Vegas on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend has been a longer-running (shit)show than Blue Man Group. Add to that a Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 7 with a supporting cast of 1000s of FARGO extras and we have a recipe for just a full-on Bananalands Situation™ in the NYNY vicinity.
(I stayed at the NYNY ages ago. It's a cool spot to check out with a great Irish bar in Nine Fine Irishmen and steak joint with Gallagher's. The hotel/casino has become a Strip landmark and NYNY did the trick back then but I haven't stayed there in years. If you're too close to the roller coaster, that shit's no fun when you're trying to
go to bed take a siesta in the afternoon. Had an all-time awful all-around night during the trip and told the boys I was going downstairs to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. But I'd stay there again before across the street at the MGM. Place is way too big.)
Minnesota has battled back from a 3-1 deficit while holding Vegas to just two goals in the two games. Cam Talbot vs. Marc-Andre Fleury has been a fantastic match-up with the Wild goalie getting the better of his Sin City counterpart in the potential elimination games. Vegas was the fave coming in and has all of the pressure on them tonight. VGK has dearly missed a banged-up Max Pacioretty this series and has just two goals in their three losses, two of which were they were shut out. But Minny isn't some wide-eyed, 'happy to be there' Cinderella team. They rightfully see themselves as a contender as well and should be full of confidence after Games 5 & 6. Whoever wins then takes on a salivating Colorado Avalanche squad.
A few more buds for your bowl...
*We got another handshake line last night in Nashville after the Preds and Canes played their fourth straight OT game. Sebastian Aho had the subtlest of tips to send Carolina onto the Second Round to face the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning in what should be an incredible series that I have as a coin flip.
*Tampa moved on after knocking out the cross-state rival Panthers in their highly-entertaining six-game inaugural series. After watching Spencer Knight's play in the final two games, I had this thought...
No, it's not saying that Q should've started him---just wondering how the series would've have played out if he'd somehow made the big, ballsy decision to start him over both Bob and Driedger. Because the Cats made it a series despite getting some shit play from their ostensible top two guys (.841 & 5.33 for Bob, .871 & 3.70 for Driedger). Five more years left @ $10M on that Bob deal.
*The Isles won three straight to send the Pens packing in six games after Ilya Sorokin vastly outplayed Tristan Jarry. Pittsburgh was one of the hottest teams down the stretch and they ended up winning the division to draw the Trotz-led Long Island unit. Careful what you wish for. The Isles will now take on my Bruins, who dispatched the Caps in five.
The Bs are a pretty good-sized favorite in the series (10-12 or -240) but I think the series is much closer than the oddsmakers do. I called the Bs in 5 and had the Isles in 7 in the First Round. I'm thinking Bs in 7 here.
*Not many folks had the Jets beating the Oilers let alone sweeping them. But that's exactly what happened after the Jets limped into the playoffs and stunned the dynamic duo.
One reply said he saw 31/1 at a particular shop and another speculated between 18/1-22/1 (those smell like corporate-owned Strip prices). Either way, Kenny Holland still has work to do with that Oilers roster. Even with the two-headed monster of Connor and Leon, it's not a contender.
*You gotta think Maple Leafs fans are starting to sweat just a bit after Toronto failed to close out the Canadiens at home in Game 5 last night. Now they have to play a Game 6 in Montreal on a Saturday night with all of Canada watching on Hockey Night In Canada. The Habs are playing with house money at this point. If they win, they put hyena's jaw-like pressure on the Leafs to not choke in a Game 7.
Of course, the Leafs can put this all to bed tomorrow night by just taking care of business. They want nothing to do with a Game 7 vs. a goalie like Carey Price because, as we all know, anything can happen in a Game 7.
*Our pal Murls will have his Second Round Preview and Predictions blog tomorrow and the Spittin' Chiclets boys will have their series predictions there. These are not wagers or wager suggestions---just series picks.
*Good luck to all.