Sports Outside the Beltway

Outdueled- Florida Panthers beat Buffalo 6-2

The NHL’s hottest goalie(1.77 GAA) Ryan Miller this season looked very ordinary tonight. From AP-

Michael Frolik scored twice, Dominic Moore and Rostislav Olesz had a goal and an assist each, and Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves in the surging Florida Panthers’ 6-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.Frolik

Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman also scored for the Panthers (8-9-2), who have turned things around after a 2-7-1 start. Florida, which beat Buffalo for the first time in five games, is 6-2-1 in its last eight games.

Drew Stafford and Clarke MacArthur scored, and Ryan Miller made 18 saves for Buffalo (12-5-1), which was denied in its attempt to string together a four-game winning streak for the third time this season.

Stafford opened the scoring with his sixth goal with 5:37 left in the first period. Stafford skated toward the net from the lower portion of the right circle before lifting the puck over Vokoun, who was on his knees. Frolik tied it 4 minutes later, netting his fifth goal on a one-timer from the high slot.

Weiss gave the Panthers a 2-1 edge 1:21 into the second period. After stopping Frolik’s wrist shot, Miller swatted the puck right into Weiss, who deposited it into an empty net. Stillman upped Florida’s lead with his sixth midway through the third, converting a 2-on-1 with Steven Reinprecht, before MacArthur made it 3-2 with 5:43 to go in regulation with a power play goal.

Frolik, Olesz, and Moore iced the game with late third-period goals.

The Weiss goal was the turning point tonight. Miller made a stop and put down the puck. Weiss who was trailing on the play must have been shocked at such a opportunity handed to him.

Florida has been playing great of late with the exception of the back to back losses to Washington. No matter what I think of their goalkeeping, you can’t deny that the Capitals are among the best teams in the east.

Up next for Florida are road games against Detroit and the New York Rangers. I think the Panthers have never won in Detroit or just once. The team is playing better this year on the road(5-4-1 is their record when traveling) than at home. If they can get at least two points out of those games, I may modify my outlook on the Panthers 2009-10 season.

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Collision Course: LPGA and Champions Tour in Oregon on Same Week

Did anyone at LPGA HQ notice that the Champions Tour’s fifth major – the Jeld-Wen Tradition, played in Oregon – is being played the same weekend as the LPGA’s Safeway Classic at Pumpkin Ridge?golfcart

The Jeld-Wen Tradition is being played in Bend, Oregon.

Just up the road (or 186 miles away according to Mapquest), the Safeway Classic is being played in North Plains, Oregon.

Two tournaments in the same state that close together? Anyone think was a scheduling foul up? One problem I see right off the top of my head is finding pro-am partners sufficient for both tournaments.

A commenter at Waggleroom notes this isn’t the first time for such a scheduling conflict. Three years ago, The LPGA, Champions, and Nationwide Tours were all playing events in Georgia on the same weekend.


Cleveland Brown QB Brady Quinn fined by NFL

No, it wasn’t for lousy play. From ESPN-

Browns quarterback Brady Quinn has been fined by the NFL for his chop block on Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs.Browns lose to Baltimore Ravens, 16-0

A league source tells ESPN’s Michael Smith that an MRI exam showed Suggs suffered a severe MCL sprain from Quinn’s chop block on Monday night. There is no definitive timetable for Suggs’ return, but he is expected to miss at least the next couple weeks, the source said.

Quinn said he received a letter from the league on Wednesday but would not disclose the size of his fine, saying only that it was “a good amount.” Quinn insists he was not trying to hurt Suggs and has apologized to him and the Ravens.

The Ravens were fuming over the hit, during the Ravens’ 16-0 win on Monday night, as it could cost Suggs significant playing time while Baltimore attempts to remain in playoff contention.

IMHO, the Ravens are justified in being angry about Quinn’s block. It was a chop block and he deserves to be fined for it.

I think you will agree with me when I say- This has been a flat out awful year for the Cleveland Browns.


Cyprus soccer fans will need IDs for tickets

Papers please and then I’ll take your cash. From AP-

Soccer authorities in Cyprus say all fans will need to show state identity cards to buy tickets for domestic league matches in a bid to curb violence at games.

Wednesday’s announcement follows weekend clashes between fans of rival Nicosia clubs APOEL and Omonia that left a 20-year-old man critically injured.

The Cyprus Football Association says ID card numbers will be printed on tickets starting late this month as a means of identifying hooligans and enforcing banning orders.

I seem to recall how photo identification was proposed by some American officials aways back. Also as a means of protecting the public. How well did that policy work on September 11, 2001?


The 2010 LPGA Schedule is out

Here it is-

Feb. 18-21 — Honda LPGA Championship (Thailand)

Feb. 25-28 — HSBC Women’s Champions (Singapore)

March 25-28 — J Golf Classic (La Costa, Calif.)

