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Buffalo Sabres Living Up To Potential 0

Posted on December 14, 2018 by Martin William

Buffalo SabresWhat’s gotten into the Buffalo Sabres? Last year’s NHL doormats have suddenly sprung to life as the league’s hottest team heading into the second quarter of the season by riding an eight-game winning streak, including several come-from-behind victories. This is something the team’s youngest fans have never experienced before as the last time the club ran off eight consecutive victories was at the beginning of the 2006/07 campaign when they reeled off 10 straight. So why the turnaround? Well, there are a couple of major reasons the Sabres flying so high in the standings.

The club can be thankful for winning the NHL Entry Draft lottery last year as the Edmonton Oilers didn’t pick first for a change. Sabres’ GM Jason Botterill didn’t have to think twice by taking 18-year-old Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to kick off the proceedings. And owning the first-overall draft pick can do wonders for a struggling team. Just look at the Toronto Maple Leafs and Auston Matthews. But as well as selecting the top pick this summer let’s not forget the Sabres also had the second-overall selection three years earlier.

As expected, Connor McDavid went to Edmonton first in 2015 and Buffalo got an excellent franchise player themselves as the consolation prize when they took Jack Eichel. The 22-year-old definitely hasn’t disappointed anybody as the 6-foot-2, 206 lb center entered this season with 73 goals, 104 assists and 177 points under his belt in 209 games (NHL statistics by Pucky). Eichel has even picked up the pace this year by scoring over a point per game in the first quarter of the campaign and has boosted the power-play with 71 career points with the man advantage. The Sabres also have some peace of mind regarding Eichel as he recently inked an eight-year deal for a cool $80 million. Read the rest of this entry →

New Laws and Pro Sports in Vegas Turns the Gambling World Upside Down 0

Posted on September 27, 2018 by Dean Hybl

Vegas-hockeyIt is amazing how much the gambling world has changed in a relatively short period of time.

Not long ago, the big innovations were related to online gaming and poker while legal sports gambling was available only in Las Vegas.

Now, with the advent of daily fantasy sports and the ruling by the Supreme Court that has paved the way for every state to legally accept sports betting, the landscape is quite different.

Since the Supreme Cot ruling earlier this year, four states: New Jersey, Delaware West Virginia and Mississippi have already legalized some form of sports betting in their states. Three others: Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island are in the final stages of legislation and will likely join the mix very soon.

According to an ESPN study, there are 15 additional states that have started the process towards legalizing some form of sports betting.

All of the remaining states have laws prohibiting sports gambling, but ESPN wrote that with the exception of Utah, there is at least a possibility that sports betting could eventually become legal in those states.

Another dynamic that has changed is the insistence that Las Vegas could not be a professional sports city due to the proximity to gambling. Read the rest of this entry →

Trade You for a Catfish – the Most Bizarre Deals in Sporting History 0

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Rik Snuiverink
Ken Krahenbuhl was part of one of the most unusual trades in baseball history.

Ken Krahenbuhl was part of one of the most unusual trades in baseball history.

Ah, the sporting trade – it conjures images of wholesome children in the sun-kissed days of yesteryear trading their baseball cards, or high school teams negotiating over the star soccer players, piles of sweaters at the ready as makeshift goalposts. Of course, in the world of professional sports, trading players is deadly serious, involving multi million dollar transactions.

At least, you might reasonably think so, but there have been some truly surreal sporting trades over the years.

Fighting over the best and betting on the outcomes

Whether it is draft picks in the NFL or European soccer stars in the transfer window, professional sports team love to negotiate with each other. Sometimes those negotiations can get intense – perhaps this is why, with the rise in online betting, the topic of who will complete what deal is becoming as popular a wager as the games themselves. The UK casino sites at TheCasinoDB.com are no strangers to sports betting, and if you take a look when January comes around and the transfer window opens, they will all be discussing the odds of potential trades.

Usually the who and the where are the focus of the average sporting trade, but sometimes it is the “for what,” as the following examples demonstrate.

The Pitcher and the Catfish

Poor Ken Krahenbuhl. First, the Pacific Suns traded him to the Greenville Bluesmen without even having the good grace to tell him about it, but regardless, he went out and pitched a perfect game in his very first outing for his new team. Yet despite his achievements against the odds, he has gone down in history as the man who was traded in exchange for 10lb of catfish.

