The World Series plays Game 7 but the article is about the NBA vs NHL? As a Colorado Rockies fan, my baseball season ended October 4 (a day longer than I’m use to watching baseball). As the calendar now reads November, the nightly question becomes NBA or NHL?
The absolute joy of not being a diehard fan of any hockey or basketball team is the ability to view the nightly schedules as an open buffet. Which superstar to watch? Which streaking team to jinx?
— Len Nunes (@Mr_Len) October 31, 2020
The best player in the league (Sidney Crosby) versus the upcoming best player in the league (Connor McDavid). With his “The Calgary Flames suck/Oilers Fan” piece, we know writer Spencer Love is watching this game. Really, you should be too because the only other hockey game going up against it features the .500 Flyers versus the under .500 Chicago Blackhawks (the overtime loser point be damned!). Yes, the Oilers currently have the worst record of the four listed teams but McDavid. For basketball fans to understand that sentiment, it’s the equivalent of choosing to watch the 3-4 Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Indiana Pacers because, well, LeBron.
The nightcap situation has a couple interesting options for different reasons.
You have the 8-2 New Jersey Devils going to Vancouver to play the 6-3-2 Canucks. With the confidence that water is wet, there is no damned way this game was on anybody’s radar when the NHL season started just mere weeks ago. As sure as the game is played on frozen water you would have been able to find fans that would have predicted these two teams would not have combined for 8 wins at this point. Now that we are past Halloween, will this teams revert to what was predominantly expected of them?
The other intriguing option includes a team that is top two in goals for and top ten in goals against. Yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL’s version of the “lovable losers”. 1967 was the last time the oft referred to “Maple Laughs” lifted Lord Stanley. In Canada, they are shoved down Canadian throats more fiercely by TSN and CBC than any team is over-pushed by ESPN in America. The strange thing is with the crop of youngsters headed up by Auston Matthews they are becoming fun to watch. Sure, some of that fun is because the viewer knows that a 2-0 score, either way, really is just the beginning of the game.With the game being played in Anaheim (remember the Dodgers are in game 7), the Ducks are lucky Leafs fans travel well.
The New York Knicks are on a 3-game win streak. The wins have come against the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets. The Houston Rockets are expected to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs but are without key off-season pickup Chris Paul. Two of the three Rockets losses have come against the surprising (still don’t believe in them) Memphis Grizzlies. The Knicks are one of the teams I love to hate so tuning into this game would be all about seeing the win streak get snuffed out.
Two of the more popular off-season choices to penetrate into the NBA Playoffs in the dreaded Western Conference are the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans. The 4-3 T’Wolves are 6th in league scoring but 29th in league rebounding. The 3-4 Pels are 8th in league scoring and 7th in league rebounding (in spite of missing Anthony Davis for a spell). Staff writer Kail and I disagree on these teams as I would have the Pelicans finishing 7th and the Wolves finishing 9th.
Who wins Round 1 of November’s NBA vs NHL?
The NHL. The term “marquee match-up” is overused but tonight’s Penguins vs Oilers game really is a marquee match-up. Also the following:
— Trevor Eliott (@TrevorEliott) November 1, 2020