The Viral Roundup – All Gold Everything Edition
Good morning! Welcome to another playoff-kissed go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your friendly one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining a brand new day in sports. If it’s worth talking, texting or tweeting about, we’ve got it right here. In today’s edition: The Splash Brothers lead the Warriors into the NBA Finals, Anaheim can’t put away the Blackhawks and the Sharks have found their new head coach.
Did You Hear?
We’re being treated to a Warriors/Cavaliers NBA Finals. Golden State, who entered last night’s contest as a 10 point home favourite, surged past Houston 104-90 in Game 5 and punched their ticket to play for basketball’s most prestigious title. Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 46 points in the win and Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut were monsters on the glass snapping up 27 rebounds between them. The victory propels the Warriors into their first NBA Finals in 40 years. Next Up: A little bit of a wait. The NBA Finals aren’t set to begin until June 4.
Did You See?
How do you feel about rugby? THE ROCK SAYS IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YO– Sorry, old habits. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has popped up in a compelling promo video for Australia’s State of Origin series touting the history of the event and rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales. You don’t have to be a rugby fan to be impressed by the package they’ve put together and having one of the biggest action stars in the world as your guide helps crank the drama up even more.
Did You Know?
-We’re getting a Game 7. Duncan Keith notched three assists to help hand the Anaheim Ducks their first regulation loss of the postseason. Chicago knotted the series up at 3-3 thanks to a 5-2 thumping of the Ducks. Corey Crawford shut the door on the Ducks with 30 saves and Patrick Kane notched his 10th goal of this playoff campaign. The series now shifts back to Orange County for the deciding game of the Western Conference Finals. If you factor in tomorrow’s Rangers/Lightning showdown, this is the first time in 40 years that there are two Game 7s to decide who will play for the Stanley Cup.
- The San Jose Sharks have found their new head coach. Multiple reports have Peter DeBoer as the man that will take over Todd McLellan’s spot behind the bench. (McLellan “mutually parted ways” with the club earlier this year and found new employment in Edmonton.) DeBoer comes in with what could charitably be called a “mixed” résumé. A highly decorated coach at the junior level, DeBoer holds a 217-200-77 reord as an NHL coach with stops in Florida and New Jersey. In 6+ seasons, a DeBoer led club has only made the playoffs once, but that postseason journey in 2012 put the Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals. The news of San Jose’s hiring is expected to be formally announced in the very near future.
- Could Dan Bylsma be the next head coach of the Buffalo Sabres? The former Penguins coach reportedly interviewed with the franchise yesterday about the vacant position. Bylsma was fired by the Penguins in 2014 after a six season run that included a Stanley Cup and six postseason berths. The Sabres gave their last coach Ted Nolan the ax after a pair of lousy seasons where the bench boss had to make do with with a lacklustre roster.
- The Edmonton Oilers have added another young gun to their lineup. The club has agreed to an entry level deal with 21-year-old KHL forward Anton Slepyshev. The Oilers selected Slepyshev in the 3rd round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2013.
- It was one of those games where you wondered if instituting a mercy rule would be the most humane route. Cleveland (a -160 home favourite) crushed Texas 12-3 in matinee action, a contest that including a whopping 8 runs racked up in the 3rd frame. Indians 3B Lonnie Chisenhall went 3-5 with a homer and 3 RBI and Carlos Santana (not the “Smooth” guy) and Nick Swisher also cranked homers in the blowout. Rangers hurler Colby Lewis was chased off the mound after giving up 10 runs, while Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco provided 8 innings of solid work. The upside for the Rangers? Josh Hamilton registered his first hit since returning to the team.
- King Felix was every bit as regal as advertised yesterday. Seattle’s ace held the Rays to a slim four hit diet in a complete game victory that improved Hernandez’s 2015 win-loss total to a sparkling 8-1. A Nelson Cruz three-run shot at the top of the 9th was the muscle that powered the Mariners to a 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay. Rays starter Chris Archer had a great outing in defeat with 12 Ks, but was on the bench as reliever Brad Boxberger served up Cruz’s homer.
- Josh Donaldson’s late game heroics still weren’t enough to stop the White Sox. The Blue Jays star tied up yesterday’s Toronto/Chicago afternoon showdown with a solo shot in the bottom of the 9th, but the ChiSox returned the favour in the 10th with RBI action from Adam LaRoche and Gordon Beckham giving Chicago the 5-3 extra innings win. Next up for Chicago: A trip to Baltimore for a series with the Orioles. Toronto has today off and will begin a set in Minnesota tomorrow.
- The Pirates are heating up. Pittsburgh collected their sixth straight win on Wednesday by whacking the Marlins 5-2 at PNC Park and completing the series sweep. Starting arm Gerrit Cole racked up 7 Ks to improve 7-2 on the season in a game that featured the Pirates rallying for five runs in the bottom of the 7th. Miami have stumbled to a 2-8 record with new skipper Dan Jennings at the helm.
- The Rockies staved off a late rally from the Reds to snag the W on Wednesday. Colorado (a +140 moneyline road underdog) topped the Reds 6-4 in Cincy with five of the club’s runs coming in the opening two innings. Nolan Arenado socked a homer for the Rockies, as did Charlie Blackmon. The Reds, losers of 10 of their last 11 outings, were without 2B Brandon Phillips for the second straight game.
- FIFA will be going ahead with its presidential election on Friday even with a handful of officials snapped up in Switzerland amid corruption charges. ESPN reports that seven FIFA officials were arrested and 14 were indicted in relation to corruption allegations tied to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host selection process. FIFA has told the press that they will not stage a host revote for the tournaments scheduled to be held in Russia and Qatar. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was not arrested in the investigation, but there have been strengthened calls for Blatter to resign ahead of tomorrow’s election. The controversial world soccer staple is expected to be elected to his fifth term as FIFA President with only Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan opposing him at the polls.
- Get ready to know slightly more about the Houston Texans than you would normally. Bill O’Brien’s AFC South outfit will be this year’s subject of HBO’s Hard Knocks. We imagine there will be a touch of focus on Arian Foster’s dietary philosophy, a steady look at Vince Wilfork’s transition to Texans life and maybe J.J. Watt will tackle something exciting. (Possibly a mule deer?) The Texans are coming off an improved 9-7 outing in 2014 where they bulked up their win total by seven versus the previous year and finished second in their division. Oddsmakers have Houston as a 50/1 shot to win the Super Bowl.
- The Vikings say superstar running back Adrian Peterson is not going to be traded. Coach Mike Zimmer told the press that Peterson will either play for Minnesota or not suit up at all this season. Peterson has not been at the club’s offseason workouts and relations have been frosty between the two parties following the 30-year-old’s child injury charges in 2014.
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