Tom Brady’s Legacy Officially Tainted

Ramblings, Sports

Today Roger Goodell announced the four game suspension of Tom Brady will be upheld. He will not play in the season opener for his New England Patriots.

What does this mean? His legacy is officially damaged and tainted.

None or the greats in the game ever received such a significant suspension or have been involved in as much scandals as he has.

By the way, who is 4-0 in the Super Bowls and who is 4-2? Yeah, exactly. Julian Edelman is smoking crack. Not like anyone knows who he is.

Good on Roger Goodell for having a no nonsense approach to the Cheatriots.

At the Breaking Point With Canucks GM Jim Benning

Ramblings

Today the Canucks announced they have traded Adam Clendening, Nick Bonino, AND a second rounder to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Brandon Sutter and a third round pick.

How does this trade make any sense? What the hell? Did Bonino not want to be here?

The Kesler trade does look like a disaster now considering he was that guy who came the other way.

I do not know much about Brandon Sutter, but looking at his stats, he doesn’t look much better or maybe even slightly better than Bonino.

Throw in Clendening who is a decent prospect and played well when called up here as well as the second round pick when we have the possibility of finishing low?

Canucks fans, this guy may be reaching the Mactavish point. I don’t get this move at all and will say it time and time again.

If Brandon Sutter becomes a godsend on the third or second line while Bonino and Clendening do nothing, okay. But the chances of those scenarios all happening are extremely low.

What an odd move and I’m starting to lose faith in Benning.

Predicting the 2015-2016 NFL Season

Sports

Preseason is just around the corner for the National Football League.

It’s that time of year to go ahead and make predictions. I will be wrong on a few things. I didn’t go through every teams schedule or single game to make these predictions. These are just based on how I feel the teams will do based on their additions over the offseason, their last season, or strength of schedule.

The teams with the toughest schedules this year are:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 147-107-2, .579
2. Cincinnati Bengals: 144-112, .563
3. San Francisco 49ers: 143-112-1, .561
4. Seattle Seahawks: 142-112-2, .559
5. Arizona Cardinals:142-113-1, .557

It’s not a shock three teams in the NFC west are in the top five, with the St. Louis Rams coming in at six.

So here we go.

AFC East Predictions

1. New England Patriots 12-4
2. Miami Dolphins 9-7
3. Buffalo Bills 8-8
4. New York Jets 5-11

Pretty obvious in my opinion. The Jets and Bills simply don’t have a quarterback. Credit to them for the moves they made elsewhere. I think both teams may have solid defenses as they both have the right personnel and offseason additions to vouch for that. But still, no quarterback, means not many wins. The Patriots (no brainer) and Dolphins both have quarterbacks who can win them games.

AFC North Predictions

1. Baltimore Ravens 11-5
2. Cincinnati Bengals 11-5
3. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7
4. Cleveland Browns 6-10

The Browns could be even worse than I realize. Josh McCown flat out sucks. That is their quarterback? Their defense and coaching are the only positive things about that whole organization. The Steelers, Bengals, and Ravens are miles ahead of them in the regular season and in terms of how well run each organization is. I think all three of them have a good chance to make the postseason. Meanwhile in Cleveland…yeah, no comment.

AFC South Predictions

1. Indianapolis Colts 13-3
2. Houston Texans 11-5
3. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11
4. Tennessee Titans 2-14

There’s simply no hope for the Titans. I feel they may have the worst roster in the league. Nothing to note on defense, nothing really on offense except young Marcus Mariota. He’s being put into a position to fail as far as I’m concerned. Meanwhile Jacksonville is cursed and mourning the loss of first round draft pick Dante Fowler. Blake Bortles should have a much better year than he did last year though. As for the Texans and Colts, they will keep feasting on the unfortunate two below them. The Texans upgraded at their brutal quarterback position while the Colts upgraded their offense and made a few defensive additions.

AFC West Predictions

1. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6
2. Denver Broncos 8-8
3. San Diego Chargers 8-8
4. Oakland Raiders 6-10

This is where I see things getting interesting in the league next year. I feel the Broncos will regress based on what we saw from them to end the year last year as well as their disastrous offseason this year. Such moves from them included the hiring of Gary Kubiak and Ryan Clady getting injured once again. Who will protect Peyton now?

