Who needs it more the Lightning or the Stars?

Who needs it more the Lightning or the Stars?

With the 2020 Stanley cup final being one of the most exciting sporting events of the year it is only fair we look at the two teams involved and see who deserves to be crowned the 2020 Stanley cup champions? To see who needs this championship more we will take a look at the last title from both franchises and see if their last Stanley cup deserves to be overshadowed by a new one.

First from the western conference we have the Dallas Stars. The last time they won a sanely cup was 1999. The Stars were led by captain Derian Hatcher, head coach Ken Hitchcock and goaltender Ed Belfour. The Stars defeated the Sabres four games to two to win their first Stanley Cup, becoming the eighth post-1967 expansion team to earn a championship, and the first team based in the Southern United States to win the Cup.

The series ended with a controversial triple-overtime goal in game six, when replays showed that Stars forward Brett Hull scored with his skate in the crease. Although the Sabres protested later, the league stated that the goal had been reviewed and was judged as a good goal, since Hull had maintained possession of the puck as it exited the crease just before he shot it. So, in the end good goal and the first Stanley cup for Dallas.

Next from the east the Tampa Bay Lightning. Back in 2004 the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Western Conference champion Calgary Flames in seven games, becoming the southernmost team to win the Stanley Cup. It was Tampa Bay’s first-ever appearance in the final and was also surrounded in controversy. In game six there was a dispute over a Martin Gelinas redirect that appeared to have gone in off of his skate. A review from one camera angle appeared to show the puck crossing the goal line before Khabibulin’s pad dragged it out, though some argue that the puck had not only been knocked several inches above the goal line making it seem like it was in the net when it wasn’t.

Both of these teams have a very tampered victory that gave them their only Stanley Cups up to that point but that can all change this year as both of them have a chance to become the 2020 Stanley cup champions. But which one needs to overshadow the old title from history and that would be the Dallas stars as they actually broke a rule at the time to win the title so they deserve the 2020 Stanley cup title.

Does the NFL work with no fans?

Does the NFL work with no fans?

With the largest fan base in all of north American sports. How does the NFL work with no fans? For months fans have wondered how an NFL game would feel without fans. After week one fans where honestly surprised since the first game on Sunday everyone forgot that nobody was in attendance. Sure, it makes a difference for players to be used to feeding off a live crowd, but for the rest of the fans they had a solid experience was more or less the same.

How did it all work so well? It is fairly simple the on-field performance stays the same the players still give it their all. There are not much the players can do to improve the game for the fans than just to play the game at a high level. Credit where it’s due to CBS, FOX and NBC for making a few small adjustments that made fans forget the crowd wasn’t there. Production leaned on tighter shots of players, rather than cutting to fans in the stand. It was so subtle you probably didn’t even notice unless you really combed over the games. The natural camera angle we’re used to see plays cuts out much more of the crowd than the NBA or NHL, where we’re more accustomed to seeing the fans behind the play. Yes, we still miss a little of than fan-fueled flavor, but the experience of seeing a game at home was basically the same.

When compared with simulated crowd noise it felt extremely similar to every single game any fan has seen in the past few years. What could be improved? Just because there’s a lack of fans doesn’t mean the fans at home has to lose their love for the game and their personality. The big thing missing that the NFL needs to get on top of and what they really want to sell the idea of is virtual fans. We have seen this at the draft with simulated cheering, they should accept the full fan experience and make things more contextual.

For instance, the simulated crowd never booed a referee. They cheered big plays on both sides of the ball. This is all pretty silly they can accept that no home fan is going to cheer for an away touchdown, or be silent during a critical pass interference call. It doesn’t matter if the call is right, that zebra is getting booed. It comes with the territory. With that change the NFL should be good in this new unknown time.

Could the NHL be in a bubble next season?

Could the NHL be in a bubble next season?

With the NHL Playoffs coming to an end the prospect of a new season Is just around the corner. But how will that season look as the NHL is currently in the bubble for the remainder of the playoffs. The uncertainty looms over not having fans in the stadium and that may be the new normal for a while. So, what will the NHL look like next season.

Right now, the NHL has a tentative start date of Dec. 1 for the 2020-21 season. This is not something that’s set-in stone and that date could be pushed back if there’s a possibility of fans being able to attend games even in a limited capacity in the future.

The Stanley Cup Finals are scheduled to begin in late September, which would bring the season’s conclusion to early October. The NHL Draft and free agency would soon follow, and teams would get an estimated two-month break before the 2020-21 campaign would begin.

The first thing is the start time for the new season as a lot of games will be played a day. The NHL playoffs that starting in August with several games a day. It will be interesting to see how the league has multiple games a day in different markets. Plus, all offseason dates have been pushed back to what would have been the start of the new NHL season in October. With this the start of the 2020-21 season will start in December or possibly January with a reduced schedule such as the lock out shortened seasons during the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.

