Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview-Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup Finals Predictions

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Unlike the ridiculous depth in the Western Conference, there are a few teams that are on top of the East and they will control the playoffs. I expect that it’s going to be a lot chalk this year.

Atlantic Division:

#1 Boston Bruins vs. #4 Detroit Red Wings
Sporting Charts Matchup Comparison

The Detroit Red Wings went 3-1 against the Boston Bruins during the regular season and two of those wins were without Pavel Datsyuk and the third was without Henrik Zetterberg and Datsyuk. I’m not saying that the Red Wings will beat the Boston Bruins, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t be so quick to write off this Red Wings team. This is the worst matchup the Bruins could have had in round 1 because their styles are so contrasting. If the Red Wings can play with a full lineup and Jimmy Howard can play well, their puck possession style could give the Bruins fits.

But, we’re not dealing in hypotheticals here. If Henrik Zetterberg and Jonathan Ericsson don’t play (which they likely won’t), a seven game series in that short of a time span could be too much for the Red Wings to handle. The punishing style of the Boston Bruins could wear them down and if Tuukka Rask plays like he should, the Bruins would be able to get out of this round with the win. In the end, I think that Tuukka Rask will outduel Jimmy Howard and the lack of Zetterberg and Ericsson in the lineup will prove too detrimental for the Red Wings down the stretch. Bruins in 7

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Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview-Western Conference

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This year is the first year with the new AHL playoff model as the NHL playoff format. I am by no means a fan of this new format and would much prefer to have the old format back. I understand that owners want to save money and cut down on travel, but you pigeon hole teams into matchups that could/should be Western Conference Finals or Eastern Conference Finals matchups. Why not just take the division winners and seed them #1 and #2 and then fill in the rest? It would literally be the old format with the new divisions. It’s quite frustrating as a fan when the NHL changes stuff that doesn’t need to be changed. That being said, these four first round matchups are extremely juicy. And without further adieu, here is my Western Conference preview and predictions.

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To Pay College Athletes or Not to Pay College Athletes: Pandora’s Box Opened by NLRB, CAPA, and My Solution

Oh.

It’s quite amazing, I started writing a post on this on the way to the Final Four last year but decided not to continue it. There is just so much to write about and I like to be as thorough as possible (2,000 words will have to suffice), but now the NLRB ruling on Wednesday has opened Pandora’s Box, it’s time to post this.

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2014 NFL Combine Winners and Losers

Jeremy Gallon

There weren’t as many “losers” this year as there have been in years past and I think that speaks to how athletically impressive everyone is now-a-days. The winners are more difficult to narrow down, but I selected three for each day, except for day 2. If you want to see more in-depth recaps on guys who helped themselves and see some clips from the Combine, check out each of my daily recaps that are linked at the end of this post. There were plenty of more winners than just the 13 I listed.

Day 1 Biggest Winners:

Taylor Lewan, LT, University of Michigan- Taylor Lewan showed up to the Combine and was the fastest offensive lineman there. His 4.87 40 with a 1.64 10-yard split is very impressive given his height. A 30.5″ vertical and 29 reps on the bench isn’t bad either, and he certainly brought himself into the conversation for best tackle.

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2014 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 4: Defensive Backs

The defensive backs always work out on the last day and the last day is always the shortest. By this time most of the people watching are burned out, but this group wasn’t a group to sleep on.

Deion Sanders made some good points early on about why young corners struggle in the league and quite frankly, I never thought about it this way before. It really makes you think twice about wanting a corner high in the draft, and it’s a good thing the Lions didn’t take Dee Milliner like I wanted them to last year.

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2014 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Line and Linebackers

Day 3 was a disappointing day for me, but only because NFL Network spent most of the time talking about Jadeveon Clowney. It seemed like once every 20 minutes they were bringing up his name and as soon as he didn’t participate in every drill, you knew it was all over. Everyone spent most of the time questioning Clowney’s “heart” and “love for the game.” Warren Sapp was brutal to listen to, despite a few good one-liners, he was mostly an idiot. At one point, Sapp said there was nothing on Clowney’s tape that said he was draftable outside of his three sacks, which is in a video further down in this post.

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2014 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 2: Quarterbacks, Runningbacks and Wide Receivers

The highly touted quarterbacks never seem to throw at the NFL Combine and they always miss an opportunity. Throwing at the Combine will not make or break your draft prospects, but I feel like it’s strange that they never throw. If you’re the best, why not go out and prove?

Blake Bortles was the only one of the four highest rated quarterbacks to throw at the Combine and this is a big win for him. He didn’t shy away from the competition and got a chance to show off his skills while Jonny Manziel, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater just hung out. At least Manziel and Derek Carr did all of the measurable drills. This isn’t an uncommon thing though, Andrew Luck and RG3 didn’t throw. But the quarterbacks are only throwing around 20 passes, in shorts, and NFL evaluators don’t even care if the passes are complete because they know you’re not familiar with the receivers. So why not throw?

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