Archive for November, 2016

Sharks’ defenseman has a secondary career as a goaltender after making a stick save

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2016 at 11:14 pm

Martin Jones owes Brent Burns a drink after this stop.

Brent Burns is a do-it-all man. He’s a pretty great defenseman for the Sharks, he can grow a beard envied by many, and if his career as a blueliner doesn’t work out, he can always take up goaltending!

Brent Burns can do it all! #RivalryNight

Stream here:

— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 1, 2016

The San Jose defenseman saved what would have been a goal that would have put the Kings within one. Even better? Burns made a real smart play on the save. If he had covered up the puck in the goal crease with his hand, it would have been a penalty shot!

So instead, Burns got his stick on Trevor Lewis’ hopeful tap in then punched it out of harm’s way with his glove. All in a day’s work for a defenseman.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer to undergo emergency eye surgery

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Zimmer could end up missing Thursday night’s game.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is having emergency eye surgery to repair a torn retina, the team confirmed on Wednesday night. He is uncertain to be available for the Vikings’ Thursday Night Football matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

General manager Rick Spielman released a statement on Zimmer’s condition:

Mike Zimmer is having emergency eye surgery tonight. His status for coaching tomorrow’s game is uncertain. I have met with the coaches and players and we have a contingency plan in place if Mike is unable to coach against Dallas.

There’s no word on who the replacement head coach will be should Zimmer miss the game, but Spielman scheduled a Thursday morning press conference where he’ll presumably give more details.

Zimmer had surgery on his eye earlier in the year for the same retinal issue, revealing that he watched film with one eye and didn’t miss a day of work. Unfortunately, the eye didn’t get any better and Zimmer is now scheduled for a second procedure to repair it. A torn retina can lead to blindness if not treated properly.

The Vikings are 6-5 and fighting for their playoff lives after squandering a 5-0 start to the season. Not having their coach on the sidelines could be a big blow as they prepare to face the Cowboys, who have won 10 straight games. But at the moment, Zimmer’s health is the main concern. Hopefully he can make a full recovery and return to work soon.

Matt Murray robbed John Tavares blind on stellar glove save

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Pittsburgh has a star in the making in goal.

Call the cops, Islanders fans, your captain was just robbed. John Tavares had as perfect of a window as you’d see to score a goal, but the glove of Penguins goaltender Matt Murray said no.

Ok but how @ matt murray

— Shane O’Donnell (@shane1342o) December 1, 2016

The strength Murray displayed to keep his upper body square to Tavares on the shot is astounding. If he wasn’t able to keep his arm elevated, it might have been lights out for the Penguins, as they’d have been down three goals halfway through the game.

Instead, Murray performed the wizardry he’s known to do to keep the Penguins in this game.

Yeeeeesshhhhhh Matt Murray robbing Tavares like Matt Murray does

— Shane O’Donnell (@shane1342o) December 1, 2016

There’s a reason Murray has inspired such confidence in Pittsburgh’s front office, and it was on full display here.

ACC-Big Ten Challenge 2016: Schedule, scores, results, and more

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2016 at 8:20 pm

Duke vs. Michigan State and North Carolina vs. Indiana highlights this year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

The ACC-Big Ten Challenge is back for the 18th time with two of the premier conferences in college basketball battling for supremacy over a 14-game slate. The Big Ten is trying for its third straight victory, while the ACC will look to improve its 10–5–2 record since the event began in 1999.

The ACC won the challenge for the first 10 years of its existence, but hasn’t won outright since 2008. The event runs from Monday through Wednesday and every game will be televised on the ESPN family of networks.

The ACC and Big Ten have each been off to strong starts in the early portion of the season, with the ACC entering the challenge at 73-16 and the Big Ten at 67-21.

Duke has the most wins in challenge history with 15. The Blue Devils will have a marquee matchup against a struggling Michigan State team on the second night of the event. Duke will again be without top freshmen Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden, who are all out with injury.

The most anticipated game of the tournament is North Carolina vs. Indiana. Indiana was No. 3 in the polls a week ago before losing to Fort Wayne in a stunning upset, while UNC was undeniably impressive in winning the Maui Invitational.

Purdue-Louisville should also be an exciting game. Purdue’s only loss came by three points against reigning national champs Villanova, while Louisville will look to get back on track after blowing a 22-point lead against Baylor in the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Below you’ll find the complete schedule for the event and six players to watch.


