The Lightning are the NHL’s newest dynasty, plus why the Cubs should break up their 2016 core
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We’ve got the Stanley Cup Final coming to an end, some Home Run Derby info and much more to go over.
Let’s get started.
📰 What you need to know1. Lightning win second straight Stanley Cup Final 🏒
They don’t call it Champa Bay for nothing. The Lightning won the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, putting away the Canadiens in a 1-0 contest in Game 5 to win the series, 4-1.
It was a historic win for the Lighting:
They are the first team to go back-to-back since the Penguins in 2016 and 2017It marks the third time in franchise history that the Lightning have won the Stanley Cup, as they also won it all in 2004 and 2020The Lightning are now the ninth franchise in NHL history to win back-to-back Stanley CupsTampa Bay’s Game 5 win also marked the 15th consecutive playoff game in which they followed up a loss with a win
Rookie forward Ross Colton scored the only goal of the contest in the second period. He was set up by defenseman David Savard — a trade deadline acquisition — who put a picture-perfect pass right on Colton’s stick for the easy tally. It was Colton’s first goal of the Final. Pretty good timing.
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 26, recorded shutouts in all four closing games of each series throughout the NHL playoffs for Tampa Bay and was named MVP of the series. He joins Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden as just the second goalie since the Expansion Era (1967-68) to play every game in net for back-to-back Stanley Cup champions.
Lightning captain Steven Stakmos summed it all up perfectly after the win, noting how special this is given that last year they had to celebrate in an empty arena.
Stamkos: “To do this in front of our fans and family, we didn’t get a chance to do that last year. That was huge motivation for this group: to win it again. To do it again, it’s validation into history. This group accomplished something that not a lot of people thought could happen.”2. Harry Kane and England are headed to the Euro Final ⚽
The Euro 2020 final is set and for the first time ever, England is one of the last two teams standing. England defeated Denmark in the semifinals on Wednesday in a wild 2-1 contest that took extra time to complete.
At the end of regulation the score was 1-1Harry Kane scored the game winner in the first half of extra time to send Denmark packing. The veteran put home his own rebound of a penalty kickDenmark began stronger and, as a result of England’s shakiness, Mikkel Damsgaard was able to find the net, becoming the first player at the cup to score on England
As they headed into extra time, Denmark was looking tired and England took advantage. They had a few missed chances, but it didn’t matter, because they were still able to get it done and take home the win.
England will now face Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
3. The Home Run Derby field is officially set ⚾
The All-Star break is approaching quickly, which means so is the Home Run Derby. On Wednesday, Major League Baseball revealed the final lineup for the event, which will take place at Colorado’s Coors Field on Monday night.
The Home Run Derby is always a good time. Who doesn’t love watching some of the league’s best sluggers hit homer after homer? Now imagine those sluggers doing that at the what is considered to be the friendliest ballpark for hitters in the country.
Before yesterday we already knew six of the players who will get the chance to compete, but now we know the final two. Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, as well as Washington Nationals star Juan Soto, will be competing.
Here is the complete field:
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles AngelsPete Alonso, New York MetsTrevor Story, Colorado RockiesTrey Mancini, Baltimore OriolesSalvador Perez, Kansas City RoyalsMatt Olson, Oakland AthleticsJoey Gallo, Texas RangersJuan Soto, Washington Nationals
Alonso is the defending champion, as he beat Guerrero in 2019. There was no Home Run Derby, or All-Star break, last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
4. It’s time for the Cubs to break up their core ⚾
We’ve all been guilty of hanging on to the past. Hey Chicago Cubs, it is now time to let go. Chicago won the World Series in 2016, but now need to get rid of that core and sell at the upcoming trade deadline at the end of the month, according to our Cubs expert Matt Snyder
Let’s start by taking a look at players from the 2016 championship team that are still on the Cubs right now:
Kris Bryant (the 2016 NL MVP)Anthony RizzoJavier BáezWillson ContrerasJason HeywardKyle HendricksJake Arrieta
Chicago snapped an eleven game losing streak last night and, while they were in some of those games, the last two losses were embarrassing L’s. They are currently 8.5 games out of the NL Central. Our Snyder notes that it’s worth it for the team to consider dealing Bryant, Báez and Rizzo.
Bryant has improved after years of ups and downs, and is hitting .270./351/.502. The Cubs could get someone decent in a tradeRizzo isn’t near as good as he used to be and it may be best to wait for the offseason to decide what the next steps with the 32 year old areBáez is more up in the air, as he leads the majors in strikeouts, has a .282 on-base percentage, but on the flip side, has 21 homers, 56 RBI and 10 steals
The Cubs could go a few different ways here, with Zach Davies, Joc Pederson, Andrew Chafin, Dan Winkler and Ryan Tepera also options to be dealt. One thing is for sure, however: they need to do something, because what that have isn’t working.
📝 Odds & Ends
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Athletics vs. Astros, 2:10 p.m. | HOU -172 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Yankees vs. Mariners, 4:10 p.m. | SEA +130 | TV: MLB.TV
🏀 Bucks vs. Suns, 8 p.m. | PHO -215 | TV: ABC
🥇 Best thing I saw on the internet
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might just be able to tell the future. The Blue Jays player told an opposing first baseman that he was going to score on a double from first and … can you take a guess at what he did next? Being able to round the bases that fast is impressive, but predicting the next play might be an even better skill. Is there anything else you want to tell us about the future, Guerrero Jr.?