LIV Golf hasn’t been talked about much…… is something you will never read again. LIV, outside of the NFL drama with Deshaun Watson, has been the most talked about sports organization in the world. If you live under a rock and have not heard about LIV, let me give you a quick rundown of what makes this so compelling to talk about.

LIV golf is a new golf tour that is Saudi-backed and has been offering massive amounts of money to golf stars like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and many more. The PGA Tour has been put on notice and told all players that if they decide to leave to play on the Saudi backed tour, their tour card would be suspended and they would be excluded from team events such as the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. LIV Golf’s format is 48 players competing over 54 holes with the roman numeral for 50 is L and 4 is IV, making LIV. The rounds start in a shotgun start which provides shorter broadcasts and more action during every minute. Players compete for themselves for massive amounts of money over 8 events this year as well as in 4 person teams for an added shot at making money. Henrik Stenson, the now former European Ryder Cup champion, has left for LIV Golf and has lost his spot as captain in 2023 and instead took home a nice $4m+. The players of LIV Golf have now gone at the PGA Tour with a new law suit to have their suspensions not be in effect for major championships like The Masters and PGA Championship. This is an ongoing issue that we are just at the start of. On top of the PGA displaying an irrational hate towards the players, they have received hate from multiple liberal organizations since the events is a) Saudi Arabian backed and b) playing at ton of the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, owned courses with the most recent event being held at Trump Bedminster in Bedminster, NJ.

Besides that they have still played nine rounds of golf through three events in London, Portland, and Bedminster. The events have been held on YouTube and on LIV Golf’s website and with new voice David Feherty. Some stars like Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed have shined since joining LIV Golf while players like Pat Perez and Phil Mickelson certainly have not. None the less, every event that has been played has been entertaining to watch. The winners so far have been Henrik Stenson, Branden Grace, and Charl Schwartzel. The success and happiness of players can be seen by everyone that walks the course. The only downside that has been seen is the crowds at these events however I truly don’t believe this should be a worry. The recent events have been gaining fans as event event comes and you can notice on the broadcasts. The most recent event had several thousand fans per day which in comparison, the average PGA event has 20k fans per day. That may seem like it is low but you need to remember the organization is only three events in and tickets weren’t on sale for as long as the PGA tickets go up for sale. With the organization having the entire month of August off, I would expect more players to join the organization and ticket sales to improve before heading to cities like Boston, Chicago, and Miami. The new tour has also announced that next year they will go from 8 to 14 events and continue to grow the game and leave a global footprint.

All in all, I expect for the LIV Golf Tour to continue to improve week after week attracting new names and eventually resulting in a TV deal. I don’t know if a network will pick them up or if they will end up with a streaming service like Netflix, HBO, or Showtime. I expect players like Rickie Fowler and Cameron Smith to be part of the next wave into the tour as it continues to draw a huge following from the conservatives that supported Donald Trump. He has left his impression and as more and more people get involved, I expect it to continue being a highly talked about organization that continue to ruffle the feathers emotionally as it becomes a disruptive force into the overly controlling PGA Tour ran by Jay Monahan.

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IM BACK! Sorry for the break in articles I was getting married but I’m back. I hope your ready to learn about the Great Lake Loons. The winners of the first half of the season which means they have locked up their spot in the playoffs.

The Loons are located in the town of Midland, Michigan since 2007. Right now, the Loons are affiliated with the LA Dodgers. They have had multiple team control them in the past like St. Louis Cardinals (82-94), Boston Red Sox for (95-98), Houston Astros (99-02), The Evil Emprie ( The Yankees) ( 03-04), and The Tampa Bay Devils Ray’s ( 05-06).

They haven’t always been the Loons. You might know them by names like , Hatters, Battles Cats and The Yankees. The Loons have played at the DOW Diamond since 2007. Before that they were at C.O. Brown Stadium. They have hosted the Midwest League All-Star game twice once in 2008 and 2017.

Now on the the previous player on this team.

Frist is Clayton Kershaw who is one of the best pitcher of the 2010s. He is an 8 time all-star, he is won the ERA title 5 times ( 11 -14, 16). He has won the Cy Young award 3 times (11 , 13 and 14 ) and most recently he won the World series in 2020.

