The West is all set, and simply waiting for the East's series to conclude.
CHICAGO 5, VANCOUVER 1
The Sedins were stifled, Luongo exposed, and the Blackhawks repeated history, defeating the Canucks in 6 games again. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, as did Dustin Byfuglien. Sami Salo returned for Vancouver, playing the game with swollen testes after taking one for the team by blocking a shot with his groin. Salo proved that it takes big balls to play Stanley Cup hockey. Unfortunately, it takes goals to win in Stanley Cup hockey. The Sedins failed to come up with many in this series. So Chicago advances to the Conference Finals again, this time against San Jose.
7pm: Montreal @ Pittsburgh - Versus (Series tied 3-3)
8pm: Boston @ Philadelphia - Versus/NESN (Bruins lead series 3-2)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Red Sox improved to 5-0 against the Blue Jays with a nice and tidy 6-1 win last night. Daisuke dazzled with one of his best starts in memory, spinning a 7 inning, 3 hit, 0 walk, 9 strikeout gem. He only threw 106 pitches in those 7 innings, much lower than his usual rate.
As much as I criticize him, Jason Varitek has been carrying the Sox' offense this season. He was 2 for 3 with a homer, his 6th of the season.
The really inspiring news is that JD Drew was somehow able to tough it out and play through his vertigo and play a game of baseball. How many pain-killers did he need? Nobody really knows. He was 2 for 4 and knocked in his 20th run of the season.
Wakefield faces Shaun Marcum this afternoon as the Sox look for the sweep. If they win, they'll surpass the Blue Jays for 3rd. That's hardly a parade worthy achievement, but I'm a firm believer in the Baby Steps philosophy conceived by Dr. Leo Marvin.
The Celtics destroyed the Cavaliers last night, 120-88, and the third blowout of this increasingly perplexing series. The Big Three all showed up, and trounced Cleveland's Big One. Bad elbow or not, the Celtics committed regicide on King James, holding him to a mere 15 points. Glen Davis also had 15 points.
Paul Pierce had one of his better games of this postseason, scoring 21 and hauling in 11 rebounds. Ray Allen exploded, shooting 6/9 from beyond the arc, and finishing with 25 points. KG had 18, Rajon had 16, and Perkins (who scored 0 in Game 4), scored 10. The bench contributed 30 points, including Baby's 15.
The game was a demonstration of two relatively incontrovertible axioms:
#1: The Cavs can hardly win without a big game from LeBron James.
#2: The Celtics can hardly lose with big games from their Big Three (really Four).
Both of these truisms were in effect last night. LeBron was quieted, while the multitude of future Hall-of-Famers in green and white had excellent games.
And now the Celtics are on the verge of something amazing. I didn't even think they could keep up with Cleveland in this series, let alone be poised to prevail in 6 games. You have to be proud of this old, sometimes disappointing, occasionally frustrating, melting pot of a team. And you also must admit that when it clicks, it clicks loud and hard.
Memo to LeBron: choking typically occurs around the neck/throat area, not the elbow.
Game 6 Thursday night in Boston.