Canes stay alive, Duke softball keeps rolling and an NHL mascot vote in the sports moments of the week ::

Canes stay alive, Duke softball keeps rolling and an NHL mascot vote in the sports moments of the week ::

The internet is a big place. Unless you’re 100% plugged in all the time (and let’s be clear, that is NOT recommended), you’re going to miss some stuff.

Let us do that work. You can be a well-adjusted human being and still catch all the best sports moments of the week, with a quick review …

Canes win Game 5, historic comeback in the making?

It looked bleak during the second intermission on Monday night.

The Carolina Hurricanes trailed 1-0, their season on the brink after allowing a shorthanded goal to New York defenseman Jacob Trouba.

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin seemed impenetrable, and another disappointing postseason exit seemed an inevitability.

And then Jordan Staal broke the seal.

The captain, who had been hustling hard all night with three hits and three blocked shots, finally found the score sheet when his team needed it most and the game completely flipped.

The Canes dominated the third period from that point forward, and were rewarded just three minutes later when Evgeny Kuznetsov was first to a juicy rebound and found the back of the net to go in front.

Carolina has led on the road before in this series, but this time they were sure not to squander it.

The team kept the pressure on and got a much-needed insurance goal after three more minutes of play. This time, Jordan Martinook was the beneficiary and left Madison Square Garden in stunned silence.

Just like that, the Canes staved off elimination and ensured a Game 6 back at PNC Arena, which will be rocking on Thursday night.

Carolina is now just two wins away from accomplishing one of the rarest feats in postseason hockey – overcoming an 0-3 series deficit.

It’s happened only four times before in the NHL, and just twice in the last 50 years.

The 2014 LA Kings came back to clip the San Jose Sharks in the first round, the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers victimized the Boston Bruins in the conference semis, the 1975 New York Islanders did it to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

That’s it. That’s the list.

And if the Hurricanes joined the club, I really don’t think it’d be that big of a shocker (relatively speaking).

Carolina has looked like the better 5-on-5 hockey team for much of this series. The difference has been special teams and the stellar play of Shesterkin in the New York crease.

Both of those factors remain big concerns.

The Carolina power play is just 1 for 20 in this series and has allowed two shorthanded goals. Meanwhile, Shesterkin is now up to 32 consecutive playoff games allowing three goals or fewer (the Canes’ fourth goal on Monday was an empty-netter).

The odds are still stacked against them, but I think that third period barrage could be just the thing to boost the Hurricanes all the way.

Assuming they take care of business in Game 6 (I don’t think that PNC crowd is going to let them lose), this team should be full of confidence and riding a hot streak for a potential Game 7.

Considering the circumstances, I like their chances.

This Canes team is tough.

Duke softball crowned ACC Champs, set to host regional

Speaking of overcoming an 0-3 deficit, how about the Duke softball team?

The Blue Devils roared back against Florida State in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon (in front of a record-setting sold out crowd in Durham) to capture their 2nd ever conference tournament crown.

The 6-3 victory also means that, for the third time in four years, Duke will be hosting a regional in the NCAA Softball championship, which starts on Friday.

They will be the No. 10 national seed, playing host to South Carolina, Utah and Morgan State this weekend.

As we mentioned last week, it’s remarkable what this Blue Devils program has been able to accomplish in just their 7th season in existence.

Already, they’ve established themselves as a national force with back-to-back Super Regional appearances.

The next step will be to get through that round and punch their ticket to Oklahoma City for the program’s first-ever Women’s College World Series.

NBA Playoffs heating up

Remember when everyone was pronouncing the Denver Nuggets dead last week?

That seems a bit silly now, doesn’t it.

The reigning champs are officially off the mat thanks to two road victories in Minneapolis. Their series with the Timberwolves is tied 2-2, with a pivotal Game 5 set to take place on Tuesday night.

(There’s an unofficial law somewhere that says any Game 5 where the series is tied 2-2 must be referred to as “pivotal”. I don’t make the rules.)

Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics (led by former Duke star Jayson Tatum) seem to have their ticket punched to the next round. They took a 3-1 series lead over Cleveland on Monday as Donovan Mitchell sat out with an injury … but every other conference finals bid is still very much up for grabs.

The Pacers and the depleted Knicks have traded home wins through the first four games. Logic states that New York will probably run out of gas because of all their injuries, but picking against them at MSG seems foolish.

The Oklahoma City Thunder seem like a more talented, well-rounded team than the Dallas Mavericks, but are we sure OKC is ready to take out a more experienced playoff duo in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving?

Other than the Celtics, I legitimately have no idea who’s making it out of the second round in the NBA playoffs.

When’s the last time you could truly say that?

Hawks win NBA Draft Lottery, Hornets to pick 6th

This unpredictable stretch in the NBA extended to the draft lottery on Sunday as well.

The Atlanta Hawks, who were still playing fust a couple weeks ago in the Play-In Tournament, came from out of nowhere to claim the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1975.

Now, as most draft experts will tell you, the No. 1 pick this year isn’t nearly as valuable as last year. This is no Victor Wembanyama in this class of prospects.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be good role players to be had. That’s what the Charlotte Hornets will be looking for when they pick at No. 6 overall (they fell two spots from their projection after jumping up last year to take Brandon Miller).

The Hornets may be shifting their focus to build around Miller rather than LaMelo Ball, who just can’t seem to stay healthy. Several early mock drafts project them taking UConn guard Stephon Castle with the 6th pick.

You (yes you!) can vote on an NHL team name

Did you know the Arizona Coyotes are relocating to Utah starting next season?

It’s true! (You might have missed it because it happened so fast.)

New team owner Ryan Smith, who also owns the Utah Jazz, is looking for fan input on the franchise’s new mascot (they’ll play next season without one a la the “Washington Football Team”).

That’s where you come in!

Smith is a survey guru by trade (he made his money with Qualtrics), so he posted one on his social media that you can vote on!

First round of voting is open until May 22, and right now there are a whopping 20 options to choose from:

  • Utah Blast
  • Utah Black Diamonds
  • Utah Venom
  • Utah Fury
  • Utah Squall
  • Utah Ice
  • Utah Frost
  • Utah Mammoth
  • Utah Blizzard
  • Utah Powder
  • Utah Glaciers
  • Utah Yeti
  • Utah Caribou
  • Utah Canyons
  • Utah Mountaineers
  • Utah HC
  • Utah Outlaws
  • Utah Swarm
  • Utah Freeze
  • Utah Hive

Utah Venom is my personal favorite, but Utah Yeti (why not Yetis plural?) and Utah Blizzard have potential.

Black Diamonds and Frost also seem to have some support, complete with some pretty slick jersey concepts.

Isn’t this fun? It’s like a video game “Build a Team” but in real life!

The cover art is here for the new college football video game, and it is glorious

What a transition. You see what I did there?

If actual video game creations are more your speed, have no fear.

The long-awaited return of EA Sports’ College Football franchise is getting closer, and now there’s actual cover art to look at!

No local players on this year’s cover that I can see, but I’d say each Triangle ACC team has a pretty good candidate to make it next year.

KC Concepcion? Omarion Hampton? New Duke quarterback Maalik Murphy?

Each has a great chance to become a national household name this fall.

Or to win the Heisman in your living room when the game is released sometime this summer (we’re still waiting on the official release date).

Man, I can’t wait for football season.

We’ll see you next week.