Digging Out

The Celtics rewarded those fans who made the trip in through the blizzard of ’06 with a 102-94 victory over the Orlando Magic at TD Banknorth Garden last evening. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but it was the second in a row for the green after having dropped six straight previously. Steve Bulpett looks at Paul Pierce leading the way with another 30 point game, his 31 points last night was the fifth time in six games that the captain has gone for more than 30 points. Shira Springer looks at Doc Rivers keeping things simple for his team last night, with a shortened rotation and a cut play list. Shalise Manza Young looks at rookie forward Ryan Gomes being a key to victory as the Providence college product contributed 14 points and 9 rebounds (leading the team) in victory. Scott Souza has more on Gomes, who got big minutes for the second straight game and made the most of them. Mark Murphy also looks at Gomes, who despite being only 6-foot-7, is clearly more suited to play the power forward spot and showed that he can hold his own against bigger opponents.

Dan Shaughnessy fires off a quick column about the hardy souls who made the trip into Boston for the game last night, and takes the opportunity to reminisce about the blizzard of ’78. Tim Weisberg wonders if we’re seeing the last days of Paul Pierce in a Celtics uniform as published trade rumors persist surrounding the Celtics captain. You can get the Floridian perspective on last night’s game in the pages of the Orlando Sentinel. Murphy also takes a look at Delonte West, who will be heading to All Star Weekend after all, he will participate on the sophomore team of the rookie challenge after his college teammate Jameer Nelson went down with an injury. Springer’s notebook has more on West getting the call, as does Young’s notebook. For more on the snow, and the effect it had on players (and officials) getting to the game, Bulpett’s notebook has details.

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You will no doubt hear a lot about the Red Sox equipment truck leaving for Fort Myers today, probably moreso because of blizzard from yesterday. Tony Massarotti kicks off spring training with nine questions surrounding the team heading into the beginning of camp. He concludes that the Red Sox are just as capable of winning a championship as they are of missing the playoffs altogether. David Heuschkel also plays the question game, asking and answering five items surrounding the 2006 Red Sox. David Borges narrows his focus down to just three major issues surrounding the Red Sox to open spring training. Garry Brown notes that this edition of the Red Sox will be filled with new faces.

Rob Bradford says that if Roger Clemens does pitch for the Red Sox this season, it isn’t likely to be until after the July trading deadline. If you missed it yesterday, Gordon Edes had a nice feature on the Red Sox new centerfielder, Coco Crisp. Dom Amore has a look at the Yankees with their new centerfielder, Johnny Damon as they prepare for camp.

Mick Colageo looks at the Bruins as they break for the Olympics, standing at .500 after having traded their franchise player earlier in the season. Matt Kalman looks at what some of the Bruins are doing with their time off this week.

The snow made Jim Donaldson think of the Patriots and how some of the most vivid moments in their franchise history have taken place in snow. Lenny Megliola looks at a Boston sports bar in Naples, Florida. NH native Matt Bonner of the Toronto Raptors made his weekly visit with WTPL this weekend, and shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including gambling in professional sports. Boston Sports Review published their complete media poll results from their recently media edition. I would also be interested in learning the number of voters involved in that survey. Jeff Goodman notes that Al Skinner is just two wins away from becoming the winningest coach in Boston College history. The Inside Track reports that Jason Wolfe will be taking over as Vice President of Operations for WRKO beginning this week, in addition to his WEEI duties.

You can get your Olympic coverage from the Globe Olympic Section, the Herald Olympic Section, as well as in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

NESN has the Beanpot Championship at 8:00. ESPN has UConn/Villanova at 7:00 and Kansas/Oklahoma St at 9:00.


SporTView – Winter Olympics in Turin

The Winter Olympics open up this weekend, with the opening ceremonies airing tonight on NBC from 8:00 PM to Midnight.

NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol on WFAN yesterday afternoon promised that the ceremonies tonight would include a “rare appearance” by an instantly recognizable rock musician who is an “icon”. He also talked about opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who will perform, however Ebersol expressed some concern over the health of the 70-year-old Pavarotti, whom he described as alternating between a slow walk and using a walker.

I didn’t include the Olympics in the TV schedule to the right, but you can get your listings on the MSNBC Winter Olympics TV Schedule. If will likely be a challenge to follow everything, as events are spread across NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA and Universal HD.

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(If you’re using Firefox and the above question doesn’t scroll, the question is: Will you be reading local coverage of the winter Olympics?)

A few local links to check in with. (If you are reading the local coverage.) There is the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Turin Olympic pages. There is the Globe Olympic Blog, the ProJo Olympic Blog and the Hartford Courant Olympic page. On a national level there is the ESPN Olympic page.

The New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages also have Olympic coverage and other national stories.

