Who Gave 110% on 4/23/12

This was a concept that came up by a total accident. I had been thinking of how to construct a daily column for a couple weeks, but couldn’t come up with any ideas that really seemed to stick. Well when life gives you lemons you have to make lemonade. My girlfriend texted me “the Penguins are giving 110%” after they scored their seventh goal. The idea struck a chord and immediately I realized that this is something that makes sense to do every weekday. I just hope this column will become as successful as the time that Steve Austin’s wife told him he better drink his coffee before is turns stone cold.

Because it’s impossible for me to keep anything really short, I’m going to give you a list of who gave 90%, 100%, 110%, and the dubious honor of 0% each night. Anyone can appear on these lists, it’s only fair.

The Philadelphia 76ers gave 90% while beating the New Jersey Nets in their last game at the Prudential Center and qualifying for the playoffs.

What a fitting way for the Nets to end their tenure at the Prudential Center. The Nets closed the gap to six in the third quarter, but ended up losing 105-87. At least the building was 85% full when the game started because by the fourth quarter that number was back down to its usual 30%, which might be a preview of future games in the Barclays Arena.

I really don’t understand how the Brooklyn Nets are going to be a big draw next season. When a team opens a new arena there is a certain curiosity for the people in the surrounding area. Mostly because they want to check out the new arena, but c’mon now it’s still the Nets! They’re going to lose Deron Williams to the Mavericks and end up drastically overpaying for an older name.  Marketing Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and a 36 year old Kevin Garnett ought to put some phantom asses in the seats.

Congratulations to the Sixers for making the playoffs and yet again drawling one of the top two seeds in the East. They might sneak one game from Chicago, but what does that mean in the grand scheme of things? The NBA has a real problem right now in that you have to have a bad season, or tank in order to get good. When the word tank and good are in the same sentence there is a real problem.

I know Jeff van Gundy has become a rant machine, but he actually had a pretty interesting idea on Sunday’s Thunder-Lakers broadcast. He said that the lottery should be expanded to teams that don’t get home court advantage and to change the odds of getting the first pick. That would a be a welcome change for a team like the Sixers who just barely scratch their way into the playoffs and are stuck with a 16th overall pick.

The New York Rangers gave 100% and forced a game seven against the Ottawa Senators.

Early on it appeared that the Sens were going to complete a miracle that would have sent every New Yorker besides Mike Francesa off of the edge. Ottawa jumped out to a 1-0 and was guided by a solid effort from Craig Anderson until the second period. In just under nine minutes Ottawa fans went from having the thoughts of “Holy shit this is really happening!” to “Holy shit that just happened?” The Rangers rattled off three goals in just under eight minutes.

Henrik Lunqvist redeemed the best goalie in this series status from Anderson after a terrific third period. He almost escaped the final frame with perfection, but Jason Spezza slid the puck past Lunqvist with what appeared to be a kicking motion. It was very, very close and probably fell under the “we don’t have enough evidence to overturn this and we’re in Ottawa so let’s make it interesting and say it’s a good goal” category. Henrik was pissed off at the ruling, but the Rangers survived the last 38 seconds to even the series and force a game 7 at the Garden on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Hayes gave 0% while drilling Michal Rozsival into the boards.  

This was the turning point in a season deciding game for the Chicago Blackhawks. Down 2-0 with 11:16 left in the game, Jimmy Hayes flattened Rozsival into the boards. As Rozsival lay on the ice after the hit blood spilled onto the ice and what was initially a minor penalty was upgraded to a game misconduct. With just over 11 minutes left in the season the Blackhawks had to play a man down for five minutes. They would kill four and a half minutes of the penalty before Antoine Vermette put the game out of reach. Jimmy Hayes you gave ZERO percent!

Mike Smith gave 110% in stopping 39 shots while propelling the Coyotes to their first playoff series victory ever.

In the second period of Monday night’s game six, Mike Smith made the second best save of the playoffs:

If Chicago scores there the whole complexity of the game would have changed, but Smith made that last sentence start with if instead of when. He stopped 190 of 202 shots in the series propelling the Coyotes to their first ever playoff series victory since the franchise moved to the desert in 1996. Chicago now joins this list of teams that have been eliminated from the 2012 NHL playoffs: Vancouver, Pittsburgh, and Detroit, stunning. Mike Smith you gave 110 percent!

If you have any suggestions for who should be on the list email me at scottdargis18@gmail.com or post it on my twitter @scottdargis.

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