Quick, somebody erect a statue of that man. Actually, Arsenal had already jumped the gun on that one for the club’s 125th anniversary season, and it looked quite the prescient move last Monday. On-loan from the New York Red Bulls for two months, the former Gunners captain came off the bench for his second debut with the team and within 10 minutes had booked its passage to the fourth round of the FA Cup with the only goal of the game against Leeds.
Given the nature of concussions, the Penguins general manager likely has no concrete idea of when Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup, but he remains a confident man. How confident? Well, even with his team mired in a six-game losing streak and sitting in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, Shero was still prepared to issue a guarantee. “We’re making the playoffs, put it that way,” he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Thursday. Could it be that he knows something the rest of the world doesn’t?
New York Giants
Not only are they the hottest team in the NFL playoffs, coming off last Sunday’s 24-2 wild-card victory over Atlanta, but Big Blue has also become the new cradle for the sport’s coaching stars. Fully four of this weekend’s eight playoff teams are masterminded by former Giants assistants in the shape of New Orleans’s Sean Payton, New England’s Bill Belichick, Denver’s John Fox and New York’s Tom Coughlin. Not too shabby.
It’s hard to fathom why big men such as the Magic centre continue to call themselves Superman. You think the Man of Steel couldn’t throw a ball through a hoop from 15 feet? Howard went to the charity stripe an NBA-record 39 times in Thursday’s 117-109 win at Golden Stage, yet he managed to sink just 21 free throws for a very Shaquille O’Neal-like .538 conversion rate. Must have been using a Kryptonite ball.
No player likes back-to-back games, let alone back-to-back-to-back games, but in posting a 1-2 record against the Timberwolves, Wizards and Kings – teams with a combined 8-23 record before Friday night’s games – Andrea Bargnani and the Raptors truly outdid themselves. As if we didn’t know it already, it’s going to be a long season.