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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Jets WR Brandon Marshall defends Colin Kaepernick, ‘one of the biggest patriots out there’ 09.07.16 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Padres, 9:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Angels at Athletics, 3:35 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB: Rangers at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: U.S. Open, noon, 7 p.m. (ESPN)


Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall

— Outspoken Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said he will continue to stand for the national anthem, but he heaped praise on Colin Kaepernick for taking the opposite approach.

“This guy, he is one of the biggest patriots out there. Because he’s standing up for human rights,” Marshall said during an appearance on WFAN radio’s “Boomer and Carton” on Tuesday.

Esiason previously said Kaepernick’s protest was “disgraceful,” but Marshall disagreed.

“When I look at the American flag I see a bunch of fights. You know how much we have overcome,” Marshall said. “When you look at it the American flag is bigger than just one thing. And, you have the civil rights movement, you have sex trafficking, immigration law. There’s so many different fights there.”

Marshall said his fellow Jets have discussed the issue, and it’s a good discussion to have.

“This conversation is happening in every locker room across America and also across the world as well,” Marshall said. “This is a huge topic and I’m glad that [the conversation is] being had.”

Added Marshall: “I think President Obama said it best — that’s his constitutional right. That was Colin’s right and that’s all the other guy’s right. But I do think this is very thought-provoking for all. I think that the message was a little diluted because of how much respect a lot of us have for those that served . . . and gave us our freedoms, fought for our freedoms. But the message was clear.”

Meanwhile, Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella, the Concord native who is coaching the U.S. team at this month’s World Cup of Hockey, said he will not tolerate a similar protest from any of his Team USA skaters.

“If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” he said.

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Read More: Brandon Marshall, Colin Kaepernick, Ezekiel Elliott, John Tortorella
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Lewis continues bizarre defense of role in 2000 brawl that ended with 2 dead 10.22.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NFL: Seahawks at 49ers, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network)
College football: Temple at East Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Georgia Southern at Appalachian State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: California at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA preseason: Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA preseason: Warriors at Lakers, 10 p.m. (TNT)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Borussia Dortmund at Qabala, 10:50 a.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Tottenham at Anderlecht, 1 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Europa, Rubin Kazan at Liverpool, 3 p.m. (FS1)


Ray Lewis finally is talking about the 2000 brawl in Atlanta that ended with two men dead and the then-Ravens linebacker arrested — later to cut a deal and plead guilty to obstruction of justice, and settle with the victims’ families.

Lewis has been mostly quiet about the incident, and perhaps now we’re seeing why. Because his claims as to why he wasn’t involved in the fight are strange, to say the least.

It was reported Tuesday that in his forthcoming book, “I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game and Glory,” Lewis insists he wouldn’t have fought because he was dressed too nice (clothes that he apparently discarded and have never been found).

“Remember, I was dressed out, had my jewelry on, my fine mink coat,” Lewis writes (via “I wasn’t about to start mixing it up looking like that. That’s the general rule of thumb when you’re doing the town and looking good. The nicer you’re dressed, the less inclined you are to get in a fight — that is, if you’re even inclined in that way to begin with.”

On Wednesday, in an interview with ESPN, Lewis again asserted his innocence in the brawl, saying he had too much of a height advantage to mix it up with the “gangbangers” who approached his entourage.

“First of all, they’re 4 or 5 freaking inches shorter than me, right? Why would I fight somebody anyway,” the 6-foot-1 Lewis asked.

Lewis also claims the fallout after the killings had “nothing to do with me, but everything to do with my skin color and everything to do with my name.”

Lewis spent one night in prison — a night in which he said he cried at length and spoke to God. He also said guilt was not what drove him to enter into a settlement with the victims’ families.

“Guilt is only when you feel guilty and you say, ‘Listen, I’m gonna slide this to you because I really feel bad,’ ” he said. “I don’t feel bad about that because I sat there and spoke to both families and I said, ‘Listen, what I’m doing, this ain’t about me. This is about because you let somebody confuse my name.’ ”

— Minnesota coach Richard Pitino spoke out in support of his father Wednesday, insisting Rick Pitino had “zero knowledge” that a former Louisville staffer paid women to have sex with recruits and players in a school dorm.