That is something that most people have come to expect with the pandemic not leaving sports alone just yet. The biggest question looming over the NHL is will they be in a bubble. I believe that they will with the hub city working out tremendously for both Edmonton and Toronto they will keep a division in each city with Edmonton having the pacific and Toronto having the Atlantic the other two division will probably be Chicago with the central and New York (rangers) having the metropolitan hub.

With each division having their own bubble the contact will be very minimal and players can stay safe for each season. Then once the playoffs start, they can go back to a 16-team playoff in 2 hub cities like they did for the 2020 Stanley cup playoffs the hockey will be good as the energy has not changed and the tv product will be one of the best for all fans at home.

Could the New York Rangers be the NHL’s next great Dynasty?

Could the New York Rangers be the NHL’s next great Dynasty?

With the 2020 Stanley cup playoffs moving at a rapid speed we will have to look to next season and the future. With the biggest question is who will be the next great modern dynasty in the NHL and no it is not going to be the Vegas Golden Knights or the Boston Bruins it will be the New York Rangers and her is why.

If you look at the team, they have all the making of being the next Blackhawks as they have not only a dynamic duo for the next ten year but for the next 20 years. As the Rangers have Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad who have become the new faces of the Rangers Organization. Panarin has become the superstar New Yorkers have been clamoring for since the 94 championship. With the addition of Kreider for the next 6 years the first line has been solidified for the long-term future.

Speaking of Future, we look at the dept of the forward core and anyone can tell you the Rangers are built to be a competitor for years to come. Starting with the second line who will be your next dynamic duo for many years down the road as the rangers now have their version of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. As starting in the 2020-21 season they have a stronger more adjusted Kappo Kakko who will be coming into his own in his second season since being drafted 2nd overall in the 2019 draft and to complement him and give ranger fans hope for the next 20 year the team has first overall pick and future superstar Alexis Lafreniere. Along with Ryan Strome or possibly Filip Chital being the centerman for those two genuine goal scores most fans need shades for how bright the future is.

Along with several top players now moving around the third and fourth lines such as Buchnevich and Lemieux. The Rangers forward core can roll out 4 lines ever night and still have excellent talent on the bench just in case something happens.

Now to what most people see as the Rangers biggest Problem is the defense as that has been an issue since the team made the cup final in 2014. But now if you look at the dept once the team removes Staal and Smith from the lineup and add pieces such as K’andre Miller the team has stockpiled defenseman to have a strong backend to complement the forward core. If the ranger wants to continue to speed up the process of strengthening the defense thy can go out in free agency or make a trade to bring in a younger veteran.

Last but not least the goaltending and it is sad but the future is now as the age of king Henrik in New York is over and if the team is smart, they will buy him out and put that money to a younger kid. Or into a free agent for the future. Henrik Lundqvist can retire knowing that the team has a bright future in the Czar Igor Shesterkin an Alexander Georgiev being a suitable back up for the future of the New York Rangers.

Will Ovechkin Leave in free agency?

Will Ovechkin Leave in free agency?

For the first time in his career, Alexander Ovechkin will be a free agent in the 2020-21 offseason. The question is will he leave Washington or stay put with the team that drafted him?

The 34-year-old Russian phenom will be entering the final season of his 13-year, 124 million dollar contract next season.

The deal seemed rather a largesse at the time as it came close to the maximum 20% of the cap which is as high as a deal can go. However, with the Upper Limit of the cap increasing substantially since then (from $56.7MM in 2008 when the pact was signed to $81.5MM this season), the contract has even looked like a bargain at times.

There’s no denying that Ovi is an elite goal scorer and when all is said and done, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer might hold the NHL record. He sits eighth all-time with 706 tallies and while he’s still 190 shies of Wayne Gretzky’s record, he still has several years left in him. It’s not entirely crazy to think that the length of his next contract will ultimately determine whether or not he gets that top spot.

Ovechkin has led the league in goals for three straight seasons, scoring at least 48 in each season as well as winning a Stanley Cup with the capitals in 2018. While it’s understandable to say that he will slow down eventually, it is inevitable that he only has a few years left as a top scorer in the game. Undeniably, there will be plenty of interest in him if he was to make it to the open market in 2021. It also does not help that he has aid he is not willing to talk contract extensions until the new season starts when it starts.

With him probably being the main focus of the team going into the 2020-21 season with a new coach and a very similar supporting cast that he had in 2018. The pieces are there for him to say and try to win in DC again. But in a world where we have seen a lot of players such as John Tavares and Artemi Panarin who have gotten massive contracts in bigger markets. Would it make sense for Ovi to go and maybe try somewhere else and prove that he can do it on his own?

The other thing he could do is take a challenge like some past hall of Famers have done. Such as Mark Messier who took it upon himself to bring a championship to New York as Ovi has said he likes a challenge and he wants to beat Gretzky’s record for most points all-time and Ovi is on his way to do so. Ovi may want a challenge like that or the elephant in the room. He could want to finish his career on his home turf and go back to Russia. A lot of possibilities come to the 2020-21 offseason but all we know is he will get a very large contract no matter where he goes.