Just getting to the play-in, er, Wild Card game would be a step forward. And the Cardinals have a chance at that. This team looks to be as good as the 2006 team, which won a World Championship, but let's see if it stays reasonably healthy and lets see if other teams get out of their way as they did in '06.
10. This team was dead. Now it's in the playoffs.
No. Opening a season in a stadium with the roof option is smart. Given the weather we had at the end of March, waiting for the home opener was no big deal.
Baseball is an atmosphere event. There is not much actual action. You go to the ballpark for the whole experience -- the sights, sounds and smells you can't get at home. A 100-foot high-def screen doesn't bring that atmosphere into the man cave.
We'll see. He has been a competitive big league hitter in his relatively small sample. If he can hit .270, steal some bases, hit some homers and take away both gaps as a fielder, then he will be out there for a while.
To each his own. Perhaps they could go the creepy anticlimatic route and play "A Forest" by the Cure when the game ends.
Our National Pastime faces a huge challenge with generations to come. It is a slow, slow, slow spectacle. Old farts like my self grew up outside, playing pickle and pick-up games. We like the game. We weren't exposed to the bombardment of senses that young people get today. We like the easy pace of a live game at the park. Young people bore easily. And as baseball features less and less action -- strikeout after strikeout, with an occasional homer -- it will have an even harder time captivating the kids.
The Blues already have a nice surplus of wingers. They need to find a spot for Kyrou. I believe there is still hope for Fabbri and Blais -- and currently both guys are on the outside of the lineup looking in. So I don't see the need to add additional wingers, particularly with the team facing a raise for Jordan Binnington, Oskar Sundqvist and Joel Edmundson for next season, plus pricey renewals in year for Alex Pietrangelo and Brayden Schenn in 2020. I could also see Bouwmeester coming back for less money on a short-term deal. And if not JayBow, then another veteran will need to fill that spot at some cost. So the weekly demand for supporting cast Maple Leafs once again falls on deaf ears.
The "compete level" is good, as they say in hockey. And their resilience reflects well on the team's leadership, Shildt included.
No, the season is ongoing. With each passing week, it seems more obvious that he is the right guy. From Craig's perspective, that only increases his leverage. The whole league has taken note of his success here.
That home ice is a pretty big deal. So I would play to win, all hands on deck. In Parayko's case Thursday, the Blues also had a need to scrape some rust off Edmundson as well as some interest in giving Colton a break.
I believe JT votes on that. Ryan has always enjoyed a strong reputation for two-way play and the award usually goes to a center. Given his central role in this team's reversal, he would be a great pick.
I love that extended concert version of A Forest. I also appreciate that whatever The Cure was on that night seemed to work for them as they closed out the set in sync.
The easy answer is goaltending. Binnington has remained great through the end of the season. If that continues, that will give the Blues some swagger in postseason play. And if his bubble bursts for whatever reason, the Blues will likely perish quickly.
I crushed my fantasy league this season, so I do have that on my resume.
Good question. A healthy Hedman is the best D-man on either team. McDonagh has been terrific, too, and Sergachev is a young stud. Stralman is steady. And Cernak is plus-25 in 57 games? That is crazy. So I say Tampa Bay.
Nah, there are only a handful of dates that would come into play. Not worth the cost. And you get the feeling that teams with the roof option overuse it. Let the outside in!