Former Mad magazine editor Al Feldstein dies at 88

Former Mad magazine editor Al Feldstein dies at 88

Associated Press

FILE - In this 1972 file photo, "Mad" magazine Editor Al Feldstein, center, sits with Art Director John Putnam, left, and a freelancer named Jack, at the magazine's New York headquarters. Feldstein, whose 28 years at the helm of Mad transformed the satirical magazine into a pop culture institution, died Tuesday, April 29, 2014. He was 88. (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)
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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Al Feldstein, whose 28 years at the helm of Mad magazine transformed the satirical publication into a pop culture institution, has died. He was 88.

Feldstein died Tuesday at his home in Livingston, according to the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory. No cause of death was released.

In 1956, publisher William M. Gaines put Feldstein in charge of the magazine, which gleefully parodied politicians and mocked traditional morality.

Feldstein and Gaines assembled a pool of artists and writers who turned out such enduring features as “Spy vs. Spy,” ”The Lighter Side of…” and “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.”

Building on a character used by Mad founding editor Harvey Kurtzman, Feldstein turned the freckle-faced Alfred E. Neuman into an underground hero — a dimwitted everyman with a gap-toothed smile and the recurring stock phrase, “What, Me Worry?”

Neuman’s character was used to skewer any and all, from Santa Claus to Darth Vader, and more recently in editorial cartoonists’ parodies of President George W. Bush.

“The Portable Mad,” a compilation of magazine highlights edited by Feldstein in 1964, gives a picture of the typical Mad features that year. Among its offerings: “Some Mad Devices for Safer Smoking” (including a “nasal exhaust fan” and “disposable lung-liner tips”); “The Mad Academy Awards for Parents” (one nominee does her “And THIS is the thanks I get!” routine); “The Lighter Side of Summer Romances”; and “Mad’s Teenage Idol Promoter of the Year” (which skewers Elvis Presley and the Beatles.)

Under Gaines and Feldstein, Mad’s sales flourished, topping 2 million in the early 1970s. In a 1997 interview with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Feldstein credited Mad’s challenges to authority with helping incite the cultural revolution of the 1960s.

“Who’s covering up? That was one of our slogans,” he said. “We were orienting them to the adult world.”

But not everyone was amused.

Mad once held a spoof contest inviting readers to submit their names to legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover for an “Official Draft Dodger Card.” Feldstein said two bureau agents soon showed up at the magazine’s offices to demand an apology for “sullying” Hoover’s reputation by using his name in Mad.

The magazine also attracted critics in Congress who questioned the magazine’s decency, and a $25 million lawsuit from songwriters who objected to their work being parodied.

By Feldstein’s retirement in 1984, Mad’s heyday was past: Circulation had dropped to less than a third of its peak.

Feldstein moved West, first to Wyoming and later Montana. From a horse and llama ranch north of Yellowstone National Park, he ran a guest house and pursued his “first love” — painting wildlife, nature scenes and fantasy art and entering local art contests.

Born in 1925, Feldstein grew up in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. He found early success as an artist a World’s Fair contest for children and later trained at Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art and Brooklyn College.

He got his first job in comics as a teenager, drawing background foliage for “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle,” which starred a female version of Tarzan.

“Then I got a great promotion,” he told the Chronicle in a 1997 interview. “I was drawing leopard spots on her groin and breasts.”

Feldstein served a stint in the military at the end of World War II, painting murals and drawing cartoons for Army newspapers. After his discharge, he freelanced for various comics before landing at Entertainment Comics.

Feldstein’s survivors include his wife, Michelle, stepdaughter Katrina Oppelt, her husband, and two grandsons, the funeral home said.

Designed for children but loved by many adults, Entertainment Comics’ titles included Tales From the Crypt, Weird Science and Feldstein’s eventual vehicle to fame, Mad.

In 2000, a year after receiving an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Rocky Mountain College, Feldstein returned to the school to give its commencement address. He told students that while their carefree college days were ending, the “party of real life” was about to begin.

“If you’re not having fun at the party you’re at,” he told the grads, “go find another party.”

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CM Punk’s WWE Return Must Occur at Payback PPV

CM Punk’s WWE Return Must Occur at Payback PPV

CM Punk's WWE Return Must Occur at Payback PPV

DAVE ALLOCCA/Associated Press

For a man who once said he can’t spur change from his couch, WWE sure looks just fine without him.

CM Punk‘s WWE return isn’t a thing, at least not in an official sense. But, any sensible observer can see the WWE calendar is approaching a golden opportunity to bring the Best in the World back—Payback on June 1st.

The venue?

Chicago, Illinois.

The chants for Punk have come to a grinding halt. WWE has moved on, as it did from Hulk Hogan and countless others, including a certain rattlesnake who also walked out on the company.

Daniel Bryan is carrying the torch and taking it to an unreal level for the modern era. John Cena’s putting over young talent like Bray Wyatt. The Shield is The Shield. Paige is the WWE Divas champ. Cesaro is a Paul Heyman guy. Bad News Barrett is getting a push. RybAxel is entertaining. The list is much longer, but that will suffice.

