Friday, April 18, 2014

Quickie Sports Chowdah Update- May the Schwartz Be With You, Blues Down Blackhawks in 3OT; Lester Pitches Gem on South Side

John K Kim- Chicago Tribune

MLB- After stumbling out of the gate early by being swept by the Brewers and dropping 3 out of four to the Yankees in the Bronx, the defending World Series Champion Red Sox were hoping to get back into the things by stringing together a few road wins against the White Sox. The opening game of the series didn't go their way when Chicago got a walkoff win in the bottom of the 9th thanks to a costly Xander Bogaerts throwing error, but on Wednesday night the Red Sox persevered in 14 innings [but only after Chicago sent an infielder onto the pitcher's mound, as some critics rightfully point out- NANESB!].

The win set up a Thursday evening rubber game, and with both teams having burned through their respective bullpens earlier that morning, they each needed quality outings from their starter to take them deep into the game. The two starters- Lester and Sale- had each taken shutouts into the top of the 6th inning, the only difference was that Lester was throwing a perfect game while Sale has allowed a few base hits and his pitch count was much higher. However, in the top of the 6th, Lester was finally able to get some run support thanks to a solo homer by Xander Boagerts to deep left. However, in the bottom of the 6th, Lester's bid for a perfect game fell by the wayside when he gave up a 1-out single to Tyler Flowers. Fresh off his pitching debut, White Sox 2B Leury Garcia then hit a ground-rule double to right field to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with only one out. Adam Eaton tied the game and got Chicago on the board with an infield hit to make it 1-1. However, Lester struck out Semien and got Viciedo to fly out to end the White Sox threat.

In the bottom of the 7th, Adam Dunn led off with a single and after Lester retired Paul Konerko and Alexi Ramirez, Alejandro de Aza hit a double to shallow right that Nava had a hard time corralling. Dunn decided to keep running to home plate, but he was gunned down by Pedroia's relay throw for the 3rd out of the inning.

In the 8th, Ronald Belasario came out of the White Sox bullpen to relieve Sale and led off by walking Jackie Bradley Jr. However, Belasario would then get Dustin Pedroia to hit into a double play ball and get Xander Bogaerts to strike out. Lester, still on the mound in the bottom of the 8th, led off the inning by giving up a single to Tyler Flowers, who then advanced to second on a Garcia sac-bunt. After striking out Eaton, Semien got on board with a swinging bunt and Flowers advanced to third, representing the go-ahead run for Chicago. But Lester got Dylan Viciedo to strike out and end the White Sox threat.

Big Papi led off the top of the 9th and grounded out, but Napoli hit a 1-out single to get on base. This was followed by a pinch-hit single from Mike Carp to give Boston 2 runners on base. David Ross would then take an 0-2 offering and belt a double into right field, driving Napoli home for the tie-breaking run and putting Carp on 3rd. After intentionally walking Nava, the White Sox pulled Belasario and had Scott Downs come out of the pen while Farrell had Grady Sizemore pinch-run for Carp. Jonathan Herrera then pinch-hit for Ryan Roberts and laid down a bunt that he beat out to first, allowing Sizemore to score and give Boston a little bit of insurance heading into the 9th. Jackie Bradley Jr ended the inning by hitting into an unusual double play where he lined out to short and Ross was caught off the bag at 3rd.

Still, the Red Sox re-took the lead heading into the bottom of the 9th and brought Junichi Tazawa out of the pen to close things out. Tazawa got Dunn and Konerko out but allowed a single to Alexei Ramierz [making it 16 games in a row he's hit in, breaking a club record set by Frank Thomas- NANESB]. However, Tazawa got pinch hitter Jose Abreu to ground out, ending the ballgame and giving the Red Sox a 3-1 win and taking two out of three from the Southsiders.

On Friday, the Red Sox will return home to Fenway to face off against Baltimore. John Lackey [2-1; 3.86 ERA] gets the start against Chris Tillman [1-1; 0.84 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 ET and the game will be televised on NESN and the MLB Network.

STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS- The 2013-14 Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway (although the Bruins aren't in action until Friday night) and already we've got a series out in the Midwest that's raising some eyebrows.

In a wild first period that saw a total of five goals, the Blackhawks jumped out to a 3-2 lead over St Louis and after a scoreless 2nd period, Jaden Schwartz managed to tie the contest back up for St Louis and force OT with a goal with just 1:45 remaining in regulation.

