Philadelphia Flyers

Patrick Thoresen wants to play after devastating groin injury. Is he nuts?

Hockey players are tough dudes. They don’t need to take pucks off their junk to prove they’re manly men, but that’s exactly what Patrick Thoresen did on Friday in Game 1 of the Flyers/Capitals playoff series. However, the Philadelphia forward was back in the locker room on Monday – with a bag of ice in his groin – cracking jokes and making light of the injury that nearly cost him a testicle and even admitted he would take another slapshot to nuts any day for his team.

“That’s my job, “Thoresen said. “I’m sacrificing myself for the team. That’s what it’s all about, especially in the playoffs.”

The next time Thoresen has to talk about a cup, he hopes it’s for hoisting the Stanley Cup and not about the dented, protective one that saved his testicle from removal.

“He sacrificed himself, there,” center Daniel Briere said. “Those are big plays and sometimes you’re going to lose guys. It shows how much he’s willing to sacrifice for his teammates.”

That’s a lot to sacrifice.

“It’s a lot,” said Briere, chuckling. “But that’s the way you’re going to win. That’s what you have to do.”

While men everywhere surely felt queasy watching the replay, Thoresen laughed about the incident and cracked a couple off-color, one-liners about his uncomfortable condition.

As for the protective cup that took the brunt of Mike Green’s shot, Thoresen said, “That’s one I can’t use again.” …

Thoresen didn’t have a problem with the play continuing while he rolled around the circle in complete agony. Not that he really cared at that point.

“I didn’t have time to think because the pain was so, so huge,” Thoresen said. “I was like, get me off the ice and give me some ice. It was a little scary.”


[]: Puck to groin likely to keep Flyers forward Thoresen out of Game 3

Philadelphia Flyers

Hockey fight! Hockey fight! Hockey fight!

Our reactions were a bit delayed in getting this video of the Riley Cote/Aaron Asham fight posted, but kinda like our participants’ duel, it’s totally worth the wait. It takes a second for these guys to get going, but once they do, it’s like they’re holding jackhammers to each other’s face.


[]: Riley Cote, Bam! Kapow! Splat!

NHL General

Closing the books on the Rick Tocchet gambling ring

A year ago, the Rick Tocchet as head of a gambling ring based in NJ story was huge news, mainly because the Olympics were coming up and hockey is one of the premiere sports in the Winter Olympics. But since then, the molasses that is our legal system (despite what you see on Law and Order) has basically swept the whole story under the carpter.

Not suprisingly, when the news came out over the long memorial day weekend that Tocchet came to a plea bargain in the case, not much was made of it. But, in the interest of wrapping up the case we’ve been following for a year, here’s the final chapter in the Rich Tocchet case.

Tocchet pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and conspiracy to promote gambling. It’s a minor offense that may result in him not having to serve any jail time at all. However, there is no word on whether he will be reinstated into the NHL until the league completes its own investigation. Tocchet helped his cause by emphasizing in his court appearance that he had never bet on hockey.

[6abc]: Tocchet Pleads Guilty in Gambling Ring Case

Atlanta Braves

Odds and Ends: Clearing up this whole Craig Sager thing

Craig Sager,the NBA sideline reporter with the ridiculous wardrobe, has been getting a lot of play today because it was mentioned that he was one of the people running alongside Hank Aaron when he broke Babe Ruth’s record. You’ve probably seen the clip 1,000 times by now but it’s below if you have been living under a rock for the past 20 years.

Anyway, the problem is that some bloggers think Sager’s one of the two fans who ran alongside Aaron around 2nd base. No no no. Sager is the creepy guy in the white trench coat that runs with Aaron from third to home and waiting to to interview him.

Just thought we’d clear that up.

In other news…

[Hockey Rants]: Mike York’s Wife will kick your ass

[Can’t Stop the Bleeding]: Dough Christie and his wife have a book coming out.

[6ABC]: NJ officials want Rutgers to redesign its logo.

[KDSK]: Video of door coming off plane in Fred Taylor African safari incident

[Our book of Scrap]: This Almost Makes Me Wish I Was A Gators Fan (Almost)

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.

Chicago Cubs

Odds and Ends: Kerry Wood’s evil hot tub

Kerry Wood makes an early bid for the upcoming “Dumbest Non-Playing Injury” list we’ve been meaning to do on Sportscolumn blog. Wood is out for a few days after slipping and landing on his stomach and chest getting out of a hot tub. It’s gonna be that type of season, Cubbies fans.