Punk’s an afterthought at this point.

Except in Chicago.

That town won’t be fooled again like it was on RAW, although hats off to Heyman for a historic promo and smark work worthy of an immediate Hall-of-Fame induction.

 

Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that Punk made another return, of the planned variety, at Payback in Chicago—last year.

That’s just the thing—we still have no idea whether the entire ordeal is real or fake. It’s all too easy to speculate. Conventional wisdom says he was burnt out, angry and the like, but it’s just as easy to figure he was hurt and given sanctioned time off after years without a significant break and an extensive stay in the Royal Rumble.

DAVE ALLOCCA/Associated Press

 

Which brings us to the return in June. After entering that Rumble No. 1 overall, Punk was eliminated by Kane and put through a table (which very well could have been the icing on the cake in the injury department, no?). That same Kane has since morphed back into his monster self and has a title shot against Bryan at Extreme Rules.

Fast forward to Payback, where Kane may very well have another shot at Bryan in a rematch (let’s not pretend there’s a long list of contenders for the strap).

Static hits. Punk gets his Payback in Chicago.

Say it can’t be that poetic. Rather than getting payback for losing his title shot by making Kane lose his, Punk merely attacks Kane, who is doing any number of despicable acts during Bryan’s main-event tilt.

That’ll suffice as well, which would bring things full circle the month after—at Money in the Bank. It wasn’t too long ago a certain someone with an expiring contract won the title and started one of the most dominant runs in history:

 

A lot has changed since then, but here we are again with a “Punk left us” angle and a contract that supposedly expires in June. It’s hard to imagine a retread of the same thing—as it parallels real happenings between Punk and the company—would upset fans. A title bout between Punk and Bryan certainly wouldn’t.

When will CM Punk return?

Payback Money in the Bank Other (comments below) Submit Vote vote to see results

When will CM Punk return?

  • Payback

    45.7%
  • Money in the Bank

    6.2%
  • Other (comments below)

    48.1%
  • Total votes: 2,667

     

    Perhaps it’s wishful thinking. But the way the entire situation has been handled by both parties screams either a reunion or a work. WWE has no issues still selling Punk’s merchandise and has made a point to not publicly insult him. Punk has remained quiet (but holy crap he favorited something on Twitter recently) and given no indication of future plans.

    Maybe it was all planned. Maybe he really is gone forever. Maybe he’s going to morph into the part-timers who get title shots he so vehemently despises.

    Who knows? But there’s something to be said for the current landscape of the WWE calendar and how it coincides comfortably with potential Punk angles.

    In an age where the WWE has to flaunt any and all returns months in advance to sell tickets and get pay-per-view buys, maybe WWE has one surprise left up its sleeve, considering those buys are now a thing of the past (Thanks, WWE Network). Perhaps they’ve been hinting at Punk’s return all along in a more subtle manner.

     

    WWE Rumors: Examining Latest Buzz Around Stephanie McMahon, Paige and More

    WWE Rumors: Examining Latest Buzz Around Stephanie McMahon, Paige and More

    WWE Rumors: Examining Latest Buzz Around Stephanie McMahon, Paige and More

    Credit: WWE.com

    Stephanie McMahon’s reported rage and how officials plan to build up Paige in the audience’s eyes headlines the latest WWE rumors.

    Backstage reports give insight into why McMahon was red-faced behind the scenes and how the current Divas champ is being booked. The plan for Paige is as unsurprising as McMahon’s reaction to inside information finding its way outside.

    Other buzz focuses on how Hugh Jackman interacted with Superstars backstage and why Bad News Barrett may be getting his latest push.

     

    Booking Barrett

    In a matter of weeks, Barrett has gone from only being active behind the podium to beating Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and Rob Van Dam to become the No. 1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship. What sparked the shift?

    It may have been his performance at the latest WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.

     

     

    According to F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, “Wade Barrett’s stock within WWE went up a lot with his promo at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. Vince McMahon has been high on Barrett for a while and is a fan of the Bad News Barrett gimmick.”

    McMahon’s reported high opinion of the Englishman is finally showing up in the form of opportunities. He’s had two lengthy, quality matches throughout the recent tournament, defeated a former world champ in Van Dam and now gets a shot against Big E at Extreme Rules.

     

    It would be strange for his Hall of Fame speech to be what got him these chances, as he’s been knocking out home runs for much of his time as the bearer of bad news.

     

    McMahon Reported Reaction to Leaked Script

    The strong, take-no-prisoners executive that fans see when McMahon appears onscreen may not completely go away when the cameras go off.

    Someone leaked a draft of the April 14 Raw script, and McMahon was reportedly incensed about it. The document detailed which Superstars are listed as injured and who is classified as a “miscellaneous” member of the roster, per ProWrestling.net.