“I know, and I told him this, ‘Put your head on the pillow at night and know that you did nothing wrong and that you certainly had no knowledge of this,’ ” Richard Pitino said Wednesday. “That’s the biggest thing that I’ve told him and tried to comfort him with.”

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Read More: John Tortorella, Ray Lewis, Rick Pitino,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Suspended Clippers owner Donald Sterling reportedly battling cancer 05.02.14 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Athletics at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Cubs, 2 p.m (MLB Network)
MLB: Rays at Yankees, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL playoffs: Wild at Blackhawks, 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA playoffs: Raptors at Nets, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Major League Lacrosse: Boston Cannons at Rochester Rattlers, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)


— On the day the NBA’s advisory/finance committee held a conference call and said in a statement that it “unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week” in its effort to remove Donald Sterling as Clippers owner, reports emerged that the 80-year-old has been battling prostrate cancer.

“They thought he would die two years ago,” an industry source told the New York Post. “People have been predicting his imminent demise. I’m sure he has that best ‘€¦ drugs money can buy. he can do anything to keep himself alive.”

The source indicated the drugs are the reason for the puffiness in Sterling’s face.

“I honestly didn’t know that. But if that is true, my thoughts and prayers are with him,” forward Blake Griffin said after the Clippers’ 100-99 loss to the Warriors in Thursday’s Game 6 of their now-tied first-round series. “Nobody deserves to go through something like that.”

Added coach Doc Rivers: “I hope it’s not true.”

The Post also reported that the NBA recommended the removal of Sterling as owner in 1982 — not because of racist comments but because of poor management and a taped conversation in which he said the team should finish last in order to draft Ralph Sampson — but he remained after being fined $10,000.

— The Oklahoman newspaper came under fire for running a headline in Thursday’s editions that read “Mr. Unreliable” in reference to star forward Kevin Durant, who has not played to his usual standards in the opening round of the playoffs.

While Durant insisted he didn’t care about the headline — “That’s what they’re supposed to write. I didn’t come through for the team,” he said of his Game 5 performance — his teammates, coaches, fans and even his mother rushed to his defense, pointing to his consistent success this season and his whole career, as well as his charitable endeavors.

Sports editor Mike Sherman eventually issued a statement clarifying that the headline referred only to Durant’s struggles in the series against the Grizzlies.

“The words were overstated and unduly harsh,” Sherman wrote. “The headline and presentation left the impression that we were commenting on Durant’s season, career or even character. We were not. We were referring only to the Memphis series. The fact the headline and presentation left that impression with so many readers is proof that we failed.”

Durant still had some trouble with his outside shooting in Thursday night’s Game 6, but he still managed to record 36 points and 10 rebounds and help the Thunder force a Game 7 with a 104-84 victory over the Grizzlies.

— On year after being sent packing by the Rangers and landing with the Canucks, John Tortorella again is looking for a new job. The Canucks decided to cut ties with Tortorella despite him having four more years remaining on the contract he signed in 2013.

“I tried to talk myself out of this,” new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden said. “This is not something I came in looking to do. It was just the right thing to do. When new [general] manager comes in, I want to have full flexibility and create a new vision together.”

The Canucks, who fired president and general manager Mike Gillis on April 8, went 36-35-11 this season and failed to make the playoffs. Tortorella missed 15 of those games after a confrontation with the Flames in front of the Calgary locker room during a Jan. 18 game.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 2, 1995, the Red Sox posted an 8-0 victory over the Yankees. The runs came on a pair of grand slams by John Valentin and Mo Vaughn, who previously were college teammates at which Big East school?

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Read More: Blake Griffin, Donald Sterling, John Tortorella, Kevin Durant
Canucks coach John Tortorella suspended after altercation with Flames 01.21.14 at 8:18 am ET
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With each team’€™s fourth-liners on the ice for the opening faceoff, the puck drop was the only thing standing  between the Flames, the Canucks and a brawl.

After a fight ended eight players’€™ nights just two seconds after they started, Vancouver coach John Tortorella approached the Flames locker room during the first intermission. Now he will miss the next 15 days without pay, retroactive to Sunday, for his actions.

