Wakeup Call: Giants get a hand in beating Cowboys

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Wakeup Call: Giants get a hand in beating Cowboys

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Monday, October 29:

BASEBALL
Hail to baseball's new kings. (CSN Bay Area)

And they weren't good and lucky; they were just good. (CSN Bay Area)

The Tigers are left muttering two familiar words: Wha' happened? (NBC's Hardball Talk)

And just to add injury to insult, Tigers second baseman Omar Infante suffered a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Just like old times: Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll . . . and that hasn't happened since 1979-80. (AP)

Minnesota assistant Saul Smith, the son of head coach Tubby Smith, will keep his job despite a DUI arrest. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Marcus Lattimore suffered a gruesome leg injury Saturday -- as anybody who saw it knows -- but South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, for one, believes his star running back will eventually play again. (AP)

Notre Dame is now No. 3 in BCS standings. (AP)

But where will the Irish be when the season ends? It could wind up being, in JJ Stankevitz' words, "the most controversial year in BCS history". (CSN Chicago)

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Maryland quarterbacks. (AP)

GOLF
Nice work if you can get it, eh Tiger? And Rory? (AP)

HOCKEY
Yes, it's true: The NHL season is in serious jeopardy. (CSN Philly)

And why? Well, one of the reasons is that Bettman and crew fatally underestimated who they were up against in the NHLPA's new executive director, Donald Fehr. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Ryan Suter has two words for Wild owner Ted Leipold: Never mind. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
No such luck, Celts: LeBron James' bum ankle won't keep him out of Tuesday's opener. (AP)

But Kobe Bryant's fortune isn't as good. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

The Rockets are thrilled that James Harden's on their side now. (CSN Houston)

The Thunder say they made an "extraordinary effort" to keep Harden, but ran up against the financial limits of small-market franchises. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Somebody wake up Mercury Morris and Don Shula for the 2012 revival of 'Grumpy Old Men': The Falcons are 7-0 after their whipping of the Eagles. (AP)

Man, people can be so touchy: He trash talked 'em all week and danced all over the field when Atlanta was way ahead late in the game, but Asante Samuel doesn't think that's any reason for Andy Reid to have snubbed him afterwards. (CSN Philly)

Think it might have been the Eagles' lack of pride? (CSN Philly)

Or maybe their (soon to be ex?) quarterback? (CSN Philly)

If this is what Peyton Manning is like at less than 100 percent, the NFL better pray he never gets healthy. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Hey, Steve: Imagine how bad they would have beaten you if they were at your level. (CSN Chicago)

How long can you keep this up, Rex? (Pro Football Talk)

Were Dez Bryant's hands just a smoodge smaller, the Cowboys would have had an incredible come-from-behind victory over the Giants. (AP)

SOCCER
And in a bit of shameless self-promotion: NBCUniversal will soon be your exclusive home for the English Premier League! (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.