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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Les Schwab Invitational - Game Within The Game

By Harry Cummins

     Many of us who attend the annual Les Schwab Invitational basketball tournament every December, play the game within the game...trying to identify which of the elite high school players will be a slam-dunk NBA player.  A one-and-done wunderkind.

    In the past, this has been a somewhat easy exercise.  Some of these players looked like they could nearly hold their own in the NBA.... while still pondering their prom dates and future college choices.

     The treasure trove of LSI alumni to shine in the NBA is mind-boggling.  Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Jahlil Okafor, Aaron Gordon, Ben Simmons, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Brandon Jennings, Tyson Chandler, Greg Monroe, Markelle Fultz, Marvin Bagley, Michael Porter Jr, etc.   In addition, there are a host of current NCAA D-1 stars who will soon join the LSI to the NBA progression.

    The bottom line ...this is perhaps the best high school holiday basketball tournament in America, a not to be missed event.  Personally, I have attended 22 of the 24 LSI  tournaments, year after year relishing the young talent on display.

     This years 2019 edition of the LSI presents a heightened challenge in identifying the sure-fire players who will ascend to the highest level of the game.  This present 16 team field is loaded with college level talent, including a hand-full of potential high D-l level players.

     This year's championship final (Monday, Jan 30) will feature Devin Askew of California's Mater Dei (Kentucky commit) vs a trio of fascinating juniors from Eastside Catholic in Washington. Eastside is led by Shane Nowell, Nolan Hickman and the most interesting player in the tournament, 6 foot 4 inch,270 pound J.T Tuimoloau, who is the number one rated (FOOTBALL) player in the national class of 2021.  He can also hoop!!  If you also happen to need a third baseman, give him a call!

     Drawing most of the headlines this week at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon, has been 6'11" Jr. Nathan Bittle of Crater High School in Central Point, Oregon.  Bittle in ranked 13th nationally by ESPN and scored 41 points in the first round win over Clackamas and their own highly touted 6'8" junior, Ben Gregg.

     Also drawing interest from college coaches and 'amateur scouts' in attendance has been a pair of highly skilled local freshman.  Marquis 'Mookie' Cook of Jefferson and Jackson Shelstad from West Linn.  Fans of the "projection" game are envisioning great things ahead for this polished pair.

     So, who then will graduate from this prestigious current edition to go on to play in 'The League'?

     Although none are clear-cut choices,  I can imagine a handful of players from the 2019 LSI to play in the NBA.  If I could only select one would be 6'9" Jr.  Kaden Perry of Battle Ground, Washington, who has already given his verbal commit to play for Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs.

     May the 'game within the game' so many of us play, be alive and well at a high school gym near you!


Thursday, December 26, 2019

A Perfect Political Storm

By Harry Cummins

     The universe is an unpredictable place.

     To quote the closing line from one of my favorite movies 'The Shipping News'....

                          "Deadly storm takes house.....
                           ..leaves excellent view"

      Would anybody else like to see a tempestuous 2020 that could produce the following:

      Nikki Haley vs. Cory Booker to decide the next President of the United States.

      America needs a destructive political storm that leaves a better, if not perfect, view!!


Trump vs Biden

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Full disclosure I have always loved politics. Full disclosure, I watch C-Span. Full disclosure, no one ever knows who I vote for.

With all that above, we are not giving up on sports in Craw’s Corner, just adding politics to the mix. Here we go.

In 2020 presidential race I will be shocked if it is not Trump vs Biden. In sports terms, (we can never get away from it), you have got Biden coming in at 77, Trump at 73.

Enough of the “they are too old talk”. It is nearly 2020, people are living longer than ever and they are able too with modern medicine and technology. Heck Biden was making the same gaffes when he was 30 and Trump had that same ugly hair, whoops I meant ugly golf swing when he was 30.

Judge em on the issues voters, not on age. It is more fun.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas From Craw’s Corner

Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Merry Christmas from Craw’s Corner. We want you also to  have a great 2020.

We also listen here, you want more basketball and more power rankings. We will oblige. Still will be coming with some news, politics and weather.

If you live in the Portland metro area, here is great event to attend, 28th-30th. Opening day match ups for Clif Wegner Basketball Classic on the campus of Clackamas Community College.

Noon—- Centralia vs Skagit Valley

2:00——- Walla Walla vs Linn-Benton

4:00 ——— Edmonds vs Yakima Valley

6:00 —— South Puget Sound vs Clackamas CC

Acres of free parking, $7:00 admission gets you 4 games.