“Mr. Tortorella’€™s actions in attempting to enter the Calgary Flames locker room after the first period were both dangerous and an embarrassment to the league,” said Colin Campbell, the NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations, in a statement.

“Coaches in the NHL bear the responsibility of providing leadership, even when emotions run high, and Mr. Tortorella failed in his responsibility to the game.”

Tortorella will miss six games and cannot have any contact with the team on the days they play those contests. His suspension will end on Feb. 2.

“We respect the decision made by the National Hockey League to suspend John Torotella for 15 days from Sunday, with no contact with the team for six games,” said Mike Gillis, the Canucks president and general manager, in a statement.

“We would also like to acknowledge our organization’€™s full support for John and we look forward to having him back behind the bench soon.”

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Read More: Bob Hartley, Colin Campbell, John Tortorella, Kevin Westgarth
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Ex-Patriots receiver Bethel Johnson teases New England fans after AFC championship loss to Broncos 01.20.14 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Kings at Bruins, 3 p.m. (NESN, NHL Network)
NBA: Nets at Knicks, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Pelicans at Grizzlies, 5 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA Trail Blazers at Rockets, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Pacers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Loyola, Md., at Boston University, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: North Carolina at Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Creighton at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Ohio State at Nebraska, 7 p.m. (BTN)
College basketball: Delaware State at North Carolina A&T, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland at NC State, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marquette at Georgetown, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Baylor at Kansas, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Soccer: Premier League, Everton at West Bromwich, 3 p.m. (NBCSN)
Tennis: Australian Open, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)


— Former Patriots receiver Bethel Johnson apparently was not happy with his treatment by the team when he was sent packing in 2006, and he took pleasure in teasing New England fans following Sunday’s AFC championship game loss to the Broncos.

Tweeted Johnson on Sunday night: I said when the Pats trade me that they’ll never win another championship. Say what you want about me, I was there 3yrs & left with 2 rings.

Added Johnson, now 34: If they’d sign me back we’ll win immediately.

Johnson was drafted by the Patriots in the second round in 2003 out of Texas A&M and primarily played special teams. He’s generally considered one of Bill Belichick‘s worst draft picks.

In the summer of 2006, he was traded to the Saints but cut before the regular season while dealing with a knee injury. He went on to play for the Vikings that season, then played a year in the Canadian Football League after being cut by the Eagles and Texans.

Johnson apparently heard enough from Patriots fans, because his Twitter account was taken down Monday morning. Before then, he tried to defuse the situation, tweeting: I made a statement to get a rise out of the Pats fans and I got it…y’all are hilarious. I have nothing but love 4 the team that drafted me.

— Canucks coach John Tortorella reportedly will have a hearing with the NHL on Monday following his tantrum during Saturday’s game against the Flames, when he fiery coach approached the Calgary locker room after the first period to continue a dispute.

The game started with the Flames putting their fourth line on the ice. Tortorella responded in kind, and there was a line brawl immediately after the puck drop. During the brouhaha, Tortorella screamed at Calgary coach Bob Hartley.

Hartley denied intending to start off the game with a fight.

“Those guys are playing well for us,” he said of his fourth-liners. “They got us a goal last game. Obviously we’re not scoring many goals. We had absolutely zero intentions there. Those guys are playing hard for us. We’re a disciplined hockey club. As far as I know, they were the home team so they had the luxury to put whoever they wanted on the ice.”

Asked why he didn’t go with his top line to avoid a brawl, Tortorella claimed he was protecting his players.

“I see the starting lineup. I know the other guy across the bench and it’s easy for people to say put the Sedins out there and it’s deflated,” Tortorella said. “I can’t put our players at risk that way. With the lineup that he had, I’m not going to put those type of players at risk and that’s what ensues.

“I’m not proud of it. I’ve apologized to every one of the players involved in it. I don’t feel great about it at all, especially [Kellan Lain, who was making his NHL debut]. That’s my biggest mistake was putting Lainer in that lineup and I’ll kick myself forever not having someone else there. But I’d do the same thing again if it came that way because I cannot put anybody else out there not knowing what’s going to happen and knowing the other guy across from me.”

