TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. The National Football League sacked Tom Brady with a four game suspension Monday afternoon and it didn’t end there. The Patriots will also lose a 2016 first-round pick, a 2017 fourth-round pick and the team was fined $1 million dollars.
The first round pick in 2016 is the dagger with this punishment. If Brady gets a true neutral arbitrator, he likely gets the suspension down to two games and the $1 million fine is nothing. Losing a first round pick is the big punishment.
Deflate gate has ended up being a situation where the Patriots cheating ways going back to spy gate finally came back to haunt them and there’s no question New England’s past of messing with the integrity of the game is why the NFL dropped the hammer.
Roger Goodell is never going to live down the Ray Rice suspension, the bigger issue there is law enforcement turning a blind eye to Rice than Goodell, but Goodell sticking it to Robert Kraft, who was most responsible for Goodell becoming commissioner, has been a fascinating situation to watch and will be moving forward. This was a clear PR move by Goodell and he’s basically pointing his middle finger at Kraft who tried to bully the league around the Super Bowl with comments that the Patriots deserved an apology.
Now the interesting part will be whether Kraft uses his clout with other owners and gets enough support behind the scenes to start the process of ousting Goodell over the next couple years.
2. Tom Brady has a career passer rating of 109.7 against the Steelers and in four games against Mike Tomlin, Brady has thrown 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. In November 2013, Brady and the Patriots put up 55 points against Tomlin’s Steelers with Brady throwing for 432 yards and four touchdowns.
Brady and Belichick having all summer to game plan against a Steelers secondary with Cortez Allen, William Gay, Senquez Golson, Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas makes the Steelers who have the NFL’s toughest schedule, as one of the biggest winners of deflate gate in avoiding Brady in week 1.
3. The Patriots released cornerback Kyle Arrington Monday. Arrington, 28, was the 36th ranked cornerback by ProFootballFocus, led the NFL with 7 interceptions in 2011, and while the Steelers could use any type of quality cornerback and have cap space to look into Arrington, the Steelers need cornerbacks who can play on the outside. Arrington best strength is covering the slot. Not an ideal fit at first glance.
4. The Washington Capitals “A” game is better than the President Trophy winning Rangers. That much has been clear in the Rangers – Capitals series but the likely ending of this series is the Rangers becoming the first team in NHL history to come back from 3-1 deficits in back-to-back seasons. Henrik Lundqvist losing a Game 7 on home ice? Hard to picture.
If the Capitals go down in Game 7, the narrative of Alexander Ovechkin teams choking will likely pop back up. That narrative shouldn’t come back. This is a Capitals team win or lose tomorrow night that’s heading in the right direction.
The Rangers are not a great team by any means and when you breakdown their roster from last spring to now, a good argument can be made that last years roster in the playoffs was better built for the playoffs due to the Rangers not upgrading over the losses of Anton Stralman, Benoit Pouliot and Brian Boyle this season and the likes of Keith Yandle not even performing better than John Moore, but the Rangers are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four years, despite failing to play the style of game to their liking or show their “A” game at any point in the playoffs so far.
It’s a balanced group with a great goaltender that just knows how to win in today’s NHL and are proving again this post-season of how tough they are to beat four out of seven times.
The Rangers have 35 playoff wins since the 2012 playoffs, currently 17 more than the Penguins during that span.
5. Ray Shero having significant interest in John Hynes as a head coach candidate, who has two years left on his contract, is no secret in league circles, and Shero also interested in bringing Tom Fitzgerald to the Devils organization (contract expires June 30) is well known but some are even throwing Bill Guerin’s (one year left on contract) name out there as another candidate to join the Devils in some type of role. Larry Brooks in his Slapshots column mentioned Guerin who has a connection to the Devils organization.
Guerin is very close to Shero but the former Penguins winger worked very closely with Jim Rutherford this season in an unorthodox assistant GM role where Guerin was around the players more as another coach behind the scenes to provide a pulse of the room, provide leadership when appropriate and there is a slim possibility of Guerin being interested in making a sideways move or the Penguins allowing one. There is one move, though, that is believed to interest Guerin.
Sources close to the situation say Guerin has an affinity to get into coaching and don’t be surprised if his name surfaces as having interest in the Devils opening. There were internal discussions between Guerin and Penguins ownership last June about his interest in coaching. At the time, Guerin felt he wasn’t ready for such a bold move just yet but that is changing.