Johan Santana was a pitcher that played in the major league for 12 years . In the 12 years he won 2 AL Cy Young awards (04-06). He was a Triple Crown winner in 06, he pitched a no hitter on June 1st 2012. He was also elected to the Minnesota Twins Hall Of Fame.

Roy Oswalt was a pitcher who played for the Loons in 1999 . Roy had a good career, he was a 3 tike all start form 05 to 07 . He won the NLCS MVP in 2005. He was NL ERA leader in 2006. He was elected to be in the Houston Astros hall of Fame. Now on the prospects and let me tell you these prospects are some of the best.

Diego Cartaya is a catcher and also is the number one prospect in the Dodgers organization. He was signed out of Venezuela for $2.5 million dollars and made his US debut in 2019 at the age of 19 . This season he batting a decent .285 Avg. His OBP is .411 and SLG % of .512. In 32 games he has 35 hits ,10 doubles and 6 dingers. He will be double A soonpr trade keep an eye on him. He may be moved for a big name, maybe Juan Soto.

Eddys Leonard is a versatile defender for every pos  in the infield. He was signed out of Dominican Republic for $200,000 dollars. This year he is batting .265, has an OBP of .359 and slugging of .414. In 88 games, he has 91 hits, 25 doubles , 32 walks and most importantly he has 8 dingers.

Nick Nastrini Is a RHP that was drafted in 2021 in the 4th round. He has a mid 90s fastball , upper 70s curveball, low 80 slider, and a mid 80s change up. In 18 games he has ERA of 4.21, WHIP of 1.29, and opponents batting AVG of .200. In 68.1 innings he has giving up 51 hits , 9 dingers and has given up 33 walks.

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We had another entertaining fight out of Paddy Pimblett this weekend at UFC London. Paddy left the octagon relatively unharmed and ready to fight one more time before the end of the calendar year. Many fans of Paddy will say they think he should just keep fighting at the level of competition that he is which is prospects that may have a future in the UFC and others want him to try and jump into the top 15 of the lightweight division.

I simply ran a poll asking if people would be interested in a bout between Drew Dober and Paddy Pimblett at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. We got the answer we needed to confirm that this could be a possibility. Drew Dober simply said “I’d be down!” to fight against the scouser. Dober does fight this week and doesn’t have an easy matchup with Rafael Alves but assuming he gets a victory and doesn’t take a ton of blows to earn himself a medical suspension, this seems like it would be a perfect matchup. Two guys who very well could be in the 16-25 range of the lightweight division rankings who have their eyes set on moving up the rankings. Drew Dober brings authenticity and a legit test to Paddy as the 33 year old veteran has been in the octagon with fighters like Terrance McKinney, Islam Makhachev, Beneil Dariush, and more. Is Drew Dober vs. Paddy Pimblett a fight you’d like to see made by the UFC? Please tweet at us @wocmain and let us know!

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The long awaited announcement has finally come. The Calgary Flames have been informed that Matthew Tkachuk is not interested in signing a long term deal with them and therefore have placed him on the trading block. For a few years now it has been speculated that Tkachuk wanted out and it is now official. 

There may be speculation as of to where he will be shipped off to but I truly think the is only one clear option, the St. Louis Blues. The Flames are only going to get something worth while for Tkachuk if he is willing to sign long term with the team. St. Lous is said to fit the bill as Tkachuk grew up in St. Louis and his Dad, Kieth, played for St. Louis. The next question would be, do the Blues need his service? I mean, who couldn’t use a player of his caliber? He produced over 100 points last year and plays a very physical game. His Offensive output would be great for a Blues team that just lost David Perron and his physical play makes him fit perfectly in the cycle scheme that the Blues run.

