The Stanley Cup conference finals can finally begin! Last night, the Chicago Blackhawks clawed their way out of a 3-1 series hole to defeat the Detroit Red Wings and claim a spot in the Western Conference Finals. Chicago takes on defending champions the Los Angeles Kings. In the East, the Pittsburgh Penguins face the Boston Bruins. Both series begin on Saturday.
This is the first time since 1945 that the final four teams in the playoffs had each won the Stanley Cup in the previous four years. LA won last season, Boston won in 2011, Chicago in 2010, and Pittsburgh in 2009.
Is it possible for a 6'8" NBA superstar to catch another player completely by surprise? Last night it was. LeBron James completely shut down George Hill with a jaw-dropping, reality-defying block. Hill had what he thought was a clear path to an easy layup. But LeBron never quit on the play. He snuck up on Hill's right, and as Hill went up for the gimme LeBron launched himself with perfect timing to slap the ball away. The only thing Hill could do after the play was look stunned.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Duke rallied from an early deficit to beat Syracuse 16-10 on Monday and win its second NCAA men's lacrosse title.
The Blue Devils trailed 5-0 in the second quarter. Jordan Wolf had four goals for Duke (16-5). Josh Offit and Josh Dionne each scored three times.
"We were down 5-0 and we really had no choice, we had to make the next play, and that's who we are, we responded," said Duke coach John Danowski, who won his second national championship at Duke. "We got in their grills a little bit, we told them they had to play a little tougher and a little harder than they were playing. We slowed our slide down, and start to slow things down on offense."
Checking is a fundamental part of hockey. But when should kids learning to play the game start taking hits on the ice? Hockey Canada says it's when they become teenagers.
On Saturday, Hockey Canada's board of directors voted 42-2 to ban bodychecking from its peewee division. (The group oversees amateur hockey in that country.) Starting in the fall, kids playing in the 11- and 12-year-old division will be banned from checking other kids. Body contact will still be allowed, but it will be up to each province to determine how much contact to allow. Checking will still be part of the game for kids 13 and older.
There was some skepticism about Damian Lillard entering the NBA after he concluded his career at Weber State last year. Critics said he wasn’t very athletic and didn’t face the best competition while playing for a Big Sky Conference school. Perhaps, he just wasn’t ready for the next level. But Lillard proved them wrong. More »
When I attended the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix in March, I talked to big-league players and MLB general managers about the role sabermetrics (basically new statistics in baseball that involve more numbers than traditional stats) play in baseball. I also got to hear experts use stats to debate who the best player of all time is, predict who will be the game’s next great players, and their thoughts on the 2013 season.
Brian Kenny, host of Clubhouse Confidential on the MLB Network, moderated a panel discussion about just those topics. The people who participated were Dave Cameron (a writer for FanGraphs), Rob Neyer (an author and writer for ESPN and SB Nation), and Vince Gennaro (an author and MLB consultant). Kenny began by asking everyone the same questions: Who is the best baseball player ever (aside from Babe Ruth)? Who is the best player today?