Are you ready to relive the game of the century? I’m sure you are, so let’s get to it.
Lines tonight are almost last night’s with Jason Spezza out and Trevor Moore (finally) reactivated from LTIR and on the fourth line. Timashov stays in the game.
Michael Hutchinson with the play of the game. Dylan Larkin got a breakaway when an Activated Justin Holl spontaneously fell down.
Leafs get an early power play when the evil Red Wings knock down Zach Hyman.
Plot twist! Calvin Pickard comes in for Jonathan Bernier who left for
undisclosed reasons either a LBI or fear the Leafs might trade for him if he looked good. Tough spot for Pickard to come in cold on the PK.
Whoa! Pickard makes a save on the one-timer, but gives up a big backup rebound, and Marner nearly has a wide-open net.
Leafs let Larkin go for a slower rush, and this time Hutchinson actually has to make a save.
Travis Dermott with a heroic sliding block when a pinch goes awry. Er, sorry, an Activated Defender move results in the most probable outcome, er, I mean, when the system works as intended.
And a scoreless period closes. The Leafs have all the zone time, 58% Adjusted Corsi and 42% of the Expected Goals. Against the Detroit Red Wings.
Meanwhile in the AHL
The Marlies are playing in Belleville, and on my other monitor, as they help Greg Moore start his pro-coaching career. They have Joseph Woll in net, and you know what that means (they don’t, traditionally, offer up much defending in front of Woll). Pontus Aberg scored on the first shot of the game, giving Moore totally the wrong idea about this team, and then they did this:
This team needs some work. But it’s only 2-1 for the B-Sens, they can still come back.
Auston Matthews carries the puck up the neutral zone with support, and he… dumps it in, and Kapanen goes and retrieves it, and he… cycles it back high personally, passes it to Tyson Barrie who is standing still in the centre of the blueline, and he wails on it like it’s the hardest shot contest at the All-Star break. Pickard with an easy save. This entire sequence was to hockey what Miracle Whip is to an aioli.
Red Wings get another chance on a two-on-one, and Holl comes to tidy up behind Hutchinson.
OMG. I’m writing a sternly worded letter of complaint to HNIC. “You might not know that Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan were teammates.” Yes, yes, that’s before everyone’s time, sure.
Hutchinson has to make another big save, so the Leafs try that shooting at the net thing, and Pickard comes up equal to the task.
Trevor Moore with a nice move, but he misses the net. He’s been working hard in his very few shifts tonight.
Yay! A penalty behind the play. I guess the number two ref was bored. And it’s Alexander Kerfoot, Mr Penalty, who is going off, but he’s taking Fabbri with him, so it’s four-on-four.
Matthews cheats so high on a four-on-four play, Phil Kessel is jealous, and what comes of it is not a lot, since he can’t actually out-deke four Red Wings all alone.
Golly, I hope he does the lacrosse goal, next.
The pace of the game is somewhere between glacial and film running in reverse. The commentary is reduced to enthusing over defensive Activation! while the ensuing opposing breakaway is already in progress.
Sheldon Keefe comes up with a line of Hyman, Matthews and Marner because this team, frankly, sucks worse than they did last night.
Hyman gets hauled down on a breakaway, and he bowls Pickard. The ref is a coward and calls a penalty, not a penalty shot.
No, wait, this might be a goal.
Yup, they’re calling it a goal (technically an own goal by the Red Wings)
Matthews looked like he was legit thinking of try the lacrosse goal. How be you score one yourselves the old-fashioned way first.
Oh, cool. Jake Muzzin takes a tripping call with under a minute to go.
And that period ends with the Leafs having given away all of their shot share, and now have 49% adjusted Corsi and 40% Expected Goals, and again, they are playing a historically bad team that has CALVIN PICKARD in net.
As noted by Kevin Papetti, Nylander and Kapanen have been benched for a large part of the second period since well before the goal.
Meanwhile in the AHL
Greg Moore obviously has an effective intermission speech, since the Marlies played their second period very well, upping the shots on goal to 11-12 on the period, and crucially scoring two goals to Belleville’s one. They lead 4-3 in a game they don’t really deserve to be winning.
As long as you’re loose and having fun, really, what else matters? Anyone for some ping pong?
Leafs open the period by killing the rest of the Muzzin penalty.
The Leafs immediately get their own power play because the Red Wings are that dumb.
Matthews isn’t out for the power play, and the Leafs have only four guys on the ice. Finally the bench notices.
And because you can look like a fool one minute and still be the hero, Matthews gets an old-fashioned goal on the power play.
It’s possible Matthews realized he’d just narrowly missed being a gigantic idiot on Hockey Night in Canada on home ice.
Nylander and Kapanen are playing with Kerfoot in this third period, so maybe some messages have been learned all around. Engvall is with Tavares and Mikheyev, while the line that scored the goal, Hyman, Marner, Matthews is the other top line.
