Monday, April 9 thru Sunday, April 15
The NHL takes center stage in the world of sports this week, as its postseason begins Wednesday night. The rest of the sports week is a little calmer, coming off last week’s run of the NCAA final, MLB Opening Day and The Masters (did anyone besides Tiger Woods golf there? You wouldn’t know it to have read ESPN.com’s coverage throughout the week). For this week, baseball starts to settle in, the NBA winds down its last couple weeks of the regular season and TheSportsNotebook has the following columns planned. Unless noted otherwise, articles are published no later than 3 PM ET.
MONDAY, APRIL 9: The San Antonio Spurs have caught fire, winning 11 in a row and nudging into the lead in the NBA’s Western Conference. We’ll take a closer look at the Spurs as a title contender. And previews of all four NHL Eastern Conference playoff series will be up. You can look for NY Rangers-Ottawa, Philadelphia-Pittsburgh, Boston-Washington and New Jersey-Florida to be posted on Monday.
In the podcasting world, I’ll also be on Prime Sports Network with Greg DePalma to talk baseball at 3 PM ET. And be sure to check out The Morning Line, my short five-minute segment each day at Prime Sports Network that focuses on the top game of each night. Monday’s focus will be the Cubs-Brewers game on ESPN.
TUESDAY, APRIL 10: Baseball will be our topic today with an examination of who the Cincinnati Reds can rely on beyond Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in the everyday lineup—or if any such players exists. And the NHL hones in on the Western Conference with previews of Vancouver-Los Angeles, Nashville-Detroit, Chicago-Phoenix and St. Louis-San Jose. As with Monday, the hockey previews will start going up in late morning and finish in the early evening. The Morning Line will broadcast at 11 AM and look at the Celtics-Heat game on ESPN
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11: The NHL playoff preview is pulled together with links to all series previews, information and analysis on each team’s Las Vegas odds and TheSportsNotebook final Cup picks. In the NBA, there’s a big game between New York and Milwaukee, each battling for the East’s last playoff berth. TheSportsNotebook will break down both teams’ personnel, how they got here and what lies ahead for the stretch drive. The Morning Line will focus on the Marlins-Phillies game on ESPN2.
THURSDAY, APRIL 12: For the rest of the NHL playoffs there will be a daily report focusing on the previous night’s games, plus a look ahead to tonight. The first one goes Thursday. Plus we take a look at the Philadelphia Phillies’ offense. The Morning Line talks up the big Miami-Chicago game in the NBA on TNT.
FRIDAY, APRIL 13: The NHL playoff report is joined by an examination of the players on the Los Angeles Angels’ everyday lineup not named Albert Pujols. TheSportsNotebook also previews racing action, both on four wheels and four legs. Two Kentucky Derby prep races run on Saturday, and NASCAR goes at night.
SATURDAY, APRIL 14: More NHL playoff updates, plus a fresh look at the whole conundrum of public funding for increasingly extravagant sports stadiums. We all love sports, but at what cost? TheSportsNotebook called in Isaac Huss, a sports fanatic and Catholic religion teacher from Minneapolis—a place where this topic is pertinent right now, with the future of the Vikings hanging in the balance—to put this all in its proper perspective.
SUNDAY, APRIL 15: The NHL playoff report. Even if you’re the kind of person who’s not likely to watch a hockey game, if you’re interested in who wins the Cup, you can follow the entire postseason right here at TheSportsNotebook. Every game will be recapped, each night previewed and all individual series given an overarching preview throughout the run to the Stanley Cup.