NHL Playoffs 2016: Viewing Information and Odds for Stanley Cup Final

May 27th, 2016 by Joe Pantorno No comments »
The Stanley Cup Final is all set after the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night.  They'll join the Western Conference-champion San Jose Sharks in hockey's fight for the holy grail that is the Stanley Cup.  Here are the early odds for the Stanley Cup Final, followed by how you can watch each game: The Sharks are going to prove a tough matchup for the Penguins, who rely on skill players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. Like they've done all season, the Sharks' physical play has simply worn their opponents out with checking form. Of the top 10 hitters in the postseason this year, San Jose has three players within those ranks.  The Sharks have shown that they can key in on top players and stifle them for a majority of their time on the ice. Most recently, it was ...

Final Conn Smythe Trophy Rankings for 2016 NHL Playoffs

May 27th, 2016 by Steve Macfarlane No comments »
Little is certain when it comes to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final aside from the fact we know the series that starts Monday night will be a battle between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks.  As difficult as it is to predict whether the Sharks will come away with their first Cup in franchise history or the Penguins a second of the Sidney Crosby era (and fourth overall), it's even more challenging to guess which player the voters will select for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.   To give you an idea of just how tough it was to get this list in shape, the current NHL playoff points leader didn't make the cut.  As for the rest, the top candidates are ranked from sixth to first based on their play up to this point.  Statistics matter, of course, but so do when those numbers were produced and how important the player ...

Warriors Still Have Plenty to Prove Despite Season-Saving Effort vs. Thunder

May 26th, 2016 by Grant Hughes No comments »
The Golden State Warriors were good enough when they needed to be, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-111 Thursday to stave off elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Despite the season-saving result, the Warriors' chances of toppling the Thunder twice more seem slim. Fueled by the desperation of must-win stakes, the Dubs still only mustered occasional flashes of their dominant 73-win selves. There were positives to build on, but it's difficult to say the Warriors' win tipped the balance of power away from Oklahoma City. Chief among the encouraging signs was the return of Golden State's defensive intensity. After hemorrhaging points all series (and particularly in Games 3 and 4), the Warriors shored up their interior fortifications. Andrew Bogut showed up big in the box score, logging a postseason-high 15 points and 14 rebounds, but his activity and intimidation as a rim protector were even more valuable, as this tidbit from ESPN ...

No One Saw These Penguins Coming: Roller-Coaster Year Results in Cup Final Berth

May 26th, 2016 by Adrian Dater No comments »
The parallel with 2009, the last time the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, is striking. The Penguins of 2008-09 fired their coach during the regular season, replacing Michel Therrien with Dan Bylsma. The Pens were said to have an unhappy superstar in Sidney Crosby, who had underachieved to that point. Under Bylsma, Crosby instantly appeared rejuvenated, and Pittsburgh won the Cup. Here the Penguins are again, in the Final, after Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center. They are a team that fired its coach, Mike Johnston, in December despite a 15-10-3 record. Crosby was said to be bored under the checking philosophy of Johnston, so in stepped Mike Sullivan from the minors, just like Bylsma. Crosby has been sensational since Sullivan took over, and while he was not the guy who scored in Pittsburgh's decisive win over ...

Thunder vs. Warriors: Game 5 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2016 NBA Playoffs

May 26th, 2016 by Scott Polacek No comments »
The best regular-season team in NBA history isn't going down without a fight. The Golden State Warriors kept their 73-win season alive Thursday with a 120-111 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Golden State now trails 3-2 as the series shifts back to Oklahoma City for Game 6 on Saturday.    Stephen Curry carried the load on offense with 31 points and six assists, but he also provided clutch defense down the stretch and tallied five steals and seven rebounds. His backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, added 27 points, while Andrew Bogut played his best game of the series down low with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Draymond Green helped control the glass with 11 points and 13 boards. The collective efforts from the Warriors helped overcome the two-man performance from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on Oklahoma City's side. Durant poured in 40 points, while ...

