The Viral Roundup – Fang Island Edition
Happy Tuesday! How are you doing? Is the family doing well? Fantastic! You’re inside the comfy confines of the internet’s newly established one-stop-shop for all the big news, big buzz and big scores you’re waking to this morning. In today’s edition: John Tavares leads the Islanders to OT glory, Stephen Curry has another MVP courting performance and New England may no longer recognize Revis Island.
Did You Hear?
You wouldn’t know it from all the deals that have already been reportedly agreed to, but the beginning of free agency in the National Football League isn’t officially set to begin until 4:00 p.m. ET today. ESPN is reporting that a major name might be making a big splash the FA market, with the New England Patriots said to be declining to pick up superstar CB Darrelle Revis’ $20 million option for the upcoming season. A valuable piece of the Pats Super Bowl winning roster, the franchise is still negotiating a possible contract agreement. If Revis were to hit the open market, the New York Jets are said to be a likely bidder for his services.
Did You See?
Would it take a miracle for Chicago Bulls megastar Derrick Rose to survive a season without some sort of major injury? It couldn’t hurt to pray like that was the case. A mural has been painted under the Fullerton underpass featuring the message “Pray-4-Rose” with all the vigil trimmings popping up underneath.
Contrary to what this tribute might suggest, Rose wasn’t crucified or thrown to the lions. He’s just out of the lineup with another injury, this time a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. Reports from late February pegged the 2011 NBA MVP for a possible return in 4 to 6 weeks. The Bulls currently sit in 4th place in the Eastern Conference and are saddled with 16/1 odds to go all the way and win the NBA Championship this summer.
Did You Know?
- John Tavares continues to rack up Art Ross courting score sheet tallies while crushing the hearts of his opponents. The New York Islanders talent capped off his club’s comeback from a 3-1 3rd period deficit versus the host Toronto Maple Leafs with an OT winner that sealed a 4-3 victory. Tavares’ extra time marker was his league leading 4th overtime winner this season (an Islanders record) and helped boost the star forward’s point total to a robust 72. The Isles are currently tied with Montreal for the best record in the Eastern Conference, although oddsmakers aren’t quite as bullish on the club’s potential for postseason success. Tavares & Co. are currently a 14/1 offering as a potential Stanley Cup victor.
- Nashville might be back on track. The Predators have resembled prey of late courtesy of their recent six game losing streak, but the club managed to escape the downward spiral last night thanks to a valuable 2-1 overtime win in Glendale. Vezina Trophy candidate Pekka Rinne turned away 27 shots and James Neal put away a rebound in the fourth period to pull the Preds past the lowly Arizona Coyotes. The road victory gives Nashville a four point lead in the Central Division over the rival St. Louis Blues. The Predators won’t suit up again until Thursday when they travel to San Jose to face off against the Sharks.
- Vancouver nabbed a valuable two points at home on Monday, topping their Pacific Division rivals Anaheim in a hard fought contest. The Canucks edged the Ducks 2-1, marking the first time the club beat Anaheim in regulation time since January 13, 2013. Anaheim’s anemic power play (23rd in the league) continued to do Bruce Boudeau’s squad zero favours, going 0 for 3 last night. Bo Hovat and Zack Kassian both notched goals for Vancouver and Eddie Lack made 29 saves to help propel the club to victory.
- Golden State continues to look like a force to be reckoned with in the West. Stephen Curry put up 36 points as the Warriors (6 point favourites going in) steamrolled the Phoenix Suns 98-80. For the first time in franchise history, Golden State can boast back-to-back 50 win seasons. They’re also the first team since the 2011-2012 San Antonio Spurs to reach the half-century mark in a mere 62 games. Next up for the Warriors: A home contest on Wednesday versus the Detroit Pistons.
- The Bobcats were effectively declawed last night at home versus the Wizards. Washington brought Charlotte’s five game win streak to an end with a decisive 95-69 thrashing. John Wall had 15 points and 9 assists in Washington’s thumping of their Southeast Division cohabitant and made life considerably harder on a Bobcats club that’s locked in a tight scramble for a spot in the postseason.
- Memphis took to the court as a 5 1/2 point favourite versus the hosting Chicago Bulls and exited the contest with nearly double that margin. The Grizzlies defeated the Bulls 101-91 at the United Center, feeding Chicago their third straight L. Monday’s showdown featured some Gasol-on-Gasol action with Marc tallying 23 points for Memphis while his older brother Pau racked up 13 points and 11 boards in defeat. In addition to scoring the win, the Grizzlies also enjoyed the welcome sight of Vince Carter returning to the lineup. VC’s been out for 14 games thanks to a tendon tear in his left foot.
- Jacksonville’s in line to make an upgrade at tight end. It’s been reported that the Jaguars will sign Broncos TE Julius Thomas once the NFL’s free agency period officially begins. Thomas caught 43 passes in 13 games last season, including 12 touchdown grabs.
- San Francisco will be entering this year’s free agent market with a major loss on defence. It’s been revealed that Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis will be retiring from the NFL. Willis’ 2014 campaign was hampered by a toe injury that resulted in only six games played last season. The 49ers might also have to brace for another exit on defence. Superstar defensive end Justin Smith is said to be contemplating walking away from the game, although he told the Sacramento Bee that he hasn’t “100 percent” determined if he will retire.
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