🏒 Rink Refreshers

NHL midseason review, Dame returns to Portland, Caitlin Clark chases history, and more...

Happy February! Ah yes, February: the month of love, Super Bowl Sunday, and that random day when James Harden requests a trade. Surprisingly, we won’t be getting the latter this year. But a different, more loyal superstar did return to his former team’s arena last night for the first time since being traded, making for an emotional scene. That’s right, Kevin Durant was back in Brooklyn. Also, Damian Lillard returned to Portland. In the college ranks, Caitlin Clark is surging up the all-time scoring list and is just one 104-point game away from making history (which seems entirely plausible at this rate). On the men’s side, the Northwestern Spoilermakers were at it again, but this time, Purdue remembered that they have a guy who’s seven-foot-six (advantage: Purdue). Finally, the NHL All-Star break is officially here, so we’ll check in on the league’s top midseason storylines and current standings. Let’s go!

WTF Stat: The team wearing white jerseys has won 16 of the last 19 Super Bowls - the 49ers will be wearing white next week, as the Chiefs elected to rock their home reds.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏈 Seahawks hired Ravens DC Mike Macdonald as their next head coach on a six-year contract - Macdonald, 36, spent the last two seasons as Baltimore’s defensive play-caller and is now the youngest head coach in the NFL

🏈 Packers hired Boston College HC Jeff Hafley as their next defensive coordinator after firing former DC Joe Barry last week - Hafley went 22-26 over four seasons at BC, qualifying for three bowl games

🏒 Canucks acquired F Elias Lindholm in a trade with the Flames for a first-round and conditional fourth-round pick in 2024, and prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo - Lindholm, 29, made his first All-Star Game this year and spent the past five seasons with Calgary

Photo: Dame’s Return | Source: USA Today

NBA - Top Games

  • Portland Trail Blazers 119, Milwaukee Bucks 116: Damian Lillard (25 PTS, 3-13 3PT, 6 REB, 7 AST) received a standing ovation in his first game back in Portland, where he spent his first 11 NBA seasons and was named to seven All-Star Games, but Brook Lopez’s (19 PTS) potential game-winning three in the final seconds clanked off the front rim, and the Blazers got an upset win thanks to Anfernee Simons’ (24 PTS, 5 AST) go-ahead bucket with 17 seconds left - Milwaukee is now 0-2 under newly-hired HC Doc Rivers

  • Phoenix Suns 136, Brooklyn Nets 120: In another emotional return (just kidding), the Nets gave Kevin Durant (33 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST) a video tribute in his first game in Brooklyn since being traded nearly a year ago, and in fitting fashion, KD gave them another L, as he and Devin Booker (22 PTS, 8 AST) worked the Nets - Durant said Tuesday that he did not want a video tribute but later acknowledged his appreciation

  • Cleveland Cavaliers 128, Detroit Pistons 121: There was no free Wingstop last night for Pistons fans. Donovan Mitchell (45 PTS, 6-13 3PT, 6 REB, 8 AST) went nuts, as “Spida” dropped his second 45-piece in nine outings to lead the Cavs to their 11th win in 12 games - Darius Garland (19 PTS, 7-12 FG) didn’t miss a beat in his first game back since suffering a broken jaw

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAW | #3 Iowa 110, Northwestern 74: Caitlin Clark went off, what else is new? Clark (35 PTS, 6 REB, 10 AST) passed Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles and Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell to move into second place on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list with 3,424 career points, and the Hawkeyes cruised to an easy dub - Clark, who is averaging 32.0 points per game, is now just 104 points shy of breaking former Washington star Kelsey Plum’s (3,527) NCAA record

  • NCAAW | Oklahoma 66, #2 Kansas State 63: The Wildcats hadn’t lost since Nov. 26, but their 14-game heater came to an end last night as Skylar Vann (21 PTS, 8 REB) and Oklahoma held them to just four points in the final four minutes to hang on for the upset, handing K-State just their second loss of the season - which came against Iowa

