Monthly Archives: April 2011

One Ridiculous NIght

Good luck with this one Carolina.

I really don’t want to talk about the first round of last night’s NFL draft. It was the most ridiculous first round in the history of the league.

The questions left unanswered, the constant reaching for draft picks, the fact that Daquan Bowers is still on the board and Jake Locker is off of it.

You know what? Forget the introduction let’s just get into it:

1. CAROLINA PANTHERS- CAM NEWTON, QB, AUBURN

They should’ve taken Marcel Daerus instead because he’s ready to make an impact now while Newton is still a work in progress. Also why take the bigger, blacker version of Jimmy Clausen? Highly-touted, arrogant and filled with question marks.

2. DENVER BRONCOS- VON MILLER, LB, TEXAS A&M

On a scale of one to ten how happy do you think John Fox is right now? A definite upgrade for a poor defense.

3. BUFFALO BILLS- MARCEL DAERUS, DT, ALABAMA

Paul Pozluszny you’re welcome.

4. CINCINATTI BENGALS- A.J. GREEN, WR, GEORGIA

The best receiver in the draft goes to a team that really needed defensive line help. The Bengals already have Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Chad whatever his name is now, so why more help on the outside. On the other hand you have to like the fact that the Bengals realize that Chad is getting older and won’t be able to be a primary receiver for much longer. But here’s the big question, who’s going to throw them the ball?

5. ARIZONA CARDINALS- PATRICK PETERSON, DB, LSU

Peterson on one side, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the other? Sam Bradford, Pete Carroll, and Jim Harbaugh all puked in their mouths a little bit.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS (FROM CLEVELAND) – JULIO JONES, WR, ALABAMA

The Falcons should file a police report against the Browns for this.

The Falcons traded 5 draft picks in this years and next year’s draft to pick a wide receiver… A WIDE RECEIVER!!! Did they know that they could’ve stayed in that same 27 spot and gotten Jon Baldwin and Greg little who both can actually catch?

(Side Note: did Mike Holmgren hold a gun to the Falcons head to make this trade? Because there is no way that the Falcons could’ve proposed this deal. Well maybe if they were drunk.)

7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- ALDON SMITH, DE, MISSOURI

The first time in the draft I asked, is this guy better than Bowers? Also the 49ers taking a guy named A. Smith… not a good sign.

8. TENNESSEE TITANS- JAKE LOCKER, QB, WASHINGTON

Ok, if you like a guy and he’s rated high on your then you take him… but taking a QB that everyone had rated in the late first to second round at number, who is an inaccurate passer and has an injury filled past, c’mon son!

9. DALLAS COWBOYS, TYRON SMITH, OT, USC

The Cowboys find the man to protect Tony Romo’s backside, or the next Flozell Adams.

10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (FROM WASHINGTON) – BLAINE GABBERT, QB, MISSOURI

A good trade to get the replacement for David Garrard. Also I think Blaine will fit into the L.A. scene perfectly once this team moves.

11. HOUSTON TEXANS- J.J. WATT, DE, WISCONSIN

The Texans get some much needed help for Mario Williams on the other side of the D-line. Now if they could only fix their secondary then they would have a decent defensive unit.

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- CHRISTIAN PONDER, QB, FLORIDA STATE

Um… ok… you couldn’t trade down and get him in the early second round where he was going to go?

(At this point in the draft I was so annoyed with teams reaching for quarterbacks, making stupid trades and not drafting Daquan Bowers that I considered slamming my head into a wall. Note to the commissioner, don’t ever hold a draft before free agency ever again.)

13. DETROIT LIONS- NICK FAIRLEY, DT, AUBURN

Did you watch the national title game? Now picture that with Ndamukong Suh… now picture Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Ponder all wetting themselves.

14. ST. LOUIS RAMS- ROBERT QUINN, DE, NORTH CAROLINA

Yeah, Steve Spagnuolo is really going to let a freak like Quinn slip by him any longer. Yet two question linger; 1. How pissed do you think Sam Bradford was the Jones was gone at 6 and that Danny Amendola is still his number 1 receiver and 2. Is Quinn better than Bowers?

