Your morning roundup for April 20, the day we started buying all of our heroin on Craigslist.
• This is playoff hockey's world and we're all just passing through. Tonight's Kings-Sharks game, a 6-5 overtime win for San Jose, after the Sharks trailed by four, proved yet again that playoff hockey is a treat tastier than your finest poutine. Crack all the jokes about Versus you want—they're changing the name within 90 days anyway—but in doing so you're sticking your head up your ass, and all the while missing some crazy games.
• The Blackhawks thrashed the Canucks, 7-2, to stave off elimination. Dave Bolland, playing in his first game back since Pavel Kubina's elbow concussed him 41 days ago, had a goal and three assists. The bloated douchebag above teased Roberto Luongo, whose career 20-18 postseason record is the hockey equivalent of a résumé that includes writing credits on The Break-Up and Couples Retreat. (Photo via Chicago Tribune.)
• And, yes, folks, if you're counting, that's 20 combined goals in two games last night. But, yeah, by all means, yesterday's nil-nil Man U-Newcastle draw should be the (tea and) toast of Anglophile sports fans.
• Meanwhile, in some sport played by taller guys who move slower and have too many tattoos, the Celtics beat the Knicks to take a 2-0 series lead. Carmelo Anthony received an abundance of accolades for his 42-point, 17-rebound, six-assist performance, and rightfully so. But when the Times' Harvey Araton writes that "Anthony looked around and must have figured he had stepped into an alternate basketball universe, one where he had been traded not to the Knicks, but to the Minnesota Timberwolves, or a qualitative equivalent," he should probably note that all of the good Knicks are on the Nuggets now. A two-man team, when one of the men is hurt, just might play like this.
• In the Nobody Cares About This Series And/Or Zaza Pachulia Memorial Classic, Orlando defeated the Hawks to tie the series at one. Dwight Howard played all 48 minutes, notching 33 points and 19 rebounds, while every other player on the court managed to amaze in his unique mediocrity. Somehow I doubt these games even air in high definition.
• Mavs win, 101-89, to go up 2-0 in a playoff series for the for the first time since 2006. Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, Sam Bowie, Paul Allen, and Qyntel Woods's pit bulls combined to score 0 points for the Trail Blazers.
• Lamar Odom won his first Sixth Man of the Year Award yesterday. It will go nicely with with Khloe's innumerable Third Sister of the Year trophies.
• Trade Mariano! Rivera blew his first save of the season, and the Yankees fell 6-5 to the Blue Jays. Alex Rodriguez sat out with a sore back, which, when coupled with Amare's sore back, makes for a hell of a lot of lost New York efficiency due to cranky backs. Perhaps someone can guilt the Dolans into donating a new back-specific hospital wing?
• Mets lose, 6-1 to Houston, to drop the team to 5-12. Bobby Parnell's all fucked up with what the team trainers call "nerve de-sensitivity." And the Mets sent Brad Emaus packing after only 42 plate appearances, a move Fangraphs that evokes "what the Minaya-led Mets would have done." On the bright side, the Mets have said that tickets from last night's game can be redeemed in a May series against the Pirates. Was it even raining? Or will the Mets just make all of their tickets season-long passes into Citi Field?
A few stories you might've missed.
Watch Out For LZ: ESPN's LZ Granderson has popped up with a regular columnist gig on CNN.com. He's not pulling any punches in his first two weeks, though, heading straight for rednecks and thongs.
Good Knight: Bobby Knight says John Calipari's players didn't attend class last year. This comes as part of a seeming vendetta by Knight against Calipari and his program. Anyone know if this is cool under the new ESPN guidelines?
Spasiba Cadet: In mother Russia, hockey fights you! Or at least it does if you have way too much Stoli in the belly.