The Butterfield breakdown

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A laptop being activated Ethan Butterfield

Rumours, news, and outcomes

Returning once again to breakdown the latest in big sporting developments, this month held a lot of interesting things to look at. Not to give too much of what’s below away, but with the NHL landscape continuing to come into focus, the MLB moving ever closer to opening day, and the Daytona 500 having an absolutely crazy day, there’s definitely no shortage of excitement. So, without further ado, here’s what the major leagues of sports had to offer:

MLB

Opening day in MLB is scheduled for April 1. Poorly timed April Fools’ joke?

NHL

The NHL has definitely offered some interesting developments. The first of which is the Toronto Maple Leafs dropping a huge lead to the Ottawa Senators.

Normally a team collapsing a lead in the NHL is no big deal, but in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs (a team well-known for its collapses), they had a rather historic one in their match against the Senators. Via Evolving Hockey, a statistics-based hockey group, the Leafs had a 99.9 per cent chance to win, and blew the lead.

Digging through the past 13 seasons of the game, Evolving Hockey found it to the second worst blown lead loss in the game, only behind the Chicago Blackhawks, who blew a 5-1 lead against the Minnesota Wild during the 2009-2010 season.

Evolving Hockey: “Their peak win % was 99.9117%. The Leafs […] peaked at 99.9113%.”

The Maple Leafs weren’t the team with struggles as of late, as the Buffalo Sabres also found franchise misery. For the first time in 10 years, the Buffalo Sabres were held shotless in the third period of a game. NOT. ONE. SHOT.

Listen. Breaking the flow of news for a second. I just need everyone out there to understand that, in a game that featured Taylor Hall, Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson for Buffalo. Not a one could record a shot for an entire period. Look, if the Sabres didn’t want to compete for a Stanley Cup this year, they could just say so.

On the bright side, the New York Islanders, for the first time in their long franchise history, were able to hold an opponent shotless for an entire period.

In other hockey related news, sports media won’t stop talking about Connor McDavid, so we’re gonna skip right over that.

In other, other hockey related news, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was able to enjoy his 1,000th game as a Penguin with a win over the New York Islanders.

And, finally, the NHL had their Outdoor games at Lake Tahoe in what was a stunning sight to behold (seriously, if you get a chance, check out some photos. It’s really cool).


NFL

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl Champions. Moving right along.

Big things have already begun in the trading department of the NFL as former Philadelphia Eagles QB (quarterback) Carson Wentz becomes the field general for the Indianapolis Colts, filling the role of now retired QB Phillip Rivers.

As well, mega defensive star J.J. Watt is no longer a Houston Texan and has entered the free agent market. Some of the top contenders for receiving Watt (at the time of writing) are the Pittsburgh Steelers (where Watt’s brother plays), the Buffalo Bills, and the Green Bay Packers.

QB Deshaun Watson is also looking to make an exit from the Texans’ franchise. Unlike Watt however, the Texans seem to be less interested in letting Watson go from the team. That being said, there has been some trade interest for Watson coming out of the Dolphins organization, which may lead to a trade involving current QB Tua Tagovailoa and Watson.

The Carolina Panthers are also looking to benefit from the Waston-Texan situation should the QB become available.
           
As far as new entrees into the league, the NFL draft is fast-approaching and shows some promise in being one worth watching. Two quarterbacks, Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawernce look set to go in the first round with the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars primed to receive them. As things become clearer, it looks as those Wilson will be making his way to the Jets and Lawrence will be heading towards the Jaguars.

NASCAR

In a very rare appearance, NASCAR has taken a spot within the breakdown.

This is, of course, due to the Daytona 500 and the massive crash that occurred during the event. For those who don’t know, a huge wreck caused the race to be delayed for a significant amount of time. After things resumed, Michael McDowell ended up as the victor in his first ever major event win.


NBA

With the NBA in full stride, the playing field is becoming more and more clear.

Fortunately, as opposed to the last breakdown, the Toronto Raptors have been gaining ground in the standings. Now sitting at 6th overall in the Eastern Conference, Toronto has accumulated a 15 win and 15 loss record, this being a far cry from their 8 win and 12 loss record during my last update. Now settled at .500, the Raptors can continue developing their game and move even further along, providing a challenge for any opponents along the way.

That being said, the Raptors aside and looking at the current number one ranked teams in each conference, the Philadelphia 76ers continue to hold first in the East with 20 wins and 10 losses (so far), certainly making their case as the team to beat. However, teams like the Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks are certainly trying.

Moving along, in the West, the Utah Jazz are in the top spot as a result of a 24 win and 6 loss record. Although, they shouldn’t get too comfortable with both Los Angeles teams (the Clippers and the Lakers) hot on their trail.

On a more personal note, the New York Knicks are now 8th overall in the Eastern Conference and I couldn’t be happier.

So, there you have it, the updates and news from around the league. From the looks of things, it seems as though these updates will become more of a monthly thing, rather than a weekly thing moving forward. That aside though, as always, let’s remember to keep safe and healthy with everything that’s going on in the world today.

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