Spartan Jump Shots, Boilermaker Edition: Purdue vs. Michigan State Preview and Prediction

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgSunday, unlike last Thursday against Minnesota, nobody was shocked when the Michigan State Spartans lost to the Wisconsin Badgers. Arguably, the only stunner was how the Spartans rallied to keep thing close in the end.

Now, the clock is ticking on Michigan State as they try to find the right combination of impactful wins to get into the NCAA tournament. They’ll have a chance to grab another when the Purdue Boilermakers come to town. Purdue and Michigan State are closely dueling in the standings, and the game matters for both the hope of both teams. Continue reading

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Detroit Red Wings Won Trade Deadline for Not Mortgaging Future While Improving Present

The Red Wings may have won the NHL trade deadline with acquisition of Erik Cole (above) and Marek Zidlicky. (douglasgallery30, Flickr)

The Red Wings may have won the NHL trade deadline with acquisition of Erik Cole (above) and Marek Zidlicky. (douglasgallery30, Flickr)

Ken Holland has been through plenty in his last four years on the job. He’s been in charge of trying to find the right ways to skillfully reinvent the Detroit Red Wings, who were caught in the midst of hockey purgatory.

Should the team, with an aging but not completely aged roster, rebuild and retool or restructure completely? The answer wasn’t obvious for stretches, and Holland sat on his hands for a long time. He took loads of flack. In hindsight, that might have been the smartest move. Continue reading

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Marek Zidlicky Traded to Detroit Red Wings for Conditional Third-Round Pick in 2016

detroit_red_wings_logoAs many expected, the Detroit Red Wings did add a defenseman before the trade deadline, however it wasn’t the one many folks expected it to be.

All morning long, Detroit appeared to be working on a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Dion Phaneuf which felt close to completion at times. When the sides couldn’t agree on the financials or other aspects of the deal, the Red Wings quickly moved on. Continue reading

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Detroit Red Wings Deal Two Prospects, Second Round Pick for Winger Erik Cole

detroit_red_wings_logoSunday night, the Detroit Red Wings decided they didn’t want to wait for Monday afternoon’s trade deadline to address at least one of their needs.

The Red Wings dealt defenseman Mattias Backman, center Mattias Janmark and a second-round pick to the Dallas Stars for forward Erik Cole and a third-round selection. Cole, 36, has scored 18 goals for the Stars this season, including one against Detroit not two weeks ago. Continue reading

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Spartan Jump Shots, Badger Edition: Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Preview and Prediction

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgOn Thursday night, the Michigan State Spartans were abruptly stunned at home in overtime by the Minnesota Golden Gophers, ending their winning streak and injecting new fears of the tournament bubble.

The task doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans Sunday, as they must head to the Kohl Center in Madison to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. All season, Wisconsin has been the class of the entire league, and can wrap up the regular season title with a victory. Nothing would thrill Michigan State more than to ruin that plan. Continue reading

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Spartan Jump Shots, Golden Gopher Edition: Minnesota vs. Michigan State Preview

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgThe Michigan State Spartans won another game they had to on Sunday night, outlasting the Illinois Fighting Illini on the road to the tune of a 60-53 win. The victory helped nullify an earlier loss to Illinois at home.

Next up for Michigan State is a visit from the Minnesota Golden Gophers, a team with a sub-.500 Big Ten record, but plenty of reasons to put a bit of fear into the opposition with several scorers. Continue reading

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Rapping Red Wings: Be Critical Of Jimmy Howard in Regulation, But Blame NHL for Shootouts

detroit_red_wings_logoMaybe I’m simply a hockey purist, but in the old days, there was something to be said about a good, old-fashioned regular season tie.

After laying it on the line for three periods and overtime, both teams got to feel like they came away with something. In plenty of battles, it’s was the only just way to decide a tough game. Giving both teams something to feel good about following a game that had gone the distance was a perfect solution.

But, in their ever-infinite wisdom, the NHL had to change things in the name of excitement and excitement only. Give the fans more goals and breakaways, they said. They’ll be happy, they said. Continue reading

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Spartan Jump Shots, Fighting Illini Edition: Michigan State vs. Illinois Preview and Prediction

Michigan-State-Spartans-Logo-jpgFresh off three of their most exciting, sound victories of the year, the Michigan State Spartans have gained new momentum and new life as crunch time begins to hit college basketball in late February.

Mentally and physically, they seem a long way removed from a tough loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini just a few short weeks ago. Sunday, they’ll get to prove that by going on the road to take on an Illnois team that’s in desperate need of impressive resume building wins just like the Spartans themselves. Continue reading

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