Wondering what Universal HD is? Comcast announced that the network will be available through the end of February on channel 846:

Just in time for the Olympics, Comcast has added Universal HD to its extensive high-definition (HD) lineup through the end of February, delivering sports fans a front row seat to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy to cheer on New England natives and watch other US athletes as they go for the gold.

Beginning immediately, Comcast customers with at least the Digital Classic or Digital Sports package can tune into Universal HD on Channel 846 in HD format, a new television standard with a dramatically improved, highly-detailed picture, improved audio quality (including surround sound) and a wide-screen, theater-like display. This latest addition to Comcast

Bruins Settle For A Point. Again.

The Bruins had to once again settle for a single point in the standings last night as they fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in overtime. Steve Conroy has the details of the Bruins with another “moral” victory, of which the Bruins are getting too many of lately, as opposed to the real kind. Jim McCabe has the game story for the Globe, as Brian Gionta scored the game winner in OT for the Devils after the Bruins had tied things up in the third period. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins will find themselves where they aimed to be as the Olympic break arrives – in playoff contention. Douglas Flynn notes that the Bruins now find themselves just one point out of the final playoff spot.

Mike Loftus has a look at new Bruin Brian Eklund, a Braintree native excited to be joining his hometown team. Marvin Pave has a look at Wayne Primeau, who scored the game tying goal in the third period against Martin Brodeur, and has produced much more than the Bruins could’ve expected when they acquired him as the third man in the Joe Thornton trade. Steve Buckley has Tim Thomas frustrated with how the game turned out for the Bruins and himself. McDonald says that the Bruins aren’t talking about the gambling scandal. McDonald’s notebook says that Tim Thomas’ continued strong play could prompt a trade of Andrew Raycroft. Conroy’s notebook looks at Hall Gill packing his bags for Turin. McCabe’s notebook has more on Gill joining the US Olympic Hockey team’s taxi squad.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett report on Paul Pierce being named to his fifth All Star team last night. Mike Fine says that the Celtics are remaining positive despite being mired in a six game losing streak.
Scott Souza has a look at Al Jefferson, who is determined to get back in the Celtics lineup as soon as possible. Michael Muldoon takes a look at the rash of injuries that have crippled the Celtics as of late, which has been the last thing this young team has needed. Bulpett’s notebook has more from Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson on their injuries, while Springer’s notebook has Doc Rivers pulling people out of the front office so that he can hold practice with enough bodies.

Nick Cafardo looks at the Red Sox silence over their reported courtship of Roger Clemens, and looks at the other possible landing spots for the Rocket. He says though that Boston is the best story line, and after all, we know that that is what is really important here. Jeff Horrigan talks to Red Sox manager Terry Francona about the WBC and about players on his roster who will be participating.

Ron Borges has his boxing notes, with Fernando Vargas obsessing over Oscar De La Hoya.

There’s plenty of Olympic coverage from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Turin Olympic pages.

The New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages also have Olympic coverage and other national stories.

Check back this afternoon for Olympic coverage, media columns, TV listings and commentary from the week in Boston sports media.

Bruins Avoid Distraction

Despite the distraction of the NHL gambling scandal, in which one of their own was named, the Bruins went out on the road and defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Fluto Shinzawa and Steve Conroy have the game stories from the Steel city. Mike Loftus has a look at Tim Thomas, who has really helped turn the season around for the Bruins. Conroy has Travis Green and the Bruins being tight lipped about Green being named in the investigation. Bill Reynolds says that this scandal is coming at the worst possible time for the NHL. Shinzawa’s notebook has more on Green being named in the probe. Conroy’s notebook looks at Brian Leetch getting back into the lineup for the Bruins last night.

Steve Bulpett has Paul Pierce hoping that the Celtics can keep their core nucleus of himself, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins together through the trade deadline and well beyond then. Shalise Manza Young reports on Kendrick Perkins colliding with Brian Scalabrine at practice yesterday and separating his shoulder. It is hoped that the injury isn’t too severe, but it seems likely that it will keep the third year big man sidelined until after the February 19th All Star game. Marvin Pave and Shira Springer also report on the injury to Perkins. Bulpett’s notebook has more on the injury as well as an update on Wally Szczerbiak’s knee and Gerald Green’s development.

Paul Doyle looks at the Red Sox ownership creating a new Fenway Park, little by little. Jeff Horrigan reports that this offseason’s projects are just about halfway complete, but are expected to be finished in time for the home opener. Joe McDonald also reports on the Fenway makeover. Steve Buckley approves of the alterations. Nick Cafardo reports on Red Sox pitching coach Dave Wallace being hospitalized with a hip infection that could keep him out of spring training and part of the regular season. Horrigan’s notebook looks at newly signed Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s stellar performance in the Caribbean World Series.

Tom E Curran talks to Brad Blank, the agent for Patriots receiver David Givens, who says that the free agent to be would like to remain with the Patriots. Lenny Megliola says there is a decent chance that Doug Flutie could be back for another go-around with the Patriots.

