The4: BiWeekly Update II

NHL

Here we go. 15-18 games left in the regular season and things are starting to heat up. Ovechkin is close to 600 goals, Crosby just got to 1,100 pound and stars are being born from a great rookie class. The NHL Trade Deadline has passed and we saw quite a few contenders add pieces:

The Wildcard situation has started to heat up in the West with 5 teams fighting for 2 spots while the Panthers, Blue Jackets, Devils and maybe the Hurricanes try to grab the two in the East. Anyway you cut it, stuff is getting interesting all around the league.

Who’s Hot? Vegas and Tampa Bay keep winning just like they have all year. They SEEM like the favorites in their respective conferences but in hockey, it feels like there is no “favorite” and that so many good teams can find ways to win games at big times. Here’s our list:

Winnipeg Jets– They appeared in the last T4, but they just continue to win. They added Paul Stastny, a perfect veteran center for their group. They’re 8-2-0 in their last ten and have outscored their opponents 43-24 in that span. They are so deep everywhere and really clicking right now.

Nashville Predators- We said that the Vegas Golden Knights may be the favorites out west but it could very well, and quietly, be the Preds. They acquired Hartman from Chicago and get back veteran, Mike Underwood-Fisher. 9-1 in their last 10 and they look unreal. Look like a possible repeat to be the Western Conference Champions. The best part about them? No superstars.

Florida Panthers- 7-2-1 in their last 10 and creeping up the standings. Their definitely giving CBJ and NJD a good run for one of the Wildcard spots. They have 3 games in hand on both of them and just 2 and 5 points behind respectively. Barkov, Huberdeau and Trocheck are all underrated because they play in Sunrise.

Who’s Not? The Coyotes (who have been good lately) and Sabres continue to be basement feeders and are lining up for lottery picks. The Oilers and Blackhawks have been HUGE letdowns but here’s a list of who has been bad of late:

Carolina Hurricanes- It looked hopeful for a while but it has been a struggle lately. 2-6-2 in their last 10 and sliding fast. The fact is that they’re just too young. Tons of young talent and fun to watch but they just need time.

New York Islanders- The excitement is there. The complete product is not. Tavares, Bailey and especially Barzal have been great this year but they’re just not good. 2-5-3 in the last 10 and slipping out of playoff contention.

New York Rangers- “Sell Sell Sell.” We said that on the last one and it’s just what they did. Got good prospects back for their “studs.” The rebuild is on and they’re struggling. 3-6-1 in the last 10 and they’re playing for picks!

NBA

The NBA is same old, same old. The good teams are unreal and the bad teams look like a good GLeague team. Golden State, Houston, Boston, Toronto are the 4 best and there are 7 teams with 20 wins or less.

In The East: The Raptors and Celtics are really, really good and fun to watch. The Sixers have heated up and look like they could make some noise not only down the stretch but in the playoffs. The Cavs are struggling but after switching their whole team around, this is pretty much training camp til playoffs and Lebron starts trying. The 8 playoff teams are pretty much set and the bottom half is pretty terrible.

In The West: The West is a relatively different. The 8-9-10 spots are all tied and could come down to the wire as to who grabs the playoff spot. Utah (10) has been great to watch with rookie Donovan Mitchell. The Clippers and Denver are the 8-9 seeds but don’t think that just because the Thunder have stars that they’re a shoe in for playoffs. They’re just a game and a half in front of the other 3. The West has 2 elite teams in GS and HOU but 3-6 (POR, NOP, SAS, MIN) are that next level and are very good.

NCAA basketball is BACK! It’s Conference Title weekend and we find out our bracket come Sunday! March Madness will be awesome with some different name schools being contenders.

When the bracket comes out we will have a FREE bracket challenge with the best bracket winning a TShirt and a Koozie. We will tweet out the information along with an in depth look at the Tournament coming ahead and brackets from our writers!

MLB

Spring Training has started and is in full swing but to be honest, not a ton to talk about in regards to NEW stuff going on. We’ve seen some good performances in games but, it’s spring.

Free Agent Frenzy JD Martinez signed a big deal with the Red Sox that certainly makes them a more legit contender and solves their power problem. Eric Hosmer got paid. By San Diego. He’s “the guy” out in SD but the Padres won’t be a threat in the NL West yet. Mike Moustakas and Carlos Gonzalez are both headed back to their former teams as of 9:15ish Thursday night. Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, and Lance Lynn all remain unsigned which is nuts considering all the teams who need pitching. Tim Lincecum signed a deal with the Texas Rangers and for some reason people act like it’s a relevant signing.

Shohei Ohtani looks like it will take a little time to adjust but there is obvious skill there. He looks relatively comfortable at the plate, throws heat and his curve looks absurd. Ichiro signed back with the Mariners which is a nice feel good story for him to probably end his unbelievable career where it began.

We have a big Fantasy Baseball Preview coming up with sleepers, safe picks, regression candidates and more! And every day during the week, we have our Around The Diamond Series, previewing each MLB team.

NFL

The combine is over and had some great stories from that. Saquon Barkley is an absolute freak of nature and his scores in each of the big exercises are better than elite, elite stars in the league. Brian O’Neill, an Offensive Lineman from Pitt, absolutely crushed the 40 yard dash with a 4.80. The one handed wonder, Shaq Griffin, ran a 4.38 and banged out 20 reps of 225! We could see a RB taken first overall and 4 QBs taken in the first 10-12 picks, so fun for football fans and teams looking for a spark!

There have been a big number of signings and trades, including Michael Bennett headed to the Eagles to solidify and already good defense. Alec Ogletree was traded from the Rams to the Giants. Meanwhile, the Leveon Bell saga continues in Pittsburgh, Aqib Talib was traded to the Rams and the Legion of Boom seems to be falling apart before our eyes as they look to move Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman.

Oh ya, Russ Wilson is a Yankee now, too.

We have an NFL Top 10 Mock Draft updated as well!

Once again..We miss you NFL (and you redzone), please hurry back.

Love,

M4

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