Red Wings get another odd-man rush, and the shot goes wide, and in the “there is no deserve in hockey” theme of the night, Hyman makes it 3-0 Leafs on the return rush.
Great shot and a great play, so it’s not like they didn’t work for the goal, but they’ve only worked for it some of the time tonight.
The Leafs look like they’ve twigged to the fact they owe their goalie some effort, and they’re spending a lot of time in the Detroit zone again.
All that hockey-playing pays off and Matthews makes it 4-0 Leafs.
And now there’s a not-fight in the corner. Mantha vs Muzzin, and this went horribly wrong. A wresting move where Muzzin takes Mantha down ends with the trainers on the ice, after Mantha hits his head on the ice.
I. Hate. This.
Muzzin reacted to being jumped by Mantha, but went way overboard. Muzzin gets a roughing and an unsportsmanlike penalty, and Mantha gets a roughing minor as well. Mantha looks bad, and yes he started it, but that was an unfortunate ending to say the least.
Detroit has a power play for the rest of the game.
Dammit. The Red Wings spoil the shutout on the power play.
Dermott gets a game misconduct for slapping his stick on the ice from the bench to make a show of how much he didn’t like the extra penalty to Muzzin. I’m not clear what the extra penalty was for to be clear.
And now, here we go. Athanasiou takes a knee-on-knee run at Kerfoot, and Justin Holl goes for him. Good man, Holl, on that move, that was a dirty hit.
Athanasiou gets six or so penalties, including a fighting major, just to get him out of the game. Holl joins him.
And this dull, tepid, lackadaisical game comes to a limping close. I hope Mantha is well. Most of the rest of it was just stupid.
Meanwhile in the AHL
The Marlies can take a period or two off because they have a significant scoring skill advantage over almost the entire NHL. They upped the score to 7-3 in a third period that the B-Sens basically handed them. Sound familiar?
Every once in a while I think the Leafs should post the ticket prices the fans pay in the locker room. This game was one of those times. But maybe a fight forgives all sins?
Michael Hutchinson did his job, and eventually, so did the rest of the team. Let’s call this a teaching moment, I suppose as well as two necessary points in the books.
Please thank Omar for making this recap tell you a meaningful story with his gifs, and follow him on Twitter.
Jimmy Butler steals the show on NBA media day with ‘emo’ phase look following Damian Lillard’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks
Whether or not Miami Heat’s golden child Jimmy Butler’s new “emo” look is just a phase, the NBA star carried it off with some aplomb, drawing plenty of laughs from his teammates.
One year on from his memorable fake dreadlocks look, the 34-year-old outdid himself by turning up at the Heat’s media day on Monday sporting a straightened fringe, piercings in his eyebrow and lips and painted black nails.
Butler said he’s now “emo” and after the summer he and the Heat have had, who can blame him?
After former Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and his agent publicly stated on numerous occasions that he would only want to play for Miami, it seemed like a matter of when, not if, the 33-year-old would end up in South Beach.
Butler led the Heat to an improbable NBA Finals appearance as the eight seed last season, so it’s easy to imagine his excitement at the prospect of Lillard’s addition to the roster pushing the team over the top and to its first title in the post-Lebron James era.
However, the Milwaukee Bucks swooped in last week with a package that blew Miami’s out of the water, meaning Lillard will now be plying his trade in Wisconsin and not Florida.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” Butler said as he entered his press conference, pushing his fringe out of his eyes. “I’m emo. This is my emotional state, I’m at one with my emotions so this is what you get.”
Despite failing to acquire Lillard and losing key contributors Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, Butler remains confident ahead of the upcoming season, telling reporters the Heat are going to win it all.
If it’s good news that he’s now at one with his emotions, Butler might just also be a gifted method actor and isn’t actually going through a belated “emo” phase. The six-time All Star could be heard saying “don’t make me break character” as he entered the press conference.
His new character was certainly a hit with his teammates and had Bam Adebayo crying tears of laughter as the pair were having their photos taken for the new season – which means, yes, Butler will have this hair in official photos for the entire year.
Certainly not someone to do things by halves, Butler was fully immersed in his new state and even posted songs from emo bands on his Instagram story throughout the day.
Finding Your Perfect Match: The Best Ways to Choose an Online Sportsbook
In the ever-expanding world of online sports betting, selecting the right sportsbook is crucial. This is to ensure an enjoyable and secure gambling experience. With numerous options available, it can be challenging to find the perfect fit. For instance, you can be looking into sites like BestOdds to find a sportsbook to go with but do not know what exactly to check.
This article will explain the basics of finding an excellent online sportsbook.
Licensing and Regulation
The first and most critical factor when choosing an online sportsbook is ensuring it operates in a legal and transparent manner. A reputable sportsbook should possess a valid license from a recognized regulatory authority. These licenses indicate that the sportsbook adheres to strict standards, including fair play, responsible gambling and financial security.
