Tuesday’s Thoughts by J.T.
The NHL playoffs have begun and I am reminded that the NHL’s playoffs are better than your playoffs will ever be. Yes, I am talking to you NFL, MLB and NBA! Playoff hockey is a 120% commitment to the team, players would stand in front of a speeding train to help their team win. Don’t get me wrong I am all about a 9th inning matchup of Aroldis Chapman vs. Nolan Arenando with the score 3-2 and a runner on 2nd. Or a Tom Brady late quarter drive down by 4 with under 2:00 to go. The NHL gives you energy and emotion from opening faceoff. My years of being a sports fan, I am always amazed that the NHL is still ranked 4th out of our 4 major sports leagues. I guess playoffs don’t count.
Sullivan, Hot Seat?
I like Mike Sullivan and there is a good chance he could be the Jack Adams winner this year. Leading the Penguins to a 37-16-3 record and first place finish in what could be the hardest division in the NHL, despite an onslaught of injuries. But after two early exits the past two seasons, could he be on the hot seat if #3 happens against the Islanders? In this town we don’t seem to care what you have done for us lately. Look at the Mike Tomlin comments, remember Dan Bylsma? In my opinion we have one of the top 3 coaches in hockey, and I would be shocked to see Hextall dismiss Sullivan, no matter what the outcome of 2021 playoffs.
We Could Only Wander
We are told year in and year out that the Pittsburgh Pirates have some top prospects. Mitch Keller, Josh Bell, Gregory Polanco, Oneil Cruz…etc..etc…etc., but none ever set the league on fire. Tampa Bay has a prospect down in AAA right now named Wander Franco, he is tearing up AAA. Franco, only 20 years old is said to be the #1 prospect in the game. We see players get called up from other organizations and flourish right away. Is it the coaching and techniques taught that are stunting our future prospects growth? We can only wonder what it would be like to have a Wander in our organization.