11 games, 3 days, champion crowned on Monday, 3:00

Additionally in 27th year, this is first time ever 2 teams have entered undefeated. Skagit Valley 11-0 and Clackamas CC 9-0, yes they are in different brackets. Uh oh.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

NBA Final Scores, Christmas Day

Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Philadelphia 110 Milwaukee 109

Clippers 120 Lakers 116

Golden State 130 Houston 120

Celtics 91 Raptors 90

Denver 111 New Orleans 106

Let me know how I did, I might watch only HGTV tomorrow

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Craw’s NWAC Power Rankings, 12/22/19

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

It is the time of year to bring back Craw’s Corner world famous power rankings. Per usual always done in 9s out of great respect for game of golf. We start with a tremendous basketball league the NWAC. Respectfully if you don’t like my choices, either play better or create your own.


9. Shoreline
8. Wenatchee Valley
7. Lower Columbia
6. Yakima Valley
5. Linn-Benton
4. Lane
3. Walla Walla
2. Clackamas
1. Umpqua


9. Peninsula
8. South Puget Sound
7. Lower Columbia
6. Everett
5. Spokane
4. Umpqua
3. Wenatchee Valley
2. Clackamas
1. Skagit Valley

Friday, December 20, 2019

Craw’s Corner Is Expanding

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops Founder of Craw’s Corner

We are expanding in 2020 here at Craw’s Corner. You will see more content than ever before and even better, we are adding news, politics, weather and more sports business to our content.

With expansion, we want you to expand with us. So if you feel you want to have some fun being a writer with us, just send an email to

Whether you are interested in sports, news, weather or politics would love to have you on our team.

Thank you,

Gregory Crawford

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

NHL News and notes

NHL news and notes

-#firejackedwards  The NHL's most insufferable homer fanboy announcer you could ever listen to on NESN for the Boston Bruins.  He makes Tommy Heinsohn look reasonably objective.

-Thoughts and recovery wishes to young Swedish forward Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers who at age 23 was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma.  He will miss the rest of the season and his future career is in doubt.  This was the same type of cancer that former NY Giants player Mark Herzlich was able to beat  when he was diagnosed at age 21. Herzlich was able to resume his career after his initial battle to beat this cancer and Herzlich has been cancer free for the last 10 years.  Hoping Oskar will beat this as well, resume his career, and be cancer free in the future.

-The Arizona Coyotes made the big move this week acquiring Taylor Hall in a trade from the New Jersey Devils.  The Coyotes are still in the bottom 10 in goals scored so the addition of a healthy Hall should give a much needed boost to the offense in a crowded and very competitive Western Conference  They have given up the 3rd least amount of goals this season and if Hall emerges as the offensive force he can be the Coyotes could emerge as an extremely tough out once the playoffs start.

-Another coach bites the dust this week as Peter DeBoer was fired by the San Jose Sharks.  He is the 5th coach fired this season and we still have not made it to Christmas.  Mike Babcock (Toronto Maple Leafs), John Hynes (New Jersey Devils), Jim Montgomery (Dallas Stars), and Bill Peters (Calgary Flames) were all previously let go but some teams have seen positive results in making the change.  The Flames won 6 straight after Peters was fired and the Maple Leafs have gone 8-4 since firing Babcock. 

-How is it possible that New Jersey Devils all star defenseman P.K. Subban has gone scoreless in 21 straight games?  That pretty much sums up the Devils year and you have to think with the trade of Taylor Hall that Subban will definitely be available as the trade deadline nears.  Even with his off year Subban could still be a difference maker for a playoff contender but with his hefty contract will there be a franchise who can take that contract.

-A great start to one of the toughest road trips (7 of 8) of the season for the Carolina Hurricanes as they have 3 road wins against Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg and only an 1-0 OT loss to the Vancouver Canucks.  They have a huge road test against the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow night (possible Stanley Cup preview?) and if they can finish strong to end this road trip they will then play their next 12 of 14 at home.  At 10-1 right now to win the Eastern Conference the Hurricanes could be a nice sleeper for a future book wager.

-Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry continues to amaze as he has now won his last 5 of 6 including pitching a shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 12th and cooling down a suddenly resurgent Calgary Flames offense with a 4-1 win last night.  Jarry now on the season has 10 wins in 15 starts, a 1.85 GAA, .940 save percentage and 3 shutouts. 

