Saturday, April 30, 2011

NFL Draft Results



1. CAROLINA PANTHERS - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn - ESPN Scouts Grade 93 - Newton threw for 2854 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1473 yards and 20 touchdowns on his way to a Heisman Trophy and a National Championship. Newton also caught a pair of passes for 42 yards and a score. Carolina takes a big risk here as Newton has all kinds of upside, but is far from a can't miss prospect. He will likely play early with only Jimmy Claussen, Tony Pike and Matt Moore ahead of him on the depth chart right now.

4. CINCINNATI BENGALS - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia - ESPN Scouts Grade 97 - The 6'4" Green caught 57 passes for 848 yards and 9 touchdowns for the Bulldogs last year. Cincinnati continues to add to its next generation of wideouts as Green becomes a nice addition to a group that already has Jordan Shipley (52 receptions, 600 yards as a rookie last yera). It remains to be seen what will happen with Carson Palmer, but the Bengals also drafted Andy Dalton out of TCU as their QB of the future, a pairing which should work out nicely for both youngsters.

5. ARIZONA CARDINALS - Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU - ESPN Scouts Grade 97 - Peterson is FAST. 6 feet fall with a 4.31 40, Peterson can make plays on the defensive side of the ball (4 interceptions) and in the return game (29.1 yards on kickoffs, 16.1 yards on punts). While the Cardinals had other needs here, it's hard to pass up on a player of Peterson's ability.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama - ESPN Scouts Grade 95 - Atlanta's offense gets a whole lot better with this pick. Jones has a great opportunity to be the perfect complement to go along with Roddy White, and with Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner and Matt Ryan all on the roster, these guys should put up a lot of points. Jones had 78 catches for 1133 yards and 7 touchdowns this past season for Alabama.

8. TENNESSEE TITANS - Jake Locker, QB, Washington - ESPN Scouts Grade 90 - The Titans continue to move into the post Vince Young/Jeff Fisher era drafting what they hope is their franchise quarterback of the future. Locker threw for 2265 yards in his senior year with 17 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions. Over his 4 year career with the Huskies he rushed for 1939 yards and 29 touchdowns. One of the quickest QBs are the combine, Locker posted a 4.5 40. It remains to be seen if the Titans will use him right away or if they'll keep Kerry Collins around for another year, or if they'll go a new direction entirely.

10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri - ESPN Scouts Grade 96 - David Garrard is still the starter, but few believed that Trent Edwards was going to be the QB of the future so this is a nice pickup for the Jags. Gabbert will be able to be brought along slowly a la Aaron Rodgers rather than be thrown into the fire right away. Last season with Missouri Gabbert threw for 3186 yards and 16 touchdowns with just 9 interceptions.

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State - ESPN Scouts Grade 85 - An interesting pick here for Minnesota, but the fact remains that they needed a quarterback. Ponder threw for 2044 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior for the Seminoles last year.

13. DETROIT LIONS - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn - ESPN Scouts Grade 94 - The Lions defensive line now boasts Ndamakong Suh (10 sacks as a rookie last year) and Fairley as well as veterans Corey Williams, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril. Quarterbacks in the NFC North cannot be excited about this. Fairley had 60 tackles, 11 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles for National Champion Auburn last year.

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - ESPN Scouts Grade 92 - The Saints get the former Heisman winner to hopefully add some stability to their backfield. Last year they went to the playoffs with Julius Jones handling the bulk of the rushing load as they had 5 running backs on the injured reserve. Ingram didn't quite match his 2009 results (1658 rush yards 17 touchdowns) in 2010 (903 rush yards 13 touchdowns), but he still managed to average five and a half yards a carry. Ingram is also an accomplished receiver catching 53 passes over the past two seasons.

31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State - ESPN Scouts Grade 88 - Son of former Saints running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, Cameron was a one man wrecking crew in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas this January giving Ryan Mallett fits all night. Heyward adds youth to an aging defensive unit in Pittsburgh as the Steelers get ready to make another run at the AFC Title.


3. CINCINNATI BENGALS - Andy Dalton, QB, TCU - ESPN Scouts Grade 86 - Dalton led TCU to an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl title as a senior. He threw for 2857 yards and 27 touchdowns last year and now has the opportunity to become the franchise quarterback for the Bengals. As mentioned earlier, having a receiver like A.J. Green to help him develop is only going to make his situation better.

6. ARIZONA CARDINALS - Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech - ESPN Scouts Grade 88 - Williams was slowed by injuries in 2010 but showed what he can do in 2009 when he ran for 1655 yards and 21 touchdowns. With Beanie Wells unable to stay healthy, and Tim Hightower not capable of being an effective feature back, Williams has an opportunity to be the go-to guy in Arizona.

19. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson - ESPN Scouts Grade 91 - Bowers made 74 tackles and had 15 1/2 sacks for the Tigers in 2010. The Bucs took another defensive end in the first round (Adrian Clayborn out of Iowa) and a pair of defensive tackles early in last year's draft (Gerald McCoy and Briane Price) so the Bucs have created a nice little group. Bowers is a huge talent, but their are questions surrounding his health as he underwent knee surgery following the 2010 season.

32. GREEN BAY PACKERS - Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky - ESPN Scouts Grade 84 - The versatile Cobb had 84 receptions for 1017 yards for Kentucky last year. Cobb also was effective running the ball (55 carries for 424 yards) and on punt and kickoff returns. Green Bay had a need to fill on special teams and Cobb should fit right into that void.


9. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU - ESPN Scouts Grade 59 - Ridley ran for 1147 yards and scored 15 touchdowns for Les Miles' Tigers last year. Ridley is a strong, durable back who can run between the tackles giving the Patriots something they've been missing.

10. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas - ESPN Scouts Grade 82 - Mallett steps into a great situation in New England where he has an opportunity to learn from Tom Brady and be brought along slowly. Any character concerns should be taken care of in this veteran locker room as the Patriots could afford to gamble with a third round pick on the guy who arguably had the best arm in the draft. Mallett threw for 3869 yards and 32 touchdowns for the Razorbacks last year.

15. WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami (FL) - ESPN Scouts Grade 79 - Hankerson caught 72 passes for 1156 yards and 13 touchdowns for the U last year. Hankerson can expect to play immediately for a unit whose only real weapon last year was Santana Moss.


8. WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Roy Helu, RB, Nebraska - ESPN Scouts Grade 56 - Helu ran for 1245 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Huskers last year. 5'11 1/2" and 219 pounds for a 4.40 40, Helu has a good combination of size and speed. Expectations are that Helu will fit nicely into Mike Shanahan's scheme behind Ryan Torain.

19. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Casey Matthews, ILB, Oregon - ESPN Scouts Grade 64 - If pedigree counts for anything, then Matthews is golden. Matthews can also get it done on the field though with 79 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries for the Oregon Ducks. He might not be as good as brother Clay, but he has the same motor and should make an impact this year.


4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa - ESPN Scouts Grade 75 - Stanzi threw for 3004 yards and 25 touchdowns with just 6 interceptions for Iowa last year starting all 13 games for the Hawkeyes. Matt Cassel is the starter, so there's no pressure on Stanzi to start any time soon, but he will be able to compete with Brodie Croyle for the backup spot.

14. ATLANTA FALCONS - Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State - ESPN Scouts Grade 71 - Jacquizz ran for 1184 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Beavers last year and also had 44 receptions out of the backfield. In 2009 he was even better with 1440 yards on the ground, 21 rushing touchdowns and 78 receptions. Only 5'6" he is certainly undersized so he has his work cut out for him.

20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Ahmad Black, S, Florida - ESPN Scouts Grade 70 - Black had 108 tackles and 5 interceptions last year for the Gators including a pair in the Outback Bowl against Penn State one of which he returned 80 yards for a touchdown to ice the game.


15. BALTIMORE RAVENS - Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech - ESPN Scouts Grade 60 - An outstanding athlete, Taylor threw for 2743 yards and 24 scores a year ago for the Hokies. In his 4 year career at Tech, he also ran for over 2000 yards and 23 touchdowns. The big question surrounding Taylor is whether or not he can play the position at the next level. With Flacco the starter in Baltimore, we are unlikely to find out anytime soon.


5. NEW YORK JETS - Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama - ESPN Scouts Grade 49 - McElroy threw for 2987 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Tide in 2010 completing over 70% of his passes.

51. HOUSTON TEXANS - Cheta Ozougwu, DE, Rice - ESPN Scouts Grade 34 - Mr. Irrelevant 2011, Ozougwu had 54 tackles and 3 sacks for the Owls in 2010.

NBA Conference Semifinal Predictions

With Memphis's stunning series win over the Spurs last night, the 4 conference semifinal matchups are now set. Let's take a look at how they each break down:

(8) Memphis Grizzlies vs (4) Oklahoma City Thunder

Memphis won the regular season series between these two teams 3 games to 1 with both teams scoring over 100 points in all four matchups. You can't put too much stock into those results though as three of those games before the NBA trade deadline. Since then the Thunder got bigger picking up Nazr Mohammed and Kendrick Perkins while the Grizzlies brought back Shane Battier. Battier and Mohammed both played in their March matchup (won by Memphis), but Perkins was out with an injury. The Thunder made quick work of the Nuggets in Round 1 defeating them in 5 games with the bulk of the damage done by all-stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The two combined for 56.2 points per game in the series while Serge Ibaka averaged a double double with 10.2 points and 11.0 rebounds a game. Memphis meanwhile dispatched the top seeded Spurs in 6 games for the first playoff series win in their franchise's history. Zach Randolph (21.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg), Marc Gasol (14.2 ppg, 12.3 rpg) and Mike Conley Jr (14.3 ppg, 6.2 apg) starred for Memphis in the opening round. While both teams certainly have their stars, one of the big strengths for both sides is depth. Oklahoma City comes at you with size off the bench in Nick Collison and Nazr Mohammed, but also scoring in James Harden and quickness in Eric Maynor. Memphis counters with depth of their own off the bench with a scorer in O.J Mayo, the versatile Darrell Arthur and a lock-down defender in Shane Battier.