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS- MIKE POUNCEY, C, FLORIDA

Him and Suh together? GULP!

I wanted the Giants to get Pouncey badly, but it’s good that Miami got a good offensive lineman to protect their scaredy cat quarterback.

16. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (FROM JACKSONVILLE) – RYAN KERRIGAN, DE, PURDUE

The Redskins need everything at this point so Kerrigan is a start, but again, is he better than Bowers?

17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- NATE SOLDER, OT, COLORADO

Solder had questions about his size but his technique is on point and he should help that aging offensive line immediately.

18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- COREY LIUGET, DT, ILLINOIS

A good pick but Prince Amakamura would’ve been better for a poor pass coverage unit that needs a stout cornerback.

19. NEW YORK GIANTS- PRINCE AMAKAMURA, CB, NEBRASKA

Ask me how worried I was that Jerry Reese was going to take another pass rusher… go ahead ask.

Do I like the Amakamura pick? Yeah. With no offensive linemen worth reaching for why not take the second best defensive back in the draft and bolster your pass coverage?

20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS- ADRAIN CLAYBORN, DE, IOWA

If he replicates what he did at Iowa then Tampa’s defense will be back to the Warren Sapp-Simeon Rice days in no time.

21. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM ATLANTA) – PHIL TAYLOR, DT, BAYLOR

The Browns begin rebuilding at every position with the Taylor pick. The first of many gifts from Atlanta at no cost.

(No seriously, I can’t believe Arthur Blank Ok’d that trade. Julio Jones better be the second coming of Jerry Rice or Jesus Christ or the Falcons will pay dearly for this.)

22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS- ANTHONY COSTANZO, OT, BOSTON COLLEGE

The rebuilding of the offensive line continues with Costanzo. Gotta wonder if they’ll improve that run defense though through free agency… whenever that starts.

23. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- DANNY WATKINS, OG, BAYLOR

The Eagles under Andy Reid have drafted 39 offensive linemen from 1998-2011… and they had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year. So really it doesn’t matter that they picked another lineman.

24. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- CAMERON JORDAN, DE, CALIFORNIA

Somehow he's still available.

He shot up the boards with an impressive workout and pro day, but again, is he really better than Bowers?

(Come on now. I know that there are huge concerns about Bowers knee, but this many teams are worried about it? Bowers was a consensus top pick about two months ago now he’s not even going in the first round. Whoever gets Bowers will get a monster with a gigantic chip on his shoulder.)

25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- JON CARPENTER, OG, ALABAMA

So they need offensive line help? Yeah. But who’s he going to block for? Charlie Whitehurst?

26. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- JON BALDWIN, WR, PITTSBURGH

The Chiefs get Dwayne Bowe’s right hand man who has great skill and hands but is a headache on and off of the field. Todd Haley will either set him straight or stab him in the throat…and that wasn’t a joke.

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS- JASON SMITH, DB, COLORADO

The Ravens had ten minutes to work out a deal with Chicago for this deal and couldn’t get it done and Kansas City leapfrogged them for their pick. I see where Joe Flacco gets his bad decision making under pressure from.

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (FROM NEW ENGLANS) – MARK INGRAM, RB, ALABAMA

The Patriots trade for more future picks (shocker) and the Saints draft the underrated Ingram who could be a huge help in the run game.

(Tweet of the night: Reggie Bush: “it’s been fun New Orleans.” For you it has been Reggie, for them it’s been expensive. See ya backing up Darren McFadden in Oakland.)

29. CHICAGO BEARS- GABE CARIMI, OT, WISCONSIN

Jay Cutler had his day made with the All Big Ten lineman. Now if they can only find a receiver or 4.

30. NEW YORK JETS- MUHAMMED WILKERSON, DT, TEMPLE

The one bad thing about watching the draft at a bar with no sound was not being able to hear if the Jets booed their pick or not. Oh well, Wilkerson can’t be any worse than Vernon Gholston.

31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- CAMERON HEYWARD, DE, OHIO STATE

Because the Steelers really need another front 7 player who’s big, strong and skilled. I hate the Steelers I really do.

