Misc. sports thread (covering NHL, MLB, anything else anyone wants to talk about)

We have dedicated threads for (I believe):

Football
American Football
Cricket
Basketball
Cycling
Rugby League
Anything else…?

Shall we use this to chat about stuff not covered there^, that prob doesn’t merit a thread in its own right?

General sports chat welcomed as well of course.

Just use it for whatever, I’m not the boss of you!

@daggers

NHL team guide incoming.

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Hockey could use more fans. Welcome to my guide on NHL teams!

Anaheim Ducks

Once dominant, tough, grinding team has been on the decline since about 2014 as their core gets slower and their GM refuses to bring in any high scoring talent. Stellar goaltender carries the team on his back every season.

Great recent highlight: Paul Kariya gets knocked out, returns to the ice and scores game winner (CW mildly shocking footage):


Current status: offseason

Arizona Coyotes

Who? One of the most boring teams ever, hockey forced into the desert and begged to succeed. My best friend is a huge fan so I’ve seen many of their games. Recently bought in some big fish (Kessel, Hall) to help them score goals. Some of the best goaltending in the league. Could go far, but even if they did, nobody would pay attention to them

Great recent highlight: Goaltender Mike Smith scoring a goal


Current status: Stanley Cup playoff qualifiers

Boston Bruins

Big, bad bunch of bullies who have seen playoff appearances for a decade straight. Won in 2011, reached the final and lost twice since then. Will continue to be successful but for how much longer before the core is blown up is unknown. Have some legitimately exciting young talent both on offense and defense.

Great recent highlight: winning the cup in 2011, though I haven’t revisited this series since it happened and refuse to acknowledge it


Current status: First in NHL regular season, currently awaiting first playoff opponent

Buffalo Sabres

Next season will be the one - and it never is. I honestly have no idea what is wrong with this team, a decade of poor management and performance means they don’t really have an identity. Intentionally tanked in 2017, but only got 2nd pick out of it.

Great recent highlight: Jack Eichel existing


current status: offseason

Calgary Flames

Alberta’s finest (not that difficult really) loaded top to bottom with offensive talent, but have had something like 5 different head coaches in 5 seasons so hard for the players to buy into a system. Recently burned (heh) by the same goalie shown above which lead to an early playoff exit, this team really is due a deep run if they can find stability in net and a coach who can get the players to buy-in and win now.

Great recent highlight: Goalie fight!


Current status: Advanced to playoff first round

Carolina Hurricanes

Were the dumpster of the NHL since their lone cup in 2006, this team has quietly become fierce. Young European/North American talent that is really exciting to watch. This team did damage last playoffs and will do so again this season. Can’t see them declining soon and could go very far soon. Not many players to hate, a very neutral and accessible team

Great recent highlight: they get into some weird shit on ice once the game is over


Current status: Advanced to playoff first round

Chicago Blackhawks

Probably the only recent dynasty with 3 cups in 6 seasons with pretty much the same core and interchangeable minor parts. Team almost got sold off and moved in the 90s, but landed generational talent Patrick Kane and since he scored the cup-winning goal in 2010 the appeared to be virtually unstoppable. Hit a rut in the last few seasons, causing their GM to try get the band back together albiet under a new coach. Managed to scoop into the playoff qualifiers this season despite an average season, but this team is definitely on a downward trend.

Great recent highlight: Winning the cup in 17 seconds (suck it Boston)


current status - playoff qualifiers

Colorado Avalanche

1990/early 2000s powerhouse turned basement 2010s team but have recently become very fast and very scary. I have a soft spot for this team after spending time in Denver and I like their jerseys. Having put in the time for a rebuild they are due and deserve success in the seasons to come, and have a young roster to support this. Look out for this team.

Great recent highlight (ok, not that recent but still very very classy)


Current status: currently awaiting first playoff opponent

will add more later! Let me know if this is of any help and I’ll continue

Columbus Blue Jackets

Kind of a nobody but not a basement team, don’t have much history due to being an expansion team circa 2000, they have recently found huge Cinderella success in the last few playoff series and taken out titan teams in the first rounds. Paid huge last season for 3 free agents who then walked this season, they play with large heart as if they have something to prove. Have the most eccentric coach in the league and while he’s an asshole to players, his on-ice product is clearly working.

Recent great highlight: Sweeping the best team in the regular season, just utterly shook the entire league in 4 games.

Current status: playoff qualifiers

Dallas Stars

Have some great fast-skating and heavy-hitting players, and appeared to go deep this season until their coach was fired to help him deal with alcoholism they haven’t won a game in something like 10 straight. They can’t quite seem to figure out what the missing piece is, but it’s definitely defense as their goaltending face the firing squad pretty much every game.

