Friday, May 2, 2008

Paris Hilton, hockey...and basketball?? o_O

Madden Wants To Marry Hilton
Benji Madden wants to marry girlfriend Paris Hilton, insisting their relationship is genuine, and the socialite is "wife material."
The Good Charlotte rocker is desperate to prove critics of their relationship wrong, and claims he fell in love with Hilton long before they even got together earlier this year.
He tells an interviewer on Sirius radio, "We were in love before anyone even knew we were together. We have known each other for a long time, and I've always known the real Paris. I always knew that she was like ... wife material or serious girlfriend material."
Madden gushes, "You just want to get on top of a mountain and go, I'm in love! But your fans would probably make fun of you."
And when asked if they could marry soon, he replies, "Nothing would make me happier. Wow, all right. OK. I'm not gonna bet against you on that. We'll see. I'm very, very happy right now."
Babies could be on the horizon too; Madden admits babysitting his niece Harlow, whose parents are Nicole Richie and Joel Madden, has made him broody.
He adds, "Oh yeah, I baby-sit all the time. I love babysitting and I'm learning everything. I can change diapers now. ... One of Harlow's favorite songs is one of the songs on our record, so when I rock her to sleep, I'll sing it to her."
To sports!
Rangers Find Way to Impede the Penguins’ Advance
As the end of Game 4 between the Rangers and the Penguins devolved into something between a scuffle and a brawl, the Rangers had, at the very least, thrown the first piece of drama into the Penguins’ playoff march.
Until Thursday night, Pittsburgh had not lost a game this postseason. Everything the Penguins had touched seemed coated with pixie dust in four victories over Ottawa and three against the Rangers.
So the sight of Penguins center Evgeni Malkin kicking the skates out from two Rangers players in the final minute, starting the end-of-game fireworks and earning a 10-minute misconduct, was the first glimpse at any frustration. The Rangers stifled every bit of the Penguins’ potent offense — including the red-hot Malkin — in a 3-0 victory at Madison Square Garden.
“Maybe a bit of a dent in the armor,” Rangers Coach Tom Renney said of the victory. “And we’re talking about pretty thick armor here. So we have to keep it all in perspective and recognize we won a hockey game.
“It is something, without question, to build on.”
The Rangers succeeded in sending their Eastern Conference semifinal series back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Sunday afternoon. They did it with spectacular performances by Jaromir Jagr (two goals, one assist) and goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who not only stopped a penalty shot by Malkin but also made a half-dozen other amazing saves among his 29.
Strong performances from centers Chris Drury and Brandon Dubinsky and the team’s penalty killers were less obvious. Drury played more than 20 minutes and won 15 of 24 face-offs despite a rib-cage injury sustained in Game 3. Dubinsky scored a power-play goal in the third period to end the Rangers’ 0-for-17 streak, which began in the second period of Game 1.
The penalty killers, including Drury and now Dubinsky, kept the Pittsburgh power play scoreless for the first time in the postseason, snuffing out four man-advantage opportunities. By stifling the Penguins’ first two power plays, the Rangers might have set the tone for this game, keeping Pittsburgh scrambling for the puck instead of setting up booming shots.
“We certainly didn’t want to fall behind,” Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan said. “Their power play has been very good, and it’s scored some key goals in the series for them. We worked a little extra on the preparation and made a few adjustments and we had a good game on the penalty kill.”
By the end of the game, the Rangers had to show some fight in other ways, too. In the third period, Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby took issue with a hit that Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi had made on forward Marian Hossa and charged over to retaliate. They both received roughing penalties, but Malkin rushed in as well, and that put the Rangers on a power play when the Penguins should have been trying to slice into a 2-0 deficit.
“Obviously we don’t want to be in the penalty box,” Crosby said afterward. “Our job is to help our team score, but there comes a point where you have to stick up for each other.”
At the end of the game, Malkin kicked Drury’s feet out from under him and did the same to Rangers defenseman Paul Mara, who then tried to pummel Malkin. Mara drew a roughing penalty and a misconduct, but he said he was not about to let Malkin’s act go unpunished.
“He did it at their blue line and then at the other end right in front of the ref,” Mara said. “It was a classless act by a superstar there. There is no need for that. It was actually a full kick. It was done out of frustration, a lack of class. We’ll put that in the back of our minds.”
Renney said that Rangers General Manager Glen Sather had called N.H.L. officials about the game, but he did not know if Sather discussed Malkin. He said he was eager to hear the N.H.L.’s explanation for a penalty-shot call against the Rangers. The call came late in the second period, after Girardi shoved Malkin during a breakaway. Girardi had no stick at the time. There is no rule against hitting a puck-carrier from behind when the players are away from the boards.
“They’re getting back to us,” Renney said of Sather’s call to the league. “I’m not sure. It was a penalty of some kind. I don’t know. It has to be a trip, hook, crosscheck, whatever.”
Clearly, these teams have cultivated some animosity in this series, from Jagr’s yelling at Crosby to stop diving to draw penalties, to the latest issue with Malkin.
Most surprisingly, none of it has involved the player who is usually the vortex of all such controversies involving the Rangers. But forward Sean Avery spent Game 4 in the intensive care unit at St. Vincents Hospital and Medical Center in Manhattan, where he remains with a lacerated spleen sustained in Game 3.
The Rangers said Avery was improving. They are looking to say the same for the rest of the team and its playoff hopes after Sunday.
Computer system predicts Celtics to win NBA championship
The Boston Celtics have the best chance of winning this season’s National Basketball Association (NBA) title, according to a computer system developed by Chinese PC maker Lenovo.
Called the Lenovo Stat, the system analyzes the most effective combinations of players in each team, calculating point differentials for every game a certain team plays.
According to Lenovo, the Celtics' five-man combination of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo garnered the most points and therefore, the most powerful team on the court.
Boston finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA and is currently battling lowest-seed Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
The New Orleans Hornets, led by MVP candidate Chris Paul, is ranked second ahead of the Detroit Pistons, according to Lenovo's rankings.
The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, have earned three spots in the Top 10 -- sixth being the highest -- based on different five-man combinations. The Lakers, though, were the first to advance to the second round after sweeping the Denver Nuggets.
The NBA officially adopted Lenovo stat last season, following a partnership between the league and the Chinese firm. Results are made available after every game on
Last season, the Houston Rockets had the top-ranked combination followed by Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns. Dallas and Houston, however, were later on eliminated in the first round in last year's playoffs.

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