Lightning vs. Penguins: Game 7 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2016 NHL Playoffs

May 26th, 2016 by Danny Webster No comments »
The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2009 thanks to two Bryan Rust goals that gave them a 2-1 home win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final at Consol Energy Center.    The Penguins will meet the San Jose Sharks for the right to claim Lord Stanley's prize. Game 1 is on Monday on NBC Sports Network in Pittsburgh. The Penguins tweeted after the victory: The NHL also provided this tweet as the hockey world braces for the final series of the season: The Penguins will be going for their fourth Stanley Cup in franchise history, while the Sharks are trying for their first. Penguins goalie Matt Murray made 16 saves, and it marked the fourth time in NHL history a rookie goalie won a Game 7, per ESPN Stats & Info: Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, in relief of ...

Khloe Kardashian Files for Divorce from Lamar Odom

May 26th, 2016 by Alec Nathan No comments »
Khloe Kardashian-Odom has reportedly filed for divorce from former NBA star Lamar Odom.  According to court documents obtained by CNN's Amanda Jackson, Kardashian-Odom cited "irreconcilable differences" and "is seeking to terminate spousal support and asking the separation of property be determined by their prenuptial agreement."  This is the second time Kardashian-Odom has filed for divorce from Odom. The first occurrence reportedly came in 2013 "after the couple faced struggles with infertility, accusations of infidelity and Odom's substance abuse problems," per the Los Angeles Times' Libby Hill. However, Kardashian-Odom reportedly withdrew her petition for divorce after Odom was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel in October 2015.  According to Jackson, Kardashian-Odom hinted at another split on a recent episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians when she told Odom, "But we're definitely getting out of this marriage, because it's been a little tainted." And while Kardashian-Odom reportedly filed the appropriate documents, Jackson noted California law dictates a divorce can't be finalized until ...

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors: Live Score, Analysis for Game 5

May 26th, 2016 by Jared Johnson No comments »
The Golden State Warriors avoided elimination Thursday night with a 120-111 home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Oklahoma City now leads the series 3-2. Stephen Curry (31 points on 9-of-20 shooting) and Klay Thompson (27 points on 8-of-21 shooting) were the biggest catalysts for the Warriors, but the X-factor in Game 5 was Andrew Bogut. The Australian center contributed 15 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals in just under 30 minutes on the floor, stonewalling several Thunder drives in the process. Marreese Speights also offered a quick 14 points in nine short minutes off the bench. Oklahoma City got a combined 71 points from Kevin Durant (40) and Russell Westbrook (31) in the contest, but the two combined to shoot 23-of-59 and didn't have quite enough magic in the fourth quarter. The duo did, however, hit several key shots ...

Houston Rockets Hiring Mike D’Antoni Comes with Curious Questions​

May 26th, 2016 by Grant Hughes No comments »
Mike D'Antoni occupies a complicated space in the NBA landscape, so his agreement to become the Houston Rockets' next head coach, as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, raises appropriately complicated issues. After spearheading an offensive revolution with the Phoenix Suns and enjoying wild success in the mid-2000s, D'Antoni flamed out with the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers. The ultimate question, then, is this: Which version of D'Antoni is the real one? Are the Rockets getting the mind widely credited with altering offensive basketball? The guy who spaced the floor, championed pace, shrunk lineups and made the pick-and-roll the fulcrum of virtually every system since developed? Or are they getting the guy who lost the locker room in New York and may well have deserved more blame for the implosion in L.A. than the more rigorously chronicled Kobe Bryant-Dwight Howard rift? Unless you think his short tenure as an assistant ...

Lightning vs. Penguins: Game 7 Live Score, Highlights for 2016 NHL Playoffs

May 26th, 2016 by David Kenyon No comments »
Penguins 2, Lightning 1—Final Bryan Rust's pair of goals helped the Pittsburgh Penguins edge the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. The rookie opened the scoring early in the second period, wristing a shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy, who finished the night with 37 saves. Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin had the assists. Jonathan Drouin's snipe brought Tampa back even, thanks to helpers from Valtteri Filppula and Victor Hedman. However, Rust notched his second goal just 30 seconds later, and the Penguins held on throughout the third frame. Matt Murray stopped 17 shots to help Pittsburgh clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, where the San Jose Sharks await. Bleacher Report provided scoring updates and highlights. Please add your thoughts in the comments section.Read more NHL news on BleacherReport.com