  • NCAAM | #2 Purdue 105, Northwestern 96 (OT): After knocking off then-ranked No. 1 Purdue in overtime on Dec. 2, marking their second win over the top-ranked Boilermakers in two seasons, the Wildcats were hungry for more as Boo Buie (25 PTS, 7-11 3PT, 8 AST) led a huge second-half charge to force overtime, but Zach Edey (30 PTS, 15 REB) refused to be denied and scored Purdue’s first 10 points in the extra frame to help his team avoid yet another upset - Northwestern HC Chris Collins was ejected with 1.7 seconds left when he walked onto the court and chewed out a ref with the ball still in play

  • NCAAM | Florida 94, #10 Kentucky 91: In another OT-thriller, Florida’s Walter Clayton Jr. (23 PTS, 7-13 3PT) splashed a clutch three with just five ticks left in regulation to force extra basketball and then nailed a dagger triple in overtime to lead the Gators past Reed Sheppard (24 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST) and Kentucky at Rupp Arena, marking the Wildcats’ second unranked loss in three games

  • NCAAM | #1 UConn 74, Providence 65: Freshman Stephon Castle (20 PTS, 5 REB) scored a season-high, and the Huskies showed off their championship DNA by outlasting Josh Oduro (20 PTS, 9 REB) and the Friars for a hard-fought home victory - UConn (19-2) has won nine straight games

See the full men’s scoreboard here and the current rankings here. See the full women’s scoreboard here and the current rankings here.

NHL - All Games

  • Ottawa Senators 3, Detroit Red Wings 2 (OT): Dylan Larkin (1 G) forced overtime with a game-tying goal midway through the 3rd period, but Ottawa prevailed as Shane Pinto (1 G, 1 A) tipped in the game-winning bingo to give the Sens their 12th point in eight games - Pinto missed the first 41 games this season due to suspension for violating the league’s anti-gambling policy

  • Los Angeles Kings 4, Nashville Predators 2: The Kings needed a win badly before the All-Star break and they got it behind big efforts from Alex Turcotte (1 G, 1 A) and David Rittich (39 SV), halting their four-game slide with a comfortable win against Filip Forsberg (1 G) and the Preds

  • Anaheim Ducks 3, San Jose Sharks 2 (OT): In a highly-anticipated battle between two of the league’s worst teams, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1 G) and the Sharks notched a crucial loss for their tankathon expedites, as Frank Vatrano (1 G) netted the OT-winner to give the Ducks a dub before the break

See the full box scores here and the current standings here.

English Premier League - Top Matches

  • Liverpool 4, Chelsea 1: Twenty-year-old Conor Bradley (39’) scored his first goal for Liverpool and delivered a pair of assists as the Reds walloped Chelsea in a statement victory, which moves them five points clear atop the Premiership table - Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez became the first player to hit the post four times in an EPL game since they began tracking the stat in 2003

  • Manchester City 3, Burnley 1: Julian Alverez (16’, 22’) celebrated his 24th birthday with an early brace, and Rodri (46’) added to the lead 25 seconds after the break as Man City waltzed past relegation-threatened Burnley at the Etihad to jump Arsenal for second place in the table - Manchester City (14-4-3) has won their eight seven games, six of which have come in Premier League play

See the full soccer scoreboard here and the current EPL table here.

🏒 NHL Midseason Review

Photo: McJesus | Source: USA Today

Blink, and you miss it. The NHL season is already halfway through. But that means playoff hockey is right around the corner! With the All-Star break beginning today, let's catch up on the top midseason storylines around the league and the current standings. Plus, we’ll take a look at who's favored to hoist Lord Stanley come June…

Top Midseason Storylines

  • Oil Thrill: The Oilers lost 10 of their first 13 games, leading to the firing of HC Jay Woodcroft, who was replaced by Kris Knoblauch on Nov. 12. Since then, Edmonton has gone 26-6-0. They notched eight straight wins in early December and are now riding a ridiculous 16-game winning streak; one victory shy of tying the 1992-93 Penguins for the longest heater in NHL history. They’ll attempt to tie the record when they return from the All-Star break to play at Vegas on Feb. 6. Regardless of the result, Connor McDavid and company are firmly back in contention for the Cup.

