When we hear analysts refer to teams’ “window to win,” it can mean one of two things: Franchise players are in their prime or a good-not-great club has all of its best players peaking at once.
For example, the Chicago Blackhawks routinely traded their early-round draft picks at the deadline for role players while superstars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were at the height of their powers. Last season, we saw the Ottawa Senators ride a hot streak to the Eastern Conference Final — only to have a predictable slide backward this season.
And once that window slams shut, it’s rebuilding time.
At the end of last season, the Los Angeles Kings’ window looked like it was closed, locked and boarded up. They finished 2016-17 with 86 standings points and scored the fourth fewest even-strength goals in the NHL behind three franchises building from scratch (Colorado, New Jersey, Buffalo).
Lacking the cap room to make a big free-agent splash and with few exciting prospects coming through the system, the Kings seemed to be on the cusp of fading to the back of the Pacific Division.
The Celtics are hoping that Marc Gasol and Mike Conley will be past their primes by 2019. If the Grizzlies pick in the top eight then, the pick becomes top-six protected in 2020 and completely unprotected in 2021.
This trade was one of the more puzzling ones from the 2016 draft. The Celtics traded Deyonta Davis (the No. 31 pick) and the rights to the No. 35 overall pick (someone named Rade Zagorac) to Memphis for a top-14 protected first round pick in 2019.
The Grizzlies got this pick when the Clippers traded Lance Stephenson for Jeff Green in Feb. 2016. Jeff Green: the gift that keeps on giving.
One thing about the Steelers: They tend to play much closer games than they should. Based on talent alone, they probably are the NFL’s most skilled squad.
Here comes Jacksonville, following an offensive stinker in beating outmanned Buffalo. Logic says this should be a rout.
Forget logic and remember that Ben Roethlisberger was so victimized in a MLB Jerseys China 30-9 Week 5 loss to the Jaguars that he had one of the worst games of his career.
There’s also the Antonio Brown factor: How healthy is the unanimous All-Pro receiver, who was injured in Week 15?
Jacksonville has a staunch defense with a terrific pass rush, too. Its New Nike NFL Jerseys secondary is among the league’s best.