Everything seems to be lining up, but who would the Blues be willing to give up? Well we need to take into account that this acquisition would put the Blues over the salary cap so a large salary needs to go back to Calgary (even with the rumor of Tkachuk willing to go to St. Louis on a discount. The Blues have three of their biggest stars becoming UFAs after this season: Ryan O’Reilly, Ivan Barbashev, and Vladimir Tarasenko. I don’t see the Blues trading their captain without the need of a culture change in the locker room (which they do not need). Trading Barbashev would require at least $5 million more with him to come close to fixing the salary issue, and with his age, I see the Blues more interested in resigning him if he can repeat his breakout season. The obvious choice is Tarasenko because of his cap hit and the fact that he never rescinded his trade request. I could see this going down easily as a player for player swap with Tkachuk and Tarasenko. Both teams get an elite player on an expiring contract that I feel would sign long term with their new homes. 

I could see the Flames wanting more in return than just Tarasenko and perhaps turning to a different trade partner that would offer more but would Tkachuk be willing to sign long term? My answer is no. I think Tkachuk’s end goal is to sign with St. Louis whether it’s via trade now or waiting til the off season and I think the Blues would be willing to see if that is the case if the Flames ask for too much.

Prediction: Tkachuk for Tarasenko by the end of July.

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As many around the college football world know, USC and UCLA are both going to jump into the Big Ten as soon as 2024. Yes, because Cali teams flying to the Midwest every road game they play totally makes sense. This is most definitely a money grab to boost Big Ten network ratings. Other notable moves include Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. My thoughts on the matter is that conferences are trying to produce more revenue from their conferences as well as the entire NCAA. That point is pretty self explanatory. However, there are two underlying thoughts that I have. First thought: Will this money go to the players for them to have some type of payment in their bank accounts? Second thought: will conference expansions encourage more of a structured playoff format? These are questions that could be very much more of a reality as a progressive NCAA is looking to finally cater to the hands of fans, coaches, and especially players who are hungry for change.

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Everyone knows the college football world is scared of the almighty GameCocks gettin up in everyone’s grill. Now what is the number one thing that people do when they are scared of something? That’s freakin right: they hide from them. With one of the best defensive transfer classes, Spencer Rattler at QB, a Lloyd, Beal, and McDowell as a 3 headed monster in the running game, an improved o line, and a Beamer coaching staff that will ruffle your duffles, that would most definitely make the average human being change their underwear. Anyways, going back to the strategy of hiding from something you fear: the Gamecocks just mocked their opponents who will be scared to face the heavy winds of the Sandstorm going on at Williams-Brice stadium. Brace yourself for the most cruel intimidation tactic in human history…..

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So it’s been a long time coming since The Schmo was asking Dana White to start a grand prix at a UFC press event when starting a 165 lbs division and moving welterweight from 170 to 175 lbs. As the UFC got bigger and better over the years, one thing was certain. They had an embarrassment of riches at the lightweight and welterweight divisions. Many fighters cut insane amounts of weight to hit their division weight limits and while the stars of these divisions are incredible, it’s time to start considering adding the additional division. Many people don’t know how it would work and that is because there is no correct answer. But something interesting occured this week. The UFC rankings (determined by a select group of media members) had moved Dustin Poirier to a tie for number 1 contender in the lightweight division with Justin Gaethje, No fights took place for there to be any reason for the sudden change so many fans were left scratching their heads. While I have no reason or evidence behind this, I believe this is a move to thicken the plot between a possible bout between Poirier and former American Top Team teammate, #1 welterweight contender, Colby Covington.A matchup being set to bring in the initial title fight between two number one contenders is exactly what the UFC could be looking for. Two former interim champs competing to be the first undisputed champion of a brand new division is like a movie ending.

I have been a firm believer in the possibility of the two of them fighting and with Poirier looking to fight soon and seemingly no deal is being made with Nate Diaz, Colby could be the biggest money fight for the Louisiana native. The two have been giving shots back and forth and after Covington dominated American Top Team fighter, Jorge Masvidal, we could be sitting looking at the main event matchup at International Fight Week in Las Vegas, NV this July.

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The Ultimate Fighter season 30 airs on ESPN + this Wednesday and while the show came back last season from a break from a few years, TUF has produced many stars that you watch today. TUF started it off with a showing that debatably saved the organization with Forest Griffin, Michael Bisping, Michael Chiesa, bantamweight champion Julianna Pena, Nate Diaz, Carla Esparza, Tony Ferguson, P4P #1 Kamaru Usman, and many others have been winners of the competition. Outside the winners of the show however, it has produced even bigger stars like champions Rose Namajunas and TJ Dillashaw. The show is excellent and while can feel like a tryout, gives you an inside look at what these fighters are really like outside the octagon on Saturday nights.

