Tuesday, 7 July 2020

No Divas

The NHL continues to move towards a resumption of play with the two cities chosen almost certain to be Toronto (Eastern Conferences) and Edmonton (Western Conference).

Training camps originally scheduled for this Friday (July 10th) have been delayed to next week and will be held in the home city of each of the 24 participating teams.

From ESPN:

Teams are then expected to travel to the two hub cities on July 25 or July 26. Games are expected to begin Aug. 1, and if the tournament goes as planned, we should be awarding the Stanley Cup in early October. This is all still fluid, but we're getting to the point where the NHL needs to put firm dates on the calendar.
Interesting, but perhaps not surprising given the COVID-19 situation in the US, that the two cities likely selected are both in Canada, with Las Vegas dropped as the hub city for the Western Conference. The ESPN article has an amusing exchange between the writer (Emily Kaplan) and "a prominent Western Conference player":

Kaplan: Edmonton isn't exactly Las Vegas; do you think that will be a factor in some guys not wanting to play?

Player: The location of the hub hasn't been a consideration for any of the guys I talked to. If we went to Vegas, it's not like guys were really expecting to be able to go play cards at the Cosmo, or whatever. The only reasons guys are going to opt out is for health, personal or family reasons.

Kaplan: At the end of our conversation, he added: "Hockey guys just aren't divas like that."

In baseball, the long awaited schedule has finally been released by MLB and it looks like 40 games are against Divisional rivals with the other 20 against opponents from the other league although not 4 games against each. 

For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers play their National League West opponents (San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies) ten times each, and American League West opponents Houston Astros (4 times), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (6), Seattle Mariners (4), Texas Rangers (3) and Oakland Athletics (3) for the 60 game season.

The season is scheduled to open on Thursday 23rd July with games between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants.

All being well of course. 

The opening lines are already up for the Nationals v Yankees game with the total runs set at 7, significantly lower than the average total tine of 9 runs last season but reflective of the two starting pitchers status as 'aces'. At home in the Regular Season last year, the total was set at 7.8 when Scherzer was starting.   

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