1) Greatness impacts our view of really, really good
We often fail to appreciate what we are witnessing in the moment and that is no different with Golden State. The Warriors are going to be put in the ‘best team of All-Time’ coversation and rightfully so. No the Cavs don’t stink, and infact they are really, really good. No Durant isn’t better than LeBron and it really isn’t close. But greatness can often skew our perspective of reality which is happening currently.
Durant and Curry are probably going to go down as one of, if not the, best duo of All-Time. I mean this is the same team that is making us think a lineup of Curry, Thompson, and Draymond is just ok.
2) Other than QB, goaltending is the most important position
In the NFL, in the playoffs, if you don’t have a very good quarterback you don’t have a chance. That same exact line can be said about goalies in the NHL playoffs. I mean just look at the narrative swing in this series after the last game. Before game three, there was serious talk about whether or not Nashville should consider benching Pekka Rinne after his awful performances in the first two. Now, Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray had a bad game and the Pens are gong to have to give some consideration of going back to Marc-Andre Fleury if that trends continues tonight.
The Predators are the prime example of a team that has no business being in this spot, but it is because of their goaltender that they are. The last five Stanley Cup Champions goalies have had an average goals against of 2.01 which is really incredible when you think about. Both Rinne (1.93) and Murray (1.96) have an even better mark than that average. Even as good as they have both played, whoever plays better over the next several games will decide this series.
3) The possibility of a great player changing teams is always a big story
Some of the most baseball talk in June in recent memory has taken place because of Bryce Harper. Is he going to the Cubs? Where does he end up? Will his contact reach 400 million? These are all fun and realistic to ask. The possibility of Harper going somewhere would send a massive ripple effect around the league. If he doesn’t say stay in Washington and goes to another division, how do the teams that play in said division adjust? The Harper story over the next year is as big as the LeBron story was before he left Cleveland for MLB. Not just because of the obvious great player he is on the field, but also the “make baseball fun again” storyline that comes with him.
It is no secret baseball is lacking a true face of the game, but Harper is the one guy I could see being that if they market him properly. Especially if he goes to the Cubs. I know they have struggled out of the gate and there are lots of question marks, but I think that would be about as close to a ‘super team’ that MLB has had in the past decade. Regardless, let me remind you that Harper has us talking baseball in June.
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-Article by Nick Friend