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Sun shining on A-Rod

While Kate Hudson's stepfather is no stranger to escaping New York, her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez, above, is more accustomed to doing it with his tail between his legs. Not this year. Clutch home runs and consistent postseason production have characterized his October renaissance, and while rumours of the Yankees star wanting to put a ring on Hudson's finger are rife, he has a more pressing engagement today - beating the Angels in Anaheim for a 3-0 stranglehold in the ALCS.

Bad news for the Bears

With some comparing Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton's emergence this season to Tom Brady's 2001 breakout in New England, the Chicago Bears reject is seemingly more intent on replicating the two-time Super Bowl MVP's 2007 body of work - the regular-season edition - and will put his perfect 5-0 record on the line tonight in San Diego.

No strangers to Moscow

The reds go marching into Moscow once again this week as Sir Alex Ferguson leads his troops back to the scene of one of their greatest triumphs - the Luzhniki Stadium, site of the 2008 Champions League final. With a slender advantage atop Group B of this year's competition, Manchester United would do well to escape with at least a draw against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, as slipups at this venue can prove costly. Just ask Chelsea captain John Terry.

The other red army

Speaking of Russia, the Washington Capitals' game in Atlanta on Thursday will give Canada an early idea of what stands in the way of mining hockey gold in Vancouver next February at the Winter Olympics. Snipers Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin of the Caps will take on countryman Ilya Kovalchuk's Thrashers in the biggest display of offensive fireworks this side of the opening ceremony. Given his propensity to self-combust these days, contender - or should that be pretender? - to the Team Canada goaltending throne, Roberto Luongo, would be well advised to watch something else that night. May we recommend some Private Practice?

Drawing a blank

While famed photographer Denis Brodeur was no stranger to getting up close and personal with Terry Sawchuk, son Martin will get his chance Thursday at Madison Square Garden. The New Jersey Devils netminder needs just one shutout to tie the late Detroit Red Wings legend atop the NHL's career list, although based on their play against the Toronto Maple Leafs of late, the red-hot Rangers will make it tough. Might be worth phoning Joey MacDonald and Vesa Toskala for pointers.

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