Jice/Jewps update, Jan. 22, 2019 (Games of Jan. 21)

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019 by Ron Kaplan


Omri Casspi did not appear for the Memphis Grizzlies in their 105-85 loss to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, for whom the Israeli baller appeared in one game before going down with an injury and subsequently being traded away. Casspi also missed the Grizzlies’ previous game, a 119-90 loss to the host Toronto Raptors on Saturday. Memphis — 19-28 and next to last in the Western Conference — has lost 12 of their last 13 games.


In the only two MOT-inclusive games…

Brandon Leipsic contributed two assists to help the LA Kings beat the visiting St. Louis Blues, 4-3. The first put the Kings (20-26-4, next to last in the Western Conference) on the board, trailing 2-0 in the first period. The second came on the game-winner 9:53 into the third. Leipsic did not take a shot on goal in 15:50 of ice time. Nate Thompson took zero SOG in 11:21.

Jason Zucker played 14:30 with one shot on goal as the Minnesota Wild (29-21-3. sixth in the West) beat the host Las Vegas Knights, 4-2.


JFL Update, AFC Championship

Posted on: January 21st, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Either way it came out, you knew there would be one Jewish player going to Super Bowl XLIII. As it happens, that MOT will be free safety Nate Ebner, whose New England Patriots needed overtime to beat Mitchell Schwartz‘s Kansas City Chief, 37-31.

Ebner appeared on 26 special teams plays (84 percent), making one tackle. Schwartz completed a “perfect” season, appear on 100 percent (52) of his team’s offensive downs, plus another five (16 percent) on special teams.

This will be the third Super Bowl for Ebner; Mitchell has yet to appear. The last time the Chiefs were in the championship game was in SB IV way back in 1970 when they beat the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.

Image result for nate ebner

The Patriots — who will be making their ninth Super Bowl appearance since 2002 — take on the Los Angeles Rams, who also won in overtime over the New Orleans Saints, 26-23, on Feb. 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta. According to the ESPN.com, as of right now there are still more than 1,000 tickets available for as low as $3,123.


JML Update, Jan. 18, 2019

Posted on: January 18th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Can you believe it? Less than a month until those three little words — pitchers and catchers — warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere. (What, you thought I was talking about the classic song by Ruby and Kalmar? By the way, Harry Ruby was a crazy baseball fan. Check out the movie version with Red Skelton  — also a fan in real life — in that role).

Image result for red skelton baseball

But I digress…

Craig Breslow, considered one of the smartest guys in baseball (degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry), was hired by the Chicago Cubs earlier this week with the title of “director of strategic initiatives for baseball operations,” whatever that entails. The New Haven-born reliever, who last appeared in the Majors in 2017 — put in an appearance in Red Sox Nation at Temple Aliyah’s annual Men’s Club dinner back in November.

Temple Aliyah welcomes Craig Breslow

Several MOTs participated in a California Strong Celebrity Softball Game last week to raise money for those who were impacted by the wildfires in California, as well as the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. Milwaukee Brewers’ star Ryan Braun was one of the event’s organizers. Joc Pederson of the LA Dodgers and Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros took the field in the fund-raiser. Pederson avoided arbitration with the Dodgers, signing a one-year deal.

Bregman has been a very busy fella in the off-season, including elbow surgery, which he shared on his YouTube channel.

All due respect — and this is probably a generational thing, or maybe just a social media thing — what is it with a segment of society that feels to the need to be so sharing? Well, at least it’s not pictures of what he had for lunch. Just a thought.

Barring any unforeseen events, Braun will pass Hank Greenberg as the all-time Jewish home run king. The original Hebrew Hammer hit 331 in his 13-year career, severely curtailed by his service during World War II; the current iteration has 322 in 12 seasons. Not everyone is happy about the prospect, including Scott Barancik, founder of the Jewish Baseball News site.

What does the future hold for Kevin Pillar, the longest-tenured member of the Toronto Blue Jays? In the meantime, he agreed to a one-year, $5.8 million contract with the Jays last Friday, avoiding arbitration,

How will Philadelphia Phillies fans feel if manager Gabe Kapler can snag free agent Bryce Harper?

Zack Weiss — who failed to record an out in his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds last April (his only appearance in the bigs, by the way), was signed to a minor league deal by the Minnesota Twins.

Perennial favorite Cody Decker has re-signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and assigned to its Reno affiliate.

Image result for cody decker mensch on a bench

And in case you missed it:

Ian Kinsler signed with the Padres.

Brad Ausmus has a new gig as manager of the LA Angels.


