Fun Fact of the Day: During his 26-year career, Gordie Howe lost teeth, needed 400+ stitches, suffered a serious head injury, and broke his ribs and nose. Despite all that, he didn't miss many games during his NHL-record 1,767-game career, and he played in all 80 games during his final season at age 52.
The Penguins win it all! Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-1 to take home the Stanley Cup! At the beginning of the season, the Penguins didn’t look like contenders. They were at the bottom of the standings, they fired their coach, and star Sidney Crosby (aka “Sid the Kid”) was having a rough start to the season. Then miraculously they started to turn things around! By the start of the postseason, they were the hottest team in the league, winning 14 of their last 16 regular season games. They tore through the playoffs, defeating the NY Rangers, Washington Capitals, and Tampa Bay Lightning. Sid the Kid was given the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the playoffs) and now has a 2nd Stanley Cup, after winning one for the Penguins back in 2009 and recovering from severe concussions from 2010-2012.
Farewell, Mr. Hockey. This weekend, hockey legend Gordie Howe died at the age of 88. He will be forever remembered for shattering NHL records throughout his 26-year career, including those for most games and seasons ever played. He won 6 Hart Trophies (NHL MVP), 6 Art Ross Trophies (NHL top scorer), and 4 Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. He played his final season at age 52, when Wayne Gretzky was a rookie. At the end of his life, Howe suffered from multiple stokes, chronic back pain, advanced dementia, and high blood pressure.
Nice try, Cleveland. This past Friday, the Golden State Warriors rebounded from their big Game 3 loss to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97 and lead the series 3-1. The Cavs tried to stick with their winning formula from Game 3, starting Richard Jefferson in place of Kevin Love who came in off the bench for the 1st time in his career since 2010. But the Cavs couldn’t stop Warriors superstar Steph Curry, who stepped up to score 38 points after receiving lots of criticism about his playoffs disappearing act.
One too many hits to the groin. During Game 4, Warriors’ Draymond Green got mad and hit LeBron James in the groin, after LeBron stepped over him. This is Draymond’s 4th flagrant foul of the playoffs, which means that he’s automatically suspended for Game 5, back at home in Oakland. Draymond’s been making some dirty hits all playoffs, so most people think that this suspension was a long time coming and/or a sneaky way for the NBA to make the series more exciting. But some folks are on team #FreeDraymond, including b-ball legend Charles Barkley who said, “if a guy steps over you, you have a moral obligation to punch him.” Technically, under the suspension Draymond is banned from entering the arena for Game 5, but you can bet that if Warriors win the NBA Finals tonight, Green will pay the $500 fine to celebrate with his team. Don’t be jealous, we’ve got punishments to go round… LeBron got a technical foul for getting in Draymond’s face because of all his trash-talk, and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue got a $25,000 fine for complaining to the media about how the refs never call fouls on LeBron.
Down but not out. The U.S. won Group A and will advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa America Centenario (psst—it’s the 100th anniversary of the South American soccer tournament, and we’ve been invited to host!). This past weekend, the U.S. defeated Paraguay (1-0) when Clint Dempsey scored and the team held on to the lead, despite losing DeAndre Yedlin to a red card. Next up, the U.S. will face Ecuador on Thursday.
Nothing to riot about. Meanwhile over in France, they are in the middle of the Euros, which is the European soccer tournament held every 4 years. Europeans take their soccer just a wee bit more seriously than we do over here in the U.S. The tournament has been plagued by riots and fights, leading up to and after England and Russia’s match ended in a 1-1 draw. Now, they have banned alcohol near the venues, police have fired tear gas into crowds, and the French government is worried that the fan violence is distracting them from protecting against terror attacks. The UEFA has warned England and Russia to control their fans or they could be fined or disqualified from the tournament.
Comfort is king. Last week, 2x-league MVP Steph Curry released the newest version of his Under Armour shoe, the Curry 2 or the “Chef Curry.” The shoes look like something you’d be interested in if you like a good mall-walk. Needless to say, Twitter, Steph’s brother, and Jimmy Kimmel had a field day. For his part, Steph has defended them as stylish kicks. Who knows, maybe they are specially designed to help him get around during the off-season, if reports about future shoulder and knee surgeries are true.
NBA Finals Game 5— Cleveland Cavaliers @ Golden State Warriors, the Warriors lead the series 3-1. 9pm ET on ABC.