  • Matthews’ Chase for 70: Speaking of history, only eight NHL players have scored 70 goals in a single season. Buffalo’s Alex Mogilny and Winnipeg’s Teemu Selanne each notched 76 bingos in 1992-93. But in the 30-plus seasons since then, not a single skater has reached the milestone. I now introduce to you, Auston Matthews. The Maple Leafs superstar reached the break with 40 goals in 46 games (he missed one this season because of illness), putting him on pace for 74 goals. Matthews needs to score 30 more in Toronto’s remaining 35 games to get to 70. Will he do it?

  • Ovechkin’s Decline: Alex Ovechkin entered the season with 822 career goals, 73 shy of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record (894). But through 44 games, Ovi has only found the back of the net nine times and has just one multi-goal outing. Father Time could finally be knocking on the 38-year-old’s door, but with 22 assists, he’s still tied with Dylan Strome as the Capitals’ leading points-getter (31). Washington hasn’t been great this season, yet they’re above .500 and in wild-card contention. A bounce-back second half from their team leader would be not only reassuring for his record’s sake but also for the team.

  • The Presidents’ Trophy Race: Is there a curse? Maybe. The last team to win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the 2012-13 Blackhawks. Whether clubs want the hardware or not, the race is intriguing nonetheless. The Canucks emerged out of nowhere this year and are seeking their first Presidents’ Trophy in over a decade with a West-leading 71 points. Boston is tied with Vancouver for the most points, and — while we all know how last season shook out — would become the first team to win the trophy in back-to-back years since the 2017 Capitals. The Panthers aren’t too far behind, and a slew of Cup contenders in a loaded Central Division are also within striking distance.

NHL Standings

(Wins-Losses-Overtime Losses) Points

Bold = currently holds a playoff spot

Reminder: The three teams with the most points in each division earn playoff berths, and then two wild-card spots are given to the teams with the next most points in each conference, regardless of division.

