Bruins

BC's Momah working to stand out for NFL scouts

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BC's Momah working to stand out for NFL scouts

Ifeanyi Momah is a striking specimen.

There weren't many people at Boston College Pro Day who didn't have a craned neck when speaking with the 6-6 Eagles receiver.

Momah should be pleased with the distinction; there was little else on Wednesday to remember him for.

A torn ACL in BC's 2011 opener left him sidelined for the season. The Eagles were playing Northwestern and Momah was having a field day: eight catches for a career-best 157 yards. The injury grounded him violently.

Momah, a fifth-year senior, had also sat out the 2009 season because of a bad knee. BC's application to the NCAA last year for another waiver and a sixth year of eligibility was denied. There simply wasn't enough medical documentation supporting his junior year redshirt.

Suddenly, it was NFL or nothing.

"I think early on it was kind of a mind-game because I wanted to make sure I was prepared for the worst," Momah said Wednesday. "I had a lot of good support groups -- my family, my friends, teammates -- and they all prepared me for this outcome.

"Throughout the whole process I was telling myself, if I don't get it, I just want to make sure I'm prepared and rehab as hard as I can, so when the time comes to go into the NFL I can show them what I can do."

Pro Day provided only a chance to weigh in and showcase his doorway-ducking height. No 40-yard dash, no receiver drills. Momah, as he has too often in his football career, was forced to watch and wait.

The longing reads plainly on his face.

"Right now I still have a little swelling in my left knee, so I'm going to do a little PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to try and get the swelling out of there," he explained. "Dr. Andrews said a month from now would be probably the latest he sees me being able to try out for a team. I'm kind of excited about that, I'm just ready to get out there. Especially just sitting here watching -- it's kind of hard."

Dr. Andrews, of course, is James Andrews -- top orthopedic and sports medicine provider for athletes like Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning. A positive prognosis from Dr. Andrews' inspires confidence; Momah has a workout scheduled in April.

If teams show up, they show up, the receiver says.

His combination of hope and reality is a charming. Though he's only been able to offer his personality to the pros, you feel when talking to Momah that he at least has that working in his favor.

Like his candor about being a "medical case."

"I tell scouts the truth. I let them know the truth because I don't want to tell them a lie and have to go out there not 100-percent. I let them know every appointment that I have. I keep them updated on all this stuff."

And his attitude toward the NCAA's refusal to buy him more time.

"They gave me a reason and it's fair. I'm not bitter at all. I'm just trying to move on to the next chapter."

Momah just wants to get back to football. He wants to restore function to his impressive form.

"I know I haven't been able to show too much what I can do, but I have good speed. I have good height, can stretch the field and create mismatches. And that's what I'm going to build on to separate myself from the rest."

He knows it'll take much more than height to stand out in the NFL.

Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

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Morning Skate: Robust trade market for D-men

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while prepping for Claude Bowl II.

*It’s going to be a robust trade market for defensemen with names such as Jack Johnson, Dion Phaneuf and Oliver Ekman-Larsson highlighting the group that’s available. Paul Martin will be in that select company if he clears through waivers and perhaps Niklas Hjalmarsson will as well with many teams holding D-men they’re willing to part with.

*The Buffalo Sabres apparently want four assets in any deal for rental Evander Kane that includes a draft pick, a prospect and an NHL roster player, and it’s hard to believe anybody is going to do that for a perennial underachiever who's never even scored 60 points in a season before.

*A tough end to the Andrew Cogliano iron-man streak as he’s been suspended for a couple of games after an incident last weekend.

*Brent Burns is the envy of many blueliners around the league because of his hard, accurate shot, which isn’t scoring him as many goals this season

*Year-round Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland has been rewarded for being a member of the Golden Knights with a one-year contract extension.

*It sounds like the Philadelphia Flyers have got Shayne Gostisbehere thinking more about defense after some up-and-down moments last season in his sophomore effort.

*For something completely different: A profile on a UFC champion and a firefighter all at the same time. Sounds like an interesting dude.


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Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

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Acciari misses Bruins practice with upper-body injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – Noel Acciari was in and out of the Bruins lineup in the Monday afternoon loss to the Dallas Stars with an upper-body injury and the fourth-line grinder was missing from the practice ice on Tuesday as well. 

Acciari has been able to stay healthy the past few months while helping to establish Boston’s fourth line and has added to his hard-hitting style of play with six goals in 28 games this season.

But there's been a litany of injuries the past few seasons given the physical pounding the 5-foot-10, 208-pounder takes given his rugged style of play. This current injury limited him to just 6:05 of ice time in an overtime loss to the Stars. Still, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was optimistic that Acciari would be able to suit up against the Canadiens on Wednesday night in Claude Julien’s return to TD Garden.

“Jake DeBrusk was under the weather and so was Kevan Miller, so they stayed home,” said Cassidy of Acciari, who has missed 14 games this season mainly due to a broken finger suffered blocking a shot on opening night. “Noel Acciari has a bit of an upper-body injury and it affected his minutes [Monday vs. Dallas]. He’s kind of day-to-day. I suspect that he would play tomorrow, but we’ll have a better idea on [Wednesday] morning.”

Both DeBrusk and Miller are expected to be fine to play against the Habs in their rematch from last weekend this time on Boston's home ice. Here are the line combos and D-pairings for the players that were on the ice for Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Krejci-Spooner

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Vatrano

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Postma-McQuaid

 

Rask

Khudobin

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