Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Is a Month for Sports

It’s March. And just about everyone on the planet is involved in an NCAA Tournament basketball pool. The field is down to the Sweet Sixteen and the Tournament has already provided more than a few surprises. Will Florida Gulf Coast continue their Cinderella story? Will Kansas and Indiana go as deep as people expect? Who will win the battle of underdogs between Wichita State and La Salle?

Elsewhere in sports, NHL hockey and NBA basketball are heating up and approaching the playoffs. Are the Anaheim Ducks the team to beat in the NHL’s Western Conference? The Pittsburgh Penguins are red hot, on a 12 game win-streak, and they’ve pulled away from the Eastern Conference field. And in the NBA it doesn’t seem like the Miami Heat will lose another game for the rest of the season.

And baseball season is just a few days away. Over in Europe the UEFA Champions League is down to the final eight teams. It’s perhaps the best time of year for a sports fan. And it’s also a great time of year for a sports bettor.

But it’s hard to keep up with so many sports. There are so many players, so many transactions, so many injuries affecting lineups, so much news to digest. It can be difficult for a casual bettor, someone who bets on sports for fun, to keep up with all that is going on.

There are other ways to enjoy placing a bet on something. For instance, offers a wide variety of casino games to bet on, ranging from roulette to slots to video poker to blackjack. They also have fun themed slot games, including sports-themed slot games. So a sports fan can play the theme game of the sport they love. Or they can play more skill-based games like poker and blackjack. Just like sports in March, there are plenty of options available.

Jarome Iginla Goes to Pittsburgh, Not Boston

I had already written a post with my thoughts about the reported deal that sent Jarome Iginla to Boston. I was on the fence, because the 35 year old winger had only scored 9 goals. And also because the Bruins still needed at least one more defenseman. And also because selling key parts of the future for current gain is what Toronto got wrong with the Kessel deal. I was on the fence about Iginla coming to Boston. Now he's going to Boston. And I am sad, but will get over it.

Iginla would have helped the Bruins, but he wouldn't have solved key problems like lack of depth on defense. Iginla had scored 30+ goals every season for 11 years. But this season, in an 82 game schedule, he'd be on pace for 23.

And it would be very likely that he would be a short-term rental, not a part of the Bruins' core for a few seasons.

So I'm not too sad about this. It was something of a tease, with reports that he was coming here. But apart from that, it isn't the end of the world that the Bruins didn't land him.

Bruins Have a Goldilocks Game (Only One Period Was Just Right)

This was a Goldilocks game for the Bruins. The 1st period was too cold. The 3rd period was too hot. The 2nd period was just right. The Bruins only played one period at their absolute best. They were lackadaisical in the 1st. In the 3rd they were inconsistent and erratic. Only in the 2nd did everything come together.

The Canadiens were simply better last night. Not at playing hockey. They were better actors, better at deceiving the officials, better at falling down. I don't blame the refs. I blame the Habs for playing like twats, and I blame the NHL/LNH for not making embellishment an officiating priority. The NBA is trying to get diving out of their game. Why is their no emphasis from the NHL? The NHL is apparently more worried about interference. That's what has been the penalty of emphasis this season.

That being said, the Bruins dug their own hole in the 1st period. They were playing a team tired from a tough game the previous night, and they spotted them a 1-0 lead, then a 2-0 lead.

There was also another Andrew "Facepalm" Ference goal scored after Ference made a mistake trying to play the puck in the neutral zone. Ference has become my Detested One on this team. All true Bruins fans absolutely hate at least one player on their favorite team. Right now it's Andrew Ference. David Krejci is a close second.

The Bruins were undefeated last year when taking a 2 goal lead into the 3rd period. So maximum points from those games. This year they are 9-4-2. Out of 30 available points when up by 2 goals with 20 minutes to play, the Bruins have earned 20. That's unacceptable. Defense is a problem. Scoring has been a problem. Only playing 30 good minutes of hockey a game is a MASSIVE problem.

Bruins are in Philly Saturday.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer