Thursday, March 4, 2010

Heat Edge Lakers In Overtime

The Miami Heat held off the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers 114-111 in overtime on Thursday night at American Airlines Arena. It was a measure of revenge for the Heat against the Lakers following a loss earlier this season at the Staples Center that was capped by a three-point winning shot by Kobe Bryant over Dwyane Wade with no time remaining. The game was generally close throughtout the game with a league-high 31 lead changes, Miami's biggest lead was nine points. Wade had 27 points and 14 assists while Quentin Richardson added a season-high 25 points, including seven three-pointers, and Carlos Arroyo got a season-high 17 points for the Heat. Miami held a 92-84 lead with under four minutes remaining in regulation until the Lakers went on a 13-4 run to take the lead 97-96 with 0:42 left. Following a Richardson three-pointer at 11.1, Bryant hit a 13-foot fadeaway over Wade to tie the game with three seconds left to send it into overtime. Udonis Haslem nailed a 12-foot baseline jumper with 37.3 seconds to hold onto the victory. Kobe Bryant had a game-high 39 points as the Lakers lost for the fifth time in the last six games at Miami since the Shaquille O'Neal-Lamar Odom trade in 2004.

Panthers Stop Losing Streak Against Flyers

The Florida Panthers snapped their season-long seven game losing streak as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 7-3 at the Bank Atlantic Center on Wednesday night. The Panthers began strong in the first period outshooting the Flyers 14-6 and getting tallies from Steven Reinprecht at 7:12 and by Michael Frolik on the power play at 18:16, both getting their 14th goals this season. Both teams combined for seven goals in the second period. Danny Briere cut the lead on a power play goal eight minutes in. David Booth responded scoring in his second straight game, his fourth this year at 12:04. The Flyers bounced back 12 seconds later on a Jeff Carter power play goal. Florida then got three goals in five minutes to increase the lead to 6-3. Jason Garrison picked up his first NHL goal at 12:40, followed by a Stephen Weiss power play goal, his team-high 23rd, at 15:01 and Frolik's second goal of the game at 17:40. For the second time this season the Panthers scored seven goals in a game, the other time was on the road against the New York Islanders on December 14. Due to the recent transactions by the team, coach Peter Deboer used only five defensemen throughout the entire game.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Seidenberg Traded To Boston

The Florida Panthers traded defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and college prospect Matthew Bartowski to the Boston Bruins for right wing Byron Bitz, minor leaguer Criag Weller and a second-round draft pick. Seidenberg, who recently played for Germany during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, had two goals with 21 assists in 62 games for his only season with the Panthers. He is an unresticted free agent after the season. Bitz has played two seasons in his NHL career and had four goals and five assists in 45 games with the Bruins in 2009-10.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Panthers Fall Short In Atlanta

The Florida Panthers returned back to action for the first time in over two weeks due to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The team visited Atlanta and were defeated by the Thrashers 4-2 on Tuesday night. Scott Clemmensen started in net for the first time since December 27 against the Boston Bruins, making 35 saves. Tomas Vokoun, who had played in the last 21 consecutive games for the Panthers and five games for the Czech Republic during the olympics, was given a day of rest by coach Peter Deboer. After a slow start, the Panthers were down 2-0 four minutes into the game. Stephen Weiss put in a power-play goal almost six minutes into the game, his 22nd goal of the season. David Booth tied the game midway through the first period with his third goal of the year, his first tally since coming back from a concussion injury that sidelined him for 45 games. Atlanta got second-period goals by Todd White and Pavel Kubina to hold on to the win. The Panthers host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. The NHL trade deadline is at 3PM on Wednesday.

Heat End Losing Streak

The Miami Heat snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating the Golden State Warriors 110-106 at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night. Dwyane Wade led the Heat scoring a game-high 35 points with 12 assists, six rebounds and four steals in the victory. Carlos Arroyo came off the bench and added a season-high 14 points along with five assists and five rebounds as Miami improved to 30-31. The Heat are now a half-game ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats for the number eight seed in the Eastern Conference. Their next game is at home on Thursday night against the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers led by Kobe Bryant which will be shown on TNT.

