With one swat, Moore goes from goat to hero


With one swat, Moore goes from goat to hero

INDIANAPOLIS -- Athletes understand that moments occur in high-profile games that can change their legacy forever.
Patriots cornerback Sterling Moore almost had one two weeks ago.
New England was up 23-20 with 27 seconds left in the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore. But on second down from the Patriots 14, Joe Flacco found Lee Evans in the end zone for the game-winner . . .
Except Moore was there. Before Evans could make a legal catch, Moore batted at the ball, knocking it loose.
The relief he felt to come through: Tremendous.
"Just how close it came to the loss being on me, the season ending on my name," Moore says. "That play . . . a lot of people like to go back and watch that play, but I don't like to watch. It kind of shows me how close I was to ruining the season. I was so close to not having the play."
That thin line between heroism and failure made Moore uncomfortable. Driving him even closer to madness was the fact he'd botched an earlier play, missing a third-quarter, third-down tackle on Torrey Smith. Smith took the ball 29 yards for a touchdown.
"That was on my mind almost through the whole game," Moore recalls. "I was telling myself, 'Get it out of your mind. Don't worry about it.' But it keeps coming back into your mind."
Moore did something interesting after the NFC Championship game.
The Giants were playing in San Francisco. The game was in overtime, tied 17-17. The 49ers forced the Giants to punt, and Kyle Williams went back for the return. He made the catch but fumbled, his second punt-return flub of the game. New York scored after the first one and, since it recovered this one in optimal field position, was almost certain to score again. Sure enough, a field goal sent the Giants to Indianapolis.
Niners fans took to Twitter, sending Williams a barrage of insults, laments . . . and death threats.
Some, like Buffalo cornerback Aaron Williams, tried to prop the fallen Niner up.
@Aaron Williams I hear every one gettin on @KyleWilliams_10 SMH get off that man. He's human too everyone makes mistakes trust me he beating himself up.....
And Sterling Moore retweeted it. He didn't add anything to it, he just tacked his name to the list of supporters.
"I think a lot of athletes felt like, 'Get off the guy. It's a mistake.' I gave up a touchdown in a big game. It's one of those things where you can sympathize with him," Moore explains.
"Around the league, we know how much work goes into a season. We know how much work it takes to get to an AFC or NFC championship. For it to come down to a moment like that, for a guy like that . . . it's tough. You don't want to see it go down like that."

Kenny Agostino looking forward to 'the right opportunity' with the Bruins


Kenny Agostino looking forward to 'the right opportunity' with the Bruins

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s been a few different stints with a few different NHL teams for 25-year-old Kenny Agostino, so he knows the drill at this point in his pro hockey career. The Bruins signed Agostino as a free agent on July 1 after he led the AHL in scoring last season, and they gave him a one-way contract as a show of proof that he’d get his chances at the NHL level.

It didn’t happen immediately out of camp as Agostino was felled by a concussion for part of the preseason, but he’ll get his chance now with injuries and ineffectiveness creating an opening for him on the Black and Gold. Agostino should get a look as the left winger on the third line after lighting it up in Providence with two goals and seven points in his first three games with the P-Bruins, and he’s looking forward to seizing another chance at the NHL level after stints with the Flames and Blues. 


“I’ve been doing this a few years and I like to think I’ve developed my game outside of my offensive ability,” said the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Agostino, who had 24 goals and 83 points for the Chicago Wolves last season. “That’s kind of been my goal to become more of a complete player. I’m excited and looking forward to another opportunity and just want to make the most of it. I’m not looking past tonight.

“I was fortunate as a college guy to get my first pro experience at the NHL level in Calgary, but then you understand how difficult it is to establish yourself. You need a lot of different things. You need the right opportunity and you need to do well with it, so it makes you appreciate how great of an opportunity it is anytime you get to play in this league.”

Certainly, the Bruins are anxious to get a look at Agostino, and probably Peter Cehlarik at some point soon, and the lack of production from some of the NHL incumbents have fast-forwarded that process a little bit. Agostino will replace Ryan Spooner along the half-wall on the first power play unit, and perhaps he can add the kind of scoring touch in the bottom-6 that Matt Beleskey and Frank Vatrano haven’t been able to thus far.

“We know Kenny is going to start in Spooner’s power play spot, he’s done it before and he’s had some success at the lower levels when given that opportunity. Obviously he’ll play left behind [Brad] Marchand and [Jake] DeBrusk, probably on the third line spot,” said Cassidy. “He’s played with [Riley] Nash yesterday [at practice] so there’s a good chance he’ll play with him today.”

The Bruins certainly need a spark after limping out to a 2-3-0 start to the season in the first five games, so perhaps a hungry Agostino can do that while being given a legit chance to show what he can do by the Black and Gold. 

Tuukka Rask out indefinitely for Bruins with a concussion

Tuukka Rask out indefinitely for Bruins with a concussion

BRIGHTON, Mass – Tuukka Rask has been diagnosed with a concussion, and will be out indefinitely for the Bruins after getting trucked in Wednesday’s Bruins practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

The good news is that the 30-year-old Rask hasn’t previously dealt with concussion issues in his NHL career, but the bad news that it looked like a fairly serious concussion after Anders Bjork crashed into him during line rush drills at Bruins practice. It’s still unclear if Bjork caught an edge and crashed into Rask during drills, or if there was contact with another player that thrust the B’s rookie, who needed stitches on his chin as well, into the unsuspecting Bruins goalie for the rare violent collision during an off-day hockey practice. 


“It’s not really easy. Last year I had a couple of collisions and it doesn’t feel good,” said Anton Khudobin. “Sometimes you get run over in a game and you kind of expect that it’s coming, but in the practices maybe you’re not expecting it. I don’t know. It’s not fun.” 

Rask had to be helped off the ice by his teammates and was spaghetti-legged and unsteady on his feet as he made his way off the way, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect him to miss 7-10 days at a minimum based on NHL concussion protocol. 

Clearly it’s a blow to the Bruins to lose their No. 1 goaltender while struggling to stabilize their game weeks into the regular season, and for Rask it continues a tough season where he’s off to a 1-3-0 start with a 3.30 goals against average and .882 save percentage behind a leaky defense. 

So Anton Khudobin will step in on Thursday night for Rask coming off a 29-save win over the Arizona Coyotes last weekend, and P-Bruins netminder Zane McIntyre will serve as Khudobin’s backup goalie on an emergency basis.

“You don’t want to see that, but at the same time we’ve got to keep moving forward and hopefully he’s going to get better soon,” said Khudobin. “I feel good. Camp was good and everything is fine, and I’ve started better than last year. My role is just day-to-day. Today is a game day and hopefully, you get a good result, and then tomorrow is another new day.”

It remains to be seen how quickly or slowly that Rask recovers from this concussion, but there is concern as more than a few NHL goalies have suffered from recurring issues once they start going down the path with concussion issues.