From Comcast SportsNetEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Instead of shoes at the bottom of his locker, New York Giants safety Stevie Brown had a couple of power cords.One carried a charge into his cellphone and the other into his laptop in somewhat of a crossing pattern. A flashlight was plugged into a nearby outlet.While the Giants (6-2) prepare for Sunday's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-4), the electronic equipment at the bottom of the locker of the NFC defensive player of the week was a sign of another opponent the Giants are facing this week -- the aftermath of Sandy.The superstorm devastated areas of New York City and New Jersey and it has left a number of Giants without power at home, something an NFL player needs to review videotape of upcoming opponents as well as to stay warm and comfortable.Only some players and coaches said they had power on Wednesday. Receiver Victor Cruz got it back after losing it for a couple of hours on Monday. Guard Kevin Boothe never lost power so he hosted tight end Martellus Bennett and his wife on Tuesday. Coach Tom Coughlin believes he never lost his electricity, but said he hasn't been home much since the team returned from Dallas early Monday following a win over the Cowboys. Coughlin has been busy working on preparations for Pittsburgh.Sandy struck Monday evening and left a wake of destruction not seen in decades or ever."It's definitely shocking," said Cruz, who grew up 20 minutes from MetLife Stadium. "I mean, you've seen it with a couple of hurricanes in the past, when I was younger. I used to see all of that stuff. It never directly affected me. The past couple of years, a couple of hurricanes when you see things, when you see a couple having to evacuate their home and stuff, it definitely hits close to home a little bit."This storm destroyed towns and beaches, swamped cars, knocked down trees and left more than a million people without power.Quarterback Eli Manning was one of them, and he moved out of his Hoboken residence and into a hotel after his lobby flooded."I saw a little bit once I got to the hotel and finally got power," Manning said Wednesday before practice. "Saw some images and pictures and news just about some of the tragic events and the deaths and the fires and loss of homes, whether in New York and New Jersey and all over."Just some terrible stories, and obviously you send out prayers to those families and those people who are still going through terrible situations right now. So I guess I feel fortunate that we can come in and come to work and be with our friends and teammates here. My family is safe, so I feel fortunate that we're here today."Having grown up in New Orleans, Manning is no stranger to hurricanes. However, his family tended to evacuate before major storms as a precaution. As a player, he couldn't do that here."I didn't really have that option this time of getting out of Dodge," Manning said. "You know it's no joke and it can be very serious and you just hope . obviously in this situation you have to ride it out and just hopefully didn't have major danger."Bennett walked the streets of his West New York neighborhood, helping people before heading over to the Boothes, where he pained pictures with Boothe's 2-year-old son."This is what this team is about," said Bennett, who lives by the water. "We have a great group of guys, and anytime you are in need of help they reach out.""My son thought Martellus was there, solely to play with him," Boothe added. "They had a great time."Linebacker Michael Boley has experienced tornadoes in the south and said he wasn't too scared by the howling winds in Edgewater. He also isn't worried about the storm taking some of the team's focus. He said players will stay at the team headquarters longer so they don't have a problem with power concerns in watching film."No a lot of things are going to change around here, storm or not," Boley said.Most of the players said Coughlin is a calming influence during these unexpected problems. A couple of years ago it was a snowstorm in Minnesota that forced the team to play in Detroit."We're not denying what's going on. I mean, I think that's foolish," Coughlin said. "Everyone has been struck by this. Although, I would like very much to make sure that the focus is 100 percent on the task at hand, I think you do have to have a little bit of a mature attitude about these young men, their families and some of the circumstances they might be going through. Just like probably 85 percent of you who don't have power. Well, there's no sense in ducking that one. I mean, we've got guys who have kind of doubled up, and families have gone to where they can, where power is in existence, especially people with young children."I'll try to do the best I can with that, but there's no avoiding what's happened here. Quite frankly, we don't want to. That's not our job. We realize this is a part of life. We've been struck by a blow by Mother Nature and we have to deal with it the best way we can."That is why Stevie Brown brings his phone, flashlight and computer to work these days, to get them charged and ready for more work in the dark."I just have a dog," Brown said. "Me and him sit in the dark with the candles lit. It's pretty romantic."
BOSTON – It feels like the Bruins might finally be hitting their critical mass with all of the injuries in the first few weeks of the season.
The B’s were down Tuukka Rask, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller and David Krejci as the new injuries Saturday night and clearly missed those players, along with the others currently out with injuries in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden. The Bruins had a three-goal lead in the second period and a two-goal lead in the third but frittered away both while allowing the hapless Sabres to outshoot them 21-6 in the third and overtime.
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Anton Khudobin battled his rebound control for most of the game while facing 42 shots on net but it was the absence of Miller and McQuaid in the D-zone that made it a little too easy for Buffalo to push Boston when it mattered late.
Torey Krug was on the ice for the last three of Buffalo’s goals and was out penalty killing late in the third period in a spot where he would never have been in if the B’s were healthy on the back end.