After the period, Tortorella headed toward the Calgary locker room but was pushed aside. Flames assistant coach Clint Malarchuk tried to get at Tortorella but was restrained by his team.

— According to an ESPN story, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to sit outside in the stands at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford N.J., for the Super Bowl, despite early predictions of freezing temperatures with a possibility of rain and snow.

This would not be a new thing for Goodell, who has appeared in the stands at other cold-weather games and claims to enjoy the experience.

In the previous coldest Super Bowl, played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on Jan. 16, 1972, then-commissioner Pete Rozelle sat outside as the temperature dipped to 39 degrees.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 20, 1996, in the NHL All-Star Game at what was then called the FleetCenter in Boston, which Bruin scored with 38 seconds remaining in regulation to give the East a 5-4 victory over the West?

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Read More: Bethel Johnson, John Tortorella, Roger Goodell, super bowl
John Tortorella fired by Rangers 05.29.13 at 1:17 pm ET
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The Rangers announced Wednesday that they have fired coach John Tortorella, following New York’s five-game loss to the Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Tortorella, a native of Concord who played collegiately at Maine, took over as Rangers coach on Feb. 23, 2009, replacing Tom Renney. In four-plus seasons, he compiled a regular-season record of 171-115-29 and reached the playoffs in four of the five seasons. The team’s best season under Tortorella was 2011-12, when the Rangers finished first in the Eastern Conference with a 51-24-7 record and reached the conference finals, losing to the Devils in six games.

Tortorella previously spent 6½ seasons coaching the Lightning. In 2004, he led Tampa Bay to a Stanley Cup title and won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: New York poll shows dissatisfaction with Rangers coach John Tortorella 05.27.13 at 7:55 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Phillies at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Orioles at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at White Sox, 7 p.m. (WGN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Grizzlies, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Blackhawks at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Lacrosse: NCAA championship, Duke vs. Syracuse, 1 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Following the Rangers’ Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Bruins that ended Saturday night in Game 5, the New York Daily News ran a poll asking readers to vote on which members of the team should stay or go. No surprisingly, there was general discontent with the sixth-seeded Rangers’ dismal performance against the Bruins that came one year after New York finished first in the Eastern Conference standings and reached Game 6 of the conference finals.

The front office took the hardest hit, with 71 percent voting to fire coach John Tortorella, who has one more year remaining on his contract, 62 percent voting to remove general manager Glen Sather, and 83 percent voting to depose owner James Dolan.

Tortorella took some heat during the series for his confrontational approach toward the media and for criticizing his players publicly.

“Certainly the responsibility falls on me,” Tortorella said after Saturday’s game. “I think one of the big things in this series was I could not — and it does, it falls on me, it’€™s a big part of my job — is to get your top players to play consistently, and I couldn’€™t do that. We tried, and so I need to take some responsibility in trying to get them in those spots to help us here. I thought that hurt us.”

The player who took the most heat from Daily News readers was veteran center Brad Richards, with 81 percent supporting his departure after he was demoted to the fourth line and then benched for the final two games against the Bruins. Richards, an alternate captain who led the team last postseason with 15 points, is playing on a nine-year, $60 million contract that runs through the 2019-2020 season. He is a candidate for a compliance buyout that would give New York some salary cap relief. The salary cap goes from $70.2 million this year to $64.3 million next season under terms of the new, 10-year collective bargaining agreement.

The Rangers are scheduled to gather their belongings at the team’s training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., on Monday before heading their separate ways for the summer.

‘™¦ Julie Hermann, hired to clean up the athletic department at Rutgers after the fallout from former basketball coach Mike Rice‘s abusive behavior, herself was accused of being an abusive coach when she guided the women’s volleyball team at Tennessee, according to a report in the Newark Star-Ledger.

Hermann quit at Tennessee in 1996 after all 15 of her her players signed a letter to school administrators complaining about mental cruelty. They stated that she called them “whores, alcoholics and learning disabled,” and they wrote: “It has been unanimously decided that this is an irreconcilable issue.”

Hermann pleaded ignorance when asked by the Star-Ledger, insisting she did not recall the letter.

