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Bruins’ Marchand denies faking injury after trip

- April 22nd, 2014

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand appeared to be on the receiving end of a knee-on-knee hit courtesy Detroit Red Wings defenceman Brendan Smith in the second period of Game 3 of their opening-round series Tuesday.

Marchand took a tumble and needed help to get off the ice.

Except …

… He favoured his other leg on his way to the dressing room. That led to speculation he was feigning injury.

So what really happened?

According to Marchand, he tweaked his right knee while falling over.

“I twisted it when I landed there,” he told WEEI.com. “It kind of felt like a pop, and my leg was tingling a bit. I just wanted to make sure it was OK and moving right.”

If you look closely, Smith’s knee may not have made contact with Marchand’s at all. The B’s winger was tripped by Smith’s stick, but Marchand may have tucked in his leg at the last moment to avoid injury.

“I even said that to the ref after when he asked what happened,” Marchand said. “I just tried to jump around him and he clipped me a little bit, but it was just more how I landed, so it was the right call.”

So, this may not have been a case of embellishment after all, something Marchand has a reputation for. He also returned to the game shortly afterward.

Smith received a minor penalty for tripping and nothing more. As it should have been.

Marchand also took time to take a shot at his doubters.

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Thunder’s Kevin Durant makes impossible four-point play

- April 22nd, 2014

Three days into the NBA playoffs and Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant has given us the best play of the post-season.

After taking a desperation pass from a stumbling Russell Westbrook, Durant got bumped by Memphis Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol and chucked the rock up for a three-point attempt while flying out of bounds.

It went in. Gasol got called for a foul. Four-point play.

That kind of skill is one of the reasons why Durant is favoured to win the MVP award this season.

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Wild’s Cooke up to old tricks, takes out Avalanche’s Barrie

- April 21st, 2014

Add another player to the list of Matt Cooke’s victims.

Colorado Avalanche defenceman Tyson Barrie left Game 3 of his club’s Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild Monday night after a knee-on-knee hit delivered by Cooke early in the second period.

The early prognosis is not good. Between-the-benches commentator Ray Ferraro relayed to TSN’s crew that Barrie said “I’m done” while skating toward the dressing room. Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy announced after the game that Barrie will miss 4-6 weeks due to injury.

Cooke might be done, too. There’s little doubt the NHL will take a look at the incident.

His last suspension was in 2011 when he missed 10 regular-season games and the first round of the playoffs after an elbow to the head of New York Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh.

Read our full coverage of the game here.

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Clippers’ Blake Griffin dumps water on fan after fouling out

- April 19th, 2014

Blake Griffin didn’t have a good day Saturday.

Not only did his Los Angeles Clippers lose Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Golden State Warriors, but he fouled out in the fourth quarter. He did not react calmly.

While watching a replay of his final foul, Griffin, while holding a cup of water, showed his displeasure by throwing his hands in the air. The water ended up all over a Warriors fan standing behind him. Griffin finished the sequence by tossing the cup at the fan’s feet.

Was it an accident? It’s hard to tell. Either way, Griffin didn’t seem apologetic. Somebody also ended up giving the fan a towel to dry off.

For what it’s worth, Yahoo! Sports caught up with the fan afterward, who said he didn’t think it was intentional.

At least he got a couple of souvenirs.

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Rask fulfils cancer patient’s wish, goes one step further

- April 17th, 2014

For a couple of days, Maddie Santotuosso got the chance to feel like a pro hockey player thanks in part to Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask.

In partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rask gave the nine-year-old, a Bruins fan who is battling a rare tissue cancer, the surprise of a lifetime when he joined her at a Boston sporting goods store to help her shop for brand new goalie equipment last month.

As you can see in the video below, the look of shock and wonder on Maddie’s face is priceless.

But that’s not where the good deeds ended.

Rask invited Santotuosso to a Bruins practice where she got the chance to not only meet the players but participate as well.

Then Rask added a cherry on top.

Before she hit the ice against the B’s in her new gear, Rask commissioned his goalie mask artist, Ron Slater, to make one for Santotuosso that mimics his own.

The differences being the name around the chin of the youngster’s mask says “MADDIE” instead of “RASK” and on the back a message that says “KICK SARCOMA,” the form of cancer she is battling.

Santotuosso wore the gear and the mask while facing shots from Bruins players during a March 26 practice.

Tuukka Rask is a pretty cool guy.

(h/t The Hockey News)

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