Former Panthers Win Olympic Medals

Five former Florida Panther players won medals at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver this past weekend. Goalie Roberto Luongo led Canada to the gold medal with a 3-2 overtime win over the United States in the final game. He went 5-0 which included single-elimination victories in the final four games of the tournament. Defensemen Dan Boyle also received a gold medal for Canada. Center Ollie Jokinen picked up a bronze medal for Finland along with left wingers Nikolas Hagman and Ville Peltonen. Jokinen, the former Panthers captain, scored the tying and game-winning goal for the Fins in the third period of the bronze medal game coming back from a 3-1 defecit.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Miami Dolphins New Radio Home

The Miami Dolphins will move their radio broadcasts to WINZ-AM and WBGG-FM, both Clear Channel stations, beginning with the 2010 season. WQAM-AM had broadcast the team for the last three years with Jimmy Cefalo as play-by-play announcer alongside game analysts Jim Mandich and Joe Rose. Cefalo and Rose have been part of Dolphins broadcasts since 2005 when the radio rights were acquired by WAXY-AM. Mandich had two stints on radio with the Dolphins from 1992-2004 and 2007-2009. Cefalo is likely to be retained as the Dolphins voice because he does a morning talk show on WIOD-AM, which is a sister station of WINZ-AM and WBGG-FM. Mandich and Rose may have a conflict-of-interest because both host different sports shows on WQAM-AM, although Mandich has mentioned he would finish his program at the end of the year. WINZ-AM sports anchor Jesse Agler is a possible candidate to become the next pregame and halftime host on the Miami Dolphins Radio Network. He had previously worked as the pregame/postgame/intermission host on the Florida Marlins Radio Network and the Florida Panthers Radio Network back in the 2000's. Tommy Tighe, Miami Heat Radio Network studio host since January, will also be considered for the position. He worked for Westwood One as a studio host from 1998 until summer 2009.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dwyane Wade Named NBA All-Star Game MVP

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was named Most Valuable Player of the 2010 NBA All-Star Game played Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Wade scored 28 points, 11 rebounds, 6 rebounds and 5 steals to led the East squad over the West 141-139. He had previous success in North Texas, gaining MVP honors, with his outstanding performance in Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks to give the Miami Heat their first world championship . On the final play of the game, Denver Nuggets guard Carmelo Anthony missed a game-winning three-point shot with Wade defending him as time ran. The NBA set a world record for the largest crowd to watch a basketball game with 108,713 in attendance.

Goldie And Beezer To Announce Olympics

Florida Panthers television play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein and former Panthers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck will broadcast ice hockey at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver on Westwood One Radio. Goldstein worked as a producer for Westwood One during their coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics and has been part of Florida Panthers broadcasts on either radio or television since the fall of 1996. Vanbiesbrouck was in net for the Florida Panthers for the first five seasons of the franchise and led the team to the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche. Goldstein will also be a roving reporter at other events during the olympics.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Florida Panthers Sluggish Toward Break

The Florida Panthers play their final game before the Winter Olympic break as they host the Boston Bruins tonight at the Bank Atlantic Center. This is a pivotal four-point game for the team because they are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 57 points while Boston holds the final playoff spot at 63 points. The Panthers have lost five straight games in February, two being shutout losses, and six of their last seven overall. The Bruins enter the game on a three-game win streak after losing their previous ten games.

Miami Heat Rolling Toward Break

The Miami Heat won back-to-back games prior to the NBA All-Star Game being played on Sunday(February 15). The Heat defeated the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday by 33 points, their second largest margin of victory this season. The next night Miami visited division rival Atlanta and were victorious. The Heat lost in the first round of the NBA Playoffs last year to the Hawks.

