Peak cute, however, arrived when 8-year-old Braden Nienaber dropped a ceremonial puck for a ceremonial faceoff, first ceremonially tossing Sabres captain Steve Ott out of the circle, although Ott returned to tousle young Braden’s hair.
Still, this is the way all such events should go. The heartwarming moments of making nice with the home team are all well and good, but you don’t reach the truly memorable levels until the little tykes are tormenting the opponents. Next time, he should make sure that Ott actually stays out.
REED DOUGHTY’S BEARD
Reed Doughty has an enormous and intimidating beard. Just FYI.
AN RGIII WEDDING CAKE
You can’t say you’re the ultimate RGIII fan until you get an RGIII wedding cake that pays tribute to RGIII’s corporate sponsors. If you want to one-up this person, add some Subway sandwiches. Made out of frosting.
ANOTHER JAY GRUDEN PROFILE
Dave Sheinin took a deep dive into the Jay Gruden biography in Sunday’s paper.
Some coaches might run from a situation like Washington’s, with a strong-willed owner, a sagging roster and a quarterback in need of repair. But Gruden has spent a lifetime on football’s fringes, and at this point, the Redskins, coming off a 3-13 nightmare, sit squarely on the fringes of the NFL. He is, in that sense, perfect for this job, and it is perfect for him. “He will absolutely win,” [former boss Brett] Bouchy said. “You’re going to see a huge improvement, and you’re going to see it immediately. Lots of people say he’s Jon Gruden’s brother. Five years from now, they’ll be saying Jon is Jay Gruden’s brother.”
DREW STOREN AUTOGRAPHS CALF BRUISE
Drew Storen autographs calf bruise. Calf bruise that he caused, evidently.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Wizards visit the Bulls at 8 on Comcast SportsNet. Virginia visits Duke at 7 on ESPN. All radio and TV listings are here.