Morning Skate: Tuesday, Nov. 20

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Morning Skate: Tuesday, Nov. 20

Howard Berger thinks the NHL season is in grave jeopardy if the two sides dont make some serious progress this week. While I think thats a pretty strong statement, I also think there needs to be some traction sooner rather than later and the NHLPA needs to get the ball rolling. It sounds like the NHL is ready to play ball, and shame on them if theyre not.
 
Another outside resource, this time a professor, rips the NHL for treating its fans like dumb flocks of sheep willing to follow wherever they go. The one thing at play here: The fans arent going to follow quite so easily this time around.
 
Heres a Globe piece on the November Project that Andrew Ference was a part of when he was still working out in Boston.

Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec have both flopped during their time playing in Europe, and theres a legit curiosity as to whether that will carry over to the Winnipeg Jets when the season begins.

Michael Grange says that its time for the players to ditch the name-calling and start looking for a way to a make a deal. Well said, my friend.

Brian Burke is a new face in the NHL CBA talks, and the hope is that his no-nonsense approach will help broker a deal between the two sides. It certainly cant hurt given the respect that he commands.

Ian White regrets calling Gary Bettman an idiot during a fit of pique, and knows that name-calling isnt going to get matters solved.

For something completely different: Comedian Patton Oswalt goes through many of his memorable and forgettable roles through an eclectic acting career.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)