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Friday, October 31, 2014

Devils finally win a shootout! Josefson grounds Jets!

Michael Ryder tied the game late in the third period (2) to wake the New Jersey Devils from an offensive slumber.
Jacob Josefson took care of the rest as the Swede scored the only goal in the shootout and gave the Devils two points in a 2-1 win that saw the team win their first shootout since the 2012-13 season.
Cory Schneider had 24 saves in the win.
The Devils next face Columbus on Saturday in a game that I might not have coverage of due to Ohio State football....

Hell Raisers

1) Cory Schneider might have played his best game all season.
He just missed on saving his only allowed goal and was sharp otherwise.
Encouraging to see him bounce back after the Pittsburgh debacle...

2) So who is to blame for that goal? Try the matchup of Bryce Salvador and Marek Zidlicky,who got back on a breakway and then allowed Blake Wheeler to split them for the goal.
Peter DeBoer realized the error and split the two up,but the damage was done.
Perhaps the two could have been paired together in the past,but at this point in their career-it's a bad match.
Salvador was moved with Adam Larsson,while Zidlicky teamed with Jon Merrill

3) Jacob Josefson may have seemed like a surprise pick for the shootout,but in hindsight-it does look like his skills are a good fit.
Easy to say that now,but of the Devils whopping four shootout goals last year,Josefson did have one of them...

4) Player of the night might not have been any of the three mentioned-That's because it was Damon Severson,who broke up a 3 on 1 and a 2 on 1 on plays that had either scored would have ended the game.
I was dubious of adding another young defenseman to find playing time for,but thus far Damon Severson has been the surprise player of the season...

5) The Devils used Adam Larsson over Eric Gelinas and I thought Larsson played very well.
Larssn showed a bit more of physical play than usual and made smart decisions with the puck.
It's amazing what happens when young players get ice time.....


Won't be no 82-0

The game could never equal the hype,but no one (me included) saw the New York Knicks ,coming off a home opening loss,traveling to Cleveland and upsetting the Cavaliers in the homecoming of LeBron James 95-90.
The Knicks didn't turn the ball over and managed to have an answer each time the Cavaliers scraped their way back into the game.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 22 points with Kevin Love adding a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds.
LeBron James finished with 17 points but on a poor shooting night of 5 of 15 for the game.
Cleveland hits the road to Chicago and the Bulls tomorrow night.....

Swashbucklings

1) LeBron James was bad for him.
Eight turnovers and six of his 17 points at the line.
James looked to me to make one error in judgement-he didn't drive to the basket.
When James doesn't drive to the basket,he doesn't build up early fouls and the defense has to respect the drive and allow the uncontested jumper.
Didn't happen tonight...

2) Not a lot of help from the bench-just 12 points with six each from Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova.
That is going to put pressure on the starters for more minutes.
Let's see how that plays out as the season moves on.

3) Shawn Marion and Mike Miller are expected to be the keys to the second unit.
Neither scored a point and Miller saw just three minutes of play,
Interesting to watch...

4) Kevin Love finished with 19 points,but 12 of them came in the first quarter and often Love seemed isolated from the offense.
That's going to come in time.,

5) For all the hype of the David Blatt offense,I saw a lot of confusion and standing around.
Tons of pick and rolls and everything but what the offense was said to be.
It's game one,but Blatt looked a bit overcome by the moment.

6) Loved all the hype and pregame intros,but I could have done without the Spike Lees and Justin Biebers being around.
Some of that is part of being the best,but somehow I don't see this around the San Antonio Spurs...

7) This game looks bad and it was,but the bigger game is against the Bulls on the road.
Chicago is the only threat to the Cavaliers in the Eastern conference and this game can set the stage for future battles.

8) Anderson Varejao's game is hustle and yet I often saw him out-hustled a bit.
Perhaps that was confusion and will adjust over time,but again something to watch,..

Back later with the Devils win over Winnipeg

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tonight,we're gonna take no prisoners-a Cleveland Cavaliers preview

The phrase above is from the song "Tonight's the Night' which was used by the Cleveland Cavaliers as a fight song in the Orange and Blue years with Mark Price and the group at the Richfield Coliseum in the early 90's,but the lines from that song (except replace orange and blue with wine and gold) make me think of this years Cavaliers-a team that has the capability of yes,winning the NBA title..

