Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stars 4, Canucks 3

The Canucks dropped their opening game on the road trip as they fell 4-3 in overtime to the Dallas Stars who improve to 8-2-0 on the year.

For me, there is no cause for concern. 10 games in and they have played 9 playoff teams so far. All of them have been games circled on the calendar when the schedule came out as the only team that the Canucks have played who didn't make the playoffs was the Edmonton Oilers who have Connor McDavid on their roster now and he is kinda a big deal.

Despite the Canucks blowing a 3rd period lead for the fourth time this year, the Canucks should be happy with the one point they have gained in Dallas. The Stars outplayed the Canucks by a big margin and should have been down 4-0 after the 1st period if it weren't for the play of Ryan Miller who was brilliant again tonight in the losing effort.

The Canucks had plenty of chances to win the game as they opened the scoring 10 seconds into the 3rd period. The Canucks added a goal on the power play and on a penalty shot in the first when Alex Burrows opened the scoring.

At 4-2-4 it is a bit of an unorthodox start to the season but the Canucks have had a good start to the year all things considered. We will see if Ryan Miller starts his eleventh consecutive start as the Canucks finish their short two game road trip in Arizona when they take on the Coyotes. The puck drops at 6pm and can be seen on Sportsnet Vancouver Hockey as Sportsnet Pacific will be showing Game 3 of the World Series between the Royals and Mets.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

No Reason to Worry As Mets Drop Game One

Last night was a crushing blow for the New York Mets who were two outs away from taking a 1-0 lead in the World Series. Unfortunately, Jeurys Familia blew his first save in almost three months when he gave up a solo home run to Alex Gordon in the bottom of the ninth. 

The Mets really had an amazing opportunity to put a dagger in the Kansas City Royals. The Mets have been a great home team all year and therefore, getting the split on the road will put a lot of pressure on the Royals if they can get the series back to Citi Field. 

For instance, a huge advantage in the World Series is which team can take a 3-2 series lead and the Mets can hold serve at home they will at least have a chance to win the series in Kansas City. However, with Jacob deGrom going tonight for New York, the Mets still have a shot to be in the drivers seat after Game 2 tonight if they can win. 

Last night the Mets top four hitters batted a combined .240 batting average (6/25). This was in part to Chris Young's brilliant performance out of the bullpen going three hitless innings as he picked up the Game One win. 

No reason for Mets fans to be nervous at this point. Still a lot of baseball left. This World Series appearance can't be taken for granted though. As I have stated before winning a Championship is rare. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Greg von Matt - October 27th

It's been a year since I made a status on Facebook about how being apart of a Christian family and being apart of a christian community is really important.

Here was my status from last year:
"Being Christian is the most important thing I my life. I try and live for him everyday. He is my savior and it is the best feeling in the world!!!" 

For some reason, it got a lot of bad vibes from my non christian friends. That is not what I intended at all. My intention was to motivate myself to follow Christ more than I did in my first 21 years. 

At the time I was hanging out with a lot of amazing christian friends and it was a really positive experience. I was in my last year of my diploma program and was really enjoying my final year at Thompson Rivers University. 

In life, there are a lot of things that can make as distracted. this means, we all need to have a purpose. If were not doing something that isn't helping us achieve our goals than we can fall into bad habits that lead us away from where we want to be. 

I have a lot of goals that I want to accomplish in life and one of them is being a strong contributor in a church and actively help out. Not everyone has the same goals. Not everyone is christian. However my experience with having god in my heart is amazing and well I miss Kamloops, that city will always be in my heart as well. I'm so thankful for every christian brother and sister I have came across because together, we can do anything. 