The show will be featuring heavyweight fighters and women’s featherweight fighters which should provide an interesting mix inside the house while being coached by two of the best fighters in all of women’s MMA in Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes. This should lead to an interesting dynamic as the women’s featherweight division can use a couple more contenders inside the division to eventually challenge for the belt but more interesting is how will Pena and Nunes (along with their teams) be able to help the heavyweight fighters that will hope to join the incredibly tough UFC heavyweight ranks. There is nearly 100 lbs of difference between the two and the skill sets will assumably be way different from each other with the bodies being so much different. This will be a major factor to watch for during the duration of the season.

Regardless of the coaches, the show is always a treat on Wednesday nights throughout the summer. Tune in on ESPN+ and I will have a recap article every Thursday for you. Enjoy the show, enjoy the coaches, and enjoy the fact we will get a rematch of Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes hopefully this fall.

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The UFC was pleased to have another fantastic fight night card for the 100th fight night on ESPN. This article will be only going over the main event and if you like content like this, we will cover the entire card on a podcast episode that can be found visually on YouTube and on most podcast streaming sites tomorrow morning.

Marlon “Chito” Vera

Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Chito, bet on Chito, and on my scorecard had him winning the fight 49-46 with him only losing round one. What I did not like about the performance was how confident he was that he won the fight towards the end of round 4 and into round 5. Chito had Font in a tough spot and Rob Font would have had to finish Chito to get the win but the problem was the heart of Font for Vera. The Boston-native is never was going to back down and while Vera looked relatively untouched at the end of the fight opposed to how Font looked, at any given moment, Font can finish this fight. Font had Chito against the cage to start every round and with one shot it could have been lights out behind the jab of Rob. Regardless, Vera gets the victory and come tomorrow should enter the top five of the bantamweight rankings. Vera deserves a top 5 opponent and likely with a win, he could be right at the top for a championship fight opportunity for the 29 year old. With TJ Dillashaw likely getting a title shot unless Henry Cejudo jumps ahead and gets the chance and already having fought Jose Aldo, I like the chances of either a Vera vs. Sandhagen fight or Sandhagen vs. Yan. With a win over the former bantamweight champion, Petr Yan, he likely gets the next title shot. With a win over Sandhagen, I think the UFC would still need one more fight from Chito.

If Vegas is asking, I like the chances that Chito’s next fight will be competing against former champion, Petr Yan likely by the end of summer headlining another fight night card possibly outside America.

Rob Font

I know I backed up Font a lot in the Vera recap but he isn’t off the hook either. Rob missed weight for the first time in his career coming into this fight which will raise plenty of questions and put a mark in his file in my mind. After the first eight minutes in there, his cardio was in serious question as he went from heavy shots behind his jab to landing a lot of volume with no real damage through the last three rounds. Font has now lost his last two main events on Fight Night cards to Chito and Jose Aldo earlier this year. No question he has one of the best chins in all of the UFC but he is getting older and time may be running out for him to have a title shot. I expect him to be removed from the main event spotlight and get a three rounder against a young up-and-comer. The two names that come to mind would be Song Yadong and Sean O’Malley. Sean is likely going to fight at International Fight Week in Vegas which would be way to short after the brutal damage he took over his last two fights. i am not ruling out the possibility that he takes a long break and is the next fight after Sean likely fights a low ranked fighter before hopefully signing a big deal in the UFC possibly in December in Vegas. For Song Yadong, this would be a great next fight for the 24 year old as he could wait until early fourth quarter of 2022. Three rounds almost seems like a requirement for Font after not being able to hold up over his last two fights.

With Sean having a fight I am just ruling him out even though I am confident we will eventually see that fight down the line. I thing Song Yadong and Rob Font is the fight to make and I would possibly even like to see it if the UFC has a PPV in Boston this fall.