“That’s where the appreciation comes in for the Kevan Miller’s and the Adam McQuaid’s of the world. They’re not always flashy, but in those instances, they’re money. They get it done. And that’s why they are paid to get it done,” said Bruce Cassidy. “So yes, we miss them. But, last week we missed other players. So the guys that are out there, it’s up to them to get it done, right?
“It didn’t happen tonight, and hopefully we learned from it and can be hungrier the next time. There’s not much else to analyze that. That was it. Someone had to play in that situation. We pick guys who we figure would get the job done, and it didn’t work out for us. Next time, we’ll keep working at it.”
As part of the injury factor, there are also players that are banged-up and back in who are also clearly not back to full strength. Patrice Bergeron (lower body) and David Backes (diverticulitis) are both back from their early-season issues and Krug continues to play with a healing fractured jaw, but all three key players combined for just a single assist and three shots on net in a game that featured nine goals.
Krug was the most noticeable weak link in the loss as he was overwhelmed in the D-zone on the game-tying goal when an Evander Kane shot bounced on him on its way into the goal. Krug was down on his stomach after losing his balance while battling in front of the net. Krug then was out for an extended period in OT before bumping a Sabres player around the crease who fell into Khudobin just as Ryan O’Reilly was pushing the game-winning goal past him.
Krug spoke on Saturday morning about feeling like things were starting to come together for him but he finished a minus-3 against the Sabres with his big, bad teammates out with injuries. He's a startling minus-8 after the first two weeks of the season.
“Obviously we have to do a better job tonight. Two-goal lead in your own building, it’s got to be the hardest place for the opposing team to come in and overcome that. We’ve got to be better,” said Krug. “I thought I had an opportunity to win a battle in the corner on that loose puck. Just trying to swat away and all of a sudden it comes out the other side, and we just couldn’t overcome. That’s survival mode. “Especially when they were able to make changes like they were. We just got to stay calm, composed, and make sure we’re not getting beat one-on-one. We obviously managed it for a while, but we just couldn’t get the puck back.”
It was also clearly about Khudobin, who had a big chance to put the Bruins team on his back with Rask out with a concussion. The Russian netminder made 37 saves and at times looked energetic and ready to battle between the pipes but at other times couldn’t make the clean save that the Bruins needed in order to get a whistle and calm things down. In OT, Khudobin couldn’t make a clean glove save on a Rasmus Ristolainen tester from the high slot that would have allowed the Bruins to get some tired players off the ice in the 3-on-3 OT.
Instead, Krug, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were out on the ice for 2 minutes, 15 seconds and eventually got beaten on O’Reilly’s play that took the puck straight to the Boston net. Cassidy called it an “erratic” night for Khudobin when they needed calmer, more poised play from their goaltender and that was clearly a reflection of the Black and Gold missing Rask.
“[Khudobin] was erratic. He battles. We love that about him. He battled to the end. [He] certainly made his share of saves. We need to be better in front of him,” said Cassidy. “But there were times that, there were fires that needed to be put out [on plays] that shouldn’t have been necessary. But that happens sometimes.
“[There were instances] in the third period, plus overtime, where we needed to calm the game down. Whether it’s a face-off, even right before the overtime goal, we had opportunities to get possession out of that pile. They came out with it. And that’s what I said. They were hungrier than us. Late, they won more pucks. If we win that puck out of that pile, we might not be talking about losing. Maybe we get out of trouble and it goes our way. We’ll never know.”
Maybe things would have gone the Bruins way if they had more of their walking wounded back and contributing. Instead, it feels as if the B’s are being tested with new, damaging injuries with each passing day. A number of those had a direct impact on a brutal loss to the Sabres on Saturday night. One has to wonder if there are more of those coming until the Bruins can start stabilizing their medical situation.
She hadn't been able to get to a game all season, but Tom Brady had a feeling that his mom would be well enough to make it to the last one.
"He said, 'You'll be ready for the Super Bowl,' " Tom Brady Sr. told NFL Network's Andrea Kremer. "He told us that in the middle of the season. At the end of her five months was going to be two weeks before the Super Bowl."
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Brady's mom, Galynn, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2016 and was undergoing chemotherapy throughout that season. As she focused on her treatments (which were scheduled for Thursday mornings), Galynn and Tom Sr. spent Sundays watching their son's games from afar.
"Everything centered around 10 o'clock on Thursday morning," Tom Sr. said, "and then 10 o'clock on Sunday morning when we focused on the football games."
The Patriots continued to win, and the end of their season continued to be pushed back, making it possible for Galynn and Tom Sr. to attend their son's seventh Super Bowl. She was cleared for travel by her doctors on the day before the family's scheduled trip to Houston.
"I just wanted to be there for Tommy, and I wanted to be there with my family," she said. "Everybody was going to the Super Bowl, and I didn't want to miss that."
Kremer's piece aired Sunday on NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning, as the league and the American Cancer Society work together this month on their Crucial Catch campaign. It's online now at NFL.com.