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50 posts from November 2009

November 04, 2009

Back at The Billboard: Jeff Taffe Recalled ... Talking with Nathan Horton

Taffe Hey everyone, guess who's back with the Panthers?

Yes, me.

And Jeff Taffe, too.

With Dominic Moore out again tonight after the nasal surgery, the Panthers recalled Taffe from Rochester. Taffe took a puck to the left eye in the Dallas game and he hasn't skated until today.

The eye is still yuck looking, but he says his vision is fine. He says he was hanging out in Rochester when he got the call. A little surprising, I would think, since he hadn't skated. He was good natured about it though. ''I still haven't figured it out,'' he said.

Pete DeBoer says Moore was going to the doc today and would be back at The Billboard to try and skate this afternoon. It's possible he plays Friday against the Capitals.

-- Spoke to Nathan Horton today about his play of late. He seems to be having a lot of fun out there, and his stats are showing it. He's playing very well. He only has one goal during the past three games (an empty netter against the Blues on Saturday) but he has six assists during that span. That line of Horton with Steven Reinprecht and Cory Stillman is creating a ton of chances.

Will have more from Horton and DeBoer later on.

November 02, 2009

Odds and Ends

PHILADELPHIA -- First off, greetings from the press box at the Spectrum where the Lightning and Flyers are set to go around 5. They moved up the time because of the World Series next door.

The Flyers have the Phillies logo on the big screen and bowl light boards. 'Good Luck Phillies' it says. That's nice. Fans are also getting white rally towels with both the Phillies and Flyers logo on it, as well as red Phillies cheer signs. I don't know how may of these were given out -- it could be 15,000 for all I know.

The Flyers also showed a Phillies video highlight reel before the game as anthem singer Lauren Hart wore a Phillies t-shirt instead of her usual Flyers garb.

Classy move from one team to another.

-- Congrats to Craig Anderson, who was named one of the NHL's stars of November. A great honor for a great start.

-- According to the Panthers website, Radek Dvorak was seen skating after practice today. That's good news for him and the Panthers.

November 01, 2009

The Challenge is Done: Four Games, Four Sports, Four States, One Day

Creds PHILADELPHIA -- I waited all day for the dinner I wanted.

The pulled pork in the Boston media room smelled good. The grub at Logan International smelled good.

But I wanted a hot dog. From the World Series.

It was a good hot dog.

Today was about as long an experience I've had as a sports writer at the Herald. Sure, we've had plenty of marathon days (especially at a NASCAR event) but it'll be hard to top this.

In the Lincoln Financial Field parking lot around 8:15 a.m. On the Jersey Turnpike around 9. In the City by 11, watching hockey by 1 p.m.

Then it was a quick cab and a quarter of the Dolphins-Jets game (where I got to see two field goals and a near-fight by the bathroom between a Dan Marino and a Mark Sanchez). Pretty soon I was flying to Boston where I took in a Celtics game. Then, a flight back to Philadelphia to cap off the day at the World Series.

IGphilly 'm enjoying this one. Taking in the sights and sounds of the ballpark. I had my hot dog and am about to head back out and hang with the standing room only crazies in Section 136. They smell like they were in that parking lot at 8:15 as well.

Which is fine by me. It's nice and cool out and I am not complaining. This was one heck of a good day one that will be hard to top. Four professional sporting events in one day. If I'm the only one to have ever done this, cool. I don't care either way. It was a trip (literally) just trying to complete it. I couldn't sleep last night because I kept worrying about finding a cab outside the Meadowlands, kept worrying that the Philadelphia flight (which was empty) would be canceled for 'maintenance.'

But everything worked out. And now I'm heading back out to hang with the regulars (who are now in a better mood with Sabathia out of the game).

Will only do one game tomorrow back here at the Series.

Maybe the Flyers are playing. Would definitely check that out.

Hello Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- Hello. On way to ballpark now.

Done with the Celtics: One More to Go

Gceltics BOSTON -- Greetings from the TD Banknorth Garden where the Boston Celtics are playing host to the New Orleans Hornets.

Should be a fun game as the high-flying Celts try to make it a 4-0 start to the season.

-- Got to watch the first quarter of the game and enjoyed the experience quite a bit. Nice pregame show by the Celtics and a good overall atmosphere in the arena.

