"The Stack" 6-7-16

Evgeni Malkin finally scored a goal in the Stanley Cup Final and added an assist in the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks to take a 3-1 series lead heading back to Pittsburgh. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeni Malkin finally scored a goal in the Stanley Cup Final and added an assist in the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks to take a 3-1 series lead heading back to Pittsburgh.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Tuesday to talk game four of the Stanley Cup Final plus a couple of other items including a feud you may not be aware of so let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Tuesday, June 7th:


Penguins one win away winning it all


The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup following their 3-1 win in game four of the Stanley Cup Final over the San Jose Sharks.  The Penguins now, appropriately, hold a 3-1 series lead and clinch the cup Thursday in Pittsburgh.  Should the Penguins win, it would be the first championship clinched for the city of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh since 1960 when the Pirates won it all.  That’s quite amazing given how many championships the city has won, eleven in all, since 1960.  Now of course the NFL plays the Super Bowl at a neutral site so that is understandable for the Steelers not to have won a championship in the city limits, but for the Penguins and Pirates that is somewhat surprising.  The Penguins now have a chance to do that Thursday.


The Penguins didn’t manufacture nearly as many shots as they had in the first three games of this series last night.  In fact, they were outshot by the Sharks 24-20.  Both teams blocked 20 shots a piece so that’s a wash.  The Penguins got the scoring started when Sharks goalie Martin Jones left a juicy rebound out there after Phil Kessel got a shot on goal.  Four Sharks players were so focused on Kessel that they didn’t pick up Penguins defenseman Ian Cole who got the rebound and put his shot past Martin to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.  The Penguins would add to their lead in the second period on the power play when Evgeni Malkin was left at the side of the net and directed the puck in after a nice pass from Kessel.  Maybe Kessel was shooting and it went wide but it went right to Malkin who was parked at the side of the net and put it in for a 2-0 lead.  The Sharks had multiple golden opportunities in the third period, but Penguins goalie Matt Murray stood strong.  The Sharks had as many shots in the third period (12) as they did in the first two periods combined.  They had a couple of breakaways and Murray stoned them cold.  Melker Karlsson scored for the Sharks midway through the third period and it seemed like they would be able to come back, but the Penguins closed the door when Carl Hagelin fed a nifty pass to Eric Fehr who had a bit of a breakaway himself and put the puck past Jones.  Game over and possibly series over for the Sharks.  They were the NHL’s best road team in the regular season and they will need a win Thursday night in Pittsburgh to save their season.  Going to be an exciting atmosphere in Pittsburgh Thursday night.


Aqib Talib shot


Interesting news came out of Dallas this weekend when it was reported Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib was shot in the leg at a nightclub.  The wound required Talib to go to the hospital meaning he was unable to join his teammates at the White House on Monday where they were honored by President Obama for their Super Bowl win over the Carolina Panthers.  Talib reportedly told police he was too intoxicated to know who shot him, but has told people close to him according to another report that he shot himself.  What other crazy turn is this story going to take?  He is out of the hospital now, but certainly there are more questions than answers at this point surrounding the situation and Talib could find himself in some troubles with the law which would not be good news obviously for him or the Broncos.


Jake Arrieta loses


For the first time in 24 starts, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta finally lost a game.  Since July 25th last year, Arrieta has been the most dominant pitcher in the game and even on that day he lost a 1-0 decision to Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies.  Arrieta gave up three runs yet struck out twelve in five innings, but it wasn’t enough as the Cubs lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 on Sunday.  Arrieta likely won’t lose many more games this season in part because he is so good, but also since the Cubs are red hot and can score runs like crazy.  This is looking like a very good year for the Cubs.


Stephen A. Smith – Mike Florio feud


Last Wednesday on First Take on ESPN2 Stephan A. Smith spoke his mind on NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and how he is costing the NFL players a lot of money by going to court over the whole Tom Brady #Deflategate situation.  Minus the part where the NFL was the party that brought this to court, Smith’s opinion seemed like a normal rant/filler on the show.  The factual errors in Smith’s take were followed up on in a post by PFT’s Mike Florio.  Smith didn’t take too kindly to the fair piece that Florio wrote and ripped him on his radio show which included a non-threat threat.  PFT asked Smith to come on Pro Football Talk Live on NBC Sports Radio on Friday morning anytime between 6-9 AM when the show runs, but Smith declined.  So in return Florio spent the first hour and part of the third hour dissecting Smith’s radio rant and saying what was wrong with it.  The rant does not put Smith in a very good light and I totally side with Florio in this one.  Do you? 


Before we go, if this story involving a former Stanford swimmer doesn’t make you angry, I don’t know what will.  Very sad.


Coming up Wednesday: Reaction to top stories in the sports world plus a pick for game three of the NBA Finals.