Monday, June 15, 2009

Notebook Items For a Monday.....

  • Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins on their Stanley Cup victory Friday night. It's rare that a team wins a decisive game 7 on the road, and the Pens had to do it twice in 2009. They beat Washington in the Eastern Conference Finals, and then beat Detroit to win the Cup. It was the first time a championship had been decided in a game 7 on the road in any sport since the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles in the 1979 World Series. After Detroit beat Pittsburgh 5-0 in Game 5, I really thought this series was over. However, give the Pens credit - especially goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for his heroics in games 6 and 7. This young team will be around for a while, and we may be witnessing a dynasty.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Title on Sunday. Kobe Bryant won a title without Shaquille O'Neal, so the media is quick to crown him king. Marc Jackson said as much late in Sunday night's telecast. Bryant had a great Finals, but the fact that Cleveland or a healthy Boston team was not his opponent in the Finals did as much to decide the title as Bryant's heroics.
  • The next items ahead for the NHL and NBA are the drafts. We'll have coverage as the events approach later in June. As far as the local teams are concerned, this is an important draft year for both the Timberwolves and Wild.
  • Mock drafts continue to appear. In the NBA, here are a few examples, and pay close attention to the Wolves who pick at #6, 18, and 28: Yahoo! Sports; ESPN; Draft Express; NBA Draft Net; Hoops Hype; InsideHoops;;
  • For the NHL, the Wild pick 12th, and here is how some mock drafts set up: NHL Draft Site;;
  • The Nebraska-Omaha coaching position has been filled, and the new coach is not Gopher assistant Mike Hastings. It is none other than Dean Blais - he of former North Dakota fame. What an excellent hire for the Mavericks. Some are saying this is positioning for UNO's joining the WCHA, but it's a good choice regardless of the conference in which they play.

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