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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Flyers chairman Ed Snider calls NHL’s Olympic break ‘ridiculous’

02.07.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Kings at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Pacers, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Timberwolves at Pelicans, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Manhattan at Canisius, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: DePaul at Creighton, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Detroit at Valparaiso, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marshall at Southern Mississippi, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Merrimack at Boston College, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College hockey: Western Michigan at Miami (Ohio), 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College hockey: Maine at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Opening ceremony, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)

AROUND THE WEB:

– As the NHL prepares to take two-plus weeks off so that its star players can compete in the Sochi Olympics, at least one high-level executive is speaking out against the break.

Flyers chairman Ed Snider voiced his disapproval after Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Avalanche.

“It’s ridiculous, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Snider said. “I don’t care if it was in Philadelphia, I wouldn’t want to break up the league. I think it’s ridiculous to take three weeks off, or however long it is, in the middle of the season. It screws up everything. ‘€¦ How can anybody be happy breaking up their season. No other league does it, why should we? There’s no benefit to us whatsoever. If anything I can only see negatives.”

Added Snider of the Olympics: “I hate them.”

However, reminded that the Flyers won the Stanley Cup reached the Stanley Cup finals during the last Olympic year (2010), Snider laughed.

“Maybe I like them,” he joked. “I forget about that.”

Snider also isn’t happy with Team Canada’s snub of Flyers forward Claude Giroux, who scored an empty-net goal Thursday, the same day Hockey Canada executive director Steve Yzerman chose Lightning forward Martin St. Louis to fill the roster spot vacated by the injured Steven Stamkos. Yzerman also is the Lightning’s general manager.

“It’s a farce,” Snider said. “[Giroux is] one of the best players in the game. It’s ridiculous. He’s better than half the guys on that team.

“Anybody that things Claude Giroux doesn’t belong on the Canadian team, they don’t know anything about hockey as far as I’m concerned. It’s politics, to a certain degree. He had to pick his own guy. His own guy is good, but Claude is better.”

– The Knicks continue to plod along, with a record of 19-30 in a woefully bad Eastern Conference, and it’s not sitting well with controversial owner James Dolan. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Dolan visited the locker room following Wednesday’s loss to the Trail Blazers and asked Carmelo Anthony if coach Mike Woodson should be fired.

Anthony, who scored 26 points Wednesday but missed all five of his shots in the fourth quarter, is said to be sensitive to the fact that he could be viewed as a “coach-killer.”

“There may be players that have a problem with Woody and want to blame him, but Carmelo isn’t one of them,” a person close to Anthony told the Daily News. “If Carmelo has tuned out Woody or doesn’t want him as a coach, why did he score 62 points two weeks ago? Why was he Player of the Month in January?”

On the other hand, Tyson Chandler has publicly questioned Woodson, and the center reportedly has grown close to team president Steve Mills.

Woodson, appearing on ESPN New York radio Thursday, acknowledged that it’s been a trying season.

“This year has been, for me, it’s been kind of a disaster from a coaching standpoint in trying to get players to compete and play at a high level,” he said. “That’s the frustrating part about it, because I know we’re better than what we’ve shown and we’ve still got a chance.”

The Nets are 12-4 in 2014 following Thursday’s 103-89 victory over the short-handed Spurs, improving their season record to 22-25, but TNT analyst Charles Barkley is not impressed.

“I don’t think they’re any good at all,” Barkley said on a conference call with reporters earlier Thursday. “Listen, you’ve only got two teams in the East, you’ve got the Heat and you’ve got the Pacers. I actually think probably the Washington Wizards are the third-best team in the Eastern Conference.

“I could get on here and lie to you, but listen, it’s the Heat and the Pacers. Nobody else is any good ‘€¦ or worth talking about, to be honest with you.”

Barkley offered little hope for a turnaround from point guard Deron Williams, who has not been the same since being traded from the Jazz in February 2011. A three-time All-Star in Utah, Williams has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since. He’s been slowed by ankle injuries this season and admitted Saturday that his confidence “is not my highest” after shooting 3-for-12 against the Pacers.

“Deron Williams has been hurt a lot the last couple of years. He’s never going to get back to Utah,” Barkley said of the 29-year-old. “His best days are behind him.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 7, 1999, which Patriots defensive player was named co-MVP of the Pro Bowl after helping the AFC to a 23-10 victory?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I follow [the Red Sox prospects] really closely, probably with equal parts admiration, pride and jealousy. I am really proud of what we built. As far as GMs go, I think I was pretty hands-on as far as building our scouting department, went out and saw the players. It was just a great decade.” — Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, in an interview on WEEI’s Hot Stove Show on Thursday night

STAT OF THE DAY: 2:08 – The time between third-period goals for the Bruins on Thursday night, as they rallied to force the game against the Blues into overtime before dropping a 3-2 decision

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty becomes the first NHL player to get two penalty shots in one period, and he misses both against Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo — although he ends up with a hat trick anyhow.

Here’s one of the now-famous stray dogs in Sochi making his presence known by barking at Olympic cross-country skiers during their training run.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Ty Law, who returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Garth Brooks was born on this day in 1962.

Read More: Carmelo Anthony, Charles Barkley, Ed Snider, James Dolan