“I never heard any of this, never name-calling them or anything like that whatsoever,” she said. “None of this is familiar to me.”

However, the Star-Ledger spoke with some former players and they said Hermann responded to the letter by saying: “I choose not to coach you guys.”

‘™¦ Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay athlete to play in a U.S. professional league when he made his Major League Soccer debut Sunday night with the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 4-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Sounders.

“I guess this is a historic thing, but for me it was just a soccer game,” said the 26-year-old midfielder, who entered the game in the 77th minute to loud cheers from the crowd of 24,811.

Rogers, who played the last two seasons in England, had announced his retirement in February, when he came out in his blog. He accepted an invitation from Galaxy coach Bruce Arena to train with the team in April and was signed to a contract Saturday, after LA traded leading scorer Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire for Rogers’ rights.

“In a lot of ways the easy part is over,” Arena said. “Now the difficult part remains, which is getting him positioned to play. Our expectations for Robbie are not anything big in the near future. Hopefully, he’ll get back to the way we think he can be.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 27, 1985, in the Memorial Day Massacre at Boston Garden, the Celtics routed the Lakers, 148-114, in Game 1 of the NBA finals. Which Celtic set an NBA finals record by shooting 11-for-11 (including four 3-pointers)?

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Read More: Brad Richards, John Tortorella, Julie Hermann, Robbie Rogers
Capitals coach Adam Oates says he could beat up Rangers coach John Tortorella 05.17.13 at 12:05 pm ET
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Capitals coach Adam Oates was not known as a fighter during his 20-year NHL career (which included six seasons in Boston), but he said he’s confident he could beat up Rangers coach John Tortorella.

“Yes,” Oates said Thursday. “Easily.”

Oates’ comment came during an appearance on Washington’s 106.7 The Fan, when he was talking about the controversy that surrounded his team’s seven-game first-round series loss to Tortorella’s Rangers.

The Capitals were unhappy with the officiating after the Rangers rallied with wins in Games 6 and 7. Caps star Alex Ovechkin implied there was an order from up high to benefit the Rangers, and general manager George McPhee backed him up, saying: “I don’t think there’s a league conspiracy, but it sure didn’t feel right. Alex wasn’t wrong.”

Tortorella was dismissive of the comments.

“We’ve got everybody and their brother whining out there in Washington about what happened in that series,” Tortella said Wednesday. “And I think that’s a big reason they lose that series.”

Oates had his chance to publicly respond to Tortorella on Thursday, as the Rangers were preparing to meet the Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“Well, I think he’s out of line,” Oates said. “[Tortorella] should be worried about his own series. We didn’t whine once during the series. I never complained. I don’t know, did you guys ever hear me complain about officiating?”

Added Oates: “Ovi [complained] after Game 7. No one complained before any game. I met with the supervisor before Game 7. You meet with the supervisor before every single game. We never complained about anything.”

Read More: Adam Oates, John Tortorella,
Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Coaches have confrontation in Rangers-Devils series 05.22.12 at 7:58 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN: WEEI)
MLB: Royals at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Pacers at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Coyotes, 9 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ Rangers coach John Tortorella and Devils bench boss Pete DeBoer traded barbs through the media over the weekend, and they ramped up their burgeoning feud in Monday night’s Game 4 in New Jersey. In the third period of the Devils’ 4-1 victory, Rangers forward Mke Rupp drew a penalty for leaving his feet on a hit, and then he gave goalie Martin Brodeur a left to the face as he skated by. That led to the coaches screaming at each other from their benches.

“I didn’t expect it, Rupp or no Rupp. I never got punched like that in my career. First time,” Brodeur said.

Asked if Rupp’s cheap shot gives the Devils license to go after Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in Game 5, Brodeur took the high road. “No. You can’t start that,” he said. “I don’t think that’s the right way to play hockey. Because they do something, you have to reply and do the same?”

As for the coaches’ confrontation, neither one elected to discuss it afterward.

“This isn’t about John and myself,” DeBoer said. “It’s about the guys on the ice.”

