Kyle Palmieri: Fear The Beard

Kyle Palmieri: Fear The Beard

Palmieri leads the Devils with 20 points as line mate Nico Hischier is expected to return.


As the hockey season exits the month of November, the New Jersey Devils changed up practice lines during their first road trip where they lost six out of seven games. Following their most recent 2-1 deficit against the Carolina Hurricanes, where they scored two goals within the first 30 seconds against Cory Schneider in the first period, fans may be forgetting which Devil made history at the beginning of the regular season.

Kyle Palmieri was the first player in the NHL to score the opening goal in four back-to-back games, making history and contributing to his team leader status. The 20-point forward has played a total of 19 games alongside top linemates Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier, who is currently out with a left wrist injury as Travis Zajac fulfills the top line.

What Else To Expect From Palmieri

Palmieri may have already entered the prime of his career but looking back to last season, he only played 62 games due to a knee injury after a hit from Avalanche's Erik Johnson. Throughout 62 games, Palms racked up 24 goals and 20 assists totaling 44 points.

He has continued to be a consistent producer and can easily become an elite NHL goal scorer. With that being said, Palmieri should be able to top 30 goals and reach over 60 points this season. His linemates are also a large contribution to his success especially with Hall's playmaking skills and Hischier's speed.

With a healthy Palmieri and an MVP linemate, his numbers should rapidly increase. Discussing high ranked players similar to TJ Oshie and Ryan Johansen, Palmieri is 30th in the NHL with 80 total goals in just his first three seasons with New Jersey. If he can continue putting up points, especially on the power play, 30 goals can be easily topped.

The 27-year old reached 30 goals in his first year with the Devils back in the 2015-2016 season. His power play goals and points have been gradually increasing aside from his absence of last year. With Palmieri's powerful one-timers, the Devils can expect elite performance from one of their top forwards.

Is Palmieri Underrated in the League?

The Devils' top line would not be completed without their current point leader. Yes, Hall is the recent Hart Trophy winner and Hischier was drafted first overall in 2017, but Palmieri's most dangerous advantage may just be that he is underrated.

What sets Palmieri apart from his linemates is not just the beard. He has been a huge organizational addition and during just his first season in New Jersey his goals per game average (.357) landed him a spot in between Artemi Panarin and Max Pacioretty. He is powerful, productive, and a leader. Any team in the league that does not see that should fear the beard.

His production on the ice may be missed by the Anaheim Ducks who traded him away just for two of New Jersey's draft picks. He is a prominent force who has stellar on-ice chemistry with his line. Due to his knee injury last season, the eyes remained on Hall. However, Palmieri can break into the elite level and has what it takes to be a top-15 scorer. The name is not considered underrated in the state of New Jersey, but a healthy Palms and a full beard may be a surprise to others.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.

I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time

Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Top 10 'Bad Luck Brian' Sports' Cities

Some teams can never catch a break, but sometimes all the teams in the same city can't catch a break.


When Atlanta United FC won the MLS Cup, it was the first championship for the city of Atlanta in one of the "BIg FIve" U.S. sports since 1995 and the second ever. The only other championships that the city can claim are the Braves World Series win in 1995 and the Georgia Swarm Box Lacrosse championship in 2017. The Braves and Hawks won championships before moving to Atlanta, and the rest of the teams have none.

After discovering that, I decided to look into more cities that are struggling in terms of championships won, time since their last championship, and recent success. The last championship matters because some teams *cough*Cleveland Browns*cough* won championships before some people's grandparents were born. Recent success in these cities matters too because some cities look a lot closer to championships than others.

That's the gist of the criteria, but I think it will make more sense to show rather than tell, so here's the list of Top Ten "Bad Luck Brian" Sports' Cities.

10. Washington D.C.

D.C. Sports has been relatively successful over the years, as every team other than the Nationals has a championship now, but it hasn't been pretty. The Redskins might actually be cursed given how many injuries they have had over the recent years, the Capitals were the NHL's proverbial bridesmaid, the Nationals are the proverbial bridesmaid, and the Wizards are the Nationals, but they can at least hold on to their Washington Bullets championship from 1978.