Michael Vega and Mark Murphy report on freshman point guard Tyrese Rice leading Boston College to a 72-66 win over Wake Forest.

Kevin Paul Dupont has a profile on US Olympic Hockey coach Peter Laviolette. Bob Ryan takes a look at what some of the top stories for the US will be in these games. Get more Olympic coverage from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Turin Olympic pages.

The New York Sports Pages are also filled with NHL gambling coverage and Olympic news.

NESN has Devils/Bruins at 7:00. TNT has Heat/Mavs at 8:00 and Bulls/Kings at 10:30. ESPN has Ohio St/Michigan at 7:00 and West Virginia/Pitt at 9:00. ESPN2 has St John’s/Georgetown at 9:00 and Cal State-Fullerton/Pacific at 11:00. FSN has UCLA/Washington St at 8:30 and Stanford/Cal at 10:30.

More Rocket Talk

Nick Cafardo has more on the Red Sox courting Roger Clemens, and says there is a shot of it happening. Jeff Horrigan however, says that it is more likely that Clemens just stays put in Houston, and that David Wells might end up being the only 40+ pitcher at Fenway this year. (I guess he only means starters, as Mike Timlin will turn 40 next month.) Rob Bradford examines Theo Epstein’s string of avoiding arbitration hearings with players, a streak that has continued through this offseason. Jim Donaldson thinks that the Red Sox lineup is pretty weak in spots and that the team hasn’t really improved over last season.

Stan Grossfeld has a feature in the Globe examining whether new construction in the Fenway neighborhood could effect the number of home runs hit in the ballpark this season. He ends with the warning: “fewer home runs could lead to swirling winds of discontent across Red Sox Nation.” He also has a brief look at the offseason renovations to Fenway itself and there is a slideshow on the changes as well.

Three articles on the Celtics this morning, one positive, the other two, not so much. Shalise Manza Young has a look at “PerkandAl” as the Celtics’ young twin tower combo is known as these days and how the two youngsters are learning and helping each other out during these tough first few NBA seasons. Shira Springer notes that the Celtics have not been sniping at each other during these tough times, and while on the surface that might seem like a good thing, in reality they might benefit from the spark of an outburst. Mark Murphy looks at the struggles of Wally Szczerbiak since the trade, and how after the initial win over Sacramento, things haven’t quite worked out for the Celtics.

Jim Lazar and Jennifer Moroz look at Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach (and former Bruins player) Rick Tocchet being implicated in a nationwide gambling ring that also named Jeremy Roenick and Wayne Gretzky’s wife Janet Jones. Dale and Holley this morning also reported that the Bruins’ Travis Green is also named in the investigation.

Matt Kalman looks at Glenn Murray moving to the Bruins top line with Brad Boyes and Patrice Bergeron. This move is due to the injury to Marco Sturm, as Frank Dell’Apa notes, which will keep Sturm out of the lineup possibly until after the Olympic break. Kalman’s notebook has more on Sturm.

Mike Reiss reports that backup linebacker Don Davis has signed a new deal to return to the Patriots next season. Lenny Megliola says that Tom Brady will need 6-8 weeks to recovery from his upcoming hernia surgery. Albert Breer looks at a couple of New England natives getting NFL jobs.

Mark Blaudschun reports that Boston College will play a hockey game outdoors at Fenway park next December.

With the winter Olympics starting up on Friday, The Boston Globe and Boston Herald have their Olympic sections up and ready to go.

You can get more on the NHL betting scandal and on the Jets changing their general manager on the New York Sports Pages.

ESPN has announced that Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser will make up their new Monday Night Football broadcasting team.

NESN has Bruins/Penguins at 7:30. ESPN2 has Boston College/Wake Forest at 7:30 and Bulls/Nuggets at 9:30. ESPN has Indiana/Wisconsin at 7:00 and Syracuse/UConn at 9:00.

Courting Roger?

I’m feeling a bit under the weather (was yesterday, too) so I’m going to have abbreviated links today.

Gerry Callahan (subscription only) reports today in his column that the Red Sox, led by Tom Werner are preparing a DVD video to present to Roger Clemens in hopes of convincing the Rocket, who will be 44 in August, to come back to Boston for one final, glorious season. Callahan concludes:

Give the Sox credit for trying: They don

Shanked Stories

John Molori has his take of the highlights and lowlights of the Super Bowl.

While Ron Borges has drawn a lot of attention from this site as of late, we haven’t forgotten his Globe colleague Dan Shaughnessy. While the website devoted to watching Dan has done a great job of following his stuff on a daily basis, here are a couple of items that prove once again how far the Globe sports section has slipped and what shoddy work the lead sports columnist of the paper has been turning in.

First, from Sheriff Sully very early this morning:

I really don