New York, NY – It’s been a rough sports week for me. The Rangers are dead. The Islanders are still alive. The Yankees suck. Sports are dead. It all started with the lamestain Rangers getting blown out of the water by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. Then Dan Boyle and Larry Brooks had a kerfuffle that made your average high school spat look like the Thrilla in Manilla. It was an embarrassing episode for all involved. While Dan Boyle sucked royally for the Blueshirts, this ugly episode was not the way to end his great career.
The Islanders were rewarded for tanking the last game of the season by dispatching of the Florida Panthers in six games. Then they gave the Lightning a jolt in Game 1 of the Eastern Semifinal on Wednesday night. There’s a long way to go in the series but the Islanders are playing some very good hockey. Captain Tavares has been a big-game player and could lead this team into the Eastern Conference Final. It’s enough to make a normal person sick to his stomach. We’ll see how the Lightning respond in Game 2 tomorrow.
Steven Stamkos is still sidelined and probably won’t be back this series. This is a contract year for Stamkos as he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. So there is a very good chance that Stamkos has seen his last meaningful action in a Tampa Bay Lighting sweater. We’ll see where Stammer goes when free agency starts on July 1st.
Another big time unrestricted free agent in the playoffs is St. Louis Blues center David Backes, whose team looks to win their first Stanley Cup in their 49 years of existence. And I’ll be pulling for the Blues. Not because I have any affinity towards Backes, Tarasenko and company, but because I want to get as much of Tony X as i can.
For those that are unaware, St. Louis native Tony X stumbled upon Game 7 between the Blues and Blackhawks while looking for the Cardinals game this past Monday and instantly became a Twitter sensation. “This is the first time I’ve ever watched hockey and this sh*t has been LIT for these first 45 seconds” his first tweet read. What followed was the hilarity that could only come from someone who had never seen hockey before trying to understand the power play, or pulling the goalie late in the game for the extra skater. “White people been hiding hockey from us for years bruh” he griped later on.
Tony is now a die hard Blues fan and thanks to his Game 7 tweets, he’s up to 45,000 or so Twitter followers. He’s even been communicating with the Blues players and will be at Game 3 in St. Louis Tuesday night. It’s been a great story this week and a welcome distraction from the great play of the Brooklyn Islanders. I’m pulling for the Blues to hoist the cup and leave the Maple Leafs as the team with the longest current Stanley Cup drought (Next year will mark a half-century since Toronto last hoisted the Cup). Go Blues!