Sunday Sports Shorts

By Miguel Mike Medina

The Yankees are moving on from Aaron Hicks after eight years. Hicks has been designated for assignment. He’s 33 and is hitting .188 over 28 games this season. It was a matter of time for the Yankees to make this decision. They were holding on to him for too long. 

Jamal Murray scored 30 of his 37 points in the first half. Bruce Bowen and KCP combined for 32 points. Nikola Jokic added 24 points. It was a collective team effort. Denver Nuggets won 119-108 over the Los Angeles Lakers to take a 3-0 commanding series lead. No team has returned from an 0-3 deficit in NBA history. 

Matthew Tkachuk strikes again. He scored the game-winning overtime goal once again to win it for the Florida Panthers. It is unbelievable. Deja Vu. Florida Panthers are heading home with a 2-0 series lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference final. They are two wins away from making their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1996. 

Nick Khan announced that WWE would return to India for a fall live event. WWE’s last live event in India was on December 9, 2017. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

By Miguel Mike Medina

If you follow “Hockey Playoff Edition” on The MMM Journal, you will notice that I made another prediction that came true—back-to-back games with accurate final score predictions. First, the Florida Panthers won 3-2 in a four-overtime game over the Carolina Hurricanes. Now, the Golden Knights won 4-3 in overtime against the Dallas Stars. 

Chrck out this tweet by Jim Biringer, who is my contributor guest and partner for Hockey Playoff Edition.

It’s unbelievable how I got the final score correct for two consecutive playoff games. Both games were terrific start to the conference finals. I hope the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights series go to seven games because these are two outstanding teams. It’s a rematch from the 2020 bubble. 

Brett Howden was the Game 1 hero for the Golden Knights as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime. William Karlsson scored two goals for the Golden Knights. Adin Hill made 33 saves. 

As for the Dallas Stars, Roope Hintz had a goal and two assists. Hintz has a terrific postseason to remember. He now has 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists). Joe Pavelski added two assists. Jason Robertson got things started with Dallas when he scored the first goal of the game. He finished with a goal and an assist. Jake Oettinger finished the game with 33 saves matching Adin Hill. 

Game 3 will be on Sunday afternoon, as the Golden Knights are trying to leave Las Vegas with a 2-0 lead. 

Kyle Dubas will not return as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager next season. Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan announced that he and Dubas decided to part ways. A storm is coming. The beginning of new changes and direction is happening in Toronto. How will this decision affect Auston Matthews’s decision to stay in Toronto? Who’s going to replace Kyle Dubas? Which member of the Core Four will be gone? 

Dubas was named the GM back in 2018. He was 201-109-42 as the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

By Miguel Mike Medina

Vegas Golden Knights won Game 4 at home, 4-3. The Oilers had a solid first period. Conor McDavid put the Oilers on the board to start the game. He had two goals in this game. Vegas Golden Knights answer back to tie the game. Zach Hyman scored a power-play goal to put the Oilers back on top in the first 2-1. But then I’m the second period, and it got things murky for the Oilers. The Golden Knights scored three goals. They scored three goals in 1:29 was the fastest in the playoffs for the Golden Knights history. 

Jack Eichel was the key player in the game. He had three points (2 goals, one assist). Adin Hill made 32 saves for the Golden Knights. They lead the series 3-2. The Oilers are one loss away from elimination. 

Can the Oilers push this series to a Game 7? It’s possible, especially since Game 6 will be in Edmonton. This series is destined to go to a Game 7. We have two outstanding teams that are playing physical hockey and have depth on their roster. 

Toronto Maple Leafs ended their season in a heartbreak fashion. We hope their season did not have to end on their home floor, but it did. When William Nylander tied the game in the third period, it seemed as if momentum shifted towards Toronto. We thought they might have a chance to extend the series to Game 6. Nick Cousins ended those plans for Toronto. He scored the overtime goal for the Florida Panthers to send them to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1996. The Panthers won 3-2, and their opponent will be the Carolina Hurricanes. Is this the end for the Toronto Maple Leafs Core Four? 

Can Denver Become the City of Champions?

By Miguel Mike Medina

Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup last season over the Tampa Bay Lightning, putting an end to their dynasty. The Avalanche is a potential dynasty in the making, surrounded by stars Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar. Denver Nuggets finished as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this season and are one win away from going to the Western Conference Finals. Can Denver become the next “City of Champions?” 

The Avalanche played a hard-fought seven-game series against the Seattle Kraken, who made their first postseason in franchise history. Although they lost in the first round in seven games, I still believe this team will be back to compete for years to come for a Stanley Cup championship. The Avalanche team suffered injuries and lost a few key pieces from last season’s championship team. However, they still have depth, youth, and speed. Great teams can’t win every single year. Colorado Avalanche is still a great time. Makar is one of the league’s best defensemen, and he’s only getting better. Mikko Rantanen had an outstanding postseason. He scored seven goals in the series against the Seattle Kraken. Don’t count out on the Avalanche. Joe Sakic and the rest of the Avalanche organization have built this team into a title contender. 

