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Hawks win Stanley Cup, are far too good -
Yes, MY Chicago Blackhawks did it again, powering past the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in last night's Game 6 to win their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. Duncan Keith (deservedly) took home the Conn Smythe trophy, and the greatest city in the world descended into a rain-soaked morass of celebration.
It also helped that goalie Corey Crawford shrugged aside any last vestiges of his late-season struggles to slam the door shut in front of the Chicago net. Remember, this is the same goalie who lost his starting job to backup Scott Darling back at the start of the playoff run against Nashville. His play then was almost unrecognizable compared to recent weeks, when it took pure magic to beat him (like Alex Killorn's Game 1 goal). There he was last night, stoning clear breakaway attempts, and keeping a clean sheet with the Cup on the line. What a fantastic turn around.
|Keith may have won the Conn Smythe, but Crawford was more important in the Final.|
Warriors on verge of clinching the NBA title -
Over in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors eye their first title in 40 years in tonight's Game 6 of the NBA Finals. They're here on this precipice thanks to a resounding 104-91 win in Game 5, where Steph Curry finally seemed to come alive in a 37-point performance. It's a statement that has me thinking this series is all but over.
|Curry finally woke from his slumber over the weekend. From: NBC Sports|
Even should Cleveland win tonight - I'll say about a 40% chance - I don't see any path for them to sneak out a win in Game 7. That leaves much of the discussion of this series in the mind of endings. Specifically, the big talk in the media (read: ESPN) has been, even if the Warriors win tonight, could LeBron wind up as the Finals MVP? He probably has been, averaging a near triple-double 37/12/9 over the first five games, but it couldn't matter in the slightest. The end result is what matters, and if Curry and Co. end up hoisting the trophy this evening, or even this Friday in Cleveland, they won't care in the slightest who gets the secondary hardware.
|Kerr's lineup swap has been the deciding factor of late.|
US Women in the World Cup -
The 2015 Women's World Cup is off and running in Canada, with the US one of the heavy favorites to compete for the crown. Routinely one of the world's best sides, and with the tournament played so close to home soil, expectations and hopes are high. Through two games of group play, the results themselves, at least, have been satisfying; a solid 3-1 win over Australia in the opener, and a hard fought 0-0 draw against a very game side from Sweden. With a follow-up performance tonight against Nigeria (kicking off RIGHT NOW), they should have no difficulty passing on to the knockout stage. So far, so good.
|Rapinoe has been America's best so far.|
While the Matildas' site went a little too overboard with their comments, their note that Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo were the only real differences is warranted. Further, I watched the performance against Sweden with a more critical eye and came away less than impressed. A number of US players were uncomfortable in possession, scatter-shot with their passing, and generally inarticulate with their play. They just didn't seem like a dominating, top-flight international side - more like Spain at the last men's World Cup. i.e., a paper tiger. While the results have stayed true, the team seems to be getting away with far too many mistakes. This is not what I expected headed in.
|Sundhage, among others, have been critical of the US' efforts so far. From: USA Today|