Roundtable April 27th

Who looked the best in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Peter Fiorentino: Blues. I don’t care if it went 7, it shows a tremendous amount of heart to beat the Hawks, and Brian Elliot looked really good.

Jamey Schilling: The Pittsburgh Penguins. Even without their starting goalie the Pens looked like a team a dangerous team. Any one who can demolish Henrik Lundqvist deserves the tip of my hat.

Hank Greening: Hard to argue against Pittsburgh right now. They’re the only team that didn’t struggle with their first round opponent. Kessel, Crosby, and Malkin are all clicking at the right time.
Kellan Buddy: The Lightning made the wings look silly 🙁 I agree with Jamey though, it’s Pitt.

Charlie O’Donnell: Hard to argue that the first seed Capitals didn’t look impressive but then again they did play the Flyers in the playoffs…
Connor Mallon: Even though I’m sad the Hawks lost, the Blues really did give a great effort against the defending champs. They took a step back by allowing the Hawks to get a Game 7 but I think by delivering a lot of hits and just being physical on offense and defense shows that this St. Louis team is determined to make a dent in the playoffs.
Brendan Ploen: I’d say Washington. Hotlby is dominant in net, and their forechecking is really impressive.
Tim Sorota: I’d go with Tampa (to answer the hockey question) This is the 2nd year they’ve had the best line in the post season. The partnership of Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson is 2nd to none in terms of scoring. Ben Bishop has been very reliable. And they’re doing this all without Stevan Stamkos.
Peter Fiorentino: Disagree 100% on the second to none scoring.
Tim Sorota: Peter, what combo has been better this post season?
Peter Fiorentino: Crosby/Kessel, Benn/Spezza, Schwartz/Tarasenko Ovechkin/Carlson, just to name a few.
Tim Sorota: In the past 2 playoffs? The Pens were dreadful in their one series last year, Tarasenko was a one man show. Kucherov scores a trillion goals and Johnson just blows by people. Hard to convince me that Tampa’s first line has not been the best the past two playoffs and since last year it was Palat on the line and now it’s the nerd Alex Killorn (went to Harvard) and they haven’t missed a beat.
Peter Fiorentino: Why are we talking about last season’s playoffs.
Tim Sorota: I said that they’ve impressed me because this is the 2nd straight year they’ve dominated.
Kellan Buddy: Would say Kane/Panarin but they’re out lol. Go Blues.

How far can the Warriors go without Steph Curry?

Jamey Schilling: All the way to the conference finals. They’re still a deep team even without Chef Curry. Draymond and Klay have got this.

Peter Fiorentino: They won’t get past the Spurs without him.
Connor Mallon: I would say to the Conference Finals. Portland has shown they can put up a fight against Golden State in the regular season, but I just see the Warriors being able to propel their offense above them. Even if the Clippers win against Portland there is no way they beat the Warriors without Griffin and Paul.
Brian Boyle: I’m with Peter. Outside of a rough game 6, the Blues really locked up the Hawks all series long. Really impressive effort to outwork a team of veteran, consummate winners.
Charlie O’Donnell: While I do believe they will advance to the second round, the bottom line is that it’s a huge loss. Despite the other talent on the roster I believe they will beat Portland or the Clippers in round 2. However if he is back in time, no way he is able to go 100% against the Spurs. Sorry Golden State your record breaking year just comes up a little short. Welcome to sports.
Connor Basch: If Steph is out longer than expected, the Spurs should have no trouble with him (if that so happens to be the matchup). The Spurs are just too experienced and deep to have troubles with a Curry-less Warriors team.
Brendan Ploen: I’m thinking the Spurs would give them trouble, possibly a classic seven game series. That’s what we’d all love to see. If Steph is back for the NBA finals, I think they repeat as champs.
Brian Boyle: They’ll be totally fine until the Conference Finals. Depth is a huge reason for their historically great dominance, and the defensive duo of Klay Thompson and Shaun Linvingston make them uniquely suited to deal with whatever the plucky Blazers backcourt can throw at them. Against the Spurs, however? Well, all the Bay Area band wagoners best be praying Curry gets back in time to help bend San Antonio’s masterful, brick wall defense.
Grant Becker: They shouldn’t have much trouble bouncing a beat up Clippers team or the Blazers who have really outplayed their talent this season. Beating the Spurs is a different story. Draymond would have to play out of his mind and everybody would have to shoot well – I don’t see it.

At which upcoming home series should the Chicago Cubs receive their 2016 World Series Champion rings?

Kellan Buddy: Against the White Sox.
Peter Fiorentino: I don’t know, we should probably get them sized ASAP, though. Honestly I don’t even know why anyone else is still playing.
Hank Greening: Wait didn’t they win last year?
Brian Boyle: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: as a Cubs fan, please, please, PLEASE stop crowning us champions already. Baseball is by far the sport most dictated my curses, karma, and the sports gods. This is just bad juju. Please stop it.
Peter Fiorentino: Brian, you should direct that plea to your fellow fans who are so drunk on the Cubs Kool-Aid, they would accept the rings tomorrow
Charlie O’Donnell: Being a lifelong fan I’ve learned never to get to confident. I’m not predicting they win it.
Grant Becker: There are only 142 games to go so I don’t see how anything could change – they’ve got this.
Brian Boyle: Peter, it’s almost like they’ve learned nothing. I’m 100% convinced Schwarber’s injury is just the fan base paying for our arrogant sins.
Brendan Ploen: Die hard Cubs fan, but you can’t forget about what’s going on on the South side. Very impressive start for Robin Ventura.
Connor Mallon: I feel people are so caught up that the Cubs are really able to win the series this year but there are 3/4 other teams that could come up and knock them out of the playoffs.

Who is your early pick to win the NFC North?

Hank Greening: The Lions because why the bleep not.
Kellan Buddy: RT ^
Connor Mallon: Bears cause Kyle Long said so.
Kellan Buddy: And screw the Bears, Packers and Vikings.
And the Bears.
Charlie O’Donnell: As much as it hurts me to say i gotta say the Packers but watch for the Bears to make some noise this season I predict they get wildcard.
Hank Greening: Hahahahahahahahahaha
Brendan Ploen: I don’t see that at all.
Grant Becker: Charlie, in the most polite way, no freaking way that happens.
Brian Boyle: Room-temperature take – the Packers are still the best team in the division, and by a pretty significant margin too. As long as they stay healthy their the safe bet.
Grant Becker: The Packers were healthier than the Vikings last season and they wont he division with a second year QB. The Packers can certainly be the favorites, but the margin is anything but significant.
Brian Boyle: Fair is fair. Calling it a significant margin might’ve been a bit hyperbolic. The two split games last season and ended up within one game of each other in the standings. It’s relatively close, but I’m not betting against Rodgers if he has healthy targets.
Hank Greening: Especially for 5-6 mil a year. Jordy Nelson was a crippling loss.
Grant Becker: Seems like a pretty clear two team race. Vikings’ x-factor is the o-line, Packers’ is whether the offense can get back to where it was in 2014.
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