32. GREEN BAY PACKERS- DEREK SHERROD, OT, MISSISSIPPI STATE

The possible conversation between Aaron Rodgers and Ted Thompson:

AR: did you see what the Lions did?

TT: yeah.

AR: Ok… so what are you going to do about it?

TT: well there really aren’t any linemen on our board Aaron.

AR: (just staring at Thompson)

TT: ok I’ll do something about it

Rodgers then leaves.

So what did we learn about this draft so far?

Cam Newton is worth all of the problems, Julio Jones is football’s Lebron James, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder’s mediocre college careers were just aberrations and apparently Daquan Bowers isn’t that good.

I’m a combination of intrigued and scared to watch the rest of this draft.


Choose Your QB Wisely

I've got a bad feeling about Cam Newton

Cam Newton will be the number one overall pick. Ryan Mallett is being touted as the best overall QB in the draft. Jake Locker has teams drooling over his physical prowess. Blaine Gabbert will be the second QB taken in the draft.

This is the worst QB pool in the last ten years of the draft. I’m serious.

If these guys are your answers at QB then I want to know how bad your problems are. Am I the only person that doesn’t think that any of these QB’s will be good at all?

I watched all 4 of these guys in college and I wasn’t impressed with any of them except Newton at times and any fool knows that as physically imposing as Newton is he is not an NFL QB right now.

Newton played in a spread offense that was so simplistic that Newton looked like a fool trying to explain it to Jon Gruden on ESPN recently. His explanation that the offense worked on a number system was foolish. I think Gruden is still in shock over that interview.

(Side note: I used to really like Newton. I heard about all of the concerns of character issues and his ego and the possibility of race playing into his criticism and I felt that he was being treated unfairly as a guy that handled himself very well when talk of his pay for play scandal broke.

Then I watched that interview with Gruden and about a million red flags about Newton popped up. From the way he was dressed, to his smile, to his simple explanations about the offensive schemes at Auburn all made me feel uneasy about Newton. He gave off an overly arrogant air about him that completely overshadowed his physical football abilities and made me think that maybe this football thing wasn’t his best option in life.

I know about the stolen laptop, the pay for play scandal and the fact that he may have disobeyed Gene Chizik in the national title game and went for a touchdown instead of positioning for a field goal. But even more recently there was the ESPN interview with Gruden, his talk of being an icon in sports and this weekend he walked out of a news conference with reporters in New York before the draft and changed his hotel room to be away from the other draftees. This is not a number 1 pick; this is a red flag the size of Jordan Hare Stadium. Just sayin.)

Besides Newton look at the other 3 big names being mentioned as the best quarterbacks in the first round of the draft.

If you take Ryan Mallett then you might be seeing this perplexing face a lot

Gabbert also played in a spread offense at Missouri although it was more predicated on passing than running. He was very efficient in the first 7 games of the season but after the huge upset of Oklahoma he played two horrendous games at Nebraska and Texas Tech and wasn’t impressive in the last three games of the regular season either.

Gabbert seems like he’s piggybacking off of the Sam Bradford train in the sense that Bradford also ran a high-powered big 12 offense from the spread and put up big numbers.

The difference is that Bradford had great awareness all over the field, better accuracy and at least to me has a higher IQ.

Gabbert is decent, but he isn’t going to wow anyone at all at the next level and he wont have the same impact that Bradford had unless he has the right receivers around him.

The same goes for Ryan Mallett. Forget the weed smoking incident and other off the field issues for a minute and just look at the Sugar Bowl game versus Ohio State (which wont count in about 3 months once 27 more violation reports come out about Jim Tressel.).

In that game Mallett was indecisive with the ball, routinely overthrew receivers and seemed to wilt under the pressure of the moment. Sure his receivers didn’t help him out by dropping 8 passes, however Mallett wasn’t on target even when they weren’t dropping them.

He has the physical tools to be a good QB (6’7”, powerful arm) but he’s not mobile and is a bit of a head case.

