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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Celtics stay alive and the hockey gods make an appearance

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics aren’t done yet.
Jayson Tatum and the Celtics aren’t done yet.
Image: Getty

There are a maximum of 12 NBA games left this season thanks to the Celtics keeping their season alive.

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There are, at most, 10 WNBA games left this season.

There are, if every playoff series goes the distance, 97 MLB games left this season.

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There’s at most, three NHL games left, and maybe only one.

It’s getting darker earlier every evening we’ve passed out of winter, into spring, then summer, and now fall in the 199 days since Rudy Gobert and the Jazz walked off the court in Oklahoma City and into quarantine. There are 38 days until Election Day, who knows how much drama after that, and 78 days between Election Day and Inauguration Day. After that, who knows what’s in the future for any of us?

Some things in life have become more normal, or at least settled into a routine. The check-out at the supermarket now being one line instead of having to pick which register you think will be fastest is a nice little upgrade. But mostly, it still sucks right now in more ways than it’s ever sucked before in your lifetime and probably the lifetime of most people you know.

We are about to go from having all the sports, every day, to pretty much just having football and soccer, mostly on weekends. The leagues’ returns this summer mostly worked out, and for as weird as it’s been watching all of these games without fans and in bubbles, it has been a reliable time killer at a time when it often has felt like time has no meaning.

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It sucks right now, and it’s going to be worse when we head into these offseasons from which we don’t know when we’ll emerge.


The Tampa Bay Lightning are just one win away from their second Stanley Cup.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are just one win away from their second Stanley Cup.
Image: Getty
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Maybe the hockey gods are real.

Kevin Shattenkirk had the tying goal deflect in off of him in the third period, then scored a power play goal after some grotesque officiating, and the Lightning beat the Stars, 5-4 in overtime, to take a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Corey Perry speared Brayden Point upside the taint, only got called for interference, and Point got sent to the penalty box for embellishment because hockey referees are the biggest cowards outside of “Never Trump” Republicans and didn’t want to give Tampa Bay a power play with 29 seconds left in the third period of a tie game.

The call against Mikhail Sergachev for holding in the first minute of overtime was the kind of call that has to be made in playoff overtime — blatant and denying a goal-scoring opportunity — but it also meant that the Stars were going to get called for a cheap one to even things up, both in overtime power plays and in cheap calls after the refs surely got to see how badly they blew it on Perry’s nutshot during the intermission.

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The hockey gods came through a few minutes later, when Jamie Benn was called for “tripping” Tyler Johnson, and again when Shattenkirk delivered the winner.

If the hockey gods are real, there will be three more games, but Saturday night’s Game 5 could be the last one.

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In the meantime, we sure did have one packed Friday night of cool stuff in sports.

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Sam Hustis of KNBR put a mic in the stands in San Francisco and put the ballpark sound over some Giants highlights, including a shot from Mike Yastrzemski into McCovey Cove.

Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a 495-foot homer, the longest in MLB this year.

Willson Contreras flipped his bat only a little less than 495 feet in the air.

Aaron Boone got ejected, was correct in his analysis that Sandy Alcantara has a good fucking sinker and those pitches were not fucking strikes. But if this shit matters, why didn’t the Yankees challenge the last play of the game, which at least seemed worth taking a look at? I don’t know, get it the fuck together. The Marlins, stricken by a coronavirus outbreak early in the season, did get it the fuck together and are headed to the playoffs for the first time since they won the 2003 World Series.

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Bryce Harper hit a Little League home run, but the Phillies’ historically awful bullpen still blew another lead, and the Rays clinched the best record in the American League.

Sorry to all the other Jesse Spectors for ruining your Google results.

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