Excpet not only did Schwartz force OT, there were two scoreless overtimes before things were resolved in triple overtime when Alexander Steen beat Cory Crawford to end the game and win Game 1 of the series for St Louis by a 4-3 final. Crawford faced 52 shots on goal for the Blackhawks while Miller faced 42 for St Louis [a busy night in regulation for Tukka Rask, some might say- NANESB!].

Meanwhile, Game 1 of the Bruins series against Detroit is set to start on Friday night. This is Detroit's 23rd consecutive year of playing in the NHL postseason. Puck will drop at 7:00 ET and the game will be televised on NBC Sports, NESN and TSN.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hundreds Missing After Ferry Capsizes off Coast of South Korea

At least 28 people were killed Tuesday when a passenger ferry travelling off the southwestern coast of South Korea capsized abruptly. The vessel, MS Sewoi, was carrying more than 450 people and travelling between the port of Incheon and the island of Cheju- a fairly routine 14 hour journey.

Nine people, including five students and two teachers, were confirmed dead, but many expect a sharp jump in that number because of the long period of time the missing have now spent either trapped in the ferry or in the cold seawater.

There were 475 people aboard, including 325 students on a school trip to a tourist island, and some of the frantic, angry parents gathered at Danwon High School in Ansan, which is near Seoul. Other relatives assembled on Jindo, an island near where the ferry slipped beneath the surface until only the blue-tipped, forward edge of the keel was visible.

Relatives of the dead students wailed and sobbed as ambulances at a hospital in Mokpo, a city close to the accident site, took the bodies to Ansan. The families, who spent a mostly sleepless night at the hospital, followed the ambulances in their own cars. At the school, some desperate relatives lashed out in frustration, screaming threats at the news media.

Diver's from South Korea's Special Foces had entered submerged portions of the vessel to search for possible survivors trapped in air pockets, but officials fear the death toll will be much higher. Rainy and windy weather has hampered search efforts by divers and the coast guard. According to survivors, the captain had ordered passengers to remain on board and below decks as alarms sounded. The Captain is in police custody and is undergoing questioning while maritime officials are going through the vessel's communications as well as checking the cell phone records from the passengers. Reports circulating in South Korea's press indicate that some passengers trapped on board had time to send final text messages to their loved ones.

A US Navy spokesman has said the helicopter carrier USS Bonhomme Richard has also been deployed to aid in the search effort in the storm-tossed waters off the coast of Jindo Island.

Son of Calgary Police Inspector Charged in Canadian City's Worst Mass Murder

Five people were fatally stabbed by the 22 year old son of a Calgary police inspector during an off-campus party near the University of Calgary earlier this week. According to the Calgary Herald, the slashing spree that took place in the early morning hours of Tuesday is the worst mass murder in the western Canadian city's 140 year history.

The victims — Lawrence Hong, Josh Hunter, Kaitlin Perras, Zackariah Rathwell and Jordan Segura — were, by all accounts, celebrating like everyone else when they became the subjects of an unprovoked attack just after 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Police Chief Rick Hanson said the victims were "targeted one by one" during a house party at 11 Butler Cres. N.W.

"These were all good kids. There’s no question about that. They did nothing wrong, and nothing that they did contributed to what happened to them," Hanson said.

Police have a suspect — the son of a well-regarded senior officer from their ranks — and the names of the victims quickly spread among grief-stricken family members, friends and classmates as Tuesday wore on.

While the police have yet to specify a precise motive, they charged de Grood with five counts of first-degree murder — a charge that indicates evidence of planning and deliberation.

Two of the victims, Josh Hunter and Zackariah Rathwell, were members of a popular local band, Zackariah and the Prophets.

Hunter, 23, was also an accounting major at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. Rathwell, 21, was a first-year student at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

"They were amazing, they were really creative and they inspired me," said Eric Grant, a friend of the bandmates who attended a candlelight vigil for all five victims at U of C on Tuesday night.

"Today has been the hardest day of my life."

Segura, 22, was a religious studies student at the University of Calgary. Perras was 23; Hong was 27.

Investigators were still trying to sort out if any of the victims lived at the rented house that hosted the party, but police said it was mainly a gathering of University of Calgary students celebrating Bermuda Shorts Day, a long-running tradition to mark the last day of classes.