‘™¦ Reds flamethrower Aroldis Chapman was arrested in Ohio early Monday for driving 93 mph with a suspended license, police said. Chapman, who had recorded his first save of the season Sunday night vs. the Yankees and appears to be ready to become the team’s closer, was driving a black 2010 Mercedes S63 when he was detained on Interstate 71 North. He is due back in court June 6.

‘™¦ Daniel Jeremiah at has a piece in which he debates which quarterback he would choose if it came down to one season, one game or one play. Tom Brady is noticeably absent from his list, which includes one active and one retired player for each category. The selections: Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre for one season, Eli Manning (edging out Brady) and Joe Montana for one game, and Ben Roethlisberger and John Elway for one play.

‘™¦ Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 iconic moments in NBA playoff history. Larry Bird‘s steal against the Pistons in 1987 is No. 4. Magic Johnson‘s junior skyhook against the Celtics in the 1987 finals is No. 3. John Havlicek‘s steal to clinch Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference finals against Philadelphia is No. 2. Michael Jordan‘s game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 finals to beat the Jazz for Chicago’s sixth title in eight years is No. 1.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 22, 1988, the Celtics and Hawks staged one of the most memorable playoff games in history, with Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins trading baskets in the fourth quarter of a 118-116 Boston victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Lost in the performance of Wilkins (47 points) and Bird (34), a guard for each team finished with a double-double. Which Hawk had 16 points and 18 assists, and which Celtic had 13 points and 10 assists?

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Read More: Aroldis Chapman, John Tortorella, Martin Brodeur, Mike Rupp
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Rangers coach John Tortorella takes on Devils, officials 05.21.12 at 7:49 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA playoffs: 76ers at Celtics, 7 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
NBA playoffs: Lakers at Thunder, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Devils, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Red Sox at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)
MLB: Braves at Reds, 7 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Rangers coach John Tortorella is not happy with what he perceives to be embellishing on the part of the Devils in the Eastern Conference finals. Tortorella was attempting to defend Rangers forward Brandon Prust, who received a one-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov during New York’s 3-0 victory in Saturday’s Game 3. The Devils defenseman went down the ice clutching his head but eventually got up and did not miss a shift.

“We tell our players, ‘Don’t stay down on the ice. Get up,” Tortorella said during a Sunday press conference. “I’ll leave it at that. If we want to start discussing officials with the media, I have a long list here.”

Tortorella then went on to complain about picks he said the Devils are running during power players as well as two questionable hits from Devils players in Game 3.

Informed of Tortorella’s comments, Devils coach Pete DeBoer responded: “Comical.”

‘™¦ Indians closer Chris Perez is not happy with the fans — or lack thereof — at Jacobs Field, and he let out his anger after being booed by a sparse crowd Thursday for allowing two Mariners to reach base before finishing off a save.

On Saturday, he said the Indians are having trouble luring free agents because, “Nobody wants to play in front of 5,000 fans. We know the weather stinks, but people see that [low attendance]. Other players know that.”

On Sunday, he toned down his anger but still got in a dig at the fans.

“The fans are going to come, I know that,” Perez said. “It’s just a slap in the face when you’re in first place and last in attendance. Last. Not 25th or 26th. Last.”

‘™¦ Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis will be out about six weeks after injuring his left leg when hit by a sliding Tyler Greene during Friday’s game against the Cardinals. According to manager Don Mattingly, Ellis is lucky to still have a leg.

Ellis stayed in the game for the rest of the inning and led off the bottom of the inning before being removed and taken for X-rays, which were negative. When he arrived at the park the next day, his knee had swelled up and he went to the hospital. There he had an emergency fasciotomy just below the knee to drain blood and fluid that was causing dangerous pressure to the muscle. Mattingly said Sunday that doctors told him if Ellis’ trip to the hospital had been delayed by a few hours, he was in danger of losing his lower leg because the muscle might have died. As is, Ellis is expected to make a full recovery.

“He was in as good spirits as he could be,” Mattingly said of visiting Ellis after Saturday’s game. “He had a little medication in him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 21, 1978, the Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime to even the Stanley Cup finals at two games apiece. Who scored the winning goal?

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Read More: Brandon Prust, Crhris Perez, Don Mattingly, John Tortorella