Orr: 'Everybody lost' the NHL lockout

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Orr: 'Everybody lost' the NHL lockout

Bobby Orr had no words when first gauged for his reaction to the NHL lockout being over.
Instead, the all-time Bruins great and certified hockey rock star busted into one of his patented wide, joyful grins and raised his hands in the air over his head like hed just scored a game-winning goal in the Cup Finals.
The Greatest Hockey Played That Ever Lived had always kept a positive attitude throughout the 113-day NHL lockout. Orr consistently told anybody that would listen that a deal would eventually arrive for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
His faith in the owners, players and league leadership were rewarded last weekend when a 16-hour negotiating session finally hit pay dirt.
Im thrilled. For the players, the owners, the fans and the people that havent been working because of the lockout. Its better for everybody, so Im thrilled that hockey is getting back to work, said the Hall of Fame defenseman and two-time Cup winner with the Black and Gold. I was optimistic, but I just wish it had ended sooner. There were so many people hurt by the lockout.
Orr, of course, runs the Orr Hockey Group out of Charlestown, and has a keen interest in the NHL from a business perspective. Its Orrs company that represents Bruins forward Nathan Horton, in fact.
But like so many other former NHL players that have watched all of the work stoppages unfold over the last two decades, Orrs biggest concern was about protecting the NHL that hes loved since he was a shinny-playing youngster growing up in Ontario.
Idle conversations about winners and losers within the NHL lockout confound Orr, who didnt see any winners among the players, owners, league employees, fans, media, sponsors, advertisers or business owners that have so much at stake if NHL games are being played.
People talk about, who won? Well, nobody won, said Orr, who was at the W Hotel in Boston on Wednesday for the kickoff party for production Turk: The Movie based on teammate Derek Sandersons story of highs, lows and conquering his demons. How do you pick winners in something like this? You cant pick any winners and losers in something like this. Everybody lost.
No. 4 just hopes that the NHL players begin putting on a show starting Jan. 19, and keep giving fans the kind of electric on-ice product that allowed the league to rise up to 3.3 billion in revenues last season. If the 48-game regular season sprint and playoffs are compelling, hockey fans will come back in droves just as they did before the last four months of madness.
Now you just hope that the players get back to work and they play hard, said Orr. Im sure they will because its going to be a short season. If you get off to a bad start then youre in trouble. It should be really good hockey.
Youve got to play hard and give em good hockey. Hockey fans are very loyal and they missed the game, Im sure, just like I havelike so many people have. If its good, hard hockey and you give it to them consistently every night there will be some that will take their time coming back but hockey fans are very, very loyal. They will come back.
If Bobby Orr says that NHL fans will come back after the most embarrassing lockout in the history of pro sports, that should be good enough for anybody thats ever loved the game of hockey.

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

Raiders creep past Patriots in race for top seed in AFC

The Patriots and Raiders and neck-and-neck as the race for home field in the AFC turns for home. And, with four games left, the Raiders are ahead by a nose. The tiebreakers between the 10-2 teams in play currently? Common games followed by strength of victory. 

The first tiebreaker – conference record – is a deadlock as both teams are 7-1 in the AFC (the Brady-less Patriots lost to the Bills back in Week 4.

After conference record, it's the teams record in common games. 

PATRIOTS 26, RAMS 10

So far in common games with the Texans and Bills, the Patriots have gone 2-1 and the Raiders have gone 2-0. The Patriots play the Ravens next week. Oakland beat them. The Patriots play Denver after that. Oakland beat them as well but have one more game against Denver in Week 17.

So if it comes down to common games the Patriots really need to win these next two games.

Or hope the Raiders stub their toe a time or two in their final four games which are at the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos with a home game against Indy in Week 16.

As for strength of victory, that too goes to Oakland at this point. The Raiders’ strength of victory is at .471. The Patriots’ is at .370.

But the tiebreaker that kicks in after conference record and before strength of victory – common games – is very much unresolved.The remaining picture as it stands right now? The Ravens are the No. 3 seed with a 7-5 record that leads the AFC North. The Texans’ 6-6 record is good enough to lead the AFC South. The 9-3 Chiefs are the top Wild Card. The 8-4 Broncos are the No. 6 seed.

The Patriots play the Ravens and Broncos over the next two weeks. Currently, the Dolphins (7-5) and Steelers (7-5) are on the outside looking in.

The Titans (6-6) will have a chance to get even with the Texans in Week 17 in head-to-head matchups but they host Denver and play at Kansas City the next two weeks so they have obstacles to clear before they get there.

AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

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AFC PLAYOFF RACE: Steelers end Giants' winning streak at 6 in 24-14 victory

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants' winning streak with a familiar formula.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le'Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh's resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win on Sunday.

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