Tuesday's stabbing was the single deadliest crime in Alberta since March 2005, when 4 RCMP officers attempting to impound a truck discovered a marijuana grow-op and stolen vehicle parts on the property of John Roszko in Mayerthorpe, some 75 miles northwest of Edmonton. The officers were ambushed by Roszko while searching his property and Roszko turned his weapon on himself as RCMP reinforcements surrounded him in a shed.

Extra Time Sports Chowdah Update- BoSox Snap Skid After 14 Inning Game in South Side; Something Special in Storrs, UConn Brings Home Men's, Women's Basketball Title; Union? Yes! Dutchmen Win First Ever NCAA Hockey Title

RED SOX- It took all night, but the Red Sox were able to snap their three-game losing streak.

Heading into Comiskey after dropping three out of four to the Yankees in the Bronx, the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox squandered a good start by Jake Peavy against his former team when the White Sox broke a 1-1 deadlock on a 2-out throwing error by Xander Bogaerts in the bottom of the 9th that plated Alexei Ramirez to give the southsiders a 2-1 walkoff win.

Wednesday night's game seemed full of missed opportunities for both teams as the Red Sox took an early 1-0 lead on a Bogaerts RBI single in the first inning. Chicago tied the game in the bottom of the first when Adam Eaton came home from third on a Ryan Robert throwing error to make it 1-1. The Pale Hose would then take a 3-1 lead when Alexei Ramirez belted a 2-run homer off of Clay Buchholz in the bottom of the 6th, but the Red Sox would chip away at that lead.

Boston would get a run back in the bottom of the 8th when Big Papi was walked to lead off the inning and went to second on a walk to Jonny Gomes, then 3rd when Grady Sizemore hit into a fielder's choice. Former White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski then hit a sac fly deep enough to bring the lumbering Big Papi home to make it 3-2 Chicago. In the 9th, Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk, followed by Bogarts drawing another walk and Big Papi flying out to left. Jonny Gomes then hit an infield single to load the bases before Pedroia came home on a Sizemore sac fly to tie the game before Pierzynsky grounded out to end the inning.

So into extras they went on the South Side, and once again walks would cost the White Sox as Boston took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 11th when Dustin Pedroia came home on a Jonny Gomes sac fly. However, in the bottom half of the 11th and with the White Sox down to their last strike and Jordan Danks on 2nd, Tyler Flowers got a base hit to tie the game at 4-4. Adam Eaton would then fly out to end the ChiSox threat in the bottom of the 11th, so the game continued into the early hours of Thursday morning.

With a depleted White Sox bullpen, Chicago sent out 2B Leury Garcia onto the pitchers mound. Garcia managed to get two out before Daniel Nava and Jonathan Herrera were on board for Jackie Bradley Jr hit a 2-out double to give Boston the lead once again, plating Nava and Herrera and making it a 6-4 Boston lead. After Capuano went 2⅔ innings, Burke Badenhop came out of the bullpen to face the final Chicago batter, striking out Marcus Semien to end the ballgame.

Boston goes on to win this one in 14, despite the fact that Chicago pitching allowed a total of 15 walks and Boston left 28 runners stranded on base- averaging two per inning in Wednesday night's game.

The rubber game is Thursday night with Jon Lester [1-2; 2.57 ERA] going up against Chicago's Chris Sale [3-0; 2.66 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 ET and the game will be televised on NESN.

NHL- The Boston Bruins ended the regular season by winning their final two games against Buffalo and New Jersey. The wins mean that Boston has secured the President's Cup Trophy- the NHL's award for the club with the best regular-season record [for point of reference, the Canucks won the President's Cup in the 2010-11 season and the Blackhawks won the honors during the lockout shortened 2013 season -NANESB!].

Under this year's newly-revised NHL playoff structure, the Bruins will face the Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with the winner of this series going on to face the winner of the Montreal-Tampa bay Series. The Habs already lead that series 1 game to nothing while the Bruins and Red Wings won't get started until Friday at 7:30 ET from Boston. The Original Six matchup is set to be aired on NESN locally, NBC Sports network nationwide and TSN in Canada.


NCAA HOOPS- Once again, it's been a pretty good week for University of Connecticut basketball. The Men's team faced off against the Kentucky Wildcats in the Men's final last week and led wire-to-wire [although Kentucky would close the gap considerably in the second half- NANESB![ going on to win the national title game by a 54-60 final.

