard-nosed, and just downright stupid.

I think the line has been crossed. Tony Sparano is the man the Bill Parcells made head coach to help instill his style of play into his team. Tony Sparano is also the man who just recently called out the Dolphins' best player, Jason Taylor.
Sparano recently escalated the feud going on between the team and Jason Taylor by saying,

“I know that Jason is not going to be at any (offseason workouts), know that Jason is not going to be at any minicamps, and I know that, right now, Jason is not going to be at training camp. So that’s what we know. Jason is a player under contract with the Miami Dolphins. He knows that. Both parties are well aware of the information. That is all I am going to say about it. I am going to talk about our players now. I am not going to talk about another thing about Jason. I am not going to talk about another thing. What I just told you is what I know. It’s what we know, and that being said, we need to discuss the current players on our team right now that have been busting their butt for nine weeks here.” - Tony Sparano

Now, I don't agree with the fact that it is a bit ridiculous that Jason Taylor missed some offseason workouts to appear on Dancing with the Stars. However, for a coach to call a team's best player like that and shun him from the team is just downright stupid.

This is stupid to do whether or not the dolphins want to trade Jason Taylor, or have him play for them. First, if they somehow want Taylor around (which he's basically saying they don't), what Sparano said only alienates the Dolphins from their best player. Second, if the Dolphins want to trade Taylor, they have only decreased his value by making it appear they don’t want him.

I mean, sure, Sparano is letting everyone know who is in charge. That's really macho of him, but very shortsighted. Taking on Taylor really is retarded. Sure, Taylor has been poking and prodding with management lately. He recently finished second in “Dancing With The Stars” on Tuesday and then took a redeye to New York to appear on “Live with Regis and Kelly” on Wednesday morning instead of returning to offseason workouts with the Dolphins.

As much as some people may think that’s wrong, it is Taylor’s right to do that. With the exception of an offseason minicamp, offseason workouts are voluntary. In addition, Taylor has earned this right. This is a guy who never has been out of shape in his career. He has played hard and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. I guarantee you right now that Taylor could would until minicamp to step on a field and still be the best player on the entire Miami Dolphins team.

Off the field, Taylor has been everything that Huizenga has asked of players. His Jason Taylor Foundation runs a program that helps teach kids to read and last season, Taylor was named the NFL Man of the Year for his charity work. Even through all of this turmoil and being called out by his new head coach, Taylor has been a professional throughout. You don't see him making a scene and trashing the franchise to get out. Taylor has more than held up his end of the bargain as a member of the Dolphins and coach Sparano and the organization just made a big mistake.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Western Conference Finals Preview

Once again the Spurs and Lakers meet in the playoffs. Although they haven't played since 2004, there's been some great match ups between the two and the winner usually ends up winning the NBA Finals.

Both teams have combined to win seven of the last nine championships, the Spurs won in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007 and the Lakers won from 2000-02. They lost in the NBA Finals in 20o4 to Detroit.

This one should be a dandy once again. The Lakers are a different team then the past few years. Kobe Bryant is his normal self and he finally has teammates that can back him up and trust. This Laker team has been the most impressive team thus far in the playoffs. They've been so consistent and they're getting balanced scoring night in and night out.

As for the Spurs, they've been a little inconsistent. The first two games against the Hornets they looked lost. But in game 7 they looked like their old championship selves.

This should be a great series, which I am expecting to go seven games.


The Lakers are deep and talented with Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Vladimir Radmanovic, Luke Walton and Ronny Turiaf. Pau Gasol can hold his own down low against Tim Duncan, plus he can score and help Kobe out on offense if he's off his game. Odom must be consistent offensively if the Lakers want to win this series. The Spurs forwards play great defense. Tim Duncan can take over a game anytime and Kurt Thomas has done the little things whether it's defense or rebounding. But the Spurs are not as deep here as the Lakers.

The Lakers are solid in the backcourt with MVP Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, and Jordan Farmer. They're fast and can score. The Spurs are loaded in the backcourt, Manu Ginobli doesn't even start for them. Tony Parker is so clutch when it counts most, especially in the playoffs, Michael Finley provides depth and some scoring, and Bruce Bowen is the defensive stopper and can occasionally knock down the three ball. With the Spurs talent and depth here, I will give them the advantage in this department.

This is pretty much a toss-up. Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich know what it takes to win, especially championships. Coaching in this series is going to come down to in-game adjustments. You know both coaches will have specific plans on how to stop each other's best players in Kobe and Duncan, but it's going to come down to adjustments, which I think Popovich is a mastermind when it comes to this. I'll give the Spurs a slight advantage here.

