Devils take joy in frustrating the Rangers

769624.jpg

Devils take joy in frustrating the Rangers

From Comcast SportsNet
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- If you have any doubt the New Jersey Devils are frustrating the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference finals, just look at Game 4. Forget that Zach Parise scored two goals and set up another in the Devils' 4-1 win that evened the series at 2-all. Look at the extracurricular stuff in the game Monday night. Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur got sucker-punched by former teammate Mike Rupp, who might now be facing a suspension. New Jersey teammates Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique and Steve Bernier were the victims of cheap shots, and the Rangers spent most of the final 20 minutes killing off penalties and acting foolish. In 48 hours, the tide has turned again in this series between longtime rivals. Henrik Lundqvist is no longer in the Devils' heads, and the Rangers seemingly are the ones fighting demons heading into Game 5 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. "It's a good sign, I guess, when they take liberties on players," Brodeur said after making 28 saves en route to his 10th postseason win. "That means they're getting off their game a little bit. We've been working really hard, putting our head down, taking a lot of shots throughout the playoffs. "It's no different in this series," the 40-year-old three-time Stanley Cup winner said. "And as we go, we're going to keep doing the same. And it's paying off for us to be disciplined about these things." The Rangers were undisciplined. They took six penalties and one led to Parise's first goal early in the third period that pushed the lead to 3-0. The tally gave New Jersey a comfortable lead, but the game was far from over, especially when Rupp punched Brodeur with a jab that appeared to connect in the neck area and slide up his mask. The punch seemingly came out of nowhere and almost set off a battle on the ice. It did spark a shouting match between coaches Peter DeBoer of the Devils and John Tortorella of the Rangers on the benches. "You don't like to see that," DeBoer said of the hit on his goaltender. "He's a key guy for us. Two teams battling it out. He's a big boy. He can take care of himself." Brodeur was more surprised by the incident than anything. "I didn't expect anything," he said. "I never got punched like that in my career. First time. It kind of surprised me more than anything, but now I know I can take a punch." Tortorella refused to say anything about his shouting match with DeBoer, with whom he has argued several times this season, including Sunday when he complained about the Devils using illegal picks and embellishing penalties. "This isn't about John and I," DeBoer said. "This is about the guys on the ice. So, I don't have anything to say about that." This game -- and its result -- was almost anticlimactic after the shenanigans. Bryce Salvador and Travis Zajac beat Henrik Lundqvist less than four minutes apart in the first to give the Devils their first two-goal lead in the series, which is developing an intensity and emotion comparable to the classic 1994 Eastern Conference Finals between these two rivals. In that series, there were suspensions on both sides, three double-overtime games, a Game 6 "Guarantee" by New York captain Mark Messier, and unparalleled drama. Well, this one is getting there. On Monday, Brodeur, the only remaining player on either side from that series, even notched an assist in the third, on Parise's empty netter, capping a game in which the Devils maintained their composure and bounced back from a 3-0 shutout in Game 3, while the Rangers took several uncharacteristic penalties and seemed rattled from the start. And the chippiness increased with each period. New York's Marc Staal whacked Elias in the back of the knee with his stick in the second. Ryan Callahan, the Rangers captain, and New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk tussled and then jawed at each other from the respective penalty boxes. "There are going to be situations out there where we get into each other's faces," Callahan said. "That's playoff hockey." But the Rupp incident might have been a little over the top, even for the Stanley Cup playoffs. A former Devil who scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for New Jersey in 2003 against Anaheim, Rupp jabbed Brodeur while the goalie was in his crease in the third after a stoppage in play. That almost set off a free-for-all among the players on the ice, especially after Brodeur reacted like he had been hit by a roundhouse left. As Brodeur walked through the locker room, he was asked if Rupp was his friend. "That's what I thought," he said before heading to the podium for a postgame news conference. Rupp was not available for comment. Ruslan Fedotenko ruined Brodeur's bid for his 25th career playoff shutout with just over five minutes to play. The Rangers pulled Lundqvist, who had shut out the Devils in Games 1 and 3, with less than three minutes to play, and Brodeur made two outstanding saves to keep it a two-goal game. Parise -- two days after he did not speak to reporters after a disappointing effort in Game 3 -- finally iced it with his second of the game and sixth of the playoffs. It was a clearing pass that found its way into the net. Brodeur's assist was his fourth point of the playoffs, an NHL record for a goaltender in one postseason. But this game -- which did not include New York's Brendan Prust, who was suspended for elbowing Anton Volchenkov in Game 3 -- was decided early because the Devils finally found ways to beat Lundqvist. Salvador's wrist shot from the point found its way through a half-dozen players and sneaked by the Rangers' netminder for New Jersey's first goal since the third period of Game 2. Zajac's goal gave the Devils a 2-0 edge at 11:59, and the rejuvenated Parise had a big hand in it. New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus sent the puck along the boards and New York's Michael Del Zotto made two mistakes. He didn't flag down the puck and then he allowed Parise to skate past him, setting up a 2-on-1 break. Parise lifted a pass over the stick of a prone Dan Girardi, and Zajac one-timed the pass into the upper portion of the net before Lundqvist could react. Parise extended the lead to 3-0 early in the third, just 4 seconds after New York's Derek Stepan was sent off for high-sticking. Kovalchuk took a shot from the point that Lundqvist could not control and Parise whacked the rebound into the net. NOTES: Veteran Petr Sykora, who had played in every game for the Devils this season and won the 2000 Stanley Cup with New Jersey, sat, as Jacob Josefson returned to the lineup. ... With Prust forced to miss the game, the Rangers dressed seven defenseman, including Stu Bickel, who returned to the lineup after sitting for Game 3. ... Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider had his three-game goal scoring streak snapped. ... The Devils' win was played on the 18th anniversary of New Jersey's 3-1 victory over the Rangers in the aforementioned 1994 series. That was also a Game 4, and that also tied that series, 2-2. New York went on to win in seven games. ... Monday night's game marked the first time the Rangers allowed more than three goals in a contest during these playoffs. New York tied an NHL record by holding its opponents to three goals or less in 17 consecutive games to begin the postseason.

