Shanoff's W.U.C.: NHL Dud, Nuggets Wrap, Idol

Today's Calls: Crosby vs. Ovechkin, Nuggets vs. Mavs, Rockets and Magic vs. Elimination, Joe Crede vs. Hank Blalock, Tim Floyd vs. O.J. Mayo, Kenyon Martin vs. Mark Cuban, Rachel Alexandra vs. the Preakness Field and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Well, that was a dud. ↵

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↵Maybe I was simply a disappointed (if admittedly nominal) Caps fan, but last night's Game 7 Pens rout was not an NHL-defining masterpiece. Any casual fans who might have tuned in would have either (a) left after the Pens went up 4-0 (like Simeon Varlamov), or (b) clicked over for an update, saw it was 4-0, then kept channel-surfing. The fans in D.C. were stunned, then annoyed, then — I can only assume — resigned. And that was before the second period was over. ↵

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↵Sidney Crosby may have been validated (over his rival, Alexander Ovechkin) as the king of the NHL, but that's not enough. ↵

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↵The NHL caught a break with its two biggest stars on its biggest stage: Sid the Kid versus Ovie in a playoff Game 7. The league wanted — needed — a thriller. It got a blowout. Tough luck for the NHL in THE showcase game of its season. ↵

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↵Nuggets oust Mavs: And that's that. For a series that ended in five games, this one sure had a lot of yammering. (Imagine what the emotional Nuggets are going to have to say to the Lakers?) ↵

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↵Playoffs Tonight: Elimination? Bad news is both Houston and Orlando face elimination. Good news is they are playing at home and should be able to stave off being bounced until Game 7s on the road. (At least Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy seem to be OK again.) ↵

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↵All-NBA: Dirk over Chris Paul on the 1st team? Ludicrous. (And if you insist on having two forwards — which is a joke, because LeBron is hardly a forward — I'll take Duncan over Dirk anyway.) Bethlehem Shoals examines some of the more ludicrous votes. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵— Game of the Day: Twins win on Joe Crede's GS ↵

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↵— More Walk-Off Mania: Hank Blalock's 2B ↵

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↵— Would you look at that: Replay works! ↵

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↵— MLB's Worst: The Indians? Or the D-backs? ↵

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↵— Celebrating Journeymen: Matt Palmer CG 5-hitter vs. BOS ↵

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↵— Ryan Zimmerman's hit streak: Over at 30 ↵

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↵— Rookie Watch: Gerardo Parra (HR in 1st MLB AB) ↵

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↵— Fantasy Stud: Chris Iannetta (3-for-4, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) ↵

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↵Floyd-Mayo Scandal, Cont'd: Spencer Hall breaks down how messy this will get. ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: Remember when Jason Taylor left the Dolphins in a huff, more interested in his TV career than football? Well, he presumably still wants to be Tiki 2.0, but he is back with the Fins. ↵

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↵CFB: How hot are Lane Kiffin and Tennessee? Hot enough that Miami QB transfer Robert Marve may be willing to walk on to the Vols, rather than take a full ride to play QB for pass-happy Purdue. (If a player isn't taking a scholarship, I don't think they should have to sit out a transfer season.) ↵

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↵Preakness: The favorite? Filly Rachel Alexandra (8-5), who didn't even run in the Kentucky Derby. I wouldn't bet against her. ↵

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↵Dirk's "Girlfriend": Allegedly, it wasn't her first stalking of a pro athlete. Remember NFL QB Tony Banks? (No? Well, you will now!) ↵

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↵Idol Update: If the BCS let Idol voters pick the college football championship match-up, we wouldn't have any controversy. Kudos to "America" for bouncing Danny Gokey for Kris Allen (who killed on Tuesday) to face juggernaut Adam Lambert. (Prediction: Kris Allen with the upset Idol title!) ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I don't think it was sincere, to be honest." ↵
↵— Kenyon Martin, on Mark Cuban's apology to K-Mart on Cuban's blog. Come on, Kenyon: Let it go. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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