Denver Nuggets are title contenders when all of their players are healthy. The Nuggets have been a good team for a few years by now. If you saw what they did in the bubble in 2020, then you are paying attention. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, and Michael Porter Jr will be together until 2026. They are young, confident, and trust one another. They have excellent ball movement, starting with Jokic, who is without a doubt the best passing big man in the league. He’s also a 2-time league MVP. Jamal Murray is a fearless point guard and reminds me of Gilbert Arenas. Murray can drive to the basketball, make fadeaway jump shots, and is a good midrange shooter. He can torture you in many scary ways. Michael Porter Jr is a stud and should be respected. He should be the third-best player on this team when he makes his shots effectively. I’m rooting for this man to succeed. Aaron Gordon can be a streaky player, but he is unique once he gets going. 

The Nuggets could face a potential 2020 Western Conference Finals rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers. If the Nuggets can beat Lebron, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers, then there’s a legit chance they can go and win it all. The most significant factor for the Nuggets will come down to two critical things: Defense and Bench Scoring. When the Nuggets play defense and can get some points from their bench, no one will beat them, but they have to do this every night. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

By Miguel Mike Medina

Miami Heat’ defense played outstanding against the New York Knicks on Saturday afternoon. If they can play like this each game, then they could make the Finals and possibly win it all. The Heat were dominant in Game 3. Heat defeated the Knicks 105-86. Jimmy Butler led Miami with 28 points. Bam Adebayo added 17 points with 12 rebounds. Game Four will be on Monday night at 7:30. 

Edmonton Oilers were on fire against the Vegas Golden Knights. It’s the fourth playoff game where the Oilers score five goals or more. Leon Draisaitl is having an unbelievable postseason for the ages. He scored two goals in Game 3. Draisaitl has 13 goals in 8 games this postseason. Evan Bouchard had a goal and two assists. Bouchard leads all defensemen in scoring with 15 points. Oilers won 5-1 to take a 2-1 series lead. 

After two seasons, Gerald Gallant is out as the New York Rangers. When the Devils eliminated the Rangers in the first round, we knew how bad this would look on the team, especially on the head coach. Letting go of Gallant won’t solve all of their problems, though. The Rangers had a lot of moves during the trade deadline to compete for the Stanley Cup. We will see what other decisions the front office will make during the off-season. 

The Yankees rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, 3-2. The Yankees were trailing 2-0 in the game until DJ LeMahieu hit a double to right field to bring the first run. Harrison Bader went 2 for 2 in this game and got two hits. He had two RBIs in this game and was one of the heroes for the Yankees. The Yankees have split the series so far. 

Hurricanes Silences the Devils…AGAIN!

By Miguel Mike Medina

The New Jersey Devils took on the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night. The Devils, we’re looking to tie the series. It was Deja Vu from Game 1. Jesperi Katkaniems put Carolina on the board with a power-play goal. He went on to score again to put Carolina up 2-0. Martin Necas and Stefan Noesen scored goals as well. The Hurricanes dominated this game and won 6-1 to take a 2-0 series lead. 

Frederick Anderson made 28 saves for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes have outscored the Devils 11-2 in the series’ first two games combined. In the third period, Jordan Martinook stole the puck away and sprinted up the ice, and scored a breakaway goal on Vitek Vanecek. 

Mike’s Wood scored the only goal for the Devils, which came in the third period. Michael Mcleod and Nathan Bastian picked up the assist. Akira Schmid allowed four goals on 25 shots and had 21 saves before being pulled out. 

The Devils are 0-for-18 on the power play in six games against the Carolina Hurricanes this season. In Game 2, Devils went 0-for-3 on the power play. Are the Devils mentally exhausted from the Rangers series, or does Carolina have their number, and the Devils have no answer for them? Well, whatever it is, the Devils need to think and pick it up fast because they are two losses away from their season being over. 

The series shifts to New Jersey as the Devils try to get back in the series. Game 3 will be on Sunday at 3:30 pm at the Prudential Center. 

Sunday Sports Shorts

By Miguel Mike Medina

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman has been pitching lights out lately, and he continues to do so in his outing against the Seattle Mariners. On Saturday afternoon, Gausman struck out 13 Mariner batters through seven innings. 

Outfielder Daulton Farsho hit a walk-off to win it for the Blue Jays, 1-0. It’s the Blue Jays’ sixth consecutive victory. As for Varsho, it’s the second walk-off hit of his career and the first one as a member of the Blue Jays.

The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets kicked off the second round of the playoffs on Saturday night. Both teams are at full strength, and this is going to be one magnificent series—Devin Booker against Jamal Murray, with both guards being efficient scorers. In Game One, it wasn’t even close. The Nuggets were in command: excellent ball movement and fast pace basketball. Plus, they have more youth and depth than Phoenix, and in this game, you saw that. Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 34 points on a 13-for-24 from the field. Nikola Jokic added a double-double with 24 points and 19 rebounds. Aaron Gordon had a good night with 23 points. Nuggets take Game 1 by the final score of 125 to 107. 