-Sidney Crosby has begun skating this last week but still no timetable for his return.  The Penguins will probably remain patient with Crosby as they have won 6 of their last 7 and remain in the upper division of the Eastern Conference.

-A nice win by the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night beating the Dallas Stars 2-1 on the road.  The Oilers for the first time this year were starting to show signs of vulnerability as they had lost 7 of 9 including 4 in a row before beating the Stars. 

-The Los Angeles Kings have shown some fight of late winning 4 of their last 5 including a nice OT win last night against the Boston Bruins 4-3 in Boston. Their only loss was a 5-4 OT loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins and not a bad effort considering they scored those 4 goals against the hottest goaltender in the league in Tristan Jarry. 

-The Vegas Golden Knights looks like they have righted the ship as they have won 4 of their last 5 and now have starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury back in the lineup after being out for personal time after the death of his father.  The "Vegas Flu" is probably not as big of a factor as it was in the first year when the Golden Knights came into existence as the Knights are only 10-9 in home games this year. 

Why Peter Snell Was My Hero

Never beaten in  major competition, Snell is shown here dominating the 1964 Tokyo Olympic 1500m final.
By Harry Cummins

     Sad news arrived this week from Dallas, Texas.  New Zealand's Peter Snell, who set world records in middle distance running in the 1960's, passed away in his home at the age of 80.

     Snell was one of my boyhood heroes, etching his name next to Mantle and Kaline in the batting order of my imagination.  I remember as a boy, clipping a photograph from a magazine of Peter Snell, clad in all black, racing the wind along a deserted New Zealand beach.  Long before awareness, the heart had begun its tracings of what was later to become my own romance with the mile run. For years, that picture of the solitary runner set against the sea hung on my bedroom wall.

     Snell won every major competition he entered, including the 1960 Olympic Games 800 meters, the 1962 Commonwealth Games 880 yd and one mile events, and his 1964 double triumph in capturing the 800m and 1500m races at the Tokyo Olympic Games.  In 1962, never having broken 4 minutes in the mile, Snell bested Herb Elliott's existing world record by clocking a stunning 3:54.4  in a mile race in Whanganui, New Zealand.

     Snell trained under legendary coach, Arthur Lydiard, and often would run up to 100 miles a week.  His favorite course was a grueling uphill 22 mile circuit in the Waitakere Mountain Range outside Auckland.

     In 1962, Snell won an 800 meter race in a world record time of 1:44.3, competing in stiff leather spikes and running on a thick grassy cricket field.

     After his running days concluded, Snell settled in the United States, moving to Dallas to do post graduate fellowship work at a research center where he focused on the effects of aerobic exercise on cardiac health. He later became Director of Texas University's Southwest Medical Center's Human Performance Lab.  Snell himself, had developed cardiomyopathy in the late 60's.

     In 2000, Snell was voted New Zealand's Athlete of the Century.  Soon afterwards, he was knighted.  Many regard his double Olympic victory in Tokyo as the greatest athletic achievement in New Zealand history.  He still remains as the only runner in the last 100 years to win Olympic gold in both the 800m and 1500m in the same Olympic Games.

     In my own subsequent passage into adulthood, the harsh realities of death, divorce and disappointment came upon me like mysterious visitations, early witnesses to my own mortality.  Yet, Sir Peter Snell always remained my hero.

     Heroism was slowly redefined, embodied in my friends and acquaintances who struggled with the very same mysteries.  These were the people who seemed to always be there when it counted most.

     In the lexicon of sport, this was Peter Snell's legacy.  He came thru when it counted.  Sport, of course, must never be mistaken as finally sufficient in itself when explaining life's circumstances.  But in experiencing these heroic and noble moments, they illuminate our existence and are worthy of  pursuit.  In the process, we learn about human limits and, perhaps, how to extend them.

      It can be a hostile world, four minutes to a mile and fourscore years to a lifetime.  We need traveling companions and heroes, other than our own thoughts, to accompany us on the journey.

     May 'The Man In Black' always be remembered as a fellow 'wind-runner' on the deserted beach we all must traverse.





Sunday, December 15, 2019

NFL Picks

Here are the picks this week, all late games

Last week 1-3-1
Overall 36-30-3

Cleveland -3
Atlanta +10
Oakland -6.5
LA Chargers +1.5
Buffalo +1

Good Luck!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Little Local Hoops, 15-20th

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Many posts on many subjects will appear on Craw’s Corner, including today’s post about a great week for hoops’ fans in Portland, Oregon Metro area. Happy to give you this schedule so get out and see a game.