So how's this whole thing going to play out? Replacing Nenad Krstic with Perkins and Mohammed tremendously upgrades OKC's toughness and interior defense, something they were lacking early in the season. Memphis is big inside with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, and Randolph put up big numbers in their regular season matchups against the Thunder (26.5 ppg, 13.0 rpg). The Grizzlies will not have Rudy Gay as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery, but Memphis has shown they are more than capable of winning games without him. For me, the series comes down to Kevin Durant. The Thunder have him, the Grizzlies don't. Durant's numbers against Memphis this year have been solid (30.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and the league's leading scorer has been equally productive in the postseason (32.4 ppg). If he puts up close to that in this series, and Russell Westbrook outplays Mike Conley Jr., which he should, the Thunder should win. Memphis got huge performances from Tony Allen in all three of their wins against the Thunder this year: 19 points, 27 points, 20 points. But Allen averaged just 8.8 points per game on the season. I don't see Tony Allen making an impact as an offensive player in this series, and I see the Thunder's depth in their front court and their ability to make the outside shot being the difference. The Grizzlies cinderella run ends here, Thunder in Six.

Photo Courtesy:

(3) Boston Celtics vs (2) Miami Heat

Perhaps the most anticipated matchup of the postseason. The Celtics won the East in 2008 and 2010 led by veterans Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Despite trading away Kendrick Perkins, the Celtics still came out and produced the only sweep of the first round taking all four games from the Knicks. Miami made waves this offseason by bringing in Chris Bosh and LeBron James to team up with Dwyane Wade in what was supposed to be a recipe for instant championships. Miami did what they needed to do in the first round taking out the 76ers in 5 games setting up their first real test of the playoffs. Boston won the first three regular season meetings between these two teams creating doubt in a lot of people's minds if they even belonged in the same category as the defending Eastern Conference. But Miami gained a huge boost of confidence with their 100-77 route of the Celtics 3 weeks ago. Will that be enough to carry them through the series? Personally, I don't think so.

Boston has the advantage of having been through all of this before. They know how to handle expectations, how to step up in big games, and they've won a title with the core of this group. Yes Kendrick Perkins is gone, but the C's still have their big 3, Rondo and Glen Davis from the 2008 squad that knocked off the Lakers. Miami is going to be feeling all kinds of pressure. The consequences of Miami not winning are a lot greater than if Boston doesn't win. LeBron's "legacy" is at stake so to speak. And so is Chris Bosh's to a point. Dwyane Wade has already won a title for Miami so he's off the hook, but if things don't go well for Miami out of the gates, it will be interesting to see how they respond. Adding to Miami's challenge is the fact that they will likely be without Mike Miller and will continue to be without Udonis Haslem putting a lot more pressure on their bench. The fate of the series may rest in the hands of James Jones, Mario Chalmers and Joel Anthony. That's a scary thought for Miami fans. That aside, for me this series comes down to two matchups. Chris Bosh versus Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo versus the tandem of Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers. Bosh's toughness has been questioned all year. We'll find out if it was warranted when he plays against one of the league's toughest players in Garnett. And then as Rondo goes, so does Boston. Rondo had a monster opening series posting a 10 point 9 rebound 9 assist game, a 30 point game, a triple double (with 20 assists) and a double double (21 and 12) in that order. Bibby and Chalmers will not be able to keep up with Rondo if he's playing at that level, and will decide the series, Boston in 6, clinching at home.

Photo Courtesy:

(5) Atlanta Hawks vs (1) Chicago Bulls
The Atlanta Hawks survived one tough task knocking out Dwight Howard in the Orlando Magic in the first round, but things don't get any easier for them as now they take on Derrick Rose and the top seeded Chicago Bulls. Atlanta won the first match between the two teams during the regular season, but Chicago blew them out  94-76 and 114-81 in the other two games. At the center of Chicago's success is Rose. The MVP candidate has taken his game to another level in the postseason averaging 27.6 points against the Pacers in Round 1. His outside shot was not on in the opening series (0/9 in Game 1, 1 for 9 in Game 4 - 8 for 37 overall - 21.6%), but he's still find a way to impact the game. He single handedly brought the Bulls back in Game 1, he hit the game winning shot in Game 3, he had 10 assists in Game 4 and he led all scorers with 25 points in the closeout victory in Game 5. Not to mention he's hitting 86.7% of his free throws in the postseason. 
Can Atlanta win this series? They've shown they can beat the Bulls, but it took a career high 31 points from Al Horford and Derrick Rose  hitting just 5 of 12 shots and turning the ball over 6 times to do it. Even with that, the Hawks had to erase an early 14-0 deficit. The Bulls are the better team and the odds are stacked against the Hawks even further due to Kirk Hinrich's hamstring injury suffered in Game 6 against the Magic. Without him, now Atlanta has a gap at the point guard position. Who will slow down Rose? Atlanta did not score more than 83 points in any game against the Bulls this season, and with the Bulls known for their defense, this series figures to offer more of the same. Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson will get theirs, and Josh Smith and Al Horford will have their moments, but ultimately Atlanta is not in the same category as Chicago. I can see them winning one at home, but that's really it. Bulls in 5.
Photo Courtesy:
(3) Dallas Mavericks vs (2) Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant and the Lakers meet Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks. For me this is one of the tougher matchups to predict in this round just because Dallas is so hard to predict. The Lakers took two out of three from the Mavs during the regular season, including a 110-82 win a month ago. The Lakers and Mavericks both had difficult round one matchups with Chris Paul and the Hornets giving the Lakers a lot more trouble than expected, and Dallas having to fight through a six game slugfest with the Blazers. 

Kobe Bryant (22.5 ppg in the opening round) and Dirk Nowitzki (27.3 ppg) are both playing at an extremely high level so far in the postseason. And while those two players are likely going to be the ones with the ball in their hands with the game on the line, it's going to be the other matchups in this series that decide who advances to the conference finals. Andrew Bynum is averaging over 15 points and 10 rebounds a game in the postseason making up for Pau Gasol's early playoff struggles (41.8%). Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 20 rebounds in Game 5 against Portland, but was otherwise not a HUGE factor. If Bynum has his way with Chandler down low, this is a huge edge for the Lakers. If Chandler and Brendan Haywood can lock him down and keep him and Gasol off the offensive glass, big edge for Dallas. Point Guard play will also be important. Each team features an established veteran presence at the point with Derek Fisher leading the Lakers and Jason Kidd the Mavs. Kidd's scoring and shooting are way up in the postseason, but his assists are down (just 6.5 a game). Kidd's ability to facilitate the offense will be key. His ability to knock down shots is also a big plus. And everyone saw last year in the finals what Fisher can bring to the table so you know how important he is to the Lakers. Then there's bench play. Dallas has Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, Peja Stojakovic and Haywood, and now there's talk that they may even get Caron Butler back. The Lakers have the 6th man of the year in Odom, Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes and Steve Blake. Obviously both sides depend on contributions from the bench. Will Butler be enough to swing the advantage to Dallas or will Odom's length and versatility keep the Lakers on top? As much as I hate to say it, I see the Lakers taking this one. Bynum appears to have elevated his level of play and I can't see Gasol continuing to struggle the way he did in Round 1. The more those two contribute, the more pressure it takes off Bryant to do it all which makes him that much more dangerous. I see the Mavericks definitely making L.A. work for it, but ultimately they'll come up just short. Lakers in 7.

Photo Courtesy:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Champions League Semifinals - Leg 1 Results

Manchester United 2 Schalke 04 0

Manchester United scored a pair of goals just two minutes apart in the second half and put together a dominant performance in defeating the surprising Schalke 04 in the first leg of their Champions League match. Wayne Rooney sprung the ageless Ryan Giggs for the first goal and was set up by Javier Hernandez for the second as United now carries a two goal lead back to Old Trafford. If United can hold on they will reach the finals for the 3rd time in 4 years. They won the tournament back in 2008 when they defeated Chelsea on penalties, but fell 2-0 to Barcelona in 2009. United will play at Arsenal on Sunday before they return home for the second leg on Wednesday.

Photo Courtesy:

Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 0

Real Madrid may have won the Copa del Rey last week, but they couldn't duplicate their success in an ugly 2-0 loss to Barcelona. Lionel Messi scored a pair of goals in the second half after Pepe was sent off in the 61st minute for a tackle on Dani Alves as Barcelona now heads back home, like Manchester United, with a 2 goal lead. In addition to Pepe getting sent off, Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho and Barcelona's backup goalie Jose Pinto were also ejected from the bench. Messi now has 52 goals in all competitions this season as his Barcelona squad appears well on their way to a 7th Champions League Final. Barcelona won the competition in 2009 against Manchester United and in 2006 against Arsenal.

