NHL General

Wed Morning NHL roundup

Rangers 2, Sabres 1
Is it just me, or is this whole “Upstate vs. Downstate New York” battle starting to look a little like Scott Norwood might come hopping onto the ice? The Sabres are falling apart a little, and doing so in creative ways they haven’t collapsed since the late 1990s. On Tuesday, Daniel Briere appeared to score a game-tying goal with 17 seconds left, but it was disallowed when it was ruled Lundqvist stopped it before it crossed the line. Somewhere, Brett Hull snickered and said “Buffalo… HA” under his breath before continuing to make out with a supermodel. The series is 2-2. You know Mike Bloomberg wants to make that bet now with the Buffalo Mayor.

Ducks 3, Canucks 2 (1 OT)
These guys don’t like to play just an entire regulation game, apparently. The Ducks took a 3-1 lead – they might wrap it up Thursday at home – when Travis Moen netted one 2:07 into overtime. Roberto Luongo has to be thinking that first round was a glorious dream at this point. Honestly, though, you should be pretty hyped about a potential San Jose vs. Anaheim Western Finals; that might take you back to the Avs vs. Red Wings days, i.e. “When hockey was once relevant.”

[Ted Bauer will be covering the NHL playoffs for us this year. You can find more of Ted’s work at A Price Above Bip Roberts.]

MLB General

The Full Count: Fun with April Numbers

1. Random Projections: April is now over and some ridiculous stats are in the books. If everything went just like it did in April:

– Alex Rodriguez would hit 99 homers and 239 RBIs.
– Josh Beckett would go 31-0.
– Francisco Cordero and Jose Valverde would each have 65 saves.
– Matt Holliday would have 262 hits.
– Jose Reyes would steal 115 bases.
– Kelly Johnson would have more walks than Barry Bonds.
– Bonds would hit 58 homers in only 429 at-bats.
– Vicente Padilla would go 0-24.

2. Complete Dominance: Only three starts after a 10-inning complete game, Roy Halladay was back in domination mode against the Rangers. He threw a complete-game, allowed just one run, and struck out 8. The Blue Jays gave Halladay plenty of support for the win, and now he’s 4-0. If there’s anything this Cy Young candidate has to be concerned about, it’s lasting through the season: he’s thrown 100 or more pitches in five of his six starts. After the 6-1 win, the Jays are 13-12 and in second place in the AL East.

3. Another Webb Gem: Defending Cy Young winner Brandon Webb was shaky his first three starts, but now he’s settled down into his usual dominant self. His last three outings have all been quality starts, including a 7-inning, one-run effort on Monday. Webb, backed by the Diamondbacks’ offense, helped the team move into first place as they beat the Dodgers. The 9-1 rout featured hits from nine players and RBIs from seven. Chris Young hit two homers as Dodgers starter Randy Wolf had another tough outing.

4. Not slowing down: The Brewers haven’t showed any signs of decline after taking the NL Central division lead earlier this year. On Monday, they crushed the three-time defending division champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were playing in their first game after pitcher Josh Hancock’s death. But usually tragic events like that make a team stronger, and that certainly wasn’t the case against the Brewers. Milwaukee won 7-1, thanks to a complete-game by Jeff Suppan, who has won four starts in a row. On offense Prince Fielder hit his 6th long ball of the year as they tagged Cards starter Kip Wells for seven runs. The 16-9 Brewers are now tied with the Braves for the best record in the National League.

Player of the Day: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays: 9 innings, one run, no walks, 8 strikeouts in a 6-1 win over Texas.

NHL General

Monday Morning NHL Roundup

Rangers 2, Sabres 1
The Blueshirts hadn’t beaten the – uh, Blueshirts from the other part of the state, I guess – in 7 tries this season, and for a while, it seemed like it would be eight. See, this puppy went into one overtime, and then, as is the proper style for these NHL playoffs, it went into a second overtime, and that went close to 17 minutes – we were approaching the dastardly THIRD OVERTIME – before someone (specifically, Michal Rozsival) scored on a screened off Ryan Miller. It’s 2-1 Sabres series-wise, which is the mathematical inverse of the score of this game. That’s absolutely trippy.

Ducks 3, Canucks 2
Corey Perry, who was eligible for selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft yet was not selected at all (feel better, Brady Quinn? You should), scored the game-winner on Roberto Luongo, who once went No. 1 in the same Draft. Here’s the lesson Quinn should take away from this: someday in the future, the Browns will play the Raiders. Now, CBS will send their G-Level team to this game, because even though both fan bases are rabid, no one gives a crap. So, with Dan Bonner somehow on play by play (“But guys, I do college basketball color…”), Quinn will oppose Russell, and with :03 left, Quinn will absolutely bomb it out – showing Russell arm strength in the process – and hit Braylon Edwards in stride for a 77 yard TD. Edwards will then break his leg celebrating. Anyway, the point is, don’t pass on Corey Perry. He can do some damage. So can the Ducks.

[Ted Bauer will be covering the NHL playoffs for us this year. You can find more of Ted’s work at A Price Above Bip Roberts.]

NHL General

Satuday Morning NHL Roundup

Canucks 2, Ducks 1
Here’s an interesting piece of irony: one of the guest bloggers for the NHL playoffs over at their website is the band Emerson Drive. Ironic, you say? But why? Their most notable single is “I Should be Sleeping,” which pretty much summarizes every game the Canucks play this postseason. No, no – they’re not boring. Rather, they start late (I mean, it is the Pacific Northwest) and they end even later. They went 4 OT with the Stars already these playoffs, and last night, they went 2 OT with the Ducks before winning to even the series. We assume Luongo is hitting the bottle pretty hard these days, nerves shaking and all. That water bottle atop the goal might just have a smidge of Irish Coffee in there.

