This week in sports has continued to prove that streaks and records are meant to be broken. Everyone is already familiar with Auston Matthews breaking the Maple Leafs rookie goal record and not to be outdone, Mitch Marner on the very next game broke the team’s rookie assist record as well. With so much local hype surrounding these events, you might not have noticed some other streaks that were officially broken this week. Add to that some significant game-changing events that happened in mere moments and you are starting to grasp why this week’s Fringe Friday is called the You’re in, You’re out edition.
You’re In: The Edmonton Oilers have officially made it to the post season ending an 11 year drought. The last time the Oilers made the playoffs was in 2005/06 season when they lost in the Stanley Cup finals to Carolina. Some guy by the name of Connor McDavid was just 9 years old at that time. Edmonton’s playoff absence is the longest drought in NHL history, tied with the 2001-2011 Florida Panthers.
You’re Out: On the flipside however, the Detroit Red Wings will miss the playoffs for the first time in 25 years. It is an incredible feat that included a ton of hard work by the team, specifically management in researching, drafting and growing low draft picks into regular players or in the case of Pavel Datsyuk (drafted 171st in 1998) and Henrik Zetterberg (drafted 210th in 1998) growing them into superstars. It has been a rough year altogether for the Red Wing organization which includes the passing of their owner Mr. Ilitch and of Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe.
You’re In: When the Orlando Magic came to Toronto the game didn’t start off as the homecoming Terrence Ross was hoping for. His team looked lifeless as the Raptors pounced on them for a 16 point halftime lead. The Magic though did not give up and kept chipping and chipping away and had the lead down to as little as 5 points just before the end of the 3rd quarter.
You’re out: But in the last 3 seconds of that 3rd quarter, DeMar DeRozan sank a jumper and then Delon Wright stole the inbound pass from ex-Raptor Bismack Biyombo and he sank a 3-pointer just before the buzzer. What once was a slim 5 point lead was now back up to double digits in a blink of an eye. The Magic never recovered from that mistake and were never close again as they wound up losing the game 131-112.
You’re In: When you discuss the Top 10 countries in soccer or even the Top 5, Argentina will more often than not make those lists. They are one of only 5 countries in the world to have won multiple World Cups and were finalists in the most recent tournament in 2014. They also have, arguably, the best player in the world for the past decade in Lionel Messi. Things couldn’t be bad for the Argentinians, could they?
You’re Out: It certainly is premature of me to announce that Argentina is out of the World Cup picture but things have gotten very interesting for La Albiceleste as Messi has been suspended for 4 games. In their 1-0 win over Chile last week, Messi apparently made a number of insulting comments to the linesman. He was not disciplined during the game, but later was given the suspension apparently after Chile protested. At the time of the suspension, Argentina was in third place with 5 games left. Since then, they lost 2-0 to lowly ranked Bolivia and now sit in 5th with Messi still to miss 3 out of the next 4 games. The top 4 teams automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia while the 5th place team has to play a qualifier against a team from the Oceana group. Argentina still has enough talent to qualify, but if they play like they did against Bolivia, they may not even be able to hold on to that 5th spot.
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