Photo Courtesy:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NHL Conference Semifinal Matchups


Capitals - Lightning

Game 1 - Friday 4/29 @ Washington
Washington won regular season series 4-2
Washington Leading Playoff Scorer - Alex Ovechkin 3 goals 3 assists
Tampa Bay Leading Playoff Scorer - Martin St. Louis 4 goals 4 assists
Washington Goalkeeping - Michal Neuvirth 4-1 1.38 94.6%
Tampa Bay Goalkeeping - Dwayne Roloson 4-3 1.77 94.9%

Flyers - Bruins

Game 1 - Saturday 4/30 @ Philadelphia
Boston won regular season series 3-1
Philadelphia Leading Playoff Scorer -  Claude Giroux 1 goal 8 assists
Boston Leading Playoff Scorer - Patrice Bergeron 2 goals 5 assists
Philadelphia Goalkeeping - Brian Boucher 4-1 2.10 93.4%
Boston Goalkeeping - Tim Thomas 4-3 2.24 92.6%


Sharks - Red Wings

Game 1 - Saturday 4/29 @ San Jose
San Jose won regular season series 3-1
Detroit Leading Playoff Scorer -  Pavel Datsyuk 2 goals 4 assists

San Jose Leading Playoff Scorer - Ryane Clowe 4 goals 3 assists

Detroit Goalkeeping - Jimmy Howard 4-0 2.50 91.5%

San Jose Goalkeeping - Antti Niemi 3-2 3.99 86.3%

Canucks - Predators

Game 1 - Thursday 4/28 @ Vancouver

Regular Season Series tied 2-2
Vancouver Leading Playoff Scorer -  Daniel Sedin 5 goals 2 assists

Nashville Leading Playoff Scorer - Mike Fisher 3 goals 3 assists

Vancouver Goalkeeping - Roberto Luongo 4-3 2.97 90.3%

Nashville Goalkeeping - Pekka Rinne 4-2 3.29 87.6%

NHL Playoff Update - And then there were 8

Boston 4 Montreal 3, OT - Boston wins series 4-3.


BOS- Johnny Boychuk (1), Mark Recchi (1), Chris Kelly (3), Nathan Horton (3)
MON- Yannick Weber (2), Tomas Plekanec (2), P.K. Subban (2)


Montreal has not won a Stanley Cup since 1993. They are currently in the midst of their longest drought in franchise history between titles... Nathan Horton had never played in the playoffs before joining the Bruins this season. He spent his first six seasons with the Florida Panthers. Horton became the 5th player in NHL history to score OT goals in the same series. Horton also scored the game winner in Game 5... P.K. Subban tied the game up with under 2 minutes to go in the third period to send it into overtime... Johnny Boychuk scored just 3 goals in 69 games during the regular season.

Tampa Bay 1 Pittsburgh 0 - Tampa Bay wins series 4-3.


TAM- Sean Bergenheim (3)
PIT- none


Pittsburgh scored just 4 goals over the final 3 games and did not score more than 3 goals in any game in the series... 41 year old Dwayne Roloson made 36 saves to earn his second career postseason shutout and first since 2006. Roloson has 28 career regular season shutouts in 525 starts... Sean Bergenheim is playing in his first postseason after spending the last 5 years with the Islanders. Bergenheim had 3 goals and an assist in the series... Tampa Bay has never lost a Game 7.

NHL Playoff Update

Montreal 2 Boston 1 - Series tied 3-3.


MON- Mike Cammalleri (3), Brian Gionta (3)
BOS- Dennis Seidenberg (1)


Both of Montreal's goals came during 5 on 3 advantages... This will be the 8th time the Canadiens and Bruins have met in a Game 7... Mike Cammalleri now has 9 points through the first 6 games of this series (3 goals 6 assists). In the 2010 playoffs he finished with 13 goals and 6 assists in 19 games... Bruin Winger Milan Lucic was ejected in the second period for a hit on Jaroslav Spacek... Game 7 will be tonight in Boston.

Philadelphia 5 Buffalo 2 - Philadelphia wins series 4-3.


PHI- Braydon Coburn (1), Danny Briere (6), James van Riemsdyk (4), Ville Leino (3), Daniel Carcillo (2)
BUF- Tyler Myers (1), Brad Boyes (1)


Briere tied the Ducks Teemu Selanne with his 6th goal of the postseason... Braydon Coburn scored just 2 goals in 82 games during the regular season before scoring in the closing seconds of the first period. It was just his second playoff goal in 50 postseason games... Brian Boucher made 26 saves for the win as Philadelphia avoided switching goalies in Game 7. Buffalo yanked their goalie Ryan Miller in the 3rd period after he allowed a 4th goal giving the Flyers a 4-0 edge.

Vancouver 2 Chicago 1, OT - Vancouver wins series 4-3.


VAN- Alex Burrows 2 (3)
CHI- Jonathan Toews (1)


Toews tied the game with a shorthanded goal with just under 2 minutes remaining in the third period... Burrows missed a penalty shot early in the third period... Corey Crawford made 36 saves in a losing effort for the Blackhawks... Burrows tied a career high with his 3rd goal of the playoffs. He also scored 3 goals in 2009 (in 10 games) and 2010 (in 12 games). His 6 points also match a playoff high set in 2010... Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo missed game 7 after sustaining an injury in Game 6... Toews finished with just the one goal after tallying 7 in both the 2009 and 2010 postseasons.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manchester United vs Schalke 04 - Who's Who

Manchester United Starters

Goalie - Edwin van der Sar - Long time goalie for Ajax in the 90s, came to Manchester United in 2005. Played in 130 matches with the Dutch National Team between 1995 and 2008. He has won the award for Best Europen Goalkeeper 4 times, Dutch Football Goalkeeper of the Year 4 times, and he is the most capped player in Netherlands history.

Defense - Nemanja Vidic - 29 year old Serbian center back who established himself with Red Star Belgrade in the early 2000s. Came to Manchester United in 2006 and has been a mainstay since the 2006-2007 season. Vidic has scored a pair of goals in 54 appearances for Serbia and has twice been named the Serbian Footballer of the Year.

Defense - Rio Ferdinand - 32 year old English center back who has been with Man U since 2002 logging well over 200 appearances. Ferdinand has 80 caps with the English national team and has netted 3 international goals including one against Denmark in the 2002 World Cup.

Defense - Patrice Evra - 29 year old French outside back came to Manchester United in 2006 after playing over 100 matches with Monaco. Evra also has 33 caps with the French National Team.

Defense - Fabio - 20 year old Brazilian outside back who has been with Manchester United since 2008. Played internationally for Brazil's U-17 squad. Scored his first Premier League goal this season against Wigan Athletic.

Midfield - Ryan Giggs - 37 year old Welsh veteran who has been with Manchester United since 1990 logging over 850 appearances (in all competitions) and 150 goals over his storied career. Has twice been named the Wales Player of the Year and has appeared 64 times scoring 12 goals for the Welsh National Team.

Midfield - Michael Carrick - 29 year old center mid who came to United in 2006 after stints with West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur. He has made 22 appearances for the English National Team and was on England's 2010 World Cup team though he did not receive any playing time while there.

Midfield - Park Ji-Sung - 30 year old Korean midfielder who joined United in 2005 after playing with PSV Eindhoven. He has 100 caps with the South Korean National Team and has scored 13 international goals. He scored goals in 3 consecutive World Cups (2002 against Portugal, 2006 against France, 2010 against Greece) and following the 2011 Asian Cup, retired from international play.

Midfield - Antonio Valencia - 25 year old Ecuadorian midfielder joined Manchester United in 2009 after spending two seasons with Wigan Athletic. Valencia has 44 caps with the Ecuadorian National Team and has score 6 goals for them, 5 in World Cup Qualifying matches.

Forward - Javier Hernandez - 22 year Mexican striker who goes by Chicharito in his first season with Manchester United after playing previously in Mexico for Guadalajara. Chicharito is the first Mexican ever to play for United. He also plays for the Mexican National Team where he has notched 14 goals in 23 matches including a pair at the 2010 World Cup.

Forward - Wayne Rooney - 25 year old English striker who started with Everton before joining Manchester United in 2004. Rooney scored 26 goals last season in 32 matches and has tallied 144 goals in 315 matches in all competitions for United. Rooney has scored 26 goals for English in 70 appearances, but failed to score in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

Schalke 04 Starters

Goalie - Manuel Neuer - 25 year old German keeper has been with Schalke since 2005 logging over 152 appearances. Neuer has 17 caps with the German senior national team after appearing with their youth teams from 2004-2009. Neuer played in all of Germany's 2010 World Cup matches with the exception of the third place game against Uruguay.

Defense - Christoph Metzelder - 30 year old center back who came to Schalke after spending 2007-2010 with Real Madrid. Metzelder also appeared in 47 games for Germany's National Team between 2001 and 2008.

Defense - Joel Matip - 19 year old Cameroonian defender who has been with Schalke since 2009. Matip, though born in Germany, has opted to play for Cameroon's National Team already notching 5 caps before his 20th birthday.

Defense - Hans Sarpei - 34 year old Ghanaian defender in his first season with Schalke 04 after playing previously with Bayer Leverkusen. A member of Ghana's World Cup team in 2006 and 2010, he has logged 36 caps for the Black Stars and scored one international goal.

Defense - Atsuto Uchida - 23 year old Japanese defender in his first season with Schalke 04 after playing several years with the Kashima Antlers. Uchida has 39 caps with the Japanese National Team and started 5 games in the 2011 Asian Cup which Japan ended up winning.

Midfield - Jose Jurado - 24 year old Spanish midfielder playing in his first season in Germany after playing with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Mallorca. He has played for Spain's youth national teams between 2001 and 2009 but has yet to make an appearance for the Senior National Team.

Midfield - Kyriakos Papadopoulos - 19 year old Greek midfielder in his first season with Schalke 04 after playing for Olympiacos. Has been a member of the Greek youth national teams since 2006.

Midfield - Alexander Baumjohann - 24 year old German midfielder in his second stint with Schalke playing most recently for Bayern Munich. Baumjohann made a pair of appearances for Germany's U-21 side back in 2009.

Midfield - Jefferson Farfan - 26 year out Peruvian who has been with Schalke 04 since 2008 after playing with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Farfan has been a part of the Peruvian National team since 2003 logging 40 appearances and netting 12 goals. 7 of his 12 goals came in World Cup Qualifying matches.

Forward - Raul - 33 year old legendary Spanish striker who logged over 700 appearances and scored over 300 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid. In his first season with Schalke 04 he has been a big part of their run to the Champions League Semifinals. Raul had 102 caps with Spain and scored 44 international goals, including goals in 3 different World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006)

Forward - Eduardo Goncalves de Oliveira - 29 year old Brazilian striker 'Edu' is in his first season with Schalke 04. Played most recently in Korea for the Suwon Bluewings.