Recent great highlight: Not many to choose, so here is them winning the cup

Current status: playoff seed

Detroit Red Wings

Were a powerhouse team from 1990s-early 2010s, had something like 23 straight playoff appearances. Won most recently in 08, and lost in 09 to the same team they beat. Success has caught up with them though, and now they are a basement team loaded with horrendous contracts and an aging core. Have some great prospects but are going to be rebuilding for a few years to come.

Recent great highlight: last game at the Joe

Current status: offseason

Edmonton Oilers

I can’t write this one with a straight face but here goes. Have won 1st overall pick 3 times in a decade and have no real success to show for it despite many great coaching hires and supporting players. Were mostly let down by defense, they have a good heavy blue line now, and some stability in goal, but this team is really only carried by 2 superstars in McDavid and Draisaitl. Have just been bounced by last-seed Chicago so will be heading to the golf course early. Still, McDavid is an absolute beast and a joy to watch, no matter how much this team is a continual failure

Recent great highlight: just any McDavid reel really

Current status: offseason

Florida Panthers

Were finally starting to see some competitive playoff appearances, but shelled out stupid money for an aging Bobrovsky in net who was absolutely sub-par this season (and cost me my fantasy league). GM also pulled off a bizarre trade just before the deadline, which didn’t really improve things. If their goalie can pull himself together and not just sit on Miami beach counting his millions, this team has a real shot at being dangerous.

Recent great highlight: 20 round shootout

Current status: offseason

LA Kings

Made some noise in the 90s when they landed Gretzky in a trade, but failed to win a cup until their recent '12 and '14 cup success. Unfortunately that core is getting on, and goalie Quick is slowing down, they will be a basement team for a few seasons to come.

Recent great highlight: 2014 cup

Current status: offseason

Minnesota Wild


Are quite a middling team carried on the back of superstar goalie redemption project Dubnyk, play a tight stingy defense but have no real goal-scoring superstars. Traded for Fiala this season, who caused some trouble in the playoffs, but were ultimately bounced in the qualifying round. Won’t have money to spend on free agents until they clear some older players, but will continue to compete for at least playoff seeding for a few more seasons.

Recent great highlight: signing Parise/Suter hometown heroes

current status: offseason

Montreal Canadiens

The lesser of evil Eastern Canadian market teams, were poised to do well 2010-2015 but mostly on the back of elite goalie Price. Have fallen off a bit recently, traded away some key pieces and fired good coaches - but are limited to who they can hire due to some archaic French-Canadian requirement. Barely made the playoffs this season, but upset heavy favorites Pittsburgh so who knows how well they can do. Will be relying on their blue line more than ever, and Weber is showing to be a key piece on both sides of the ice. If their youth can step up and support Price with some offense, this could be an interesting playoffs for them - and any finish will be considered a success due to how they finished in the regular season. They face the Flyers in the first round - will be an absolute bloodbath

Recent great highlight: I remember this game well, so I’ll put it here:

Current status: First round playoffs

Nashville Predators

Another well-balanced, well-disciplined team with maybe the best blue line in the West who are often bailed out by their goalie, who has also cost them a few key games to deny them playoff success. Were beaten by Pittsburgh in 2017 during which they were shut out twice, just completely run out of steam after beating the gauntlet that is West Coast playoff hockey. I think this team will be a bubble playoff team for a while until Rinne retires, then will have to wait and see what the GM does with the remaining contracts or just plugs the goalie gap and continues to roll a mostly successful team.

Recent great highlight: making the cup final is probably their best recent memory even though they didn’t win it all

Current status: offseason

New Jersey Devils

This team fell off very quickly. Lost the cup in 2012 due to a single awful penalty, saw some recent success when they traded for Taylor Hall, who battled many injuries and was shipped off again just this season. Threw some FAs at the team but they couldn’t pull it together and things were made worse by completely diminshed returns from superstar goalie Schneider. Basement team with bubble potential if they can fix their offense and goaltending.

Recent great highlight: First overall picks Hughes and Hischier

Current status: offseason

New York Islanders

Fans hang their hats on an early 80’s dynasty in which they won 4 straight cups but have since really been a basement dweller for much of the 90s and 2000s. Have had some horrendous management/ownership and a GM who gave out horrendous contracts that crippled the team for many years (the team are still paying a goalie who hasn’t played since 2010).

However, after the team has been sold to committed ownership, a series of good offseason trades/slow but patient rebuild, this team is a few key pieces away from being a true contender. Have one of the best coaches in the league, a cupboard stocked with great prospects, some already amazing NHL ready talent, and solid dependable goaltending depth for the next few seasons. I’m not going to mention Tavares - their loyal captain for 8 seasons leaving to play in Toronto who have managed to do even worse since he arrived while the Islanders team without him has seemed to have done better.

Recent great highlight: Tavares scoring the winner to give the Isles their first playoff series win since 1993. Bittersweet.