Before registering, check for the sportsbook’s licensing information. In most cases, you will find this in the footer of their website. Some of the most reputable regulatory bodies for online sports betting include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
Additionally, research the sportsbook’s track record for regulatory compliance and any previous non-payment or unethical practices incidents. User reviews and industry news sources can provide valuable insights into the sportsbook’s reputation.
Odds and Betting Markets
The quality of odds and the variety of betting markets offered are key factors in determining the suitability of an online sportsbook. Competitive odds provide better potential returns for your bets, while a wide range of markets allows you to explore different betting options.
Compare odds from multiple sportsbooks to ensure you get the best bet value. Some websites and apps even offer odds comparison tools to make this process more convenient.
Moreover, consider the breadth of sports and events covered by the sportsbook. Whether you’re into mainstream sports like football, basketball, or soccer or niche sports and events, the sportsbook should offer diverse markets to cater to your preferences.
Security and Payment Options
Security is paramount when sharing personal and financial information with an online sportsbook. Look for sportsbooks that employ the latest encryption technologies, such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer), to safeguard your data. Consider factors like two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance account security further.
Payment options are another critical aspect. Ensure the sportsbook offers convenient and secure methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. Common payment methods include credit/debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets (like PayPal or Skrill) and cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin). Choosing a sportsbook that supports your preferred payment method is essential to streamline your betting experience.
As LeBron James enters Year 21, the theme of Lakers media day was passing the torch and sharing the load
The budding relationship between fifth-year forward Rui Hachimura and four-time MVP LeBron James has been one of the stories of the offseason for the resurgent Los Angeles Lakers. Stories of the two working out together have become commonplace. “I call him my Daniel-san and I’m Mr. Miyagi,” James joked at Lakers’ media day Monday. It was an appropriate comparison not just between James and Hachimura, but the legend and his entire team.
Now that Udonis Haslem has called it a career and Andre Iguodala is seemingly headed in that direction, James is officially the NBA’s oldest active player. He proved that he is still a superstar on the court last season, but aside from Anthony Davis and Taurean Prince, all of his Laker teammates are at least a decade his junior. In a perfect world, the days of James pushing for 30-point triple-doubles on a nightly basis are now over. He has a group of young teammates eager to learn from his example and lift him up when he needs it.
“I think with this team we have the most depth,” new Lakers big man Christian Wood said Monday. “No team in the league has more depth than we have.” This was the goal of the Lakers’ offseason. Though they didn’t make any particularly splashy additions, six of the seven Lakers to play at least 200 postseason minutes are back this season. Joining them are Gabe Vincent, a starter on Miami’s finalist from a season ago, and Wood, one of the NBA’s most dynamic scoring big men. Rounding out the new-look bench are former first-round picks Taurean Prince (29), Cam Reddish (24) and Jaxson Hayes (23). That youth-oriented approach was no accident, as Lakers coach Darvin Ham explained Friday.
“Now that we have, top-to-bottom, what we feel is a highly balanced, skilled, athletic, younger team of guys that have logged a ton of NBA minutes, we can surround both he and AD with these players who are coming in eager to contribute, eager to show that they can impact winning,” Ham said. “That’s gonna allow us to be able to be more efficient with his game-to-game minutes.”
Managing James’ minutes was difficult last season. The Lakers lacked depth on a roster depleted by the Russell Westbrook trade, and when Davis was hurt, James needed to carry a remarkable burden just to keep the Lakers afloat. He averaged 24.1 shots and 34.6 points per game between Dec. 18 and Jan. 24, Davis’ longest extended absence of the season. Roughly one month later, he suffered the foot injury that hampered him for the rest of the season. It’s an outcome Davis is hoping to avoid this time around.
“It’s my goal every year to play 82,” Davis said. Though likely unobtainable, keeping Davis on the floor will be essential to the Lakers’ championship hopes this season. In fact, James might even argue that his co-star’s health is more important than his own. “He is the face [of the franchise],” James said at media day. For stretches last season, he was among the NBA’s best players. Between Nov. 13 and his own injury on Dec. 13, Davis averaged 32.4 points per game while doubling as the league’s best defensive player.
But for the Lakers to realize their considerable potential, he’ll have to sustain that dominance for longer stretches. The supporting players, who were so instrumental in lifting the Lakers from out of the top-10 in the West and into the Western Conference finals, will have to continue to benefit from James’ presence as Hachimura has. The Lakers went from cellar-dweller to contender last season when they morphed from an older, star-driven roster to a younger, balanced one, and whether that means Davis stepping into James’ role as the focal point of the team or the role players improving with another year in the system, the Lakers made it clear at media day that they plan to continue that transformation.
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