Just days later, in an extremely rare meeting of undefeateds, the UConn women's team faced off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA Women's basketball national title game and would go on to win convincingly by a 79-58 final. The University even held a joint parade to celebrate the two national titles. The two championships come 10 years after the last NCAA program to win both men's and women's titles in basketball- which also happened to be Connecticut.

Charlestown, Massachusett's own Shabazz Napier was named the most outstanding player of the 2014 Men's tournament by the NCAA and awarded to Bob Cousey award as the top point guard in the NCAA. Napier- a senior- will enter the NBA draft this season.

NCAA HOCKEY- Sadly, there will be no NCAA Men's hockey title inside the Hub this year. Union, the small upstate New York college just northwest of Albany, made the most of their second Frozen Four appearance since the 2011-2012 season, skating past the Boston College Eagles by a 5-4 final to face the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the National Title Game.

Although Minnesota got out to an early lead, Union took command late in the first period with an explosive two minutes getting goals from Mike Vecchione, Eli Lichtenwald and Daniel Ciampini to give the Dutchmen a 4-2 lead by the first intermission. Minnesota clawed back, getting the only goal of the 3rd from Taylor Cammarata to make it a 1-goal contest, but Union pulled away for good in the 3rd and would go on to win their first ever hockey title.

The Men's hockey title is the first national championship to come to Union since a 1926 Men's Lacrosse title.

OTHER NCAA MEN'S HOCKEY NEWS- Boston College senior Johnny Guardeau was awarded the Hobey Baker trophy this year. The Calgary Flames 4th round pick led the nation in scoring with 80 points in 40 games for Boston College and led in goals (6) and assists (44).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Today marks a very somber anniversary for the city of Boston. This time a year ago, at 2:49 PM ET two pressure cooker bombs tore through a crowd of spectators and runners at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon on Boylston Street, killing three and injuring hundreds.

Through eyewitness accounts and surveillance cameras from nearby businesses, investigators were able to identify two Chechen brothers- Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev shitstain- as the main suspects. Days after the Marathon attack, the two shot and killed an MIT campus policeman in an ambush, carjacked a motorist in Cambridge and led police in a high-speed chase through Watertown, MA where Tamerlan was shot by police and run over by his younger brother as he fled. The two had more explosives on their person and a wounded Dzhokhar managed to elude searchers for the better part of a day until he was spotted hiding on a sailboat kept under a tarp in a Watertown residence and taken into custody after a standoff.

Even before the Patriot's Day bombings, the professional sports teams around Boston was a justifiable point of pride for many New Englanders. After the attack, the "Boston Strong" phenomenon was a means for the teams and individual players to reciprocate that pride...and none more bluntly than Red Sox DH David Ortiz.

To their credit, ESPN has been running a special this week on the bombing, it's aftermath and how Boston's beloved sports teams became a focal point for a grieving and apprehensive city to rally around. Perhaps I'm biased, but it's clearly worth a look [which is why I embedded it- NANESB!].

Patriot's Day- a civic holiday that is only celebrated in Maine and Massachusetts- is observed on the third Monday of every April, which means it will be on the 21st of April this year. In Boston, the occasion is marked by the running of the marathon and a Red Sox day game, weather permitting.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Today's Train of Thought- The Nut Job, April 13, 2014

Todays' Train of Thought takes us all the way out to the Golden State and California's breadbasket in the Central Valley. Besides the area's once-considerable agricultural yield, the area around Bakersfield sits on top of the Lower Monterey Oil Shale- reportedly the second largest known deposit outside of the Bakken.

While not Hollywood, there has been plenty of drama unfolding in the Central Valley in recent years. Despite the considerable opposition to fracking by Democrats and the state's influential environmentalist groups, production is still taking place in the Bakersfield area among others and Governor Brown stopped short of an outright ban in 2013.

But even before oil was discovered in Kern County, the Central Valley was known for its agricultural production with a favorable year-round climate for growing nuts, berries, produce and citrus. However, since 2009 an unholy alliance of state and federal bureaucrats and environmental groups obtained a court order shutting irrigation in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley Deltas in order to provide a safe habitat for the Delta Smelt, crippling some of California's most productive agricultural land. The shortfall in yields for nuts like the almond has led to an increase in their value and has become a sought after commodity for organized crime, with frequent reports of entire truckloads of almonds or pistachios disappearing after being picked up by truckers with legitimate-looking paperwork.

