BY Couchsideshow.com staff
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Couch Side hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul have had a lot on their plate lately, but they’re back for another exciting episode of the podcast. After a two week hiatus, the hosts return to dish out some NFL offseason grades, talk all things Tim Tebow, dive into the NBA playoffs, examine Tiger Woods’ Players championship win and criticize the voting of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast:
And just like that, the 2013 NHL season is over with. Quick, right? I know, but that’s what you get when a lockout threatens to cancel another season under the reign of commissioner Gary Bettman. But alas, there was a season played after all consisting of 48 games and after all the hubbub and chaos, the first round playoff match-ups are set. There are some good ones and of course there are some that will end horribly, and I am here to straighten them out for you and get you informed heading into the postseason. Let’s get to it…
Wait, a fun fact before we get started: This is the first time all “Original Six” teams qualified for the playoffs in the same season since a long time ago.
(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (8) Minnesota Wild
The Blackhawks enter the playoffs as President’s Trophy winners after finishing with the highest point total through the season. They are a dangerous folk top-to-bottom with great players in all areas and have showed it throughout the year. They started off 21-0-3 and though they kind of went through a rough patch through the middle of the season, they regained their composure and come into the playoffs as the favorites to win it all.
Meanwhile, the Wild are one of those teams you look at and say “What is going on?” They acquired the two biggest prizes on the free agent market this past off season in forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, they have a solid goaltender (Niklas Backstrom) and have a bunch of other talented pieces that should have made them a title favorite. But alas, they were as inconsistent as any playoff team in recent memory and limp into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. They are not a confident group right now in my eyes and are staggering.
While both of these teams were prohibitive favorites entering the season, only one appears to be gelling at the right time and that’s Chicago. They score at will and shut down opposing teams with a ruthless defense, and those are bad signs for slumping Minnesota.
• WINNER: Blackhawks in 5 (more…)
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
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After a nice Christmas/New Year’s break, the Couch Side Podcast crew is back! Tune in to this week’s episode for the common fan’s opinion of the NFL playoffs and NFL coaching searches. In Quick Snippets, co-hosts Wade McMillin and Sean Schoonover discuss the end of the NHL lockout and Javier Vazquez’s possible return to Major League Baseball. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side Podcast:
May 5, 2009 and November 27, 2012. Two separate dates that in the 3 years, 6 months and 23 days in between spawned years of turmoil, uncertainty, cheap shots, internet arguments, and countless other immature, childish and un-endearing incidents.
I’m of course talking about the Phoenix Coyotes and their recent struggles off the ice. The two dates are very closely related. The May 5 date is when then-team owner Jerry Moyes plunged the financially-troubled franchise into bankruptcy and created a maelstrom of everything listed above. Fast forward to the November 27 date and the dust has now appeared to settle after the City of Glendale approved a 20-year lease agreement with prospective, and likely, owner Greg Jamison, hopefully ending years of unpredictability.
Its amazing that it took just over three-and-a-half years for a professional sports team to finally be on the brink (and not yet) sold, but the situation with the Coyotes was not exactly what one would call normal. First off, Arizona, mainly the Phoenix-Metro is not exactly a hockey hotbed due to the desert climate. Secondly, the NHL were caught up in numerous legal battles with Moyes, previous Blackberry CEO Jim Balsillie (who wanted to move the team to Canada way back in 2009), the hacks at the Goldwater Institute (a watchdog group with an interest to protect taxpayers, but yet weren’t elected…). Third, potential deals with sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf (owner of Chicago’s Bulls and White Sox), the Ice Edge Holdings group (still a laughingstock on numerous message boards) and Matthew Hulsizer (who actually had an agreement ready to go, but was summarily blocked by the aforementioned Institute) collapsed faster than the WWE SmackDown ring when Brock Lesnar superplexed Big Show in 2002 (see below).
BY IAN PALMER, Feedcrossing.com syndication
The NHL’s in a mess right now due to the player lockout. Players are jumping ship with many of them signing on with European teams to make sure they get a steady paycheck while NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players’ Union rep Donald Fehr try to bang out a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The old one expired on Sept. 15 and as soon as it did Bettman and the owners locked the players out.
The league announced on Sept. 19 that all exhibition games until the end of September have been officially cancelled. This represents 61 games in total. Training camps were supposed to start up on Fri. Sept. 21, but this won’t be happening and there are still 46 exhibition contests scheduled for October, with the league’s opening night pencilled in for Oct. 11. The October exhibition games, which were to run until Oct. 7, haven’t been officially cancelled as of yet, but unless an agreement’s made soon they’ll be the next to go.
One rumor circulating around is the use of replacement players if the lockout continues into the New Year. The league has previously lost a whole season and a half a season in previous labor disputes and this time it might try something drastic to keep itself in the public eye by using replacements for the NHL stars as they earn their money in Europe. (more…)
In this week’s episode, regular co-host Craig Paul is back to join Wade McMillin for discussions about unlawful athletes, Tiger Woods’ future, the Stanley Cup Finals and the best NFL trios. Click below to subscribe, download or stream the latest episode of the Couch Side Podcast …