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03/21/2011 - 4:17pm
Cooke suspended rest of season, first round
By: DJ Bean

The NHL announced Monday Penguins forward Matt Cooke has been suspended for the remainder of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs for an elbow on Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh that took place Sunday. It is the fourth suspension of Cooke's career, and second of this season.

 

"Mr. Cooke, a repeat offender, directly and unnecessarily targeted the head of an opponent who was in an unsuspecting and vulnerable position," Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said following the ruling. "This isn't the first time this season that we have had to address dangerous behavior on the ice by Mr. Cooke, and his conduct requires an appropriately harsh response." 

 

Cooke has long been criticized as one of the league's dirtier players, and was responsible for a blindside hit last March that has left Bruins center Marc Savard with concussion issues. Savard is...

03/21/2011 - 4:01pm
Lawyer: Meriweather not the shooter

Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather should no longer be viewed as a suspect in a February 27 shooting of two men in Apopka, Florida, according to his attorney.

 

"We have confirmed that Brandon was nothing but a peace-keeper," Adam Swickle told the Orlando Sentinel. "All of the witnesses confirmed that at no point did Brandon have a gun, or threaten to shoot, and did not shoot anyone."

 

 

On March 10, the web site Deadspin was first to report that Meriweather was involved in the February 27 shooting of Nico Stanley and Quentin Taylor. Stanley and Taylor told Orlando attorney John Morgan that Meriweather was in fact the shooter, but Morgan told WEEI...

03/21/2011 - 2:49pm
Aces high: Halladay, Phils beat Lester, Sox

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jon Lester was dominant for five innings but came unraveled in the sixth as the Phillies beat the Red Sox, 4-1, Monday afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater. The game was a match-up of aces as Lester opposed Philadelphia's Roy Halladay. 

 

Lester didn't allow a hit until Halladay laced a clean single to right-center with two outs in the fifth. Until that point, Lester had fanned five and walked two. He allowed a run in the third without the benefit of a hit when his throwing error on Halladay's sacrifice attempt sailed wide of second base. Halladay threw three hitless innings before David Ortiz's one-out single in the fourth. Halladay pitched into the eighth for Philadelphia while Lester allowed five hits, four runs, three earned over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six while throwing 98 pitches, 56 for strikes. 

 

The Red Sox tied the game in the fifth when Drew Sutton's...

03/21/2011 - 1:52pm
Belichick criticizes kickoff proposal

Bill Belichick -- in New Orleans for the annual NFL owners' meetings -- said Monday that he is not a fan of the NFL Competition Committee's new kickoff proposal, which would move the kickoffs to the 35-yard line.

 

"It's a pretty complicated proposal," Belichick told Mike Reiss of ESPN. "I don't like the idea of eliminating the kickoff [return] from the game. I think it's one of the most exciting plays in football. It looks like the Competition Committee is trying to eliminate that play. I don't know if that's really good for the game." 

 

Player safety, according to the Competition Committee, is a key factor in the proposed kickoff move. Belichick seemed skeptical when asked if he thought player safety was the reason for the proposed adjustment.

 

"The...

03/21/2011 - 12:07pm
Broussard on M&M: C's lack 'toughness'

ESPN columnist Chris Broussard joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to talk about the Celtics and topics of interest around the NBA.

 

The C's play the Knicks Monday night in New York. Broussard said despite the initial excitement over the addition of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks aren't a threat to knock off one of the East's elite. And that was before the reported locker room discord that is swirling around the team during its recent struggles (five losses in the last seven games).

 

"They clearly have talent and should be dangerous," Broussard said. "They don't look that way right now. Even when they were looking good, I would never have picked them to win their first-round series over those top teams. But I did think they had maybe a puncher's chance and could make it interesting. I still will say they could make it interesting if they get it together, but right now they don't look like they're...

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