"The Stack" 5-6-16

Mike Fisher's game-winning goal in the triple overtime gave the Predators a 4-3 win to knot the series up with the San Jose Sharks 2-2. Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Fisher's game-winning goal in the triple overtime gave the Predators a 4-3 win to knot the series up with the San Jose Sharks 2-2.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Vogel's contract will not be renewed by the Indiana Pacers meaning he is done at Pacers head coach. In other word's he's fired.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow. Will we see a Triple Crown winner again this year?
Alton Strupp-USA TODAY Sports

Was last night a great playoff night or what?  Every playoff game went to overtime including one that didn’t get over until early this morning.  The Stack is here with reaction to it all plus a couple of other things to get to as well so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Friday, May 6th:


Raptors down Heat in OT to even series


The Toronto Raptors looked like they had things figured out and going their way against the Miami Heat in the first half of game two.  They had a seven point lead going into the half.  Then the second half began and the Raptors’ playoff futility started to show.  The Heat went on a run and had a 77-70 lead in the fourth quarter before the Raptors gave it their all and rallied to take an 84-80 lead.  Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan made a couple of shots (DeRozan was 9-for-24 and just 2-of-8 from the free throw line…yikes!).  The Heat though would not go quietly.  Dwyane Wade hit a three to cut the lead to one.  The Raptors would answer with a two to push the lead to three at 86-83 and with 14 seconds left the Heat inbounded the ball and Goran Dragic calmly canned a three to force overtime.  OT would not be really kind to either team as they couldn’t make a basket, but the Raptors made more and won 96-92 in OT.  Series is even 1-1.  Hard to think that the Raptors will win this series unless they play a more consistent game and I have my doubts they will do that down in Miami.  Tonight’s playoff schedule is as follows:


Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks 7 PM ET ESPN (Cavaliers lead series 2-0)


San Antonio Spurs @ Oklahoma City Thunder 9:30 PM ET ESPN (Series tied 1-1)


Overtime galore in Stanley Cup Playoffs


This may be the best stretch of NHL Playoffs we have seen in years.  Seems like at least a game a night is going to overtime and Thursday night was no exception with both games going to overtime.  In St. Louis, the Dallas Stars survived the onslaught in the first period, grabbed a lead in the second period and eventually won in overtime 3-2.  It didn’t look good for them in the first period.  The Blues had a number of chances to put this game out of reach for the Stars in the first period.  A number of times they had odd man rushes and breakaways, but Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped a couple and had help from his friends the post and the crossbar.  Vladimir Tarasenko was able to get one by Lehtonen to put the Blues up 1-0 after the first period, but you felt like they should have been up by a lot more and after the Stars scored two goals in less than a minute in the second period, you could sense that the Blues missed an opportunity.  In overtime, the Stars would win less than three minutes in when Cody Eakin scored to give the Stars a 3-2 win and tie the series up 2-2.  What a game.  What a golden opportunity missed by the Blues.  The Stars have new life.


That game however has nothing compared to the game down in Nashville between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators.  That game went to triple overtime and didn’t finish until after 1:03 AM when Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the night to give the Predators a 4-3 win to tie the series up 2-2.  The Predators started out fast scoring less than a minute into the game to take a 1-0 lead, but found themselves trailing 3-2 after Brent Burns scored a power play goal for the Sharks.  James Neal would answer though for the Predators later in the period and then the real fun began in overtime.  The Sharks were on the attack it seemed a little more than the Predators, but Pekka Rinne stood tall in net for the Predators stopping all 25 shots he faced in the extra sessions.  The Predators didn’t get totally outplayed in the overtime sessions as they were able to apply pressure themselves and get some good scoring chances and eventually one went in for Fisher and company.  What a game!  What a win for the Predators.  Here’s tonight’s NHL Playoff schedule:


Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Islanders 7 PM ET NBCSN (Lightning lead series 2-1)


Frank Vogel out as Pacers head coach


Technically Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird isn’t firing head coach Frank Vogel.  He’s just not renewing the expired contract.  Vogel will not be back as Pacers head coach next season.  Bird says a new voice is needed in the locker room.  OK Larry.  You may be one of the greatest players in NBA history, but you aren’t exactly a great front office person yet.  The Pacers haven’t won an NBA title since Bird took over.  Bird wants more offense from the Pacers.  Vogel is more defensive minded.  The Pacers instilled a new offensive approach this season and inevitably there will be ups and downs, but Vogel is a really good head coach.  Who are you going to find to take this job better than Vogel?  Kevin McHale is not coming.  You think Jeff Van Gundy will come?  Maybe Mark Jackson?  Jackson would probably be the better option, but the decision to let Vogel go may come back to haunt the Pacers.


Kentucky Derby pick


It’s time for The Stack’s annual Kentucky Derby pick.  The Kentucky Derby if you didn’t know is tomorrow and we’ll be talking some horse racing periodically over the course of the Triple Crown.  We had a Triple Crown winner last year in case you didn’t remember.  It was American Pharoah.  This year, Nyquist looks like a pretty good bet to at least win the Derby.  He is currently the favorite at 3:1 odds.  Bob Baffert, probably the greatest trainer ever has trained Mor Spirit so that’s a pretty good bet too to finish in the top three.  A couple of horses I wouldn’t mind seeing winning are Suddenbreakingnews and Oscar Nominated more so just because of their names and the announcer yelling it down the stretch.  In the end though, I will take Nyquist to win the race.  If that happens, he could be a threat to win the triple crown.  We shall see.  Coverage begins at 4 ET on NBC or immediately following Blues-Stars.


Coming up Monday: Playoffs reaction plus Kentucky Derby reaction and more