Game Two will be on Monday night as the Nuggets try to go up 2-0, or Phoenix will look to split the series. The winner of this series could potentially go to the NBA Finals to represent the Western Conference. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs have done it. The drought it finally over. John Tavares, the captain, and part of the Maple Leafs Core Four, scored the game series-clinching goal in overtime to send the Maple Leafs to the next round. Maple Leafs won 2-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning haven’t lost a playoff series in the Eastern Conference since 2019. Maple Leafs wins their first playoff series since 2004. Toronto will play the winner of the Bruins/Panthers series. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

By Miguel Mike Medina

It was an unbelievable, unforgettable third period between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. Both teams were going back and forth. It’s something you rarely see in hockey, especially in the playoffs. The Bruins and Panthers combined for seven goals in the third period. They also combined for five power-play goals. Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk had two goals and one assist. David Pastrnak had two goals for the Bruins. Tyler Bertuzzi added two goals. Brad Marchand added four assists. The Panthers won 7-5. Game Seven will be on Sunday night. 

New York Islanders came into Game 6 hoping to win a home game to extend the series to Game 7. Unfortunately, Paul Stastny scored the series-clinching goal from a tough angle to send the Carolina Hurricanes to the next round, heartbreakingly ending the Islanders’ season. Hurricanes won 2-1 over the Islanders. Sorokin is a great goalie for the Islanders. He played terrific all season and in this series, but it didn’t go his way this time. Carolina Hurricanes have won a best-of-7 series for three years in a row. 

Dallas Stars eliminated the Minnesota Wild on the road with a 4-1 win in Game 6. Maxi Domi and Mason Marchment each had a goal and an assist. Roope Hintz scored the first goal of the game. It was his fifth goal of the series. He’s been outstanding for the Dallas Stars. Joe Pavelski missed his fifth consecutive game due to concussion protocol. He’s the heartbeat of this team. We don’t know what his status will be for the next round. Dallas Stars will play the winner between Avalanche/Kraken series.

Speaking of the Colorado Avalanche and Seattle Kraken, the Avalanche managed to push the series to a Game 7. Once again, Seattle Kraken scored the first goal of the game. The Kraken is the first team in NHL history to score first in each of the first six games of the playoffs. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist. Rantanen became the second-fastest active player to reach 40 road points in the playoffs. What a phenomenal performance! Cale Makar scored on an empty net, and you could hear the boos every time he got the puck throughout the game. Game Seven will be in Colorado on Sunday. 

Saturday Hockey News with Miguel

By Miguel Mike Medina

The battle between the Oilers and Kings never fails to deliver. We had another great game in this series. Oilers and Kings combined for four power-play goals. Connor McDavid, who didn’t score all series, scored two power-play goals in the second period. Adrian Kempe has a good series. He scored his third goal of the series on Friday night. The game went into overtime for the second time in the series. Trevor Moore shoveled through Skinner to score the game-winning goal in overtime. Kings won 3-2. The Kings take a 2-1 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers. 

Minnesota Wild came out to play against the Dallas Stars at home. Mats Zuccarello got things started when he scored the game’s first goal. He had two goals for the night. Marcus Foligno scored a power play goal in the second period. Game 3 belongs to Minnesota, as they won this game 5-1. Minnesota Wild delivered 26 hits on the Stars. They were more physical and aggressive. Wild also had 22 blocked shots. Stars’ goaltender Jake Oettinger had 20 saves. Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson finished with 23 out of 24 saves—a strong performance by Gustavsson. 

New York Islanders tried to find their rhythm offensively, and it started clicking in Game 3 during the second period. Casey Cizikas opened the score for the Islanders. He had two points (one goal and one assist). Four minutes later, Jesper Fest scored an unassisted goal to tie the game. It’s Jesper Fest’s second goal of the series. The third period was all about the Islanders. They attacked four goals on the Carolina Hurricanes, which was too much for the Hurricanes to overcome. The Islanders won 5-1 to get back into the series. They trail the series 2-1. Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin made 30 saves on the night. 

Boston Bruins jumped early on the Florida Panthers in Game 3. They led as many as 4-0 up to the 3rd period. The Panthers tried to rally by scoring two goals in the third period to cut the deficit to two, but they ran out of time. Suppose there was an extra period; who knows what would’ve happened? The Bruins took Game 3 by the final score of 4-2. Taylor Hall had two points (one goal and one assist). David Pasrtnak added a goal of his own in the third period. It’s his second goal of the series. Game 4 will be on Sunday at 3:30 as the Panthers try to even the series. 

Draisaitl Lifts Oilers to Victory Over Kings

Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 3-1, on Tuesday night at the crypto arena. The Oilers moved one point ahead in second place for the Pacific Division. 

Stuart Skinner made 20 saves against the Los Angeles Kings. He has won five in a row and 10-0-1 in the last 11 games. 

Leon Draisaitl was the star of the game. He had a power-play goal and two assists. He leads the NHL with 31 power-play goals. He has 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) during his 13-point game streak.