Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Smorgasbord

• The Oklahoma City Thunder have looked great in their two games at home and have now evened their series with the Los Angeles Lakers at 2.  I thought this series would go seven and it still might, but tonight is do or die.........for the Lakers.  Yep.  They aren't going to win game six on the road so they better win tonight if they want to continue their title defense.

• In early April RJ Umberger ripped the Washington Capitals, saying among other things that a good defensive team would beat them in the playoffs.  The Columbus Blue Jackets winger sounded a little silly calling out a team on it's way to winning the President's Cup for having the most points during the regular season, particularly when his Jackets were not even going to make the post-season.  Well RJ was spot on and if the Caps lose Wednesday night to the Canadiens the season will go down as an epic failure.  

• The Caps have only won one playoff series since they lost 4-0 in the 1998 Cup finals to the Red Wings.  As a result,  Wednesday's game is an early referendum on Alex Ovechkin's career.  There is no arguing the energy and excitement #8 brings to the game, but it has not translated to playoff success.  This is only the fourth playoff series of his career and they have all gone to seven games, with the Caps losing two of three.  A loss tomorrow will absolutely crush the Rock the Red crew and will make for an interminable twelve months for Ovie and the boys.  It isn't just on Ovechkin though as Alexander Semin and Tomas Fleischmann have been invisible with one point each through six games.

• Speaking of epic failure, the Pittsburgh Pirates lost their seventh consecutive game and their 22nd straight at Miller Park last night 17-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers.  Over the seven games they have been outscored 72-12 (53-4 courtesy of the Brew Crew) and have not held a lead at the end of any inning.  They have been beaten by more runs than they have scored 82-65.  After winning seven of their first twelve and generating some cautious optimism, the Pirates have gone from bad, to embarrassing to comical with frightening speed.  Hope, located on the horizon, still appears to be at least two years away.

• It's a big weekend for some finge sports as the Kentucky Derby will be run at Churchill Downs and Floyd Mayweather will fight Shane Mosley in Vegas, both on Saturday.  In the Derby the bloom is off Lookin at Lucky but I expect him, Dublin and Devil May Care to battle it out at the wire.  I'll be a conflicted fan in Vegas as I would love to see a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, but a Mosley win would strip it of its luster.  It's hard to root for Money, but I guess I have to.  Hopefully Shane can win a few rounds early and make Floyd work.  I think he'll win a decision.

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