There was certainly a lot of snow this weekend, which seemed fitting given it was winter, although would have been extremely alarming had it been July. I took my 10-month old daughter sledding for the first time, and though she appeared to clearly not understand what was happening, I like to think that she enjoyed it, though she could have probably done without the whitewashing, but I'm only human.
Giants: The Giants, as they do, made some ruthlessly cold and pragmatic roster decisions this week, jettisoning Super Bowl stalwarts Michael Boley, Chris Canty and Ahmad Bradshaw. Of the three, it was the departure of Bradshaw that stung the most. Sure, he's becoming less and less productive as he deals with ever more serious injuries to his legs and feet, and was due a high salary that was no longer palatable, but he's also one of the toughest Giants I can recall and a personal favorite. I will miss Ahmad Bradshaw greatly.
In the greater scheme of the NFL, it's sort of remarkable how washed up a 27-year-old can feel, and one marvels at the teams' ability to simply rip up contracts they'd prefer to no longer pay. In today's NFL, players are now subject to playing for team-friendly rookie deals until such time as they're eligible for free agency, at which point they are usually so beat up and unproductive that they're simply given their walking papers. It's really something.
Knicks: After five straight wins, with Amar'e Stoudemire playing so well in his return, the Knicks gave hope that perhaps they could be legitimate title contenders. For much of the season, everyone seemed just happy enough to have them be relevant, but this was the first opportunity to dream a bit bigger. So it was only fitting that they would respond with a torturous loss to the Wizards, followed by an ugly win in Minnesota and culminating in a tough loss to the Clippers Sunday at MSG. The Clippers loss was particularly disturbing as it highlighted what's become something of a trend in regards to the team's disintegrating defense. Stoudemire had one of his worst games since his return, while J.R. Smith suffered through a miserable shooting night and Iman Shumpert continues to just look inept. The Knicks have two winnable games with Toronto next week, along with a key mid-week test against Indiana on Wednesday. A tilt with the Pacers is somewhat just what the doctor ordered, as it's a perfect team to get a sense of just how good these Knicks are, because right now we're really not sure.
Nets: The sweetness and sunshine that was the start of the P.J. Carlesimo era is slowly being replaced by many of the same problems that saw Avery Johnson get dismissed. Deron Williams is still not playing at a superstar level, as he continues to struggle from the field. Joe Johnson has yet to play at the All-Star level expected and while Brook Lopez has been as good as anyone could have hoped, it wasn't enough in back-to-back losses to the Wizards and Spurs to end the week. The Sunday loss to San Antonio was particularly discouraging, coming with a 25-point deficit and considering that the Spurs were playing without Tim Duncan. Brooklyn faces four tough games upcoming, with matchups against the Pacers, Nuggets and Bucks all posing major challenges. Brooklyn badly needs to stop the bleeding, but they currently look all out of band-aids.
Monday, Feb. 11
7:00 PM NBA Brooklyn at Indiana
7:00 PM NHL NY Islanders vs. Carolina
Tuesday, Feb. 12
7:00 PM NCAAB Rutgers vs. Seton Hall
7:00 PM NHL New Jersey vs. Carolina
7:30 PM NHL NY Rangers at Boston
Wednesday, Feb. 13
7:30 PM NBA NY Knicks vs. Toronto
7:30 PM NBA Brooklyn vs. Denver
7:00 PM NCAAB UConn vs. Syracuse
Thursday, Feb. 14
9:00 PM NCAAB St. John's at Louisville
7:00 PM NHL NY Rangers vs. NY Islanders
Friday, Feb. 15
7:00 PM NHL New Jersey vs. Philadelphia
Saturday, Feb. 16
12:00 PM NCAAB UConn vs. Villanova
1:00 PM NCAAB Rutgers at DePaul
8:00 PM NCAAB Syracuse at Seton Hall
7:00 PM NHL NY Islanders vs. New Jersey
Sunday, Feb. 17
6:00 PM NHL NY Rangers vs. Washington
Rangers: The Rangers ended their week playing some of their best hockey of the season, winning games against the Islanders and Lightning by a combined score of 9-2. They'll look ahead to games next week against the Bruins, Islanders and Capitals.
Devils: The Devils are off to a red-hot start to this season, with only one loss coming outside of overtime. New Jersey is riding a five game winning streak, including a pair of 3-1 wins over Pittsburgh over the weekend. They'll look to the Hurricanes, Islanders and Flyers in the week ahead.
Islanders: Off to a nice start in January, February has seen the Islanders become, well, the Islanders. Now the losers of four straight, New York was shredded this past week by the Devils, Rangers, Penguins and Sabres. Up next for the Isle is a meeting with Carolina, before local titls with the Devils and Rangers.
Big East Basketball: The game of the week in the Big East came on Saturday when No. 25 Notre Dame outlasted No. 11 Louisville in five overtimes, a feat that is as crazy as it sounds. The Irish had overcome an eight-point deficit in regulation to force the first OT, but it wasn't until a late run in the fifth that they were able to pull out the 104-101 win.