SportsNet - May 2013
Both the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins won their first round matchups in seven games. The big difference was how they did it. The entire hockey world were wondering what gold course the Bruins would be showing up on in the third period, but they battled back and won one of the most dramatic games in recent memory. Meanwhile, the Rangers silenced the Washington faithful on the road and smothered them for a 5-0 clincher. Let's take a closer look at how these two matchup in round 2.
Despite advancing in round 1, both of these teams had some big guns that went MIA. Seguin, Marchand, and Jagr are key cogs in the Boston wheel and none of them provided the kind of offense the team expected. Seguin had over 20 shots alone and still couldn't find a way to get a goal. Conversely, Richards and Nash couldn't do much for their side either. Richards was even dropped to the fourth line at times which is the ultimate slap in the face for someone of his pedigree.
Who is most likely to break their slump and put their team over the top in round 2? The simple answer could be no one.
The Oakland Raiders have reportedly agreed a deal to sign ace kick returner Josh Cribbs. ProFootballTalk.com reports that the former Cleveland Browns special teams standout has decided to accept an offer to join the Silver and Black.
The move gives the Raiders a major boost on special teams and a versatile weapon for their sub-packages on offense. In particular, Cribbs should be able to help out on third downs.
However, his true value is likely to be in the return game. The 29-year-old has excelled returning kickoffs and punts, since entering the NFL in 2005. He was not quite at his best in 2012, but still produced 1,178 yards on kickoff returns. He also chipped in with 457 yards on punt returns.
The Raiders frankly need Cribbs to again dominate in the return game. He can help win the field position battle, for a team in complete rebuild mode on both sides of the ball. The offense is not expected to be lighting up scoreboards in 2013.
Manchester City have sacked Roberto Mancini - a year to the day he led them to the Premier League title.
Manuel Pellegrini is set to replace Mancini as boss at The Etihad.
Pellegrini is set to be confirmed as City’s new manager to replace Roberto Mancini and he will not be the only arrival from Malaga.
Abu Dhabi sources have excitedly claimed that Spanish attacking midfielder Isco will join his boss Pellegrini at City and that a deal for Cavani is close to completion. The total cost of the double deal could total a staggering £79million.
Isco’s Malaga release fee is £27m, while Napoli have always insisted they will not accept less than the £52m buy-out clause in striker Cavani’s contract.
With David Silva's injury problems this season contributing to his stuttering form, it’s time some of the playmaking burden was taken off him. Isco is an ideal solution to the creative side of City’s game, and the bonus is that Pellegrini knows the 20-year-old inside out from his time at Malaga.
There were the usual rumours surrounding Wayne Rooney, when it was suggested that he wanted away from Manchester United, especially as Sir Alex Ferguson actually admitted that he had asked for a transfer only two weeks before announcing his retirement from the club. There was an immediate glut of rumours from Manchester City, to Chelsea and then beyond into Europe.
As regards Europe, we now know that both Real Madrid and Barcelona were sounded out about Rooney during the earlier part of this year, but both clubs made it clear that he was not the sort of player they were looking for. We then heard that it was Bayern Munich, but just this week, their president has stated that they have no interest in Rooney.
That now leaves Manchester City and Chelsea, but with both having a change of manager at the end of this season, there is little interest in Rooney from either of their camps. However, there has been an astounding revelation today from an unlikely source; the SportsDirect website.
For those who do now know, SportsDirect is the company owned by Mike Ashley, who also happens to be the owner of Newcastle United. On their website, it clearly states:-
The San Diego Chargers have invited free agent pass-rusher Dwight Freeney to visit, after losing outside linebacker Melvin Ingram for the season. Freeney's visit was reported by U-T San Diego, after Chargers.com confirmed Ingram has torn his ACL.
Taking the first steps to signing Freeney is a smart move by the Chargers. Ingram's loss robs the defense of its only real pure pass-rusher.
The Chargers are well-stocked on the inside. Linebackers Donald Butler and rookie Manti Te'o will form a punishing duo.
San Diego also boast considerable talent along the interior of the defensive line. Young tackles Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes have the potential to dominate.
However, without Ingram, there is little threat from the edges. Even at 33, Freeney remains a dynamic outside pass-rusher.