Jennifer Rodriguez At The Olympics

Miami native Jennifer Rodriguez will compete in speed skating for the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver during the next two weeks. Rodriguez, a graduate from Palmetto Senior High School, won two bronze medals at the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City and represented the United States in 1998 and 2006.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl 44 Recap

The New Orleans Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 to win Super Bowl 44 at Sun Life Stadium. It is the first championship for the Saints organization and the city of New Orleans. The game was compelling and in the balance until around three minutes left in the game. Both teams had players with local ties in South Florida. Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey played for the University of Miami Hurricanes. Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon attended John I. Leonard in Greenacres while Heath Evans(injured-did not play) went to Kings Academy in West Palm Beach. The AFC had the chance to tie the NFC with 22 Super Bowl championships on Sunday, however the Saints held on. The last time both conferences were tied with Super Bowl wins was after Super Bowl 24 when they were tied at 12. Once again the Colts blue uniform championship curse continues as they still have not won a game since their 1959 NFL Championship victory over the New York Giants in Baltimore. It was an incredible two weeks for the entire South Florida community to have both the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl played here.

President Obama Picks Winner Again

President Barack Obama once again picked the winner of a major sporting event. The 44th U.S. President chose the New Orleans Saints over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44. Obama had correctly picked the Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43 and the University of North Carolina as the champions of the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Basketball Tournament. At least he's open with his sports predictions instead of being impartial, flip-flopping or rooting for your homestate team like other politicians in the past.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl 44 is being played tonight between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. The game pits teams from both conferences with the best regular season records since Super Bowl 28 between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills. The Colts won the Super Bowl three years ago and have played in Miami for all four Super Bowl games they have been involved in. In their long history based in Baltimore and Indianapolis, the Colts have been unlucky wearing their blue uniforms in championship games losing Super Bowl 3 to the New York Jets and the 1964 NFL championship game against the Cleveland Browns. Wearing white uniforms they've won Super Bowl 5 against the Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl 41 versus the Chicago Bears and the 1958 NFL championship game facing the New York Giants aka The Greatest Game Ever Played. New Orleans becomes the ninth different teams to represent the National Football Conference in the last nine years. Super Bowl participating teams making their first appearance against a returning franchise has a record of 5-15. This will be an NFL record tenth time the Super Bowl will be played in Miami/South Florida, five of the first 13 Super Bowls at the Orange Bowl and five at the stadium in Miami Springs.

Rickey Jackson Hall Of Famer

Pahokee native Rickey Jackson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday(February 6). He played for the Blue Devils and attended the University of Pittsburgh during the 1970's. He was a linebacker with the New Orleans Saints for most of his NFL career and finished with the San Francisco 49ers winning Super Bowl 29. Jackson is still involved with the town of Pahokee and has been a game analyst alongside Mike Dee for Pakokee football broadcasts on WSWN-AM Sugar 900 since 2006.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Craig Minervini Play-By-Play Announcer

Long Island native Craig Minervini filled in for Howie Rose Sunday(January 31) on MSG Plus as the play-by-play announcer for the New York Islanders-Florida Panthers game. He grew up in Commack as an avid New York Rangers fan. He did fill in as a play-by-play announcer for several games on the Florida Panthers Radio Network between 2004 and 2007 when Steve Goldstein switched from radio to television whenever Dave Strader was on assignment. Minervini appeared on MSG Network as Craig DeGeorge for World Wrestling Federation monthly broadcasts during the late 1980's.

Girls High School Soccer

This year in Palm Beach County, girls high school soccer has been dominated by squads from the southern part of the county. They are represented by four district champions that include Boca Raton, West Boca Raton, American Heritage-Delray Beach and St. Andrews. Also making the state playoffs as district runner-ups were Park Vista and Pope John Paul II. Top teams over the past decade from other parts of the county including Wellington and Palm Beach Central were upset to finish their seasons early.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lockhart Stadium parking

There will be a tough time trying to find parking for Saturday's events around Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The NFL will hold practice at 9:00AM and there will be a high school all-star game at noon. The Joe DiMaggio benefit game will take place at Fort Lauderdale Stadium with pre-game practice at around noon and the baseball game at 1:00PM.

Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl practices have been handled well by the NFL. The problem is the public can't have access to St. Thomas Aquinas High School.