ACC: 7

Big Ten: 4

The schedule

Monday, Nov. 28

Florida State 75, Minnesota 67

Northwestern 65, Wake Forest 58

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Pittsburgh 73, Maryland 59

Penn State 67, Georgia Tech 60

Wisconsin 77, Syracuse 60

Notre Dame 92, Iowa 78

Illinois 88, NC State 74

Duke 78, Michigan State 69

Wednesday, Nov. 30

Louisville 71, Purdue 64

Virginia Tech 73, Michigan, 70

Miami 73, Rutgers 61

North Carolina at Indiana, 9 p.m., ESPN

Ohio State at Virginia, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Nebraska at Clemson, 9 p.m., ESPNU

Three stars who need big games for their teams to win

Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

The sophomore big man is a double-double machine, averaging 18.8 points and 12 rebounds per game during Purdue’s 5-1 start. The Boilermakers need to get him going early and often.

Joel Berry II, North Carolina

Is Berry the best point guard in college basketball? He’s made the case during UNC’s hot start. Berry was outstanding in the Maui Invitational on his way to MVP honors, going off for 24 points against Oklahoma State and 22 points against Wisconsin.

Melo Trimble, Maryland

Maryland lost Robert Carter, Diamond Stone and Jake Layman from last season, but they returned one of the most important players in the country in Trimble. The junior point guard is off to a blazing start this year, averaging 21.1 points per game.

Update: Trimble had 13 points, six rebounds and five assists but Maryland’s big second half comeback fell short against Pitt.

Three freshmen to watch

Dennis Smith Jr., NC State

The 6’3 point guard has looked more comfortable with each game in his return from a torn ACL that cost him his entire senior season of high school ball. Smith has scored 20 points or more in in his last four games, including a 30-point, seven-assist, six-rebound effort in a close win against Loyola on Saturday.

Update: Smith had 12 points but Illinois scored 56 second half points to pick up a big win over NC State.

Jonathan Isaac, Florida State

The 6’10 forward has shown off great scoring instincts in his first six games, averaging 15.3 points on 60.3 percent shooting from the field. He’s also made half of his 24 attempts from three.

Update: Isaac continues to quietly have a nice freshman season. He posted 14 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Minnesota.

Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Bridges might remind Michigan State fans more of T.J. Duckett than Denzel Valentine. He’s a freight train rolling to the hoop and has produced several jaw-dropping highlights in every game he’s played. While Bridges is putting up big numbers, the Spartans look uncharacteristically shaky for a Tom Izzo team.

Update: Bridges had 11 points and nine rebounds but Duke’s big second half lifted them over MSU.

The 76ers postponed their game against the Kings because the court was too wet

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Unexpected condensation caused unsafe playing conditions on the Wells Fargo Center floor.

There are a lot of wet spots on the #WellsFargoCenter flow. This doesn’t appear to safe to play tonight’s game between #Sixers vs #SacKings

— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 30, 2016

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers’ game hosting the Sacramento Kings was postponed because of wet spots on the court. The NBA made the announcement, citing unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor.

“Arena officials worked diligently to address the issue, but NBA officials determined the court was not suitable to play,” the 76ers said in a statement.

The game will be made up at a later date.

The start of the game was delayed an hour before the final decision was made. Here is a statement from Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil, saying it could take an extra 20-30 minutes to dry the floors.

#Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil on tonight’s situation.

— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 30, 2016

The cause of the wet floors, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, was an odd mix of outdoor and indoor temperatures.

The moisture was a result of the high temperature outside and the temperature inside the arena being 75 degrees in here earlier.

— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 1, 2016

Pompey was kind enough to give a demonstration of just how wet the Wells Fargo Center floor is.

Watch this video to see how wet the floor gets. #Sixers #SacramentoKings

— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) December 1, 2016

The Philadelphia floors didn’t look safe for playing basketball any time soon. Especially not if their preferred method of floor drying is the same way you clean up a household spill you really don’t feel like touching.

Even Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, a registered hooper in all states, tried to mop the floors. Boogie’s efforts were of no avail, but Sacramento GM Vlade Divac gave him some pointers on how to get that elbow grease into the floors.

Boogie is now mopping the floor and taking tips from Vlade

— Tony Xypteras (@TonyXypteras) December 1, 2016

It was also unsafe for Sixers prized rookie Joel Embiid, whose minutes restriction was lifted to 28 minutes starting with tonight’s game.