When talking to a couple of Arkansas fans at the Sugar Bowl you could hear the frustration in their voices with his decision making in games like in New Orleans and against Alabama and Auburn in key situations. Is it something that he can grow out of? Maybe but why risk your franchises immediate future on a guy with character concerns and questions about his onions in late game scenarios.

Finally there’s Jake Locker… I DON’T GET WHY EVERYONE LIKES LOCKER SO EFFING MUCH!!!

He’s big, he’s strong, he can run fast and has a big arm… he’s also injury prone, inaccurate, plays down to his competition and makes bad decisions with the ball.

I still dont get the obsession over Locker.

I saw him in his freshman season when there was a big deal made out of him and granted, he looked good, but he never got better. He never made Washington better.  He got them to one bowl game this past year and went 5-16 for 56 yards. Yeah he ran for 83 but will he really do that in the NFL? No.

This class of “top-ranked” QB’s is troubling. I don’t see one of these guys making a big time impact in the league in the immediate future and could eventually flame out. To me the best QB’s in this draft are available at the end of the first round and into the third round.

How can you not like Andy Dalton over any of these QB’s? Dalton won 42 games at TCU including a Rose Bowl. All he does is win. His arm isn’t as strong as the other QB’s (but neither was Aaron Rodgers’s arm) and he’s got red hair (read the USA Today article about how his red hair is a red flag… no seriously.), but he’s a winner. Locker didn’t win as many games as him, nor did Mallett or Newton for that matter even with the National Championship. Dalton looked adversity in the face time and time again and always came out on top. That’s what I like in a QB, a winner and a guy that can handle pressure.

And if you like an athletic quarterback with who can make the leap from a spread offense to a pro-style offense then why not Colin Kaepernick from Nevada?

Unlike Locker and Newton and Gabbert, Kaepernick got better as each year went by. He’s 6’4” and about 230, which makes him the size of Carson Palmer and he’s got Newton’s elusiveness, Locker’s speed and he’s accurate. He made the jump this year from a 58% passer to a 64% passer. Not bad for a guy that operated out of the “pistol”, which hopefully no NFL offense will ever run.

There’s also Christian Ponder who may have the best combination of arm strength and accuracy of any QB in this draft and Greg McElroy who only won a national title at Alabama and played in more big games in 3 years than any other QB in this draft.

So why waste a top pick on a QB that has as many question marks as the top 4 QB’s in this draft do? Why not take Marcel Daerus first overall and improve your defense or take Patrick Peterson? Why set back yourself 5 years with Newton when 80% of the league wouldn’t touch him with a flagpole?

Quarterback is the most important position in this league and you cant make any mistakes when picking one or else it will set you back years. That’s when tonight’s draft rolls around anyone picking Newton, Gabbert, Mallett or Locker will do themselves a great disservice.


Ryan Miller Has To Step It Up For The Sabres

Ryan Miller's performance yesterday overshadowed Philadelphia's own goaltending problems.

Ok, so the Philadelphia Flyers goaltending has been terrible for the last 5 of the 6 games in this series versus the Buffalo Sabres (okay it’s been bad for the last 16 years. Sorry, but I was trying to think in terms of this series.). Whether it’s Sergei Bobrovski, Brian Boucher or Michael Leighton the Flyers have allowed the Sabres to score some ridiculously bad goals and because of that the series will enter a game 7 on Tuesday night.

However, as bad as the Flyers have been Ryan Miller has been the most disappointing goaltender in this series.

Now you’re probably saying um, Kevin… he has two shut outs in the series. Well to you I say I know and thank you for such an astute observation. However, have you also not seen him allow 4 goals in the series 3 times, almost give back game 5 after the Sabres jumped out to a 3-0 lead and watch him not control any of the rebounds that led to 3 of the Flyers goals last night?

In his defense, Tyler Myers and the Sabres defense did little to nothing to help clear the front of the net for Miller and it led to 2 goals that Miller just couldn’t see.

With that said, Miller’s performance in this series has not been indicative of who he is a goaltender and it’s the reason why the Sabres are going back to Philadelphia for game 7 instead of getting ready for the Capitals.