2015-16 NBA Predictions

Western Conference                                                                                             Eastern Conference 

1. Golden State                                                                                                           1. Cleavland
2. Oklahoma City                                                                                                       2. Atlanta
3. San Antonio                                                                                                           3. Toronto
4. Memphis                                                                                                                4. Washington
5. LA Clippers                                                                                                           5. Chicago
6. Houston                                                                                                                 6. Boston
7. New Orleans                                                                                                         7. Brooklyn
8. Phoenix                                                                                                                8. Miami

9. Dallas                                                                                                                  9. Indiana
10. Utah                                                                                                                  10. Detroit
11. LA Lakers                                                                                                         11. Milwaukee
12. Portland                                                                                                            12. Philadelphia
13. Minnesota                                                                                                         13. Charlotte
14. Denver                                                                                                              14. New York
15. Sacramento                                                                                                          15. Orlando

Western Conference Quarter Finals                                          Eastern Conference Quarter Finals                                                             
Golden State over Phoenix 4-1                                                                       Cleveland over Miami 4-1
Memphis over LA Clippers 4-2                                                             Chicago over Washington 4-3
Oklahoma City over New Orleans 4-0                                                           Toronto over Boston 4-2
San Antonio over Houston 4-3                                                                      Brooklyn over Atlanta 4-2

Western Conference Semi Finals                                                  Eastern Conference Semi Finals
Golden State over Memphis 4-2                                                                 Cleveland over Chicago 4-2
Oklahoma City over San Antonio 4-1                                                         Toronto over Brooklyn 4-3

Western Conference Final                                                                       Eastern Conference Final
Oklahoma City over Golden State 4-2                                                          Cleveland over Toronto 4-1

                                                                  NBA Finals 
Cleveland over Oklahoma City 4-2
NBA Finals MVP: Kevin Love

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sports Guide - October 25th, 2015

After an amazing weekend of College Football and NFL, tonight seems to be a slow night of sports with only the Monday night football game and a few NHL games on the schedule for tonight.

This is the calm before the storm as the World Series and the NBA season starts tomorrow. Both at 5pm PT/8pm ET. The World Series is on FOX while the NBA double hitter is on TNT. 

Also tomorrow night, the Montreal Canadians put their 9-0-0 record on the line when they go into Rogers Arena to take on the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver is 3-2-3 on their year and they are going in a completely opposite direction having lost four in a row. 

For tonight, here are the NHL games on the schedule: 
4:00 PM
Maple Leafs
4:30 PM
5:30 PM

The Monday night football game is the Ravens and the Cardinals. Arizona is at 4-2 and Baltimore is at 1-5. It is a big game for the Cardinals as they need to stay in first place in the tight NFC West. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Greg von Matt - October 21st, 2015

It was quite interesting to vote in the 2015 Federal Election for Canada on Monday. Quite honestly, I was pretty sure who I wanted to vote for on Monday.

I don't remember when I first heard the name of Justin Trudeau, but going back to my social studies class, his Dad was the Prime Minister of Canada from 1980-1984 and according to my Grade 11 social studies teacher, Pierre Trudeau was a very popular prime Minister. That's when I heard about Pierre Trudeau so I guess Justin Trudeau's name has always rang a bell. It is pretty awesome to have his son be the next Prime Minister.

When your a kid, there is a lot of things you are looking forward to doing. Unfortunately, voting which is a right that Canada has that not every country is fortunate to do is not one of those main things that kids look forward to do.

When I went to cast my ballet, I voted for Trudeau for reasons I won't get into on here. Nevertheless I felt a bit accomplished after I left the voting station and got on with my day. I have been out of college for almost seven months now and well I am enjoying the break away from exams, mid-terms and assignments, it is a great reminder of how much you miss a city/campus or if I want to compare Abbotsford to Kamloops, I could go about how much I miss the Kamloops bus system or even WHL hockey.

Despite being jobless, I have found myself finding things to do. Some days more than others but for the most part I'm not bored. Its just difficult to get plugged into the exact same things that made the days in Kamloops productive. In some ways its impossible.

I have had some days where I have thought about becoming self-employed and when the time comes, I think it will happen. I really want to write a book, travel to a third world country to make a difference in a country and everything in between but now seems not like the right time. When I wake up in the morning, it is always a new day. One of these days I'll be ready. I'm working towards it every day, because one of these days everything is going to fall into place.