We'll start up front with the forwards,which should be the strength of the franchise with the return of the game's best player in LeBron James at small forward.
James and the skills that he brings to the table are clearly not needed for me to expand upon as without James none of this would be currently happening for the Cavaliers.
Anytime that you have the best player in the world on your side,the only thing that you have to worry about is injury.
The Cavaliers imported Shawn Marion from Dallas to add depth to the small forward position,is one of the top defenders in the league and brings underrated offensive skills as well.
Marion is 36 and the team would be well suited to regulate his minutes as best as possible to save his legs.
James buddy and long range shooter James Jones may not see large amounts of PT during the regular seasn,but shooters tend to find more playing time in the postseason.

Kevin Love brings a terrific player to Cleveland from Minnesota and he had better considering the cost (the incandescent Andrew Wiggins for one).
Love brings a shooter that can score in the low post and adds one of the best rebounders in the game as well.
Love adds to Cleveland what Chris Bosh brought to the James-led Heat teams and even more.
Matchup issues with Kevin Love plagued teams in the past,imagine what will trouble them with having to worry about LeBron James as well.
Tristan Thompson will be the second team anchor as he will be the key backup to Love at power forward and Anderson Varejao at center.
Thompson should thrive in this role rather than being a player to depend on with the first unit.
Veteran Lou Amundson will be the energy player that hustles a lot and challenges for the team lead in bumps and bruises...

Anderson Varejao won the starting center spot over Tristan Thompson in training camp and his rebounding and hustle will mesh well with Kevin Love.
The issue with Varejao ,as always,will be can he stay healthy?
If he can,the Cavaliers will be good enough in the paint,if not,look for Cleveland to be forced to make some kind of a move.
Varejao is somewhat undersized,so he could wear down under the pounding and his all over the court play.
Veteran Brendan Haywood will backup Varejao and will be able to help against slower and more physical players.
Never an offensive presence,Haywood will add some situational rebounding and occasional shot blocking to the second unit.
Seven foot rookie Alex Kirk made the team as an undrafted free agent from New Mexico and could develop into a defensive specialist with some development...

Kyrie Irving is the only returning member of the new "Big Three" and is the youngest as well."
Irving brings about what you could ask for in the newer NBA era as he can pass or shoot.
As with Anderson Varejao,the concern is about keeping Irving on the floor as he has battled injuries in each of his professional seasons.
If he can do that,Irving brings all sorts of options and is the team leader in training.
Matthew Dellavedova was a surprise last season to make the team and became a fan favorite.
The tough defending high motor player will back up Irving and will bring a different look to the second team when Irving rests.
Well traveled veteran A.J.Price made the team as a needed third point guard with Irving's injury questions.
I wish that the team had thought about keeping John Lucas III,but Price fits the same slot...

Dion Waiters brings the type of offensive potential that reminds me of the old Detroit Pistons Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson.
Waiters hasn't always meshed well with Kyrie Irving on the floor,but with LeBron James things should change as the offense will run through him,allow Waiters to focus on scoring and maybe unleash Waiters as a top offensive threat in the league..
Mike Miller will see plenty of time as an outside threat from beyond the three point line.
Miller is an underrated defender and rebounder as well and brings a lot of the "veteran leadership" that is always wanted by teams.
Second rounder Joe Harris of Virginia reminds me of a young Mike Miller and should add shooting to loosen up the paint...

If the Cavaliers can stay reasonably healthy,they should be a lock for 60 wins and maybe as high as the high 60's.
I would say they should be the Eastern Conference favorite and should be in the finals.
Anything short of an Eastern Conference final trip would be considered as a huge disappointment,but I doubt that'll happen.
The Western Conference is stronger,so the weaker East should result in more wins.
This season is what long time Cavalier fans have been waiting for and I cannot wait to get the ball tipped off!

No Doubt Who's the Best-Bumgarner finishes Kansas City! Giants World Champions!

The San Francisco Giants did enough against Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie to overcome the Royals bullpen and Madison Bumgarner entered the game with most expecting him to give two or three innings of work coming off a complete game just two days ago.
Instead,they got five innings of shutout pitching to earn a save and the result gave the Giants a 3-2 win and the World Championship in the game seven win...
Jeremy Affeldt was the winning pitcher after entering the game in relief of Tim Hudson in the second and pitching two and a third innings and keeping the Royals off the scoreboard..
The Giants started the second inning with consecutive singles by Pablo Sandoval,Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt before scoring two runs on sacrifice flies by Michael Morse and Brandon Crawford.
Kansas City would even the game in the bottom of the inning off of Tim Hudson,who was sent from the game with two out with Alex Gordon bringing home one run on a double and Omar Infante scoring Gordon on a sac fly to tie the game up.
San Francisco would score the series winning run in the fourth inning as Michael Morse singled home Pablo Sandoval for the deciding run against Kelvin Herrera and tagging starter Jeremy Guthrie with the loss...