Sunday 15th, Portland State at Portland women 2:00 tip.

Monday 16th, Florida A&M at Portland 7:00 tip

Tuesday 17th, Doubleheader men and women, Multnomah at Warner Pacific 5:30 and 7:30

Wednesday 18th, Tripleheader at Clackamas Community College, games 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00

Thursday 19th, Doubleheader at Portland, women 5:30, men 7:30.

Thursday 19th, Tripleheader at Clackamas Community College, games 1:00, 3:00 and 5:00

Friday 20th, Tripleheader at Clackamas Community College, games 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00.

In addition Monday through Saturday high games all over, for schedule

Just go see a game and you will go back.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

And The Winner Is ??

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

A big announcement in the sports business world could come tomorrow or as long as sometime in spring of 2020.

The winner will be who secures the new TV rights to the PGA Tour starting in 2022. At present CBS, NBC and Golf Channel own those rights. While it could be business as usual in 2022, some new/old contenders have entered the bidding including ESPN, Fox and AT&T.

Only one thing is certain, the coveted 4 Majors TV rights are completely separate deals and not in picture here.

Just why is this important.? While golf does not get close to other sports in TV ratings, it is attractive to advertisers for one reason, most golfers have a few extra bucks in their pockets and they spend it.

As well,
golf participation is on the rise after years of decline and on the pro side the young stars on Tour have never been better and more noticed.

Stand by, this will be a major story in sports world.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

News of the World - The First Edition

By Harry Cummins

     Waiting for this morning's News of the World to arrive, those tangled articles of impeachment and Gerrit Cole's complex new tax bracket, I pause to remember simpler days when daily dispatches first brought wonder to an uncluttered heart.

     When I was 6 years old, I lived with my mother on the shimmering edge of the world.  It was a luminous place known affectionately to us as Bird Rock By-the-Sea.

     My life then, the part I now choose to remember, consisted of collecting ladybugs every morning in canning jars filled with blades of grass.  In the afternoons, my mother and I would walk the short, steep hill down to the sea where she would sun herself on a smooth rock, her eyes fixed on me near the shoreline.

     In the many years that have since passed, my mother has died.  Our clapboard beach cottage was sacrificed long ago to Southern California sprawl, replaced by a conga-line of million dollar properties.  I, in the name of becoming "settled," have since wandered from one address to another.

     Reflecting on all this from shores many times washed over, I can still trace where  home-delivery of the news first began for me.  Glancing back up the beach at my mother, my anchor, day-dreaming on her favorite rock, I could safely sense the rush of a wider world lapping at my little feet.

     In those moments from where I stood in the late afternoon light, home was everything I saw and imagined. Although I was never really sure, I assumed the same was true for my mother.

     All 'breaking' news, especially the kind that once left sand stuck between your toes, is unmitigated and inherently local.  It's News of the World..before it gets reshaped by social media and the pile up of pain and doubt littering our adult landscape.

     Where we currently call 'home' and what's truly important there... are matters, above all others, that we simply cannot afford to ignore.  In terms of our own transformation, there is no such thing as a slow news day.

     News is in every breath we take.....may you be washed in the world's good tidings.
...First Anchor Desk

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Craw’s Corner Big Changes

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Big changes coming to Craw’s Corner starting tomorrow, December 11th. Here is your holiday list.

1. Much more basketball coverage, including NBA, college and high school as the one and only Gavin Amato joins us for prep coverage. As well plenty of sports business news.

2. You will see news coverage on Craw’s Corner for first time ever.

3. Starting in 2020 new writers will be joining our team and you will see their contest often covering both sports and news.

4. For first time ever, you will also see political coverage on Craw’s Corner, both on the heavy and light side. We will also have some in-depth weather analysis by a talented meteorologist.

5. In conclusion, we have listened. These are changes you the readers have asked for, including not seeing content once a week, but content every single day.

Thank you, Gregory Crawford, Founder of Craw’s Corner.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

NHL Power rankings

NHL power rankings

 #1 Washington Capitals  1st overall in points with 49, 1st in goals scored with 112, and only 4 losses in regulation.  Have won 6 straight including their last 4 on the road.   Two huge games this week playing Wednesday at home against Boston and at Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

#2 Boston Bruins  Knocking them down to the 2nd spot after back to back home losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche after winning 8 straight. 3rd in goals score, 3rd best ranked power play conversion rate, and have given up the 2nd fewest goals.

