Nice, France (SportsNetwork. Custom Packers Super Bowl Jerseys .com) - Top seed John Isner was sent packing, while second-seeded Ernests Gulbis secured a berth in the semifinals at the Nice Open, a final clay court French Open tune-up. Argentine Federico Delbonis knocked out the 6-foot-9 American Isner 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), while the Latvian Gulbis held off fifth-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) at Nice Lawn Tennis Club. Isner blew a 5-3 lead in the final set. Gulbis semifinal opponent will be reigning Nice champion Albert Montanes, while fourth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon will meet Delbonis in the other final four affair on Friday. The French Simon subdued Argentine Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 6-1, while the Spaniard Montanes overcame Argentine qualifier Leonardo Mayer 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4. Montanes topped Frances Gael Monfils in last years Nice finale. Lane Taylor Super Bowl Jersey . - Veteran Kings defenceman Robyn Regehr, sidelined since Game 1 of the Anaheim series, says hes close to returning. David Bakhtiari Super Bowl Jersey .J. -- Patrick Sharp is on one of those streaks.On this weeks TSNFC podcast we spent a long time discussing the handball decision that effectively ended Vancouver Whitecaps season. Much has been said and written about whether or not World Cup referee Mark Geiger made the right call to penalize Kendall Waston in last weeks playoff match at Dallas, with many differing opinions on the matter. There doesnt seem to be a consensus, although Geigers boss - referees chief Peter Walton - said it was the correct decision and a standard call. As a veteran Premier League referee who now runs the Professional Referees Organization in North America, Waltons opinion should be respected, but the controversy surrounding the decision - and many other handball decisions we see all over the world each week - could easily be avoided if there were a change to the law. In my view, there are two things wrong with the current law. Firstly, the punishment doesnt fairly reflect the size of the crime. Secondly, there is too much room for interpretation of the referee which makes consistency of decisions almost impossible. Here are the main points of the current FIFA Law: Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration: ? the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand) ? the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball) ? the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement Deliberate - done consciously and intentionally I dont think Kendall Waston made a conscious and intentional decision to handle the ball inside the penalty area in the last 10 minutes of a playoff match. In my mind it was a momentary lapse in concentration from the towering defender rather than a deliberate act. In relation to this law, it seems deliberate can also mean a player didnt react quickly enough to move his hand/arm out of the way of the ball. But the fact the law allows such ambiguity means officials are in the spotlight more than necessary whether or not they get the decision right. There must be a bettter way. Dean Lowry Super Bowl Jersey. Although video replays will certainly assist officials decision making in other areas, in the instance of Waston it wouldnt have made much difference because even with review, the decision would have been made depending on the officials interpretation of the law. One suggestion I have seen is to award a penalty anytime the ball hits a hand or arm inside the area whether it is intentional or not. A clear rule - it doesnt matter how it happens, if the ball strikes the hand, it is a penalty. Theres very little room for argument and interpretation there, but I think it would lead to far too many penalties and also an excessive number of game changing moments. Again, the punishment wouldnt match the offence. New Law So how about this. In order to provide clarity, I would be in favour of a rule change along the following lines: Anytime a player makes contact with the ball inside the penalty area with his hand or arm, an indirect free kick will be given. There is no room for interpretation - if it hits the arm or hand whether deliberate or not, it is an indirect free kick. There is one exception. If a player handles the ball to prevent a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity, a penalty is given. With this rule applied, Kendall Wastons handball would have been penalized with an indirect free kick, still giving the opposing team the benefit of a set piece close to goal but eliminating the need for a referee to award a penalty for an incident that was not going to end in a goal. For me, that far better reflects the size of the infringement and also would remove much of the debate surrounding penalty kicks awarded for handball. Im not na?ve enough to expect that changing the law would eliminate all problems. Im sure in some instances there would still be controversy and debate surrounding what is or isnt an obvious goal scoring opportunity. But I believe it would drastically decrease the amount of times a game is decided by a referees decision and therefore lead to more post-game talk about players instead of officiating – and that can only be a good thing. ' ' '
