The Viral Roundup – Bubble Trouble Edition
Howdy! Welcome to an all-new lightly seasoned go-around of The Viral Roundup. We’re your friendly one-stop shop for all the big news, big buzz and big developments in the world of sports. If it’s good, bad, ugly or testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, we’ve got it laid out right here. In today’s edition: Playoff bubble teams face danger on the ice, the Spurs and Thunder battle on the hardwood and Zack Greinke takes to the mound against the Padres.
Did You Hear?
A sold out Canadian Tire Centre bared witness to a comeback Sens fans will be talking about for years to come. Down by three to the Pens in the 1st, Ottawa battled their back and collected an essential 4-3 OT win. Mark Stone tallied two markers (including the extra time clincher) and Andrew Hammond turned away 25 shots in the Ottawa triumph. The victory has the Senators tied with the Bruins for the final Wildcard position and 1 point back of a sliding Pittsburgh squad. The Penguins will look to snap their four game losing streak in a home contest on Friday versus the Islanders.
Did You See?
U.S. President Barack Obama (you might have heard of him) isn’t afraid to talk trash. On Monday, Obama sank a shot at the White House Easter Egg Roll and proclaimed to Paul Pierce: “I’m clutch!” To be fair, Obama has gotten back-to-back titles while that feat is conspicuously absent from Pierce’s resumé.
Did You Know?
- Ondrej Pavelec’s play during Winnipeg’s playoff push has critics eating their words. The Czech goaltender blanked the Blues in a 1-0 win where Pavelec racked up 30 saves. Unlikely hero Chris Thorburn was the only player to light the lamp in Missouri. Saturday’s home showdown against the Flames looks like it will have some serious consequences. Don’t forget: That’s when Dustin Byfuglien returns from his disciplinary timeout.
- The Flames fended off a challenge from one of the worst clubs in the league to emerge with a 3-2 regulation win. Calgary’s vital 3-2 triumph over Arizona included a power play marker from wonder rookie Johnny Gaudreau. Jonas Hiller shut down an intense late charge from the Coyotes to collect 22 saves in total when the final buzzer sounded.
- Speaking of unlikely obstacles, the Los Angeles Kings found themselves up against a feisty Edmonton Oilers hockey club on Tuesday night. The Oilers shocked the Kings 3-2 in the Albertan capital and possibly tore a hole in the space time continuum in the process. The loss drops L.A. to two points back of Calgary for the final Pacific playoff spot and three points behind Winnipeg for the last Wildcard position. If the Kings lose tomorrow in Calgary it is curtains for the 2014 Stanley Cup champs.
- Devan Dubnyk’s shutout bid was busted up with less than two minutes remaining but the Wild were able to hang on for a 2-1 edging of the Chicago Blackhawks. Jason Zucker’s return to the lineup (he broke his collarbone in February) was fruitful, providing Minnesota with a wrist shot that beat Corey Crawford. The W snaps the Wild’s three game losing skid and the club can enjoy the relief of being an official Stanley Cup Playoff playoff team.
- Manhattan’s dynamic goaltending duo does it again. Cam Talbot was between the pipes for the Rangers 4-2 win over the golf course bound Devils. The victory locks up the Presidents’ Trophy for NYR and it should be seen as a good omen by Rangers fans. The last time New York had the league’s best record was 1994 and that was the year Messier, Leetch, Richter & Co. hoisted the Stanley Cup.
- Mercy? San Antonio is in no mood for it. The Spurs (a six point favourite going in) racked up their eighth straight victory at the expense of Oklahoma City’s sanity. Kawhi Leonard scored 26 to power San Antonio to a 113-88 pummeling. The Thunder have been silent of late, losing their last four games and falling a half game behind the West’s #8 seeded Pelicans.
- Is this something that the Splash Brothers should be worried about? Their potential first round opponent from New Orleans clawed their way past them for a 103-100 win. To be fair, the Pelicans are currently in an all-out brawl with OKC to claim the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, while the Warriors have already clinched the peak position in the West. Anthony Davis provided 29 points (23 coming in the second half) to push New Orleans to victory.
- It’s official: This is the best regular season the Atlanta Hawks have ever had. A 96-69 massacre of the Phoenix Suns was what gave Atlanta its franchise-best 58 wins. The victory came with Paul Milsap out of the lineup with a shoulder injury. The team’s leading scorer is also expected to miss tonight’s game against the Nets.
- Will Smith isn’t the only one that finds Miami to be hospitable. The Atlanta Braves crushed their NL Eastmates 12-2. Braves 1B Freddie Freeman was among the many to tee off on shaky Marlins pitching, notching three hits (two doubles among them) and two RBI over the course of the contest. If you like what you see, you should know that the Braves are a 66/1 longshot with oddsmakers to win the World Series.
- The Orioles picked up their second win of the young season courtesy of a 6-5 nailbiter versus the Rays. Balitmore putting four runs on the board in the 1st inning was key in the win, although it was Steve Pearce’s two run dinger in the following frame that provided the number Tampa couldn’t match. The O’s can sweep their AL East cohabitant on Wednesday when Mexican hurler Miguel Gonzalez takes to the mound versus Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi.
- The Dodgers and Padres squared off in a rain delayed clash in L.A. Dodgers starter Zack Greinke gave up only two hits and one run over six innings but it was the 9th inning that did the most expensive club in the Majors in. The Padres pummeled Chris Hatcher’s pitching in that frame to score four runs to earn a 7-3 road win. Padres RF Matt Kemp notched a hit, a run and a stolen base against his former team.
- C.J. Wilson stymied Seattle’s bats over the course of eight innings and emerged with a 2 hit winning performance. Huston Street closed out the 2-0 Angels win over the Mariners, a game that saw a homer from LAA 3B David Freese make all the difference. Game 3 of this regular season AL West goes down tonight with Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker battling Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma.
- LeGarrette Blount won’t be suiting up in Week 1 for the New England Patriots. No, the running back isn’t in a contract dispute, he’s been suspended for a game (without pay) for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Blount and former Steelers teammate Le’Veon Bell were arrested in August 2014 after police claim they found pot in Bell’s car at a traffic stop. Blount agreed to do community service in exchange for the charge being dropped. The incident is also expected to result in Bell missing Weeks 1 and 2 according to ESPN’s John Clayton.
-LeSean McCoy says his former coach in Philly has no love for star players. “I don’t think (Chip Kelly) likes or respects the stars. I’m being honest,” the new Buffalo Bill told the Philadelphia Inquirer. The superstar tailback also pointed to DeSean Jackson’s exit as well as his own as proof. He also says he has no bad blood with Chip, but he hasn’t answered the coach’s calls.
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