Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Night Cuppa Sports Chowdah- WIld Card Weekend Pretty Tame So Far, Rangers Corral B's, Hockey On Yawkey Revisited

The NFL postseason got underway this afternoon with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the NY Jets. In a performance that was only moderately better than last week's, the Bengals got off to the early 7-0 lead, but ultimately lost to New York 24-14. This puts Cincinnati's postseason winless streak at 19 years.

Another January NFL winless streak was snapped in the late game. The Dallas Cowboys have won their first postseason game since 1996, thrashing the Philadelphia Eagles 34-14 Saturday night. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to the Cowboys fans- just remember that the New England Patriots have won three Superbowls and the Pittsburgh Steelers have won two since Dallas last notched a postseason win.

Already without Patrice Bergeron (fractured thumb) and Marc Savard (partially torn right knee ligament), the Bruins fell to the Rangers 3-1 at the Garden Saturday afternoon. Dennis Wideman was the only Bruin to score and this was the last B's home game before embarking on their west coast road trip where they will take on the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night. While I'm not thrilled about the loss to NY, I'm just glad they got through the game without having another starter go on the DL. The team announced that they expect Savard to miss at least 3-4 weeks.
(Barry Chin/Boston Globe)

Just because the 2010 Winter Classic is over doesn't mean they're done playing hockey at Fenway. The Boston College Eagles and Boston University Terriers faced off in the shadow of the Green Monster Friday night on the same ice that the Bruins and Flyers played on a week prior. The Terriers got out to a quick 1-0 lead and held off the Eagles to win 3-2. The men's game was a nightcap to an earlier Women's game where Northeastern fell to the UNH Wildcats 5-3.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman rejected a proposal from Massachusetts State Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo on making Boston the permanent home of the League's New Years Day outdoor Winter Classic Games. In a reply to DeLeo (D-Winthrop), the commissioner wrote:

“. . . The dictates of fairness require the league to share the Winter Classic experience with other cities. One truly special attribute of the Winter Classic is its uniqueness, and we intend to preserve that precious resource on behalf of our clubs, our business partners and our fans.”


"Based on its outstanding performance as our host city in 2010, Boston is - and will be - considered in an extremely favorable light when Winter Classic sites and participants are being considered in the years to come...”

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the Winter Classic held in Fenway every year...but I don't think you'd have to look too far to see traces of bias on my part. I thought it was pretty presumptuous of DeLeo to suggest the NHL commit to Boston and nowhere else for one of its marquee events, but I'll chalk up the request as 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained'. Having said that, I think the next best thing would be to make an outdoor NCAA Hockey tournament at Fenway a regular feature. Perhaps set up the rink around this time of year and invite teams from the CCHA or WCHA (i.e. North Dakota, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Minnesota) and have them play a rotation of 'host' teams from Hockey East or have the first round of the Beanpot played with Fenway as the venue. Just a though, as I'm not sure how willing the Red Sox are to have a rink in the park every year.

Reports are circulating that USC head coach Pete Carrol may be the next Seattle Seahawks head coach. If true, this would be troublesome for USC on a few different levels. Frequently in the BCS conversation every year, the Trojans finished with a 9-4 record- all four of those losses coming against Pac 10 opponents.- and had to settle for an appearance at the Emerald Bowl [which they beat Boston College....I know- NANESB!]. There's also the matter of USC losing receiver Damian Williams and tailback Joe McKnight to the NFL draft. McKnight also sat out the Emerald Bowl due to an ongoing NCAA investigation regarding his use of a Land Rover owned by a Santa Monica businessman.

Elsewhere: Reuters is reporting that two members of Togo's Soccer delegation were killed and a third was seriously wounded and airlifted to Johannesburg after the national team's bus was sprayed with gunfire in an ambush by insurgents in Angola. Togolese officials identified the slain men as media-relations officer Stanislas Ocloo and assistant coach Amele Abalo. Backup goaltender Kodjovi Obilale was evacuated to South Africa. The team was leaving their practice facility in a convoy when attacked.

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