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Posted on: May 23, 2009 10:18 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2009 10:19 pm
 

The Carolina Tropical Storms

Let's just get this out of the way straight out of the gate -- the Carolina Hurricanes are done. Kaput. They've had a great run through the post-season and have definitely provided us fans with some of the most exciting games of the playoffs. But they're being outclassed through and through by the young Penguins.
Carolina felt it was a good idea to try and agitate Malkin, and they awoke a guy who had just come off of a luke-warm, at best, series. With a hat trick in Game 2 and two more goals Game 3, Malkin now has 6 straight multiple point games. He is playing out of his mind right now, for sure. Carolina just looks like a team coming off yet another 7 game series and they weren't completely prepared for the intensity of the Penguins. Being down 3-0, the Hurricanes I believe are near the giving up point. And I don't mean that in a condescending way, but the crowd and the attitude of the players really gives a lot away when it comes to their emotions.

The post-period player interview (I can't remember the player) was almost as depressing as listening to Radiohead in a dark room. If that player's sentiment was shared in the locker room, then the 'Canes might as well just stay at home for the next game. There's no way they have the energy when four games in a row against a Penguins team that is apparently seeing a goal twice the normal size. Malkin's no-look backhand goal in Game 2 was really the point where the Hurricanes had to shrug their shoulders and shake their heads. The 'Canes have put in a good season and a good post-season run as previously stated, but the season is over. Finishing this series is simply a formality now for the Penguins. The Bruins must be sitting at home right now, kicking themselves about missing the opportunity to come out on the ice and try to put up a stronger opposition against Pittsburgh.

If the Pens could sweep the series, I think they would have some pretty good relaxtion time while watching the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks work each other. That series, in my opinion, is much more evenly matched. I'm a little skeptic about whether or not the Stanley Cup Finals will be a rematch of last year, but the Blackhawks were able to pull out a big one last night. Perhaps they can grind Detroit into a 6 or 7 game series and tire the talented Detroit players out. If Detroit can get into a war of attrition with Chicago, I think that Pittsburgh will go into the Finals with, at least, the initial advantage in the momentum department. Even though home ice would go to Detroit in the Finals, Pittsburgh can at least go into Joe Louis Arena with a great amount of confidence in their ability to create a myriad of offensive chances and, hopefully, play solid enough defense to not overwork Fleury.

SM


Posted on: May 20, 2009 10:00 pm
 

Get yer Vick here! Fresh Michael Vick over herre!

Can we give it a break with the Michael Vick thing already? I predict right now that John Madden retired from his position in order to call the play-by-play of Vick working his construction job.

We need to leave this dude alone for right now -- he has enough on his plate without all of us scrutinizing his every move once he gets back into society. While I can by no means completely forgive and forget in his case, Vick has paid his price to society. As a culture, we ask that those who break the law pay off their debt for society. Once that debt is wiped out, the person has the right to reenter and be a productive member of the population. Vick needs to have the same chance to make his transition back into the civilized world as any other ex-criminal who has served their sentence. I understand that there is a certain degree of difference because Vick is a celebrity, but if he is going to have any modicum of a chance to get back in the NFL, he is going to need support -- not 300 articles a day bashing his character and vilifying him as a human being.

It's hard to say whether or not Vick has any productive football years left, but he has to earn his way back into the NFL just like any other young player trying to break into the league. Personally, I'm skeptical as to whether or not he'll ever play again, but he at least deserves the chance to come back. Anybody who thinks he doesn't deserve anything for the rest of his life is just plain ignorant. I wish him the best now that he is back in society. And I hope -- HOPE -- that everything he says whenever a microphone is shoved in front of his face in the coming months matches his actions. For his own sake. He is on a thin fence and one more moral screw up will blacklist him for life. For the rest of the time, we'll have to watch Vick be commoditized and passed from journalist to journalist so everyone can pump out one more article.

SM
P.S. - Yes, I realize the irony/hypocrisy of mentioning that Vick is a commodity to writers in a blog post that I wrote, but CBS is lacking in the telepathy department, so it had to be put into words.

