The Viral Roundup – Canuck If You Buck Edition
Happy Tuesday! Welcome to this morning’s go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your friendly one-stop shop where you can get caught up on all the big news, big buzz and big developments headlining the world of sports. In today’s edition: Eddie Lack closes the door on St. Louis, Ben Bishop racks up saves AND assists in Montreal and DeMar DeRozan has a monster game against the Rockets.
Did You Hear?
The Vancouver Canucks looked strong in St. Louis last night. 4-1 outclassing of a Stanley Cup contender level strong. Eddie Lack improved to 5-0 versus the Blues and Radim Vbrata tallied a goal and an assist in the road win, keeping the Canucks entrenched in second place in the Pacific Division. The Blues have been underwhelming of late, dropping five of their last six games. At the moment, St. Louis holds a slim single point lead over rival Chicago for the Central Division’s #2 spot. Vancouver have a showdown with another Western Conference powerhouse tonight in Nashville.
Did You See?
Is there any place on the planet more romantic than WrestleMania? The answer to that question is yes, but that didn’t stop a lovestruck pro graps fan from proposing to his sweetheart at Sunday’s event. She said “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and hopefully their passion for one another won’t get buried in the midcard.
REMINDER: Do not accept a wedding present from Jake “The Snake” Roberts if it’s not gift card shaped.
Did You Know?
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have officially secured their invitation to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ben Bishop made 25 saves and tallied two helpers as the Bolts topped the Habs 5-3 in Montreal. Although they’ve been tight in the standings, Tampa has had Montreal’s number all year. The Lightning exit their season series with the Canadiens winning all five games, a dynamic a million miles away from Tampa getting swept by Montreal in the first round of the 2014 playoffs. The Habs hold a one point lead over the Lightning for the Atlantic Division crown.
- The Blackhawks care little for your Stanley Cup dreams. One night removed from handing playoff hopeful Winnipeg a heartbreaking loss, Chicago gave a follow-up performance that hurt L.A.’s postseason prospects. Duncan Keith and Marian Hossa both put pucks past Jonathan Quick in a 4-1 win that should have Chicago’s Western Conference rivals a tad nervous. The defending cup champ Kings now find themselves two points back of the Jets for the final Wildcard spot and three points behind the Flames in their division. Some good news for the L.A.? The less-than-formidable Edmonton Oilers are the next opponent on the schedule.
- No one’s bothered to tell Calgary that they’re not supposed to be doing this good. The National Hockey League’s ultimate Cinderella story was pumpkin-free on Monday night in Dallas. The Flames got 1 G/1 A performances out of both Jiri Hudler and Johnny Hockey in an important 5-3 victory over the Stars. Jonas Hiller gave up three markers but also provided 33 valuable saves in the win. As mentioned in our bit of blabbing about the Kings, Calgary has wrestled their way into the #3 spot in the Pacific Division.
- Let’s hear it for futility! The latest Buffalo/Arizona Tank Bowl went down last night between the two worst clubs in the National Hockey League. The Sabres remain the frontrunners/backrunners to clinch the lousiest record in hockey, but they did themselves no favours with a 4-1 win in Glendale. Andrej Meszaros scored twice for Buffalo in a result that now gives Buffalo and Arizona four points of separation in the bottomfeeder portion of the standings.
- The Houston Rockets did not have an answer for DeMar DeRozan last night. The USC alum put up 42 points and collected 11 rebounds to propel the Raptors (favoured by 1 going in) to a 99-96 home victory at the Air Canada Centre. James Harden countered with a robust 31 point outing in a losing cause. The win was a positive for the Raps, but Canada’s sole NBA franchise is still operating without Kyle Lowry. The All-Star point guard was out yet again with a back injury.
- Every W is valuable for the teams slugging it out to earn the final playoff spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The Celtics can be found in the #8 spot in the standings thanks to a decisive 116-104 thumping of fellow postseason hopeful Charlotte. Avery Bradley provided 30 points for the green and white and Evan Turner contributed 15 in the victory. Next Up: Boston takes on Indiana on Wednesday in a clash with some standings stakes in play.
- You don’t want to play the Hawks at home. Atlanta improved to 32-5 on their own turf with a 101-88 pummeling of the Milwaukee Bucks. DeMarre Carroll, Al Horford, Paul Milsap, Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha all put up double digits for Atlanta in the win. If you’re confident the Eastern Conference leading Hawks are gonna win it all, you should know that Vegas has Atlanta at 10/1 to capture the NBA title.
- Kris Bryant will not be in the Chicago Cubs lineup on Opening Day. The 23-year-old slugger has been assigned to the minors. It’s not that Chicago doesn’t like Bryant’s bat (he tops the spring training homer leaderboard with 9), but the highly valued prospect’s demotion means the Cubs can delay his free agency by an extra year with this move. The Cubs also sent down Javier Baez and Addison Russell. The Cubs are currently seen by oddsmakers as a 16/1 shot to win the World Series.
- The NFL’s approach to discipline is always fascinating, so let’s look at two major penalties that were dropped yesterday. First up, the Atlanta Falcons have been stripped of a fifth round pick in 2016 and will pay $350,000 to atone for pumping in crowd noise. Elsewhere, Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer has been suspended for four games (without pay) for sending texts to his staff during in-game action.
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