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Apr 14

The Front Page and Other Shenanigans: Your weekly guide of what to look for, and what to look away from 4/15-4/21

MLB is well into its second week of the season and with such a long ways to go, it’s too early to judge too many starts.  Atlanta, Cincinnati and Colorado have surprised many in the National League with their quick starts out of the gate.  Several NL teams expected to be in the 2015 postseason (LA Dodgers, Pittsburgh, Washington) open up Week Two dead last in their respective divisions.  The American League picture is a bit more AS expected as Boston and Toronto lead the East and the West looks fairly even.  Kansas City and Detroit have proven that the end of 2014 wasn’t a fluke, as both teams finished Opening Week undefeated.  Today marks Jackie Robinson Day in MLB, with Seattle and Los Angeles playing the annual Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium.  Big series to check out this weekend include Miami at NY Mets, Atlanta at Toronto, Baltimore at Boston, and Colorado at LA Dodgers.  The season is young, but just ask Charles Dickens… a good start will make you famous.

NBA Playoffs start on Saturday, April 18th when Toronto hosts the Washington Wizards.  The Western Conference clearly looks like the powerhouse with the Southwest Division having every team making the postseason.  In the East, there are two teams (Brooklyn, Boston) that have losing records.  The opening round schedule has been provided below:

Eastern Conference – First Round

(1) Atlanta Hawks vs. (8) Brooklyn Nets

Game 1 – Sun. April 19, Brooklyn at Atlanta, 5:30 PM, TNT

Game 2 – Wed . April 22, Brooklyn at Atlanta, 7:00 PM, NBA TV

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (7) Boston Celtics

Game 1 – Sun. April 19, Boston at Cleveland, 3:00 PM, ABC/R

Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Boston at Cleveland, 7:00 PM, TNT

(3) Chicago Bulls vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks

Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Milwaukee at Chicago, 7:00 PM, ESPN

Game 2 – Mon. April 20, Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00 PM, TNT

(4) Toronto Raptors vs. (5) Washington Wizards

Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Washington at Toronto, 12:30 PM, ESPN

Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Washington at Toronto, 8:00 PM, NBA TV

Western Conference – First Round

(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) New Orleans Pelicans

Game 1 – Sat. April 18, New Orleans at Golden State, 3:30 PM, ABC/R

Game 2 – Mon. April 20, New Orleans at Golden State, 10:30 PM , TNT

(2) Houston Rockets vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks

Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Dallas at Houston, 9:30 PM, ESPN

Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Dallas at Houston, 9:30 PM, TNT

(3) L.A. Clippers vs. (6) San Antonio Spurs

Game 1 – Sun. April 19, San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 PM, TNT

Game 2 – Wed. April 22, San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 PM, TNT

(4) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (5) Memphis Grizzlies

Game 1 – Sun. April 19, Portland at Memphis, 8:00 PM, TNT

Game 2 – Wed. April 22, Portland at Memphis, 8:00 PM, TNT

All times are Eastern

The Stanley Cup Playoffs start tonight, and this will mark the first time the defending Stanley Cup champions and the defending Presidents Trophy winners will not be in the postseason.  Jamie Benn won the NHL scoring title with just 8.5 seconds left in the season when he leapfrogged Sidney Crosby for the crown.  In the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Montreal will play Ottawa, Tampa Bay will play Detroit, New York Rangers will play Pittsburgh, and Washington will play the New York Islanders.  Over in the Western Conference, St. Louis will play Minnesota, Nashville will play Chicago, Anaheim will play Winnipeg, and Vancouver will play Calgary.  For a more in depth look into the first round, you can check out Cha Cha’s “NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Preview” right HERE.  The schedule for each series’ opening games can be found here:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 Montreal vs. No. 4 Ottawa

Season series: 3-1 Senators

Wednesday, April 15: Ottawa at Montreal, 7

No. 2 Tampa Bay vs. No. 3 Detroit             

Season series: 3-1 Lightning

Thursday, April 16: Detroit at Tampa Bay, 7:30

No. 1 N.Y. Rangers vs. No. 4 Pittsburgh  

Season series: 3-0-1 Rangers

Thursday, April 16: Pittsburgh at N.Y. Rangers, 7

No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 N.Y. Islanders

Season series: 2-2

Wednesday, April 15: N.Y. Islanders at Washington, 7

WESTERN CONFERENCE

No. 1 St. Louis vs. No.  4 Minnesota

Season series: 2-2

Thursday, April 16: Minnesota at St. Louis, 9:30

No. 2 Nashville vs. No. 3 Chicago

Season series: 2-1 Blackhawks

Wednesday, April 15: Chicago at Nashville, 8:30

No. 1 Anaheim vs. No. 4 Winnipeg

Season series: 3-0 Ducks

Thursday, April 16: Winnipeg at Anaheim, 10:30

No. 2 Vancouver vs. No. 3 Calgary

Season series: 2-2

Wednesday, April 15: Calgary at Vancouver, 10

This week in theaters features the best movie to come out this year, so far.  Child 44 may end up being one of the better 2015 movies without “Star Wars” or “Avengers” attached to the name.  Based off the incredible Tom Rob Smith bestseller about a post WWII Soviet serial killer, Child hits the big screen with a stellar cast including Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Noomi Rapace.  Though The topic of child murders will (no doubt) scare some people CHILD 44away, the story is incredible and lends itself to a great (albeit dark) film adaptation.  Hardy takes the lead as a disgraced member of the Soviet military police who investigates the murders of 44 children.  This is an exciting introduction to the 2015 Spring/Summer season of movies.  Kevin James is a funny stand-up comedian and King of Queens was a somewhat funny long-lasting sitcom.  One would think that Kevin James could pass on a movie now and then, and would most certainly opt out of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.  American audiences soaked up the first go around, with Paul Blart: Mall Cop earning an absurd $150 million domestically.  Whether this country’s obsession with shopping center security guards remains is a mystery, but why James would choose to do this is still the bigger mystery.  In limited release, True Story is based off of the memoir of journalist Michael Finkel.  Finkel was a disgraced New York Times reporter who came face to face with a killer who took on his identity. While the true story of Finkel and Christian Longo is interesting enough, Jonah Hill and James Franco take surprising turns as the main characters in a dark cat-and-mouse thriller.  If it is possible to get past Hill and Franco as comedic buddies, True Story looks to be an extraordinarily underrated movie with serious entertainment appeal.  Felicity Jones and Ethan Suplee round out a great cast for director Rupert Goold’s feature debut.

About the author

Chad

Chad has a Bachelor's Degree from Marquette University in Broadcast Journalism & Electronic Communications. Currently living in Seattle, WA, he takes every opportunity he can to go to a game, partake in the nightlife, laugh with friends & family and root for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.