England fans were treated to a different World Cup experience than they were used to this year. While it didn’t end the way many had hoped, it’s safe to that that it ended better than pretty much everybody expected prior to the tournament kicking off last month.
Fans are used to a team with big expectations that typically falls short. However, this year felt different from the start. This is a younger team than fans are used to seeing. In fact, England was the third youngest team in the tournament, with only Nigeria and France fielding younger squads. The biggest star on the team, Harry Kane, is just 24 years old. The Wayne Rooney-Frank Lampard-Steven Gerard era that most casual fans are familiar with is gone. The only remaining connection from the previous era is Ashley Young, and at 33 years old it’s likely that his time with the national squad has come to an end.
It’s nothing new that European legends look to the MLS to continue their career once their time across the pond has come to an end. We’ve seen it happen countless times, with David Beckham being one of the first notable players to do so. With his transfer to D.C. United now official, Wayne Rooney has become the latest star play to take his remaining talents to the MLS.
Alright so I have to be honest, I did not see this coming. Maybe I was thinking too much with my heart and not my head, but I had both of the Second Round matchups dead wrong. First of all, I thought the Bruins would’ve actually been able to compete with Tampa, especially after watching the Bruins take Game 1 pretty convincingly. Yes, the refs were bad throughout the series and that didn’t help, but you don’t lose a series in five games just because of the refs. Even though the Bruins found a way to contain Stamkos and Kucherov, the secondary scoring of the Lightning showed up big time. Losing in 5 is tough, but they still did a lot better than I expected at the start of the season so I’m okay with that. Read more
While the winners in the West had a bit of a cakewalk to the second round, things weren’t so easy in the East. Tampa Bay took out the Devils in 5, but Taylor Hall did just about everything he could to give New Jersey a chance. The Capitals looked like they wouldn’t be able to lose in the second round this year after dropping the first two games of their series against the Blue Jackets, but after making the switch to Braden Holtby in net the Caps went on to win the next four games. The Penguins showed a glimpse of why they are the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions in their 6-game series win against the Flyers. The one thing we learned this series is that the Penguins can seemingly score at will, finding the back of the net 28 times in the series. Last but certainly not least, the Bruins and Leafs were the only series to go the distance and I was very happy with the ending.
Through the first two games of this series, the Leafs have struggled to stop the Bruins offense, giving up 12 goals so far. Specifically, the Leafs have not been able to find a way to slow down David Pastrnak, who now has 9 points this series after his 6 point explosion on Saturday night. To say that the 21-year old Czech has been on fire is an understatement.
The most wonderful time of the year is finally back. NHL Playoffs begin on Wednesday night and the boys at Bench Life are pretty excited about it. If you haven’t already, join our NHL Playoff Bracket Challenge quickly for a chance to win some cash and a Bench Life Sports t-shirt. Now, without wasting anymore time let’s get into it.
Tampa Bay Lightning – 113 points (A1) vs. New Jersey Devils – 97 points (WC2)
Season Series: New Jersey 3-0-0; Tampa Bay 0-2-1
Tampa Bay has been at the top of the conference all season long, but the Devils have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL as of late. More specifically, Taylor Hall has made the Devils one of the hottest teams in the NHL lately. The former 1st overall draft pick in 2010 put together the best season of his career, finishing with 93 points and almost singlehandedly carrying the Devils to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.The issue is that after Hall, the scoring stops, and the combination of Schneider and Kinkaid aren’t exactly a guarantee to be solid in net. It looks like Kinkaid will be the starting, and it’s safe to say he deserves it. Read more
Even though the NFL season ended just over a month ago, we’re already back into the swing of things with free agency. In this article I’ll go over some of the top free agents on the offensive side of the ball, and later I’ll take a look at some moves on defense.
The new league year is upon us, and NFL players are now free to sign with new teams for the upcoming season. A lot of familiar faces are looking for a new home this season, so let’s take a look at who has already signed, and who is left after the dust has settled after the first few days.
The quarterback who was originally drafted as an afterthought by the Redskins the same year that RGIII was selected 2nd overall and was supposed to be the future in Washington. After playing the last two seasons under the franchise tag, the Redskins finally cut ties with the player that they refused to see as the future of their team. This year, Cousins was the biggest name among free agents and with a lot of teams in the market for a capable quarterback he was bound to get paid. After narrowing it down to the Jets and the Vikings, Cousins decided to take his talent to Minneapolis, leaving some money on the table in order to get a shot at a Super Bowl.