Bussey Martin

Tom Martin was a journeyman NHL winger who served time with the Winnipeg Jets, the Hartford Whalers and the Minnesota North Stars in a seven-year career that was solid but unremarkable. However, before turning pro, he had the singular experience of being traded by the Seattle Breakers to the Victoria Cougars in exchange for a new team bus. As you might guess, there is more to the story than meets the eye, but the nickname Bussey lived with him for his entire career. Read the rest of this entry →

Hankering for Hockey? 4 Tips to Get You Ready to Play 0

Posted on December 02, 2017 by Kara Masterson

Hankering for Hockey, 4 Tips to Get You Ready to PlayHockey is unique as it is one of the few major sports to be played on ice as opposed to grass or artificial turf. However, this is what allows it to be a fast paced game that is enjoyable to both watch and play. What should aspiring hockey players do to get themselves ready to have a fun and safe experience?

Learn How to Skate

Hockey is more fun when you aren’t falling down or bumping into other players. Learning how to skate can make you more effective in both the offensive and defensive zone, which means that you have a greater chance of sticking with a team. Skating lessons may be offered within your community, and you can also take advantage of open skating sessions to further hone your skills.

Find Equipment That Fits Right

If your skates are too large, you won’t be able to generate any power when you push off. If your ankle or leg pads are too small, you could be vulnerable to being hit by a puck. Those who are new to the game of hockey or are still developing physically may prefer a helmet that has a cage on it as it can protect you from getting hit by a stick, an elbow or a puck. Read the rest of this entry →

Rise Of Analytics Help Trigger New Era In Sports 2

Posted on October 27, 2017 by Kent Tukeli

Advanced analytics have completely changed basketball and baseball strategy at the highest level. After decades of traditional wisdom ruling over the NBA and MLB, coaches and front offices were forced to adjust to new data sources which revealed valuable competitive insight.

Professional hockey went through a major change in the 1990s, with NHL betting odds favoring teams which made the switch to trap-based defensive systems. Since then scoring has almost returned to pre-trap levels as analysts attempt to utilize modern analytics to uncover the next big edge in hockey. And the best sports betting sites have had also had to adjust their betting lines accordingly.

NBA Analytics Created The Three-Point Revolution

Basketball might be the most extreme example of how analytics has influenced a sport’s strategy at the highest level. NBA champions of the 80s and 90s ruled the paint, including legends like Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal. The action has moved far away from the key, with the three-point shot dominating the newest offensive schemes and strategies.

The record for three-point attempts was broken once again in the 2016-17 season, this time by the Houston Rockets, who bombed their way to a second-round playoff exit. The previous record holders, the Golden State Warriors, earned their second NBA championship in three years. No team has won a ring without elite three-point shooting for nearly a decade.

Basketball analytics have progressed to personal electronics worn by players around the clock, with players being monitored almost incessantly. Before the modern age of the three-pointer, a three-point shooting center or power forward was a rare luxury. Now, players who previously focused on banging in the paint must develop a jumper if they expect to start on most NBA rosters.

Curry-KD

MLB Analytics Lead To Home Run And Strikeout Records

Perhaps the most stat-intense sport in the world, baseball has always recorded the history of their game meticulously. The advent of modern analytics and micro data has allowed statisticians to run through an abundance of data to determine the best hitting, pitching and batting strategies. Read the rest of this entry →

Goaltender Tips From Pro Stock Hockey 1

Posted on June 21, 2017 by Adam Rosenbaum

shutterstock_376358287 (1)Being a goaltender is a difficult task. You are who people will be pointing to when the game gets out of hand, but also when the game is saved. Pro Stock Hockey outlined some important tips featured in their goalie e-book. Here’s just some of what you’ll find in this e-book:

Wraparounds

Timing

The most difficult part of facing a wrap around is timing. Timing of when to drop down to the ice, timing the arrival to the post when tracking the puck below the goal line, timing of when to cut off passes or be more aggressive with the stick, etc. Timing is not only relative to what is going on with the puck below the goal line, but it is also directly linked to what is occurring above the goal line. Therefore, there’s a lot to consider for goaltenders. But how does timing affect our overall ability to stop and control the flow of the game?

Control

Ensuring that goalies are capable of controlling the flow of the game is essential so that they are keeping up with the speed of the puck even when it’s below the goal line. Neutralizing passing zones which cause goaltenders to move cross-crease help in this area so that they are limiting the amount of movement and lower the risk of falling behind in their positioning. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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