Greg Cote’s Hot Button Top 10: Panthers’ fans odd Stanley Cup Final chant. Plus Tua, Caitlin, Messi

Florida Panthers players celebrates their 3-0 over the Edmonton Oilers during Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Amerant Bank Arena on Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla.

GREG COTE’S HOT BUTTON TOP 10 (JUNE 9): WHAT IN SPORTS HAS GRABBED US THIS WEEK: Our Sunday Hot Button Top 10 had been blog-only but when our blog retired it moved, re-imagined, to online-only. HB10 means what’s on our minds, locally and nationally, but from a Miami perspective and accentuating stuff that’s big, weird, damnable, funny or otherwise worth needling as the sports week just past pivots to the week ahead. We were off last week but welcome now to the 62nd edition of your Sunday sports-potpourri notes column, the new HB10:

1. PANTHERS: Stanley Cup Final update entering Game 2: Bob 1, McJesus 0: Florida and Sergei Bobrovsky blanked Edmont and Connor McDavid 3-0 in home Game 1 of the NHL Final Saturda, but now must win Game 2 back home Monday night to take momentum on the long trip to Edmonton. Small delight from Saturday night crowd: Panthers fans chanting “U.S.A!” against the team from Canada. Dear Cats fans: Your team is coached by a Canadian, goaltended by a Russian, and got goals from two Canadians and a Finn. On the Cats’ full roster, 28 of 35 are foreign-born.

2. NBA: Boston gets jump on Dallas. But is America rooting for either in NBA Finals?: Celtics up 1-0 entering Game 2 Sunday night back in Boston after Kristaps Porzingis’ 20 off bench sparked 107-89 opening rout. They’re thrilled in two cities over this NBA Finals matchup, but the rest of (non-betting) America may be finding it hard to pick a rooting interest between the lesser of two evils. Over here: Boston, entitled by 17 championships, its fans not especially likable. Over there: A Dallas team led by dull superstar Luka Doncic and a notorious Kyrie Irving better cast as a villain. Boston is a clear though not overwhelming favorite. But is America rooting against more than for?

3. DOLPHINS: Tua is slimmer, but wants his bank account fatter: Miami wrapped up mandatory minicamp with a noticeably trimmed-down QB Tua Tagovailoa skipping much of it in a strategic statement over the club’s delay in extending his contacts. Tua did not hide that he is getting “antsy” and wants a new deal done -- and should. The NFL QB market is set and Tua understandably wants in the $50 million-per-year club. Fins just lavished a three-year, $87.5 million raise for WR Jaylen Waddle, now must take care of Tua, the club’s supposed priority.

4. CRICKET: Don’t have sports myopia. This is actually a big deal!: Miami is enthralled by Panthers in Stanley Cup Final and about to host Copa America matches, but, to much of the rest of the world, the U.S. and West Indies hosting the 2024 ICC T20 Cricket World Cup is just as big. Event is underway through June 29 with Broward County Cricket Stadium in Lauderhill among venues. The final will be in Barbados. New York gets Sunday’s huge India-Pakistan rivalry game. Matches in Lauderhill will be this Tuesday through June 17 and feature Nepal-Sri Lanka, U.S.-Ireland, India-U.S. and Ireland-Pakistan. Twenty nations including defending champ England competing.

5. WNBA: Caitlin left off U.S. Olymnpic team as the hits keep coming: The WNBA’s biggest sensation will not be on the roster for Team USA women’s basketball in the 2024Summer Olympics in Paris. Surprising. Disappointing. The announcement came on day after Clark scored 30 points, hitting seven 3’s, in an Indiana Fever victory before the largest WNBA audience in 17 years. No skulldiggery here. No outrage. The team they picked led by WNBA stars like A’ja Wilson is a great one.And Clark probably will benefit from the rest. From a van vantage thnough, still a large disappointment.

6. INTER MIAMI: Messi sets MLS record as team girds for onset of Copa America: The 10-match MLS unbeaten streak ended but Inter Miami still sits atop the East with 35 points at 10-3 with 5 draws.. Team is off until playing at Philadelphia June 15. Lionel Messi made MLS history by becoming fastest player to 25 goal contributions in an MLS season, tallying 12 goals and 13 assists in 12 appearances to shatter previous record set in 16 matches by Carlos Vela in 2019. League play soon will be disheveled by the U.S.-hosted Copa America. tournament June 20 through the July 14 championship match at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. Messi is expected to miss a handful of MLS matches while competing for Argentina. starting June 20 vs. Canada in Atlanta. First I.S. match is June 23 vs. Bolivia in Arlington, Tex. First game in Miami is June 23 with Uruguay-Panama.

