Monday, May 16, 2011

Wake Up With GTOG: Tampa doesn't suck, but the Pirates might

By Finesse

Sometimes we get it wrong here at GTOG, though when we do, we find ways to point out that we were actually right.  For example, we famously pronounced that "Tampa Sucks" but, in the same article, stated emphatically that Tampa was no less than a 50-50 shot to eliminate the Pens.  Well, turns out we were right -- Tampa doesn't suck.

They handled the Bruins on Saturday in the same fashion that they escaped the Pens and manhandled the Caps -- by burying their chances, getting solid goaltending, and playing extremely well with the lead.  The popular talking point about the Lightning is that they play the trap once they get up on you, but it's a far different feeling than it was playing against the trap of the Devils back in the days when Martin Brodeur's sister in-law was only his sister in-law.  Against the Devils, they were happy to get up 1-0, and then win 1-0.  With Tampa, they get up 1-0 (or 3-0 in the case of Saturday), and then make it extremely difficult for you to score, while still possessing the quick strike ability to build on their lead. Needless to say, that's a potent recipe for success in the post-season.

Unlimited pics on the internet of Tampa celebrating
We unfortunately did not use the opportunity of our most recent podcast to go on the record with our predictions for the NHL Conference Finals (which we formulated in our minds before the respective Game 1's, we promise).

Finesse: Tampa in 6; Vancouver in 7.
Artistry (with analysis!!): I'll stick with my San Jose prediction, even though it doesn't look good this morning. The Lightning are the hottest team in the league right now. You're welcome, Tampa Bay. Boston has always been overrated. Would love to see Boston/SJ Jose for the Thornton storyline, but it won't happen.  Tampa in 6, San Jose in 7.

- In these cynical times, what would you think if I told you that a major league baseball player hit 16, 15, 15, and 13 home runs from 2006-2009 respectively, and then hit 54 home runs in 2010 and is on pace to hit 81 home runs in 2011?  Hmmm.  If you were the player involved, you'd attribute this remarkable increase in productivity to the other team throwing you strikes, which is like a marathoner saying he is breaking marathon records because they keep organizing marathons.  Throwing strikes is what the other team is supposed to do, so excuse us, Jose Bautista, if we sense there might be other factors.  We're not sayin', but we're just sayin'.

Got strikes in Pittsburgh, too...
- How 'bout those Buccos?!  They went from 18-17 to 18-22 before you even had time to figure out how to pronounce Kevin Correia's name.

- Everyone wants to know our take on the Derek Boogaard death, which is odd because we wonder how we are supposed to have an opinion on something when absolutely no facts have been released.  There is no need to rush to judgment, opinion, or speculation when a 28-year old passes away.  We'll sit tight on this for now.

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