Even with the recent decline, there's still plenty to keep the two class 1 railways that serve the Central Valley busy. Here, contributor Matthew Griffin caught BNSF GP39-2 #2947 still lettered for Santa Fe parked in an almond grove in Shafter, CA on the Lone Star industrial lead on March 10, 2013. Capable of being operated by remote control [that's what the red sticker on the front hood indicates- NANESB!], the Santa Fe geep- along with a cascade green Burlington Northern unit- is actually awaiting a fresh crew among the falling blossoms.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

At Least 10 Killed in Horrific Bus-Truck Collision on California Freeway


A chartered bus taking high school students on a campus tour of Humboldt State University crashed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 5 in California, killing at least 10 passengers and leaving 36 injured. The crash took place outside the town of Orland, north of Sacramento.

Eyewitnesses claim a Fed Ex tractor trailer crossed the median when it swerved to avoid a traffic accident in its lane and crossed over into oncoming traffic. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and California Highway Patrol were also looking into reports that the tractor trailer was on fire when it swerved into the opposite lane.

According to Fed Ex, the truck was hauling dual trailers. Fed Ex wasn't immediately aware of anything the truck was carrying that could be considered hazardous or volatile, although the company is double-checking records.

The passengers on the bus were mostly high school seniors from southern California and their chaperones who were invited up to Humboldt State University in far north California for a campus tour for prospective low-income or first generation college students. The bus belonged to San Luis Obispo, CA-based Silverado Stages, Inc and investigators were told that the driver of the motorcoach had recently relieved another driver after a stop in Sacramento. Silverado Stages reportedly has a good safety record as well.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius Announces Resignation

Kathleen Sebelius, the former Kansas Governor who was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by President Obama and in charge of the disastrous rollout of the website, announced her resignation on Friday.

Sebelius entered the Cabinet in 2009, three months into Obama’s presidency, as a well-regarded former governor of conservative Kansas. She is leaving after months of intense criticism over the botched rollout last fall of the insurance marketplace.

During the firestorm, Obama made clear to his aides that he would not seek the resignation of his health secretary, and her departure is timed to brighter news for the White House as enrollment soared late last month.

Still, some White House allies said Thursday night that the troubled launch of had heightened tensions between Sebelius and the president’s staff members, who had become increasingly mistrustful of the department she led. Some Democrats, meanwhile, had argued privately that someone should be held accountable for the problems with the federal insurance exchange.

According to federal health officials, Sebelius approached Obama in early March and told him that, with the insurance enrollment period ending that month, the time had come for new leadership at HHS, the government’s largest domestic agency.

When the website launched in late 2013, the White House said their enrollment goal was 7 million. After a problematic rollout of a website that only worked part of the time and was fraught with security problems, both the HHS and White House were mum about enrollment numbers for the last several months. According to some in the White House Press corps, the Administration became increasingly uncomfortable after Sebelius badly fumbled what was supposed to be a sympathetic interview on Comedy Central's The Daily Show in October.

This has also led to speculation that the White House was holding out for any semblance of good news to show Sebelius the door. That opportunity came earlier this month when after months of silence on the actual number of enrollees on the Obamacare website, President Obama held a press conference at the White House, claiming that exactly 7.1 million individuals enrolled through although they declined to break down how many of the enrollees had previously had insurance that was cancelled.

The top choice by the White House to replace Sebelius is reportedly OMB director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who was reportedly responsible for directing the National Parks Service to shut down open-air war memorials during last year's government 'shutdown' (in which an estimated 17% of the federal government had actually shut down).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quickie Sports Chowdah Update- Papi Clutch Once Again As Red Sox Rally Late Versus Texas; B's Fall to Wild Cards in Minnesota

Matt Stone- Boston Herald
RED SOX- After getting swept by the Brewers, the Red Sox were hoping to salvage their homestand during the three game series against Texas. Boston took Monday's Game 1 by a 5-1 final. On Tuesday night, Boston was trailing by 9-1 in the bottom of the 6th before rallying for three runs in the bottom of the 7th and three more in the bottom of the 9th- but ultimately fell short by a 10-7 final.

