Giants dealing with Sandy's aftermath

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Giants dealing with Sandy's aftermath

From Comcast SportsNetEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Instead of shoes at the bottom of his locker, New York Giants safety Stevie Brown had a couple of power cords.One carried a charge into his cellphone and the other into his laptop in somewhat of a crossing pattern. A flashlight was plugged into a nearby outlet.While the Giants (6-2) prepare for Sunday's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4), the electronic equipment at the bottom of the locker of the NFC defensive player of the week was a sign of another opponent the Giants are facing this week -- the aftermath of Sandy.The superstorm devastated areas of New York City and New Jersey and it has left a number of Giants without power at home, something an NFL player needs to review videotape of upcoming opponents as well as to stay warm and comfortable.Only some players and coaches said they had power on Wednesday. Receiver Victor Cruz got it back after losing it for a couple of hours on Monday. Guard Kevin Boothe never lost power so he hosted tight end Martellus Bennett and his wife on Tuesday. Coach Tom Coughlin believes he never lost his electricity, but said he hasn't been home much since the team returned from Dallas early Monday following a win over the Cowboys. Coughlin has been busy working on preparations for Pittsburgh.Sandy struck Monday evening and left a wake of destruction not seen in decades or ever."It's definitely shocking," said Cruz, who grew up 20 minutes from MetLife Stadium. "I mean, you've seen it with a couple of hurricanes in the past, when I was younger. I used to see all of that stuff. It never directly affected me. The past couple of years, a couple of hurricanes when you see things, when you see a couple having to evacuate their home and stuff, it definitely hits close to home a little bit."This storm destroyed towns and beaches, swamped cars, knocked down trees and left more than a million people without power.Quarterback Eli Manning was one of them, and he moved out of his Hoboken residence and into a hotel after his lobby flooded."I saw a little bit once I got to the hotel and finally got power," Manning said Wednesday before practice. "Saw some images and pictures and news just about some of the tragic events and the deaths and the fires and loss of homes, whether in New York and New Jersey and all over."Just some terrible stories, and obviously you send out prayers to those families and those people who are still going through terrible situations right now. So I guess I feel fortunate that we can come in and come to work and be with our friends and teammates here. My family is safe, so I feel fortunate that we're here today."Having grown up in New Orleans, Manning is no stranger to hurricanes. However, his family tended to evacuate before major storms as a precaution. As a player, he couldn't do that here."I didn't really have that option this time of getting out of Dodge," Manning said. "You know it's no joke and it can be very serious and you just hope . obviously in this situation you have to ride it out and just hopefully didn't have major danger."Bennett walked the streets of his West New York neighborhood, helping people before heading over to the Boothes, where he pained pictures with Boothe's 2-year-old son."This is what this team is about," said Bennett, who lives by the water. "We have a great group of guys, and anytime you are in need of help they reach out.""My son thought Martellus was there, solely to play with him," Boothe added. "They had a great time."Linebacker Michael Boley has experienced tornadoes in the south and said he wasn't too scared by the howling winds in Edgewater. He also isn't worried about the storm taking some of the team's focus. He said players will stay at the team headquarters longer so they don't have a problem with power concerns in watching film."No a lot of things are going to change around here, storm or not," Boley said.Most of the players said Coughlin is a calming influence during these unexpected problems. A couple of years ago it was a snowstorm in Minnesota that forced the team to play in Detroit."We're not denying what's going on. I mean, I think that's foolish," Coughlin said. "Everyone has been struck by this. Although, I would like very much to make sure that the focus is 100 percent on the task at hand, I think you do have to have a little bit of a mature attitude about these young men, their families and some of the circumstances they might be going through. Just like probably 85 percent of you who don't have power. Well, there's no sense in ducking that one. I mean, we've got guys who have kind of doubled up, and families have gone to where they can, where power is in existence, especially people with young children."I'll try to do the best I can with that, but there's no avoiding what's happened here. Quite frankly, we don't want to. That's not our job. We realize this is a part of life. We've been struck by a blow by Mother Nature and we have to deal with it the best way we can."That is why Stevie Brown brings his phone, flashlight and computer to work these days, to get them charged and ready for more work in the dark."I just have a dog," Brown said. "Me and him sit in the dark with the candles lit. It's pretty romantic."

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

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Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic. 

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Chiefs hold off Raiders 21-13 to take control of AFC West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tyreek Hill had touchdowns receiving and on a punt return, Kansas City's defense made life miserable for Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, and the Chiefs beat the Raiders 21-13 on a frigid Thursday night to take control of the AFC West.

Charcandrick West also had a touchdown run for the Chiefs (10-3). They moved into a first-place tie with Oakland (10-3) but holds the tiebreaker with two wins over their longtime divisional rival.

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