The Viral Roundup – Skip To My Lou Edition
Howdy! Welcome to The Viral Roundup. We’re your friendly one stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments that are headlining a brand new day in sports. In today’s edition: It’s the end of an era for the Devils, Braden Holtby blanks the Blueshirts and the Bulls come out strong in their Round 2 opener.
Did You Hear?
This seems impossible to say, but here we go: Lou Lamoriello is no longer the general manger for the New Jersey Devils. (No, he hasn’t been kidnapped.) The longtime Devils GM is stepping down from the position he’s held since 1987 and hands the job to former Penguins GM Ray Shero. Lamoriello will be staying on as the President of Hockey Operations because the club would likely implode into a red mist if we lived in a world where Lou wasn’t involved with Devils decision making. Lamoriello was the mastermind behind three Stanley Cup championships, five Eastern Conference titles and a fundamental shift in quality for the franchise. Shero comes in as a highly coveted GM that’s been heavily involved with USA Hockey of late and can boast two Stanley Cup Finals appearances includes a Cup win in 2009. (He’s also the guy that got Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis from Atlanta for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a draft pick.) Lamoriello has indicated that Shero will hire the club’s next head coach. New Jersey finished 7th in the Metro in 2014-15.
Did You See?
Could this be the start of a new tradition? At Monday’s Giants game, a young fan got smacked with a foul ball off the bat of Angels slugger Mike Trout. It was pretty clear that the American League’s reigning MVP felt pretty bad about the accidental trauma and he gifted a game bat to the tough lil’ fan. Will he become an Angels fan now? We’ll have to wait and see.
Did You Know?
- The Bulls opened up Round 2 with authority smacking down an understaffed Cavs squad 99-92 in Cleveland. Chicago vets Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol both put up 20+ point performances and topped a LeBron starring team in Game 1 for the third straight go-around. (History Note: The Bulls couldn’t pull off a series victory the previous two times.) The Cavaliers were without both Kevin Love (injured) and J.R. Smith (suspension) in the opening bout, but it should be noted that Smith will return in time for Game 3. Next Up: Cleveland hosts Game 2 tomorrow night.
- The Clippers (a seven point road underdog) managed to pull out a Game 1 road victory even with CP3 on the sidelines. Los Angeles thumped Houston 117-101 in a contest that saw Blake Griffin pick up his third triple-double of the postseason and Jamal Crawford came off the bench to contribute 21 points. The Rockets struggled from beyond the arc on Monday going 11-33 from three point land. The series continues in Houston tomorrow night.
- Injuries will not decimate Washington’s backcourt tonight. At least, that’s the plan. Guards John Wall and Bradley Beal will both be in the lineup for the Wizards in Game 2 battle against Atlanta. (The Hawks are favoured by six and a half points, by the way.) Wall has an injured left hand and Beal is gutting through a sprained right ankle.
- As was reported on Sunday, Splash Brother extraordinaire Steph Curry has been chosen at the National Basketball Association’s MVP. The race wasn’t quite as tight ballotwise as you might think with such a strong class of contenders. Curry, who led the the Warriors to a franchise-best 67 wins and averaged 23.8 points and 7.7 assists a contest while doing so, nabbed an impressive 100 of 130 first place votes and beat out serious candidates like Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
- The Capitals regained the series advantage over the Rangers last night. Washington goalkeeper Braden Holtby stopped all 30 of New York’s shots and Jay Beagle netted a 2nd period marker to give the home side a 1-0 victory and a 2-1 series lead over the Blueshirts. NYR are still playing without forward Mats Zuccarello and it’s unclear exactly when he’ll be back in the lineup. The Caps are now two wins away from playing in their first Eastern Conference finals since 1998 back when Olaf Kolzig, Peter Bondra and Adam Oates were the club’s superstars. Game 4 goes down on Wednesday.
- The Blue Jays took a sledgehammer to the Yankees bullpen to exit Monday’s contest with a 3-1 win. Toronto’s bats laid a hurting on New York in the 8th, busting up a 1-0 lead to give starter R.A. Dickey (8.0 IP/3 H/1 R) his first win of 2015. A double from 1B Edwin Encarnacion provided the game-tying RBI and C Russell Martin provided the pinch hit heroics to pull T.O. ahead. The two AL East rivals do battle again tonight.
- Houston were denied their 11th consecutive win thanks to their AL West rivals from elsewhere in Texas. The Rangers (a +190 moneyline road underdog) edged past the Astros 2-1 thanks to a top of the 9th sacrifice fly off the bat of Texas C Robinson Chirinos. Houston shouldn’t feel too broken up about the L. The Astros are still a healthy margin ahead of the pack for the division lead.
- Monday was an interesting day to be a Milwaukee Brewers fan. The first order of business: The Brewers hired former second baseman Craig Counsell to take the reins as the club’s new manager with Ron Roenicke fired over the weekend. Next on the agenda: An impressive 4-3 victory at Miller Park over the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Oakland’s go-to wideout for 2014 will be looking for a new home in 2015. James Jones, who lead the Raiders with receptions 73 receptions last season, is reportedly set to be cut by the franchise. Jones was considered expendable after the acquisition first rounder Amari Cooper out of Alabama and the signing of 49ers wide reciever Michael Crabtree. The dropping of Jones saves Oakland $3.4 million cap room.
- There were two games of note in IIHF World Hockey Championship action yesterday. Canada beat up on their hosts from the Czech Republic to the tune of 6-3. Oilers forwards Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle had another superb showing, each tallying a goal and an assist in the win. Next up for the Canadians is a match tomorrow against Sweden. Elsewhere, the United States of America handed defending champs Russia a 4-2 loss.
- You know how Manny Pacquiao said he went into Saturday’s bout with Floyd Mayweather with a shoulder injury? Well, the Filipino pugilist will be getting surgery for said shoulder. The repairs are going to keep the Pac Man on the shelf for 9-12 months and a surgery date has not been locked down as of yet.
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