Basically, Washington D.C.'s sports teams have a lot to be happy about because their teams aren't complete disasters, but when you have four teams that are so dominant in the regular season and have one championship to show for it this century, there's going to be some disappointment.

Part of what keeps D.C. so low, as well, is the sheer dominance of D.C. United during their 22 years of existence. Unlike the rest of the teams that call D.C. home, D.C. United has been dominant in the regular season and in postseason play. Being one of a handful of cities with a "Big 5" team in every sport, D.C. is expected to be better.

9. Atlanta

I sort of covered Atlanta in the intro, but Atlanta sports is basically D.C. sports turned up to eleven. D.C. will usually break their fans hearts before championship games, but Atlanta loves to wait until the biggest games to make their fans cry. If the game has "championship" in the title, expect Atlanta to choke away the opportunity.

Atlanta United bucked that trend this year by winning it all, but the Capitals did the same thing for D.C. with their Stanley Cup win.

The future looks bright for Atlanta sports, as the Braves farm system looks great, the Hawks are one or two more tanks away from being back in the hunt for the East, the Falcons still have a super talented team, and Atlanta United could become a dynasty. I can't wait to see how Atlanta screws this up.

8. Sacramento

Sacramento only has one team in the "Big 5," but that team's so bad that it earns the entire city a place on this list. The Kings last winning season/playoff appearance was in the 2005-2006 season. It's been twelve seasons since they were a playoff team, and as the Sacramento Kings, they have fewer playoff appearances total than missed playoffs on their current streak.

That's not even covering the fact that it wasn't that long ago that the team was almost relocated to Seattle to become the new SuperSonics. I'll give the city of Sacramento credit, however, as the city came together to save their Kings. The Kings then turned into something that arguably wasn't worth saving, but they're all the city has.

The Kings are an unmitigated disaster and have made Sacramento deserve to be mentioned amongst the worst luck sports cities.

7. Phoenix

The Phoenix sports teams combined might be the greatest collection of wasted talent in history. Let's look at the current/likely future Hall of Famers wasted by Phoenix teams: Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, (technically Pat Tillman and Emmitt Smith, but their Arizona careers were too short to call them a waste), Connie Hawkins, Dennis Johnson, Charles Barkley, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Shaq, Amar'e Stoudemire (has a case), Devin Booker, and Shane Doan.

The Diamondbacks and Coyotes haven't wasted a ton of talent, but their time in Phoenix is so short that their franchises are barely old enough to drink. Still, one "Big 5" championship in the city's history is crazy, but the franchises are relatively young, so it's hard to say that they have that bad of luck.

All of the Phoenix are/should be rebuilding, so things could change, but luck hasn't been on their side. Still, the Diamondbacks brought the city its only championship through the sheer force of will of Randy Johnson, Curt Shilling, and Danny Bautista, so Phoenix can still dream. Plus they have four teams to pull it off with, whereas some of the teams on this list have fewer opportunities to win.

6. Cleveland

The city of Cleveland would have been number one on everyone's list a few years ago, but when LeBron and the Cavs brought a championship to the city, Clevelanders were able to rejoice for the first time in almost a century. Then the Indians made the World Series for the first time since 1997, and were so close to bring to championships to Cleveland in one year.

Now LeBron is gone, and Cleveland looked to be heading to a high spot on this list again. Then, the Indians made a third straight playoff trip, and Baker Mayfield's Browns won more games than the team has in the past three seasons combined, and the franchise has a legit future.

The Browns and Indians could be near the top for the foreseeable future. If the Cavaliers tank properly, then they could return to relevance soon in a weekend Eastern Conference. I know that's way more optimism than any Clevelander wants to hear given their teams' histories, but you have a championship to keep you happy for the short-term.

5. Toronto

Oh, you thought the Canadian teams were going to escape a list like this, NOT A CHANCE. Now I respect that the Toronto Argonauts have won a bunch of Grey Cups in the Canadian Football League, but being the oldest and best team in an afterthought of a league will help accomplish that. Toronto FC, the Argonauts new roommates, are statistically a bigger deal than their roomies and have only existed for eleven years.

Toronto FC actually already won a championship, to add to perhaps the greatest collection of hardware on this list. So, what makes this such a bad luck city?