It's a big barn, but I felt like I was back in Miami Arena watching the Heat again. Don't even know why. But that's what it felt like.

Now I'm back at Logan International waiting on my final flight of the night.

We're 3 for 3 on the Big Four Tour.

You can only guess what No. 4 is.

Yes, baseball remains and a flight to Philadelphia awaits.

More later...

Up Next: Boston

On the plane, getting ready to roll on to Massachusetts...

Where's Jets Stadium?

Jets EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Left Madison Square Garden with a scoreless game although there was some good hitting and only one chant aimed toward Denis Potvin.

Got a good cab driver who rapidly got me out to New Jersey -- just in time to see the Dolphins get a penalty at the end of the first quarter (I almost wrote period).

The Jets, wearing the cool NY Titans roadies, drove down deep but had to settle for a Jay Feely field goal. The Dolphins get a nice play from Fasano and get a big field goal to tie things up. The Jet fans are mad.

Lot of Miami folks out here, more than I thought. Have already spotted at least six Marinos, a dozen Rickys and about as many Ronnies. Even saw a few Ted Ginn jerseys. Which is cool. If Braylon Edwards can learn to catch, anyone can.

Nice enough stadium here, although the lines to the restrooms are crazy long and the concourse is definitely cramped.

The new stadium looks pretty cool. Should be much nicer.

Getting here was real smooth, although cabby almost got lost however when I told him I wanted to go to the Jets game.

'Where?' he asked.

'Oh yeah,' I said. 'GIANTS Stadium.'

He knew where that was.

Almost time to get going, have a 4 p.m. flight.

Game 3 on the tour? Charlotte Hornets @ Boston Celtics, 6 p.m.

Hope I can find a cab outside the stadium. Wish me luck.

And stay tuned...

(*) -- Photo not from Sunday's game.

A New York State of Mind

Msg NEW YORK -- Dropped off the rental car and made the long walk up 34th Street to the most famous arena in the world.

No, I'm not at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.

I'm at Madison Square Garden, getting ready for Game 1 of our four-game Sunday Sports Tour. The Blueshirts are getting ready to battle Tim Thomas and the Bruins, and I'm looking forward to a little hockey after missing the Panthers last night.

But the first time I hear that Potivn chant, I'm outta here.

After all, I have another game to get to.

Game 2: Your Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, live from the Meadowlands. If I had the time, I might swing over to the track and get some horse action going. But I don't have the time. And I live close to Calder.

Stay tuned...

-- And according to the Dolphins' pregame notes, Brian Hartline gets the start in place of fellow Buckeye Ted Ginn Jr. Reggie Torbor starts in place of the injured Channing Crowder. Just trying to help you all out.

And We're Off to Nueva York

CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- Woke up early this morning, checked into my flights and am now en route to the big city. A good start so far: lifted some Cheerios from the buffet, grabbed a Diet Dr. Pepper and have the iPod cranking out the tunes. Ever drive one of these new Mercury Sabals? The sound system is unreal. Anyway, I'm easily impressed.

First stop in our Four Game World Tour is, of course, a good old hockey game. It's a sweet Original Six matchup at the Garden between the Bruins and Rangers. Then it's a cab to the Meadowlands for the Dolphins and Jets. These first two will be candy. The rest of the trip gets shaky after that.

Stay tuned. See you at the Garden.

Four Games, Four States, 10 Hours: Crazy? Yeah.

Truckster PHILADELPHIA -- It's adventure time!

Sunday marks just the second time that the top four professional sports leagues in North America are playing on the same day.

NFL? Check.

NHL? Yeah.


MLB? It's the Series!

How hard is it to attend a game in each of the four leagues? In the same day? I'm going to find out later today. Starting early Sunday morning, the trek begins. Where do I start? Where should I go? The baseball one is easy: There is only one baseball game tomorrow. But I want to see an NHL game. I want to see the NBA. I want to see some football.

I'm going to try and do it. I think it's going to be fun. I think it's going to be exhausting. And if USAir cooperates, it might just be feasible.

Follow along right here all day tomorrow and we'll see what happens. One accident on the highway, one delay and kaput! It's done. So, I need a little luck, a lack of traffic and clear skies. We'll see what happens.

See you in the morning.

I can hear the highway calling.