Jice Update, Jan. 18, 2019 (Games of Jan. 17)

Posted on: January 18th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Zach Hyman, Toronto Maple Leafs (29-15-2, 2nd Atlantic Division, 2nd Eastern Conference): Notched the final goal with 51 seconds left to play in a 4-2 win over the host Tampa Bay Lightning. It was one of three shots on goal (SOG) he took in 17:55 playing time (Time on Ice/TOI). For those of you who subscribe to The Athletic, here’s a story on Hyman’s philanthropic interests.

Brendan Leipsic, LA Kings (19-25-4, 8th in Pacific Division, 14th) Western Conference): Took two SOG in 12:21 in a 2-1 win over the host Dallas Stars. Nate Thompson took one SOG in  13:19.

Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild (23-21-3, 5th Central Division, 8th Western Division): One SOG in 17:11 in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Luke Kunin had 13:51 TOI.




Jice update, January 16, 2019

Posted on: January 16th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Andre Burakovsky, Washington Capitals (27-14-5, T-1st Metropolitan Division, 3rd Eastern Conference): No points or goals in two games — a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on 1/14 (10:46 time on ice) and a 7-2 loss to the host Nashville Predators yesterday (10:49 TOI) He was a healthy scratch — the fourth straight game with such status — against the Boston Bruins on 1/10.

Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (20-22-3, 7th in Pacific Division, 13th Western Conference) Had an assist on the game-winning overtime goal against the host Vancouver Canucks on 1/10, one of two assists he had in the 4-3 victory (19:32 TOI). No goals or assists in his other two games — a 3-2 win over the host Edmonton Oilers (17:19 TOI) on 1/12 and a a 7-1 loss to the host Calgary Flames on 1/14 (19:45 TOI).

Jason Demers, Coyotes: Has not played since sustaining what has turned out to be a season-ending “lower body” injury on Nov. 15. Not to make light of the situation, but I always found it funny how non-specific the NHL is when discussing injuries, as if teams would deliberately target a player’s weak spot.

Josh Ho-Sang, New York Islanders (26-15-4, 3rd Metropolitan Division, 7th Eastern Conference): The Islanders sent Ho-Sang back to their AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, on Jan. 8.

Zach Hyman, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs (28-15-2, 2nd Atlantic Division, 4th Eastern Conference): Had an assist in a 4-2 win over the host NJ Devils on 1/10, (16:44 TOI), his first game back after missing eight games with an injury (his last game before that was also against the Devils back on 12/18). Hyman also played 17:58 on 1/12 in a 3-2 loss to the Bruins and 16:08 in a 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on 1/14

Brendan Leipsic, LA Kings (18-25-4, 8th in Pacific Division, 15th (last) Western Conference): Scored a goal in a 5-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on 1/12 (10:39 TOI). That was sandwiched between two other games — both of them losses — without a point: 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators on 1/10 and a 3-2 shootout to the host Minnesota Wild on 1/15.

Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild (23-20-3, 5th Central Division, 8th Western Division): Scored the game-winner in yesterday’s shootout over Leipsic’s Kings. It’s been a good stretch for Zucker, who has 13 goals and 11 assists to lead the Jice men.:

  • 1/10: Two goals in a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets
  • 1/12: An assist in a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings
  • 1/14: Another goal in a 7-4 loss to the host Philadelphia Flyers

Oops: In the previous update, I omitted Zucker’s teammate, Luke Kunin. Apologies. The 21-year-old center also contributed a goal in that loss to Detroit. Kunin, now in his second NHL season, has one goal and four assists in 17 games. He was promoted from the team’s AHL affiliate in Iowa on 12/9.

Image result for luke kunin

Finally, we have a new addition to the fold in 34-year-old Nate Thompson, a 34-year-old center now in his 12th NHL season. According to the latest issue of the Jewish Sports Review, Thompson — currently with the Kings — is a convert. Shalom, landsman. He has also played for the Bruins (for whom he made his NHL debut in the 2006-07 season), Tampa Bay Lightning, Anaheim Ducks, NY Islanders, and Ottawa Senators for a total, as of right now, of 666 games.

Image result for nate thompson jewish

Image result for nate thompson kings jewish


Omri Casspi update, Jan. 16, 2019

Posted on: January 16th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

In our last episode, Omri Casspi is making his way back after missing several games between injury/illness and “DNP (Did Not Play) Coach’s Decision.” But in his last three games:

  • Four points and five rebounds in 17 minutes in a 96-86 win over the visiting San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 9.
  • Four points and six rebounds in 19 minutes in a 112-108 loss to the host Miami Heat on Jan. 12.
  • Twelve points with three rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot in a season-high 25 minutes a 112-94 loss to the host Houston Rockets. James Harden scored 57 points in 35 minutes for Houston on Jan. 14. Casspi had originally been listed as a starter in that one, but no. As in every other game this year, this one came off the bench. In 583 carer games, Casspi has started 145.