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The Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us! There is nothing more entertaining than playoff hockey and this first round has some very interesting matchups. I think the East has greater potential for upsets with more complete teams throughout. The West though could get interesting with some skids and streaky teams having entered the playoffs this season.

Minnesota Wild (2) VS St. Louis Blues (3)

Head to Head: Blues: 3-0-0, Wild 0-1-2

Wild: 305 Goals(5th), 249 GA (16th), 3.7 G/GP(5th), 2.99 GAA(13th), 2,666 Shots(11th), 11.4 Shot%(2nd), 2577 SA(15th), .903 SV%(17th), 882 PIM(30th), 53 PPG(12th), 20.5 PP%(18th), 76.1 PK%(25th), 2 SHG (30th), 1,846 Hits(18th), 1,115 BLK(15th),47.6 FO%(27th).

Blues: 309 Goals(3rd), 239 GA(11th), 3.77 G/GP(3rd), 2.89 GAA(11th), 2,492 Shots(18th), 12.4 Shot% (1st), 2,591 SA(16th), .908 SV%(8th), 611 PIM(3rd), 65 PPG(2nd), 27 PP%(2nd), 84.1 PK%(5th), 9 SHG(6th), 1,656 Hits(28th), 1,004 BLKs(26th), 50.2 FO%(14th).

This might be the most even matchup in the first round. The Blues and Wild are neck in neck in almost every category except for Special teams and FO%. The Blues were top half in FO% while the Wild ranked in the bottom six. The Blues were the only team in the NHL to be ranked in the top 5 on both the Power play and penalty kill which should be scary for a Wild team that gathered the 3rd most penalty minutes. Both teams ranked in the middle of the league in shot attempts but were ranked 1 and 2 in shot percentage due to their high quality shots from the slot. The wild had six guys with 20+ goals and 9 players having 10 or more while the Blues lead the league with 9 20+ goal scorers and 10 with 15 or more. The wild have Talbot and Fleury in net will the Blues have Husso and Binnington. Both Wild goalies have been lights out while Binnington has struggled mightily this season. Expect Husso vs. Talbot to be the main goalie matchup.

Verdict: These teams are extremely similar but the wild’s biggest weakness is their lack of discipline and terrible special teams play while the Blues Strength happens to be their discipline and strong special teams play. Blues in 5.

Edmonton Oilers (2) VS Los Angeles Kings (3)

Head to Head: Oilers: 3-1-0 Kings: 1-2-1

Oilers: 285 Goals(7th), 251 GA(17th), 3.48 G/GP(7th), 3.02 GAA(19th), 2,7090 Shots(10th), 10.2 S%(11th), 2,647 SA(21st), .905 SV%(13th), 666 PIM(10th), 61 PPG(6th), 26 PP%(3rd), 79.4 PK%(17th), 11 SHG(T3rd), 1,853 Hits(15th), 1,018 BLKs(25th), 51.3 FO%(8th).

Kings: 235 Goals(20th), 232 GA(9th), 2.87 G/GP(20th), 2.79 GAA(8th), 2,865 Shots(5th), 8.2 S%(32nd), 2,341 SA(2nd), .901 SV%(19th), 635 PIM(6th), 40 PPG(24th), 16.1 PP%(27th), 76.5 PK%(22nd), 11 SHG(T3rd), 1,667 Hits(27th), 1,667 BLKs(17th), 52.2 FO%(5th). 

The Oilers are a far better team in every offensive category but the Kings’ size and defense could be trouble. The Oilers have a solid top two lines, behind that is a big question mark. The Kings don’t have any standout lines but none that are worse than the others either. All of the stats point to Edmonton to win but they playoffs aren’t their friends.

Verdict: Oilers win in 6

Colorado Avalanche (1) VS Nashville Predators (WC2)

Head to Head: Avalanche: 1-1-2 Predators: 2-1-1

Avalanche: 308 goals (4th), 232 GA(10th), 3.76 G/GP(4th), 2.80 GAA(10th), 2,872 Shots(4th), 10.7 S%(T6th), 2,625 SA(19th), .912 SV%(7th), 742 PIM 21st), 67 PPG(1st), 79.7 PK%(15th), 6 SHG(16th), 1,764 Hits(23rd), 1,764 BLKs(20th), 47.3 FO%(28th). 