This blog that I do, is really cool for me, life does go by fast. However, if you make the most of it, anyone can create lots of impactful moments that can last forever.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Mets-Dodgers Game was Why we Love Sports in a Nutshell

Last night at Dodgers Stadium was almost something unthinkable, unexplainable and also unkind to every Mets fan's blood pressure that was watching nervously everywhere around the world. 
These are the moments that sports fans crave when we have a passion for a particular team. Playoffs are not a guarantee in sports. Especially not in baseball where only a third of the teams make the playoffs. Game 5 on the road and the Mets were the slight underdog as they were on the road and facing the likely Cy Young award winner in Zack Greinke
But this is why we love sports. After blowing a chance to send the Dodgers packing in Game 4, the Mets were able to regroup and ride the arm of Jacob deGrom who gutted out an amazing 6 innings. On the offensive side, the bat, brain and legs of Daniel Murphy almost single-handedly led the Mets to a Game 5 victory. 
Yesterday I had a status on Facebook (Feel free to add me) that wrote "Game 5 tonight at Dodger Stadium. These are the moments as a sports fan you dream for. Something in this game is going to happen that we are going to remember for the rest of our lives. Go Mets."  As my status illustrates, what happened was bang on. Every die-hard Mets fan is going to remember something in that game for their rest of your life from Daniel Murphy's brilliance to go from first to third on a walk. I don't know who was supposed to cover third but no one covered  to from Familia's unheard of these days, six out save and not only was it a six out save, he had to bat in the in the ninth with runners in scoring position. Every inning last night felt like it was the eighth or ninth just because of what was at stake.
The Mets reward, is to face the Chicago Cubs who are aiming for their first World Series since 1945. It is a matchup of two teams in baseball through out the years have had some of the worst luck a sports team could ever imagine. In that way these teams are kinda symetical. Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908 while the Mets might have still been titleless still if it weren't for the Mets taking advantage of the Curse of the Billy Goat in 1969 and the  curse of Babe Ruth in the Mets 1986 World Series victory. 
Also interesting to note, in 2003 the last time the Cubs were in the NLCS, they held home field advantage despite the Florida Marlins having a better record. Things will be reversed in the 2015 NLCS as the Mets will have home advantage and the Cubs not only have the better record, but they also swept the Mets in the season series 7-0. 
All things considered, I think we are in for a classic NLCS with quite a few twists and turns. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Canucks 3, Kings 0

Last night the Canucks improved to 3-0-1 with a 3-0 win over the struggling Kings last night. I don't care if its early, the Canucks are off to a an impressive start and that continued last night in big thanks to Ryan Miller who recorded his first shutout of the year.

Yesterday was a good day for me, I enjoyed both elimination baseball playoff games last night and was also able to swing by my high school for the football practice.

 Unfortunately on the baseball side, the Mets, are going to a Game 5 at Dodger Stadium tomorrow evening. That is another story all together, but I was thinking about Game 5 most of the time during the hockey game.

The Canucks were able to win last night the same way they won in Anaheim, which was great goaltending and timely scoring.

Not sure if it is a trend or a fluke but the Canucks are getting balanced scoring from everybody in the lineup, out of the 20 skaters that have dressed for the Canucks this year, a total of 17 have recorded points.

So far so good for Vancouver. They seem like a much faster team this year and that has been benificial so far as they are looking like they can score at any point of the game given the potential that some of our younger players have.

Defensively the Canucks were also outstanding. Players like Milan Lucic and Marion Gabriok have always hunted the Canucks the last several years and the Kings top players looked terrible.

It was good to see Adam Cracknell score his second goal in as many games last night. He had went 49 games without scoring a goal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Canucks 2, Ducks 1 (SO)

Last night marked the first road game in America for the Vancouver Canucks. Ironically, that game was on Canadian Thanksgiving.

Yesterday was a decent day for me. After a busy last few days, it was great to sit down and watch four baseball games and look forward to the Canucks game. The Canucks held their own against the Ducks last year despite the Ducks winning the Pacific division pretty easily over the Canucks. The majority of the games were low scoring one goal games.

Last night was no exception, it was another low scoring, low shots on goal and what turned out to be another one game. So far this year, Ryan Miller has been outstanding posting a 1.60 GAA over a short sample size of three games.

On the offensive side of things, the Vancouver Canucks have now got contribution from eight different goal scorers and only eight goals so far this season.

So far the Canucks have played three games where the team went farther in the playoffs then they did last year. They will play approximately 20 games this year where that will be the case. Through three games, the Canucks are 2-0-1.