Current status: First round

New York Rangers

Have been a competitor for as long as I can remember, however their last success was in 1994. Lost to LA in 2014, haven’t been as close since. Entered rebuild phase about 2 seasons ago, which was a joke as they landed a #2 pick, top free agent Panarin and then the #1 pick in next season’s draft. Rebuild over.

Recent great highlight: Reaching the final, though they lost - this series was a lot closer than it appeared on paper

Current status: offseason

Ottawa Senators

Very competitive and exciting team during the early 2000 and 10s, were within 1 goal of advancing to the cup in 2017 when they were beaten by Pittsburgh in a heartbreaking loss. The GM/owner proceeded to blow up the team due not wanting to spend any money and the team were destined for the basement for seasons to follow. Tough break for the fans and franchise, who were calling for the owner’s head… but it has paid off as the cupboard is well-stocked and they have some high picks coming into this season’s draft. Will be back to being competitive again, which should see their loyal fanbase rewarded and a great franchise restored.

Recent great highlight: I picked the outdoor win vs. Montreal as there hasn’t been much to be excited about recently

Current status: offseason

Philadelphia Flyers

Honestly, this team is bonkers. Are up there with the most hated team/fanbase, lost in 2010 and have been a bubble team consistently since then, were let down by an unreliable door of goaltenders and up-and-down seasons. However, since recruiting the most bizarre mascot in modern sports (Gritty) and some very good young talent, they have quietly become a real threat and I personally think they have a strong shot at the cup this season. I always watch Flyers games when I have the chance, no matter who they are playing, as they are consistently an entertaining team.

Recent great highlight: Gritty? Gritty.

Current status: First round playoffs

Pittsburgh Penguins

Almost a dynasty in '91-92 and '16-17, an absolute powerhouse of east coast hockey, GM Rutherford always manages to make key trades before the deadline to support his core of Crosby, Malkin and Letang to make deep runs without mortgaging the future too much. However, the window might be closing due to early exit at the hands of Montreal and the core aging, this current iteration might soon be blown up for spare parts. Haven’t got too many horrendous contracts to clear, so shouldn’t be too hard to rebuild this team.

Recent great highlight: Repeating as cup winners in 2017

Current status: offseason

San Jose Sharks

Another one of those bridesmaid teams, made it to the final in '16 to lose at the hands of Pittsburgh, who ran circles around this tough heavy hitting west coast team. Have some horrendous contracts for a non-playoff team, although it is fairly obvious this season’s failure is mostly due to goaltending. I don’t know about this one, if they can land a new goalie and avoid injuries to key players… we should see the return of strong southern Cali hockey.

Recent great highlight: Should be their run to the final in '16 which includes this one of them finally exorcising the demons and beating LA, who had their number for a few seasons prior

Current status: offseason

Seattle Kraken

Will be the newest NHL team come '20-21 season. Not much is known yet but if you’re looking to get into hockey, why not follow these guys from their inception?

Recent great highlight: This weird ass announcement video

Current status: awaiting '20-21 expansion draft

St. Louis Blues

Were a great example of “they have all the pieces, what is the problem?” when it came to playoff runs. Consistently a high scoring, hard hitting west team who could never quite pull it all together despite terrific coaching. However, in '19 after being at the literal bottom of the league, enter superstar rookie Binnington who put the team on their back and dragged them from the basement into the playoffs, then past Winnipeg, Dallas and San Jose, then Boston (atta boy) to win their first cup in team history. You could argue it was all the goalie but the entire team contributed a balanced scoring and well-defended team (bar one 7-2 blemish) and deserved to win. I won’t cheer for them when they play my team (and they currently are, first round) but I am always happy to see an underdog win a cup

Recent great highlight: Stanley Cup winners, 2019

Current status: first round

Tampa Bay Lightning


Are one of the most fierce east coast teams of recent memory, really bizarre they don’t have a cup to show for it since 2004. Made the final in 2015 and lost to Chicago, but have been a winning team on paper consisitently in the 2010s. Were famously swept in 2019 which stunned the hockey world and made a meal of Kucherov’s 128pt season and Vasilevskiy’s Vezina-winning season. This team will surely have a cup soon, nothing else would make sense

Recent great highlight: Kucherov 2019

Current status: First round playoffs

Toronto Maple Leafs

Don’t have the energy for this one. Haven’t won a playoff series since 2004 and have the worst fan base in North American sports. I will say if you can stay unbiased they do have some high-energy entertaining hockey and some good young talent.

Recent great highlight: I can’t resist

Current status: eliminated from playoffs/offseason

Vancouver Canucks

This is my team but I’ll try not be biased, and have been a well-hated franchise/fanbase for most of the current era. Made it to the finals in 2011 where they lost in 7 games on home ice by a tougher, more disciplined Boston team with a goaltender playing absolutely out of his mind. Led by the generational twin Sedin brothers, franchise goalie Luongo and Selke-winner Kesler, they were picked to almost replicate this performance in the following playoffs, only to be bounced first round by LA. Pressured by ownership not to blow it up, the team continued to “re-tool” and sign average middle 6 talent and awful coaches without acknowledging the team needed serious work.

