The Viral Roundup – Sound of Silver Edition
Greetings! Welcome to the Club Goin’ Up On A Tuesday 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 the world of sports. In today’s edition: Chicago rejoices as the Hawks hoist the Stanley Cup, the Padres can skipper Bud Black and the Warriors look to snap up the NBA championship in Cleveland.
Did You Hear?
The final chapter in the 2014-15 NHL saga has been written and it ends with a fairytale ending for Kimmo Timonen and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Finnish vet finally hoisted the Stanley Cup and retires on the ultimate high as Chicago beat Tampa Bay 2-0 to win hockey’s most prestigious prize in Game 6. Conn Smythe winner Duncan Keith lit the lamp first in the 2nd period and Patrick Kane scored the insurance tally in the 3rd. Corey Crawford backstopped the Hawks to victory with a 25 save clean sheet and broke Lightning hearts in the process. Chicago have racked up an impressive three Cup wins in their last six campaigns and are tied with Boston for second place on the most Cups for U.S. franchises list. (Detroit tops that column at 11 titles.) Vegas is confident that the Hawks can repeat the feat next year. As the Hawks were celebrating their Cup win, oddsmakers pegged the club as a 6/1 favourite to emerge triumphant in 2016.
Did You See?
This year’s NBA champion could be crowned tonight in Ohio. Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors hold a potentially devastating 3-2 series lead over LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Reminder: The Warriors have won the series in nine of the ten times they’ve held a 3-2 lead. They’re good at closing a series out.) Vegas likes Golden State’s chancing of closing things out in Game 6 and have declared the Western Conference champs a four-and-a-half point road favourite.
To get you ready for tonight’s action, drink in the latest edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Lie Witness News where Cavalier fans shamelessly answer fake questions about their team. Someone should really step in to stop that 12 game series, eh?
Did You Know?
- The San Diego Padres have axed manager Bud Black in a bid to turn around a relatively disappointing 2015 campaign. The pressure had been on Black to turn a major lineup overhaul into something better than a division also-ran. The skipper (who had been held the post for 8+ seasons) led the Padres to a 32-33 record before getting his walking papers. Bench coach Dave Roberts was tapped to fill in as manager for last night’s tilt versus Oakland.
- The streak is dead. In a game that saw a career-high 11 strikeouts from Mets hurler Noah Syndergaard, two jacks from Jays slugger Jose Bautista and a blown save in the 11th, New York busted up Toronto’s 11 win victory march with a 4-3 extra innings triumph. The Big Apple’s National League outfit scored the W thanks to Wilmer Flores hitting a single that brought Lucas Duda home in the bottom of the 11th. The Jays will look to start a new win habit tomorrow in their rematch at Citi Field.
- Wei-Yin Chin pitched a gem in Maryland last night. The 29-year-old southpaw was on the mound for eight scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and only four hits surrended in a 4-0 Baltimore home victory over Philadelphia. (The Orioles went in as a -200 moneyline favourite.) O’s catcher Matt Wieters hit his second homer of the season in the win. The two clubs do battle again tonight at Camden Yards.
- The Pirates showed no mercy and went above and beyond their -167 moneyline status on Monday when they crushed their guests from the Windy City. Pittsburgh racked up 5 runs in the first frame in an 11-0 leveling of the White Sox. Francisco Liriano excelled with 12 Ks over eight scoreless innings and a miniscule two runs allowed to collect his fourth win of 2015. Josh Harrison (4-4, 3 R, RBI, 2 SB) and Starling Marte (4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) were among those feasted at the plate off of ChiSox pitching. White Sox skipper Robin Ventura will look to guide his team to some semblance of redemption tonight in a rematch at PNC.
- FIFA Women’s World Cup began the part of the party where the tourney sheds nations. Host nation Canada ends group play at the summit of their division. The Canucks tied the Netherlands in a 1-1 showdown in Montreal to put a bow on some underwhelming introductory play. China advanced (and knocked off the Dutch) courtesy of a 2-2 tie with New Zealand. That tilt took a strange turn at the end as Chinese manager Hao Wei got ejected in extra time after some inappropriate contact with a Kiwi player. Simply put, it was weird. Elsewhere in Monday’s action, Germany capped off their Group B play by pummeling Thailand 4-0 and topping the division. 21-year-old Lena Petermann provided two of those German markers in the second half where her side truly came alive. Norway tied Germany for points in Group B (they both notched 7) but enter the Round of 16 with a second place berth thanks to goal differential. The Norwegians defeated Côte D’Ivoire 3-1 to wrap up group play.
- Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting that veteran forward Martin St. Louis will not be returning to Manhattan. St. Louis and the Rangers will part ways this summer after a 2014-15 campaign that saw #26 put 21 goals and 52 points on the score sheet. St. Louis will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and NYR are looking to lock down young talent with their cap allowance.
- The Denver Nuggets have settled on a new head coach. ESPN is reporting that Mike Malone will take over the position. Malone assumes the job that both Brian Shaw (fired) and Melvin Hunt (interim coach) held in the 2014-15 season. Malone comes to Denver with a 39-67 pro coaching record that he accumulated in his time in Sacramento. The Nuggets finished last year as an underwhelming 31-51 squad that was a long way out of the playoff picture.
- Lance Stephenson is on his way to the Left Coast. The Clippers and Hornets have worked out a deal that sends the 24-year-old shooting guard to Los Angeles in exchange for Spencer Hawkes and Matt Barnes. Stephenson takes his 8.9 point-per-game average and LeBron irritating antics to his third NBA employer since being drafted by the Pacers in 2010.
- The Philadelphia 76ers appear destined to suffer a major setback going into the fall. Complications tied to Joel Embiid’s foot surgery may sideline the big man for the full 2015-16 season. Embiid was the #3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and was expected to be the big man Philly could rely on for years to come. Now the club is facing the prospect of another miserable (albeit somewhat self-inflicted) season where tanking appears to be the sexiest option. By the way, the Sixers are picking from the #3 position again this year.
- Buffalo believes in the Rex Ryan area. The Bills have managed to set a new team record for season-ticket sales (57,500 is the current total) and a cap will be enforced if the toal reaches 60,000. Rex Ryan, LeSean McCoy and the Bills are currently saddled with 33/1 odds to win the Super Bowl this season.
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