7. TENNIS: Favorites out front as French Open wraps in Paris: No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek predictably obliterated 12th seed Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-1 in Saturday’s women’s final at Roland Garros. Today’s men’s final pits No. 3 favorite Carlos Alcaraz vs. fourth seed Alexander Zverev. Swiatek was a huge betting favorite on the women’s side going in. Alcaraz was a narrow bet-pick over reigning champ Novak Djokovic, who withdrew with a knee injury. The men’s now-former Big 3 of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer has accounted for at least one men’s major title for 21 straight years, 2003-23. But with Federer retired, Nadal’s career ebbing and Djokovic now rehabbing, the streak is in jeopardy.

8. GOLF: Hey Scottie Scheffler, at least pay for the cop’s pants!: All charges against the PGA Tour star were dropped over that weird traffic incident before a round of the PGA Championship in Louisville, mostly because the injured cop didn’t have his body-cam on. Det. Bryan Gillis wished Scheffler well while still maintaining the golfer’s car dragged him to the ground causing injuries and tearing his pants. Gillis in a statement noted, “Yes, the department has us buying freaking $80 pants. To those concerned, they were indeed ruined. But Scottie, it’s all good. I never would’ve guessed I’d have the most famous pair of pants in the country because of this.” HB10 reached out for an interview but the pants had no comment.

9. MARLINS: Fish have improved from abysmal to just really bad. But more stars on way out?: While you weren’t watching -- and based on crowd counts, that would include the vast majority of South Florida -- the Miami Marlins have climbed from the abyss of embarrassingly rotten to just plain lousy. After as 6-24 start, the Fish have surfed a nearly mediocre run of 16-18 to get to 22-42 entering Sunday. The problem? The fire sale is underway, with Luis Arraez already traded and rumors now that Jesus Luzardo, Josh Bell and others could be out-bound as salary dumps. Things never change with his club.

10. SPELLING: Florida boy wins National Spelling Bee, embarrasses the rest of us: A Florida boy, 12-year-old seventh grader Bruhat Soma of St. Petersburg, won the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee by acing 29 words in a lightning round 90-second tiebreaker of the finals held in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Soma’s winning word was “abseil,” which means, “a descent in mountaineering by means of a rope looped over a projection above.” (It’s a synonym for “rappel,” a word I’d at least heard of but likely also would have misspelled.)

Other most recent stuff from me: Bob 1, McJesus 0 as Panthers, Bobrovsky blank Edmonton, McDavid in Final Game 1 // Dolphins, quit nickel & diming and pay Tua the major money NFL QB market demands // Greg Cote Show emergency episode: The Connor McDavid brouhaha // Connor McDavid is overrated, other thoughts, picks for Panthers-Oilers, NBA Finals // Greg Cote Show: Amin El Hassan on NBA Finals, plus Panthers & more // Greg Cote’s Poll Dance: Who will win NBA Finals? // Panthers eliminate Rangers, win East, reach 2nd straight NHL Final // MLB finally adding Josh Gibson, Negro Leagues an ‘historic moment’ too long in coming // Previous HB10 // New Dolphin Odell Beckham Jr. has the name & fame. Does he still have the game? // Miami Heat must change. Jimmy Butler cannot be best player if another NBA title is the aim // New season, same problem: Miami Marlins’ way-too-low spending unfair to players, insult to fans // And my latest podcast:

Note: Greg Cote’s Poll Dance, our Sunday question about (mostly) sports, has this Sunday off. Look for a new question next week.

Last week’s Poll Dance verdict: Our closest call yet! We asked, “Who would you predict or bet will win the NBA Finals?” Your answer: 51 percent voted Dallas Mavericks, and 49 percent said Boston Celtics. Based on the Game 1 result it seems the slim majority may be wrong? Note: These polls are not and do not claim to be scientific. In fact, even high-school science teachers are complaining.