Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne and Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy are the finalists for the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy.
All three are currently playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs, including Nashville’s Rinne, who is a finalist for the third time but has yet to win the award.
Rinne, 35, had 42 wins, a 2.31 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in leading the Predators to the Presidents’ Trophy for best regular-season record (53 wins, 117 points).
Like all analytically inclined managers, Kapler will have to fight the perception that his marching orders come directly from the front office. His boss is quick to dispel that notion.
“The manager has to have autonomy — to write out the lineup, to make bullpen decisions, to use his experience and instincts to manage a game and manage people,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said. “That cannot come from the front office, and it won’t. That’s not the way we do things.”
Kapler is giving his coaches a wide berth to put their imprint on the team. His bench coach, Rob Thomson, is a Canadian-born baseball lifer who spent 28 years in the Yankees organization, worked with Joe Torre and Joe Girardi and was revered for his steady demeanor, sound judgment and organizational skills.
Jackie MacMullan, ESPN.com: Why do I find myself drawn to Warriors-Spurs? It is lopsided on paper, but Steve Kerr formed much of his coaching philosophy at the knee of Gregg Popovich, and as Sting once crooned, “Hypnotized by you if I should linger, staring at the ring around your finger …” Golden State is nicked up and out of sync and feels (gasp!) vulnerable — yet will advance anyway. In the interim, maybe the wily Manu Ginobili and his equally resourceful coach will make it interesting.
Chiney Ogwumike, ESPN analyst and WNBA All-Star: Even though Joel Embiid is unlikely to play at the start of the playoffs, the 76ers are still the NBA’s hottest team. We all know that the internet is rooting for a Masked Embiid matchup against his Twitter foe Hassan Whiteside.
Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are ready to take on the American League and all the legendary ghosts they will encounter this season in this monumental pairing of baseball giants for the Yankees.