Bad beats. Anytime I hear anyone say there’s no such thing, that all that matters is the win or the loss, I just shake my head. That’s an absurd observation. Tracking right side losers and wrong side winners is a window into whether one is getting the job done in terms of pre-game analysis.
I’m not sure where to file the loss on Tuesday night by the Washington Capitals. It’s not really a bad beat, as the game was a coin flip from start to finish. So I can’t say that I had the right side, although I certainly didn’t have the wrong side. But there’s no question that from a pure aggravation standpoint, this might well be one of the all-time toppers.
In case you missed it, the Caps and Florida Panthers were tied at 1-1 after regulation as well as following the five minute overtime. That’s when history proceeded to unfold in the most amazing shootout the league has even seen.
The Caps and Panthers went through an unfathomable 20 rounds of shootout attempts. That’s a record. Washington was batting first throughout, and the Capitals took the lead on five occasions during this epic, only to surrender the tying goal each and every time. That’s just insane.
From an excitement standpoint, this was sensational, even for those of us who treat the entire shootout deal with disdain. But losing it the way it unfolded was absolute torture. So maybe it’s not a true bad beat. But it sure felt like one, and one for the ages at that.
That horrible result on the Caps forced me to accept an overall split on the night. For the record, I’ve now lost seven straight NHL OT games and stand a ridiculous 7-18 for the season. That ain’t fun, folks.
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Nice job by the Rangers in what turned out to be an easy free play winner against slumping Calgary. I’ll break down a college hoop game for the Wednesday comp.
12/17 04:00 PM CBB (725) ARKANSAS STATE at (726) MISSISSIPPI STATE
Take: (726) MISSISSIPPI STATE -11.5
Is there such a thing as a good value spot on a double digit favorite? Not very often, but I think one can make a case that Mississippi State might be a bit of a bargain tonight as they host Arkansas State.
The visiting Red Wolves are struggling thus far. Aside from some decent offensive rebounding numbers, this team has been pretty mediocre at almost everything. That’s not a surprise, as Arkansas State returned zero starters from last year’s entry and head coach John Brady is still trying to put together the right combinations in advance of Sun Belt play.
Mississippi State is also having problems, and the Bulldogs are probably going to have a rough go of it in SEC play. But this looks to me to be a spot where there are some fairly compelling reasons to chance laying some lumber with the home team.
It’s the first home game for Mississippi State since November 24 and head coach Rick Ray made no bones about the fact his players are looking forward to finally playing in Starkville. We’re getting the Bulldogs off three straight losses, so I would think there’s very little chance they won’t be focused tonight.
Craig Sword is back in action for the Bulldogs following back surgery that had kept him sidelined for the first seven games. Sword admits that he’s still got a ways to go with his conditioning. But his mere presence on the floor makes Mississippi State a better team. He’s the best player on this roster and Sword’s ability to penetrate should definitely help the Bulldogs increase their offensive efficiency.
This amounts to a right opponent at the right time scenario for a Mississippi State team that really could use a win. It would appear to be a good physical matchup for the Bulldogs and when I think I’m going to get a concerted effort out of a home favorite, I don’t mind giving up some points. That’s the case here and I’m laying it tonight with Mississippi State.