Miller has looked skittish at time in the series, even scared. There were times yesterday when he looked like he didn’t want to be on the ice at all. This is not the same goalie that carried Team USA to the Gold Medal Game last February, or the one that carried the Sabres to the playoffs at the end of the regular season.

Miller has allowed too many rebounds to get by him in this series.

One cause for his off and on play this series could be that he’s still feeling the effects of an injury that he suffered against the Maple Leafs in late March.

Miller took a puck off of his chest and mask and missed the rest of the regular season to recover from what may have been a concussion. Yet in game 1 he was ready to go and showed no effects… until these last 5 games.

He’s been in position for most of the Flyers goals but just hasn’t made the plays to stop them from scoring. Danny Briere has scored 4 goals in the series all off of rebounds that Miller couldn’t control. Guys like Claude Giroux have taken clear view shots that haven’t too hard to stop, but Miller has let them through.

As bad as the Sabres goals have been that the Flyers have allowed Miller has allowed some that have been just as questionable.

So would I pull Miller at this point? No I wouldn’t because he’s the guy that got you here and why put a little used backup like Jonas Enroth in net, which would put doubt in your starter (hi, Alain Vigneault)?

But I would be concerned. If Miller isn’t on his game for game 7 then the Sabres are done. Sure Myers and the defense have to play better and Thomas Vanek has to keep up his scoring output that he’s done over the course of this series, but this team falls if Miller isn’t the Vezina winning goalie that he has been.

So while the Flyers goaltending remains an issue going into tomorrow, don’t think that the Sabres shouldn’t be concerned about theirs either.


The Spurs Backs Are Against The Wall

Tim Duncan and the Spurs are still searching for answers.

Manu Ginobili’s elbow didn’t lose them 6 straight in March. Their lack of size didn’t win them 61 games in the regular season. Lackluster bench production didn’t hinder them in a 30 point win versus Miami two months ago.

So for the San Antonio Spurs there are no excuses for the team that was supposedly the best in the league up until the last two months of the regular season and now the postseason.  Not Antonio McDyess’s health, not Manu’s health, nothing.

Sure the Memphis Grizzlies might be a tough matchup due to their up-tempo play and never say die attitude. But here are two reasons why that shouldn’t matter.

1. The San Antonio Spurs are former 4-time NBA Champs. They’ve been in tough situations before and the experience of Tim Duncan, Ginobili, Tony Parker and Gregg Poppovich should be more than enough to handle the young Grizzlies and their rookie head coach.

The Spurs played in and won a tough seven game series against the Detroit Pistons for title number three. They’ve overcome Kobe Bryant’s Lakers when they were seeking their fourth straight title. They engaged in battles with the Phoenix Suns and came out on top of every war. So how can they not take care of playoff rookies Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo and Sam Young? Even with Tony Allen and Shane Battier’s battle tested playoff resumes they’re not the Spurs.

2. The Spurs do realize that Rudy Gay, Memphis’s best player, isn’t playing right?

Z-Bo and the Grizzlies have been taking it to the Spurs.

Gay is missing the rest of the regular season and the playoffs with a dislocated shoulder that will take 6 months to heal. Even with Battier’s defensive presence taking his place the Spurs should be able to take advantage of his absence and focus more of Zach Randolph and others defensively.

Instead the Spurs have been collapsing defensively. They allowed Memphis to shoot 55% in a game one loss, Zach Randolph is averaging 20+ a game in the series, Mike Conley has been outplaying Parker, the Spurs have been turning the ball over more than Memphis, and late in games the Grizzlies have been looking like the former champions while the Spurs have been wilting under the light.

Now on the eve of Monday’s must win game 4, the Spurs are still trying to awake from a coma that the Lakers suffered in game 1 versus  New Orleans but have overcome, and that Dallas is currently struggling with versus Portland.

It has to start on the defensive end. Parker and George Hill have to contain Mike Conley, and the bigs of San Antonio have to overpower the bigs of Memphis. The Spurs have been out rebounding the Grizzlies but Randolph and Marc Gasol have been beating up on Duncan, McDyess and Dejuan Blair and San Antonio’s small interior. McDyess and Blair off the bench have to assert themselves and control the paint on both ends of the floor to give the Spurs a chance to even up the series.

