July 31, 2013

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In Case You Missed It

By: Joe Williams

We all know about the Aaron Hernandez situation, Dwight Howard taking his talents to Houston and Ryan Braun getting suspended, but that’s not all the crazy stuff that happened in July. In case you actually have a life, here are a few stories that you may have missed.

Longtime New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur actually got to draft his son Anthony Brodeur for the Devils during the NHL draft.

During last week’s RBC Canadian Open, Hunter Mahan withdrew from the tournament to attend the birth of his first child. Mahan was leading the tournament and didn’t pull out until just before he was supposed to begin his third round, leaving his playing partner John Merrick playing in the final group by himself.

Not only did the Cincinnati Reds play a game in San Francisco as the home team, but during one of the  four-game series between the teams, the Giants grounds crew had a bit of trouble lining up the batter’s box. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding a photo of the screw up online.

When former Florida State offensive lineman Menelik Watson received his championship ring for the team’s win over Georgia Tech in the ACC title game, he was the only Seminoles player that got a ring that reads “2012 SEC Champions.” The rest of the team got rings with the correct conference inscribed on them.

The NCAA claimed that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo committed an NCAA violation when he tweeted “Welcome to the family” to a Class of 2015 wide receiver who recently committed to the University of Michigan.

“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen fired one of the worst first pitches I have ever seen. Video of that won’t be hard to find either.

A linebacker at the University of Florida was arrested for sticking his head in a police car and barking at a police dog.

One Cleveland Indians fan pulled off an incredible feat, catching four foul balls in the same game…the odds of which are about one in one trillion.

Another fan in Cleveland wasn’t so lucky. When Scott Entsminger passed away earlier this month, this ended up in his obituary…”A lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder, he also wrote a song each year and sent it to the Cleveland Browns as well as offering other advice on how to run the team. He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.”

A battle royal erupted between two former Thai Olympic teammates during a doubles badminton match. They started trash-talking before the match even started and things continued to escalate until they fought from one end of the arena to the other. Both players received a black card.

And in the wildest story of the month former NBA player Baron Davis (the guy with the huge beard before James Harden) said that he was abducted by aliens while on a drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles during a podcast interview. I’m not even going to go there on this one.

I can’t wait to see what happens in August as the NFL season approaches, and the baseball playoff races heat up.

June 6, 2012

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Will This Be Martin Brodeur’s Last NHL Game?

By: Matt Bowen

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012 feature New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who single-handedly owns every major record for a goalie in NHL history.

Could tonight be the last time we see Martin Brodeur on the ice?

Now that the Devils are down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, hockey fans are left to ponder whether or not Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be his last. Now 40 years old, Brodeur will become a free agent when the season ends and it will be interesting to see if the Devils bring Brodeur back for one more season.

His stats over his lustrous career speak for themselves; he ranks as the all-time best goaltender in games played(1,191), wins(656), losses(371), goals against(2,603), shots against(29,915), and saves(27,312).

While one could argue that his stats sit at No. 1 because he’s simply played more than anyone else in the history of the NHL, Brodeur has earned it. Players, especially goalies, don’t get to play based on their past accolades; they must prove that they are still worthy of time on the ice. Brodeur has won 30-plus games a remarkable seven times since turning the age of 30.

He’s a sports legend that deserves credit for playing with one team his entire career.  He’ll never don another NHL sweater and the league will never have another Brodeur. He’s won the Calder Memorial Trophy(Rookie of the Year), a four-time Vezina winner(best goaltender), three Stanley Cups and two Olympic Gold Medals with his native Canadian squad.

Coming into the Finals this year, many fans may have been thinking that there is no way that Brodeur would retire after the playoffs were done. All of a sudden, those thoughts are changing as the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer looks tired. Given, the Kings have steamrolled every team they’ve played this postseason, but Brodeur looks out of sync. It’s very difficult for a team in the NHL to make it to the Finals in any given season, nonetheless two years in a row and the chances of Brodeur playing any longer than one final season is a bit absurd.  

He still displays a competitive fire that’s hard to match, but knowing that the chance to win another Cup was so close yet unattainable may be enough for Brodeur to call it quits. If and when he decides to retire, he may as well have his own room in the Hall of Fame.

November 13, 2008

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NHL Oracle: The Season Ahead For the New Jersey Devils

By: realbigfathead

By Shawn Lucas

The biggest development of the NHL year so far is the New Jersey Devils losing Martin Brodeur to injury.  He is out for 3-4 months after having surgery to repair a torn distal bicep tendon in his left elbow.  For a team that has relied on him to play an average of 73 games a year for the last 12 hockey seasons, this comes as a major blow.

As far as MVPs go team-wise, there doesn’t seem to be any greater in recent memory than Brodeur to the Devils.  The Devils are a team that have consistently relied on their suffocating defense and the one consistent catalyst for that has always been Brodeur. Despite the loss of Hall of Famers like Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens over the last decade, the Devils have competed for the top spot in their division and conference nearly every year.

A future Hall of Famer himself, Brodeur’s many accomplishments include include being a 4-time Vezina winner as the league’s most outstanding goalie, a 4-time winner of the William M. Jennings trophy (awarded to the goaltender of the team with the fewest goals scored against) and posting lifetime averages of 2.20 GAA and .914 save percentage.  That’s a resume most players would love to call their own.

This year began with the expectation that Brodeur would break both Terry Sawchuk’s all-time shutout record, as well as Patrick Roy’s all-time win record.  Getting injured ten games into the season, Brodeur was forced to put his goals on hold.  Left to hold the fort in his place?  Journeymen Kevin Weekes and Scott Clemmensen, who share a combined career win-loss record of 107-168.  The more experienced of the two is Weekes with a top season record of  14-14 in 2005-06 with the New York Rangers.  

With 68 games left to play this season, the Devils new goaltending tandem is tasked with helping the team register an additional 76 points.  They currently stand tied for 8th place with 16 points (7-5-2) and the logical cut-off to make the post-season is 92 points, based on the last 4 years final Eastern Conference standings from NHL.com.  

The Devils cannot be expected to pick up the slack offensively as they have never been an offensive team and currently have only 1 player in double digits for points, Zach Parise (11G, 16P).  Their defense corps cannot be compared to years past either, as it has gone from the future Hall of Fame members mentioned above, to the current likes of John Oduya (21:27 per game, 6P, +7) and Bryce Salvador (-5 on the season, -20 for his career).  

Without a major move from GM Lou Lamoriello or a strong push by their current roster, it seems as though this will be only the second time since Brodeur began his career with the Devils 15 seasons ago, that they will miss the playoffs.  If, however, Weekes and Clemmensen can keep the Devils in the hunt until late February when Brodeur is expected to return, we will definitely have our front runners for the Hart Memorial Trophy (the player adjudged most valuable to his team).