#3 St Louis Blues  A rough night for Jordan Binnington getting the hook after giving up 4 goals in the 1st period to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 5-2 loss last night.  Still the Blues have the most points in the Western Conference with 42 and have played consistent hockey throughout the season with their defensive style and great goaltending from Binnington and Jake Allen.

#4 Colorado Avalanche  6 straight wins including winning their last 3 road games in impressive fashion beating Toronto, Montreal and Boston. They are starting to get key pieces back into the lineup with the return of Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Ratanen and Nathan MacKinnon is having an MVP type season, currently 3rd in the league in scoring with 45 points.

#5 NY Islanders  The Islanders have finally slowed down a little bit after their 17 game point streak ended and have lost 5 of their last 8.  They have only scored 14 goals in those 8 games.  However this team still has given up the fewest goals in the league and is only behind Boston and Washington in the Eastern Conference with 40 points.

#6 Philadelphia Flyers  The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the league winning 7 of their last 9 and currently have the 4th most points in the Eastern Conference with 39.  The goaltending duo of Carter Hart and Brian Elliott have only given up 16 goals during that 9 game stretch and have finally given the Flyers the much needed day in and day out consistent goaltending that has been missing from many of the previous seasons.

#7 Pittsburgh Penguins  The Penguins keep rolling along even with their myriad of injuries winning 6 of their last 8.  One of those wins was an incredible 3rd period comeback against the Vancouver Canucks on 11/27 trailing 6-3 and coming back to win 8-6 scoring 6 goals in the 3rd period.  Back up goaltender Tristan Jarry (who might now have wrestled the starting job from Matt Murray) has been the big story posting back to back shutouts this week against St. Louis and Arizona and posting overall numbers of a 1.81 GAA and .945 save percentage in 11 starts

#8 Edmonton Oilers  They have remained consistent throughout the season not having a losing streak of more than 2 games and Connor McDavid (19 goals, 33 assists) and Leon Draisatl (19 goals, 34 assists) are still the top 2 scorers in league.  They have the top ranked power play converting at a sizzling 32.2% rate and the 2nd best power play kill rate at 86.6%.

#9 Arizona Coyotes  Another team that has stayed consistent throughout the season with only one 3 game losing streak. They do not have an individual player in the top 90 for scoring but with their defensive style and outstanding goaltending from Darcy Kuemper (1.92 GAA, .937 save percentage) and Antti Raanta (2.52 GAA and .926 save percentage) they will continue to be a tough out every night they take the ice.

#10 Carolina Hurricanes  The unfortunate part for the Hurricanes is they have the 6th most points in the Eastern Conference with 37 but sit 5th in the ultra competitive Metropolitan Division.  After a slow start Sebastian Aho has really come alive with 10 goals in his last 13 games and is tied for 9th in goals scored. A tough stretch before Christmas with 7 of their next 8 on the road including their next 5 at Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Colorado.

#11 Dallas Stars  The Stars have been the most wildly inconsistent team this year.   They started the season losing 8 of 9, won their next 14 of 16, lost their next 4, and now have won 2 in a row.  The goaltending of Ben Bishop (2.13 GAA, .932 save percentage) and Anton Khudobin (2.39 GAA, .922 save percentage) have carried the Stars but they need more offensive consistency if they want to be in the upper division of the Western Conference.

#12 Winnipeg Jets  You could make an argument for this year's MVP for goaltender Connor Hellebuyck since he has carried the Jets with a 2.20 GAA and .934 save percentage.  Most pundits expected the Jets to struggle defensively but score a ton of goals but the opposite has happened as the Jets are in the bottom 3rd of goals scored but have allowed the 6th fewest goals in the league.  The Jets have played well of late winning 11 of 16 and have not lost back to back games since October.

#13 Florida Panthers  Unless goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (3.35 GAA, .889 save percentage) comes around the Florida Panthers will not be an upper division Eastern Conference team.  They are 8th in goals scored (97), have the 6th best power play conversion rate (23.0%), and the 4th best power play kill percentage (85.5%).  They play 3 of the Eastern Conference heavyweights this week (Tampa Bay, NY Islanders, & Boston) all at home so we will have a better idea how good the Panthers really are.