Eastern Conference - Atlantic Division

  1. Boston Bruins (31-9-9) 71 PTS

  2. Florida Panthers (31-14-4) 66 PTS

  3. Tampa Bay Lightning (27-18-5) 59 PTS

  4. Toronto Maple Leafs (25-14-8) 58 PTS

  5. Detroit Red Wings (26-18-6) 58 PTS

  6. Buffalo Sabres (22-23-4) 48 PTS

  7. Montreal Canadiens (20-21-8) 48 PTS

  8. Ottawa Senators (20-25-2) 42 PTS

Eastern Conference - Metropolitan Division

  1. New York Rangers (30-16-3) 63 PTS

  2. Carolina Hurricanes (28-15-5) 61 PTS

  3. Philadelphia Flyers (25-19-6) 56 PTS

  4. New York Islanders (20-17-12) 52 PTS

  5. Pittsburgh Penguins (22-17-7) 51 PTS

  6. New Jersey Devils (24-20-3) 51 PTS

  7. Washington Capitals (22-18-7) 51 PTS

  8. Columbus Blue Jackets (16-24-10) 42 PTS

Western Conference - Central Division

  1. Colorado Avalanche (32-14-3) 67 PTS

  2. Dallas Stars (30-13-6) 66 PTS

  3. Winnipeg Jets (30-12-5) 65 PTS

  4. St. Louis Blues (26-21-2) 54 PTS

  5. Nashville Predators (26-23-2) 54 PTS

  6. Arizona Coyotes (23-22-3) 49 PTS

  7. Minnesota Wild (21-23-5) 47 PTS

  8. Chicago Blackhawks (14-34-2) 30 PTS

Western Conference - Pacific Division

  1. Vancouver Canucks (33-11-5) 71 PTS

  2. Vegas Golden Knights (29-15-6) 64 PTS

  3. Edmonton Oilers (29-15-1) 59 PTS

  4. Los Angeles Kings (23-14-10) 56 PTS

  5. Seattle Kraken (21-19-10) 52 PTS

  6. Calgary Flames (22-22-5) 49 PTS

  7. Anaheim Ducks (18-30-5) 38 PTS

  8. San Jose Sharks (14-32-5) 33 PTS

Stanley Cup Winner - Vegas Odds

  • Colorado Avalanche +800

  • Edmonton Oilers +850

  • Boston Bruins +950

  • Florida Panthers +950

  • Carolina Hurricanes +1000

  • New York Rangers +1100

  • Dallas Stars +1200

  • Toronto Maple Leafs +1400

  • Vegas Golden Knights +1400

  • Winnipeg Jets +1600

  • Los Angeles Kings +1700

  • Vancouver Canucks +2000

  • New Jersey Devils +2200

  • Pittsburgh Penguins +2500

  • Nashville Predators +6500

  • New York Islanders +6500

  • Philadelphia Flyers +6500

Take another look at the NHL standings here and the statistical leaders here.

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Who has the most career 50-point games among active NBA players?

A. LeBron James

B. Damian Lillard

C. James Harden

D. Stephen Curry

Photo: Malcolm Butler’s INT | Source: AP

On February 1, 2015, the Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl 49 in Glendale, AZ. Tom Brady and the Pats finished the regular season with an AFC-best 12-4 record, earning the No. 1 seed in hopes of ending their 10-year title drought. The defending champion Seahawks also finished 12-4 to earn the NFC's top seed and were led by their legendary Legion of Boom defense. After going down 24-14, Brady orchestrated two touchdown drives in the 4th quarter, the second of which was capped by a three-yard toss to (a totally not concussed) Julian Edelman, giving New England a 28-24 lead with 2:02 left. But on the ensuing drive, Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse made a ridiculous bobbling catch from his back, putting Seattle on New England's five-yard line with 1:06 remaining. On the next play, Marshawn Lynch ran the ball down to the Patriots' one. Since New England did not call a timeout, Seattle chose to run the clock down to 26 seconds before taking the next snap, where one of the most famous plays in NFL history ensued. Despite having Lynch, one of the greatest power backs ever, the Seahawks chose to pass, and rookie CB Malcolm Butler jumped a slant route to pick off Russell Wilson, giving the Patriots a miraculous win. Brady, who set the Super Bowl record for completions (37), was named Super Bowl MVP for the third time, and the Pats would win two more titles in the next four years. The Seahawks haven't returned to the Super Bowl since.


  • Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks 7:30pm ET, Local

  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Utah Jazz 10:00pm ET, TNT

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM: Tulane @ SMU 7:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAM: #6 Wisconsin @ Nebraska 8:30pm ET, BTN

  • NCAAM: Oregon @ USC 10:30pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Full Schedule

  • NCAAW: #21 Syracuse @ #16 Louisville 7:00pm ET, ACCN

  • NCAAW: #12 Texas @ #13 Baylor 8:30pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: Full Schedule

English Premier League

  • AFC Bournemouth @ West Ham United 2:30pm ET, Peacock

  • Manchester United @ Wolverhampton Wanderers 3:15pm ET, USA Network

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Trivia Time Answer

C. James Harden. The Beard has the most 50-point games among active NBA players, with 23. His career-high is 61, which he posted twice as a member of the Rockets in 2019. Damian Lillard has the second-most 50-pieces among active players, with 15, followed by LeBron James (14), Stephen Curry (12), and Kevin Durant (9).

Who will the Stanley Cup this season?

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