Tyrod Taylor and Jack Eichel have Buffalo excited. (Getty Images)
We got a new podcast for you and a new intro to go with it. On a supersized episode of the podcast, Mike, Evan and Stich talk about the Sabres preseason, look at the MLB Postseason and preview the Bills game vs the New York Giants. To wrap up the show Giants fan Jim Bearor joins the show to give his perspective on the game and the Giants season so far.
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Posted in evansally, jimbearor, miketolsma, MLB, NFL, NHL, stevestich
Tagged baseball, bills, buffalo, eichel, mlb, newyork, newyorkgiants, nfl, NHL, sabres
– Evan Sally
Intro to The Hard Foul 32
#32 – Matt Cassel/EJ Manuel/Tyrod Taylor
Cassel, Manuel, Taylor (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
In recent weeks I’ve called the Bills quarterback situation putrid, crappy, craptastic, a pupu platter and myriad other names that would disappoint my mother. To summarize: it’s bad guys. I don’t think a single Bills fan would disagree. But is it the worst in the league? That’s a question more up for debate. When sifting through the bottom of the QB barrel there are definitely a lot of bad QBs out there. We placed the Bills last because A) Even though Matt Cassel is a “veteran”, he hasn’t performed well or done any real winning since 2010, B) EJ Manuel, while he’s only had 14 career starts, the vast majority of his games have been very bad with him only topping out at mediocre in the others, and C) Tyrod Taylor is a complete unknown but the track record for QBs taken in the 6th round (except for that Brady fellow) is pretty bad. As of right now Matt Cassel is the presumptive favorite to start Week 1 so let’s dig a little deeper.
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With minicamps and OTA’s wrapping up, and training camp still a few weeks away, HardFoulSports.com’s own Jim Bearor shares his thoughts about the offense of his favorite team, the New York Giants.
On paper, this might be the most talented Giants offense I have ever seen. It all starts with the offensive line though, and that is a big question mark for this team. Injuries are also among New York’s chief concerns but if all goes as expected, this could be one of the league’s best offenses.
The biggest factors at play here are health, inexperience, and growth within offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s offense. Injuries have been harsh to Big Blue over the past couple years, and they certainly need to be relatively healthy if they are to remain competitive in the NFC East, otherwise their lack of depth could be exposed – and it won’t be pretty.
With the overhaul that is happening to their defense, it is going to have to be the offense of the Giants that carries them. Antrel Rolle is gone, Jason Pierre-Paul is still not participating, and Steve Spagnuolo is only getting started implementing his system. The offense made strides last year, but it looks like they’ll have to do even more to compensate for their defense.
So let’s take a look at this squad, position by position, and try and get a feel for this year’s New York Giants offense. Continue reading →
Thoughts on the NHL Eastern Conference Finals: Lightning vs Rangers
Lightning lead the series 2-1
The Triplets Coming Out Party
Thinking about the Tampa Bay Lightning usually conjures an image of Steven Stamkos. He’s their undisputed best player, their talisman, their leader. As he goes, so do the fortunes of the Lightning. And yet even though he’s collected 4 points in the first 3 games of the series, he’s been overshadowed by the play of the line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, who’ve supplied 8 of the Lightning’s 13 goals so far this round. Lightning coach John Cooper has dubbed them “The Triplets” because of their similar size (small), speed (very fast) and incredible skill level. Their speed in particular gave the Rangers fits, opening holes and causing odd man rushes throughout the game with a devastating forecheck. Game 3 was particularly evident, as they combined for 7 points and Kucherov scored the game winner in OT to give the Lightning a 6-5 win in a wild game. The Kucherov goal was a beauty. He came through the neutral zone with speed on the right side, attacked the slot in front of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, was surrounded by 4 defenders that had no idea what to do with him, and he fired a shot past Lundqvist. Each of them are capable of outstanding individual efforts like this and they also play so well together, making them extremely dangerous. The Triplets line combined with Stamkos has made the Tampa offense a joy to watch if you’re a neutral fan. And if you’re a Rangers fan? They’ve been a nightmare.
King Henrik Dethroned
Henrik Lundqvist is arguably the best goaltender in the NHL. Henrik Lundqvist has not played like it the past two games. He’s given up 12 goals in games 2 and 3 combined, the same amount he gave up in the ENTIRE last series against the Capitals. In Game 2 he gave up 6 goals on 26 shots for a paltry .760 save percentage. I can’t imagine how concerning that must be for Rangers fans who are used to Lundqvist being their rock when all else fails. New York’s defensive collapse can’t just be blamed on goaltending however, they’ve been a mess in their own zone. Particularly in Game 3, when they gave up 40 shots, and were routinely victimized by the speed of the Lightning. While the Rangers offense did get going in Game 3 scoring 5 goals, Dan Boyle, Ryan McDonagh (who were each -2 in Game 3) and the rest of the Rangers D-core have to get their house in order before Game 4 or else they’ll be heading back to Madison Square Garden on the brink of elimination. The Rangers cannot afford to waste great offensive games from a team that’s scored 3 or more goals in a game only 4 times in 15 playoff games so far.
Posted in evansally, NHL
Tagged column, evansally, hardfoulsports, hfs, hockey, kinghenrik, lightning, lundqvist, newyork, NHL, nhlplayoffs, NYR, rangers, sports, stamkos, stevenstamkos, tampa, thoughts, triplets