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Ramblings 06/07/2010

Posted by sportretort in nhl, Sports.
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I snapped this picture of Ryno coaching 3rd base Sunday in Des Moines.A Monday morning mish-mash….

I spent a BEAUTIFUL Sunday afternoon watching AAA baseball in Des Moines, home of the Iowa Cubs and their current head coach Ryne Sandberg. I grew up a Cub fan, and visited Wrigley Field in most summers growing up. I have seen many Cub greats play in the Friendly Confines. Santo, Banks, Reuschel, Suter, Monday, Jenkins, Beckert, Grace, Maddox. The list goes on and on. I then watched the Cubs when they visited Coors Field when I lived in Colorado for the 90’s and most of the 00’s. I guess I have seen most every Cub great play in person for the past 40+ seasons. To me, the greatest Cub of all during that time was Sandberg. His Hall of Fame Career in Chicago has cemented him as one of the best 2nd baseman to ever play the game. During his career, he combined tremendous range and skill defensively with power at the plate. A rare combination at 2nd at the time. He was a 10 time all-star, won 9 gold gloves and 7 silver slugger awards. He was the NL MVP in 1994 and was elected to the HOF in 2005. In addition, he is still the last 2nd baseman to lead his league in home runs when he topped the NL in ’90 with 40 round trippers. I have been out to the ball yard a few times this season and I must admit it is still a thrill to see old #23 in Cubbie blue. My hope is to see him manage in Wrigley in the future……..

The Flyers allowed 7 pucks into their net in game 5 (photo Jim McIsaac-Getty images)

The Flyers are in trouble. They dropped game 5 to the Blackhawks in Chicago to go down 2-3 in the series. Sure, the home team has won all 5 games so far, but in the 3 games played in the Madhouse on Madison, Philly has had no answer for the energy the Hawks draw from the largest, and perhaps loudest crowd in the NHL. That place gets ROCKING during the National Anthem and the Flyers find themselves down before they gain their legs. Even if they can extend the series by winning a game 6 in the City of Brotherly Love, game 7 will be back in the Windy City. The Hawks WILL win the Cup!………

What a gutsy performance by the Celtics in game 2 of the NBA Finals. After failing to show up in game 1 against the Lakers and getting waxed in LA, Boston

The Celtics rose above the Lakers Sunday, capturing game 2 and sending the series to Boston tied at a game each (photo: Ronald Martinez-Getty Images)

came out and took a big lead early in game 2. To their credit, the Lakers refused to roll over, and took a lead in the 4th quarter. Boston then closed out a 16-4 run over the last 5+ minutes to take game 2, and home court advantage, away from LA. As the series now shifts to Boston, make no mistake about it, this will be a long series. If Beantown wants to prevail over Hollywood, they can not afford to take another game off as they did in game 1……

Finally, as I flipped back and forth between the NHL and NBA games on Sunday, I was reminded of an old addage. While the seconds of the last 2 minutes of the basketball game melted slowly away, the final few minutes of the hockey game flew by. It took twice as long to play the final 2 of the Celtics-Lakers than to play the final 5 of the Flyers-Blackhawks, reminding me that if you only have 2 minutes left to live, you want it to be the last 2 minutes of an NBA game.

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Fantastic Finish Friday 05/23/2009

Posted by sportretort in nhl, Sports, Uncategorized.
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If you are a sports fan, Friday evening was for you.

In the NHL, the Blackhawks return home to Chicago for game 3 of their Western Conference Finals.  After dropping the first 2 games in the best of 7 series in Detroit, the Hawks need this game to stay in the series.  And they get off to a fast

Patrick Sharpe tallied the game winning marker for the Blackhawks

Patrick Sharpe tallied the game winning marker for the Blackhawks

 start.  Midway through the first period, Chicago has a 2-0 lead.  About the time Chicago scores their second goal, the city of Cleveland begins to rock.

In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers are tipping off game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando Magic.  The Magic came from 16 points down to steal game one, and the Cavs are trying to salvage a split before the series shifts to Florida for games 3 and 4.  The Cavs jump out quickly, amassing a 14 point lead at the end of the first quarter on their way to opening up a 23 point lead.

Back to Chicago.  The first period ends with the score 2-0 Blackhawks.  They then add a goal 45 seconds into the 2nd period, increasing the lead to 3-0.  Looks like the Hawks are on their way to an easy victory.   Detroit scores a power play goal with 5:22 left th the period.  Then they score again two and a half minutes later and the 22 thousand folks at the United Center start squirming in their seats.  Finally, with just 59 seconds left in the period, Detroit knots the score at 3-3.  The action is fast and furious in the 3rd period, but there is no scoring and the regulation time ends 3-3.  Overtime is on the way.

As the Hawks and Wings play to a stalemate in Chiago, the Cavs once comfortable lead is slowly evaporating.  The large lead has been widdled down to 6 by the Magic at the end of the third quarter.  That is about the time OT begins in Chicago.

This is the second straight game in this series to go into overtime, with Detroit winning game 2 with an overtime marker.  This time it is the Blackhawks who make short work of the Wings as Patrick Sharp takes a pass just to the left of the Wings net and buries the game winner 1:52 into overtime.  The Hawks avoid the 3-0 hole and now will skate into game 4 with a chance to tie the series at 2.

As Sharp’s heroics are ending the hockey game in Chicago, the Magic are attempting to take a strangle hold on their

The Cavs LeBron James hit the last second 3 pointer for the win

The Cavs LeBron James hit the last second 3 pointer for the win

series against the Cavs.  With just under ten minutes left in the game, the Cavs hold an 82-73 lead.  Things are going to get interesting.  Over the next 3 minutes, the Magic hold the Cavs scoreless and tie the game at 82.  The score remains tight to the end and with one second left the Magic’s Hedo Torkoglu made about an 11 foot jump shot to put the Magic up 95-93.  Cleveland calls timeout, but all seems lost.  The time out allows the Cavs to advance the ball to mid court, but with one second left all there is time for is a desperation catch and shot.  It appears that the Magic will have a 2-0 lead in the series heading home for game three.  Then the miracle happens.  LeBron James catches the inbound pass at the top of the key, turns and lofts a rainbow towards the basket.  The buzzer sounds while the ball is in flight and James finds gold at the end of the rainbow.  His shot finds nothing but net, and the 3 pointer gives the Cavs a 96-95 victory as the stunned crowd of over 20,000, silent as could be just seconds before erupts into bedlam!  The Cavs grab momentum heading to Florida.

There is nothing like playoff action! And the last channel button on your remote.