That set up the rubber game on Wednesday with Jake Peavy getting the start against Texas' Robbie Ross. Although Ross walked a lot of Red Sox batters, he was also able to get out of trouble by inducing a number of double-play balls. The Red Sox got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd when with one away and runners on first and second, Dustin Pedroia hit an infield single and Jackie Bradley Jr came home on Robbie Ross' throwing error to make it a 1-0 game.

However, the 1-0 lead wouldn't last and Mitch Moreland would lead off the top of the 7th with a solo homer to tie the contest up at 1-1. Peavy would get two more outs before Tazawa came out of the bullpen in relief. Elvis Andrus would lead off the top of the 8th inning with a double off of Andrew Miller before Miller got Prince Fielder to ground out to first- moving Andrus up to third. Alex Rios would then hit a sac fly to deep center to put the Rangers up 2-1.

In the bottom half of the 8th, Jackie Bradley Jr led off with a walk before AJ Pierzynski pinch hit for Jonny Gomes, getting a single off of Rangers reliever Alexi Ogando. Grady Sizemore then pinch ran for Pierzynski. Dustin Pedroia then grounded into a fielder's choice, erasing the runner at second but moving JBJ up to third base with a runner on first. With Big Papi on deck, Texas manager Ron Washington then called upon Neal Cotts to end the Red Sox rally. Instead, with two on, one out and a 1-1 count, this happened.

After a brief review and conference by the umpires, Ortiz's HR call was upheld and the Red Sox took a 4-2 lead. Koji Uehara then came on in the 9th and got all three batters he faced in order to end the ballgame and nail down Boston's first series win at home in the young 2014 season. Despite a good effort by Peavy, he got no decision after going 6 and ⅔ innings, allowing three hits, one run, four walks and striking out 8 batters. Despite giving up what was at the time the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th, Andrew Miller was credited with the win and Koji Uehara got his second save of the season. David Ortiz led all Red Sox batters on Wednesday going 2-4, including his go-ahead homer in the bottom of the 8th.

On Thursday, the Red Sox will travel to the Bronx for the first time this season to take on the Yankees. New York comes into Thursday night's game sporting an identical 4-5 record after dropping two out of three at Yankee Stadium to Baltimore [the Orioles also sport a 4-5 record while Toronto currently leads the AL East with a 5-4 record- NANESB!]. Clay Buchholz [0-0; 12.46 ERA] will go up against Michael Pineda [0-1; 1.50 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 ET and the game will be televised on NESN and the MLB network.

ELSEWHERE IN MLB- Barely a week into the 2014 season, the Los Angeles Angels were dealt a blow when outfielder Josh Hamilton suffered a torn ligament in his thumb after sliding into first in an attempt to beat out a throw in Tuesday night's game against the Seattle Mariners. Hamilton got off to a scorching start in the 2014 season with a .444 batting average along with two homers and 6 RBI. Hamilton was placed on the 15 day DL and is expected to miss anywhere from six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery.

NHL- With just 3 games remaining in the regular season, the Bruins continue their road trip through the upper Midwest on Thursday night when they make their one and only trip to Winnipeg to take on the Jets. The Bruins are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night The Bruins were leading 3-2 in the final 90 seconds of regulation when Ryan Suter got a game-tying goal with 1:05 left in the game.

After a scoreless OT, Mikko Koivu would then get the only tally in the shootout- the two points are enough for the Wild to lead the wild card race in the west for Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the Bruins bested the Jets at the Garden by a 4-1 final in their only previous meeting this season.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Today's Train of Though- Dogwood Bumstead, April 8, 2014

Today's Train of Thought takes us to the heart of Dixie at the start of springtime. In many places throughout the south, many of the railroads and highways are lined with blossoming trees as the winter months recede [although I suspect many trees will be 'late bloomers'- if the bloom at all- due to this year's cold snap in the Deep South- NANESB!].

One pretty common tree is the dogwood, which goes by the latin name Cornus Florida. Besides the white blossoms in springtime, the wood for these trees have been known to be used for anything from cutting boards to golf clubs to walking canes- but probably not railroad ties.

Here, contributor Frank Orona caught CSX SD40-2 #8199 and C40-8 #7530 trundling past a stand of trackside dogwood trees in bloom on March 17, 2009 at Calera, AL with symbol freight M721, the Calera turn assigned between Birmingham and Calera. Immediately behind the two units is a lengthy cut of hopper cars carrying lime from Calera- the town is also home to the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum.