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Saturday, July 11, 2020


Penguins take funny shot at Antonio Brown on Twitter

Antonio Brown

It’s safe to say that Antonio Brown had quite the fall from grace in the city of Pittsburgh, and the Penguins poked fun at that much on Monday.

Pittsburgh’s NHL franchise kicked off the week by live-tweeting their Game 1 2016 Stanley Cup Finals matchup against the San Jose Sharks, which aired locally Monday on various networks. When the Penguins found a tweet they had sent at the time touting Brown’s attendance at the game, they reposted it with the caption, “Awkward.”

Brown, the ex-Pittsburgh Steelers receiver, was traded by the team roughly one year ago, beginning his well-publicized downward spiral. These days, the seven-time Pro Bowler is so toxic that not even a single team wants him.

While Brown has been making some moves lately in an apparent attempt to get back in the NFL’s good graces, the Penguins’ tweet is a good reminder of just how quickly one can go from a hero to a villain.

Alex Ovechkin not concerned about missed milestones from suspended season

Alex Ovechkin

There are many storylines that come from the pause on sports leagues due to the coronavirus pandemic. One is that some players are losing valuable time in their chase for milestones.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is one of those players. He’s two goals shy of reaching 50 on the season. That would be the ninth time he’s done that, tying an NHL record. He’s also 188 goals shy of matching Wayne Gretzky’s career mark of 894.

Now 34, Ovechkin isn’t getting any younger. If the NHL resumes by going straight to the playoffs, Ovechkin would miss out on his 50-goal season and lose valuable time chasing Gretzky as well. Ultimately, though, he’s not too concerned by this.

“Of course, you want to score 50,” Ovechkin said, via J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington. “But right now, like everyone is saying, the most important thing is be stay safe and to get this thing done. It sucks to not score 50 and to not get another milestone, but you have to think about your family, people and fans to be more safe. I’m pretty sure the sooner this is going to be over, the sooner we’re going to start back playing hockey. It’ll be nice to score again 50 goals or reach those milestones, but right now our mind is on just trying to be safe. It’s a scary situation.”

Ovechkin recently reached 700 career goals, and he likely does still have a few years left in him. He’s taking the right view on this — he’ll have his chances, but for now, public health is more important.

New CDC guidelines suggest sports on hold for at least eight weeks

Thunder Jazz game

Sports leagues have generally been following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, and as long as that continues, there won’t be sports in the U.S. for quite some time.

The CDC released new guidance Sunday night recommending that all in-person events consisting of more than 50 people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks. The earliest that guidance would end would be the week of May 9.

That suggests that sports will be on hold until at least the start of May. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the NBA’s most optimistic scenarios don’t have the league resuming play until June.

The NFL would be impacted by this as well. Aside from the NFL Draft, OTAs and rookie minicamps would almost certainly be impacted.

Boxing matches would also be postponed.

The NHL would be unable to resume under this order with or without fans, and MLB’s season would not start either. That is along the lines of what MLB is expecting.

Authorities have warned that the worst is yet to come. With that in mind, sports will likely be an afterthought for weeks and perhaps months to come.

Video: Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks make teenage fan Selena Urban’s dream come true

Selena Urban Sharks

These videos are the absolute best.

On Friday, the San Jose Sharks held their team photo day and used it as an opportunity to help make a young fan’s dream come true.

The team’s “Sharks Care” charity worked with Bay Area Make-A-Wish to have 16-year-old kidney transplant patient Selena Urban spend part of the day with the team. This video shows Sharks veteran Joe Thornton inviting the emotional Urban to come be a part of the team photo. Her reaction was wonderful.

Urban and her parents got to watch the team practice and she even spent time chatting with some of the players. She capped off the day with a ride on the Zamboni, and a shopping spree in the team store, according to the Mercury News.

Thorton is also picking up Urban before the Sharks’ game on Saturday, at which she will be dropping the ceremonial puck. What a weekend for Urban to remember!

Johnny Boychuk needed 90 stitches after skate to the face, avoided eye damage

New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk left the ice in a panic on Tuesday night after taking a skate to the face, but fortunately he is expected to make a full recovery.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters on Wednesday that Boychuk suffered no damage to his eyeball, as the blade of the skate only cut his eyelid. It took 90 stitches to close the wound. Lamoriello noted that plastic surgeons use small stitches and said he doesn’t want to exaggerate, but 90 stitches is 90 stitches.

There’s no exact timetable for Boychuck’s return, but it’s clear the incident could have been a lot worse.

Boychuck appeared to shove Artturi Lehkonen in the back to keep the Montreal Canadiens forward away from Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov, causing Lehkonen to fall forward. Lehkonen’s leg went into the air and his skate hit Boychuck directly in the face. The video may be difficult for some to watch.

We have seen the type of horrifying damage a skate to the face can cause, and it’s great news that Boychuk avoided eye damage and is going to be fine. That could have been disastrous.

Ilya Kovalchuk traded to Capitals by Canadiens for 3rd-round pick

Ilya Kovalchuk

The Washington Capitals are looking to load up for a Stanley Cup playoff run.

The Caps on Sunday acquired Ilya Kovalchuk in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens. The Caps are trading a 3rd-round pick in this year’s draft for the winger.

Kovalchuk, 36, was the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NHL Draft. He has 22 points this season, including an assist on Saturday.

Montreal trading him is no surprise. He is set to be a free agent after the season, so the Canadiens wanted to get a return for him prior to the trade deadline.

The Caps will be Kovalchuk’s third team of the season. He began the season with the Kings but was dropped by them before Montreal picked him up.

Washington is third in the NHL in points this season, behind Boston and Tampa Bay.

Hurricanes have big plans for viral star David Ayres

David Ayres

The Carolina Hurricanes are riding a wave of popularity right now thanks to viral sensation David Ayres.

Ayres came into Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs as the emergency goalie, but was pressed into action after both of Carolina’s regular goalies got hurt. Ayers managed to get the win, and quickly became a sensation beyond the sports world.

The Hurricanes have wisely been taking full advantage. They’re already selling Ayres shirts, but in a cool twist, some of the proceeds will go toward an appropriate kidney foundation as a nod to Ayres’ status as a kidney transplant survivor.

That’s not all. Ayres will be at the Hurricanes’ next home game Tuesday to sound the traditional pregame siren.

Ayres has gone from an AHL zamboni driver to something of a celebrity after his eventful Saturday night. Hurricanes fans will certainly never forget it, and Ayres is going to get some viral fame out of this. Both sides might as well make the most of it, and it sure seems like they’re intent to do just that.