Fast-foward to now, the team has balanced depth, some grit (who are prone to being injured), medium defense and consistent yet not fully proven goaltending, any finish to the season now will be a win for this still green and inexperienced team. The future is bright though, after 9 seasons of suffering we are looking a bit more stable.

Recent great highlight: Burrows “slaying the dragon” and giving Vancouver a win over big rival Chicago

Vegas Golden Knights

The newest team in the NHL, GM Poyle was quick to assemble a very competitive roster through trades and expansion drafting. Nobody really saw this team doing well - as expansion teams rarely do in their first season - but they went and made it to the cup final. This was around the time of the mass shooting, so the newly formed fanbase were bonded quickly. One of the most interesting things to me in their first season is that they went through 5 goalies due to injuries, yet still came away with strong goaltending performances and wins. The next season they did not do so well, due to a contentious penalty in game 7 of the first round saw them concede 2 goals on a 5 minute major and blow a 3 goal lead. They look to do very well in these playoffs too. Expansion draft OP pls nerf

Recent great highlight: First goal in team history

current status: First round playoffs

Washington Capitals

Similar to St Louis, were a very well built team for a decade with no cup to show. Recently they were able to shake off many playoff failures - including slaying the dragon and finally beating Pittsburgh - and bring home their first cup. Well-rounded team, led by their core of eccentric Russian forward Ovechkin, dashing and elegant goaltender Holtby and perhaps the most underrated center in the league Backstrom. I can’t see them repeating their success after they lost coach Trotz (cheers btw) but are still an exciting and dangerous team to watch.

Recent great highlight: First Cup win

Current status: First round playoffs

Winnipeg Jets *

Moved to Arizona and then were moved from Atlanta, this was a mostly basement team since their move up until the last 4-5 seasons where they have amassed some real young, high scoring talent and solid goaltending. Lost something like all their top-4 defenders in one season so have had a huge gap to fill. Despite this they gained a chance to qualify for the playoffs, but were beated by the more sturdy and playoff-ready Flames team (doesn’t help they lost 2 of their best offensemen to injury). If they can plug their holes in defense and keep the core intact, they should be a competitive team for the next few seasons.

Recent great highlight: Making it to the Western Conference final

Current status: First round playoffs

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Lovely stuff - this is absolutely perfect. Thanks so much!

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Anyone watching the PGA championship this weekend?

Not watching, but following.

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asked the mods to add some more stuff to my NHL post, sorry it’s taking so long!

16 teams have been finalised for the playoffs which start Tuesday night UK time. Go Vancouver!

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Casey’s never gonna win a major, is he? morikawa has more wins than missed cuts on the tour - that’s crazy! Glad it wasn’t Koepka again.

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What are your thoughts on the Panthers and Redwings, my two teams

Watched some of the PGA Championship and golf is the one sport which is improved by the absence of spectators

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I watched the PGA. Yay!

image

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wheel team bad

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I’ve watched a lot of the golf recently (hence the above bet) and it’s been really good. Feels like quite a few of the boring mid-pack are being swept away and a bunch of bright young things are coming through, Morikawa obviously but also Matthew Wolff, Cameron Champ (A+ name too) and Victor Hovland. The best of the old guard are still there too, Casey was brilliant this week and Rose made top 10 despite having to grind it out all week.

Then there’s Bryson DeChambeau. If you haven’t watched you won’t have noticed that Bryson took the lockdown as an opportunity to add 20 pounds of pure muscle. He’s bombing it 30 yards past where he did and winds up for every drive like it’s the last one he’ll ever do. He’s challenging in every tournament and it is more or less ALL the commentators can talk about. (It also ignores that his iron play and putting are also much improved).

All in all it is a fun time to watch golf.

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It’s mad how irrelevant Jordan Spieth seems to have become. Thought he was going to dominate for years.

Also a fan of the name Scottie Schleffer if we’re talking about alliterative names

Same thing happened with McIlroy didn’t it? Raced out to a couple of Majors and then stalled

But at least McIlroy occasionally threatens at majors and he won a few tournaments last year. Jordan hasn’t won since 2017 and is outside the top 50 now.

McIlroy is in a poor patch of form but still a danger every week. Spieth has gone completely to pot, it’s hard to watch and very strange except that golf is hard to stay on top of. Just goes to show how incredible Woods was to stay on top for so long, an absolute one of a kind.

well, apart from Nicklaus…

I think the competition around Nicklaus was poorer after the top 5, but I’m also hardly going to argue that he didn’t have similar longevity and dominance. Lets say Woods was one of a kind in the current era.

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