Playoff Statistical Leaders

NBA Playoffs

*Player eliminated from playoffs

Scoring - East

1. Dwight Howard* - Orlando - 27.0 ppg
2. Derrick Rose - Chicago - 26.7 ppg
3. Carmelo Anthony* - New York - 26.0 ppg
4. LeBron James - Miami - 25.4 ppg
5. Dwyane Wade - Miami - 25.3 ppg

Scoring - West

1. Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City - 31.6 ppg
2. Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas 27.0 ppg
3. Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City - 24.6 ppg
4. Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles - 24.3 ppg
5. Zach Randolph - Memphis - 22.3 ppg

Rebounding - East

1. Dwight Howard* - Orlando - 15.5 rpg
2. Al Horford - Atlanta - 11.0 rpg
3. Joakim Noah - Chicago - 10.9 rpg
4. Carmelo Anthony* - New York 10.3 rpg
5. Carlos Boozer - Chicago - 10.0 rpg

Rebounding - West

1. Marc Gasol - Memphis - 12.1 rpg
2. Tim Duncan* - San Antonio - 10.5 rpg
3. Serge Ibaka - Oklahoma City - 10.3 rpg
4. Andrew Bynum - Los Angeles - 10.0 rpg
5. Marcus Camby* - Portland - 9.7 rpg

Assists - East

1. Rajon Rondo - Boston - 11.2 apg
2. Derrick Rose - Chicago - 7.3 apg
3. Andre Iguodala* - Philadelphia - 6.8 apg
4. Jrue Holiday* - Philadelphia - 5.6 apg
5. LeBron James - Miami - 5.4 apg

Assists - West

1. Chris Paul* - New Orleans - 11.5 apg
2. Jason Kidd - Dallas - 7.0 apg
3. Mike Conley - Memphis - 6.5 apg
4. Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City - 6.1 apg
5. Andre Miller* - Portland - 5.5 apg

NHL Playoffs


1. Danny Briere - Philadelphia - 7
1. Sean Bergenheim - Tampa Bay - 7
1. James van Riemsdyk - Tampa Bay - 7
4. Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay - 6
4. Teemu Selanne - Anaheim - 6


1. Claude Giroux - Philadelphia - 11
2. Patrice Bergeron - Boston - 10
2. Steve Downie - Tampa Bay - 10
2. Teddy Purcell - Tampa Bay - 10
5. Ryan Kesler - Vancouver - 8


1. Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay - 13
2. Vincent Lecavalier - Tampa Bay - 12
2. Patrice Bergeron - Boston - 12
2. Steve Downie - Tampa Bay - 12
2. Claude Giroux - Philadelphia - 11

Goaltending (min 4 games)

1. Dwayne Roloson - Tampa Bay - 2.01 GAA (8-3)
2. Carey Price - Montreal - 2.11 GAA (3-4)
3. Tim Thomas - Boston - 2.13 GAA (7-3)
4. Roberto Luongo - Vancouver - 2.19 GAA ( 7-4)
5. Corey Crawford - Chicago - 2.21 GAA (3-4)
6. Henrik Lundqvist - Rangers - 2.26 GAA (1-4)
7. Michel Neuvirth - Washington - 2.34 GAA (4-5)
8. Jimmy Howard - Detroit - 2.48 GAA (4-3)
9. Marc-Andre Fleury - Pittsburgh - 2.52 GAA (3-4)
10. Pekka Rinne - Nashville - 2.57 GAA (5-5)

Top Tens

Men's Tennis Rankings

1. Rafael Nadal (Spain) - 12870 points
2. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) - 9640 points
3. Roger Federer (Switzerland) - 8550 points
4. Andy Murray (Great Britain) - 5905 points
5. Robin Soderling (Sweden) - 5175 points
6. David Ferrer (Spain) - 4840 points
7. Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) - 3900 points
8. Jurgen Melzer (Austria) - 3020 points
9. Gael Monfils (France) - 2600 points
10. Nicolas Almagro (Spain) - 2530 points

Out: Mardy Fish (11)

Women's Tennis Rankings

1. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) - 9970 points
2. Kim Clijsters (Belgium) - 8115 points
3. Vera Zvonareva (Russia) - 7615 points
4. Francesca Schiavone (Italy) - 4892 points
5. Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) - 4630 points
6. Samantha Stosur (Australia) - 4336 points
7. Li Na (China) - 4300 points
8. Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) - 4235 points
9. Maria Sharapova (Russia) - 3726 points
10. Serena Williams (USA) - 3035 points

FedEx Cup Points Leaders

1. Mark Wilson 1207 (1)
2. Luke Donald 1144 (7)
3. Phil Mickelson 1089 (2)
4. Martin Laird 1064 (3) 
5. Gary Woodland 1048 (4)
6. Nick Watney 985 (5)
7. Brandt Snedeker 975 (-)
8. Aaron Baddeley 954 (6)
9. Matt Kuchar 843 (-)
10. Bubba Watson 839 (8)

Out: Rory Sabbatini (11), Jhonattan Vegas (12)

NCAA Baseball Rankings (Previous Week)

1. Virginia 40-4 (1)
2. Vanderbilt 35-5 (3)
3. South Carolina 31-8 (2)
4. Florida 31-10 (5)
5. Texas 30-10 (4)
6. Texas A&M 29-11 (7)
7. Arizona State 28-9 (9)
8. Florida State 31-10 (11)
9. Oregon State 29-8 (8)
10. TCU 29-11 (14)

Out: CS Fullerton (12), North Carolina (14)

AL Leading Hitters (through Monday)

1. Jose Bautista TOR - .364 (24/66)
2. Michael Young TEX - .363 (33/91)
3. Alex Gordon KC - .356 (32/90)
4. Travis Hafner CLE - .348 (24/69)
4. Brennan Boesch DET - .348 (24/69)
6. Jason Kubel MIN - .347 (26/75)
7. Alex Rodriguez NYY - .346 (18/52)
7. Sam Fuld TB - .346 (27/78)
9. Miguel Cabrera DET - .338 (26/77)
10. Maicer Izturis LAA - .338 (27/80)

NL Leading Hitters (through Monday)

1. Matt Kemp LAD - .396 (36/91)
2. Joey Votto CIN - .383 (31/81)
3. Andre Ethier LAD - .380 (35/92)
4. Ryan Braun MIL - .378 (31/82)
5. Lance Berkman STL - .377 (26/69)
6. Placido Polanco PHI - .372 (32/86)
7. Brandon Phillips CIN - .364 (28/77)
8. Starlin Castro CHC - .357 (35/98)
9. Prince Fielder MIL - .345 (29/84)
10. David Freese STL - .343 (23/67)

Photos Courtesy (in order of appearance):

NHL Playoff Wrap - Monday Night

Tampa Bay 4 Pittsburgh 2 - Series tied 3-3.


PIT- Pascal Dupuis (1), Jordan Staal (1)
TAM- Teddy Purcell (1), Sean Bergenheim (2), Steve Downie (1), Ryan Malone (1)


Steve Downie scored his first postseason goal in 11 career playoff games. He now had 5 assists in the postseason after picking up two last night... Marc-Andre Fleury faced just 21 shots but allowed 4 goals... Teddy Purcell's goal was the first of his playoff career... 41 year old Dwayne Roloson won his 21st career playoff game. Prior to this season he hadn't played in the postseason since 2006 with the Oilers.. Game 7 will be Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

San Jose 4 Los Angeles 3, OT - San Jose wins series 4-2.


SAN- Kyle Wellwood (1), Jason Demers (2), Dany Heatley (2), Joe Thornton (2)
LOS- Justin Williams (3), Ryan Smyth (2), Trevor Lewis (1)


This was the third game this series to go into overtime. San Jose won all 3 (games 1, 3 and 6)... Joe Thornton's game winner was his 17th career playoff goal in 97 games with Boston and San Jose. He is now one goal shy of his career playoff high set in 2010 with the Sharks (3 goals in 15 games) and 1999 with the B's (3 goals in 11 games)... Dany Heatley had 2 goals and 11 assists for the Sharks in last year's playoffs (14 games). He has 2 goals and 2 assists through 6 games this year... Antti Niemi has allowed 19 goals in the 6 game series and was pulled out of games twice. Last year with the Blackhawks he went 16-6 in the postseason and allowed just 2.63 goals per game.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tough Breaks for MLS

Major League Soccer lost a pair of stars this weekend as both Seattle's Steve Zakuani and the reigning MVP David Ferreira broke bones this weekend. Zakuani went down first on Friday night breaking both his tibia and fibula when hit by a crushing tackle from Colorado midfielder Brian Mullan. Zakuani has already undergone surgery for the compound fractures in his leg and is not expected to return this season. Mullan was ejected on the play. Ferreira sustained a double fracture in his right ankle on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps when he was on the receiving end of a hard tackle from Jonny Leathers. Ferreira needed to be stretchered off the field and it's speculated that he too will require surgery. Reports state that the surgery will not be scheduled until Ferreira returns to Dallas. This is a crushing blow for both teams and the league as it loses two of its more dynamic players.

The 23 year old Zakuani tied for the team lead with 10 goals for the Sounders last season to go along with 6 assists. Zakuani was also tied for the team's scoring lead this season with a pair of goals in 6 games. Zakuani was a star at Akron where he led the nation in goals in 2008 with 20. As a rookie in 2009, Zakuani led all first-year players in goals (4) and assists (4). Zakuani made his international debut playing for the Democratic Republic of Congo in November of last year.

Photo Courtesy:

Ferreira, the reigning MVP, finished last season with 8 goals and 13 assists in 30 games and then added another 2 goals and 3 assists in 4 playoff games. At the time of his injury this year, Ferreira had already tallied 3 goals to lead Dallas. The 31 year old midfielder is in his 3rd MLS season on loan from Brazilian Clube Atletico Paranaense. He played internationally with Colombia most recently in October of 2008 against Paraguay.

