Tony Romo's scary injury

539912.jpg

Tony Romo's scary injury

From Comcast SportsNet Tuesday, September 20, 2011

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys are hurting after a gutsy but painful victory. Romo finished their 27-24 overtime win at San Francisco with a fractured rib and evidence of having a collapsed lung while helping the Cowboys avoid an 0-2 start. They may have also suffered some heavy losses before their home opener. Pro Bowl receiver Miles Austin reaggravated a hamstring injury after three touchdown catches Sunday, running back Felix Jones sustained a shoulder injury and starting center Phil Costa reinjured his right knee. While coach Jason Garrett refused Monday to be specific about the extent of the injuries, he is giving his team an extra day off this week. Part of the reason for that is to give players some extra time to heal before the home opener against Washington next Monday night. They will get their normal day off Tuesday, then won't practice the next day either. "We're also going to give them Wednesday off and try to catch up a little bit on the rehab and try to get some guys healthy," Garrett said. "The players will be in here lifting and doing their rehab and doing some work on their own for the Redskins game." Romo took a hit on the opening drive of the game. After leaving before halftime and getting treatment, he returned in the final minute of the third quarter. He threw for 201 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, including a 77-yard completion to Jesse Holley on the Cowboys' first offensive snap in overtime to set up Dan Bailey's game-winning field goal. The fact that Romo returned to finish the 49ers game seems to be a good indication, especially with extra time off, that he should be able to play against Washington. "I would not think there's any reason to think he won't be able to play Monday," Garrett said. "We're certainly hopeful." Garrett said Romo did an outstanding job, which was "certainly challenging with a cracked rib." The coach didn't mention any other injury for the quarterback, but the team issued a statement later Monday night that additional testing of the rib had revealed evidence of a collapsed lung. The team said the condition, known as pneumothorax, wasn't unusual for an injury such as the one Romo sustained against the 49ers. The collection of air in the space around the lungs can put pressure on the lung so it can't expand as much as it normally would when taking a breath. Team doctors will monitor Romo and conduct more tests later in the week. Austin was bothered by his hamstring issue throughout training camp, and didn't play in overtime Sunday after a running play that set up the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. Jones got hurt early in the game, and Costa came out after halftime. Garrett said they were all day-to-day and wouldn't speculate on whether Austin, Jones or Costa would be ready for the next game. "We have a number of guys that I don't want to get into each one, but for the most part they're coming in and getting their rehab today and I think they've done a nice job coming back the first day," he said. "We'll just see how they progress day to day as the week goes on. ... The fact we have an extra day will certainly help everyone." Neither Romo, Austin nor Jones were in the locker room Monday during the 45-minute period earlier in the day when it was opened to the media. The Cowboys went into the 49ers game without receiver Dez Bryant, who didn't practice any last week because of a bruised thigh. His return will be more vital if Austin will be out for a game or more. "We're hopeful that that thing gets drained out a little bit this week and he can run a little more in practice," Garrett said of Bryant. As for Austin, Garrett said he preferred to talk about the receiver's performance Sunday rather than the injury that was already bothering him. Austin had nine catches for 143 yards. On his last TD, he leaped over a defender and then was able to keep his body parallel to the ground long enough after diving to get the ball in the end zone, pulling Dallas within 24-21 with 6:55 to play. "That last one that he makes when he jumps over the guy and comes down and keeps himself up and uses his hand so his knee doesn't hit the ground, that has a lot to do with his athletic ability," Garrett said. He's a tremendous competitor, he's a guy who you want on his side. He played a great game." Teammates, meanwhile said they weren't surprised by Romo's gritty performance, which came a week after he had two turnovers in the final 10 minutes of a 27-24 season-opening loss at the New York Jets. "We never questioned his grit. We know he wants to win. He's one of the guys that prepares the hardest in this facility," defensive end Marcus Spears said. "Obviously the public perception after the Jets game was that he was the worst quarterback in the history of the Cowboys and then this past week he's the best." With his two TD passes against the 49ers, Romo became the first Cowboys quarterback to throw touchdowns in 20 consecutive games.

Acciari glad to be back with B's after missing a month

bruins-noel-acciari.jpg

Acciari glad to be back with B's after missing a month

BOSTON -- Noel Acciari missed a month of game action with a lower body injury, so it would have been perfectly acceptable to show plenty of rust in his game upon returning to the Boston lineup.

But the former Providence College standout didn’t look rusty, a step behind or out of place in any way as he played the fourth line energy forward role to a perfect fit after missing the last 13 games. Acciari did get in one game with the Providence Bruins prior to suiting back up for the Black and Gold on Saturday, and perhaps that helped him manufacture a couple of shots on net to go along with three thumping hits against the Maple Leafs.

The 25-year-old Acciari didn’t factor into the scoring at all for the Bruins, but that’s just as well given that his focus should be on killing penalties, being hard to play against and taking the body whenever the chance presents itself. Claude Julien reformed the B’s energy line that had so much success earlier in the season with Acciari, Dominic Moore and Tim Schaller, and didn’t hesitate tossing them back into the mix together while looking for energy and a spark for an offensively stunted team.