This should be a great series. NBA fans are in for a great Western Conference Finals. I expect each and every game to be a hard-fought, defensive, down to the wire battle. I really like the Lakers individual talent and offensive game, but the Spurs have all the intangibles. Their defense has been very good thus far and they seem to always play as a team. Plus, you have to give credit to Gregg Popovich, he always has them ready and prepared. I'll take the Spurs in seven.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2008 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Preview and Prediction

The Stanley Cup Finals are set as the Detroit Red Wings get set to open the Finals at home against the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins. This looks to be one of the most entertaining Finals in recent memory as two of the most talented teams in the NHL go head to head for hockey's ultimate prize.

Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

Breakdown: This should be one heck of a series to watch. Both teams can really skate. Both teams can shut you down on defense. Both teams have goalies who are on top of their game right now. At the end of the day I give the slight edge to the Pens. I think they are a little bit deeper, a little bit more talented, a little bit younger, a little bit hungrier, a little bit better on defense, and a little bit better in goal. All in all that adds up to a Stanley Cup for Pittsburgh in my book. The Penguins are clicking on all cylinders and have been more impressive against better competition this post-season than Detroit. The Pens are battle tested and ready to finish the job. That, however, is not to say it is going to be easy for Pittsburgh .This should be the toughest series yet for the Penguins and Detroit could very easily hoist the cup when all is said and done as well.

This is a great Stanley cup for hockey fans in the U.S. Nobody in the states cares to watch the Montreal Canadiens or the Toronto Maple Leafs, or any other canadian teams in the finals really. I think the NHL and its fans could not have asked for a more entertaining matchup and I think ratings in the states will show it. When you combine "Hockeytown, USA" with Crosby and Mahlkin you've got yourself some entertaining hockey and I think the states can really get into this series a lot more than, say, last year's Ottawa vs. Anaheim final.

Player to Watch: Marian Hossa (PIT) - Make no mistake, Hossa has had a tremendous post-season thus far, and this is why the Pens went out and got him at the trade deadline. Everyone always wants to talk about Crosby and Mahlkin, but I think you can expect Hossa to continue to perform and both ends of the rink and finish off some of Sidney Crosby's passes. This is what needs to happen if the Penguins are going to complete their amazing post-season with a victory over the Red Wings. As Crosby and Mahlkin draw doubles and get banged around Hossa could be that one extra weapon that gives Pittsburgh the edge in the Finals.

Prediction: Like I said I like the Penguins to win this one and i foresee it happening in 6 games. This will be a hard-fought and physical series, however, so don't be surprised if this one stretches out to 7.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

2008 College Football Teams to look out for

Just thought I would do a brief post on some College Football and thoughts on the favorites for next season.

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia was very young and inexperienced last season. They return a boatload of talent. After a very impressive season winning the Sugar Bowl, they are just that much more experienced. QB Matthew Stafford returns and is looking to be not only one of the top QBs in the SEC, but one of the best in the nation. RB Knowshon Moreno also returns after a big year rushing for 1334 yards and 14 TDs.

USC Trojans
USC loses some key players, but returns some important impact players; more specifically on the defensive side. Many were expecting LBs Keith Rivers and Rey Mauluga to enter the draft but now they're back. They return 3 starters in the secondary and the QB position is deep with Mitch Mustain transferring in. They will also be very deep at tailback once again. Watch out for RB Joe McKnight.

Florida Gators
The Gators were also inexperienced and young, especially on the defensive side. 8 starters return on both sides of the ball and Florida should once again have one of the best offensive attacks in the nation, lead by Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin. The defense should be better with several starters returning including two upcoming stars in LB Brandon Spikes and FS Major Wright.

Ohio St. Buckeyes
The Buckeyes will be the most experienced of all the top teams next season. They return 17 total starters and this could be the year they finally put it together and win it all. QB Todd Boeckman returns along with WRs Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline. RB Chris (Beanie) Wells should be one of the top backs in the nation. The defense should be solid with James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins deciding to return.

Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners should be the favorite to win the Big 12 once again. 18 total starters are back in all. Oklahoma should have two of the top front lines in the nation, which will only help their cause for a BCS Title berth.

