Dan MacRae |  Wed 01/04/2015 - 18:26 EDT

The Viral Roundup – Fifty Shades Of #8 Edition

The Viral Roundup – Fifty Shades Of #8 Edition
Ovie hits the half-century mark, the 2014 NBA Finals gets the rerun treatment in Miami and two Pacific Division rivals hit the hardcourt in the City of Angels. Here's a look at the tantalizing new world of sports you're waking up to on the morning of April 1, 2015.

Greetings! Welcome to The Viral Roundup, an easy-to-swallow capsule featuring all of the big news, big buzz and big developments that are shaping the all new sports world you’re waking up to today. In today’s edition: Ovechkin notches another 50 goal campaign, the Spurs and Heat clash in Miami and the two hottest teams in the NBA square off in Los Angeles.

Did You Hear?

Have you heard of some dude named… *checks notes* Alexander Ovechkin? He’s not half bad at ice hockey. The Washington Capitals megastar cracked the 50 goal mark for the sixth time in his career, this time in a 4-2 victory over the winning impaired Carolina Hurricanes. Also notching goals for Washington: Joel Ward, Mike Green and Brooks Laich. The Capitals now sit one point removed from the Islanders in the battle for the #3 playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. If you’re wondering how Washington’s doing from a Futures perspective, they’re listed as a 22/1 shot to win the Stanley Cup this summer. Those are longer odds than a pair of teams (Los Angeles - 16/1, Boston 18/1) that are still in a dogfight to improve their postseason chances.

Did You See?

The internet is still digesting Shaquille O’Neal’s appearance at the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. (Yes, that’s the weird world we live in now.) Not only did the Shaq Fu black belt lay into The Biebs, he also offered up a dig at Clippers guard Chris Paul. It wasn’t exactly a “Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes” but it got the message across. 

Did You Know?

- Florida Panthers fans (yes, we believe you exist) felt a dagger plunge through their heart on Tuesday night thanks to a crushing 3-2 defeat at the hands/paws/gloves of the Boston Bruins. Milan Lucic put one by Roberto Luongo with under 70 seconds remaining to give Beantown a valuable two points while Florida’s playoff hopes appear dashed. Adding to the sting: David Krejci took a penalty with 28 seconds left to give the Panthers the man advantage at the end of the contest.

- The Hamburglar Rises. Ottawa’s savior between the pipes returned to the lineup and stood tall in an important 2-1 shootout win over Detroit at Joe Louis Arena. Andrew Hammond made the necessary stops and it was Mark Stone that had the honour of clinching the W in the skills competition. The Senators sit three points behind the Bruins in the race of the final Wildcard spot and have a game in hand.

- Bryan Little was back on the ice for the Winnipeg Jets but it wasn’t enough for the Manitoba ice hockey club to avoid another gut punch of a loss. Two nights removed from a painful late defeat dished out by Chicago, the Jets were sent reeling again courtesy of a Chris Kreider marker for New York with 3:46 left in the game. The Rangers now hold the best record in the Eastern Conference and Henrik Lundqvist’s 32 saves should serve as an encouraging sign following a rough comeback appearance on Saturday against Boston. Winnipeg’s currently clutching on to a two point lead over the Kings for the final Wildcard position in the West.

- The Canucks needed a shootout to do it, but they edged out a 5-4 win over the Central Division leading Predators. Eddie Lack made 34 stops plus four shootout saves in Vancouver’s seventh win in ten games. The W elevates the Canucks into a four point lead over the Flames for the #2 spot in the Pacific Division. The Canucks managed to escape despite having an ugly night discipline wise. Nashville put two power play goals on the board making a meal of 39 penalty minutes accumulated by Vancouver throughout the night.

- The two hottest teams in the NBA went toe-to-toe last night in L.A. but only one could emerge with their win streak intact. Golden State entered last night’s highly anticipated contest as a 3 point road underdog but exited with a 110-106 W over the state/division rival Clippers. The Splash Brothers came up big in the tenth straight win for the Warriors, with Stephen Curry putting up 27 points and Klay Thompson contributing 25. On the other side of things, Blake Griffin’s 40 points in 43 minutes just wasn’t enough to keep their seven game victory roll unsnapped. Also troubling for the Clips: They blew a 17 point lead in this game.

- Tuesday night’s Spurs/Heat clash in Miami wasn’t quite a repeat broadcast, but that outcome should look vaguely familiar to anyone that watched the 2014 NBA Finals. The reigning finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, had a marvelous night (22 points and 9 rebounds) leading San Antonio to a 95-81 triumph in that city Will Smith is awfully fond of. It was also a milestone night in Florida as Tony Parker played in his 1,000th game and exited with 16 points and 5 assists as a parting gift. The Heat continue to cling to the #7 spot in the Eastern Conference and qualification for the postseason is far from a gimme.

- Hot on the Heat’s heels: The Brooklyn Nets. The Nets rose above their one point home favourite billing and pushed by the Pacers for a 111-106 win. Brook Lopez racked up 24 points and 11 boards in the victory and Brooklyn leapfrogs the idle Celtics to camp out at the final playoff spot in the East. By the way, Brooklyn’s been hot of late, winning four straight and six of their last seven. Meanwhile, the Pacers drop to a game and a half back of the coveted #8 spot and will have a crucial road challenge in the form of Boston tonight.

- Detroit pulled off a noteworthy upset last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Pistons thumped the Eastern Conference leading Hawks 105-95. Andre Drummond led the charge with 22 points and 13 rebounds while point guard Reggie Jackson dished off 11 assists. The loss likely bruised Atlanta’s ego, but they’ve already clinched the Conference title with games to spare. The Hawks will have lots of time to reflect as their next game isn’t until Saturday against a playoff-hungry Brooklyn squad.  

- Rick Barnes didn’t stay unemployed for long. The former University of Texas fixture will now be coaching Tennessee in 2015. The Volunteers scooped up Barnes not long after the Longhorns dumped him following an NCAA tourney Second Round knockout.  

- The opening day starter for the Toronto Blue Jays will be… 24-year-old hurler Drew Hutchison. The club announced that you’ll see Hutchison take the mound for Toronto’s season starting showdown at Yankee Stadium. The right-hander went 11-13 in 2014 with a 4.48 ERA. Far more impressive: Hutchison’s three wins and 0.93 WHIP over the course of Spring Training this year.

Category : Archives

Tag : basketball , betting , nba , NHL

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