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04/01/2010 - 7:40pm
Rask wins Seventh Player Award

Tuukka Rask was voted the winner of the 41st annual Seventh Player Award Thursday night prior to the Bruins' game with the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. Rask, who had a shutout streak of 121 minutes and 42 seconds snapped on a first-period Florida goal, entered action Thursday with a 19-11-4 record and an NHL-best 2.02 goals-against average. The award is voted by the fans and given to the Bruins player who "goes above and beyond the call of duty and exceeds expectations of the fans." For more, visit the Big Bad Blog.


04/01/2010 - 7:32pm
NCAA plans for expanded tourney

NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen outlined a plan Thursday for a 96-team NCAA basketball tournament. Although it does not mean expansion from the current 65-team field is a done deal, it does indicate the NCAA's preference. The plan still needs to be approved by the Division 1 Men's Basketball Committee and passed on to the board of directors.

 

The 96-team tourney would be played during the same time frame as the current three-week tournament, but it would add another round of games and have a round of midweek games between the first two weekends of play.

 

Under the plan, the top 32 teams would receive a first-round bye. The first-round games -- between the bottom 64 teams -- would take place on Thursday and Friday, and the second round would be played Saturday and Sunday. Then there would be third-round games on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Sweet 16 on Thursday and Friday, and the Elite Eight on Saturday and Sunday....

04/01/2010 - 2:17pm
Verducci on D&H: Rays will edge Sox

Sports Illustrated baseball writer Tom Verducci checked in with Dale & Holley on Thursday afternoon to talk about the Red Sox. Regarding the Sox' move toward improving pitching and defense, Verducci said it will pay dividends, even if it wasn't the team's original plan. "I like what they've done defensively. I think the pitching staff will be better. I still question whether they have enough offense," he said. "But I think from the run-prevention angle of it, you'll see the results. I don't think there's any doubt about it: This team can go get the ball with anybody."

 

Verducci predicts the Yankees and Rays will beat out the Red Sox for spots in the playoffs, and he says the Rays should not be overlooked. "The two best teams I saw in Florida were the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays," he said. "To me, the Rays, they would just kept coming at teams in spring training. You look at spring training won-loss...

04/01/2010 - 1:52pm
Pierce on D&H: C's built for playoffs

Celtics swingman Paul Pierce joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday afternoon and talked about Wednesday night's tough loss to the Thunder. The Celtics were visibly upset about some of the officials' calls that benefited Thunder star Kevin Durant, but Pierce said the team can't afford to dwell on it. "That's the way the game goes sometimes," he said. "You've just got to move on from it. You can't let it bother you, even though it hurts. Those type of games hurt. I was really frustrated after the game, with how things went. But there's nothing you can really do. You've just got to move on."

 

Asked why he doesn't seem to get the benefit of the calls from the officials that his contemporaries do, Pierce said it's part of the whole package. "I've always been the Rodney Dangerfield of the game -- no respect. Even from Day 1, when I got drafted," he said. "It something I've just got to play through. I can...

04/01/2010 - 1:25pm
Epstein: Lowell important to team

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Speaking prior to the Red Sox' spring training game against the Twins, Thursday afternoon at City of Palms Park, Sox general manager Theo Epstein reiterated that he still sees Mike Lowell as an important part of the team heading into Opening Day.

 

“The same exact thing I told you guys early in camp – that from the day the Texas thing fell through in December, I anticipated him being an important part of this club, albeit with a role that’s less than what he’s used to," Epstein said. "I still see it that way. There hasn’t been much trade activity, if at all, with him this spring. He’s swinging the bat well of late, looking healthier every day and I anticipate him being an important bench guy for us. No one wishes injury on anyone but strange things happen in this game and it’s a good feeling to have him be able to step in if needed.”

 

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