Photo Courtesy:

NBA Playoff Update - Tuesday through Thursday


Game 5 - Orlando 101 Atlanta 76

Facing elimination, the Magic came up big thumping the Hawks by 25 to cut the deficit in the series to 3 games to 2. The Magic jumped out to a 58-35 halftime lead and never looked back. Seven different players hit threes for Orlando who was led by Jason Richardson's 17 points. Dwight Howard finished with just 8 points and 8 rebounds, but it didn't matter as Atlanta was out of it from the start. The Hawks shot just 36.2% from the field with Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford combing to hit just 4 of 20 shots. Josh Smith led the Hawks with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Al Horford contributed 9 points, 14 boards and 6 assists in a losing effort.

Game 6 - Atlanta 84 Orlando 81

Atlanta avenged their 4 game sweep at the hands of the Magic in last year's postseason by closing out the Magic in 6 games last night. Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford bounced back from their poor performances in Game 5 to combine for 42 points and Al Horford contributed 10 points, 12 boards and 6 assists as the Hawks sent Dwight Howard and the Magic packing. Howard had 25 points 15 boards and 3 blocks, but it wasn't enough to stop Orlando from bowing out of the postseason. The Magic had two chances to send the game into overtime but J.J. Redick's open look rimmed out and Jason Richardson's shot from the corner was blocked by Smith.


Game 5 - Los Angeles 106 New Orleans 90

Kobe Bryant finished with 19 points in 29 minutes, injured ankle and all, and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum combined for 34 points and 18 rebounds as the Lakers took a 3-2 lead in their Best of 7 series. Chris Paul, Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza all went over 20 points for New Orleans, but the Hornets turned the ball over 17 times. The Lakers also had a dominant edge on the glass outrebounding the Hornets 42-25.

Game 6 - Los Angeles 98 New Orleans 80

The Lakers advanced to the second round with a decisive Game 6 win over the Hornets in New Orleans tonight. Kobe Bryant finished with 24 points and Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Lakers. The Lakers once again dominated the glass outrebounding the Hornets this time 43-30. Trevor Ariza had 19 points to lead New Orleans and Chris Paul had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists but it wasn't enough to keep the Hornets alive in the postseason.


Game 5 - Chicago 116 Indiana 89

The Bulls bounced back from their Game 4 defeat taking a lead early and never looking back as they routed the Pacers to close out their Best of 7 series in 5. Derrick Rose had 25 points in 30 minutes and contributed 6 assists and Luol Deng added 24 points and 7 assists as the Bulls advanced to the second round. Chicago hit 14 3-pointers including 5 by Keith Bogans and 3 by Rose and Deng after Chicago hit just 3 as a team in Game 4. Danny Granger had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Indiana in defeat while the Bulls improved to 39-5 at the United Center on the year.


Game 6 - Dallas 103 Portland 96

The Blazers jumped out to an early 12 point lead but couldn't hold on as the Mavericks clinched the series in 6 games. Gerald Wallace had 32 points and 12 rebounds and LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 10 rebounds, but they were outdone by the tandem of Dirk Nowitzki (33 points, 11 rebounds) and Jason Terry (22 points 8 assists). Portland hit just 5 of 21 3-pointers in the loss as their bid to force a Game 7 and send the series back to Dallas fell short.


Game 5 - San Antonio 110 Memphis 103, OT

Memphis was just 1.7 seconds from pulling off a stunning series upset of the top-seeded Spurs but it wasn't Tony Parker, Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili who saved their season. Undrafted rookie Gary Neal hit a 3-pointer in the face of O.J. Mayo just before time expired and the Spurs pulled away in overtime to stay alive in the series. The Spurs big three certainly played a part in the win though as Ginobili led the Spurs with 33 points, Parker had 24 and 9 assists and Duncan had 13 points and 12 boards. Zach Randolph had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Marc Gasol had 11 points and 17 rebounds as the underdog Grizzlies missed a golden chance to close out the series on San Antonio's home floor. With the loss though they can now clinch at home tomorrow night.


Game 5 - Oklahoma City 100 Denver 97

The Thunder won their first playoff series since coming to Oklahoma City from Seattle as they closed out the Nuggets in 5 games. Kevin Durant took the game over in the 4th quarter as the Thunder erased a 9 point deficit in the final four minutes. Durant finished with 41 points for the second time in the series to lead all scorers and Kendrick Perkins added 11 points and 9 rebounds as OKC overcame a rough shooting night from Russell Westbrook (3/15). Arron Afflalo had 15 points and Kenyon Martin had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Nuggets in defeat. Oklahoma City had a 51-38 rebounding edge in Game 5.


Game 5 - Miami 97 Philadelphia 91

The Sixers gave it their best effort getting 22 points apiece from Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala, but it wasn't enough to knock off the Big Three. Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade all had double doubles and Mario Chalmers and James Jones combined for 9 3's off the bench to send Miami to the second round for their highly anticipated series with the defending Eastern Conference Champion Celtics. Wade averaged 22.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the series, Bosh averaged 19.8 points and 9.0 rebounds, and James averaged 24.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NHL Playoff Update - Weekend Games

Saturday Games

Tampa Bay 8 Pittsburgh 2 - Pittsburgh leads series 3-2.


TAM- Simon Gagne 2 (2), Steven Stamkos 2 (2), Vincent Lecavalier (2), Pavel Kubina 2 (2), Dominic Moore (1)
PIT- Mike Rupp (1), Chris Conner (1)


Tampa Bay scored the game's first 7 goals... Tampa Bay scored just 9 goals in the first four games of the series before tallying 8 in game 5... Simon Gagne scored his 33rd and 34th career playoff goals. He scored 9 goals in last year's playoffs with the Flyers... 21 year old Steven Stamkos finally scored his first postseason goals in his 5th playoff game. Stamkos tallied 96 goals in 164 games for the Lightning over the past two seasons... Pavel Kubina scored just 4 goals in 79 games during the regular season before scoring two goals in Game 5. Coming into Game 5 he had just 1 playoff goal in 42 games... Game 6 is Monday night in Tampa.

Washington 3 New York Rangers 1 - Washington wins series 4-1.


WAS- Mike Green (1), Alex Ovechkin (3), Alexander Semin (3)
NYR- Wojtek Wolski (1)


Washington blew a 3-1 series lead to Montreal in last year's playoffs... Ovechkin finished the 5 games series with 3 goals and 3 assists. His career high for playoff goals is 11 back in 2009. He also added 10 assists that year in 14 games... 23 year old Michal Neuvirth allowed just 8 goals in the series posting a 1.38 goals against average and saving 140 of 148 shots against him (94.6%)... Washington becomes the second team to advance to the 2nd round, Detroit being the first.

Boston 2 Montreal 1, 2 OT - Boston leads series 3-2


BOS- Brad Marchand (1), Nathan Horton (2)
MTL- Jeff Halpern (1)


The Bruins have won 3 straight after dropping the first two games in this series... Tim Thomas saved 44 of 45 shots to earn the win... 23 year old Carey Price made 49 saves for the Canadiens... Brad Marchand's goal was his first career goal in the playoffs. He scored 21 times for the Bruins during the regular season... Nathan Horton scored 26 goals during the regular season, his first season with Boston. He had not played in the playoffs prior to this season, his 7th in the NHL... Game 6 is tonight in Montreal where the Bruins won Games 3 and 4.

Los Angeles 3 San Jose 1 - San Jose leads series 3-2.


LOS- Wayne Simmonds (1), Kyle Clifford (3), Dustin Penner (1)
SAN- Patrick Marleau (1)


Jonathan Quick made 51 saves for the Kings to set a club posteason record. Quick also made 51 saves in a game this season against the Detroit Red Wings on December 13th... Kyle Clifford had just 7 goals and 7 assists in 76 games during the regular season. In 5 playoff games he has 3 goals and 2 assists... Dustin Penner's goal was his first since March 13th against Dallas... Game 6 will be tonight in Los Angeles.

Sunday Games

Philadelphia 5 Buffalo 4, OT - Series tied 3-3.


PHI- Danny Briere 2 (5), James van Riemsdyk (3), Scott Hartnell (1), Ville Leino (2)
BUF- Rob Niedermayer (1), Thomas Vanek 2 (5), Nathan Gerbe (2)


For the second time in this series, Brian Boucher earned a win in a game he did not start. In Game 2 he got the win in relief of Sergei Bobrovsky. In Game 6 he earned the win in place of Michael Leighton... Briere scored 12 goals and had 18 assists in 23 games for the Flyers in last year's playoffs... Vanek is one goal away from tying a career playoff high. He had 6 goals in 16 games in the 2007 playoffs... Game 7 will be Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The Flyers have just won once on their home ice this series.

Nashville 4 Anaheim 2 - Nashville wins series 4-2.


NSH- Nick Spaling 2 (2), Steve Sullivan (2), David Legwand (2)
ANA- Teemu Selanne (6), Jason Blake (3)


Nashville did not score fewer than 3 goals in any game in the series (4,3,4,3,4,4)... Teemu Selanne leads all players with six first round goals... Nick Spaling scored just 8 goals in 74 regular season games this year. Prior to Game 6, he had been scoreless in 11 career playoff games... The Predators became the 3rd team to clinch a berth in the next round joining Washington and Detroit.

Chicago 4 Vancouver 3, OT - Series tied 3-3.