In other news…

[Flash Warner]: Why Isn’t Hardaway In Rehab Yet?

[Can’t Stop the Bleeding]: Kenny Smith on John Amaechi

[WBRS Sports Blog]: Handicapping The Entire All-Star Weekend

[James Mirtle]: Analysis of Forsberg to Nashville

[Jeff Little]: Looking at past McDonald’s All Americans (1991-1995)

[DC Sports Blog]: Yeah… this isn’t representative of Sixers fans

NFL General

Dec 8 in Sports History: Bears beat Redskins 73-0 in Championship game

In 1940: If you thought the Buffalo Bills were pathetic in Super Bowls, how about the Washington Redskins’ showing in the 1940 NFL Championship game against the Chicago Bears? Having defeated the Bears 7-3 a few weeks ago in a rough, physical game, the Redskins called the Bears “crybabies.” Uh, big mistake to piss off George Halas, the Bears legendary coach. The Bears completely redesigned their offense, having a college coach come in and teach them the T formation. It worked pretty well, as the Bears scored 28 points in the first quarter, and ran up the score to a whopping 73-0. It still remains as the most lopsided game in NFL history. Also, to add to the humiliation for the Redskins, sports fans across the country followed the Bears 11 touchdowns (including three interception returns in the third quarter) in the first national broadcast of an NFL game on radio. We’re not sure if Halas’ tombstone reads, “Who’s Crying Now, Bitches!” (The 2006 ESPN Pro Football Encyclopedia).

In 1987: Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers became the first goaltender to shoot and score a goal in an NHL game. Billy Smith of the Islanders received credit for a goal as the last player to have possession of the puck when an opponent accidentally put it into his own net and Bob Froese of the Flyers was originally thought to have scored, but the goal was later changed. At the end of a game against Boston, Hextall got possession of the puck at the goal line and flipped it the length of the ice into the empty net. Hextall would score again a few years later in a playoff game against the Washington Capitals. Since then, Martin Brodeur, Chris Osgood and Jose Theodore have scored empty-netters. (

(Oh, and don’t believe anybody who tells you that I once let up a goal on a shot by the other goalie in gym class in sixth grade)

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: Make Up Your Mind, Clarke!

What’s he smiling about?

1. Which Way Did He Go?
On Monday, the incredibly hockey savvy wizard Bobby Clarke announced his return to the Philadelphia Flyers. This time, however, he’ll be back as the senior vice president of the franchise- and not in the General Manager position that he left in late October. For those Flyers fans that need to be remembered, he abandoned his GM spot on the same day that then-coach Ken Hitchcock hightailed it out of Philly (he is now living a life of equally torturing work in Columbus). Clarke’s resignation also came within a few days of an injury to captain Peter Forsberg- so needless to say, it was an atrocious week for the City of Brotherly Love. At 8-15-4, Philly is duct-taped to the fiery pit of the Eastern Conference.

2. Masterful Marty
Marty Turco helped the Dallas Stars shut down the flaming hot San Jose Sharks on Monday night, posting 25 saves in a 1-0 shutout effort. Every save counted, because the Dallas offense had absolutely nothing cooking against Evgeni Nabokov and the Sharks. Nabokov only faced 13 shot the entire game, letting one by in the first period off the stick of seasoned vet Mike Modano- who would leave the game with an injury a period later. The goal was Mike’s 495th tally… for the mathematically challenged, that’s only five behind 500 for his career. Dallas remains in third place in the Pacific behind San Jose and Anaheim, who are both among the NHL’s best teams this season.

3. See Ya, Sutton
For the next two months, Atlanta will have to proceed without the services of defenseman Andy Sutton, who will be having surgery to repair a torn tendon in his ankle. He was reported to have injured the ankle during a practice session. Sutton’s numbers on the season aren’t impressive- only one goal and seven assists- but he’s a solid defenseman who has nine years of pro experience on the ice. Atlanta is 17-7-4 this season, and sitting comfortably in the lead of the Southeast Division.

Check It Out
In this week’s edition of Winging It, Eric Mcerlain looks at journeyman Rory Fitzpatrick’s run for a spot on the all-star team. The Vancouver Canuck racked up more than 31,000 write-in votes on the ballot, and has a relentless campaign strategy- as seen here:

Game of the Night: Chicago at Minnesota
Blackhawks look to improve to 4-0 under new coach Denis Savard

The Last Shot
At the Toronto Maple Leafs’ skills show on Sunday, Chad Kilger blasted a 106 MPH slapshot, reportedly breaking a 13-year-old record set at the 1993 All-Star game.