The Chiefs are just getting better and better as far as I’m concerned. And the Chargers are the average Chargers. I do feel the Raiders will improve on their disastrous year last year. All that young talent and new coaching staff should tack on a few wins for them. In three years, look out, they may not be the laughing stock of the league anymore.

NFC East Predictions

1. Philadelphia Eagles 12-4
2. Dallas Cowboys 11-5
3. New York Giants 5-11
4. Washington Redskins 4-12

The Redskins are years away from being solid team. I give them props for hiring McLoughlan as new general manager. He has won every where he’s gone and if given the time, he will turn them into a winner. It simply won’t happen in one year. Bob Griffin is probably going to stay stinking up the joint.

Then there’s the Giants who haven’t done anything to note in the regular season in a while and it appears there may not be much time left for Tom Coughlin. The Cowboys and Eagles are simply the two better teams. Whoever wins the division will be a toss up between them. I went bold and chose the Eagles but if quarterback Sam Bradford goes down, Dallas may easily win it.

NFC North Predictions

1. Green Bay Packers 13-3
2. Detroit Lions 10-6
3. Minnesota Vikings 9-7
4. Chicago Bears 4-12

The Bears…nothing positive to note there but a new coaching staff. But how many coaches can Jay Cutler go through before he starts winning games for the Bears? Their defense looks atrocious as well on paper.

Meanwhile the Vikings, Lions, and Packers all either stayed the same or improved. The Vikings did not bad for a team with a new coach last season. The Lions and Packers stayed the same or made minor additions to pick up where they left off from last year.

NFC South Predictions

1. Carolina Panthers 9-7
2. Atlanta Falcons 8-8
3. New Orleans Saints 7-9
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-10

Not sure how this division is going to exactly go. Don’t even be shocked if the Buccaneers manage to win it. Who knows how their offense will be with Jameis Winston at the helm or their defense with a season under their belt with new coach Lovie Smith.

NFC West Predictions

1. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2. St. Louis Rams 10-6
3. Arizona Cardinals 10-6
4. San Francisco 49ers 4-12

Tough to predict this division as well. I think one thing is obvious: the Seahawks are the favourites to win the super bowl again this year and the 49ers have regressed.

It becomes a game of rotating the Rams or Cardinals. Jeff Fisher’s job is on the line this year. If they can’t improve from their 8-8 or 7-9 seasons, he could be gone. The talent is there, there is no excuse. The Cardinals meanwhile are a good team. It will be interesting to see how things end up between the two.

Predicting the 2015-2016 NHL Standings and Playoffs

Sports

Well another decent season for the National Hockey League was put into the history books.

If you read my post last year, I called most of the right dark horses. I said the Canucks will make the playoffs as a wild card. They didn’t even need to be a wild card they had such a successful year. I also said the Predators would make it in but as a wild card. They soared through the rankings in the regular season last year.

Of course it is somewhat of a crap shoot but it is fun. The standings next year no doubt will not emulate last years NHL standings; there will be some teams who I feel will get in once again and others who will go down a bit. Fanbases will be happy when I stroke their team, some will be upset when I speak what I feel is the truth.

Atlantic Division Predictions

1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Detroit Red Wings
3. Florida Panthers
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Montreal Canadiens
7. Boston Bruins
8. Buffalo Sabres

So your first reaction is probably: “what kind of shit are you smoking that made you rank the Toronto Maple Leafs so high?”

I call it…the fallacy of Mike Babcock.

This is where the Maple Leafs will have a coach that is so good he will make them at least competitive no matter how bad they look on paper. In turn, this will piss off Toronto fans when they may barely miss the playoffs; they as fans will want a lottery pick. I really have this exact feeling. I may be dead wrong, but I call it the “Babcock effect”. Count me as one of the fans who feels a decent coach can turn a team around no matter how bad they look on paper.

So with that said you probably notice the Canadiens low after a decent season last year. Yeah, I believe they are trending downwards. I admittedly don’t follow them often but only hear from fans how bad of a job Michelle Therrien is doing. Carey Price is the force behind that team and I simply don’t believe a team can keep up in the ranks with their goalie playing their heart out. Just look at the New York Rangers with Tortorella. They kept trending downwards even though Lundqvist played his ass off.