Predators: 262 Goals(13th), 250 GA(16th), 3.20 G/GP(13th), 3.01 GAA(17th), 2,439 Shots(24th), 10.7 S%(T6th), 2,646 SA(20th), .906 SV%(12th), 1,035 PIM(32nd), 63 PPG(T4th), 24.4 PP%(T5th), 79.2 PK%(18th), 2 SHG(T30th), 2,470 Hits(1st), 2,470 BLKs(11th), 51.2 FO%(10th). 

If Saros wasn’t hurt, I would be predicting a first round upset over the Stanley cup favorite. The Predators are far from disciplined as they lead the league in PIM and their PK doesn’t help fix that issue. The Avalanche’s offense is high powered and dynamic but Nashville has the size to keep them in line. 

Verdict: If the predators can steal a game and have Saros come back for game 3, ill take Nashville in 7. If not I’ll take the Avalanche in 6. Either way, Colorado is going to be banged up by the end of it.

Calgary Flames (1) VS Dallas Stars (WC1)

Head to Head: Flames: 2-1-0 Stars: 1-2-0

Flames: 291 Goals(6th), 206 GA(3rd), 3.55 G/GP(6th), 2.49 GAA(3rd), 2,908 Shots(3rd), 10 S%(12th), 2,374 SA(5th), .913 SV%(T3rd), 744 PIM(22nd), 54 PPG(T9th), 22.9 PP%(10th), 83.2 PK%(6th), 7 SHG(T12th), 1,836 Hits(20th), 956 BLKs(30th), 51.1 FO%(11th).

Stars: 233 Goals(21st), 244 GA(14th), 2.80 G/GP(21st), 2.93 GAA(14th), 2,486 Shots(19th), 9.4 S%(T19th), 2,545 SA(13th), .904 SV%(T14th), 551 PIM(1st), 54 PPG(T9th), 22.5 PP%(11th), 79 PK%(19th), 7 SHG(T12th), 1,850 Hits(16th), 1,170 BLKs(9th), 54.8 FO%(2nd). 

The Flames are far and away a better team and this should be a sure win for them. The Flames have too good of an offense for the stars to keep up with especially since the Stars’ chemistry has been on and off. The stars stellar FO ability could make it interesting though if they turn in FO wins in the offensive zone

Verdict: Flames in 5.

Carolina Hurricanes (1) VS Boston Bruins (WC1)

Head to Head: Hurricanes: 3-0-0 Bruins: 0-3-0

Hurricanes: 277 Goals(9th), 200 GA(1st), 3.38 G/GP(9th), 2.41 GAA(1st), 2,798 Shots(9th), 9.9 S%(13th), 2,310 SA(1st), .913 SV%(T3rd), 758 PIM(23rd), 51 PPG(13th), 22 PP%(13th), 88 PK%(1st), 4 SHG(25th), 1,804 Hits(21st), 858 BLKs(32nd), 53.9 FO%(4th).

Bruins: 253 Goals(15th), 218 GA(4th), 3.09 G/GP(15th), 2.64 GAA(4th), 2,962 Shots(2nd), 8.5 S%(30th), 2,356 SA(3rd), .908 SV%(T9th), 809 PIM(25th), 50 PPG(T14th), 21.2 PP%(15th), 81.3 PK%(9th), 5 SHG(22nd), 2,205 Hits(3rd), 1,017 BLKs(26th), 54.2 FO%(3rd.

This Series has game 7 and a potential upset written all over it. You have a high powered, speedy team in Carolina going up against a bruising team from Boston. Neither team will thrive playing the other’s game so this is going to come down to who is able to force their kind of game to be played. The biggest note though is Anderson is out for the Hurricanes leaving the door wide open for the Bruins. 

Verdict: When in doubt all else fails, go with the better special teams play. Carolina had the best PK in the NHL and it should make its presence known here. If Anderson comes back, Carolina in 7.

