Just My Thoughts: The World of Sports (Nov 7-14)

McDavid is the Real Deal

NHL: APR 09 Oilers at Canucks

A week ago Connor McDavid and the Edmonton took on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The “next one”, against the best of the best. The Penguins may have won the game 4-3, but Connor McDavid simply blew spectators away. McDavid had the primary assist setting up all 3 Oiler goals, he was plus-3 and led all Oiler forwards in ice time. Quick reminder that Connor McDavid is 19 years old, and only has 61 career NHL games played to this moment. Last year McDavid only managed 45 games, and I was still a little unsure of where he fit into the mix.

For me McDavid was not a Top-10 player in the league at the start of the season. Talent-wise I would have agreed, but at the start of the season I did not think he was there. He has played 16 games and has completely changed my mind. He not only has 19 points in 16 games, but he has took a leadership role as captain. As well his faceoff percentage has gone from 41.2% last season to 47.1% this season, which is vital for creating offensive chances or relieving pressure. Also it is not as though McDavid is playing with world-class players, McDavid is making Jordan Eberle and Patrick Maroon’s jobs way easier. Especially in Maroon’s case who before this season had a career-high of 11 goals, he already has 6.

McDavid at the age of 19 is certainly the best player on his team, is improving almost every night. Ergo the question becomes when does he pass Crosby? When does Connor McDavid become the best player in the world? Some people would say he would have to win a Cup in order to do so, I think that is a terrible argument, as that does not reflect McDavid as an individual. Regardless, Crosby’s best statistical season came in his 2nd season, where he tallied an incredible 120 points. Considering Crosby had a full season under his belt before that amazing season, I think it would be fair to say that McDavid could overtake Crosby as early as next season. Crosby could start to see a drop-off in numbers, as well. It’s possible that he could continue producing such numbers because he is Sid the Kid. He is incredibly experienced, smart and talented, however age does catch up typically. As well, I believe it is fair to say the hockey world has not seen a blossomed McDavid yet, and when that day comes whether it is next season, two seasons from now or even three it will be a treat for all hockey fans.

DOTA 2 News

Farewell to SingSing

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  • WehSing “Sing Sing” Yuen announced his retirement from professional DOTA 2 on October 28th, leaving his team (Kaipi) after they failed to qualify for the upcoming Boston Major in December.
  • Sing continues to stream on Twitch, however. Sing was famous for his Mirana play, Twitch stream and being a DOTA 2 pioneer, having been on the DOTA 2 pro scene since late 2011.

Hao, Forev and Khezu all on the move

  • Chen “Hao” Zhihao has potentially returned to the pro scene of DOTA 2 by rejoining Newbee as a sub, this could be for Hao to return to the team for the Boston Major, or just a safety move in case a Newbee player cannot secure a Visa to participate in Boston.
  • Lee “Forev” Sang-don has left Team Secret, after failing to qualify for the Boston Major and joined MVP Phoenix once again. Forev will likely be put in his signature offlane position for the team, he will be crucial for their Boston Major run.
  • Following Forev’s departure, Team Secret quickly filled their hole at the offlane position by picking up, DOTA 2 newcomer Maurice “Khezu” Gutmann. “Khezu” switched over from HON to DOTA 2 in late 2015, and even made it to The International 6 as part of Escape Gaming.

The Weekly Rap

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  • The Toronto Raptors had a fairly impressive week with road wins against both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Charlotte Hornets, who were both 6-1 coming into their games against Toronto.
  • The Raptors finished the week with a win over the Knicks, Jonas Valanciunas returned to injury on Friday against Charlotte, but was kept to a minutes restriction against both Charlotte and New York.
  • In his absence/lack of minutes youngster Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira has stepped up to the plate. Nogueira was a +51 last week, while averaging just under 9PPG (points per game) and 9RPG (rebounds per game).
  • DeMar DeRozan has continued to score at an insane pace, as he leads the NBA with 34PPG, while still grabbing 4.8RPG and even averaging over 3APG (assists per game). DeMar is playing on another level.

Top 5 NBA Power Ranking:

  1. Clippers (10-1)
  • The Clippers are on a 7-game win streak, and are a perfect 5-0 on the road. They blew out the Trail Blazers and had an impressive road win in Oklahoma City this week.
  1. Cavaliers (8-1)
  • The Cavs had their first hiccup of the year with a loss to the Hawks, but recovered with wins against Washington and Charlotte. Also worth noting, LeBron James is averaging 22.9PPG, 8.9RPG and 9.1APG, and this isn’t even mid-season form LeBron.
  1. Warriors (8-2)
  • The Warriors had a relatively easy week, however in their 4 games played they still flexed their offensive muscles averaging over 120PPG and winning by 10 or more in all 4 games.
  1. Raptors (7-2)
  • DeMar DeRozan is a scoring machine and the Raptors can win with a rookie starting and JV on a minutes restriction. The true test comes this week with games against Cleveland and Golden State.
  1. Hawks (7-2)
  • It is amazing how the Hawks are consistently good almost every year now, no matter what roster they have. Once again, they proved it by beating the Cavs and following that up with an impressive win over the Bulls and handling the hapless Sixers.

Blue Jays Off-Season

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  • Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista both unsurprisingly turned down their qualifying offers of $17.2M this week.
  • Bautista’s return is almost unforeseeable now, as the Blue Jays went out and have reportedly signed free agent DH Kendrys Morales for 3 years and $11M per season.
  • This is a quality signing for Toronto, as Morales is an above .260 hitter who had 30 homers and over 90 runs batted in last season.

NFL First Down and Three & Out

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First Down: The AFC West playoff picture: The Chiefs are 7-2 and 5-0 since their bye week, the Raiders are 7-2 and are looking ready to take the next step, while the Broncos are hanging around at 7-3 going into their bye.

Three & Out: The Packers are 4-5, have lost their last 3 games. Aaron Rodgers does not look like himself and the defense has allowed over 30 points in their last 3 losses. Luckily for them the Vikings have lost 4 in a row as well, but they still need to right the ship quickly as the Lions of all teams may run away with the NFC North.

What to watch this week?

  • Tuesday: Raptors vs Cavaliers 7PM ET, #1 Duke vs #7 Kansas 9:30PM EST
  • Wednesday: Penguins vs Washington 7:30PM ET, Warriors vs Raptors 8PM EST
  • Thursday: Saints vs Panthers 8:25PM ET
  • Friday: Spurs vs Lakers 10:30PM ET
  • Saturday: Man United vs Arsenal 7:30AM ET, Canadiens vs Leafs 7PM ET
  • Sunday: CFL East/West Final, Eskimos vs RedBlacks 1PM ET, Lions vs Stampeders 4:30PM ET and Packers vs Redskins 8:30PM ET

Special thanks to Geoff Marlowe for helping with the editing work and a big thank you to you the reader for taking your time to read my work! Appreciate it!

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