The Lead Item: Last night in double OT, the Vancouver Canucks punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals. With a win tonight in Tampa, the Boston Bruins can join in that tango as the Eastern Conference representative.
And this I say to you: it wasn’t supposed to be this way.
As we now face the doldrums of mid-season, National League baseball as the only marginal sports entertainment in town, it’s tough not to be reminded that there was so much hope in March and April for the Stanley Cup Finals to make an appearance down at the Verizon Center. The Caps had a much better recipe for postseason success this time around. The one-seed, but this time fought for and earned through the last week of the season, not gifted thanks to a weak division. Smart moves at the deadline to bring in leadership and blue line talent. Momentum from the “We are Louder” rivalry and series with the Rangers.
Then the Tampa Bay buzzsaw struck, and as quickly as a flash of lightning, the Caps were swept away and into golf season.
Watch Vancouver celebrate. It still stings. Either tonight or on Friday, someone else will be lifting the Prince of Wales trophy for winning the Eastern Conference. That’ll sting, too.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Sports Ticker: What is it going to take for the Nationals to get Livan a win? He’s now 3-6 on the season, but he’s posting some decent numbers for a guy who’s 3-6: 3.71 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 40K/21BB. His shortest – and only start where he gave up more than 4 earned runs – was a 5 inning performance against Florida on Mother’s Day when he gave up 6 earned. Little run support would be nice, fellas…At the international club friendly with Ajax at RFK over the weekend, Charlie Davies didn’t just sit on the sidelines – he joined the supporters in Barra Brava and banged on the drum to get through the injury that is keeping him off the field…the Mystics have their first preseason game coming up this evening…the Maryland men’s lax team has been an underdog in many games this NCAA championship, but thanks to a nifty, hidden ball trick play against UNC and a upset of top-seeded Syracuse, the Terps find themselves in the Final Four in Baltimore this weekend.
The Closing Number: 18 - After a far from Iron Man like run, my authorship of the sports ticker comes to a close as I leave town. Be nice to the next guy, and, of course, the rest of the WLDC Sports staff.