Game 7

It will be the end of the road for someone tonight. It is the most anticipated game of a playoff series when teams reach the seventh and deciding game of a series. For fans, we are nervous. We feel it in our stomachs. We know it could end in one final game.

The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets have battled to the seventh game of their Western Conference Semifinal series. It won’t go down as a classic. For the most part it has seemed like an uphill struggle for the Predators. They sure haven’t made it easy. Even with a four-goal lead with four minutes left in Game 6 I still could not relax. That’s just how explosive the Jets can be. They proved that in Game 3 when they scored three goals in two minutes to erase a 3-0 Predators’ lead.

The expectations are that the Predators have the depth and experience to win it. Most are giving the edge to Nashville in this game and many are already talking about Vegas.  If the local morning news show was telling us when Game 1 of the Western Conference finals would start against Vegas.

Not so fast my friend. Winnipeg isn’t going to go away quietly. In the Stanley Cup playoffs you assume nothing.

The Predators can be beaten at home and have been beaten twice in this series – badly. So much for the home ice advantage right? Well, these Game 7s are why teams want to have home ice advantage. Unfortunately it seems out so-called “7th man” has not given us the advantage as they did during last season’s run.

As we have seen in this series, no game has been alike. Each game has been a different story. Will Pekka Rinne be the brick wall he was in Game 6 or will he lose his focus as he has in other games in the series? Will the Predators clamp down on defense like they did in Games 4 and 6 or will they have breakdowns that we have seen too many times this season?

I can’t shake the image of Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine. No, not the image that has been circulated which compares him to a goat but the one of the goal scorer with a score to settle. Could it come down to him and a shot from the point?

I’m not ready for this season to end but Winnipeg’s explosive offense scares me. Even with NBC’s Jeremy Roenick (gagging here) dressing up like a Jets’ they weren’t able to close the deal at home on Monday Night. I think the Jets will take it away from us in Game 7.

Previous Game 7s:

  • Nashville Predators
    • April 27, 2016 – Nashville 2, Anaheim 1
    • May 12, 2016 – San Jose 5, Nashville 0
  • Winnipeg Jets
    • None as the current franchise

Winnipeg has outscored Nashville 22-18 in the series.

I saw on the news this morning that Mike Fisher did not practice with the team and probably will not play in the game.  No one is saying what happened and why he left Game 6.  Hopefully someone else will step up and get the job done.

Game 7s are tough.  In the years I have watched the Stanley Cup playoffs and watched the seventh game of a series, most have been pretty close and several have even gone to overtime.  Yes, load up on the Xanax if that happens tonight.

My pick?  I don’t think overtime will be needed.  I think Winnipeg will be strong and win 4-2.


Predators’ Win, $100-Million Dollar Man, and more…

No Friday Flashback post today.  Instead I have a few sports-related rants and observations to share with you.  Yes,  I have a blog and I intend to use it.

The Nashville Predators beat the Winnipeg Jets last night to even their Western Conference Semifinal series at 2-2.  Yes, Pekka Rinne was in goal and played better than he has in recent games.  I still would have started Juuse Saros and I’m not so sure I can be very confident about Rinne even with last night’s win.  I also applaud the move to put Scott Hartnell in the game.  He’s a veteran player and definitely added the physicality to counter Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.  I really was tired of hearing the endless comments from NBC’s AJ about how big and strong Byfuglien is.  I’m also glad that Patrik Laine FINALLY scored a goal so now the NBC commentators will shut up about it.  Enough already about how many games he had gone without scoring.  The young, goat-bearded wonder has scored now, let’s move on.

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with quarterback Matt Ryan on a five-year, $150 million contract with $100 million guaranteed.  Are you kidding me?  Why?  Yeah, I know they call him “Matty Ice” (which is detest) but has he won any Super Bowls?  I won’t deny that Ryan is good but I wouldn’t necessary say his consistent.  Speaking of highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, when I asked Siri about it you won’t believe the top five:  Kirk Cousins (seriously??), Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr and Drew Brees.  What are owners and general managers paying all this money for?

Nashville’s Metro Council is set to vote on proposal to move our Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium which was originally supposed to be built on the Fairgrounds near downtown.   There is some consternation about the location.  A Nashville MLS spokesman fears that failure to support the site will cost Nashville its proposed MLS expansion which was awarded in December.  It’s a bit crazy to me that they can do this much work for a soccer stadium but they can’t come up with a plan to fix the traffic mess.  They will eventually approve and build a soccer stadium but it will be a mess trying to get there.

President Trump is going to appoint Bill Belichick to his sports council.  Yet another reason to dislike both.  Was deflate-gate not enough?

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart got a new 7-year , $49 million dollar deal from Georgia.  I’m a bit on the fence about this one.  At least Smart got the Bulldogs to the National Championship game right?  The Southeastern Conference is brutal.  It will be very difficult to repeat the success from last season.  Smart becomes the fifth highest paid coach in the big-time college football division.

Someone recently told me they would like the Kentucky Derby more if not for the horses.  They prefer all the hoopla (i.e. fancy hats, mint juleps) to the actual horse race.  You would hope they treat those awesome animals well and don’t abuse them.  Sorry, I’m not a fan.  It’s a horse race.

Who is Josh Rosen and why is he stirring up junk?  His feelings are hurt that he fell to 10th in the recent NFL draft before the Arizona Cardinals traded up to select him.  Really?  What exactly did he do in college football?  Well, he’s with the Cardinals.  It won’t matter much anyway.

I’m still disappointed that Georgia Running Back Nick Chubb got snagged by the Cleveland Browns.  I was hoping the Tennessee Titans would get him.  Poor Chubb.

In case you’re following the NBA playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Toronto Raptors 128-110 last night to take a 2-0 lead in their series.  Toronto is the #1 seed in the East but looks like they are fading fast.  To be honest, I haven’t been interested in the NBA playoffs since Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson retired.

I really wish the Washington Redskins would change their stupid name.


Is It Finally Time to “Turn off the lights” on Monday Night Football?


The best reason that John Gruden has returned to coaching again is that he won’t be on Monday Night Football anymore.  Have you heard that the new announcers will be Joe Tessitore and former Dallas Cowboys’ Tight End Jason Witten?  I know who Jason Witten is but I have to admit that I had to click on Joe Tessitore’s name link to refresh my memory on who he is.  We have come a LONG way from the days of Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford and Don Meredith.  Frankly (no pun intended), I think they should finally put an end to Monday Night Football.  Turn out the lights and let the party be over.

Yesterday my wife gave me a Savannah Bananas shirt from the Coastal Plains League team.  It will go along with the Macon Bacon shirt I ordered a few weeks ago.  I think the Portland (Oregon) Pickles and Montgomery (Alabama) Biscuits will be next on my list.