If you are looking for a brief summary of what you need to know today to make informed betting choices, you’ve come to the right place!
1. Werenski out for rest of first round
For your latest reminder that playoff hockey is just a little different than anything else in sports, look no further than Brandon Rust’s game-tying goal against the Blue Jackets yesterday. In case you’ve somehow avoided the highlight in your timeline this morning, the main takeaway would be Columbus rookie defenseman Zach Werenski gushing blood on the ice after taking a puck to the face, nearly 10 seconds before Pittsburgh knotted the game at three a piece.
The NHL rule book allows refs to whistle a play dead if a player is seriously injured, but officials didn’t think that was the case in this instance. The position seemed justified after Werenski returned to the game, but he was utterly useless, because half his face was broke.
Ultimately, the biggest injury of the night was dealt to the Blue Jackets’ chances to win the series. After dropping the game in overtime, Pittsburgh has a commanding 3-0 lead and is showing no signs of slowing down. So when you hear reports that the Jackets top defenseman is “out for the rest of the series,” know that really only means one more game, because a Pittsburgh sweep looks inevitable.
2. Knicks’ dysfunction continues in playoffs
Just because they didn’t qualify for the postseason (for the fourth-straight year), it doesn’t mean the New York Knicks can’t own NBA headlines with their unique brand of terrible. Phil Jackson finally addressed the local media over the weekend, and it was as though his tweets had come to life. Jackson once again suggested Melo waive his no-trade clause, continued to bang the drum for the triangle offense, and talked about increasing his presence around the team to better mentor the players.
Jackson’s more hands-on approach seems destined to fail, especially if his players don’t want to be around him. Kristaps Porzingis skipped his exit interview with management and will be spending most of his summer off in Latvia, far away from the organization.
The Knicks, meanwhile, picked up Jackson’s two-year option, so the drama will not be going away anytime soon. With the team unlikely to attract much help in free agency as a result of its very public dysfunction, you can expect a few trades this offseason to restock the talent pool; according to Phil, no one is untouchable.
In case you aren’t their already New York, it’s time for full-fledged panic. This team could get a lot worse this offseason. How much worse? First-overall worse.
3. Other teams that are allowed to panic
In the midst of the playoffs for NBA and NHL, and with the MLB season in full swing, it seemed like a good time to update some fans on whether they’re allowed to lose their minds just yet. Here’s a few good rules to keep in mind for panicking in April.
If all your team did was lose Game 1 of a best-of-seven series, you don’t get to panic, even if it came at home. The Celtics are dealing with some tragic news after the death of Isiah Thomas’ sister, but they’re still a deeper team with a far better coach than the Bulls; they’ll be fine. So will the Raptors, who have lost an incredible nine-straight Game 1s, yet always come back strong in the second meeting.
If your team lost the first two games of a series at home, you get to panic … unless you’re the Blackhawks. Chicago has an incredible record in the playoffs the longer a series wears on, going 46-16 in Games 4 through 7 since 2009. So if you took them against the upstart Predators, know that they’re very much alive. Any other team facing that scenario is probably screwed.
If you’re a baseball team, you never get to panic this early. Like seven-percent of the season is complete. The Reds are on top. The Marlins are on top. This is the ridiculous stuff that happens early in a season. Chill out, Cardinals fans.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.