Giant Steps

1) What more can be said about Madison Bumgarner?
Five shutout innings and only two hits on two days rest.
First pitcher in World Series history to record a five inning save.
That is called being a gamer and the Giants are going to have this throwback pitcher for a long time to come.
Madison Bumgarner might be the most deserving MVP of a World Series in a long time...

2) Key play of the game?
Joe Panik's diving stop of Eric Hosmer's seemingly up the middle base hit,flipping the ball to Brandon Crawford with his glove to force the mercurial Lorenzo Cain and then Crawford getting Hosmer at first (after a replay appeal) to end a Royals threat in the third.
Panik's callup from Fresno was the addition to the Giants lineup that they needed to solidify after running through everyone from soup to nuts all season before Panik....

3) Hosmer might have been safe had he ran through the bag instead of trying to slide into first.
Didn't he learn anything in Little League?
Where have you gone,Jason Hamby???

4) Key play number two-Pablo Sandoval tagging up to move to third on a Brandon Belt flyball to left.
That allowed Sandoval to trot home on Michael Morse's single instead of trying to score from second for the run that won the series.
You don't expect slow runners to tag at second on a flyball to left,but hustle won this day,,,

5) Give plenty of credit to Jeremy Affeldt for getting the Giants to Madison Bumgarner.
Affeldt closed the door on Tim Hudson's mess in the second with no further damage and added two more innings.
Don't forget to give Affeldt his due for pitching more than he is used and doing so effectively in the clutch...

6) The scary play was the Alex Gordon hit in the ninth.
Juan Perez and Gregor Blanco were playing back in "No Doubles" position,but Blanco forgot to keep the ball in front of him and the ball rolled to the wall.Perez then kicked it and I thought there was a chance that Gordon would try to score.
The play would have certainly have been close and what a play to possibly end a series on!

7) In most other World Series,the MVP would have been Pablo Sandoval,who had three hits in game seven,hit well and played strong defense.
Sandoval is now a free agent and either the Giants or someone else is going to have to pony up at the bargaining table to bring home the panda

8) Bruce Bochy might have punched his ticket to Cooperstown as a manager.Three world titles and the tenth to do that feat.
All of the other nine are in the Hall of Fame...

9) You can make the argument that this one has an asterisk because of the wild card and I might agree,but you play by the rules of the game at the time they are played.
Bochy frustrates me at time,but he's in when he's ready to quit....

10) People have been critical of Ned Yost's tactics all through the post-season and the SABR crowd kills him and I think it's deserved,but you cannot deny his class as he was extremely gracious and kind after such a tough loss.
I might not want Ned Yost as my manager,but as the face of my organization? Anytime...

11) Very happy for former Hagerstown Suns on the team,but especially Michael Morse,who was a Sun for two games a few years back.
Morse didn't big league anyone on his Hagerstown rehab stint,spent time with the fans inside and outside the stadium and I'm very happy for him...

12) Now Bud Selig is officially gone and I'd like to thank him in Battlin' Bob style.
Thanks for screwing up everything that you touched!

13) I'll take the championship,but I still hate the wild card.
I know the Giants are nowhere to be found without it and I'm happy about the title,but the wild card still feels wrong to me...

14) Give some credit to Bruce Bochy for playing Juan Perez in left for Travis Ishikawa,
The Giants lost some hitting,but Perez's long running catch in Madison Bumgarner's first inning saved a run and changed the complexion of the game.
I doubt Ishikawa makes that catch in the massive Royals outfield and that might have saved the game.

15) Finally,I'm happy.
I'm happy because I've become invested in this franchise over the last ten years and I feel even more a part of it than 2012 and especially 2010.
That said,a Giants title is joyful,but I don't know if I could keep it together if the Indians ever won one..
I like the National League game better and watch more Giants games,but the Indians still rank as number one in my heart even through dull rosters,boring uniforms and prepping to kill off Chief Wahoo.
Maybe someday.....