Category: NFL
Tags: Michael Vick
 
Posted on: May 17, 2009 10:33 pm
 

The Intangibles...

As we're moving ever closer to the ends of the NHL and NBA seasons, an all important lesson in sports is starting to ring true yet again. While there are always the outliers and exceptions to general rules, it is amazing to look at the teams that have won their respective league's championships and to realize that these teams just know HOW to win championships. The Patriots, the Steelers, the Red Wings, the Lakers -- these teams just have the intangible know-how when it comes to playing in championship games. The Devil Rays, the Arizona Cardinals...these teams have the ability and the talent to win, but it seems that the underdog teams in this respect have a harder time crossing over that barrier to hoisting their league's championship trophies.

Detroit gave a very convincing performance in their first semi-final game against Chicago and, based on that game alone, it seems like they have their foot in the door to the championship. I know it's only one game, but they looked so convincing that they should be able to pull this series out without too much of an issue. And while the Penguins used to be one of those teams that had that winning bug, the new look, Crosby led team hasn't been able to step into the promised land as of yet. I can only hope that the Penguins can pull something out of their hat if they are able to get passed the 'Canes.

But I think, in my heart of hearts, that we will probably see another display of the aforementioned formula. Detroit will go into the Stanley Cup Finals knowing that it is their series to lose. If they just play Detroit hockey and stick to their game plan, they should be able to hoist another trophy. Sigh -- here's hoping I'm wrong!
Category: NHL
Posted on: May 15, 2009 11:12 pm
 

And We're Off

So this is the first stab at the whole blogging thing here on CBS Sports. I figured before I launch into anything too detailed, I'll give a brief overview of myself. My name is Steve McKinney, 25, and I live in Liberty Lake, WA -- a stone's throw from the Idaho border, about 15 miles from Coeur d'Alene. I work at a wonderful place called NightHawk Radiology Services in the sales department. My girlfriend Raquel, 23, works at the same company but in a different department.

When it comes to my sports leanings, I'm a pretty die hard fan of almost every league but the NBA. Being in Spokane, I figured I would get the chance to watch many a Sonics games, but...Oops! Nevermind on that one. I do like watching the Blazers and tried to watch them as much as I could during the season, but just couldn't quite get into it. I'm a Yankees fan at heart and baseball is by far my favorite sport. I was raised on the Yankees -- growing up in AK, the only team to root for is the Mariners and, when you're dad is a lifelong Yanks fan, you're education can tend to be skewed to a different team. Don't be misled by the Mariner's logo in the favorite teams bar -- I put that on there because I tend to gravitate towards the Mariner's board on this site as I go to a different forum board for the Yanks.

Being a Mizzou alum, I have a huge bias towards the Tigers. Yes, I know Chase Daniels wasn't the greatest. Yes, I know that Jeremy Maclin was . I hate Kansas. Absolutely despise them. But I will give them props where they are due and it will be interesting to watch Reesing come back this season with his two favorite wideouts still in the picture. They will be a force in the North for sure -- if their already suspect defense can stay focused. I think I read they're starting three new linebackers, so that'll be a challenge for sure. And they have a tougher schedule this year for once.

I'm a Seahawks fan and have been for life. And, high school hockey in Alaska is what high school football is to the rest of the nation -- a phenom worthy of the mania that surrounds it. Thus, I was raised a Penguins fan. Crosby is god. Malkin is his son on earth, and Fleury is the holy spirit.

So there you are -- I'm a fairly biased person and I'm definitely for the teams that I love and against the others. But in the long run, I am a sports fan and there is nothing I love more than the wide world of sports and I am fascinated by every facet of every sport and have players on nearly all teams that I like and follow. So I hope to drum up some good conversation and will try to mix in a bit of off the wall stuff since the tendancy recently has been to drive whatever the main topic in the media is to the ground. No steroids talk here. I'm sick of it.

With that, adieu. Hopefully over time I will be able to get some people to my blog in order to generate some great conversation! I look forward to those who read and comment on here! Hope you're ready to debate.

SM
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com