Also, Richard Jefferson has to come out of hiding.

His 4 point, 5 rebound laugher last game can’t be replicated. His game has to step up past the 11 point, 5 rebound a game clip that it’s currently at and he has to take his game to another level to alleviate the pressure from Parker, Ginobili and Duncan offensively.

The Spurs have had their backs to the wall before, but this might be a different task than the ones asked of them before.

Tomorrow night they enter a hostile and loud environment at the FedEx Forum and face a young and hungry team desperate to make themselves known and that will be taking it to the Spurs for 48 full minutes.

But these are the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve played these types of games and know what it takes to come out on top. If these are the Spurs I know then tomorrow night they’ll be leaving Memphis tied at 2. It doesn’t matter who is injured, who is struggling or that they’re too small inside. For the Spurs there are no excuses.


The Rangers And Knicks Are Killing Themselves

Henrik Lundquist cant believe how these playoffs have played out so far for the Rangers

Jared Jeffries’s turnover, Marian Gaborik’s tip away, Ray Allen’s three, Alex Semin’s Goal, two blown halftime leads, two blown leads late in the third period… the last week in New York playoff sports have been a nightmare (and don’t get me started on the Yankees pitching woes either.).

This has been about as depressing as it gets. Watching the Rangers and Knicks blow leads to two teams that they’re not better than, but had outplayed in the majority of the games that they played.

The Rangers should be up 3-1, the Knicks should be up 2-0, and the reasons that they’re not are maddening.

First the Rangers ills have been not being able to close out an opponent (much like how they weren’t able to close out a playoff spot in the regular season). In game 1 against the Capitals they led 1-0 late in the third thanks to great goaltending by Henrik Lundquist and the defensive work of Marc Stall and company. Then in an instant Alex Ovechkin ties the game thanks to a fluke tip in where Derek Stepan, Staal, and Lundquist all couldn’t get a stick on the puck even though it was there in front of them.

The overtime goal was even worse as Staal seemed to nonchalantly make a clearing pass out of the zone that ended up on Jason Arnott’s stick, then Semin’s, then the back of the net. Defeat from the jaws of victory.

Then came last night. Not even 24 hours after the Los Angeles Kings blew a 4-0 lead in two periods, the Rangers upped them by doing it in ten minutes. After two periods of Rangers domination where the Rangers and the crowd was bullying the Capitals (last time Bruce Boudreau ever comments about crowd noise), the crowd stood in shock as Semin knocked in a loose puck that Lundquist lost track of, then after Marcus Johansson scored on a tip-in to make it 3-2 he scored on a lucky bounce off of a Karl Alzner slap shot to make it 3 all.

The worst of all came in double OT as Jason Chimera had his shot blocked and it looked like Lundquist was going to cover it up for a faceoff in his zone. For some reason Gaborik decided to knock the puck away from Lundquist right as he reached for it and it landed right on Chimera’s stick and the comeback was complete.

Carmelo and the Knicks are on the brink thanks to lackluster play from his teammates.

Three fluke goals, three to one deficit, the Rangers have redefined the stomach punch loss.

(Side note: Marian Gaborik has been a disaster the second half of this year. That boneheaded play combined with his lackluster offensive production has me and other Rangers fans doubting where his head is right now. If he can’t score goals and is causing some to go in then why is he on the ice? Last night the Rangers went 0-7 on the power play and are 1-234 in the series. Actual stat. That is Gaborik’s bread and butter and he’s not delivering. If this keeps up then next year he’ll be with Wade Redden in Connecticut.)

If that wasn’t enough, it came after the New York Knicks snatched defeat from victory in two straight games.

The Knicks had outplayed the Celtics and were in prime position to win both games even with Carmelo Anthony playing poorly in game one and without Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups in game 2.

In game 1 the Knicks led by 12 at the half and Stoudemire was destroying Kevin Garnett and company on the inside. Then somehow in the last 5 minutes of the game he doesn’t get one touch. Yeah Melo went 1-11 in the second half but the fact that Amar’e doesn’t get the ball that late in the game when he had dominated throughout was horrible.

