Archive for April 22nd, 2008

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Rangers Will Know 2nd Round Opponent Tonight

Rangers Rumors & News

Since Brandon Dubinsky’s top-shelf shot went into the empty net in New Jersey the Rangers and their fans have been wondering who they will face in the second round. Tonight they will get that answer.

That’s because tonight’s match between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals decides who the Blue-shirts will play in the Atlantic Conference Semifinals.

In the second round of the playoffs the bracket is not reseeded, which means that if the Capitals win their series they would be ranked higher than the Rangers. That would create a Rangers versus Canadiens series and a Penguins versus Capitals series.

This scenario would be good for the NHL because it would create an Original Six playoff and not to mention it would pit two the the leagues best young stars against each other. Sindney Crosby versus Alexander Ovechkin!

If the Flyers win tonight they would play the Canadiens and the Rangers would go up against the Penguins. A Flyers/Canadiens series might be boring and possibly one-sided, but imagine …

Shockey to bring Giants a starting safety?

Giants Rumors & News

Ernie Palladino of the Journal News is reporting that the Jeremy Shockey to the Saints talks are gaining traction, and that the key player coming back to the Giants is starting safety Roman Harper.

Harper started all 16 games for New Orleans last season, his second in the league. He had 90 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions.

If that deal does go through the Giants will, obviously, be looking somewhere other than safety for their first-round selection.

More Good Stuff to Read

Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News ranks the Giants draft needs. The Blue Screen

A linebacker would be a good fit as the top pick. Newsday

Like I have been saying, here’s more speculation that the Giants are targeting Miami safety Kenny Phillips.
New York Post.

(– Read more of Ed Valentine’s Giants’ coverage at Big Blue View.)

Wagner: Leave Joba In the Bullpen

Mets Rumors & News

Mets closer Billy Wagner can relate to what the Yanks’ Joba Chamberlain is going through. He, too, came up through the minors as a flame-throwing starting pitcher, only to be moved to the bullpen in the majors when Astros’ closer Todd Jones was felled by injury in 1996. Wagner never made a start in the majors, instead embracing his new role with gusto.

“I just hated the idea of sitting around for four days in between starts,” he said. “I loved the idea of having a chance to be in the game every night.”

On the subject of Joba Chamberlain, Wagner has the following advice, via the Daily News:

“The Joba thing, to me, there’s no question about where he should be,” Wagner said. “He’s in the pen and that’s where he should stay. He’s dominating out there, so you want him comfortable, just doing what he’s doing….Wagner says he understands the argument to make Chamberlain a starter, but makes the point that even the best starters don’t have the …

Safety first for the Giants?

Giants Rumors & News

One position we have all acknowledged feeling the Giants need to upgrade is safety.

Veteran Sammy Knight, signed to replace Gibril Wilson, and James Butler are no better than adequate. Second-year man Michael Johnson is exciting, but still unproven. This position needs attention, and I don’t think anyone can be surprised if a Day 1 choice is used to upgrade it.

Let’s look some of the possibilities. Since I do have an ESPN Insider account, I will use NFL Draft Countdown for player bios.

Kenny Phillips, Miami
This is the guy many mock drafts have the Giants taking. If he is still there at No. 31, this is the guy I want.

NFL Draft Countdown
(First rounder)
The next in a long line of top Hurricane safeties, following in the footsteps of guys like Bennie Blades, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor and Brandon Meriweather … could rank amongst the Top 10 safeties in the NFL relatively early on in his career.

Reggie Smith, Oklahoma

An intriguing guy who could also project as a cornerback, or at least a nickel …

Isiah Banned!

Knicks Rumors & News

Now this is more like it.

When the Knicks’ Isiah Thomas was first stripped of his team presidency, then relieved of his coaching duties late last week, many fans expressed discontent that Zeke had been reassigned within the organization and not fired outright. However according to the Daily News’ Frank Isola, Thomas has been forbidden from having any contact with the team as a condition of his agreement with new-sherrif-in-town Donnie Walsh.

That means no phone calls, no singing telegrams, zilch. I’m not sure there’s a bridge in New York that Isiah Thomas hasn’t burnt to ash, but were Thomas to keep in touch with any of his current players, Walsh is concerned he might “willingly or unwillingly undermine the incoming coach.” Mark Jackson remains the favorite for that post.

10 questions as the draft approaches

Giants Rumors & News

Here are 10 Giants-related questions to ponder as the NFL Draft approaches.

1. Will Michael Strahan retire?
It sure would be nice to know before the draft, but GM Jerry Reese is not expecting a decision soon. I would think the Giants will draft a linebacker early either way, at least giving themselves the option of moving Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end.

2. Will the Giants trade Jeremy Shockey?
We have been discussing this a lot lately. As I’ve said, if Shockey is going to whine and be a distraction, I say move him. In the end, I don’t think Reese will unless he gets overwhelmed. Even if Shockey gets traded I’m not sure drafting a tight end is necessary. It would be nice, though, to pick up a couple of extra draft choices.

3. Can Reese do it again?
Reese’s 2007 draft was, of course, magical. All eight of his choices made the team, and seven contributed heavily to the Super Bowl championship. I don’t think you can expect perfection again, but I …

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