WASHINGTON -- Buffalo Sabres interim head coach Ted Nolan said Sunday the organization was surprised by prospect Mikhail Grigorenkos decision not to report to a junior club in Canada. Clearance Nike Shox . "We knew obviously players would be disappointed when something like that happened," Nolan said, "but no indication that he wouldnt report." The Sabres assigned the Russian centre to the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Saturday, hoping the 19-year-old former first-round draft pick would get some top-line minutes. Grigorenko has struggled to adapt to the NHL in parts of two seasons, with eight points in 43 career games since he was selected No. 12 overall in 2012. But Grigorenko says he wont go to Quebec. He apologized on Facebook on Saturday, adding: "We just need to find a place for me where I can develop and be the best hockey player I can be." Nolan said he doesnt know what the next step will be for Grigorenko and Sabres team president Pat LaFontaine. "Its one thing that you learn -- what you can control, what you cant control," Nolan said. "Him and Pat will take care of that." The Sabres would prefer that Grigorenko play for their Rochester AHL affiliate, but an agreement between the NHL and the Canadian Hockey League doesnt allow teenagers to play in the AHL. Buffalo tried to send Grigorenko to Rochester on a conditioning assignment in November, but the NHL denied the request. Grigorenko has played well in previous stints in juniors, posting 139 points in two seasons with Quebec, including 30 goals in 33 games last season. "P.K. Subban played four years in Belleville, and he turned out pretty good," Nolan said of the Montreal Canadiens defenceman. "Junior hockeys a good place to develop." Grigorenko recently returned from the world junior championships in Malmo, Sweden, where he led Russia to the bronze medal with eight points in seven games. Cheap Air Jordan 1 China . -- Ryan Millers debut for the St. Wholesale Nike Shoes For Sale . And while taking highly-touted Simon Fraser offensive lineman Matthias Goossen second overall on Tuesday night will definitely help in an area of need for the club, it was a swap of draft picks that may prove to be his most shrewd move. "When Jesse Briggs started to fall a little bit, you could just see Kyle perk up in his chair.BOSTON -- DeMar DeRozan understands that a playoff berth for the Raptors has meaning beyond Torontos locker room. Terrence Ross scored 24 points, Kyle Lowry 23 and the Raptors edged closer to their first playoff spot since 2008 with a 99-90 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. "Not just the franchise, the whole city of Toronto and Canada," said DeRozan, sitting at his locker with his left foot in a bucket of ice. "Ive been here five years and see how passionate the fans are. It definitely means a lot. We feed off them, the energy they bring every single night. That would be great for the city and we have to take advantage of the opportunity." DeRozan added 20 points for Toronto, which increased its Atlantic Division lead to 2 1/2 games over Brooklyn. The Raptors could have clinched a playoff spot if the Knicks lost at Sacramento later Wednesday, but New York beat the Kings 107-99. It was Lowrys eighth straight game of 20 or more points and helped the Raptors snap an 11-game losing streak in Boston. "Im not going to lie," Lowry said. "I think everybody tonight is rooting for that Western Conference team over there." The Raptors are also chasing a division title. They face Boston in the back end of a home and home on Friday. "We cant be satisfied just making the playoffs," DeRozan said. "We could go out there and play four games and be home. Weve worked too hard to get to this point just to slow down and pace ourselves. Weve got a long, long way to go." Jared Sullinger led Boston with 26 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and Avery Bradley scored 16. Boston lost for the seventh time in eight games. "Sully got hot and I thought even though we were really undersized we played pretty well in that time," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. Toronto captured its 19th road win, one off the club record set 2000-01. Boston guard Rajon Rondo was cut on the forehead midway into the third quarter and received nine stitches. He returned to tthe bench early in the fourth quarter with a bandage that ran from the bridge of his nose straight up to his forehead and he re-entered the game with 8:05 to play. Air Force 1 Low Outlet . . He finished with 15 assists and nine points. "I think it obviously says a lot," Stevens said. "He wants to play and I think the most important part about it is he came back in and guarded DeRozan. He went after it and I think he did a pretty good job on him." The Raptors had opened a 79-64 lead early the fourth quarter, but Boston went on a 9-0 run. Toronto pushed it back to 85-75 before Sullinger nailed consecutive 3s 34 seconds apart, narrowing it to four points with just under 6 minutes to play. "I saw that Rondo went down so I saw that we needed production, so I took it upon myself and just tried to get the best shots possible," Sullinger said. Chris Johnsons basket -- on an officials reviewed goaltending call -- closed it to 93-90 with 1:49 left, but Lowry and Ross hit consecutive 3s on the next two possessions to send the Raptors to the victory. In the third quarter, Lowry nailed consecutive 3s on Torontos first two possessions, pushing the Raptors lead to 61-46. They held at least a nine-point lead for the rest of the quarter, opening it to 77-62 after Ross nailed a 3 at the buzzer. Toronto, which blew an 11-point second-quarter lead in less than 2 minutes, held a 55-46 advantage at halftime. NOTES: A few minutes before the opening tip-off and about 10 after the National Anthems were completed, the Celtics asked the crowd to rise for a moment of silence to honour two Boston firefighters that were killed battling a fire in the citys Back Bay section -- about three kilometres away. ... Stevens praised Raptors G Lowry before the game. "(He) is playing terrific," Stevens said. "He was arguably an All-Star earlier. He makes a lot of plays that dont go talked about." ... Sullinger had 25 points and 20 rebounds when the Celtics beat the Raptors at home on Jan. 15. He had eight boards on Wednesday. ' ' '