The shot selection by Melo, Toney Douglas and others was typical Mike D’Antoni offense. If Amar’e gets the ball the Knicks win by 10, since he didn’t, and D’Antoni didn’t stress that in the huddle, the Knicks lost.

Game 2 may have been the nail in the coffin though. After losing Amar’e to back spasms Anthony took all of New York on his back with his 42 point, 17 rebound, 6 assist performance where he was the only Knick to shoot anywhere near 50% as Bill Walker shot 0-11 and Douglas went 5-16 (two things on Douglas real quick. 1. There is no way that Douglas should ever be allowed to take 16 shots in a playoff game, EVER. 2. Douglas ‘s poor shot selection at times is the reason that the Knicks need to actively look for a point guard this offseason. He’s not capable of carrying a second unit and keeping the Knicks in front or in the game.).

Marian Gaborik hasnt been helping the Rangers much this postseason.

With 12 seconds left Melo got an inbounds past where he was immediately double-teamed and Melo through a strike to a cutting Jeffries who had a good look at the rim… if he would’ve turned in the right direction and not directly into Kevin Garnett. Melo got criticized for passing the ball in that situation but that was his best option. He couldn’t hoist a bad three over two defenders and his pass to Jeffries was on point. The real issue was that Jeffries made a bad play on the ball (really Jared Jeffries? No.) and couldn’t finish.

The Knicks main issue is there lack of reliable role players. Walker, Douglas and Jeffries aren’t able to play big in these situations and that, combined with the lack of big men, are the reason that they’re down 2-0.

With the Knicks heading home in a rut down in a series they enter the a depressed Madison Square Garden after the Rangers put themselves on the brink with a terrible game 4 loss.

After this weekend both teams will be done. Both the Rangers and Knicks are a year away from being serious contenders and it couldn’t be more apparent.

The Rangers need to learn how to close, the Knicks need the players to close. The Rangers need to get better offensively, the Knicks need to get better defensively. Both teams’ big time players need to play big, and both teams need to learn how to protect leads.

It’s been a frustrating week for New York fans in the Garden watching these two teams fall apart fortunately it’ll all be over sooner than later.


The Kings Fortunes Come Crashing Down

The Sharks comeback left them jubilated and the Kings stunned.

The Staples Center was rocking, the Los Angeles Kings were on fire, and the San Jose Sharks had no answers. Antti Niemi was pulled, the score was 4-0, and it looked like the Sharks had gone back to their playoff underachieving ways.

In reality they had the Kings right where they wanted them.

The Sharks survived an early barrage of goals by the Kings to score five in the second period and tie the game at five heading into the third period and eventually overtime.

In overtime Devin Setoguchi put the Kings out of their misery with a game-winner that shocked the Kings and left the Staples Center crowd stunned in disbelief.

How did a game that was so one-sided end up turning the other way? Even the Kings don’t know.

The Brad Richardson, Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford line was dominating San Jose scoring two goals and creating a bevy of opportunities for the Kings. Their physicality and energy wore down the Sharks and kept Niemi on his toes to the point that on Richardson’s tally he misplayed the puck that led to the goal.

Once he left the game the fortunes seemed to turn in favor of the Sharks and turn in furious fashion.

All three lines and every big name for the Sharks got involved in the action and turned their level of play up a notch. Patrick Marleau started the fury then came rookie sensation Logan Couture, Ryan Clowe, Joe Pavelski then finally Setoguchi in OT. All in all the Sharks scored 5 goals on 18 shots and found holes in a young and overmatched Kings defense.

Michal Handzus and the Kings were eaily up 2-1 but are now in that hole.

As bad as Jonathan Quick looked from the second period on a lot of the blame has to go on to the shoulders of Drew Doughty who after playing the best game of his playoff career played the worst one.