Image result for omri casspi, grizzlies

The Grizzlies have lost eight of their last 10 and are 19-24, fourteenth in the Western Conference.


JFL, Playoff Edition, Divisional Title Games

Posted on: January 14th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

It will be Jew vs. Jew in the AFC Conference Finals next week.

It should come as no surprise that Mitchell Schwartz played on every offensive down (87) for the #1 seed Kansas City Chiefs in their 31-13 win over the visiting Indianapolis Colts, plus another five (17%) on special teams.

The Chiefs will face the #2 seed New England Patriots, making their eighth straight Conference final after outscoring the Los Angeles Chargers 35-7 in the first half en route to the 41-28 win. Nate Ebner made one tackle in 27 special teams plays (79 percent).

Of course, you realize what this means (barring any unforeseen circumstances): There will be a Jewish player in Super Bowl LIII.

In other football news… well, there isn’t much. The only thing of note is the post-season analysis of Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen.


Jice update, January 10, 2019

Posted on: January 10th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

As I mentioned yesterday, this is about the halfway point for both the NHL and NBA, so without further adieu…

In alphabetical order:

Photo of Andre Burakovsky, Washington Capitals: There’s been some controversy over whether the 23-year-old left-winger from Klagenfurt, Austria is MOT or not, but since the Jewish Sports Review continues to include him, so do I. Burakovsky has had some trouble staying on the ice this season, his fifth with the Caps (26-12-4, first in the Metropolitan Division and tied for second in the Eastern Conference). There’s also some question as to what’s with him this season? He’s been a “healthy scratch” for more more games than you might expect, with just five goals and four assists in 38 games.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 38 5 4 9 -4 10 4 1 0 2 4 0 0 48 10.4 94 442 11:38 4 10 28.6 16 13 13 14


Photo of Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes. The 20-year-old defenseman has appeared in 24 games due to a variety of injuries. He has three goals and five assists.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 24 3 5 8 -7 18 1 2 0 0 4 1 0 55 5.5 116 494 20:34 0 0 39 35 8 18


Photo of

Jason Demers, Arizona Coyotes: Demers, now in his 10th season, is the senior Jice-man. He has appeared in only 18 games for the Coyotes, (18-21-3,  seventh in the Pacific Division and 13th in the Western Conference) with two assists and a single goal. Demers been out of action with a knee injury since Nov. 15.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 18 1 2 3 -1 6 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 23 4.3 44 357 19:50 0 0 14 19 4 11


Photo of Josh Ho-Sang, New York Islanders: The contentious center/right-winger was recalled on Dec. 15 and has appeared in 10 games with one goal and one assist. The Islanders as 23-14-4, fourth in the Metropolitan Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 10 1 1 2 2 6 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 10 10.0 15 145 14:31 0 1 0.0 3 0 3 6


Photo of

Zach Hyman, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs: Hyman, 24, is literally a home-town hero, having been born and raised in Toronto, where he has played his entire NHL career. he had his string of consecutive games broken this year, missing eight contests because of an ankle injury. He was also suspended by the league for two games due to this late hit against against Boston Bruins‘ defenseman Charlie McAvoy in early December, an incident that coast Leipsic more than $24,000. Maybe he can make uo for that s an author of children’s books. Leipsic has seven goals and eight assists in 32 games. The Leafs (27-13-2) are second in the Atlantic Division and tied for that spot in the Eastern Conference.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 32 7 8 15 10 42 6 0 1 1 8 0 0 64 10.9 99 553 17:17 40 52 43.5 21 57 10 13

Photo of


Brendan Leipsic, Left Wing, LA Kings: Leipsic, 24, began the season with the Vancouver Canucks — for whom he played 17 games — before being claimed by the Kings off waivers on Dec. 3. He has also appeared in 17 contests for his new team. It was kind of a backward move for Leipsic: the Canucks are currently 20-21-4, fifth in the Pacific Division and 10th in the Western Conference, while the Kings are in last place in both division and conference with a 17-24-3 mark.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 VAN 17 2 3 5 -10 2 2 0 0 1 1 2 0 36 5.6 56 218 12:50 3 2 60.0 3 11 10 6
2018-19 LAK 17 1 4 5 -4 12 1 0 0 0 3 1 0 27 3.7 51 245 14:24 2 3 40.0 13 16 3 7

Photo of Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild: Perhaps the best Jewish player now that Michael Cammalleri is inactive, Zucker is also having some problems, scoring just 10 goals with 10 assists in 41 games. The team is fifth in the Central Division at 21-18-3, ninth in the Pacific Conference. At 25, Zucker is already in his eighth season with the Wild.

