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Friday Frenzy: NHL, U.S. Open, Euro 2024 & Important Blitz Update! 📣

NBA and Stanley Cup Finals Near Sweeps, U.S. Open Action, Euro 2024 Preview, and an Important Update from the Blitz Team. Dive into today's packed sports recap and catch up on the latest highlights!

Happy Friday Blitzers 🙌

If you call yourself a sports fan, the next 72 hours would like your attention. While golfers continue hacking up Pinehurst and Euro 2024 kicks off, the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals could end in simultaneous sweeps. That’s rare.

Today’s letter is chock-full of sports news and includes an important update from the Blitz team below. Let’s push start on a mega-sports weekend.

WTF Stat Of The Day: It's just the fifth time two teams have led 3-0 in the same year in the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals. The most recent instance was 28 years ago, in 1996 (Bulls & Avalanche). Only twice have both leagues culminated in season-ending sweeps — 1995 (Rockets & Devils) and 1983 (76ers & Islanders). History coming?

Written By: TorchPro and Jeff Yonder

👋 A Note From The Team at The Morning Blitz

Dear Blitzers,

As the NBA and NHL finals race (literally) toward their conclusions and the dog days of summer approach, we want to thank you for your unwavering support and enthusiasm. Our mission at The Blitz has always been to help create smarter sports fans and provide you with everything you need to know about the world of sports in 5 minutes or less every morning.

To ensure we continue to stay at the top of our game and provide you with our best content, we’re introducing the first-ever Morning Blitz Offseason. With the sports calendar going into hibernation mode, this short break will give us time to recharge, evaluate our product for the future, and strengthen our team.

Rest assured, the break will only be temporary. Look out for additional details in Monday’s letter, but for now, thank you so much for being part of our community.

Enjoy today’s loaded letter, and buckle up for an action-packed weekend of sports ahead.

Edmonton Fans Silenced by Panthers in Game 3 | Source: USA Today

STANLEY CUP FINALS 🏆- Game 3: Hot Cats on the Porch 🔥

Panthers Score 3 Goals in 400 Seconds to Beat Oilers in Game 3 (4-3) & Skate Into Cup-Raising Formation | FLA Leads Series (3-0)

A six-hour flight, a trip across the northern border, and a sixth consecutive playoff win have the Florida Panthers on the verge of their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Not even air traffic controllers at the Edmonton airport — jokingly trying to divert the team plane — could slow down Florida. Oilers fans, and much of Canada, were left speechless after 400 seconds of series-deciding hockey. Game 3 was tied 1-1 through 30 minutes, but the Panthers scored three goals in 6:19 to go up 4-1. Vladimir Tarasenko, Sam Bennett, and Aleksander Barkov all lit the lamp in a blink of Cup-crazed madness late in the second period. The Oilers, down to their last breath, responded with two goals in the third, but Sergei Bobrovsky locked the door. Florida won 4-3, and they completely controlled the Finals with a 3-0 lead.

🔥 Hot Cats: 6 Straight Playoff Wins

The Panthers have a 15-5 record in this year’s playoffs, but they’ve now won six consecutive games when it matters most. They haven’t lost since trailing the Rangers (2-1) in the Eastern Conference Finals on May 26 (Memorial Day) 20 days ago. What a time to get hot.

Down 3-0: Unlike the NBA, NHL teams have returned from a 3-0 deficit. The most recent was the 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings. It’s not over. But...

Top Skaters & Goalies (Game 3)

A. Barkov (FLA): 1 Goal, 1 Assist

S. Reinhart (FLA): 1 Goal, 1 Assist

C. McDavid (EDM): 2 Assists

S. Bobrovsky (FLA): 35 Saves (.914%)

S. Skinner (EDM): 23 Saves (.826%)

FLA Leads Stanley Cup Finals (3-0)

Game 4: Saturday (8:00 pm ET, ABC)

This weekend, prepare for potential back-to-back championship celebrations in the NBA and NHL.

Read More

Rory McIlroy on 18 in round 1 of 2024 US Open | Source: USA Today

GOLF ⛳️ - - A Red Round 1 at Pinehurst - Rory McIlroy (-5) & Patrick Cantlay (-5) Share Round 1 Lead With 15 Red Numbers Thursday at U.S. Open (By Marissa Kasch)

Patrick Cantlay (-5) and Rory McIlroy (-5) sit atop the leaderboard after an unforgiving day at Pinehurst in Round 1 of the U.S. Open, but a small fleet of red numbers did manage some strong starts. We'll see if that continues as pin locations get more difficult this weekend. Cantlay handled business early, carding only one bogey in his round and sinking a pair of 20-foot birdie putts. Though he’s playing with two golfers who have already won majors this year, McIlroy stole the show with a solid round consisting of five birdies and no bogeys.

Perhaps the day's biggest shock was Scottie Scheffler’s position on the leaderboard. Slanted fairways, rollouts, and domed greens all plagued Scheffler today as he carded an uncharacteristic 1-over 71. Tiger Woods had a promising start to the day as he opened with a birdie, but his iron play became costly, putting him at 5-over par. The first-round scores are higher than usual, so golfers must find a way to tame this course soon if they want to catch Cantlay and McIlroy. 