He was routinely out of position and caught off guard. On the Setoguchi goal Doughty was way out of position and had couldn’t catch up to Setoguchi to even make an attempt on the puck. His poor play along with the lackluster play of Alec Martinez and the rest of the defensemen had as much to do with the Kings losing the game as Marleau, Couture and the Sharks stepping up to win it.

So who does this affect more, the Kings or Sharks?

The postseason ills of the Sharks have been much chronicled. After a terrible game two and first period of game three you could start to see the wheels coming off again for them. However, after such a furious comeback you have to wonder if the least talked about team in the Western Conference can turn this win into a mini run towards the Stanley Cup finals. It would have to start with Niemi playing better in net for them to have a shot, but when you spot a team 4 goals and comeback with ease then that tells you something about how good this team can be when it brings it’s a game.

As for the Kings their youth and inexperience showed its ugly head again. They’ve shown that they can score without the presence of their best scorer Anze Kopitar, but their focus will be a huge question mark heading into the rest of the series. Can a team this young come back from such a devastating defeat? I don’t think so.

I picked them to win the Cup at the beginning of the year but this team clearly isn’t ready yet. Unless Quick, Doughty and others play more consistently they’ll be exiting stage left in the first for the second consecutive year.

The Sharks are up 2-1 with a huge mental advantage going into game 4, quite a change for a team that has been long known for their playoff shortcomings. They have a chance to put the Kings, who are down in the dumps, on their backs for good. After last night’s 6-5 OT victory it looks like they’ll be able to handle that no matter what the Kings throw at them.


A Poem For The Bruins Misery

The Bruins are in deep trouble after Montreal took two in Boston.

To Whom It May Concern, the Bruins of Boston

Your run at Lord you are certainly costing

Losing two at home to a familiar foe

That has owned you since the Richard Brothers long long ago

Down 2-0 heading back to Montreal

How can we not expect you to do anything but fall?

You have scored 1 goal and given up five

If not for Tim Thomas you would barely be alive

Carey Price has turned away all attempts good and bad

And Milan Lucic performance has been very sad

The crowd favorite who had a breakthrough year

Has made little noise and has his own fans in tears

I hate to bring this up but lest we forget

You’ve lost six straight playoff games I’m sure you’d like to forget

That devastating meltdown last year against the Flyers

That you seemed to let go and let build a fire

But dogs lets face it those losses still fester

And this team right now is one big mess sir

Chara is injured the crowd wants Julien fired

Is this the East’s three seed that was chasing the cup it desired

Is this the rugged bunch that knocked opponents around?

Where’s Shawn Thornton’s toughness to energize the crowd?

Where’s Nathan Horton’s offense and Bergeron and Krejci?

Is this really a weak team that lack’s a tough psychy?

You’re down 2-0 headed to the Bell Centre

Where a hellacious crowd awaits ready to end ya

If the Bruins want to come back in this series Milan Lucic has to step up.

They’ve seen Lafleur kill you and Roy and Koivu

Fact is that Montreal likes to annoy you

They’ve been better for so long and yeah they know it

Their na-na-na hey-hey’s definitely show it

P.K. is baling and so is Cammalleri

And Hal Gill and Gionta are making life scary

If you lose tomorrow you’d better mail it in

Because unlike the Flyers there’s no chance you’ll win

7 straight losses 3 to your rival

It’s enough to make Don Cherry act suicidal

My advice is man up you play in Boston

Where the Red Sox and Pats and C’s win often

Channel Bobby Orr and Terry Reilly

Offense step up and defense play wisely

Timmy stand on your head you’re this team’s only hope

If you play like you did Saturday then there’s no hope

2 in the first 2 minutes 20 seconds

Do that again and you’ll see an early exit

Chara get healthy, Ryder step up

Lucic get your head right and turn your game up

They call you the next Neely and if this is true

Then tomorrow you’ll turn Carey Price into stew

Do all of these things and you’ll see another day

If not then you’ll have wasted these last 6 months away

Another offseason to sit back and wonder

How another weaker team put you six feet under

So as you await a must win game 3

Put away last year’s Flyers misery

If you don’t then by Thursday you’ll hear an old Montreal cry

Na-na-na-na hey-hey-hey goodbye!!!!!