Hockey season is finally in full swing, and with the first week of play complete, it gives us an excuse to bring up trivia from the greatest movie ever made: Slap Shot. Putting on the foil! Old-time hockey! And what better way to do it than by playing Jeopardy! So here we go.
Johnstown Jets. What is the name of the real team the Charlestown Chiefs are based on?
National Anthem. What song is playing over the opening credits?
Jack Hanson. Which fictional Hanson brother is not related to the other two (Steve and Jeff Carlson) in real life?
Edmonton Oilers. Which WHA team did Jack Carlson get called up to preventing him from playing the third Hanson brother in the film.
Ogie Ogilthorpe. What role does writer of the movie Nancy Dowd's brother play?
Syracuse Bulldogs. Who is the Chiefs' opponent in the league championship game?
Dave Schultz. Which Broad Street Bully's brother has a small role in the movie as an opposing player?
Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals. Which present NHL coach was in the movie wearing No. 7 for the Hyannisport Presidents?
New York Rangers. Which NHL team offered actor Michael Ontkean (Ned Dowd) a contract after graduating from college?
Donnie Most. Which cast member of Happy Days auditioned for the role of Ned Dowd?
Bulldog center Tim McCracken. Who is known as Dr. Hook?
Minnesota Nighthawks. What team does Reg Dunlop say he's going to coach at the end of the movie?
And now on to the top stories of the week in the world of New York sports:
Tanned, Rested & Ready: The Yankees only played one game this week, but it was the series-clincher on Saturday. The Bombers have now beaten the Twins 832 consecutive times in the playoffs to set a major league record. And their reward was a five-day vacation, because the fall's just not the same unless the postseason drags on and on into November. Bud Selig won't be happy until baseball noses its way into our Thanksgiving TV viewing schedule. In the ALDS, the Yankees got the big hit at the right time, solid starting pitching and fantastic work from their bullpen, which is, of course, the perfect recipe for postseason success. And they're so confident heading into the ALCS, they're going to let A.J. Burnett start game four. It was either him or try to circumvent a few rules, New Jersey Devils-style, and activate Ron Guidry. The former Yankee said he had never pitched on 22 years rest in his career before, but he'd be willing to give it a try.
A Texas Stompin': The Giants put in their most complete performance of the season on Sunday down in Texas, with another dominating win. Perry Fewell's defense was awesome yet again, as they held the NFL's No. 1 rushing team to a Texans' franchise-low 24 net yards on the ground. This one may have been even more impressive than the Chicago game because they didn't have Jay Cutler's stubborn penchant for holding on to the ball at all costs to help them out this week. On the offensive side of the ball, the Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks connection was a thing of beauty. They looked like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice out there. Or at least Joe Namath and Bobby Brady in that one episode of the Brady Bunch. The team did mysteriously keep on throwing the ball in the second half, instead of running the clock down by running the ball, which led to two Manning interceptions. These were due to poor decisions by the QB this time, not deflections off his receivers' hands like in the previous games. And with a penalty on almost every special teams play, the game dragged on and on. But no matter, as they've won on back-to-back weeks for the first time in 15 games. Are the Giants finally finding a rhythm and some consistency? Are we finally seeing the real Giants?
The Favre Bowl: It was ugly, sloppy and mistake-filled. No, not the game, but Brett Favre's texting, voice-mailing and other stuff I don't even want to think about that the gray-haired grandfather allegedly was doing when he was with the Jets. As for the game, it was ugly, sloppy and mistake-filled, along with rainy, slippery, Mossy and lightning-y, but it ended the only way possible--with a Favre interception. Nick Folk was the star of the game for the Jets this time, booting five field goals (with a long of 53), as the offense had trouble getting into the end zone all night. But a win's a win. You can't win every game 38-14. The Jets are in first place, and backing up all the smack they've been talking. They have the No. 1 rushing offense, they're first in turnover ratio and their point differential is best in the league, too.
Monday Night Miracle: During halftime of Monday's game, the Jets celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Monday Night Miracle, when they defeated the Dolphins in what was voted the greatest game in Monday Night Football history. On that memorable night, after falling behind 23-7, Gang Green scored 30 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game, capped off by a tackle-eligible Jumbo Elliott touchdown catch. And then John Hall booted a field goal in OT to win it. Vinny Testaverde threw five TD passes in the game, and went 18 for 36, for 235 yards and four touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone. The most bizarre occurrence of the game, though? Arnold Schwarzennegger was a guest in the ABC booth when the Jets were losing big, but he predicted the Jets would come back and win. He really does come from the future, doesn't he? While maybe not at the top, that game ranks up there with other New York miracles: the Miracle Mets, the Miracle on Ice (hey, it took place in New York State) and the Miracle That Anyone Ever Hired Isiah Thomas.
Week One: The Devils opened up the local hockey season on Friday night, and flew out of the gate with a 2-0 lead, looking like a cross between the Flying Frenchmen and the Gretzky Oilers. But everything fell apart for them soon after that. Their high-flying, wide-open style coupled with a lack of discipline, a plethora of defensive breakdowns and injuries had Patrik Elias longing for the days of the trap, and Martin Brodeur muttering under his breath. By the time Monday rolled around they could barely put a team on the ice, but things were back under control by Wednesday. And they escaped cap hell yet again with Brian Rolston having hernia surgery--whether he wants it or not--and now Mark Fraser is also out four to six weeks with a fractured hand. Rex Ryan dropped the first puck at Nassau Coliseum in the Islanders' opener, and his swagger and confidence must have rubbed off on the team. And the Jet coach's Miami/middle-finger incident must have rubbed off on James Wisniewski, who made an obscene gesture toward Sean Avery. The Isles threw another injury on the pile (John Tavares), but came roaring back to force a shootout on Saturday, scored a bucket of late goals to beat the Rangers on Monday and, despite Nino Niederreiter's first NHL goal, fell to the Caps on Wednesday. Derek Stepan was the big news for the Blueshirts, with his historic debut, leading an offensive explosion in Buffalo. The scoring continued in their second game (10 goals in two games, none by Marian Gaborik or Alex Frolov), but the defense needs to work on their defense. When the dust settled, they all pretty much broke even: the Islanders went 1-1-1, the Rangers 1-1 and the Devils 1-2-1.
Globe-trotting: While the Nets circled the world, first beating the Sixers in Jersey with a Monday Night Miracle of their own (well, Saturday Night Miracle), then flying to Russia so Mikhail Prokhorov could take the team home to meet his mother ("Hey Ma, look what I bought!") and raid her fridge for whatever the Russian knockoff of Ring Dings is, and finally losing to the Rockets in China, the new-look Knicks made their MSG preseason debut on Wednesday, while taking a look at Russian Timofey Mozgov as their starting center. He scored five points and hauled in three rebounds, and picked up a T for speaking Russian to a ref, who also asked the seven-footer for his immigration documents and passport, which luckily he keeps tucked into his socks during games for moments just like these. Amar'e Stoudemire dazzled, though, scoring 30 points in three quarters.
(For in-depth analysis and discussion of the Yankees, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Islanders and Devils, go to SB Nation's Pinstripe Alley, Big Blue View, Gang Green Nation, Posting and Toasting, NetsDaily, Blueshirt Banter, Lighthouse Hockey and In Lou We Trust, respectively.)