Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits











Heydee-Ho there good neighbors! It's another week to look back at, and another one to look forward to. Here we go....

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The NFL playoffs are underway. In the Wildcard weekend, the New York J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets knocked off Cincinnati 24-14(Mark Sanchez is the fourth rookie quarterback to win his first-ever playoff game), Baltimore scored 24 first quarter points on their way to a 33-14 win at New England, a 17 yard fumble return for a touchdown in overtime pushed Arizona past Green Bay 51-45(No defense, as evidenced by over 1,000 yards total offense) and Dallas beat Philadelphia 34-14(Cowboys first playoff win since 1996).

Division playoffs are this coming weekend. On Saturday, Arizona is at New Orleans(4:30pm EST on FOX) and Baltimore is at Indianapolis(8:15pm EST on CBS). On Sunday, Dallas is at Minnesota(1:00pm EST on FOX) and the Jets are at San Diego(4:40pm EST on CBS).

And, as announced earlier, Pete Carroll is the new coach in Seattle. Five year deal worth $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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USA ended Canada's five-year reign over the World Junior Championships last week. John Carlson scored twice, including the overtime winner, to power the US past Canada 6-5 in Saskatoon.It's the Americans sixth WJC medal since 1977 and their second gold. The first came via a 4-3 win over Canada in Helsinki, Finland back in 2004. Next year's tourney will be held in Buffalo, New York. Tickets are available at http://www.buffaloworldjuniors.com.

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The Lightning went 1-2-0 this past week. Their week started with a 5-3 loss at Buffalo on Wednesday. Five of the goals were scored in the first period, the other three in the second. Marty St. Louis, Victor Hedman and Vinny Lecavalier scored for Tampa Bay, Mike Smith had 30 saves.

The Lightning won at New Jersey 4-2, in a game that started on Friday and ended on Sunday. Tampa Bay built a 3-0 lead when a bank of lights in one end of the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey went out, with just over 9 minutes remaining in the second period. After a two hour delay, in which Devils staff apparently did an incredibly poor job of informing their fans of what was happening, it was decided to complete the game on another date. It was subsequently determined that, since the Lightning were already in the area, and that they had no other trips to Newark this season, to go ahead and complete the game on Sunday, despite the "unofficial" rule of not allowing teams to play on three consecutive nights(Oh, wah, wah, freeking wah!). When the game resumed, Tampa Bay saw the lead slip to 3-1, but scored again, then skated the rest of the time out, winning 4-2. Steve Downie and Brandon Bochenski scored once, Steven Stamkos twice for the Lightning, who got 33 saves from Mike Smith.

On Saturday, between halves of the New Jersey game, Tampa Bay lost at Philadelphia, 4-1. Marty St. Louis scored for the Lightning, Antero Niittymaki made 27 saves against his old team.

Tampa Bay is now 17-17-10 for 44 points, tied with Atlanta for second in the Southeast, 16 points behind division-leading Washington. They trail both Montreal and Ottawa by 4 points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

This week, the Lightning hosts Washington tonight at 7:30pm, then play a home-and-home with Florida. Thursday's game is in Tampa at 7:30pm, with Saturday's game at the Panthers beginning at 7:00pm. All three games are on both 620 AM WDAE radio and Sun Sports TV, in HD.

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Jimmy continues to charm our socks off, while taking his off every time he rides in the car. He's a bit cranky today though, as he has another tooth coming in.

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My wife has a marvelous(?) sense of humor. She called the doctor's office in Orlando, to reschedule the colonoscopy I had scheduled for tomorrow, to give our insurance time to kick in. The new date? Monday, January 25th. Oh, that just happens to be my birthday too. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! A definite diagnosis and course of treatment will be a most treasured present!

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Oh, looks like the $$$$ bind we've been in is about to come to an end. Prayers, good thoughts, whatever you wish to offer up on our behalf will be most appreciated. More details as they become available.

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Green Bay in the East, and Omaha in the West, are still on top of their respective divisions in the USHL. My old team, Tri-City, is solidifying their hold on a playoff spot in the West. Storm Goaltender Steven Bolton won goaltender of the week honors, posting a 1.50 goals-against-average,.950 save percentage, and one shutout as he earned back-to-back victories for Tri-City. Just two days after his 20th birthday, he celebrated by stopping all 34 shots he faced in the 1-0 victory vs. Cedar Rapids on Friday. It was the first USHL shutout for the native of Las Vegas, Nevada. He then made 23 saves to help Tri-City claim a key 4-3 road victory over division-rival Sioux Falls on Saturday. Bolton has registered a 5-3-0 record with a 2.56 GAA and .913 save percentage in 10 appearances for the Storm this season. Jaden Schwartz is second in league scoring, with 18 goals and 31 assists for 49 points, 4 points behind Omaha's Matt White. Attendance is holding steady at 1,835 a game through 15 home dates.

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That's it for this week. Have fun everyone!

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Countdown to Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football

Countdown to Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey