Thinking about the crazy while watching the Penguins and Flyers fight each other, the Lakers win without Kobe and Miguel Cabrera demonstrate that he’s a better fielder than a hitter…
1) The Los Angeles Lakers are 4-1 and have won four games in a row without Kobe Bryant.
Sunday they beat the defending champion Dallas Stars 112-108 in overtime and played with more heart than they usually display. They also got the ball into the big guys – Gasol and Bynum, — and Metta World Peace contributed to the offense. It’s a different team without Kobe, but it’s still a good one. Hard to imagine the Heat would be as good without LeBron or the Thunder would be as good without Kevin Durant.
I’m a big Kobe fan, but the Lakers are learning to live without him. The same way Chicago learned to win without Derrick Rose. That bodes well for the playoffs.
2) Is it just me, or does it really appear as if Sean Couturier is a tremendous two-way hockey player who should be playing for the Winnipeg Jets?
He didn’t appear on the scoresheet in Sunday’s 8-4 win over Pittsburgh, but he was always on the ice. He played nearly 20 minutes, shadowed Evgeni Malkin and contributed in all sorts of ways.
Couturier was available when the Jets participated in their first NHL draft in St. Paul last spring and they passed on him to get Mark Scheifele. Scheifele had a not-bad season in junior this year and was an average player at best on Canada’s national junior team.
I don’t doubt that Scheifele will one day be a good NHL player, but I’d tend to agree with those who think the Jets should trade their No. 9 overall draft pick this spring. The Jets need players who can play now, not players who might be good in 2014.
3) Loved the interview with Toronto Blue Jays President and CEO Paul Beeston on Sunday on SportsNet, but I wondered about one of his answers.
Pat Tabler asked Beeston about being Canada’s team and how important that was. Beeston made a big deal out of it. However, here in Winnipeg, the Blue Jays have no presence whatsoever away from the TV screen. And it’s not like they haven’t been asked.
Baseball is going through a renaissance in Winnipeg. Our provincial junior team won the 2010 national championship, more kids are registered with minor baseball than at any time in history, we now boast a college team at the University of Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Goldeyes — a team that Beeston’s friend, Pat Gillick is somewhat responsible for starting — is Canada’s most successful professional baseball franchise outside Toronto.
Let’s cut the crap. Outside of Rogers SportsNet, the Blue Jays are Toronto’s team. Not Canada’s. I know more Cubs, Twins, Yankees and Mariners fans in Western Canada than Blue Jays fans.
4) Whatever happened to the Pittsburgh Penguins?
5) Some guys are just cool. University of Alabama runningback Trent Richardson is cool.
Richardson, who has won two BCS national championships and is being called the best runningback in the draft since Adrian Peterson, attended the Hueytown High School prom this weekend with senior Courtney Alvis.
Courtney was diagnosed with leukemia last year, but she set a goal: She was going to make it to her senior prom. She made it, but nobody asked her to the prom.
Richardson, whose mother is battling cancer, heard about Courtney’s story and stepped up. Cool.
6) The Green Bay Packers have overtaken the New England Patriots and are now the favorites to win the 2013 Super Bowl. When the odds opened, two months ago, the Pats were 5/1 to win while Green Bay was 7/1. Here are the odds, from 60 days ago and on Monday morning, courtesy of the MGM Mirage, my favorite book in Vegas.
New England Patriots: 5/1 to 6/1
Pittsburgh Steelers: 6/1 to 12/1
Philadelphia Eagles: 6/1 to 10/1
Green Bay Packers: 7/1 to 5/1
New Orleans Saints: 10/1 to 8/1
San Francisco 49ers: 10/1 to 7/1
San Diego Chargers: 12/1 to 20/1
New York Giants: 12/1 to 15/1
Detroit Lions: 18/1 to 10/1
Atlanta Falcons: 18/1 to 25/1
Houston Texans: 18/1 to 8/1
Dallas Cowboys: 20/1 to 12/1
Baltimore Ravens: 20/1 to 8/1
Indianapolis Colts: 25/1 to 60/1
Chicago Bears: 25/1 to 10/1
Tennessee Titans: 30/1 to 35/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 200/1 to 60/1
Cincinnati Bengals: 30/1 to 35/1
New York Jets: 30/1 to 15/1
Buffalo Bills: 50/1 to 50/1
Kansas City Chiefs: 50/1 to 35/1
Minnesota Vikings: 75/1 to 30/1
Denver Broncos: 75/1 to 8/1
Seattle Seahawks: 75/1 to 30/1
Arizona Cardinals: 75/1 to 40/1
Carolina Panthers: 100/1 to 30/1
Miami Dolphins:100/1 to 40/1
Oakland Raiders: 100/1 to 25/1
Washington Redskins: 150/1 to 30/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 150/1 to 100/1
Cleveland Browns: 150/1 to 80/1
Would you believe that the Detroit Lions at 10/1 have a better chance to win the Super Bowl than the Pittsburgh Steelers (12/1) or the New York Giants (15/1)?
7) It’s amazing, but it seems that more people get deeply passionate about sports than any other subject. Regular reader, Fort Rouge Ted, sent me the following note.
Scotty…it is all a sham and a hoax. Shanny the Sheriff….Bettman the Idiot…..Daly the Egg Head….it doesn’t matter what is said and done, nothing will ever change….never has and never will.
Hockey was a Neanderthal game from Day 1…the underlying number one rule is to hurt your opponent and strike the fear of a beating into his mindset….violence is the order of the day….and retaliation is the golden rule….goonery will always rear its ugly head….bare knuckle fighting has escaped all rules of society….pound the SOB until he is on the ice bleeding and unconscious.
I played the game for 30 years…I know. Even in the “beer leagues” it got out of hand…..the cops had to be called a few times. I’ve seen rifles pulled out of the trunk in the parking lot all in the spirit of the great game of hockey.
With that said If I was the head coach of the Rangers, within the first five minutes of Game 3, I’d make sure Karlsson’s & Spezza’s seasons were over. You want to play dirty, then you better be ready because now you are playing with the dirtiest. If I were Tortorella, I’d just say, “YOU STARTED IT McLEAN, I’LL END IT!” I’d cripple both of them.
And that is the great game of hockey in a nutshell and it ain’t changing in our lifetimes.
Wow! Now that’s serious. And passionate. And maybe crazy.