Mottau in limbo during NHL lockout


Mottau in limbo during NHL lockout

Last season was one of the high points in the career of former Boston Collegedefenseman Mike Mottau. The 33-year-old SouthShore native got a chance to skatewith the hometown Boston Bruins and even got into a few playoff games with the Blackand Gold. The hope was that hed return to Boston as a spare defenseman this season.

Instead Mottau is skating at local colleges with other Bruins still in Boston, hoping hellknow his fate sooner or later. The father of four kids aged seven and under hadsome offers from European clubs prior to the start of the season, but he would have been forced to commit to staying overseas for the entire year.

Mottau wasnt ready to do that. So the former Devils,Islanders and Bs defenseman has bonded together with fellow skaters like ShawnThornton, Daniel Paille and Milan Lucic that have remained in Boston throughout the lockout.

Now hes hoping for a CBA resolution so he can figure outhis plans for the rest of the year. In addition to arena employees, needycharities and local businesses that are hurting badly while missing the800,000 in revenues each NHL game pumps into the Boston economy, journeymen veterans likeMottau are the biggest victims on the players side.

He doesnt have the millions in the bank that someestablished players can use as a soft landing while missing out on paycheckcycles.

Hes made 3.1 million over the last four years before agentfees, taxes and other overhead costs and hes invested wisely. But its alsovery unlikely hes going to become outspoken on the regularly-held NHLPAconference calls that have become passionate as players grow frustrated withthe deliberate process of CBA talks.

Mottau simply wants to know what happens next for him.

It would be nice to know when things will resolve, andwhere Ill be playing this season. Over the summer I was hoping wed have a newCBA right now and things would have worked out with the Bruins, said Mottau. NowIm hoping to catch on with somebody when the new CBA finally gets hammeredout. I still think theres a good chance of that, but well see.

If something doesnt happen in the next month, Mottau thinkshe may end up playing Europe for a few months.But that also becomes a problematic scenario with all of the North Americanplayers flooding places like Germany,Finland, Czech Republic,Russia and England.

Justas the discussions leave no easy answers for the NHLPA or the league, guys likeMottau are stuck in hockey limbo just like everybody else.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

Click here for the complete story