Sabres 3, Rangers 2
In Buffalo’s City Hall, there’s a poster showing some magazine survey that ranked Buffalo “one of the 20 best American cities” (I have no idea what magazine would justifiably print that). Next to it, there’s a poster the Mayor put in there himself. It shows two pictures: Lord Stanley and the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Under it, it reads, “Need these.” Indeed they do. They’re another step closer – to a rematch with their arch nemesis Senators, nonetheless. Lindy Ruff has the boxing gloves ready.

[Ted Bauer will be covering the NHL playoffs for us this year. You can find more of Ted’s work at A Price Above Bip Roberts.]

New York Rangers

Joakim Noah finally has some competition on the dance floor

Remember when Joakim Noah started having a seizure on the court after Florida won the SEC championship game? Well, apparently he’s not the only athlete who has absolutely zero rhythm and zero shame when it comes to their celebrations, or in this case preparations. Just check out Ryan Hollweg before the first game between the Rangers and Thrashers.

What’s most compelling about his routine is that he managed to seamlessly transition between a cartwheel, the robot and the sprinkler. We would like to see Clyde Drexler or Heather Mills pull that off.

New York Islanders

Jesus, we hope it was just spit

Two Islanders Ice Girls (the ones who clean the snow during breaks and pick up the debris after a hat trick) say that the Rangers are disgusting louts.

Kelli Higgins says that she was cleaning up the goaltender’s crease when Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist took a big windup, whacked her squeegee and the stick hit her stomach. But that pales in comparison to what happened to Chanel Benson. According to Chanel, she was leaving the ice during the next television timeout when someone spit on her back. As you can tell from the photo, the Ice Girls wear some pretty nice outfits where their midriff and back are exposed.

All of a sudden, my back got wet. I believe one of the Rangers players who was sitting along the wall spit on my back. It had to be on purpose because I wasn’t directly in front of anyone to spit and not realize I was there.

The Islanders’ VP of game operations confirmed that there were wet spots on the back of her pants. OK, so which Ranger could it have been? The smart money is on Sean Avery.

And by the way, we hope he just spit and it wasn’t a re-enactment of the scene in Silence of the Lambs.

[]: Ice Girls want Rangers called for slashing, spitting

New York Knicks

Body parts wash up in the strangest places

Reunited at last?

James Dolan is a corporate big wig who is the owner of the Knicks and Rangers, CEO of Cablevision and Chairman of Madison Square Garden and earlier this morning he became the owner of a human leg that washed up on his property in Cove Neck, N.Y.

The limb was wrapped inside of a garbage bag and found by the billionaire’s landscaper. Police said that the skin was still attached to the bone which would seem to indicate that it hadn’t been floating around for too terribly long.

Now, we don’t know a lot about Cove Neck, N.Y. but this has got to hurt the resale value of the property. But hey, it’s better than what washed up in Mamaroneck. That’s where an entire women’s torso washed ashore earlier this month. The law is still unable to identify the victim.

However, one possible owner of the leg was revealed. Unfortunately, she is currently on a business trip to Hollywood for a stint on “Dancing with the Stars,” but will be notified immediately for questioning.


[]: Leg washes ashore on property of Knicks owner

New York Rangers

Another day, another NHL fight video

You don’t even have to go to the archives to find hockey fights anymore. It seems like there’s a new fight everyone is talking about. Next up: Todd Fedoruk of the Flyers vs Colton Orr of the Rangers. Knockout. This one is extra special because it happened 21 secs into the game. Those hockey players sure do hold a grudge.

NHL General

Chris Simon cheap shot video

Unbelievable cheap hit by the Islander Chris Simon on the Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg last night has everyone talking NHL again. The NHL has a huge problem — no, not the reading of player emails — the sports world only talks NHL when something bad happens, yet the NHL needs to legislate out the cheap stuff. We believe that’s called a Catch-22.

Chris Simon is lucky Hollweg isn’t more seriously hurt (he was back at practice today). Simon has been suspended indefinitely by the league pending a hearing. He will likely be suspended at least for the rest of this year.

Texas Rangers

Dec 12 in Sports History: A-Rod’s big payday

Broke the bank

In 2000: Free agent shortstop Alex Rodriguez cashed in big time, with a 10-year, $252 million dollar contract from the Texas Rangers. Of course, it broke every conceivable record for amount of money paid to any athlete in any sport. In 2004, he was traded to the Yankees, and A-Rod is still waiting for his first World Series ring. According to our sources, the money never bought him a hug, either.

In 1981: Wayne Gretzky set another of his untouchable records, this one the fastest to reach 50 goals. The Great One’s goal going into the year was to score 50 in 50 games, but he was way off. It only took him 39, and he accomplished it at the old Auditorium in Buffalo. Gretzky went on to smash Phil Esposito’s mark of 76 goals in a season and ended up with a mind-boggling 92.

In 1965: While everyone is talking about Bears’ rookie Devin Hester’s performance last night against the Rams with two kick returns for touchdowns, his performance doesn’t quite match the great Gale Sayers. The Kansas rookie set a record with six touchdowns in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. Played on a muddy Wrigley Field surface, Sayers’ scores included an 80 yard reception, a 50 yard run and an 65 yard punt return. His 22 touchdowns in 1965 are an NFL rookie record.