VAN- Daniel Sedin (5), Alex Burrows (1), Kevin Bieksa (1)
CHI- Bryan Bickell (2), Dave Bolland (2), Michael Frolik (2), Ben Smith (3)


The Blackhawks became the 7th team in Stanley Cup playoff history to force a Game 7 after being down 3 games to 0. The feat was achieved most recently by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 who went on to defeat the Bruins in Game 7... Ben Smith now has 3 career postseason goals versus just 1 regular season goal... Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider left the game with an injury after starting in place of Roberto Luongo. Luongo had given up 10 goals on 40 shots over the 2 previous games... Game 7 will be Tuesday night in Vancouver.

MLS Wrap - Week 6


The New York Red Bulls and Thierry Henry are suddenly red hot. After breaking out with 3 goals this weekend, the Red Bulls were right back at it on Thursday night blowing out DC 4-0. Thierry Henry got it going in the 12th minute with a header from the penalty spot off a cross from Jan Gunnar Solli for his second goal in as many matches. Solli and Henry combined again in the 38th minute as Henry got on the end of his cross easily beating Bill Hamid from the top of the six yard box for his second goal of the match. Then it was Henry's turn to do the table setting as he sprung Joel Lindpere on a counterattack. Lindpere did a nifty bit of footwork to school Clyde Simms and hammered the ball home for his first goal of the year to make it 3-0. But New York was still not done. Juan Agudelo came on as a substitute and scored just a sensational goal to close out the scoring in stoppage time. Solli tallied his third assist of the match as Agudelo flicked the cross to himself and volleyed it past Hamid for just an amazing finish for the teenage sensation. DC was unable to break through against Bouna Coundoul with substitute Branko Boskovic coming the closest. Boskovic hit the post twice after coming on at halftime but was unable to prevent the shutout. Both teams are off this weekend as DC will play again next Friday at Houston and New York will host Kansas City as they look to continue their recent offensive explosion.


Colorado's struggles continue as Brian Mullan was sent off in the third minute for a hard foul of Steve Zakuani. Zakuani's leg was badly broken on the play and the Sounders have likely lost him for the season. Fredy Montero scored on a counter attack in the 19th minute for his first MLS goal since August for the game's only goal. Matt Pickens made 3 saves for the Rapids to keep it close, including coming up huge to stuff O'Brian White from point blank range, but Colorado couldn't overcome the man-advantage and fell for the third straight match. Seattle's mood is sober despite the good win as they must now look to move forward without their star midfielder. The Sounders' next match is next Saturday at home against Toronto. The Rapids host the struggling Fire as they look to snap their own skid.


It took 6 games, but the Goats are finally in the win column. It didn't look good early though as Chris Wondolowski put the Earthquakes ahead 1-0 in the 16th minute beating Dan Kennedy with a flicked header for his 3rd goal of the year. But Chivas kept battling and eventually got the equalizer in first half stoppage time when Alejandro Moreno headed in a free kick from Heath Pierce for his second goal of the season. Then late in the second half, Chivas took the lead getting the go ahead goal from Mariano Trujillo. Justin Braun set the play up with a great run down the right side and while Jon Busch made a great save to deny Braun, the rebound deflected right to Trujillo who easily tapped the ball into the empty net for the game winner. Braun and Trujillo both came on as second half substitutes for the Goats. San Jose had a couple of chances late, but they couldn't quite get the final touch on the ball and they end up falling to their in-state rivals. Worse still, the Quakes now find themselves in last place in the Western Conference with a record of 1-3-2. San Jose is back in action again next Saturday when they travel to Philly to take on the Union while Chivas USA will play host to the Revolution.


For the second time this season we saw a player get sent off for picking up a second yellow during an excessive celebration. Tony Tchani scored the first goal against the Crew since their opener against DC United when he got on the end of a ball played over the top by Julian de Guzman. However, his decision to leave the field of play and celebrate with the home fans was deemed unsportsmanlike, and now Toronto was forced to go the rest of the match a man down. Three minutes into the second half, the Crew capitalized on the advantage when Emilio Renteria headed in a cross from Sebastian Miranda tying the game at 1. The Crew outshot Toronto 16-7 in the match, but forced Stefan Frei into making just two saves and were forced to settle for earning one point on the road. The Crew are now unbeaten in their last 5 matches and have moved up into 4th place in the Eastern Conference with 9 points. Toronto meanwhile gets their 4th draw of the year. The Crew take on another Canadian team next weekend when the host the Whitecaps while Toronto will head west to take on the Sounders.


Dallas fell behind early but battled back to steal 3 points on the road from Vancouver defeating the Whitecaps 2-1. Alain Rochat opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he headed a cross from Davide Chiumiento past Kevin Hartman for his first goal of the year. Chiumiento now has league-leading 5 assists this season. The Caps would take that lead into the intermission thanks to a missed PK from the reigning MVP David Ferreira. Ferreria had keeper Jay Nolly going the wrong direction, but he pulled his kick wide of the mark. It was a day Ferreira would just as soon forget as he would later leave the match with an injury in the 52nd minute. Almost immediately following Ferreira's exit, George John equalized for Dallas off a corner. Marvin Chavez drove the ball near post where it was flicked into the box by Jackson Goncalves and John then headed it in for his first goal of the year. The score would stay tied for another 30 minutes when Ferreira's replacement, Eric Avila would break through for the game winner. Avila ended up with the ball at the top of the box and beat Nolly with a driven shot to the back post for his first goal of the season. Dallas will look to build on this win when the host the Galaxy next Sunday night while the Caps will try and regroup for their match against the Crew on Saturday.

New England 3 Kansas City 2

The Revs overcame a 2-1 deficit and a brace from Kei Kamara to pull out a 3-2 win in front of the home crowd in Benny Feilhaber's MLS debut. Feilhaber wasted no time making an impact setting up Marko Perovic's long distance strike in the 12th minute to give the Revs a 1-0 lead. Kamara would tie it up a little over a minute later though beating Matt Reis at the near post with a low driven left-footed shot from near the top of the box. Kamara would then make it 2-1 after Teal Bunbury was taken down in the box by Kevin Alston burying the PK past Reis for his 2nd of the match and 3rd of the year. The lead was short-lived though as Shalrie Joseph would head a free kick from Kenny Mansally just under the bar to tied the game at 2 in the 72nd minute. Rajko Lekic would add another header about ten minutes later to make it 3-2 and giving the Revs back the lead. So the Benny Feilhaber era is off to a good start as the Revs take 3 points in front of the home crowd. With the loss Kansas City remains in last place in the East with just 4 points on the year through their first five matches. Next up for New England is a Saturday night match against Chivas USA while Sporting will travel to New York to take on the red hot Red Bulls.

Chicago 1 Houston 1

Chicago led almost the entire match, but Houston rallied late to tie it late salvaging a point on the road. Chicago's goal came as a result of a turnover by Houston's defense. Marco Pappa made the steal and got all the way into the box where after a brief scrum he was able to find Diego Chaves who slammed a shot past Tally Hall for his 4th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead. Chicago nearly made it 2-0 in the 66th minute when former Dynamo strike Dominic Oduro struck the crossbar after getting in behind the defense. The miss would prove costly as Bobby Boswell would equalize when he headed in a Brad Davis corner for his second goal of the year. Davis now has 4 assists. With the tie Houston is now in 3rd place in the East, leading the Crew and Revolution on goal differential while the Fire get out of the cellar and into 8th place with just 5 points through 6 matches (1-3-2). The Fire are currently tied for the league lead with 12 goals allowed. The Fire now head to Colorado to take on the Rapids, losers of 3 straight while the Dynamo will look to extend their unbeaten streak to 6 when they take on DC United on Friday night.


Landon Donovan broke out with a pair of goals and the Galaxy got their 4th win of the season thumping the expansion Timbers 3-0. Donovan, David Beckham and Juninho all returned to the lineup and it didn't take long to see the difference in the Galaxy's form. The Galaxy got on the board just 3 1/2 minutes into the game when Beckham and Donovan combined to assist Chad Barrett for a blistering half volley past Troy Perkins for the early lead. Then, not even 5 minutes later Donovan was fouled in the box by Rodney Wallace trying to get to a pretty ball from Beckham. Donovan stepped up to take the PK and got his first points of the season sending Perkins the wrong direction and easily rolling his shot into the lower left corner. The goal was Donovan's first in 731 minutes of MLS play. There would be no such drought between goals for Donovan this time as some pretty passing between Donovan, Chad Barrett and Juan Pablo Angel. It ended with Angel sending a floated cross from the touchline right across the six where a wide open Donovan easily headed it in for the brace. Donovan Ricketts made 6 saves to earn the shutout as the Galaxy improve to 4-1-3 and briefly take over first place in the Western Conference from idle Salt Lake. The Galaxy are next in action at FC Dallas on Sunday while Portland has a tough test hosting unbeaten Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Friday, April 22, 2011

NBA Playoff Update - Thursday Wrap

Chicago 88 Indiana 84

Derrick Rose made just 1 basket in the second half, but it was a game winning layup with less than 20 seconds to play as the Bulls took a command 3-0 series lead. Rose was just 4 for 18 in the field but still finished with a game high 23 points, Luol Deng chimed in 21, and Kyle Korver had 10 of his 12 points in the 4th quarter as the Bulls pushed Indiana to the brink of elimination. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 21 points but missed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds that could have won the game. Indiana was stymied by the Chicago defense as starters Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert, and Paul George combined to hit just 7 of 33 shots. Chicago can clinch tomorrow afternoon on Indiana's home floor.

Miami 100 Philadelphia 94

For 3 quarters, the Sixers had Miami on the ropes, but they couldn't hold it together as Miami outscored them 27-19 in the 4th and took a 3-0 lead in their best of seven series. Dwyane Wade had 32 points, 10 boards and 8 assists, LeBron James had 24 points 15 rebounds and 6 assists and Chris Bosh chimed in 19 to lead the Heat. Miami also outrebound the Sixers 50-34. The Sixers turned the ball over only 6 times and got 21 points and 11 rebounds from Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday added 20 and 8 assists, but still Philadelphia finds themselves on the brink of elimination. The Sixers will have one last chance on Sunday to try and get back into the series.