“It’s good to be back with my linemates, and you know, I think we kind of picked up where we left off, but there’s definitely things we need to work on. That’ll come with a couple more practices and games together,” said Acciari, who finished theSaturday loss with three registered hits packed into 11:35 of ice time. “Kind of getting back to our familiarity and kind of get back to where we were before I got injured.

“It was a good start tonight, but we definitely just weren’t clicking like we used to, but that’ll come. I think that will come. Like I said, a couple practices and just kind of getting some games in [are good things]. I thought we were pretty good tonight, but, you know, should get more pucks to score [goals].”

Clearly there is room for improvement for everybody including Acciari, but it was encouraging to see the fearless competitor again flying around on the TD Garden ice playing high intensity hockey for a fourth line that could use every little bit of that. 

Backes: "Offensive frustration is warranted at this point"

Backes: "Offensive frustration is warranted at this point"

BOSTON -- This may not come as a surprise, but the Boston Bruins are having some trouble putting the puck in the net.

Despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by an 11-2 margin in the first period and outshooting them by a 32-21 margin over the balance of the 60 minute game, the Bruins scratched for just a single goal in a frustrating, constipated 4-1 loss to Toronto at TD Garden. Clearly some of the offensive difficulty was caused by a solid Frederik Andersen, who improved to 6-0-0 in a career against Boston that’s beginning to take on Bruins Killer proportions.

But a great deal of the B’s struggles to finish scoring chances on Saturday night is a malady that’s dogged the Bruins all season, and marked the 20th time in 29 games this year that Boston has scored two goals or less. In most of these games the Bruins have dominated puck possession and outshot their opponents, but still have come away mostly empty handed in the goals scored department while dropping deep in the bottom third of NHL offenses this season.

“It seems like every game we’re out-chancing teams, but we don’t outscore teams. That’s where the biggest issue is right now. Our scoring is not there and if you don’t score goals you don’t win hockey games,” said Claude Julien. “Because of that we criticize everything else in our game, but our game isn’t that bad.

“If we were scoring goals people would love our game right now, but that’s the biggest part. There’s not much more I can say here except for the fact that if we don’t score goals it’s going to be hard to win hockey games.”

But the Bruins aren’t scoring goals consistently, their power play is below average while trending in the wrong direction and the team has been forced to watch steady offensive players like Patrice Bergeron suddenly slump in a concerning way. Clearly David Pastrnak is doing his part with 18 goals scored this season in 24 games, and others like Brad Marchand and Dominic Moore have also performed above, or beyond, their acceptable level of play.

But there are other players failing with the chance to make an offensive dent: Austin Czarnik has been on the roster for nearly two months, and has zero goals and two points in his last 15 games as the offense is again dried up on the third line. He missed wide on a shorthanded chance in the third period after a Moore centering pass set up him all alone in front, and was critiquing himself for fanning on a perfect dish to him in the slot.

Moments later the Leafs had an insurance score from James van Riemsdyk to make it a 3-1 game, and it was all over for the Black and Gold at that point.

Czarnik is an easy target because he’s young and inexperienced, but there is more than enough struggle and frustration to go around with a bunch of offensive players that can’t seem to get out of their own way. David Backes admitted it’s reached a point where the Bruins are frustrated when they can’t score enough to beat a team like Toronto, and that it falls squarely on the lead guys in the Black and Gold dressing room that are underperforming.

“I think offensive frustration is warranted at this point; we just haven’t done a good enough job scoring goals. We played a heck of a first period. We limited them to two shots and we had an opportunity to have a team that’s coming in here that’s a younger team, to really put them behind the eight ball,” said Backes. “Instead, they think they got a second lease on life and they were able to capitalize. All of the sudden, they were up 2-0 and we’re fighting an uphill battle again rather than -- we have that opportunity to play a heck of a first period and we don’t find a way – it’s easy to talk about, but it’s going out there and doing the job and putting it past or through the goalie, or however it needs to happen. “You’ve seen our goals; you want to do a study on it unless you’re Pasta [David Pastrnak] with the one-timer on the side, it’s been ugly, it’s been rebounds, it’s been greasy goals and that’s our equation and we need more of it, and we didn’t do it. They did a good job of being in front of their net and boxing out, eliminating those second chances. But, we’ve got good players in here that need to create more and find those second chances and win those battles, find those loose pucks, and throw them in the net.”

The Bruins have been talking seemingly all season about the need to get to the “dirty areas in the offensive zone”, and for players to jump all over the second and third chance opportunities currently going by the board unchallenged on goalie rebounds.

Now it’s about speaking with action for the B’s, and more specifically speaking volumes with goals and offensive finish instead of “chances” that aren’t doing much of anything if they’re not being snapped into the back of the net.