Daily Grind 1.7

Welcome back, NHL. A look at the new CBA, some sound from TJ Oshie and David Backes. Plus, the Wild Card Weekend and who will prevail tonight between Alabama and Notre Dame!

Last February, Chicago Blackhawks radio broadcaster John Weideman guaranteed an NHL work stoppage to me prior to a Blues 5-1 blowout win at home. Almost a year later, the reality of a lockout is over, and hockey is back. 

The combination of dysfunctional revenues, huge salary discrepancies, and corrupt contracts finally erupted. For the 4th time since 1992, the NHL shut down, leaving countless amounts of people out of work — both on the ice and off. 

While it’s a shame over 500 NHL games were lost, the diamond in the rough for hockey fans across the country will be getting to watch their favorite team play 50 times this year.  

A look at the new 10-year CBA deal:
50-50 revenue split.
The players were getting 57% of the pie, something no other professional athlete benefited from. Think about that…

Seven-year term limit for NHL player contracts (eight if he re signs with team)
Goodbye are the days of the New York Islanders handing goalie Rick DiPietro a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. 

Salary Cap at $64.3 million (starting next season) … $44 million floor
Initially the owners wanted $60 million and the players wanted $70 million. The $64.3 million figure is symbolic for the players, as it is the same amount that last year’s salary cap was set at.

Teams get two compliance buyouts to use for 2013-2014 season
Basically a ‘get out of jail’ card for lousy contracts. Similar to the amnesty clause in the NBA, the buyouts will help teams get under the salary cap next season. 

All 14 teams that miss the playoffs get a crack at #1 overall pick
Previously, only the bottom five teams had this “luxury”.

Daily Grind Sports will have extensive Blues coverage starting with training camp next weekend.

Quick Thoughts on the Wild Card Weekend

Rough go for this guy. Picked just one winner correctly (Green Bay), but my Falcons/Patriots prediction can still prevail.

VIKINGS @ PACKERSWild Card Playoffs - Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers

What a boring game. Joe Webb completed 11-of-30 passes, and practically none downfield. How in the world can Adrian Peterson find any lanes when there is no passing threat whatsoever?

BENGALS @ TEXANS

After Leon Hall returned a Matt Shaub pass for an interception, the Bungals had all of Reliant Stadium by the tail. Unfortunately, they couldn’t muster anything offensively. Cincinatti went 0-for-9 on 3rd down and several key dropped passes victimized QB Andy Dalton. Sorry, but how is Jay Gruden gaining so much head coach traction?

COLTS @ RAVENS

Baltimore certainly played inspired knowing it was Ray Lewis’ last home game, but if they turn the football over against Denver like they did on Sunday, it will be Lewis’ last game ever. Ray Rice coughed up the pigskin twice, and the Indianapolis offense just could. not. move. the. football. Donnie Avery reminded every Rams fan why the front office took him over Jordy Nelson in 2008… 🙂

Adam Vinatieri’s missed 40-yard field goal was a back breaker. It led to a Ravens touchdown, and instead of a 17-12 game, it was 24-9. Ballgame.

SEAHAWKS @ REDSKINSWild Card Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Washington Redskins

Screw Pete Carroll and the entire Seagirls organization.

Now, the game …

When Washington rolled out to a 14-0 start, my wager looked pretty good. When RG III injured his bum knee at 3:23 in the 1st quarter, my wager seemed fragile. When RG III’s knee finally buckled, and the Seahawks recovered a fumble at the Washington 5-yard line, my wager was lost.

The Redskins did not run a single play inside of Seattle territory after the 1st quarter. When a team is built around a running quarterback operating an option-read offense, and that QB has a knee injury, well, it throws a wrench in the ole’ game plan.

Did you know?

Griffin only scrambled one time over his last three games (for 1 yard), after leading the league in scrambles (43) and scramble yards (411) before that point. 

Any media outlet criticizing Mike Shanahan or RG III for playing yesterday is delusional. Remember Jay Cutler’s “knee-gate” in the 2011 NFL Playoffs? The attacks he endured for leaving the game are similar to the Shanahan/RG III haters for playing. Look, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Eisen_Tweet

BCS CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTIONDiscover BCS National Championship - Head Coaches Press Conference

As a disclaimer, I am not a Notre Dame blowhard. Frankly, the blind fan hood for a Catholic school is a tad much. Is it NO-TRA-DOM or NO-TRA-DAME. Figure it out already.

HOWEVER,

The Fighting Irish are about to knock off Nick Saban and the SEC-giant Alabama Crimson Tide.

TOUGHER SCHEDULE

ALABAMA top 5 wins: Georgia, LSU, Miss. St, Michigan, and ??? They had a cake walk this season. Throwing Michigan into the mix is a joke to begin with, and their blowout conference wins came against Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Auburn. Whew, tough go.

NOTRE DAME top 5 wins: Stanford, Oklahoma, USC, Michigan, and Michigan St.

Brian Kelly’s squad has a knack for making a big play. They have 6 wins this season in games in which it scored 2 or fewer touchdowns. 

DEFENSIVE GAME

The Tide’s deep defense recorded 34 sacks, 81 tackles for loss and 17 interceptions.

Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 2.35.26 PM

Prediction:

The Irish will win their first championship in 24 years and Brian Kelly will get the best of Nick Saban.

Irish 23 Crimson Tide 17

Keep Grindin’ and LET’S GO BLUES. 

 

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