April 1-4 — Kraft Nabisco Championship

April 29-May 3 — Corona Championship (Mexico)

May 10-16 — Bell Micro LPGA Classic (Alabama)

June 10-13 — State Farrm Classic (Illinois)

June 17-20 — ShopRite Classic (Atlantic City)

June 24-27 — Wegman’s LPGA Championship

July 1-4 — Jamie Farr Owens Corning (Toledo)

July 8-11 — U.S. Women’s Open (Oakmont)

July 22-25 — Evian Masters (France)

July 29-Aug. 1 — Ricoh Women’s British Open (Royal Birkdale)

Aug. 20-22 — Safeway Classic (Pumpkin Ridge, Ore)

Aug. 26-29 — CN Canadian Women’s Open

Sept. 10-12 — P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship

Sept. 30-Oct. 3 — Acapulco LPGA Classic (Mexico)

Oct. 7-10 — Navistar LPGA Classic (Alabama)

Oct. 14-17 — CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge (California)

Oct. 28-31 — China

Nov. 4-7 — Japan

Nov. 11-14 — Lorena Ochoa Invitational (Mexico)

Nov. 18-21 — LPGA Tour Championship

South Korea TBD

Some quick comments-

China is back

South Korea takes place Oct 21-25 or it flips places with China

Wegman’s(In Rochester NY) is now the LPGA Championship. No chance it will be played at Oak Hill? We can dream, can’t we.

Tour Championship has no determined home for next year. Could we see it come back to Florida?

No Florida tournament for the second straight year

Phoenix isn’t on the schedule. Could a sponsor step forward at the last minute like happened a year ago?

That new tournament that may have sprung up in South Carolina must be dead or still on the drawing board.


Rolling Thunder- Oklahoma City beats Miami 100-87

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade was just 6 of 19 shooting the basketball. From AP-

With plenty of good seats still available around the end of the first quarter, the Miami Heat gave some upper-deck fans a rare chance to move into the lower level.Thunder Heat Basketball

If nothing else, they got a better look at Kevin Durant and the much-improved Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Russell Westbrook finished with 24 points and seven assists and the Thunder added to their surprising start by beating the Heat 100-87 on Tuesday night. An early 20-1 run put the Thunder in control, and a 14-2 burst in the third quarter helped seal it for Oklahoma City.

OKC has begun the year 6-5 and is one of the NBA’s biggest surprises so far. Last year the Thunder only won 6 of its first 38 games.

Pro franchises once upon a time, would let cheap seat ticket buyers fill the more expensive areas of a stadium or arena after say a certain amount of the game was played. My late father used to tell stories of exactly that happening at the old Polo Grounds.


Miami Dolphin RB Ronnie Brown to miss Carolina game

This news comes as no surprise in light of the short week.

Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown will miss Thursday night’s game at Carolina because of an injured right foot, and his status for the rest of the regular season is uncertain.

Coach Tony Sparano says Brown will see a specialist for further evaluation. Brown is the Dolphins’ leading rusher.

Ricky Williams will replace Brown and start for the first time this year. He’ll also become the primary triggerman in the wildcat.

The Wildcat isn’t the same with Williams running it. Brown can pass the football, Williams can’t so far as I know.

I’m concerned about Brown’s status for the rest of the 2009 season. A specialist isn’t necessary for a minor ankle sprain. Two years ago Brown’s season was cut short by a knee injury. Dolphin fans may be seeing a repeat this year.


Cincinnati Bengals sign RB Larry Johnson

His off the field problems have led to him being suspended twice in the last year. From ESPN-

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson signed a one-year contract Tuesday morning with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Because NFL veteran contracts are guaranteed at the start of the regular season, Johnson will collect $4 million from the Chiefs and earn an additional $255,290 from the Bengals, the veteran minimum for the remainder of this season.

Money was not an issue for Johnson to sign with the Bengals. It was the opportunity to continue playing this season that convinced him to sign.

Absolutely money was not an issue with Johnson. As a sign it wasn’t, I expect Johnson to cut me a check for the $255,290 before the end of November.


Buffalo Bills fire coach Dick Jauron

He was 24-23 since being hired in 2006. From ESPN-

The Buffalo Bills have fired head coach Dick Jauron after a 3-6 start in which the offense has been one of the worst in the NFL.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will likely take over as interim head coach, reported.

“I am announcing today that I am relieving Dick Jauron from his duties as our head coach, effective immediately,” Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. said in a statement. “I have tremendous respect for Dick and thank him for all of his efforts during these past four years. While this was a very difficult decision, I felt that it is one that needed to be made at this time for the best interest of our team. We will now focus on moving forward and preparing for our game this week in Jacksonville.”

Jauron was 24-33 since being hired by former general manager Marv Levy in 2006 to be head coach.

Actually I think Cleveland is worse offensively than Buffalo. I’m not surprised by Jauron’s firing, but don’t think it will have any effect on this year’s team.


Austrian dopers could face fraud charges

Under current Austrian law it is not a crime to use banned substances. From AP-

Athletes in Austria caught doping could be charged with serious fraud and face prison terms of up to 10 years.

The penalties come in an amendment to the national fraud act, which is expected to take effect Jan. 1.

Under current Austrian law, possessing and selling banned substances are a criminal offense but not the actual use of the drugs.

The amendment has yet to be approved by parliament. I do believe that athletes that use PEDs are committing a type of fraud, but a 10-year jail sentence is draconian. Honestly I think the public disgrace the cheaters receive and a fine would be enough.


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