Hockey playoffs skate on, a Belmont prediction and a look at the Tigers

Fat Guy Corner

 

 

The NHL has officially skated into round two of the playoffs. The absolute shocker is the Montreal Canadiens eliminating the heavily-favored Toronto Maple Leafs! The Toronto Maple Leafs held a commanding 3-1 series lead over their hated rival the Canadiens. Why is this significant? The Maple Leafs have not advanced past the first round of the NHL Playoffs since the 2003-04 season. I feel for the fans of Toronto as the theme every playoff series is heartbreak hotel. I mean, tip your hockey stick to Montreal as they won games five and six both in overtime to force a game seven. Oh, and the Montreal Canadiens had the least amount of points from the regular season to qualify for the playoffs. I say, this is why sports are so great — anything can happen at any time, which is why they play the games!

It’s time for the fat guy predictions for round two of the NHL Playoffs. I like Winnipeg to skate past the Montreal Canadiens and advance into round three. I will say Montreal can win if Carey Price, the Montreal goalie, steals the series. I think Boston — in a tough and physical series — defeats the New York Islanders. The Colorado Avalanche will skate on by the Las Vegas Golden Knights. I think Colorado will win the Stanley Cup so we will see how that prediction works out. I see the Tampa Bay hockey team in a seven game series defeating the Carolina Hurricanes. This will be a good series to watch as a hockey fan. We are down to eight teams, soon to be four teams.

The NBA first round is being dragged out like normal. I mean, a first round series lasts way too long if it goes the full seven games. I actually lose interest and forget who is even ahead or behind in the series. Okay, rant over!

The Milwaukee Bucks completed the only first round sweep over the Miami Heat. The Bucks are getting some serious rest I will say. The next round will be some good basketball and competitive series. The best series in round one is the L.A. Lakers and Phoenix Suns all knotted up at 2-2. I say, come on Suns, the fat guy is pulling for you to advance into round two.

The 153rd Belmont Stakes horse race will take place on Saturday June 5. We all know there will not be a Triple Crown winner in horse racing this year. If you tune in and wonder why there is no Medina Spirit, the Kentucky Derby winner, it’s because the horse has been banned and cannot race in the Belmont Stakes. However, the Belmont field is loaded with horses from the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The Preakness winner Rombauer will be in the field looking for his second straight win. The favorite will be Essential Quality in this race just like he was in the Kentucky Derby. The horse Hot Rod Charlie, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby, will also be in the Belmont field. It looks like the race will feature a nine horse field.

The horse I liked in the Kentucky Derby, Rock Your World, is also in the Belmont. The fat guy Belmont winner is: Rock Your World! The Kentucky Derby was a bad trip around the track for Rock Your World and I feel redemption is headed this horse’s way. Good luck if you are wagering on the Belmont Saturday.

The Detroit Tigers have been playing much better baseball recently. I mean, they are still stuck in last place in the American League Central Division and come October will still be in the basement of the division, but we Tiger fans just want to see improvement on the baseball diamond. I love the job manager AJ Hinch is doing with the development of the team. I see small signs of defensive improvement even if it’s ever so slight it’s still improvement. The starting pitching has been the surprise of the 2021 season so far. The hitting has been awful. Not enough sugar in the world to coat that statement!

I can be reached at thefatguy@mihomepaper.com.