"The Stack" 5-21-18

The Stack is back on this Monday and the Cinderella story that should be capturing the attention of more people across the nation continues. The Vegas Golden Knights are in the Stanley Cup Final. What an incredible story. Reaction to NHL and NBA Playoffs and more is in store in “the stack” so let’s get right to it for today, Monday, May 21st:

Vegas is in the Stanley Cup Final

50 years after the expansion St. Louis Blues made it to the Stanley Cup Final, the Vegas Golden Knights have followed suit thanks to a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to win the series 4-1 and advance to the Stanley Cup Final where they will face either the Washington Capitals or Tampa Bay Lightning (more on them in a moment). What an unbelievable effort by the Golden Knights. They were great once again on Sunday and had to survive push after push, chance after chance by the Jets in the third period. Marc Andre-Fleury made 31 saves. Reaves from Vegas scored the game-winning goal on a nice tip-in. What an amazing moment for this team. This story deserves more national recognition. Maybe now that Vegas is in the Stanley Cup Final, that attention they rightfully deserve will be given to them.

Vegas’ opponent in the Stanley Cup Final is yet to be determined, but the odds are that it will be the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning scored a goal in the first minute in both the first and second periods and jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Washington Capitals made things interesting. Ultimately the Lightning would win 3-2. The effort just wasn’t there from the Capitals, at least that is the way it looked. Their confidence has to be shot too. They rose to the occasion though against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They need to rise to the occasion again over these next two games. Win the next two and they are in the Stanley Cup Final. Lose either one of them and will the Penguins series win mean anything? Not really. Game six from D.C. is tonight at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.

Cavs, Warriors rout Celtics, Rockets in game 3s

If you were looking for some competitive basketball this weekend after a three day layoff, you were sorely disappointed. In games that should go down in the #AsExpected category, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors both cruised to victories over the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets respectively. Saturday night, the Cavs made quick work of the Celtics. This game felt like it was over after the first quarter. LeBron James was once again brilliant recording a double-double with 27 points and 12 assists as the Cavs kicked the crap out of the Celtics 116-86. For the Celtics, the effort just wasn’t there and it wasn’t there right from the outset. They have vowed to show a better effort on Monday. We’ll see if that is the case tonight at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN. Can’t be any worse.

Oh you want worse do you? Well the Houston Rockets can one up you. The Rockets lost by 41 points to the Golden State Warriors, losing 126-85. Steph Curry was absolutely amazing with 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting. He couldn’t miss in the second half or so it seemed. Curry demoralized the Rockets, especially James Harden. Harden’s defensive effort or lack thereof is astounding. He is not a great defensive player to begin with. The Warriors did what they do and that is put the game away in the third quarter. They scored the first ten points and cruised after that. How demoralizing of a loss for the Rockets. We’ll see if that’s the case Tuesday night.

Justify wins Preakness

Might we see the second Triple Crown winner in four years after going decades without one? Quite possibly, yes after Justify won the Preakness on a wet, muddy and messy track in Baltimore. It was a close race with Good Magic staying right there with Justify and leading him for a while, but Justify was too strong and pulled ahead and was able to get the win. He’s the best horse in the field and it isn’t even close. But can he do it on a longer track at the Belmont in a few weeks? That remains to be seen. He’s won on the muddy tracks in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness? On a good track? I have to imagine he’ll be even better. There were only eight horses in the Preakness. We’ll see more in the Belmont field, but Justify should be better than them all. Can’t wait to see this race in a few weeks. It’s going to be good.

Coming up Tuesday:

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports