2012 inductees to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

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2012 inductees to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

From Comcast SportsNet
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Eddie Olczyk remembers the series as if it was yesterday. It was the spring of 1994, and his New York Rangers outlasted the New Jersey Devils in a thrilling, seven-game series to secure the Eastern Conference title. The Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup. The Devils went home. But Olczyk figured the latter would be back soon. "You just knew it," Olczyk said. "With Lou Lamoriello in charge, and because of his leadership, you knew they were on the verge of something special. There was no question about it." He was right. And on Wednesday, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame honored both for their accomplishments. Lamoriello, New Jersey's longtime general manager, who has led the Devils to three Stanley Cup titles and five Eastern Conference crowns, was named to this year's induction class. Joining Lamoriello as part of the class that will be enshrined in the fall, is Olczyk, now an analyst for NBC Sports, as well as Mike Modano, who won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars. "Without a doubt, it's a great honor," Olczyk said. "To be in the same class as professionals like Mike and Lou certainly makes it a great day." Since Lamoriello took over in 1987, the Devils have secured nine division titles and won the Cup in 1995, 2000, and 2003. New Jersey, as a No. 6 seed this season, defeated the Panthers, Flyers and Rangers to advance to their fifth Cup final last month. "The common denominators there are the defense, (goaltender) Marty Brodeur, and Mr. Lamoriello," Olczyk said. "He has proven over the years, through a lot of change, that he can keep the Devils in contention every year." Modano, who lost the Cup finals to New Jersey in 2000 as a member of the Stars, played in 21 NHL seasons. He finished with 561 goals and 1,374 points, and holds the record for most postseason points (145) by an American. His Stars defeated Buffalo in the 1999 Cup finals. Olczyk was the third overall pick of the 1984 draft by Chicago, and played for 16 years with the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Jets, Rangers, Kings and Penguins. "This is definitely one of the highlights of my career," Olczyk said. "Fortunately, for me, I've been very lucky to wear a bunch of different hats in this game, and I still feel like I have a lot more to give." Olczyk finished with 342 goals and 794 points in 1,031 games. His Rangers defeated Vancouver in 1994 to win the Cup. In 1985-86, with Chicago, he had 29 goals and 79 points as a 19-year-old. "Eddie's positive impact is felt through the entire organization, starting from the youth hockey level all the way to our players, coaches and front office staff," Blackhawks president John McDonough said. "He is a great ambassador for the game of hockey and the city of Chicago."

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Why are Orioles firmly in the race? It's the pitching.

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USA TODAY Sports

Why are Orioles firmly in the race? It's the pitching.

For a supposedly one-dimensional club, which lives and dies by the home run, it’s the Orioles’ pitching that’s kept them in the postseason chase. 

Wednesday night’s win secured a winning September, and that’s Buck Showalter’s seventh straight non-losing September as Orioles manager. (The Orioles were 14-14 in Sept. 2013). 

RELATED: ORIOLES' PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

The Orioles are 14-11 this month, and even though the team is hitting .232 in September—lowest for any month this season, the pitching has prevailed.

Overall, the Orioles’ team ERA is a fine 3.09, by far the best month of the season. In June when the team slugged its way to a 19-9 record, the team ERA was 4.85, second highest of the season. The pitching excellence isn’t due just to the bullpen. Sure, their relievers are having their best month, too with a sparkling 1.46 ERA, but the starters have a 4.12 ERA, which is by far their best month of the season. 

September has brought concerns about Chris Tillman’s shoulder, Kevin Gausman’s intercostal muscle and Dylan Bundy’s innings, but it’s also brought some unexpected good performances. 

Ubaldo Jimenez recorded the Orioles’ first complete game in two years, and Wade Miley came within an out of the second, and Yovani Gallardo has pitched well recently, too. 

Gallardo will start Friday night at Yankee Stadium and Miley, who is with his newly born son and wife, is slated for Saturday. 
 

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Many changes in Redskins secondary but David Bruton healthy, ready to go

Many changes in Redskins secondary but David Bruton healthy, ready to go

 With DeAngelo Hall out for the year the Redskins secondary must adjust at one safety position, but on the other side, David Bruton feels just fine.

"I feel good," Bruton said on Wednesday. He explained that he has a few bumps and bruises, but that's normal for Week 4 in the NFL. Bruton added that after the game in New York he  iced his knee, but his hamstring felt just fine. 

The former Broncos special teams star has started three games for the Skins at safety this season. He almost grabbed two interceptions last week against the Giants, but has had other plays where he seemed out of alignment. That problem is not unique to Bruton, however, as in various spots the 'Skins defense has seem confused in different formations depending on down and distance. 

MORE REDSKINS: NEW PLANS FOR JOSH NORMAN AGAINST BROWNS 

As for the Redskins secondary expect to continue to see Bruton lined up at safety, now most often next to Will Blackmon. While Deshazor Everett and Duke Ihenacho should get more snaps than they had been, at this point, it seems unlikely Bruton's play will be reduced. Before Hall went down in New York on some third downs Blackmon replaced Bruton. Obviously, for the remainder of the season that plan won't work. 

"We have a lot of good options out there," 'Skins coach Jay Gruden said. "Not overly concerned about the defensive backfield."

Against the Giants on one near interception Bruton and rookie Su'a Cravens went for the same Eli Manning pass, and after the game in the locker room, the players joked about who was to blame for not getting the pick. On the other, it appeared Bruton pulled off a remarkable interception, stealing the ball from Giants running back Bobby Rainey in the end zone. Replay ruled the pass incomplete, prompting confusion from Gruden.

"I’ve heard that everybody says it was an interception except for the replay guy," Gruden said. "I thought his elbow was down, I thought his butt was down, I thought he had control of the ball. I thought it was a clear challengeable play, it just didn’t work out for us. I don’t know what a catch is anymore. I don’t know if anybody does."