Portland 97 Dallas 92

Wesley Matthews had 25 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20, and Brandon Roy chimed in with 16 points off the bench as the Blazers got their first win of the series. Dallas got 29 points and 7 assists off the bench from Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki had 25 and 9 boards, and the Mavs shot over 50% from the floor, but it still wasn't enough. Dallas turned the ball over 16 times and hit just 13 of 23 free throws as they lost a golden opportunity to take a 3-0 lead in the series. Portland can now even things up on Saturday afternoon.

NHL Playoff Update - Thursday Wrap

Thursday Games

Boston 5 Montreal 4, OT - Series tied 2-2.


BOS- Michael Ryder 2 (2), Andrew Ference (1), Patrice Bergeron (2), Chris Kelly (2)
MON- Brent Sopel (1), Mike Cammalleri (2), Andrei Kostitsyn (2), P.K. Subban (1)


The road team has won all four games in this series... Michael Ryder scored two goals in a game just once during the regular season, also against Montreal... There were only 6 penalty minutes accrued during the entire game... Game 5 is back in Boston tomorrow night.

Chicago 5 Vancouver 0 - Vancouver leads series 3-2.


CHI- Marian Hossa 2 (2), Duncan Keith 2 (4), Patrick Kane (1)
VAN- none


Chicago has outscored Vancouver 12-2 over the last two games after falling behind 3 games to 0 in the series... Marian Hossa scored just 3 goals in 22 playoff games during Chicago's run to the Stanley Cup title last year... Patrick Kane's goal was his first since April 5th... Corey Crawford had 4 shutouts during the regular season... The series heads back to Chicago for Game 6 on Sunday night.

San Jose 6 Los Angeles 3 - San Jose leads series 3-1.


SJ- Ryane Clowe 2 (4), Jason Demers (1), Joe Thornton (1), Joe Pavelski (3), Torrey Mitchell (1)
LA- Brad Richardson (2), Justin Williams (2), Alexei Ponikarovsky (1)


Ryane Clowe has scored 2 goals in each of the last two games... There were no goals scored in first period... After being held to 3 goals in their two home games, the Sharks scored 12 goals in their two road games... Jonathan Quick allowed just 6 goals in a game twice in 60 starts during the regular season... San Jose can clinch the series at home on Saturday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NBA Playoff Update - Wednesday Games

Wednesday Games

Oklahoma City 106 Denver 89

While the first game in this series was all about Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Game 2 was all about the Thunder's supporting cast. Serge Ibaka had 12 points and 12 rebounds, James Harden scored 18, Nick Collison had 10 points and 8 boards and Kendrick Perkins pulled down 11 rebound, 6 on the offensive end as OKC got out to a 2-0 series lead. The Thunder outrebounded the Nuggets 54-31 in the game as their size and depth was just too much for Denver. Ty Lawson finished with 20 points to lead the Nuggets while Nene and Raymond Felton each chimed in with 16 in a losing effort. Kevin Durant finished with 23 to lead all scorers. Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday night in Denver.

San Antonio 93 Memphis 87

Four players scored at least 16 points for Manu Ginobili led by Manu Ginobili's 17 as the Spurs rebounded from a Game 1 loss to beat Memphis and even the series at one game apiece. The Spurs didn't make it easy on themselves turning it over 18 times and missing 10 free throws, but they persevered in the end. Memphis wasted another good game from Marc Gasol who ended up with 12 points and a game high 17 rebounds for the Grizzlies. All 5 Grizz starters finished in double figures led by Sam Young's 17. Now the series heads to Memphis for Game 3 on Saturday night.

Los Angeles 87 New Orleans 78

Like the Spurs, the Lakers also bounced back from a rough game 1 to even their series at one game apiece. Andrew Bynum led 4 Lakers in double figures with 17 and added 11 rebounds, and 6th Man of the Year Lamar Odom added 16 points and 7 boards as the Lakers overcame poor shooting nights from Kobe Bryant (3/10 11 pts) and Pau Gasol (2/10 8 pts). Chris Paul had another strong game finishing with 20 points and 9 assists and Trevor Ariza had a game high 22, but the Hornets couldn't overcome 16 turnovers and 12 missed free throws. The series now heads to New Orleans with Game 3 tomorrow night.

NHL Playoff Update - Wednesday Wrap

Wednesday Games

Washington 4 New York Rangers 3, 2OT - Washington leads series 3-1.


WAS- Alexander Semin (2), Macus Johansson 2 (2), Jason Chimera (2)
NYR- Artem Anisimov (1), Marian Gaborik (1), Brandon Dubinsky (2)


Henrik Lundqvist saved 49 shots for the Rangers... The Rangers led this game 3-0 at the end of the second period... 20 year old Center Marcus Johansson scored 13 goals during the regular season this year, his first in the NHL. On two occasions prior to last night had he scored 2 goals in a game... Washington can clinch the series at home on Saturday afternoon.

Pittsburgh 3 Tampa Bay 2, 2OT - Pittsburgh leads series 3-1.


PIT- Tyler Kennedy (2), Arron Asham (3), James Neal (1)

TB- Martin St. Louis (4), Sean Bergenheim (1)


Dwayne Roloson made 50 saves in a losing effort... James Neal came over from Dallas midway through the 2010-2011 season. In 20 regular season games with the Penguins he had only scored 1 goal... Neal and Tampa's Sean Bergenheim both scored their first career playoff goals... Steven Stamkos had 45 goals during the regular season for the Lightning but has been held to just 1 assist and only 5 shots on goal through the first four games... Pittsburgh can clinch on their home ice on Saturday.

Buffalo 1 Philadelphia 0 - Series tied 2-2.


BUF- Jason Pominville (1)
PHI - none


Ryan Miller earned his second shutout of the series saving all 32 shots he faced last night. In 44 career playoff games Miller is 24-20 with 3 shutouts and a 2.36 goals against average... Jason Pominville scored 22 goals during the regular season. His goal last night was his 12th in 44 postseason games... The team that has scored first has won every game in this series while Philadelphia has won every game they've scored in.

Anaheim 6 Nashville 3 - Series tied 2-2.


ANA- Cam Fowler (1), Saku Koivu (1), Teemu Selanne (5), Corey Perry (2), Ryan Getzlaf (2), Brandon McMillan (1)
NAS- Patric Hornqvist (2), Joel Ward (2), Matt Halischuk (1)


29 goals have been scored in the first four games of this series... Corey Perry's game winner was scored shorthanded... The Ducks outshot Nashville 38-22... The game was tied 3-3 after two periods... Teemu Selanne has already scored more goals in the series than he did in 13 playoff games in 2009.

Detroit 6 Phoenix 3 - Detroit wins series 4-0.


DET- Tomas Holmstrom (2), Patrick Eaves 2 (2), Niklas Kronwall (1), Daniel Cleary (1), Todd Bertuzzi (1)
PHO- Taylor Pyatt (1), Shane Doan (3), Martin Hanzal (1)


Phoenix has not won a playoff series since 1987 when they were the Winnipeg Jets... The Coyotes had a 3-2 lead in the second period before Detroit ended the game with four unanswered goals... Henrik Zetterberg missed all four games in this series... Phoenix now awaits an uncertain future as this may have been the last game they play in Arizona.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MLS Wrap - Week 5


Chad Barrett hit the crossbar in the 13th minute, Todd Dunivant hit the crossbar in the 61st, and David Beckham hit the right post off a free kick in the 70th minute, but the Galaxy couldn't figure out a way to beat Stefan Frei as they were forced to settle for one point on the road. Already without Landon Donovan who didn't travel with the team, the Galaxy got more bad news as David Beckham earned his 5th yellow card of the young season which means he'll be facing a suspension, and Juninho got sent off in stoppage time meaning a suspension for him as well. Donovan Ricketts made a pair of big saves to preserve the shutout denying Gianluca Zavarise in the first half and Joao Plata on headers from close range, one in each half. This game marked the third straight 0-0 draw between these two teams. Toronto hosts Columbus next Saturday while the Galaxy will host the expansion Timbers.


Real Salt Lake takes an early lead in the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup after getting a stoppage time winner from Fabian Espindola. Espindola's goal was not without contoversy though as replays show he appeared to be offsides when he scored. The play started when Javier Morales' free kick in the 93rd minute struck the right post, but deflected to Paulo Jr whose touch went forward to Espindola who tucked it home from close range. No flag on the play though as Espindola gets his first goal of the season, and Real Salt Lake continues to roll winning their 4th straight. Espindola also put one in the net in the first half, but was ruled offsides. The Rapids have now dropped two straight after winning their first three and were without Conor Casey in this one going instead with Omar Cummings and Caleb Folan up top to start the match. Colorado heads back home to take on Seattle next Saturday while Salt Lake will try to keep rolling this week as they have the first leg of their Champions League Championship match on Tuesday night against Monterrey.


The Timbers have their first MLS win knocking off the Chicago Fire in a high scoring affair 4-2 in Portland on Thursday night. After Kenny Cooper's header off a corner kick in the 11th minute was called back because the kick was ruled to have gone out of bounds before curling back in it looked like it might not be the Timbers' night, but they responded. Kalif Alhassan sprung Jorge Perlaza in the 29th minute and he was able to beat Sean Johnson for his first goal of the season. The Timbers were just getting started though. Rodney Wallace drilled home a poor clearance from the top of the box in the 38th minute to make it 2-0. Then less than 2 minutes into the second half it was Perlaza again, this time jumping on a bobble by Johnson for the easy goal putting the Timbers up 3. They nearly made it 4 when Alhassan hit the cross bar less than 5 minutes later. The Fire would fight back though. First Eric Brunner deflected a ball past his keeper Jake Gleeson for an own goal to make it 3-1. Then with just 10 minutes to go, Marco Pappa scored his second goal of the season with a beautiful left footed shot to make it 3-2. But Portland caught a break when an apparent handball in the box by Cooper went uncalled and the ensuing scrum led to an own goal by Dasan Robinson when he failed to clear the ball off the endline giving the Timbers a 2 goal advantage which they'd ride to the end. Next up for the Timbers a trip to L.A. on Saturday while the Fire host the Dynamo.


