BC wins second hockey title in three years

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BC wins second hockey title in three years

Associated Press
DETROIT -- The NCAA hockey championship trophy is headed back down Commonwealth Avenue. Ledby goalie John Muse, Boston College won the national title for thesecond time in three years, beating Wisconsin 5-0 in the final of theFrozen Four on Saturday night. Muse made 20 save to improve to 8-0 in tournament play, including the national title run he made as a freshman in 2008. When it was over Muse's teammates tossed their sticks and helmets into the air then swarmed the junior goaltender. "Johnny Muse was clearly on the top of his game," BC coach Jerry York said. BCwon its fourth title and third since 2001, best in the nation over thelast decade. The Eagles' top rival, Boston University, took home thechampionship last year. In college hockey's version of the Duke-NorthCarolina basketball rivalry, BU and BC are located just a few milesaway from each other on the Green Line trolley that runs alongCommonwealth Avenue. This championship for Muse came almost a year after hip surgery, and the grueling rehabilitation that followed. "There wasn't much pain, but it was long and tedious," he said. "I did it for these guys. I wanted to be back." Cam Atkinson scored two of the Eagles' four third-period goals to back Muse. Atkinson's first and Chris Krieder's goal came 2:02 apart early in the period and turned a one-goal game into a rout. "We wanted to attack and be aggressive," York said. "We don't like to sit back and change our style of play with the score." That mindset has helped put York in elite company with four national titles, including one with Bowling Green. Justtwo coaches have more championships - Michigan's Vic Heyliger won sixfrom 1948-56 and Denver's Murray Armstrong had five from 1958-1969 -and no one has more than York's 33 wins in the NCAA tournament. "I'vebeen at it a long time, so that helps," York said at the end of his38th season as a head coach, and 16th leading the Eagles. "It's alwaysgood to coach good teams and good players, and I've had a whole bunchof those." Wisconsin beat the Eagles in the2006 finals for its sixth title, but didn't have much of a shot to stopBC's faster forwards, swarming defensemen and stellar goalie in therematch. "We got near the top of the mountain, but we weren't able to stick the flag at the top," Badgers coach Mike Eaves said. Wisconsinforward Blake Geoffrion, grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie "BoomBoom" Geoffrion, was shut down a day after winning the Hobey BakerAward as college hockey's top player. Geoffrionscored 28 goals this season to help Wisconsin enter the game with anation-high 171 goals - averaging four a game - but he and histeammates struggled to get pucks and bodies near the net to make Musesweat. "They did a good job of blocking shots and collapsing down low," Geoffrion said. BenSmith, who won the most outstanding player award for the tournament,got BC's good night started with a goal 12:57 into the game. After a scoreless second, the Eagles proved they weren't content to just sit back and play conservatively. Atkinsonstarted the flurry in the third and Matt Price finished it with anempty-net goal with 4:31 left while Scott Gudmandson was pulled brieflyto add an extra skater. Gudmandson made 21 saves. A world indoor attendance record was set for hockey with a crowd of 37,592 at the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions. Wisconsin'sMichael Davies had chances to score and perhaps could've blame the iceconditions for taking away his best opportunity in the second periodwhen he whiffed on a breakaway after the puck bounced over his stick. "It was soft, but both teams had to play on it," Eaves said. Thegames at Ford Field will be remembered for record crowds and routs thatmatched the Frozen Four record of 18 for goal differential set in 1961. Anannounced crowd of 34,954 for Thursday's two-game session smashed theFrozen Four record of 19,432 fans set in St. Louis three years ago andhockey's indoor mark of 28,183 from Tampa Bay's home game at TropicanaField against Philadelphia during the 1996 NHL playoffs. BCstunned top-seeded Miami of Ohio 7-1 and Wisconsin routed RochesterInstitute of Technology 8-1 to advance to a game that was expected tobe competitive. The Eagles had other ideas,shutting out Wisconsin in another lopsided game that excited only fortheir fans in a football stadium that had a rink set up near an endzone.

What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

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What makes a good manager? Rangers GM Jon Daniels explains

Across the way from John Farrell in the Rangers dugout this series is a manager who was voted the American League’s best in his first year at the helm, 2015.

