The Stack is back on this Friday and there is plenty to talk about with playoff basketball and hockey plus the Kentucky Derby is this weekend. Will we see a triple crown winner this year? The odds are not good. We'll get to that shortly. Now though, let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Friday, May 3:
Nets force game 7, Warriors advance
The Brooklyn Nets don't want their season to end. Thanks to a strong offensive output in the first half, the Nets held off the Chicago Bulls 95-92 to force a game 7 Saturday. It helps when two of the Bulls better players weren't on the court and no, I'm not talking about Derrick Rose. Kirk Hinrich and Loul Deng both missed game 6 and the Bulls certainly could have used them. They mustered just 38 points in the second half. The Nets weren't much better with only 35, but they had a big enough lead to hold off the Bulls. Anything can happen in game 7, but with the Bulls presumably getting Hinrich and Deng back, they have a good chance. Nets at home though will be ready. Should be a great game 7 Saturday.
The Golden State Warriors are advancing to the western conference semi-finals following their 92-88 win over the Denver Nuggets to win the series 4-2. The Warriors got off to a slow start in the first half, but in the third quarter, Steph Curry (who else?) went off. He scored 14 points in the third quarter and finished with 22, including four for eight from three point range. Andrew Bogut had a career night, scoring 14 points and grabbing 21 rebounds. Don't know how much of a lift the Warriors got by David Lee dressing up in uniform, but it couldn't have hurt. The Warriors are going to be a force in the west and could very well make it to the NBA Finals.
Senators, Capitals take 1-0 series lead, Ducks and Blues take 2-0 series leads
Ottawa and Washington finally began their playoff series with Montreal and the New York Rangers respectively, and for the Senators and Capitals, they got off to a 1-0 series lead. The Senators beat the Canadiens 4-2 despite getting outshot 27-7 in the second period. They went into the second intermission down just 2-1. The Senators responded in the third by scoring three goals and the seven seed won the first game of the best-of-seven series. The game was marred by an illegal hit by Senators defenseman Eric Gryba on Canadiens center Lars Eller in the second period. Gryba laid Eller out. He was out before his face hit the ice. Eller is in a hospital and has a concussion as well as facial injuries. No doubt Gryba will be suspended as well he should be.
The Capitals made a statement with their 3-1 over the Rangers. The Rangers got the first goal, but the Capitals responded in the second period with three goals. Alex Ovechkin got the scoring going with a power play goal and goals two and three were scored less than a minute apart later in the third period. The Rangers peppered Capitals goalie Braden Holtby with 36 shots and he saved all but one of them. Big win for the Capitals. It will be interesting to see how the Rangers respond in game 2.
The St. Louis Blues want to make sure the Los Angeles Kings realize that this isn't the same team as last year. A very physical game led to an exciting finish with this time the Blues scoring in the final minute of the third period on a goal by Barret Jackman to give the Blues a 2-1 win and a 2-0 series lead. Brian Elliott was strong in net once again for the Blues. Prior to this series, the last three series have all been sweeps by one of the teams. Will we see another one?
And in the best game of the night the Detroit Red Wings put a licking on the Anaheim Ducks only to see their big lead disappear, forcing both teams to play overtimee hockey. Detroit had a 4-1 lead in this game before Anaheim scored three straight goals in the third period and putting the crowd into a frenzy. The Red Wings needed to get out of the third period badly and refocus before overtime. It worked. A little over a minute into the extra session Gustav Nyquist scored on the power play to give the Red Wings a 5-4 win to even the series up 1-1. What a game! Can't wait for the rest of this series. The Red Wings will make this go a ways.
Tonight's NHL playoff schedule includes...
Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens 7:00 PM ET CNBC (Senators lead series 1-0)
NY Islanders @ Pittsburgh Penguins 7:00 PM ET NBCSN (Penguins lead series 1-0)
Minnesota Wild @ Chicago Blackhawks 9:30 PM ET NBCSN (Blackhawks lead series 1-0)
San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks 10:00 PM ET CNBC (Sharks lead series 1-0)
Should be a great night of action on the ice.
David Kahn out as president of the Timberwolves
A new era will begin for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but it has a familiar face. Gone is David Kahn as the Timberwolves opted not to pick up the option on his contract for next year. Instead, the Timberwolves are bringing in former old coach Flip Saunders who will be president of basketball operations and minority owner, a deal sort of like how Pat Riley has it with the Miami Heat. Kahn's teams were never good and he made several bad decisions like passing up on Steph Curry for instance and drafting Johnny Flynn. Just one bad move I can think of. Saunders should be pretty good in this role. Wish nothing but the best for him.
The 139th Kentucky Derby is tomorrow and it promises to be a good one. The Derby is always fun because it's the first leg of the triple crown and we haven't seen a triple crown winner since Secretariot in the 70s. Unfortunately rain is in the forecast, a 50 percent chance of happening. Still it's a great day. The odds are out and I'm going to take Louisville men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino's horse Goldenscents (5-1 odds) to win. Pitino has had a great year so far. He won the national championship, he's going to be elected into the Naismith Hall of Fame, why not add Derby winner to the list. It should be a great race. Enjoy it.
Coming up Monday: Reaction to weekends top sports stories