The Viral Roundup – Best In The World Edition
Greetings! Welcome to a special Victoria Day go-around of The Viral Roundup. Seeing as it’s Victoria Day Weekend, all Canadians are required by law to drink cheap beer while air-gutairing to Kim Mitchell. Be sure to sneak that in. What’s our part in this holiday Monday? We’re here to get you up to date on all the big news, big buzz and big developments that are headlining a new day in sports. In today’s edition: Canada and Russia fight for gold in the IIHF World Hockey Championship final, Orange County plays host to an Ducks/Blackhawks playoff clash and it’s winner-take-all in Houston’s Game 7 showdown with the Clips.
Did Your Hear?
It was the epic gold medal showdown that wasn’t all that epic or much of a showdown. Canada absolutely pummeled Russia 6-1 in a star-studded final game (Crosby! Ovechkin! Malkin! Giroux!) that earned the maple-frosted side its first gold since 2007. Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, Tyler Seguin, Tyler Ennis, Claude Giroux and Cody Eakin all lit the lamp for a Canadian side that managed to go undefeated throughout the entire tournament. Mike Smith was between the pipes for Canada, stopping 11 of the 12 shots that came his way. The victory springboards Crosby into the illustrious Triple Gold Club thanks to his new IIHF gold, two Olympic gold medals and a Stanley Cup ring. In the bronze medal game, the United States topped their hosts from the Czech Republic 3-0. 21-year-old Jets prospect Connor Hellebuyck turned in a stellar performance making 39 saves in the shutout win. Czech legend Jaromir Jagr told the press that he’s done with the national team following this tournament, but #68 has made that claim before so we’ll just have to wait and see the status of that next year.
Did You See?
You know that saying “act like you’ve been there before?” Arizona State outfielder (and Baltimore prospect) Johnny Sewald brough to the table while getting plunked by Washington State hurler Layne Bruner. Sewald essentially caught the ball with his arm and calmly tossed the ball back towards the mound. The highlight was somehow topped by the Pac 12 play-by-play guy going completely bonkers over the play. This clip is worth a watch even without sound, but you’ll definitely want the speakers up for this.
Did You Know?
- Advantage: Anaheim. The Ducks draw first blood in their Round 3 opener versus Chicago. The sold-out Honda Center crowd watched Anaheim netminder Frederik Anderson stop 32 shots with Nate Thompson and Jakob Silfverberg both racking up 1G/1A statlines. The Blackhawks were partially let down by an underwhelming power play unit that went 0 for 3 with two of those opportunities coming in the 3rd period. Game 2 will go down on Tuesday night in Orange County. The last time the Ducks captured the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl was during their 2007 Stanley Cup season.
- It’s not exactly The Decision 2: Electric Boogaloo, but it’ll do. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has disclosed to TSN that he’ll reveal his plans on where he’ll coach in the future by May 20. Babcock could stay in Detroit, but there’s also rumblings he could be headed to Buffalo, Edmonton, Toronto or Philly. The 52-year-old bench boss helped guide the Canadian Olympic team to back-to-back performances and has hoisted the Stanley Cup with Detroit. If a non-Motown team acquires Babcock’s services, they will be required to give Detroit a third-round draft pick as compensation.
- After another frustrating playoff exit, the Montreal Canadiens are parting ways with some notable names. Veterans Sergei Gonchar, Manny Malhotra and Mike Weaver will not be back with the club next season. The Habs were eliminated in Round 2 by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Houston have returned from the brink and their reward is entry into Round 3 of the NBA Playoffs. The Rockets (a two and a half point underdog) squeezed out a 113-103 victory over the Clippers and pulled off a 4-3 series comeback after dropping to 3-1 back in Game 4. James Harden scored 31 points and Dwight Howard collected another double-double in the home triumph. Los Angeles continues their unpleasant trend of never being able to crack a spot in the Western Conference Finals. The Rockets now have a battle with the Golden State Warriors on their plate. Game 1 takes place Tuesday in Oakland.
- Will Kyrie Irving return to the Cavs backcourt for Cleveland’s Game 1 opener versus Atlanta? The club has been tight-lipped on their star guard’s status for Wednesday. Irving’s been suffering from knee troubles as well a foot strain. Atlanta hosts the Eastern Conference Finals contest and Cleveland are listed as a -220 moneyline favourite to advance to the NBA Finals.
- The Mets continue to dominate at Citi Field. A 5-1 home thumping of the lowly Brewers improves New York to 15-4 at the Big Apple ballpark. Curtis Granderson went yard for his fifth round-tripper of the season and Noah Syndergaard was strong over six innings in the Mets victory. In addition to taking the L, Brewers fans dealt with the uncomfortable sight of Carlos Gomez getting drilled by a Syndergaard fastball and being forced to leave the game. The Milwaukee outfielder has already dealt with injury woes in 2015 with a hamstring issue cutting into his season.
- Shelby Miller’s no-no was a no go in Miami. The Braves starter was one out away from a no-hitter in the bottom of the 9th, but that dream was shattered courtesy of a Justin Bour single up the middle. The Atlanta pitcher had to settle for a complete game two-hitter that ended with the Braves winning 6-0 over Marlins. Miller now improves to 5-1 on the season and his Miami counterpart Henderson Alvarez continues to search for his first win of 2015. Oh! Did we mention that Marlins skipper Mike Redmond got the heave ho after the loss? Yup! Miami fired their manager promptly after the game. Redmond had been in that role for two seasons previous to this one. Miami have struggled in 2015, sporting an underwhelming 16-22 record. A replacement will be unveiled today.
- It was exactly the same as nearly pulling off a no-no, but Mike Wright tossed a gem in his first start in the majors. The 25-year-old righty kept the Angels bats relatively silent giving up zero runs and a meager four hits over 7+ innings in a 3-0 home win. (The Orioles were a +121 underdog going in.) Adam Jones was key to Baltimore’s offense. #10 scored a run and knocked in two more over the course of the contest. Baltimore hosts the opener a set versus the Mariners tomorrow, while the Los Angeles Angels go north of the border today for a Victoria Day matinee against the Blue Jays.
- Fear the White Sox. Chicago’s AL club have been red hot of late and notched Ws in 7 of their last 8 contests. The most recent win came courtesy of a 7-3 road clubbing of the Oakland Athletics. Avisail Garcia went 3-5 in the victory and exited with a homer, two RBI and two runs. Chicago returns home to do battle with Cleveland tonight and Oakland travels to Houston to play the Astros.
- Could baseball be back in Montreal? It’s been revealed that the city’s mayor Denis Coderre is meeting with MLB commish Rob Manfred later this month to make a case for Montreal being a big league town once more. The Expos bid farewell to Montreal in 2004 and left to Washington to become the nationals.
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