Last years 3-0-0 start to the year was nice, but this years start after three games feels so much better. They are getting timely goal scoring and have been very good about blocking shots.

It can't stay like this forever but it is exciting that the Canucks finally have some youth playing important parts with this team. Ryan Miller likely gets the start again tonight at the Staples Center as the Canucks look to sweep the LA/Orange County road trip.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 9th, 2015

If you are a fan of baseball, yesterday was the perfect day for you! There were four division series matchups today that lasted a combined over 12 hours and plenty of drama and even extra innings in the game that took place north of the border.

Despite me being a Canadian, I am not much of a  fan of the Toronto Bluejays. Yesterday they were playing game number two of their ALDS between the Texas Rangers. Being down in the series 1-0 in the best out of 5, it was crucial for the Jays to even up the series at 1.

With nothing scheduled to do yesterday, I was really looking forward to four straight baseball games on Sportsnet. For whatever reason, I have never been a big Bluejays fan so I was pleased that the Rangers will be taking a commanding 2-0 series lead back to Arlington.

I watched the game on my TV downstairs and was surprised that the game didn't take more twists and turns. The Rangers should have had a bigger lead when they took the lead 2-0, however I thought the Jays should have held on to the lead when it was 4-3 Toronto.

The game went into extras and Donaldson got in a bit of an argument with Rangers reliever in the 13th that cleared the benches for a short time. It was unclear of what happened without hearing audio from what was said. The Bluejays failed to score in the 13th and in the 14th controversy broke out. Odor was rounding second base and decided to come back and he beat the trow. It appeared as if Odor's foot comes off the bag temporary and therefore he should be called out. However, for a play to be overturned baseball states that it has to be 100% clear that the umpire made the wrong call. From the replay it looks like it was 98.5% clear that he was out but there was not a perfect angle and the call stood. This opened the door for the Rangers to score the winning and insurance run on route to their 6-4 win in 14 innings.

Over the course of the first game of the day for baseball, I was going back and forth between the baseball and the European international soccer. There were a handful of games going on yesterday and their were a few good games, here are the results:
















San Marino



After the soccer ended, I switched back to the baseball. The Royals evened up the series against the Astros and that was followed by the Cardinals becoming the first home team to win in the playoffs as Lackey out duled Lester of the Cubs for a final score of 4-0. 

In the nightcap, the Mets headed all the way out west to take on the Dodgers. As if Mets had to wait long enough to see their team in the playoffs, they also had to wait a day longer, then had to wait until 9:45 ET for the game to start. Fortunately for Mets fans, the wait was well worth it. 

This was also the game I was most looking forward to last night. I was also home alone last night and I decided to order pizza. Playoff baseball, pizza and Pop is an amazing combination and it is even better when the team you are cheering for is winning. Jacob deGrom was outstanding last night pitching seven innings in his playoff debut. Both teams had small rallies and it was the Mets who drew first blood in the 4th when Daniel Murphy hit solo home run deep into the LA night. The game stayed that way until the 7th when David Wright came up in the clutch with a two RBI single to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers rallied but was only able to squeeze across one run. Familia was able to come on for the five out save.  

It was a busy day of sports but it was also a great day. Tonight is a must win for the Dodgers. Game time is 9:07 ET on TBS and it is a must win for the Dodgers. This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving for me but I'll still be looking forward to the great College Football, baseball and hockey action that is going to come our way today! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Canucks 5, Flames 1

The Vancouver Canucks were eliminated by the Calgary Flames last year and it was a bitter defeat as the Canucks were given a great opportunity to advance to the second round for the first time since 2011.

The Canucks fortunately opened the year in Calgary as they weren't going to have to wait long to revenge the first round series loss.

Opening night is a day every hockey fan looks forward to. Today, marked the first year I am not in any type of school so I didn't have many people to talk about the game like I have in the past. Instead, I am going to try to do a blog post after every game and talk about my thoughts on here.

When I woke up this morning it was pouring rain. I was going to go get my blood work done that was required of me but I decided to wait for a better day. Today was a good sports day, not only was it the opening of the NHL regular season, it was also the NL Wildcard game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Flipping back and forth between the Canadians-Maple Leafs game was a good formula as I was interested in both.