#14 Tampa Bay Lightning  Since most teams still have 3 to 4 games in hand to the Lightning I will give them the benefit of the doubt and rank them ahead of teams with a few more points.  Still waiting for this team to go on a run as the Lightning still have not had a winning streak of more than 3 games.  They have battled injuries to key players like Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman.  If they continue on their inconsistent path they could actually be in a fight to just make the playoffs.

#15 Vegas Golden Knights  The good news for the Golden Knights is that they have won 4 of 5 and back up goaltender Malcolm Subban has played well in the absence of Marc-Andre Fleury.  Subban has been the winning goalie in their last 4 wins and has only given up 11 goals in his last 5 starts.  The Knights have struggled in stretches losing 10 of 13 in November before winning their last 4 of 5.
#16 Vancouver Canucks  A rough November for the Canucks only winning 5 games but still right in the middle of the playoff chase.  They are 6th overall in goals scored (100) and have the 4th best power play conversion rate (27.2%).  The goaltending of Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko will determine if the Canucks will be a playoff team.

#17 Calgary Flames  It looked like the Flames were spiraling toward the bottom of the Western Conference after losing 6 straight in the middle of November but have bounced back nicely winning 5 of 6 and putting them back into the middle of the playoff chase.  A slumbering offense has shown signs of life of late (Even Milan Lucic has scored a couple of goals) but they are still 6th from the bottom in goals scored.  Johnny Gadreau has struggled badly this season and he and the rest of the offense will have to pick it up if they want to be a playoff team.

#18 Toronto Maple Leafs  The Maple Leafs have played a little bit better since firing head coach Mike Babcock and bringing in Sheldon Keefe but still lack night in and night out consistency.  We are in December and the Leafs back up goalie situation is still a mess with Michael Hutchinson sporting a 4.55 GAA, .876 save percentage and still with no wins.  Injuries have also hurt the Leafs this year and what looked like a year they could make a run for the Stanley Cup will be a year they will be in a fight just to make the playoffs.

#19 Minnesota Wild  Give credit to the Wild who have bounced back nicely from a slow start to get themselves within shouting range of the playoff picture.  Before losing last night to Carolina the Wild had won 7 of 9 and both of those losses were in OT.  The offense has picked up the scoring of late with 3.7 goals per game in their last 10 games but the Wild will have to be better defensively as they have given up the 7th most goals in the league.

#20 San Jose Sharks  Not sure which Sharks team you are going to get, the one who lost 11 of their first 15, the team who won 11 of their next 13, or the one who have lost their last 4.  Unless their is a major turnaround at the goalie position this team will not be going anywhere with the goaltending tandem of Martin Jones and Aaron Dell. The offense can't make up for the defensive deficiencies where they can outscore people per now being ranked only 19th in goals scored.

#21 Buffalo Sabres  The Sabres have lost 14 of 18 since November 1st and have not had a multiple game winning streak since late October.  Not enough secondary scoring and mediocre goaltending will in all likelihood keep the Sabres away from the playoffs for another year.  Good to see Jack Eichel stay healthy for the entire season as he is having an outstanding year being 7th overall in scoring with 18 goals and 23 assists.

#22 Montreal Canadiens  They have won their last 2 of 3 but were in total free fall before that as they had lost 8 in a row.  Carey Price has seen his GAA balloon up to 3.04 with a .902 save percentage and the Habs have been outscored 45-28 in their last 11 games.  The defense now has given up the 5th most number of goals (101) and they have the 4th worst power play kill percentage (75.5%).

#23 NY Rangers  This team is the definition of mediocrity.  An inconsistent win one night, lose the next night type of team who has not had a winning streak of more than 3 games.  I think it is time to give the full time goaltending job to Alexandar Georgiev (2.90 GAA, .919 save percentage) since he has been more consistent than Henrik Lundqvist (3.21 GAA, .910 save percentage) with the better numbers.

#24 Nashville Predators  They looked like a Western Conference Stanley Cup contender before the season started but they have only 5 wins since Halloween.  The goaltending tandem of Pekka Rinne (2.92 GAA, .897 save percentage) and Juuse Saros (3.12 GAA, .891 save percentage) have taken a step backwards and their power play units on offense and defense are both in the bottom 10.  This team on paper should be better but it looks like they will be in a fight just to make the playoffs.