U.S. Open Leaderboard (Round 1)

T1. P. Cantlay (-5)

T1. R. McIlroy (-5)

3. L. Aberg (-4)

T4. M. Pavon (-3)

T4. B. DeChambeau (-3)

Notable Scorecards

T. Finau (-2), S. Garcia (-1), A. Scott (-1), C. Morikawa (E), B. Koepka (E), X. Schauffele (E), T. Fleetwood (E), R. Fowler (+1), S. Scheffler (+1), T. Woods (+5) | Full Leaderboard 

Read More

Trevor Lawrence - got paid! | Source: USA Today

NFL - T-Law's Turn for the Bag 💰 - Jaguars & QB Trevor Lawrence Agree to 5-Year, $275 Million Extension

 I really should’ve played quarterback… The Jaguars and QB Trevor Lawrence agreed to a five-year, $275 million extension on Thursday. The new contract includes $200 million guaranteed and $55 million annually. That matches Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow for the highest annual salary. At 25 years old, Lawrence has much left to prove, but the Jags believe he’s the arm of the future. Jacksonville is 1-1 in the playoffs with Lawrence (2022), but he did engineer a 27-point comeback against the Chargers that January before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champs (Chiefs). They've failed to reach the playoffs in his other two campaigns.

 Trevor Lawrence (Career Stats)

20-30 Record | 11,770 Yards | 58 TDs | 39 INTs

Highest-Paid QB Deals (Annual Salary)

T1. Joe Burrow (Bengals) — $55 Million

T1. Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) — $55 Million

3. Jared Goff (Lions) — $53 Million

4. Justin Herbert (Chargers) — $52.5 Million

5. Lamar Jackson (Ravens) — $52 Million

*Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) — $45 Million

(Largest Total Contract: 10 Years, $450M)

⚽️ SOCCER - Euro 2024: Power-Kick Rankings 📊 - The Euros Are Back for Soccer’s Most Prestigious Continental Prize; Is It Finally England's Time?

 Our soccer coverage sometimes gets put on the back burner because there are so many leagues of interest all over the globe. Enter the Euros, where the world’s game becomes a quasi-Olympics-style summer fest that runs today through July 14. The 2020 Euros were delayed due to the pandemic, but they’re back on schedule for 2024. Italy shocked England in 2021, ripping away the country’s shot at their first Euro title. Nearly every major European nation once won it, including Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and even Greece. Not so for England, but could this finally be the year? Rosters look different every four years, so let’s rank ‘em before Germany (the hosts) and Scotland get things started tonight.

Euro 2024 Power Rankings (Top-10)

1. England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

2. Germany 🇩🇪

3. France 🇫🇷

4. Spain 🇪🇸

5. Portugal 🇵🇹

6. Italy 🇮🇹

7. Netherlands 🇳🇱

8. Croatia 🇭🇷

9. Belgium 🇧🇪

10. Denmark 🇩🇰

Full Euro 2024 Breakdown (Groups, Schedules & Info)

This Weekend’s Fixtures in Today’s Must-Watch List

How many times has the U.S. Open been held at Pinehurst No. 2

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NBA Legend Hakeem Olajuwon in 2022 at NBA Allstar Game | Source: USA Today

On June 14th, 1995, in the 49th NBA Championship, the Houston Rockets swept the Orlando Magic in 4 games to win the title. The Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, dominated the 1995 NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic. Olajuwon, named Finals MVP, showcased his exceptional skills and leadership throughout the series, averaging 32.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. This victory marked the Rockets' second consecutive NBA Championship, solidifying Olajuwon's legacy as one of the greatest centers in the history of the NBA.


⚾️ MLB


The Weekend Must-Watch List

⛳️ U.S. Open

Rounds 2-4 (All Weekend, NBC Sports)

🏀 NBA Finals

Gm 4: Celtics at Mavericks (Fri. 8:30 pm, ABC) - BOS Leads Series (3-0)

🏒 Stanley Cup Finals

Gm 4: Panthers at Oilers (Sat. 8:00 pm, ABC) - FLA Leads Series (3-0)

⚾️ MLB (Rivalry Weekend)

Cubs-Cardinals Series

Yankees-Red Sox Series

Rangers-Mariners Series

Phillies-Orioles Series

⚽️ Euro 2024

🇩🇪 Germany vs. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Scotland (Fri. 3:00 pm)

🇭🇺 Hungary vs. 🇨🇭Switzerland (Sat. 9:00 am)

🇪🇸 Spain vs. 🇭🇷 Croatia (Sat. Noon)

🇮🇹 Italy vs. 🇦🇱 Albania (Sat. 3:00 pm)

🇵🇱 Poland vs. 🇳🇱 Netherlands (Sun. 9:00 am)

🇸🇮 Slovenia vs. 🇩🇰 Denmark (Sun. Noon)

🇷🇸Serbia vs. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 England (Sun. 3:00 pm)

*Streaming on FOX (US), TSN (Canada), BBC (UK)

More Schedules

🥊 Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin (Sat. PRIME)

 *All Times ET

Trivia Time Answer

B.  4. Pinehurst No. 2, known for its challenging course layout and rich history, has hosted the U.S. Open four times, including this year’s tournament in 2024. The previous tournaments were held in 1999, 2005, and 2014, with each event producing memorable moments, such as Payne Stewart's iconic victory in 1999. 2020 the USGA named Pinehurst one of its anchor sites, meaning the tournament will return to North Carolina in 2029, 2035, 2041, and 2047.