The Sabres, yeah, they suck. I am not a believer in Tim Murray at all. Dan Bylsma is a wild card but I truly feel with the losing culture they had in place last year, it’s going to backfire. They are going to become the next Edmonton Oilers. Let’s not forget the idiotic trade and signing of Ryan O’ Reilly. Their two decent prospects in Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov for him? Tim Murray is going to ruin this team.

I feel the Panthers are going up. A nice young core, some decent depth, and a decent coach. Keep an eye on this team. Dale Tallon did a fine job in Chicago before putting them in cap hell. But hey, I’d prefer the cup if it means my team goes in cap hell for a few years after.

And the Lightning, yeah, no brainer. Called them in first last year. Look for them to be a threat once again this year.

One team I am honestly not sure of is the Boston Bruins. I feel Lucic was the identity of that team and I’m banking on Don Sweeney looking like a fool this offseason. Not sure if Julien is being tuned out by the roster either.

Detroit will be an interesting team to watch. I feel like Blashill will just pick up where Babcock left off. Holland will also continue his brilliance as general manager. I can’t see Detroit falling anytime soon.

Metropolitan Division Predictions

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Washington Capitals
3. New York Rangers
4. New York Islanders
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Phiadelphia Flyers
8. Carolina Hurricanes

This is an interesting division. More interesting than the rest.

I truly feel the Rangers reign of dominance may come to an end. I’m familiar with Vigneault. He usually has a few good years until teams start to tune him out just like the Vancouver Canucks did.

I can’t help but think the Penguins were doing well with coach Mike Johnston until they got decimated with injuries. And with the addition of Phil Kessel, I see them playing lights out on offense while Johnston keeps them playing decent on defense. His system had Marc Andre-Fleury looking great. I just can’t see Pittsburgh trending downwards and feel last year was an anomaly.

The Capitals will be up there for sure. I’m not sure if they will rank as high as second but they will be a playoff team. And when they get in, they will be dangerous with game seven legend Justin Williams. I love that pickup. Barry has them playing good hockey. I was wrong about him as a coach. He has done a solid job in Washington.

The Blue Jackets and Islanders could rotate. I feel the Islanders may be slightly ahead. But both teams both have solid, young talent. Like I said, don’t be shocked if one or the other gets in as a bottom seed.

The Devils, not a bad team. But also not great on the forward side of things. I am not sure how their new coach from Wilkes-Barre will do either.

The Flyers I feel may trend a bit down but be good in the future. Their defense core is still the worst in the league and I believe it will take some time to fix. The other teams I ranked ahead of them I just feel are simply better teams than the Flyers, who are pretty much Giroux, Voracek, and maybe Provorov as of now. Not to forget Couturier.

The Hurricanes, yeah, no brainer for me here. Nothing screams cup contender or on the rise from that squad to me. But then again, they could prove me wrong. If they get into the playoffs that means I have a chance with Salma Hayek.

Central Division Predictions

1. St. Louis Blues
2. Nashville Predators
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Minnesota Wild
5. Dallas Stars
6. Minnesota Wild
7. Winnipeg Jets

This is hands down the toughest division in hockey. All the teams in this division are good and could be considered playoff teams. I feel I will be dead wrong in my predictions for this division.

You could rotate the Jets with the Wild, the Blackhawks with the Stars. Here is my reasoning for why I ranked it how I did here:

-The Blackhawks are always going to be a playoff team as long as Toews, Kane, and Keith are there. Along with Coach Q. Sharp and Oduya are big losses but do not mean no playoffs

-The Blues are the kings of the regular season. How they do in the playoffs is the bigger concern.

-The Wild have a nice core. People thought they would trend downwards this year and coach Yeo was in trouble. Misjudgment there. Their goaltending is the biggest concern but they haven’t missed the playoffs in years with Suter and Parise at the helm.

-The Predators have the best defensive core in the league and Laviolette usually stays decent as head coach (until year three or so usually).

I can’t see these four teams missing for those reasons. The Stars are the wildcard for me. I feel they may either be able to sneak in as a lower seed, or pass the Predators or Wild. They have a nice young core and elite offensive prowess.

The Avalanche are still a big question mark but again have a nice young core. They too are speedy as hell. They are too inconsistent. One year they finish high, the next, quite low. I’m not too sure if that inconsistency means they are as good as the five I listed above them.

The Jets, I’m sorry to their fans. I really do think last year was an anomaly and I’m not buying them as an elite team. The six teams I ranked ahead of them I feel are flat out better. Of course I ranked the Jets in the bottom of the division last year, and they finished fifth in reality.