West Virginia Mountaineers
WVA should be one of the fastest teams in the country again. Speedster QB Pat White is back, RB Steve Slaton may be gone but sophomore Noel Devine showed he can replace him. Devine could be a darkhorse for the Heisman this season. The defense should also be solid with several starters back and some experienced LBs.

Other top teams to keep an eye on:
Missouri, Clemson, Texas, Auburn, Arizona St., LSU, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech

Monday, May 12, 2008

Week 6 MLB Power Rankings

1. Arizona Diamondbacks - playing the best baseball in the bigs
2. Boston Red Sox -Kevin Youkilis 2nd in the AL with 8 home runs
3. Chicago Cubs -Leads the major leagues in runs scored, scoring close to 6 runs a game
4. Florida Marlins - tied for the best record in the NL and Uggla-Ramirez have been red hot
5. Tampa Bay Rays -Scott Kazmir-James Shields might be the best 1-2 combo in AL Rotations
6. St. Louis Cardinals - Cardinals continue to surprise and impress while Ryan Franklin goes from sucky starter to dominant closer
7. Los Angeles Angels - Figgins could be out for awhile that will hurt them, however if Vlad and GMJ can heat up watch out!
8. Oakland Athletics - Did you know the A's have the best team ERA in baseball? 3.25.
9. Philadelphia Philles -Look for a jump up once Howard comes out of his slump
10. Houston Astros - Lance Berkman is paving his way for MVP: .386 12HR 35RBI 6SB
11. New York Mets - This team can move up by sweeping the Nationals but have been a big disappoitnment thus far this year
12. Atlanta Braves - Struggling to win on the road...
13. Los Angeles Dodgers -Furcal is a monster, he's batting .366
14. Chicago White Sox - Injuries are bound to plague this veteran-loaded team
15. Minnesota Twins -The Twins are playing well but I still don't think they're that good. Last in HR and near the bottom in RBI. I foresee a meltdown and a fall down the AL Central ranks
16. New York Yankees - Waiting for A-Rod and Posada to recover
17. Baltimore Orioles - George Sherrill is a beast with 13 saves relatively quietly
18. Cleveland Indians -Grady Sizemore watch: .282 6HR 20RBI 7SB while this whole team has been disappointing
19. Texas Rangers - Atleast they have Josh Hamilton
20. Milwaukee Brewers - You're breaking my Hart! Ok, that was bad. But seriously...
21. Pittsburgh Pirates - 5 game winning streak, digs this team out of the cellar
22. Toronto Blue Jays - Shaun Marcum is domination
23. Detroit Tigers -2nd in runs scored, but 30th in ERA
24. Kansas City Royals - Rookie of the Year Prediciton: Alex Gordon
25. Colorado Rockies - Aaron Cook is silently turning into an ace, coors field isn't a factor
26. Cincinnatti Reds - Where will they ship Griffey? hmmmm......
27. San Francisco Giants - I encourage you to vote for Omar Vizquel for the NL All-Stars
28. Seattle Mariners - Just not good
29. Washington Nationals - Better than the M's? I don't think so but atleast Lastings Milledge is ballin'
30. San Diego Padres - Even with Peavey being a dominant starter they are real bad. They can't score runs at all.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

NHL Conference Finals Preview

With a rare lull in Finals week, and with the conference finals getting underway tonight, I figured this was the perfect time to unveil some conference finals predictions.

West: (1) Detroit vs (5) Dallas
In a matchup of unlikely hot goalies, Chris Osgood takes on Marty Turco. The Stars dispatched of one of the cup favorites, the San Jose Sharks, in an epic 5 overtime game 6, whereas the Detroit Red Wings had no trouble sweeping away the Colorado Avalanche. While the Stars are playing great hockey, and getting hot at the right time, the Red Wings are very talented and if this series isn't too physical, the Wings should have little trouble.
Red Wings in 5

East: (2) Pittsburgh vs (6) Philadelphia
Many people are touting the all Pennsylvania affair as a potential classic, but quite frankly I don't see it. In every facet of the game Pittsburgh overmatches the Flyers. Pittsburgh has arguably the two best hockey players on Earth, and their fourth line has players like Ruutu and Laraque who can put the puck in the net as well, as well as playing tough defensive hockey, which should frustrate Philly's skill players like Jeff Carter. To me the X factor is Pittsburgh's Ryan Whitney. He had a tough series against the Rangers and really needs to rebound. Also, Marc Andre Fleury is really emerging as a Conn-Smythe candidate.
Penguins in 5

Sure going with chalk is all boring, but it worked for the NCAA tournament (Go Jayhawks!) so why not here? Enjoy your hockey, and for all you ND readers: get back to studying you lazy piles.

