With another week in the books, let’s look at the winners and losers from the wide world of sports.
Winner: Montreal Canadiens
The Habs appeared to be somewhere between basement dwellers and mediocre in mid November, as they could not gather any momentum stuck near the bottom of the Atlantic Division. They were struggling to recover from a seven-game losing streak, which continues to weigh them down in the standings. Another injury to star goaltender, Carey Price plagued them early on, as they were unable to win consistently even when they got their act together.
But of late, with Price back between the pipes, the Canadiens have been rolling. They won five straight games before losing a close one against one of the league’s best, the St. Louis Blues, on Tuesday night. The surge has propelled them into a playoff position, as they surpassed the Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators in a weak division.
The Canadiens certainly have the talent to squeak into the playoffs, especially because there are only two legitimate teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning, in their division. If Price stays healthy, they should continue to have success moving forward. But with the all-star’s extensive injury history, this is questionable.
Winner: Azura Stevens
Down 11 points with nine minutes remaining against No. 3 ranked Notre Dame on Sunday, it appeared the women’s basketball team may fall once again. With Gabby Williams and Katie Lou Samuelson sidelined, they needed someone to step up and lead a comeback.
Azura Stevens provided this, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter as the Huskies stormed back to defeat the Fighting Irish. Stevens took advantage of her opportunity on the floor when it mattered most, and UConn likely would have endured its first loss of the season had it not been for her heroics.
Stevens is playing a vital role in her first season with the Huskies, working off the bench and occasionally cracking the starting lineup. Her contributions will be key as it will decide how deep this UConn team will be. Based on Sunday’s performance, she will be ready to step up when necessary.
Loser: The American Conference- Football
The UCF Knights completed an undefeated regular season, winning the American Conference championship game against the No. 19 Memphis Tigers. The win gives the Knights plenty to celebrate from a terrific season, but still leaves them ranked at just No. 10. The Knights will play No. 7 Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
UCF being ranked 10th despite not losing a game all year reiterates how weak the conference is, and shows how little respect it gets. UCF could not have done any better this season, but will settle at No. 10 and hope to win their bowl game. The current system in place does not allow them to prove their worth against some of nation’s elite teams.
Loser: Ben McAdoo
After coaching the New York Giants to their tenth loss of the season on Sunday, McAdoo said, in regards to his job status, that he would be with the Giants until his key card stopped working. By Monday morning, on cue, the key card did not work.
McAdoo was relieved of his duties as the Giants’ head coach, ending his tenure during his second season at the helm. The benching of organizational icon, Eli Manning, was the tipping point for the dud of a coach. The Giants’ failures are not entirely his fault, as injuries continuously brought them down. But turning the team into a complete joke is still his responsibility. His team looked unprepared week after week, and the players looked like they did not want to step onto the field.
Replacing Manning showed how lost he was as coach, desperate to save his job. It seemed like he was trying to make some sort of special outside of the box move. Instead of being genius, however, it was just plain dumb. Geno Smith, Manning’s replacement, would have needed to play like Tom Brady to make any argument in favor of the decision.
Following up legendary coach, Tom Coughlin, is no easy task, but his service on the sidelines would have probably been a step down from anyone. The Giants never scored more than 30 points in the hands of McAdoo, as the team’s offensive woes led to his downfall.
Dylan Barrett is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.