#25 Chicago Blackhawks  Another team that just can't find any consistency as they have had losing streaks of 3 or more games 4 different times during the season while only having one winning streak of 3 or more games.  The big drop off in front line scoring from Alex DeBrincat and Jonathan Toews from last season has been a big contributor to a struggling offense as the Blackhawks are ranked 24 in goals scored.  It will be interesting to see if the Blackhawks become sellers during the trade deadline.

#26 Anaheim Ducks  Only 4 wins since November 1st and no real surprise that they have the second lowest point total in the Western Conference.  They have scored the 4th fewest goals and only have 1 individual player with more than 20 points (Ryan Getzlaf at age 34 with 10 goals and 13 assists).  The Ducks will be sellers at the trade deadline and we'll see if any playoff contending team will take a chance on Getzlaf to fortify their scoring or other Duck players who are on the wrong side of 20.

#27 Columbus Blue Jackets  Another team not projected to do much this year and not looking like a playoff team so far.  They are 2nd to last in goals scored and do not have an individual player in the top 100 in scoring or an individual player with more than 18 points.  Cam Atkinson and Pierre-Luc Dubois who they counted on to pick up more of the scoring load have struggled for most of the year.  Will be in the market at the trade deadline to unload veterans and try to get younger.

#28 Ottawa Senators  Started the season losing 7 of 8 and have lost 6 of their last 7.  Projected as the worst team in the league the Senators have played some good hockey in small stretches but the overall talent gap and the youth of this team will prevent them from being any type of playoff contender for at least a couple of years.  They do have a nice core of young players to build with in future all stars Brady Tkachuk, Anthony Duclair, and Thomas Chabot.

#29 Los Angeles Kings  So when does the bloodletting begin in regards to trading all of their age 30+ veterans?  And does anybody really want any of these players? They are dead last in points in the Western Conference and in the bottom 5 in goals scored and goals allowed.  A major rebuild is necessary for this franchise to move forward.

#30 New Jersey Devils  A total disaster as they have had the "Nothing has gone right" season times 10.  3rd from last in both goals scored and goals allowed and have lost 5 straight being outscored 23-9.  And this season was summed up on December 2nd being outscored 5-0 in the first period against the Buffalo Sabres and eventually losing 7-1.  The million dollar question is will they trade Taylor Hall.  If they don't trade him they risk losing him for nothing if they can't resign him.

#31 Detroit Red Wings  The Red Wings haven't been this low as a franchise since the early 1980's as they are on an 11 game losing streak being outscored 49-20 in that span and only have 17 points on the season.  Steve Yzerman knows this will be a long rebuild as the Red Wings need help everywhere.

NBA Score Predictions, 12/8/19

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

You asked for this to comeback and we oblige. Of course our great writer Hermo Strong does a fabulous job picking the games, I will stick strictly to picking the scores. Thanks for reading.

NBA —— 12/8/19

Atlanta 100 vs Charlotte 99

Miami 125 vs Chicago 98

Portland 126 vs OKC 115

College —- 12/8/19

Washington 81 vs Gonzaga 80 in Overtime

Feel free to add your selections anytime and tell me if I am wrong.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

College football picks recap/NFL picks

Finished our college regular season picks last week, here are the final numbers.  Bowl picks will be given out if there is people interested.

Last week 4-1
Overall season 38-24-3

NFL Picks
Last week 2-3
Overall 35-27-2

This week

New Orleans -2
Miami +5
Tampa Bay -3
Oakland +3
Seattle +1

Good Luck!

CCC opens with Big Drama

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

The full league opening night of men’s basketball in Cascade Collegiate Conference brought some high drama last night when it came to outcomes. Just a sample below of what is year in and out the best men’s league in NAIA.

1. As expected, the #1 team in the country , Oregon Tech won easily, a team all basketball junkies should follow all
year long.

2. Unexpected, a rare league win by Walla Walla over the 24th ranked team Corban.

3. Another good upset, was Northwest over 17th ranked Southern Oregon.

4. Finally, Justin Martin of Multnomah padded his national scoring lead by getting 33 points, despite getting beat badly by the number one scoring team in NAIA Eastern Oregon.

The playoff race has started in the CCC, you do the math, in an 11 team league, 8 teams will see postseason. Stand by.

Craw’s Corner Sports Biz

By Gregory Crawford @wchoops

Great news for PAC-12. TV ratings for the championship game on Friday night we’re terrific, as the game was watched by 5.2 million viewers and topped the ratings for all of Friday night TV. 

Who said no one would watch a championship game on ABC between Utah and Oregon?