Hot and cold streaks are a part of sports but they are also predominantly related to weather. And this week they are included in the shocks of the weekend. There were plenty of things to remind us that the playoffs is a great time to be on fire and weather still controls the schedule in professional sports.
10. KHL flaming stick for the win
The KHL skills competition took playing with fire to a whole new level, and we shouldn’t expect anything less from Russian hockey. Salavat Yulaev Ufa forward Linus Omark decided to take the KHL All-Star Game shootout competition to a new level by lighting his stick on fire. All parties involved were fine and the puck stayed out of the net, but props to Omark for his brilliant idea.
9. Defense wins championships
It’s a term that has survived a long time in football, and it came to fruition on championship weekend in the NFL. The Denver Broncos shut down the New England Patriots and Tom Brady to hold on for a 20-18 win in the AFC Championship, and the Carolina Panthers dismantled the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC Championship. Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly became the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back playoff games with an interception returned for a touchdown.
8. Peyton Manning makes NFL history
Manning was able to do just enough on Sunday to get the Broncos back to the Super Bowl, and he made some history along the way. For the first time in NFL history, Manning has led multiple teams (Colts and Broncos) to multiple Super Bowls. He will undoubtedly retire if the Broncos win and it would give him two championships in his career.
7. Snowmageddon destroys sports schedules
Winter Storm Jonas wreaked havoc on schedules in the NCAA, NHL and NBA this weekend, and the storm was rightfully dubbed “Snowmageddon.” With several feet of snow falling throughout the Midwest and East coast, several events were either postponed or adjusted to keep fans and players safe. The storm also forced the Duquesne men’s basketball team to be stuck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but they arrived safely at home after 30 hours of travel.
6. Carli Lloyd scores another hat trick
It shouldn’t be too surprising that Lloyd scored yet another hat trick for the U.S. Women’s National Team. She had one in the World Cup final, and added another one in a friendly against Ireland on Saturday. The USWNT will begin CONCACAF Olympic qualifying next month, so mark your calendars.
5. Vince Young arrested for DWI
This story made the list only because there tends to be a lot of attention on athletes or former athletes who get into trouble with the law. The former NFL and Texas quarterback was arrested for a DWI on Sunday night but has since been released.
4. Michigan State picks up big win
The Spartans started the season off with a 13-0 record and were 16-1 before suffering a three-game losing streak. They picked up a big 74-65 win over No. 7 Maryland to end the skid and they now find themselves at 17-4 and 4-4 in Big Ten conference play. If they can turn things around and gain some momentum, they will be primed for a deep March Madness run.
3. Norwich City and Liverpool provide fireworks
In what might be the greatest Premier League game this season, Norwich City and Liverpool were able to provide fans with a game that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. After Norwich staked itself to a 3-1 lead, the fireworks display entered into its climax. Newly acquired Steven Naismith pleased the fans at Carrow Road with a debut goal for the club, but it was Liverpool’s Adam Lallana who secured the three points for his club with a late stoppage time goal. Click here for highlights from the match.
2. David Blatt fired
If not for an amazing goal in the Premier League, Blatt’s firing by the Cleveland Cavaliers would have landed at the No. 1 spot this week. Blatt led the Cavs to the 2015 NBA Finals in his first season as the head coach and he was 30-11 and No. 1 in the Eastern Conference this season. The biggest shock of this story is that Lebron James was “surprised” by news of Blatt’s firing even though it came out that Lebron and his agent were pushing for new coach Tyronn Lue starting last season.
1. Alli’s brilliant strike for Tottenham
Perhaps the goal of the year in the Premier League, and it came from Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli in the Spurs’ 3-1 win over Crystal Palace. A young star in the making provided a worldly goal that left all fans in utter disbelief and thunderous applause.