Jeff Banister is one of three full-time skippers Rangers president Jon Daniels has had in his time running the Rangers.

Much has been made about how Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski views the manager’s job: that in-game management isn’t the most important, but running the clubhouse is.

How does another top baseball exec look at it? Daniels explained on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast.

“I think manager’s an enormous role,” Daniels said. “Huge importance, I don’t buy into any of the sort of snarky commentary. … What I think sometimes gets a little blown out of proportions, at times whether it’s lineup construction, some of those — the in-game stuff, bullpen management’s very real. 

“Certainly the knowledge of the game is big. I think the ability to teach the game is big. But the No. 1 separator, in my opinion, is managing people. It’s really the word ‘manager.’ Helping to mold the culture in the clubhouse. Getting everybody on the same page. Young players, older players, everybody’s got different self-interests and to be able to get all those unique self-interests enough on the same page for a common goal while representing the club publicly, with the media, with the fans, and doing it under a pretty intense spotlight — I think that’s the biggest piece. Probably the hardest to truly evaluate unless you’re like, in the clubhouse or around the clubhouse on a daily basis and have a sense for who’s good at it, who’s not. That for me is like where guys really separate themselves.”

Asked if he’s ever surprised by player sensitivity, Daniels underscored what stage of life most ballplayers are in.

“Everybody’s different, right?” Daniels said. “So everyone has different insecurities, everyone has different level of ego, grown up in different circumstances. At the end of the day everybody wants a few basic things. You want to be like kind of communicated on a pretty forthright, direct way. You want to be treated with respect. Some guys can handle a little more criticism than others. 

“Some guys can handle a little more criticism from their peers than others can. I think that’s a manager’s job, to understand kind of the different approaches. Players, the guys are in their 20s. Think about where you were when you were first out of college … a few years off that, and your maturity level and really your lack of life experience in a lot of ways. And, kind of like evaluate under those circumstances: you’re going to be somewhat sensitive when you’re in that time period in your life.”

How well a manager handles a clubhouse isn’t something the Rangers, at least, have tried to quantify.

“More anecdotal for me. There may be ways,” Daniels said. “I haven’t really been part of that. If there is [a way] we haven’t figured it out, and we haven’t really tried to do, to be honest with you.”

For the full interview, listen to the podcast below

Brown (hip) and Johnson (shoulder) will play in Game 5

Brown (hip) and Johnson (shoulder) will play in Game 5

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are far from being healthy heading into tonight’s must-win Game 5, but they will have all of their players available with the exception of Isaiah Thomas (hip).

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown (right hip) was questionable heading into tonight’s game, but he told CSNNE.com earlier that he was planning to give it a go tonight.

Boston head coach Brad Stevens confirmed later on that the 6-foot-7 rookie would in fact play tonight.

His presence tonight is one of the many keys to Boston’s efforts to keep their season alive.

They trail Cleveland 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, with a loss tonight ending their season and with that, sending the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the third straight season.

Boston’s Amir Johnson (right shoulder) did not play in Game 4, but will be in uniform and available to play tonight. Stevens said the 6-foot-9 veteran was healthy enough to play in Game 4 but Stevens elected to keep him out of the game because he wanted Johnson to have more than one day to rest his shoulder before potentially playing him again.

In other injury-related news, Stevens confirmed comments made earlier in the day by Danny Ainge regarding Isaiah Thomas’ right hip injury which led to the Celtics shutting him down for the playoffs after the injury proved to be too much for him to play through at halftime of Boston’s Game 2 loss.

Speaking during 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show, Ainge said there was “a lot” of inflammation around the affected joint on Thomas’ right hip.

“It had gotten worse from the MRI’s he had before,” said Ainge who added that it would have been “irresponsible to allow him to play anymore.”

Said Stevens: “It sounds to me like the course of action right now … is let the inflammation go down a little bit.”

Ainge said earlier that because of the inflammation, it will likely be at least a couple weeks before Thomas and the Celtics will know if he will require surgery or whether another form of treatment will be needed.

Because of that uncertainty, Ainge stressed that Thomas would not return to play in this series even if it were closer.

“No. No way. He’s done (for the season),” Ainge said.