In Sports on April 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm
By: Michael Abitabilo
With their thrilling 4-1 defeat of the Philadelphia Flyers in game one of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Thursday night, the New York Rangers have laid out a blue(shirt)print for success in the remainder of the series.
The Rangers played with poise and discipline throughout, standing up for themselves physically but refusing to engage in post-whistle or behind-the-play shenanigans for which the Flyers are infamous. With the score tied at 1 entering the third period, the Rangers were able to clamp down defensively, holding the Flyers to just one shot in the final frame. When the Flyers’ Jason Akeson took a double minor for high sticking 7:35 into the third, the Rangers took advantage of his gaffe by scoring two goals in a 47-second span on the ensuing power plays to take a commanding 3-1 lead.
In Sports on April 16, 2014 at 3:40 pm
By: Michael Abitabilo
It’s that time of the year again. You know, that time when non-hockey fans catch the tail end of a double overtime thriller and e-mail their one hockey-fan-friend the next day with something along the lines of: “Hey! Caught the second overtime of that game last night … it was awesome! Any plans this weekend?” (You don’t get it. Yes we have plans. We are watching the games!!!!!!!!!!) That time when casual hockey fans find themselves watching one or two games per week in their entirety and telling their coworkers how great the NHL playoffs are (sometimes accompanied by an empty vow to start watching hockey more regularly). And that time where die hard hockey fans basically turn into meth heads – fully willing to blow off any other responsibilities in their lives just to get their daily fix of the greatest drug in the universe. That’s right, the NHL playoffs are here!
In Sports on April 15, 2014 at 10:52 am
By: Brian Mangan
Just a quick thought or two this morning, a.k.a. fun with early returns on stats.
Zack Wheeler took the mound for the Mets last night against the Arizona Diamondbacks and looked great. The final box score isn’t going to show it, because Wheeler let a few D-Backs off the hook with two strikes, but he pitched even better than his 6.1ip, 6h, 2er, 3bb, 3k line would suggest. Wheeler had the D-Backs off balance all night, was snapping off phenomenal curveballs, and pitched aggressively. Here are three quick stats to help you feel some more optimism about our boy Wheeler.
1. Through three starts, Wheeler’s BB/9 is down to 2.60. Last year, Wheeler walked 4.14 men per nine innings. With his strikeout rate remaining the same (7.79 K/9), his K/BB ratio is now up to 3 (league average is 2.54). Wheeler has always had major league level “stuff,” and needed to work on the walks. It looks like he’s doing that.