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As Usual, NHL Playoffs Yield Upsets While In The NBA “Form Holds”

Need I cite that the NHL playoffs produce upsets (I will say as 8th seeds Columbus (Blue Jackets) and Colorado (Avalanche) dispatched top seeds Tampa Bay (Lightning) and Calgary (Flames) respectively), while the NBA does not.

In other NHL series, in addition to the surprising, but again, not shocking sweeps vs the top seeds, the series underdog, albeit higher seed, New York Islanders swept the ’16 and ’17 champion, Pittsburgh Penguins.

Meanwhile, lower seed, albeit series favorite, St. Louis (Blues) 6’d the Winnipeg Jets. Tonight lower seed and series underdog, Dallas (Stars) hope to wrap up their series vs the Nashville Predators in a home game 6.

The lone higher seed and series favorite with an advantage at this point, defending champion, Washington (Capitals) (figuratively that is as (3-2) leads do not go into suitcases) takes a (3-2) series to Carolina. The Caps and Hurricanes have a combined (5-0) home record in that series.

Yesterday higher seeds, Boston (Bruins) (at Toronto Maple Leafs in the less intense afternoon) and San Jose (at Las Vegas Golden Knights) (Sharks and their series was “considered” even) won a road #6, to force a home #7 tomorrow.

In the boring, “form holds,” NBA, only one series is (2-2) that San Antonio (Spurs) the 7 seed vs two seed Denver (Nuggets).

The higher seed already won or has at least a (3-1) series lead returning home, in the other 7 series. One higher seed, Portland (Trail Blazers) was a series underdog.

 

Columbus coach, John Tortorella, pictured above.

Hal King’s Big Home Run Helped The 1973 Cincinnati Reds Win The N.L. West

Maybe I was playing stick ball and had a portable radio in those glorious, but tough to get the out of town scores days, when news came the Reds had rallied for a ninth inning victory vs the team I once rooted so passionately for–no longer and for a long time not the case now—the L.A. Dodgers.

It was Sunday July 1st and a pinch hit, game ending home run by Hal King lifted “Cincy” to what was a key victory as the Reds eventually overcame a huge deficit and overtook the Dodgers to win the ’73 N.L. West crown.

Surely Reds manager Sparky Anderson and other key Reds’ players credit that King home run and other big hits by Hal, for their eventual division triumph.

 

 

A Bit, “Way Out” “9” Year NHL Notes And Update

The 2019 NHL playoffs are the 80th that will have a best of seven final series (1939-2019, no playoffs in 2005).

In that first series, the first of what will be nine years of “9” year best of seven final series, the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the crown/Stanley Cup.

Those two original six franchises, the only two to qualify for the ’19 offs are meeting in this year’s first round. The winner (Toronto, sans an NHL final appearance or title since winning it all in 1967 when long time Jeopardy host, Alex Trebek narrated the Stanley Cup film, leads that series (3-2) with #6 in what should be a rollicking Toronto tomorrow night), might be the only previous “9” year/best of seven Cup final winner in the 2019 quarterfinal round.

Last night the Colorado Avalanche scored 5 goals and 5’d the Western Conference top seed, Calgary Flames, the 1989 champions.

Already, the New York Islanders had “dismissed” the 2009 champion Pittsburgh Penguins, while despite a great improvement, the ’59,’69 and ’79 champion, Montreal Canadiens, failed to make the ‘offs.

In addition to the Leafs (Toronto won it all in 1949) vs Bruins winner, only the Dallas Stars, currently in a (2-2) series vs the Nashville Predators, are a previous “9” year/best of seven final champion, with a chance to make the NHL quarterfinal round.

Dallas won the ‘1999 crown, affecting a party in that city (if father Bobby Hull was/is king, son Brett, who had the still disputed Cup winning goal in overtime of game 6, at Buffalo (Sabres), is “Prince.” Alas, the great performer Prince was from Minnesota, which was the Stars’ original home, when they were known as the Minnesota North Stars).

 

Dick Duff, who also played on 4 title teams with Montreal, was a member of two Leafs’ title teams.

Prince – 1999 (Official Music Video)

Click above to view Prince perform “1999”

 

 

 

A Day At The Game

Though I was largely indifferent to the result, as the daytime crowd in Philadelphia stood (’twas Phils eventually holding on (3-2) vs the New York Mets) some of that long dormant spark that is sport, especially once beloved baseball, returned to me.

Surely, I have learned and still must learn perspective, regarding competition, however, a one run difference, the trailing team with the bases loaded, a full count and I looked at that crowd.

Then, seeing the players from each team react, I knew why I went “there,” both literally to Philadelphia two days ago and figuratively so long ago, when 1962 National League Rookie of the Year, Ken Hubbs hit a foul ball near me.

I did not get that ball nor ever “get in the ball game,” but a day at the park, was/is a very nice experience.

 

 

Comments Regarding Columbus Sweeping Tampa Bay, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods’ Winning The Masters/Its Hype

The Columbus Blue Jackets swept the top ranked and near record breaking regular season, Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

This was certainly a surprise, however not near a shocking result to me. One need merely look at hockey history and understand the “upsets are clearly possible, even probable,” nature of the sport.

14 to 1 choice, Tiger Woods (apparently a bettor who called himself financially “responsible” wagered all of his money and won “mucho” as Woods triumphed. That person is extremely lucky, IF “responsible,” which he clearly is not, will walk away, but likely, sadly, even tragically–so many must learn the hard way), winning his 5th Masters golf title, was also not a big surprise.

Certainly Mr. Woods’ nice feat, being blown completely out of proportion, especially by CBS lead golf commentator, Jim Nantz, was (pun intended) “par for the course.”

 

As holidays in two major religions of this world approach, maybe some will reflect on what is important.

Wishing joyous holidays and on we go.

Remembering The Superb Player, Forrest Gregg

It is the determination and dedication that the great offensive lineman Forrest Gregg demonstrated, as he plied his craft, that I admire most about the Packers’ great, who died recently at the age of 85.

Surely he had great skills, as his legendary Packers’ coach, Vince Lombardi called him the finest player he ever coached (high praise indeed!).

Mr. Gregg played on all five Packers’ title teams as they won a still best, five crowns in seven seasons from (1961-1967). He was also a reserve player on the Dallas Cowboys, when they ended years of frustration by winning the 1971 title.

 

ABC Shows For 1961 Video

Today, I present a nice video, which promotes the then fledgling network, ABC’s, 1961 prime time programming.

Among other parts, I like the “Leave It To Beaver” introduction, as done the way the show started that season/year.

Would you believe a bowling program (“Make That Spare, the great bowler, Dick Weber is in the promo) on Saturday night? Enjoy this look back.

Click below to look at 37 ABC shows for the 1961 season.