NFL General

Nov 28 in Sports History: Ernie Nevers scores 40 points

In 1929: In a feat that would be almost impossible to accomplish today, Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals scored all 40 of his teams points in a 40-6 victory over the Chicago Bears. Nevers, a 6’4” 200 pound fullback, scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points (he missed two). A current player would have to score seven touchdowns in a game, and nobody has scored six in a game since Gale Sayers did it for the Bears as a rookie in 1965. Dare we say it will Nevers be done again? (sorry…)

In 1981: Paul “Bear” Bryant’s Alabama Crimson Tide defeated rival Auburn for his 315th career victory, then an all-time record for college football. Bryant, wearing his signature checkered hat, passed Amos Alonzo Stagg. Bryant (1913-1983) coached Division I football for 37 years at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama (where he played) and led the Tide to six national championships. He finished with 323 victories and died in 1983. He was eventually passed on the all-time list by Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden. (

In 1982: If mom and dad wouldn’t be proud enough if one of their sons made it to a professional league, how about six of their seven sons playing in the NHL at the same time? When Ron Sutter played his first NHL game as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, he helped the family set an all-time record with five brothers in the league (his twin brother Rich signed with Pittsburgh the following season to make it an even half dozen). Although the Hockey Sutter’s played for many teams, at that time Ron was with the Flyers, Brian played for the Blues, Darryl played for the Blackhawks, and Duane and Brett played for the Islanders. Gary Sutter was the only brother to never make it to the NHL. (The Northern Iowan)

NHL General

Crashing the Zamboni: The E-Train is still running

1. Stars Stymie Avs
In a crazy see-saw battle on Monday night in Dallas, the Stars defeated a stuttering Avalanche club, 5-4. Brenden Morrow scored two early goals for the Stars before leaving with an injury, setting up Dallas for what would be a satisfying comeback victory. After Marty Turco gave up two first period goals, he was unexpectedly pulled and replaced by backup Mike Smith, who stopped 16 of 18 shots on the night. An early 3rd period goal by John-Michael Liles gave Colorado a 4-3 lead, but it would not last long. Halfway through the frame, Colorado (back then Quebec) draft pick Eric Lindros tied it up with his fifth goal of the year. Less than three minutes afterward, Antti Miettinen got the puck by Peter Budaj to give the Stars the eventual 5-4 victory. For Colorado, it was their fifth loss in the last seven games.

2. Sabres’ Spectacular 2nd
Last night, Buffalo hosted another dominant Sabres victory as the guys with the ugly logo downed the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-2. The night was highlighted by a bananas 7 goal 2nd for Buffalo, who received a nice 24 save performance from goaltender Ryan Miller on the other side of the ice. Offensively, Paul Gaustad and Thomas Vanek were hot, scoring two goals each (Gaustad also added an assist). Ales Kotalik also had a good night tallying a hat trick for assists with three. This was Buffalo’s fifth game in which they’ve scored six or more goals, so they certainly have everything covered on offense. If there was no such thing as the second period, Tampa’s Marc Denis would have had an awesome game between the pipes. Unfortunately, 22 saves was not enough to beat the Sabres, who still have not lost back-to-back games this season.

3. He knows it’s the Flyers, right?
One month after being booted up to the position of head coach for the Philadelphia Flyers, John Stevens has signed a two-year deal to remain in that spot (what was he thinking?). He replaced Ken Hitchcock as head-honcho 12 games ago, and has posted a 4-7-1 record. A coach cannot win the games for the Flyers– they have to get it done on the ice, and that’s what this team is missing. Their offense is defunct, and the defense couldn’t keep the other team away from the net if it were two states over. In goal, Antero Niittymaki has been anything but impressive since taking over the #1 spot, posting a 3-10-2 record this season.

Check It Out
Kevin Allen of USA Today takes a look at the youth of today’s NHL, and how it is impacting the game. It is clear that the kids have taken over… just take one look at the trio on the Pens (Staal, Crasby, and Malkin)–those youngsters are the new image of the NHL.

Game of the Night: San Jose at Anaheim
Sharks have won six of last seven games

The Last Shot
Pittsburgh defeated Philadelphia 5-3 last night, improving the Penguins’ record against Philly this year to 4-0.