Purdue hires Western Kentucky's Jeff Brohm as new head coach

jeff-brohm-1205.jpg
USA TODAY

Purdue hires Western Kentucky's Jeff Brohm as new head coach

Purdue has found its next head football coach.

After multiple outlets reported Monday morning that Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm accepted the open job, Purdue tweeted an announcement about an hour later.

Brohm was considered one of the top options for teams looking for a new coach this season. He posted a 30-10 record in three seasons as the head coach of the Hilltoppers, winning back-to-back Conference USA championships. Western Kentucky won double-digit games in each of the last two seasons and reached a bowl game in all three of Brohm's seasons, winning the first two.

The Hilltoppers have been terrific on offense under Brohm. This season they boasted the No. 2 scoring offense in the country, averaging 45.1 points a game, and the No. 7 total offense, averaging 517.4 yards per game. Purdue already owned the top passing offense in the Big Ten this season, but Western Kentucky was the No. 5 passing offense in the nation, averaging 336.8 passing yards a game.

"We were fortunate to meet with many talented coaches from around the country during our search, and Jeff’s name was one that rose to the top early in the process," Purdue athletics director Mike Bobinski said in the announcement. "He is a coach who already has achieved tremendous success and, at the same time, has incredible upside. His reputation and record of accomplishment as an innovative offensive coach and developer of quarterbacks is second to none. That pedigree, combined with his commitment to developing the complete student-athlete and doing so with integrity makes him a perfect fit for Purdue University. I am extremely excited to have Jeff as our head football coach."

Prior to becoming the head coach at Western Kentucky, Brohm spent one season as the offensive coordinator at UAB. He was the Illinois quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011 under head coach Ron Zook and the quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic during the 2009 season. He spent seven seasons as an assistant at Louisville, where he played from 1989 to 1993 before an seven-year NFL career.

Additionally, former Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, Jeff's brother, is expected to be the Boilermakers' new offensive coordinator, per a report.

Purdue needed a new coach after firing Darrell Hazell midway through this season. Hazell had practically no success in his three and a half seasons in West Lafayette, winning just nine games and only three Big Ten games.

The Boilers have made just two bowl appearances in the past nine seasons, but the job isn't the least attractive with the amount of resources any Big Ten school can provide, as evidenced by his reported contract.

CSN earns six Emmy Awards

emmys-slide-2016.jpg

CSN earns six Emmy Awards

Chicago, IL (December 5, 2016) – CSN Chicago (CSN), the home for the most games and the comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, was the recipient of six Emmy Awards from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  The 58th annual ceremony was held in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 3.

“We are honored to receive these awards from our peers in the industry, but, more importantly, I’m even prouder of the non-stop dedication of our entire staff for their brilliant performance on a daily basis,” said Phil Bedella, VP/GM of CSN Chicago. 

To date, CSN Chicago has earned a total of 39 Emmy Awards since it launched on October 1, 2004.  Note the following Emmy Award winners for the 2015-16 television season:

1) Category #7-a:  Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs – Program Feature/Segment

  • An Everlasting Bond:  Pat Gostele, Ryan McGuffey, Executive Producers.

2) Category #7-d:  Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs – Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited Program/Special

  • Chicago Bulls 70’s Night at the United Center on CSN Chicago: Jim Corno, Jr., Executive Producer; Mark Harper, John Walsh, Producers; Tamra Anderson, Todd Benjaminson, Todd Hackl, Kristina Quinn, Line Producers; Neil Funk, Stacey King, Will Perdue, Mark Schanowski, Hosts; Chuck Garfien, Reporter/Producer.

3) Category #19-b:  Outstanding Achievement for Programming Promos (Non-News) Single Spot/Campaign

  • See It. Hear It. Feel It./Chicago Blackhawks:  Justin Schoenrock, Producer; Dan Gutschmidt, Jeremy Murayama, Brandon Riley, Line Producers.

4) Category #21-c:  Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent - Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play-by-Play

  • Eddie Olczyk - Composite. CSN Chicago

5) Category #23:  Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off Air - Audio

  • Justin Schoenrock, Michael Horn, Dan Gutschmidt - See It. Hear It. Feel It./Chicago Blackhawks

6) Category #26-c:  Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off Air: Editor - Promotions/PSAs/Commercials

  • Justin Schoenrock - See It. Hear It. Feel It./Chicago Blackhawks