Seattle stole a point from the Union on Saturday getting a goal in the 91st minute from Alvaro Fernandez to salvage a tie on the road. Carlos Ruiz opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with his 2nd goal of the year. Ruiz hit a free kick from just outside the box that deflected off the wall just enough to fool Kasey Keller and find its way into the net. That goal held up all the way until stoppage time when Fredy Montero lofted a ball into the box that Fernandez put a head on and knocked it off the post and in for his first goal of the season. It was just the second time all year that Faryd Mondragon and the Union defense had been beaten in 5 games. Seattle, who hasn't lost in there last four matches after starting the season 0-2, will head to Colorado to take on the Rapids on Friday while the Union have a long layover, not playing again until April 30th against the Earthquakes.


Charlie Davies made his first start for United, and DC wasted little time getting to work against Toronto. Chris Pontius got them on the board in the 5th minute with a fantastic individual effort before ripping a left footed shot toward the fat post and past a helpless Stefan Frei. Then it was Davies turn. Josh Wolff's initial effort was saved by Frei, but the rebound deflected right to Davies who hit it home first time for this league leading 5th goal of the young season. Things only got worse for Toronto in the second half as Ty Harden was sent off early in the second half for a tackle on Chris Pontius leaving Toronto a man down and chasing two goals. Pontius would make it three a little while later, this time scoring with his right foot for the brace on an assist from Fred. Bill Hamid needed to make just one save to get the shutout as DC earned their second win of the year. For Toronto it snapped a four game unbeaten streak as they drop to 1-2-3. Next up for United is a home game against New York on Thursday while Toronto hosts Columbus on Saturday.


 Chivas USA remains the only winless team in MLS following their 0-0 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. While Chivas has picked up points in their last three matches, they've still failed to get over the hump and have been shut out in two straight. Dan Kennedy made a pair of saves for Chivas and got a little help from the woodwork as both Wes Knight and Eric Hassli hit the post in the first half. Jay Nolly had 4 saves for Vancouver as they recorded their first shutout in franchise history. Chivas will look to make it 4 in a row without a loss as they travel north to take on in-state rival San Jose on Saturday. Vancouver meanwhile will play host to FC Dallas.


Suddenly the Crew, who looked so bad in an early 3-1 loss to DC United, can't be scored on. Will Hessmer and company posted their 4th straight shutout and suddenly look like a contender in the East. Taking on Sporting Kansas City who was again without star Omar Bravo, the Crew defense held fast and the offense eventually broke through when Dilly Duka flicked a pass from Kevin Burns to the back post where Robbie Rogers was able to gather it in and beat Jimmy Nielsen for the goal. Eddie Gaven had a chance to make it 2-0 in the 68 minute on a beautiful setup from Rogers, but Nielsen made a brilliant kick save to keep the lead at one. Any hopes Sporting had of coming back were dashed in the 72nd minute though when Julio Cesar received his second caution for a questionable handball and was sent off. The Crew will now look to make it 5 shutouts in a row as they take on struggling Toronto FC north of the border on Saturday while Kansas City plays at New England.


New York had been struggling to score goals lately, but all those problems went away on Saturday as Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry combined for 3 goals in a route of the Earthquakes at Red Bull Arena. Rafa Marquez's corner set up the first goal in the second minute. Jan Gunnar Solli flicked the ball all the way to the back post where Dane Richards volleyed it back across the goal mouth with Rodgers flicking it past Jon Busch for his first goal of the season. Then Thierry Henry stole the ball from Ramiro Corrales and slotted a cross right across the goal mouth to a wide open Rodgers who made it 2-0 not even 15 minutes in. Henry had several chances throughout the match getting denied by Busch of multiple occasions and missing wide from close range early in the second half. Finally, in the 87th minute, Rodgers floated a cross to the back post for Henry who ripped a header past Busch, finally getting his first goal of the season, and first league goal since September 11, 2010. New York outshot San Jose 16-6 in the match, and Busch managed to make 6 saves, but the Red Bull offense was just too much as New York finally got their second win of the year. The Red Bulls will look to build on that tomorrow night as they take on DC United while San Jose plays host to Chivas USA on Saturday.


The Galaxy, playing without Juninho, David Beckham, or Landon Donovan, bounced back from a midweek tie with Toronto FC to beat struggling Chicago 2-1. Chad Barrett made a well timed run through the Chicago defense and received a perfect pass from Miguel Lopez en route to his first goal of the season. Lopez also picked up the assist on the second goal when Omar Gonzalez headed home his corner kick in the 72nd minute to put LA up two. Dominic Oduro was able to cut the deficit to 2-1 when he scored on Donovan Ricketts from a tough angle in the 89th minute, but it was too little too late as the Galaxy defense held up against a late charge by the Fire and picked up the 3 points on the road. At 3-1-3, the Galaxy now sit in 2nd place in the Western Conference, while the struggling Fire, at 1-3-1 are in last place in the East. The Fire will try and get back on track when they host Houston on Saturday while the Galaxy will try to keep rolling when they host the expansion Timbers.


Just days after their first MLS win, the Timbers picked up another jumping out to a 3-0 lead for the second straight match. Just like against Chicago earlier in the week though, they watched their lead get cut to one before bearing down and clinching the win. Jack Jewsbury opened the scoring in the 13th minute taking a pass from Kalif Alhassan and blasting in literally through Kevin Hartman for his second goal of the year. About 20 minutes later it was Jewsbury doing the table setting for Kenny Cooper when his corner found Cooper's head and he too beat Hartman for his second goal of the year. Then it was Rodney Wallace's turn to get in on the action. After Alhassan beat 5 Dallas defenders before finding Wallace in the box to make it 3-0. Things started getting dicey in the final ten minutes though. First the reigning MVP David Ferreira got Dallas on the board in the 83rd minute when he redirected a cross from Brek Shea past Jake Gleeson. The two would combine again just two minutes later, this time with Ferreira finding Shea who took a ball out of the air with a beautiful first time finesse volley deflecting over Gleeson's outstretched arms. Gleeson would save the Timbers from an embarrassing collapse when he just got his fingertips off a blast from Ferreira forcing it off the crossbar in the 93rd minute preserving the 3-2 win. So the Timbers survive and get a pair of wins behind 7 goals this week, but now travel to LA to take on the Galaxy this weekend. Dallas meanwhile will try and regroup as they go north to take on Vancouver.


The Dynamo won their second in a row taking advantage of the Revs missing Pat Phelan and Shalrie Joseph. The Dynamo outshot New England 27-11, took 11 corners and forced Matt Reis to make 6 saves. New England also cleared a couple balls off the goal-line, and Houston hit the post a couple twice. All the pressure finally paid off for Houston in the 86th minute when defender Hunter Freeman broke the scoreless deadlock. The play started with a corner and Cam Weaver's header hit the crossbar and went straight up in the air.  Freeman got himself positioned for the rebound and the ball appeared to deflect off his hand and into the goal. No call was made giving the Dynamo a well-deserved, if controversial result as they dominated the match. Houston looks to make it 3 in a row at Chicago on Saturday while New England looks to regroup as they host Kansas City. The Revs were able to add US National Team member Benny Feilhaber to their roster this week so that should help them out moving forward.

NBA Playoff Update - Tuesday Wrap

Three games last night and we now have 3 of the 4 Eastern Conference series at 2-0. Tonight is all Western Conference action, as the Thunder, Grizzlies and Hornets all look to build on Game 1 wins.

Boston 96 New York 93

Carmelo Anthony had just a monster game with 42 points, 17 rebounds and 6 assists, but New York couldn't overcome the absence of Chauncey Billups (knee) and the loss of Amare Stoudemire (back spasms) and they fell into a 2-0 hole. Kevin Garnett hit the game winner with 14 seconds left and then came up with a steal 10 seconds later to lock up the victory. Rajon Rondo was the offensive start for the Celtics in this one tallying 30 points and adding 7 assists. Garnett chipped in 12 points and a team high 10 rebounds for Boston who was actually outrebounded by New York 53-37. The Knicks grabbed 20 offensive rebounds. Bill Walker was second behind Carmelo with 8 rebounds but hit none of his eleven field goal attempts.

Orlando 88 Atlanta 82

Dwight Howard turned in his second straight dominant performance, this time finishing with 33 points and 19 rebounds, but this time it led the Magic to victory evening their series with Atlanta at one game apiece. Once again Orlando struggled shooting the basketball connecting on just 34.6% of their field goals. No Magic player not named Dwight Howard (9/12) shot better 50% or better. The Hawks didn't fair much better though hitting just 39.5% of their field goals. Like Orlando, the Hawks had just one player shoot 50% from the floor and that was Josh Smith (8/14). Jamal Crawford came off the bench to score a team high 25. Al Horford had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Magic held the Hawks to just 12 points in the 3rd quarter.

Dallas 101 Portland 89

The trendy upset pick in the first round failed to deliver for the second straight game falling into a 2-0 hole against Mark Cuban's Mavs. A one point game at the end of three quarters, Dallas outscored Portland 28-17 in the 4th to put the game away. Dirk Nowitzki scored a game high 33 points and Peja Stojakovic stepped out of a time machine to hit 5 three-pointers and score 21 for Dallas. LaMarcus Aldridge had another strong game for the Blazers finishing with 24 points and 10 rebounds, but Portland's usually reliable bench tallied just 11 points (10 by Nicolas Batum). Dallas turned the ball over only six times in the win as the series now heads to Portland.