Because the Maple Leafs are cursed, the Raptors finally escaped being the property of LeBron because he left the East, and the Blue Jays have barely been relevant since the modern AL East was created. Toronto can't seem the create the firepower need to compete with the big boys for championships, mostly thanks to constantly running into the Boston Sports teams. The Raptors and Maple Leafs look to escape the bad juju they have had since Boston's rise.

It's like the Boston curses all went to Toronto and have taken up residence there. All four teams in the "Big 5" have high ceilings, but those ceilings are made of brick instead of glass. Shattering their current ceiling could be doable, but luck isn't on Toronto's side.

4. Cincinnati

Now we are getting to the really bad luck franchises. Cincinnati hasn't seen a home playoff win from one of their two teams since January of 1991. JANUARY OF 1991!!! There are now to generations of Reds and Bengals fans that haven't seen a home playoff win.

The Reds finished this last season in last place, and the Bengals appear likely to do the same this year. The Reds can at least sleep at night knowing they have five championships, but that should also be expected from the oldest team in baseball. The Bengals have a giant goose egg for Super Bowl wins, mostly thanks to Joe Montana and the 49ers.

The Reds could have potentially added two more World Series to their five, but player strikes robbed them of both opportunities. The Bengals revolutionized football three times and wasted it all three times. They then wasted Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson's best years by blowing every opportunity to win big games.

Cincinnati fans can't have nice things anymore, but they at least had them once. The Reds five World Series can't be erased, no matter how much dust is on them.

3. Milwaukee


That's when the Milwaukee Bucks brought the city its only "Big 5" championship. Having two teams does make it harder to win a championship, but some teams have managed to find success in smaller markets with two teams.

The Brewers have consistently managed to win when they weren't expected to and choke when they had expectations. The Brew Crew's history can be summed up by their performance in the 2018 postseason; they shut down the Cubs and Rockies before blowing the series against the Dodgers twice. The Bucks, meanwhile, had four generational talents over their history and managed the one championship.

What keeps Milwaukee from being any higher is that they are trending up. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Christian Yelich look to lead the Bucks and Brewers for the next few years. They will probably not win championships, but they are lucky enough to have that kind of talent and star power with a shot at competing.

2. San Diego

Honestly, I could just make this entry the Wikipedia quote on this matter. "San Diego has the longest championship drought in the nation with at least two major-league sports franchises; dating back to 1963 (54 years as of 2017), as well as being the largest United States city to have not won a Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals or any other Major League sports championship. Some fans believe that there is a curse on the major league teams in the city."

The Chargers left San Diego for the big brother in the North, but during their time in San Diego, the Chargers brought the city a championship in 1963. They then became the team synonymous with being great in the regular season, but being unable to win another championship. So much talent went through San Diego, but they kept losing to teams that played in the championship games, including seven world champions.

The Padres, the last of San Diego's teams, are a mess. That's all that needs to be said. They were mediocrity incarnate from day one to December of 2014, and then they won the title of champions of the offseason before imploding even harder.

The Padres aren't anywhere close to another NL West championship, let alone a World Series, but San Diego only has the Padres. The city has some serious bad luck, but it's hard to call a one-city time one with the worst luck. Number one belongs to a two-city team.

1. Buffalo (henceforth Buffa-lol)

What separates Buffalo from San Diego and Milwaukee is that the Bills and Sabres have been contenders over the years, yet found a way to blow it. The Bills lost four straight Super Bowls and the Sabres lost both of their Stanley Cup appearances 2-4.

Both teams almost left Buffalo, but were saved by Terry Pegula. Under his ownership, the Sabres made the postseason once and the Bills have been one of the worst managed teams in the NFL, making the playoffs one time despite doing almost everything possible to miss them.

Buffalo is an amazing sport's city with great fans that deserve better than what they have endured. The Bills haven't won a championship in over 50 years, despite having some of the greatest players in NFL history play for them and the Sabers have zero championships in their 47 year history, despite having a President's Trophy and two Finals appearances.

Unlike the other cities on this list, it's hard to even have hope because these teams can't even tank properly.

Then again, the Bills Mafia party hard enough to forget that history long enough to hope.

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