Pacific Division Predictions

1. Anaheim Ducks
2. Vancouver Canucks
3. Los Angeles Kings
4. San Jose Sharks
5. Edmonton Oilers
6. Calgary Flames
7. Arizona Coyotes

Here is when my homerism comes in and big time.

I also follow this division more than the other divisions in hockey besides maybe the central division (since that one is so competitive and fun to watch).

I don’t even know if the Anaheim Ducks are a safe bet to finish first. Bruce Boudreau has always been a regular season coach though, so they are the logical choice. Look out Ducks fans about Bieksa though. Don’t complain if he manages to bring your defense down by himself. But like I said, the logical choice for first is the Ducks.

Here is where I will be crucified; I think the Canucks will be a better team this year than last. I follow this team more than any other team. I know Willie Desjardins is a winner. I predicted wild card last year and they instead came in fifth in the western conference and had 101 points. Willie will keep the good times rolling.

Ryan Miller needs to emulate what he did last year. 28-15 as a starter and solid for the most part before he got hurt. I couldn’t ask for more from him. If Jakob Markstrom breaks out like he did in the AHL last year, this could be an awesome goaltending duo.

Bieksa, Matthias, Kassian. All misfits that are gone and replaced by better guys. I truly believe Matt Bartkowski and Clendening will be good on defense. Clendening was solid for us when we had an injury bug in January-March. Little do Canucks fans forget that Sbisa was as well.

Sven Baertschi will be coming in to play on the second line. I can’t see him playing worse than Higgins or Burrows did offensively on the second line. He will put up better numbers. I am a believer.

Horvat and especially Linden Vey will have better years. If Vey doesn’t have a better year he will be gone. I’m rooting for him as he seems like a solid kid. Brandon Prust will be a hellraiser just like Derek Dorsett was on the fourth line. And enter in big Jake Virtanen and Ron Kenins.

Call me a homer, but that’s how I see things. The sky is not falling for me. We aren’t cup contenders but we will be fine.

The Sharks are a wild card to me. Will new coach Peter Deboer be the spark needed for this team? I always felt he was a good coach in New Jersey who was just brutal on the young kids like Adam Larsson. Paul Martin and Joel Ward are also coming in. I’m not sure about Martin but I know Joel Ward is good…for the postseason at least if the Sharks do make it.

The Kings might improve or they might bust. I really don’t know. I do feel Stoll, Richards, Voynov, and Williams all gone is a huge hit to their identity and core. Yeah they now have Lucic but he doesn’t make up for four guys. They will be a team to watch this year.

The Oilers have made all the right moves this offseason. Better moves than any offseason they have had in five or so years. But they are like that dirtbag boyfriend the girl you liked in high school had. They do all the right things but then screw over their fans once the regular season starts. I can’t see how they don’t improve with the changes they made. But if they still suck, the city of Edmonton may be cursed just like Cleveland is.

As for the Calgary Flames, yeah, call me a hater. I wasn’t impressed by them at all last year even though they knocked out my Canucks. It was a giant “whatever” feeling. Bob Hartley usually gets tuned out by his team and I feel that happens anytime with this Flames squad if they keep playing the way they are. Believe it or not, I think Dougie Hamilton will be a bomb in Calgary. He certainly was when I watched him in Boston which is part of the reason why he got dealt. There also is something there that simply does not add up. Boston got rid of him for a low return, meaning not only was he a turnover machine, he may have had character issues. I do however like their addition of Frolik. But I can’t for the life of me see Monahan and Gaudreau replicating the seasons they had last year.

So there you have it. Let the hate mail commence!

Here is what I am predicting the 2015-2016 post season to look like:

Lightning .vs. Senators/Islanders/Blue Jackets (two of these three make it)
Red Wings .vs. Panthers

Penguins .vs. Senators/Islanders/Blue Jackets (two of these three make it)
Capitals .vs. Rangers

Blues .vs. Wild
Blackhawks .vs. Predators

Ducks .vs. Stars/Sharks (most likely Stars)
Canucks .vs. Kings

Jerry Jones With the Quote of the Day

Ramblings

I have always maintained there is no better or more entertaining owner than Mr. Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys.

Not only is he polarizing, he is universally hated. Count me as a fan.

I truly believe the guy doesn’t even believe what he’s saying and loves to troll.