Back later with the Cavaliers season preview....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pounded in Pittsburgh,Devils crushed 8-3

The New Jersey Devils started fast-as in a goal nine seconds into the game fast as Dainius Zubrus zipped a shot (2) past Marc-Andre Fleury for the quick lead.
The Devils looked to be on the way as goals by Jacob Josefson (1 shorthanded) and Tuomo Ruutu (2) in the first five minutes of the second period had given New Jersey a 3-1 lead.
Little did we know that was as good as things would get as the Pittsburgh Penguins would score seven (yes SEVEN) unanswered goals on the way to a 8-3 win in Pittsburgh,
Cory Schneider hit the showers early and Scott Clemmensen mopped up in a disheartening final period.
The Devils host Winnipeg on Thursday...

Hell Raisers

1) The final 35 minutes of game time seemed to be interminable and not just because my moronic neighbor decided to invite an equally idiotic friend over to bang the drums while he played the guitar.
Between those two jackasses,seven goals and a pounding headache,I was looking forward to going to work for goodness sakes!

2) It was nice to see Jacob Josefson convert a breakaway for a shorthanded goal.
Josefson rarely converts those opportunities and perhaps this could help his confidence some.

3) Cory Schneider was bad in goal.
Schneider's inability to find the puck led to the first goal and whiffed on the third and fourth goals.
Just a bad night.No excuses.Just have to hope that it happens less often...

4) Three more power play goals allowed.
Bryce Salvador on the ice for at least two of them.
Bleech.

5) Mike Cammalleri out with a jaw injury and Reid Boucher called up from Albany.
Cammalleri's jaw isn't broken,but no word on his status for the Winnipeg goal.

What a grind this was.I'll be back tonight with Game Seven and time permitting a Cavaliers preview

Two blowouts,yet a good day

Today was one of those simple days that made me not think about sports and it's a good thing too as the Giants were crushed in game six of the World Series and the Devils were pounded in Pittsburgh by the Penguins,
I may be back later with a review of the Devils defeat,but then again maybe not-I might just let these two ride.

Devil's Backbone State Park was one of the two closest parks to my childhood home growing up.
Both of them being a bike ride away,albeit a long bike ride,I occasionally would go to one or the other,but I always preferred Devil's Backbone.
So yesterday after discovering just how super the weather was going to be,instead of going out for our weekly lunch with the lovely Cherie,we decided for a simple picnic lunch with a turkey sandwich on wheat (no cheese and yes,I know) with a few chips from the greatest mixture known to man-Jones Salt and Vinegar (I still have them from my parents trip out weeks ago) from Ohio and the local Gibble's red hots.

I haven't been there in years,but Cherie suggested that for lunch and other than the pictured man-made waterfall and bridge,the place hasn't changed much and no,that's not me in the picture!
I wouldn't even know how to cast a line and even though I'd be more likely to fish than hunt,I'd doubt any prowess at either.
We just spent lunch talking about various topics-family,sports,Kindle Fire and how the e-book world will affect the physical copy and memories that you share after 27 years together.

It wasn't that you did anything special that was costly or a long trip,it was being with the person that you care about most and just sharing things.
Perhaps not the most interesting blog post to the outside,but one that you need to write every once in a while.
This is after all more than a sports blog and giving credit to the person that means the most to me needs to be noted once in a while.
You don't have to go to London to have a great day with the one you love most...

I may be back later with the Devils loss in Pittsburgh or maybe not,but I'll have a look at Game Seven of the World Series after tonight's game.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cooking in the TRS Kitchen

A new series for some of you to either give a try or get some help with your kitchen work.

I'm going to occasionally start with some recipes from either Cherie's kitchen or from some other friends and even from cruising the net...

Today,we will start with a very basic recipe that I just served (and Cherie made) at a recent work meeting that was a huge hit and pretty easy to make..
It's a chicken salad that can be thick enough to be used as a dip and light enough for sandwiches if you prefer.
Keep in mind,that you can stick to the basics or add stuff that I (or you) like .
For me,I might add dill relish,green pepper,onion etc or for a buffalo chicken salad,some Frank's (or your preferred hot sauce) would add some zip if you wanted to go that way..

1 large can of chicken (located in the tuna section) or you could use chicken of your choice
1 block of cream cheese
1 packet of dry ranch dressing.
Other optional items.

Mix well and it will get a bit thick.
Simple and easy to make that anyone can do it.
The taste is pretty good too....