DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors have combined for 50 points in games in which they've both scored at least 20 points six times since Jan. 4. That's significant, since one of the concerns arising out of Chris Bosh's departure was whether DeRozan and Bargnani would learn to play off each other. … Bargnani, incidentally, leads all Eastern Conference players in scoring this month with 26.9 points. … There are times when the NBA looks like the NHL. Expect lots of talk this week about the Sacramento Kings moving to Anaheim - March 1 is the deadline for relocating in time for next season. Considering the league could be in a labour stoppage next season, it wouldn't appear to be the optimal time to move. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday, and I hope the Raptors hang on to Leandro Barbosa and his ugly jump-shot, because he makes too many good things happen when he's on the court. I'd move Jose Calderon in an instant, but who would eat that contract? … There's talk that former Raptors and current Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anthony Parker could end up with the Boston Celtics, which would fall into the good things happening to good people category. … Toronto resumes regular-season play Tuesday against the Charlotte Bobcats.
CLEARING THE CREASE
Quebeckers never feel at home in Western Canada, but c'mon: The Montreal Canadiens had just four wins in their past 25 games in British Columbia or Alberta heading into the Heritage Classic Sunday and ahead of the Habs' game in Vancouver on Tuesday. Props, though, to Canadiens senior adviser Bob Gainey, who used the trip to rip into defenceman P.K. Subban's critics, drawing comparisons to Chris Chelios. "I think he should have fun and he should play," Gainey said. "Some of those people should shut up and play against him. He doesn't have a big, tough guy playing beside him to look after him. He looks after himself." Amen. ... ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports the NHL will discuss changing its protocol for concussions next month at the general managers meetings, including sending a player to the dressing room for a proper examination after a head-hit, instead of querying him on the bench or simply not allowing a woozy player back on to the ice in the same game. Radical notion, that. … I would think that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke needs to get a sense this week from Clarke MacArthur about what his expectations are for a new multiyear contract. Talk about a guy who would be an asset for a playoff-bound team.
Goals by rookie goal-scoring leader Michael Grabner of the New York Islanders, whose team will play in Toronto on Tuesday.
Average ice time for Grabner, in minutes and seconds a game - 48th among NHL rookies.
Clearing the bases
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will likely be on the phone this week or have his lieutenants reminding owners and general managers to watch their mouths when it comes to talking about Albert Pujols' status with the St. Louis Cardinals. Chicago Cubs chairman Thomas Ricketts walked a fine line when he coyly indicated that his team could be players for Pujols if he becomes a free agent in 2012. Pujols is seeking a market-setting 10-year contract worth between $275-million and $300-million (U.S.). "There's going to be a little more financial flexibility at the end of the season than we've had in years past," said Ricketts, leaving no doubt which player he was talking about. The Cubs are the Cardinals' archrivals.
"It's kind of tough to monitor this while we're on the road, so we're all looking forward to seeing Brad ourselves on Monday. We are going to do what's best for our players, and we will err on the side of caution. The ultimate decision is [based on] Do you feel better? Can you play at the optimum level? Players are very well-versed in how they should be feeling, and I think players understand the dangers and the precautions." Marc Crawford... The Dallas Stars head coach discusses the head injury of his player, Brad Richards, left. Just in time for the NHL trade deadline next Monday, and with the Stars on a four-game losing string going into their home game against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, Richards is suffering from postconcussion symptoms after a collision with Sami Pahlsson of the Columbus Blue Jackets on the final shift of their game Feb. 13. Pahlsson appeared to raise his arm to make the hit and Richards was clearly staggered.
THE FINAL WORD
Lock. Wednesday marks the ninth anniversary of Fary Faye's game-winning goal for Portuguese club Beira-Mar in a 3-2 win over FC Porto. The significance of that goal? It's the last time a team coached by Jose Mourinho has lost a home league game - covering three leagues and three countries (Portugal, England and Spain). Mourinho's Real Madrid starts its Champions League round of 16 game at Lyon on Tuesday. Real's next home game is March 3 against Malaga. In the nine years since he last lost a home league game, Mourinho's teams have won 123 matches and drawn 25 while outscoring the opposition 333-87.
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