Take this gem of a quote after Dez Bryant re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys for five years at 70 million:

“I want to hug your neck, I’m so proud”.

That makes sense, Jerrah. Followed by the best part:

“Let’s just win five super bowls in a row, how about it?”

Jerry, the Cowboys need to make the playoffs five years in a row first.

I won’t bash the Cowboys relentlessly but give props to the Cowboys offense. Marinelli also did a fine job as defensive coordinator last year. If they repeat what they did last year, they have a shot I guess? But not exactly five in a row, Jerry.

2015 NHL Draft: Why Ivan Provorov Will Have the Best Career After Connor McDavid

Sports

The 2015 NHL draft commenced a few weeks ago. Many picks were made, some of them obvious, some of them shrewd, and some of them garnered a “what the fuck are you doing reaction” *cough* Don Sweeney from Boston Bruins *cough*.

A lot of the first round picks were obvious. Some of them were odd.

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel were the easy top two picks. After that, with the third overall pick, it was a gaunlet between young, skilled players to choose from such as Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin, Mitch Marner, Pavel Zacha, and more. Noah Hanifin I would say was the favourite to go third overall followed by Dylan Strome. The Arizona Coyotes probably think they have their franchise defenseman already in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and that Hanifin was not needed. The Carolina Hurricanes gladly took him.

I am here to tell you that the Phiadelphia Flyers in ten years from now will have made the best selection in this draft after the Oilers obvious first overall selection of Connor McDavid. It is obvious McDavid will be a star in this league. If he goes the way Nail Yakupov did to start off his career I believe the Oilers are truly cursed. McDavid will be in the Art Ross running for years to come. He will be a Calder trophy candidate next year.

Ivan Provorov will be the same in years but for defenseman; he will be talked about as a Norris trophy candidate. This is a guy who oozes hockey IQ that you simply can’t teach. In 60 games last year on the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL, he posted 61 points in 60 games with a plus 36 rating at 18 years old. The Wheat Kings were a top team in the WHL largely due to his presence rocking the first defensive pairing. Not only do his junior stats and film tape stand out, he is also put into the best position to succeed.

You see, the Philadelphia Flyers are a big market team that always want to be in the mix of things. There are few organizations I recall that have consistently iced a playoff team as they have in the last twenty years. Ron Hextall is doing good things as new general manager and he hired the right new head coach in Hakstol after a distastrous few seasons. They will no doubt be in the playoff hunt in another year or two like they have been for many years before. Meanwhile what were the teams actually drafted ahead of the Flyers?

Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres
Arizona Coyotes
Toronto Maple Leafs
Carolina Hurricanes
New Jersey Devils

With the exception of the Devils, wait for it, wait… These organizations are all perennial failures and you can’t say otherwise until they do change things around. The Oilers are a tire fire and have been for years up until this year. They finally made the right personnel decisions by hiring Todd McLellan as head coach and Chiarelli as general manager.

The Sabres are on their way to becoming what the Oilers are. They intentionally tanked the last NHL season and didn’t even try denying it. Tim Murray is a moron and a half when you hear him talk to media. If that’s your general manager I feel pity for you. And the Ryan O’ Reilly contract where they got rid of some of their young core? Why Nikita Zadorov?

The Ariona Coyotes, yeah, a no brainer. They can’t spend to the cap and have to rely on drafting. With the exception of their 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 seasons, they haven’t have much luck and are trending downwards. Mike Smith hasn’t been the same since his hot 2012 season and more. A positive young core. We also must question if Dylan Strome is really a franchise changer or not. Strome, Max Domi, Larsson, and Anthony Duclair. A decent young core. But you have to wonder if Dave Tippett is the right coach to be coaching up young kids or not. You get where I’m going with this before I bash the Leafs and the Hurricanes.

A lot of these picks ahead of Provorov will also go back into their junior leagues next year. I can’t see many of them garnering roster spots besides Eichel and McDavid (obviously). Provorov should see playing time next year. I can’t count six defensemen on that team off the top of my head. They are so weak in that area that a top ten pick would suffice. I am all in on this kid.

Small, skilled forwards are a dime a dozen. Look at how Tyler Johnson went undrafted. A number one puck moving defenseman with a feel for the game is not something that comes along often. Provorov is the best defenseman taking in the last two drafts: after Aaron Ekblad of course.