From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Mike Krzyzewski said London was going to be the last time.Well, maybe not.There's still a chance Krzyzewski will return for a third stint as U.S. Olympic men's basketball coach, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.Krzyzewski said he was through with the job after leading the Americans to a second straight gold medal in London.Yet the Americans haven't hired another coach, even after USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in London his plan was to have a successor in place around the new year.Perhaps he won't need to.The 65-year-old Krzyzewski has long been committed to USA Basketball, having been on the staff of 12 U.S. teams since 1979. He said last year he thought this was "the last time," though he said he would remain close to Colangelo and the program even if he no longer wanted to coach.USA Basketball said there is no timetable for a new hire, though ESPN.com reported Wednesday that the deadline had now been pushed back to after the college season to allow Krzyzewski more time to decide.One of the people told The Associated Press that though Krzyzewski gave no indication in London he would return, there were since "rumblings" that he was open to it. Another said the delay was creating speculation that Coach K would be back.The people spoke on condition of anonymity because Krzyzewski is focused on Duke's season.Colangelo hired Krzyzewski in 2005 after the Americans managed only a bronze medal in 2004 in Athens, after an embarrassing sixth-place finish in the 2002 world basketball championship. After settling for another bronze in the 2006 worlds in Japan, the Americans have not lost again.The Americans had used only NBA coaches since professionals were allowed to be used starting with the 1992 Barcelona Games, but the Hall of Fame Duke coach proved a perfect fit when Colangelo went back to the college route.The players who won gold in 2008 committed to return shortly after the Beijing Games, and Colangelo secured Krzyzewski's commitment after they shared a bottle of wine and a pizza in the spring of 2009.Colangelo has not spoken to anyone else about the job. Michigan State's Tom Izzo is considered the top candidate if the Americans stick with a college coach, with Boston's Doc Rivers, Philadelphia's Doug Collins and San Antonio's Gregg Popovich the leading choices if they return to the pro ranks.The Americans have time, since they automatically qualified for the 2014 World Cup of Basketball by winning the Olympic title. Should they win that, they would be entered into the field for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.
BOSTON – It took until his 43rd game in the NHL to finally score his first goal with the Bruins, but Rhode Island native Noel Acciari said it made him appreciate it all the more when that moment finally did arrived on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old Acciari finished off a Riley Nash feed on a 3-on-1 odd-man rush that gave the Bruins an insurance goal they badly needed in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden.
Then David Pastrnak hit Acciari with a shaving cream pie to the face during the NESN broadcast as a way to commemorate his teammate’s big scoring moment, and Torey Krug immediately fished the puck out of the net to make certain that Acciari would get it.
So it was the best of both worlds with the team-oriented Acciari, who watched his Bruins win to go right along with his hallmark scoring moment that he’ll remember forever.
“Your first NHL goal is a special feeling and to finally have it, you know, like I said before I couldn’t have done it without the other guys, the other four, five guys on the ice. But it feels good,” said Acciari, who has a goal and four points in 24 games this season in Boston. “It just shows you how special it is. It’s not going to come the first game you play; it could come 10, 20, for me probably over 40, but it still feels the same.”
Clearly it’s more about providing a physical, heavy and aggressive opponent when Acciari suits up for the Black and Gold, and it’s less about providing offensive production that’s really a bonus from the fourth line. The focus on throwing hits, aggravating opponents and playing with extra energy have been a big part of Acciari’s game since his return from Providence, and that is absolutely been by design.
“I think I kind of strayed [from my strengths] when I got back from my injury – I kind of strayed away from the hitting game,” said Acciari. “Just getting in on the fore-check and, you know, just kind of getting back to that down in Providence was huge and kind of get my confidence up down there helped out a lot. So when I got the call up I was ready for anything.”
He’s certainly played like he was ready for anything while posting a goal and two points along with a plus-4 in his first four games back for the Bruins organization. Acciari did all of that while leading everybody in Tuesday night’s game with eight registered hits in the win over Nashville. So the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Acciari gave a pretty good example against the Predators of just what he can do with steady ice time and the trust of his teammates as all of the hockey clubs in the East gear up to finish strong for the playoffs.
Now all Acciari has to do is continue to play consistently, punish opposing players and chip in a little offense from time and time as he carves out a permanent role on Boston’s fourth line, and helps his team win a few along the way.
Mike Florio joins Quick Slants to discuss the problems of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, and the latest NFL rule changes.