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Winners Club: Avalanche Win Stanley Cup, End Lightning’s Run

Plus, offseason fantasy football projections, Wimbledon begins and Ole Miss wins the College World Series.

It was always the Avalanche.

Colorado entered the Stanley Cup playoffs as a clear favorite to hoist the cup and that’s exactly what it did Sunday night in Tampa after dispatching the two-time defending champions in six games. The victory ended a two-decade long championship drought for the franchise, and the run, during which they lost just four games across four rounds, could hardly have been more dominant.

Keep reading to find out how the Avalanche finally broke through and for a look ahead to the fast-approaching NFL season.

Avalanche Cap Off Stanley Cup Run in Tampa

The Lightning struck first in the decisive Game 6 when Steven Stamkos netted an early goal in their quest to force a Game 7. But the Avalanche’s playoff-best offense prevailed, as it has throughout this dominant postseason run.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon scored the equalizer in the second and then assisted Artturi Lehkonen, who gave the team a 2-1 lead that would hold until the buzzer sounded at Amalie Arena.


The Avalanche won their first championship since 2001 and the stats behind this run were truly impressive: two series sweeps, zero consecutive defeats and 4.25 goals per game, the most in the playoffs.

The Hockey News’ Mike Stephens recapped just how Colorado went from a 22-56 record finish in 2017, Jared Bednar’s first year coaching the team, to a Cup victory five years later. And Steven Ellis detailed Nazem Kadri’s redemption story that ultimately ended in glory.

The Avalanche entered the postseason as title favorites at +325 odds and moved to -188 odds when the Final started. The heavy favorite cashed in.

Examining NFL Offseason Moves

Things haven’t exactly slowed down since the Rams won the Super Bowl in February.

A slew of big names switched teams this offseason, which has already had an outsized impact on predictions for the 2022 season. With the league heading into a dead period before training camp picks up, Albert Breer and Conor Orr got together to deliver some superlatives to the teams that improved the most or disappointed.

Who’s the MVP of the offseason? What has new Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel done to impress Orr? Which free agent move swung Breer’s opinion of a team the most? And which teams didn’t do enough to improve their rosters?

They answered all those questions and more in their offseason recap.


Shawn Childs is working his way through his NFC South fantasy football projections, and he wrapped up the NFC North just last week. Read his detailed team-by-team projections, as well as his individual player projections for stars like Aaron Rodgers, Dalvin Cook and D’Andre Swift.

NFC North: Bears | Lions | Vikings | Packers

In Other News

Ole Miss Beats Oklahoma, Wins First-Ever CWS: The Rebels completed their magical run Sunday with a 4-2 win against the Sooners in Game 2 that earned the program its first title. Ole Miss was the last at-large team invited to the tournament and ran the gauntlet in Omaha, Neb.

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Wimbledon Seed Breakdown: The action begins in London today—Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the men’s draw and Iga Swiatek holds the No. 1 spot on the women’s side. See which first-round matches you should tune into and what’s at stake and click here for a complete betting preview of the tournament.

Bradley Beal Plans to Opt Out, Re-Sign with Washington: The Wizards’ guard is one of the most highly coveted players on the market and he reportedly intends to opt out of his current deal and then sign a five-year, $248-million contract to stay with the team that drafted him in 2012.

The Moves that Defined the NBA Draft: Paolo Banchero was a surprise pick by the Magic at No. 1 in last week’s draft. How did Orlando keep its selection secret for so long? And what about the fit of Chet Holmgren in OKC and Jabari Smith in Houston? Jeremy Woo breaks it all down.

Thanks for reading! And remember, Winners Club has moved to a Monday/Friday schedule, so I’ll be back in your inbox Friday morning. Enjoy your week.