NHL to cancel games through Nov. 30

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NHL to cancel games through Nov. 30

Dont expect the announcement until Friday afternoon because, as everybody knows thats watched the movie Office Space, any good corporation waits until the end of the work week to release bad news. But the NHL is expected to announce the cancellation of all scheduled games through Nov. 30 as the lockout war wages on between the NHL and NHLPA with no talks currently taking place.

The cancellations were first reported by Hockey Night in Canada rink side reporter Elliotte Friedman on his twitter account.

The cancellations mean that the first 22 games of the Bruins season have been wiped out including the Nov. 23 Turkey Day showdown on Friday afternoon against the New York Rangers that ushered in NBCs national hockey coverage for the year. The cancellations also eliminate roughly 24 percent of the players salaries for the 2012-13 season and would seemingly give the NHL owners the salary rollback they were seeking in the first place.

It doesnt appear that either the Winter Classic or the NHL All-Star Game set for Columbus are on the league chopping block as of yet, but thats the next logical step if the two sides cant make some progress in the next few weeks. One of the reasons behind the months worth of games being cancelled: the large block of time allows the NHL arena owners some lead time to re-book the month of November with other events and recoup some of the money lost due to the cancelled hockey games.

While it would appear bleak at this point, hockey sources have consistently told CSNNE.com that a shortened regular season was the most likely scenario for the NHL this season as it was for the NBA last season.

Whether the NHL can reinstate any of the November games after theyve announced their cancellation remains to be seen, but the league has been adamant that theres little wiggle room on their cancellations and deadlines.

Belichick: Patriots play to win in preseason...kind of

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Belichick: Patriots play to win in preseason...kind of

When you check out the Patriots-Panthers game notes on Patriots.com, the lead bullet point is one of the least interesting: "The New England Patriots are off to a 3-0 start in the preseason for the sixth time in team history . . . and for the second time under Bill Belichick."

Belichick and the Patriots went undefeated in preseason play back in 2003. One of the best teams in Patriots history, that group went on to win the franchise's second Super Bowl in three years. 

It's the preseason, though, so who cares about wins and losses? Well, Belichick does. During a conference call on Saturday he was asked if it was a big deal for him and his team to be winning these preseason games, and he responded by explaining his approach to exhibition football.

"I think what we tell our players and coaches is that we’re going to coach and play to win," he said. "We’re obviously not going to pull out all the stops in terms of every trick play we’ve ever used or things like that, but whatever the situation calls for, we’re going to play it as competitively as we can play it given the limitations that we have and based on the amount of experience our players have in the game at that certain point and what we’ve been able to cover."

It makes sense. Obviously teams don't want to reveal any surprise sets they may have saved for the regular season. And coaches aren't going to get exotic with their defensive calls or their offensive formations at this time of year. What basic plays they do run, however, they would like to execute successfully.

They want to win the fight, but they're going to try to do it with their jab and straight right. The combinations and the counters will have to wait.

"We haven’t covered every single thing that we would want to cover or hope to cover to start the season, especially situational football," Belichick added. "But as far as competing and playing, we’re doing everything we can to win., but within the context of doing what we’re capable of doing right now. We’re trying to win, we’re trying to do everything as well as we can do it, but not pulling out all the stops in terms of playing time, strategizing and so forth that we would do in the regular season."