The Wisconsin Badgers (28-4-2, 18-4-2 WCHA) are set to take on the St. Cloud State Huskies (10-23-2, 5-19-0 WCHA) in the first round of the WHCA Playoffs at LaBahn Arena this weekend. After a nail-biting series against the Buckeyes that featured two draws, the Badgers will look to bounce back against a team they have dominated all season.After drawing both games against the Buckeyes, the Badgers fell out of the top spot in the WCHA and subsequently lost their first-round bye in the tournament. Because of their ties against the Buckeyes and Minnesota’s two wins against Bemidji State, the Badgers must open the Playoffs against the last-place Huskies.Women’s hockey: Badgers drop to No. 2 in Big Ten after two ties with BuckeyesOver the weekend, the No. 1 ranked Wisconsin Badgers (28-4-2, 18-4-2 WCHA) took on the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes Read…It certainly would have been beneficial for the Wisconsin lineup to receive a bye week before taking on some of the toughest competition this season. But given their dominance against the Huskies throughout the regular season, it seems unlikely that Wisconsin will drop their first-round series.The Badgers are 4-0 against St. Cloud State this season and have defeated them handily in each of those four matchups. Offensive production was the key for the Badgers in their past games against the Huskies, as they averaged over 4.5 goals per game and tallied an 8–2 win during their first meeting this season.The statistics are in the Badgers’ favor in virtually every single category, which should come as no surprise given the two teams’ overall records and WCHA resumes. But the Badgers are still going to have to play to their potential to close out a team that will undoubtedly be looking to knock off the No. 2 team in the country.Women’s hockey: No. 1 Badgers wrap up regular season at home against No. 10 BuckeyesThe No. 1 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (28-4, 18-4 WCHA) returns to LaBahn Arena to host the No. Read…The Badgers are no stranger to postseason competition, and it is their experience that ought to carry them past the Huskies in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. In particular, team captain Annie Pankowski possesses the playoff pedigree to help lead her team to the promised land.Pankowski’s playoff experience — three WCHA championships, three Frozen Four appearances, and one NCAA championship appearance — could prove to be immeasurably valuable for Head Coach Mark Johnson and the Badgers.She will also look to seize the opportunity to capture the Patty Kazmaier Award, the Women’s Hockey equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Pankowski was recently named among the three finalists for the award, along with Loren Gabel of Clarkson University and Megan Keller of Boston College.
In a recent interview on SNY’s “Baseball Night in New York,” Giambi laid out exactly where PEDs and sign-stealing fall along the lines of cheating.”Everybody is always looking for an advantage,” Giambi said. “It’s no different than the PEDs. There’s always going to be things going in this game when you’re talking about people making a lot of money and wanting to win.”MORE: Snell wins ‘MLB: The Show’ Players League, but fans the real victorsThe first part is pretty accurate. Cheating in baseball isn’t a new concept. Babe Ruth allegedly tried to gain an edge by injecting an elixer with sheep testicles. (No, really!)Babe Ruth was an alleged PED user as well (an elixir made from sheep testicles). Bring the hate, I invite it, I will turn your argument inside out.Barry Bonds is the greatest of email@example.com pic.twitter.com/5rfoejJlUB— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) December 22, 2017But, there’s a problem with the second bit of the quote. On its surface, cheating is cheating, sure. But it’s like comparing a donut on a baseball bat as one you’d buy at Dunkin’ Donuts (or Krispy Kreme, if you prefer). That’s just about where the similarities end, though. Comparing something individualistic to something that was widespread among a team is unfair. Which is worse is up for debate. As with steroids, there’s no straight, unbiased measurement of success. Does it benefit a player to know what’s coming? Absolutely. Can you accurately, appropriately measure what that value is to a hitter? People have tried, but it’s not as cut and dry as knowing a ball over the fence is a home run.To this day the details of just who on the Astros was benefiting from the trashcan-banging ordeal (words that I still can’t believe I have to write) are still murky. Some players were in on it, some preferred not to partake. It’s all a big gray area. At least with steroids, we know Giambi wasn’t injecting other players before games. (Or, so we hope not.)Through the years, Giambi has resuscitated his public image while fostering a reputation of being a well-respected clubhouse man and potential future MLB manager. Hopefully members of the Astros are afforded the same opportunity. Jason Giambi is bringing the juice.The former MLB slugger is no stranger to scandals, being one of the posterboys for steroid use in MLB during the Steroid Era. Giambi was outed as a steroid user during the BALCO scandal in the early 2000s and wouldn’t issue a public apology for his part in the ordeal until May 2007. read more