Toronto Maple Leafs (2) VS Tampa Bay Lightning (3)

Head to Head: Leafs: 2-2-0 Lightning: 2-1-1

Maple Leafs: 312 Goals(2nd), 252 GA(18th), 3.80 G/GP(2nd), 3.04 GAA(20th), 2,835 shots(7th), 11 S%(T4th), 2,511 SA(9th), .900 SV(21st), 702 PIM(15th), 63 PPG(T4th), 27.3 PP%(1st), 82.1 PK%(8th), 13 SHG(1st), 1,746 Hits(24th), 972 BLKs(29th), 55.1 FO%(1st).

Lightning: 285 Goals(8th), 228 GA(6th), 3.48 G/GP(8th), 2.74 GAA(6th), 2,535 Shots(17th), 11.2 S%(3rd), 2,441 SA(7th), .907 SV%(T9th), 901 PIM(31st), 62 PPG(5th), 23.9 PP%(7th), 80.6 PK%(11th), 7 SHG(T12th), 2,125 Hits(4th), 1,044 BLKs(22nd), 50.1 FO%(15th). 

The Lightning are trying to three-peat while the Leafs are hoping their offense can make up for they lack of goalie play. The Leafs have the best FO% in the NHL and if they can turn offensive zone FO into goals, they can steal this series.

Verdict: The Pat Maroon (3 straight cups) effect will carry over for at least one more series, Tampa in 6.

New York Rangers (2) VS Pittsburg Penguins (3)

Head to Head: Rangers: 3-1-0 Penguins: 1-3-0

Rangers: 250 Goals(17th), 204 GA(2nd), 3.05 G/GP(17th), 2.46 GAA(2nd), 2,392 Shots(28th), 10.5 S%(T8th), 2,528 SA(11th), .919 SV%(1st), 675 PIM(13th), 55 PPG(8th), 25.2 PP%(4th), 82.3 PK%(7th), 8 SHG(T9th), 2,094 Hits(5th), 1,167 BLKs(10th), 48.1 FO%(24th).

Penguins: 269 Goals(11th), 222 GA(5th), 3.28 G/GP(11th), 2.67 GAA(5th), 2,849 Shots(6th), 9.4 S%(T19th), 2,576 SA(14th), .914 SV%(2nd), 566 PIM(2nd), 50 PPG(T14th), 20.2 PP%19th), 84.4 PK%(3rd), 3 SHG(28th), 2,010 Hits(10th), 1,094 BLKs(16th), 51.1 FO%(12th).

This series would’ve been one of the most intriguing ones a month ago but the Penguins seem to have forgotten how to play hockey while New York has remained the most underrated team all season long. The Rangers have a mix of grit and offense that the Penguins won’t be able to control. The Penguins Pk could attempt to control the Rangers Powerplay but even that won’t be enough.

Verdict: Rangers in 5.

Florida Panthers (1) VS Washington Capitals (WC2)

Head to Head: Panthers: 2-1-0 Capitals:1-2-0

Panthers: 337 Goals(1st), 242 GA(T12th), 4.11 G/GP(1st), 2.91 GAA(T12th), 3,062 Shots(1st), 11 S%(T4th), 2,515 SA(10th), .904 SV%(T14th), 832 PIM(27th), 64 PPG(3rd), 24.4 PP%(T5th), 79.5 

PK%(16th), 12 SHG(2nd), 2,050 Hits(7th), 995 BLKs(38th), 48.2 FO%(23rd).

Capitals: 270 Goals(10th), 242 GA(T12th), 3.29 G/GP(10th), 2.91 GAA(T12th), 2,577 Shots(14th), 10.5 S%(T8th), 2,378 SA(6th), .898 SV% 23rd), 631 PIM(5th), 48 PPG(16th), 18.8 PP%(23rd), 80.4 PK%(12th), 8 SHG(T9th), 2,068 Hits(6th), 1,150 BLKs(12th), 47.1 FO%(30th).

This series could be interesting but I think not. The Panthers have been lights out all season long and they they decided to add Claude Giroux and they only made them deeper. Their biggest issue is their FO% but the Capitals are even worse. Panthers should control this series and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a sweep.

Verdict: Panthers in 4.

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