NHL Standard career statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Shot Shot Ice Ice
2018-19 27 MIN NHL 41 10 10 20 -1 16 8 2 0 3 7 3 0 118 8.5 209 700 17:04 0 2 0.0 18 42 24 15

All stats provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table, generated 1/10/2019.

EV -Even-handed
PP – Power-play
SH – Short-handed
GW – Game-winning
S – Shots on goal
S% – Shooting percentage
TSA – Total shots attempted
TOI – Time of ice (in minutes)
ATOI – Average time on ice
FOW – Faceoff wins
FOL – Faceoff loses
FO% – Faceoff win percentage at even strength
BLK – Blocks at even strength
HIT – Hits at even strength
TK – Takeaways
GV – Giveaways

Anybody I missed?


Omri Casspi update, Jan. 9, 2019

Posted on: January 9th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

It’s just about the halfway point for both the NBA and NHL so I thought this would be an appropriate time to slide back into regular entries about both.

Not trying to makes excuses, but maintaining the blog was a hell of a lot easier when I was at the NJ Jewish News and it was part of my daily tasks. I could justify spending half my time working on the Korner because, hey, they were the ones who came up with the idea of the site in the first place.

Things are different now that I’m no longer in the world of journalism and actually have to work for a living (joke).

Having cleared the air, let us continue.

Image result for omri casspi, grizzliesOmri Casspi and the Memphis Grizzlies have fallen on hard times since my last update. On Dec. 14, the team was 15-11 and among the top eight teams in the Western Conference. Since then, they have won three of their last 14 contests for an 18-22 mark, tied for second-worst in the conference.

Casspi enjoyed a season-best game on Dec. 17 in a 123-110 loss to his former team, the host Golden State Warriors. He scored 20 points in 21 minutes off the bench, along with six rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot. Unfortunately, he missed the next five games due to illness.

He returned to action on New Year’s Eve, scoring eight points in 16 minutes in a 113-110 loss to the host Houston Rockets. He’s appeared in three of the team’s four games — all losses — in January. He was on the floor for just five minutes on Jan. 2, four on Jan. 4, and did not play (coach’s decision) at all on Jan. 5. The frustration must be mounting. He had nine points in 19 minutes in his return Monday against another of his former teams, the New Orleans Pelicans.



JFL, end of- and post-season

Posted on: January 7th, 2019 by Ron Kaplan

Another football season has come — and mostly gone — for the JFLers, .

Mitchell Schwartz completed another complete season, appearing on every offensive play for the Kansas City Chiefs who will host the Indianapolis Colts next Saturday as the #1 seed. Schwartz was named to the 1st-Team All-Pro Team for the first time; he had been selected for 2nd team twice. The Chiefs finished tied with the LA Chargers for the best record in the AFC.

Not a great rookie season for Arizona Cardinals’ signal-caller Josh Rosen. There were a lot of growing pains — literally and figuratively– in his freshman campaign. The Cardinals finished with the worst record in the NFL (3-13). I wish I could say there were more flashes of brilliance, but no. Here’s hoping he has a better supporting cast next year.

Nate Ebner had another strong season for the New England Patriots (11-5, first in the AFC East). After missing seven games in 2017 due to injury, he appeared in all but one this year. He had a career high 13 tackles (4 solo, 9 assisted) and was awarded the team’s 2018 Ed Block Courage Award, given to the player who “best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration.” The Pats host the Chargers on Sunday.

Ali Marpet also appeared on every for his team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11, fpoirth, NFC South). he received a goodly amount of praise for his work. Maybe someday he’ll vie for All-Pro honors with Schwartz? From SB Nation: “Marpet grew into his own this season. He’s physical and violent at the point of attack. There are countless plays a game where he dominates his opponent. If he played on a better team he’d get more notice.”

“Newly-discovered” JFLer Jordan Dangerfield appeared in every game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. (9-6-1, 2nd, AFC North). The safety made six tackles (5 combined, one solo).

Another addition to the tribe: kicker Greg Joseph of the Cleveland Browns. He got the call a couple of weeks into the season when the team’s kicker was unable to get the job done. Joseph, who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, connected on 17 of 20 field goal attempts, the longest coming in at 51 yards, and 25 of 29 extra point conversions. he also had one tackle.  The Brown at 7-8-1 (third AFC North) had their best season since (2014 when they went 7-9. They were 1-31 over the last two seasons. The last time they were over .500 was over a decade ago when they were 10-6 in 2007.


Photo of Mitchell Schwartz  Photo of Josh Rosen  Photo of Nate Ebner  Photo of Ali Marpet  Photo of Jordan Dangerfield

From left, Mitchell Schwartz, Josh Rosen, Nate Ebner, Ali Marpet, and Jordan Dangerfield. Sorry, no “official” head shot of Joseph.


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