As for the actual game, I was really looking forward to see how the young guys would play. Out of the three players (Hutton, McCann and Virtanen) two were dressed and currently one recorded and a point which was Hutton and McCann still might be credited with an assist.

Signs might lead to the fact that these rookies made the team as this might be a trend in the NHL where teams need youthful speed to be successful in this new era of the NHL.

It is hard to put any weight on how important this win is. First of all, it is just one game of 82. It is hard to win a home opener with all the festivities going on. Canucks got production from almost everyone and it was great to see Ryan Miller off to a good start as he looks like he is back to 100% following his knee injury last spring. He made a few key saves early in the first where if Calgary could have gotten a lead, it might have been a different story.

Unlike most Canucks fans, I am not worried about the fact that Frank Corrado was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The defense looked good tonight and as long as they stay healthy, they should be just fine. Hec, if Corrado was that good he would have made the team.

On another note, all of a sudden the Canucks seem to have a future. They have a healthy number of prospects in AHL Utica and furthermore, it will be very intriguing to see who gets called up first from Utica as there is a handful of possibilities.

The bottom line, there is a lot of if's on this team. If our players play well, if our veterans still produce and if we can stay healthy etc etc, this might be a really good team. However for now, it is a wait and see as the Canucks are in a tough division.

Sports Guide for October 7th, 2015

The NL Wildcard goes tonight and the surprise of the year Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the Cubs as they try to end a 12 year winless drought in the postseason and more importantly a nine game losing streak. Gerrit Cole will be the Pirates starter, he will try to get the Bucs to the NLDS as they were in the same position last year when they lost the Giants 4-0.

5:08 PM

The NHL season begins tonight, and there are four games on the schedule including the Chicago Blackhawks banner raising game against the Rangers. The SN early game is the classic rivalry between the Maple Leafs and Canadians, while in the nightcaps the Kings will host the Sharks and the Canucks will try to get revenge over the Flames who knocked them out of the playoffs last year. 

In fact, the Canucks are 4-1-2 in games the next year when that team knocked them out of the playoffs the previous year. 

The Canucks start the year with good old vets and young exciting players that will try to lead them to the playoffs for the eighth time in eleven years. 
Maple Leafs
4:00 PM
5:00 PM
7:00 PM
7:30 PM

2015-16 NHL Predictions

Pacific Division        Central Division                 Atlantic Division                         Metropolitan Division

  1. Ducks                          1. Blackhawks                               1. Red Wings                          1.  Penguins
  2. Kings                           2. Blues                                          2. Canadians                           2. Rangers
  3. Flames                        3. Predators                                    3. Bruins                                  3. Capitals 
  4. Oilers                          4. Jets                                             4. Lightning                             4. Islanders 
  5. Sharks                        5. Stars                                            5. Senators                        5. Blue Jackets 
  6. Canucks                     6. Avs                                             6. Sabers                               6. Hurricanes 
  7. Cyototes                    7. Wild                                             7. Leafs                                 7. Flyers
  8.                                                                                           8. Panthers                           8. Devils 

NHL Playoffs 
Western Conference Quarterfinals                               Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Blackhawks over Oilers 4-1                                              Islanders over Red Wings 4-2
Predoters over Blues 4-2                                                     Bruins over Canadians 4-3   
Ducks over Jets 4-2                                                               Penguins over Lightning 4-0                                                
Kings over Flames 4-3                                                             Rangers over Capitals 4-3

Western Conference Semi Finals                                                  Eastern Conference Semi Finals 
Blackhawks ove Preds 4-2                                                                Islanders over Bruins 4-1
Kings over Ducks 4-1                                                                         Penguins over Rangers 4-2

Western Conference Finals                                                                     Eastern Conference Finals 
Kings over Blackhawks 4-2                                                                          Penguins over Islanders 4-3

                                                                         Stanley Cup Finals
                                                                       Kings over Penguins 4-2

NHL Awards:
Hart Trophy: Sidney Crosby 
Calder Trophy: Connor McDavid
Presidents Trophy: Penguins 
Jennings TrophyGustavsson and Rask - Bruins 
Jack Adams TrophyJeff Blashill 
Conn Smythe Trophy: Milian Lucic