Whats Wrong With New Yorks Baseball Teams?

So the baseball season is officially into full swing now. After struggling early it seems like the predicted front runners are now a top of their division after a tumultuous start. Everyone except New Yorks duo of high paid and high powered teams. Yes you can throw the Tigers struggling in that mix too. But for Detroit this is new territory. They haven't been outright picked to be a World Series contender in years,while the Mets and Yankees have. As of May 7th both the Mets and Yankees are a combine one game over .500. The New York Mets are sitting at 17-15 and a 1.5 behind the surprising first place Florida Marlins. Johan Santana has only won three of his seven starts this season. While the Yankees are 17-18 right now and are 4.5 games behind the Boston Red Soxs in the AL East. Alex Rodriguez being on the DL doesn't help the Yankees at all either. So for how much longer can the fans of these two franchises hold out before they start getting on a roll and start winning on a regular basis? Probably not for too much longer.

The Mets Not Over Collapse?
Now bare with me here I know the Mets have had some serious injury problems, especially to the starting rotation, but has this team really shaken off one of the biggest collapses in Major League history? To me I don't really think they have. I know the Mets front office thought that bringing in Johan Santana as their ace would be a quick fix but it really hasn't. The fact is the Mets have basically the same offensive team as they did a year ago. And in sports today, if you stay with your same team for a long period of time eventually things start to fall apart. For one they are getting fairly old with veterans like Moise Alou and Carlos Delgado still on the team. The fact is the core of the that saw their seven game lead with under 20 games to go just disappear is still in tact. Sure this team has the talent to win over a 100 games and make it to the World Series, but somethings like a collapse haunt you for a very long time and that maybe the case with the Mets.

Predictions for the Rest Of The Season
Honestly I see the Yankees hovering around .500 the entire season. This team seems to be in a little bit of a rebuilding stage and is trying to slowly replace the old veterans with young players and it is going to take sometime for them to gel together. So Yankee fans don't be disappointed if your team is watching from home this postseason because it more than likely is gonna happen. As for the Mets I think once they get healthy you will see a turnaround from them and they will start going on five and six game winning streaks more often. They are still my favorite to win the NL East.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I apologize on behalf of TSF for the down week we've had. This is finals week at both NDSU and UND so we're both really super busy. Keep on comin' back and I promise we'll have more for you as we finish up our tests. I've got to go though because Microeconomics is calling my name...

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Sports Flow's NHL Awards

The NHL has announced most of the finalists for their major awards, which will be given in June in Toronto. Here are my picks:

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
This one is pretty much a given in my opinion. Lidstrom is second in the league in plus/minus, and he receives a ton of ice time for the team who allowed the second least goals in regular season play. Lidstrom also led all NHL defensemen in points with 70, and is 5th in the entire league with 60 assists.

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
As a University of North Dakota fan, I was tempted to pick Johnathan Toews, Kane's teammate, but looking at the numbers there really is no other choice. Kane led Chicago, and all rookies, in scoring with 72 points. Ironically, even though Toews led all rookies in goals with 24 I see Kane developing into the better goal scorer and Toews developing into the better all around hockey player.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
For full disclosure, he probably won't win. Henrik Lundqvist has been getting a lot of the publicity, and Nabokov has been heralded as the best goalie in hockey. But only one of the three finalists is in the top 10 in GAA and save percentage: Marty Brodeur. He also plays in more games than almost any goalie in the league, making those stats all the more impressive. He also ranked 2nd in the league with 44 wins.

Hart Trophy (MVP): Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
This is the one where I'm sure there will be the most disagreement. Obviously Alex Ovechkin has the popular support for the award, and he is no doubt a great player, but when watching both players in person, it's obvious that Ovechkin does two things: 1. scores goals and 2. a lot of body checks to make it seem like he's playing defense. But as far as reading the game and actually playing defense, Malkin has him by a wide margin. Yes Ovechkin scored more goals than Malkin, but that's because he led the NHL in shots by a wide margin. Taking a look at the shooting percentage leaders, we see Malkin at 10th, and Alex Ovechkin all the way down at 46th. Ovechkin also spent a lot more time on the ice, more time to amass those goals, but when Sidney Crosby went down with an injury, Malkin truly showed how great he was, and in my mind he elevated himself to perhaps the best hockey player in the world, Crosby included.

Those are my picks, who are yours?