     

     

    Wrestling news outlets caught hold of it, and as reported by F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, “Stephanie McMahon was reportedly very upset with the RAW script leaking last week, to the point that she was described as “mad enough that she could beat Ronda Rousey in a UFC fight.'”

    It’s certainly not a surprising reaction. Much of WWE‘s entertainment comes from the element of surprise.

    Even though this was an earlier draft of the script and several things changed once the show hit the airwaves, no WWE official want this kind of information out. It’s hard enough to keep a secret in this age of instant information.

     

    Word on Jackman‘s Appearance on Raw

    Jackman made his second-ever WWE appearance on the Extreme Rules go-home Raw. He continued his tradition of taking a shot at a heel Superstar, this time hip-tossing Damien Sandow to the mat.

     

    Word is that Jackman was a gracious guest backstage.

    Mike Johnson of PWInsider reports that “Jackman was said to have gone out of his way to speak to everyone he could at the taping. He grew up a huge fan of WWF when he was a kid and attended shows in his native Australia.”

    It’s always good to hear that someone being invited into WWE‘s world respects it. It appears that Jackman didn’t just feel obligated to promote his new movie. He appreciated the opportunity to be a part of WWE.

    That was evident in his enthusiasm throughout the Sandow and Ziggler segment. This wasn’t some silly gig to him it seemed, but yet another chance to entertain.

    Add him to the list of guests who are welcome back anytime.

     

    Booking Strategy for Paige

    Since defeating AJ Lee for the Divas Championship, WWE has been slowly been giving Paige more ring time and increasingly tough opponents. A recent reports gives some insight in what WWE‘s thinking is with this method.

    PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc, reports the following:

    WWE is booking Divas Champion Paige against a number of low-level heels because there’s a feeling that the WWE audience needs to get to know her, understand who she is and find a reason to get behind her.

    By her wrestling Divas like Aksana and Alicia Fox, officials feel that she will have a chance to develop in front of fans so she will then be ready for pay-per-view matches like the one with Tamina Snuka at Extreme Rules and bigger matches to come.

    This is sound strategy, as many fans aren’t familiar with her NXT work.

    She didn’t stick around fighting the low-level heels for long, though. Tamina is a huge step up from Aksana.

     

     

    She’ll likely deliver a match with Paige at Extreme Rules that will snag the Divas champ a number of new fans.

    Tamina just put on an excellent match against Natalya on Friday’s SmackDown. Paige had been regularly producing quality bouts for NXT. They just have to combine their powers.

    One has to assume that the “bigger matches to come” mentioned in the report have to include an eventual showdown with AJ. AJ’s time off is allowing Paige to develop her own fanbase before those two meet.

    Report: Bill Goldberg Interested in Doing a Match at WrestleMania 31

    Report: Bill Goldberg Interested in Doing a Match at WrestleMania 31

    Report: Bill Goldberg Interested in Doing a Match at WrestleMania 31

    Credit: WWE.com

    Could we see legendary WCW star Bill Goldberg at next year’s WrestleMania pay-per-view? Per a recent report, it is a very real possibility.

    In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required), Dave Meltzer writes that the star is open to doing a match. It just depends on whether or not WWE can make the now-retired wrestler the right financial offer.

    Bill Goldberg definitely has interest in doing WrestleMania 31 if the right deal can be made. That was also the deal last year and no deal was made, because he’s not coming cheap. He’s kept himself in shape, training almost daily at his Muay Thai gym, although he’ll be 48 by next year’s Mania.

    Goldberg, of course, had a rather mediocre run with WWE the early ’00s.

    Safe to say, Vince McMahon and his bookers didn’t truly grasp the nature and appeal of his super-tough and serious character.

    Credit: WWE.com

     

    Never was this better illustrated than the truly horrendous backstage segment in which Goldberg interacted with comedy act Goldust, culminating in the former WCW champion trying on one of his new friend’s wigs.

    Yes, you read that correctly. And there’s even footage, too!

    Rather than wisely scrubbing the clip from history and hiding its shame, WWE is actually so proud of the skit, it has put it on its official YouTube channel for the entire world to see.

     

    Honestly, it was a minor miracle the star didn’t quit the company on the spot and run all the way to the airport in a frenzied state after he saw that in the script. Who would have blamed him? Even now, I bet if you asked him about the clip, he’d claim it was CGI’d or filmed with a look-alike.

    Never mind the shark, the Goldberg character jumped Sea World there.

    Credit: WWE.com

     

    No wonder he’s eager to come back for one more match. He’s probably keen to obliterate the memories of that dreadfulness from the minds of the fans.

    Would you like to see Goldberg at WrestleMania 31?

    Yes, absolutely No Somewhat Submit Vote vote to see results

    Would you like to see Goldberg at WrestleMania 31?

  • Yes, absolutely

    76.8%
  • No

    9.9%
  • Somewhat

    13.3%
  • Total votes: 14,449

     

    Now here’s hoping WWE attempts to get the most out of the star’s return, assuming he does ink a deal for WrestleMania 31, and doesn’t do something stupid like, say, put him in a wig-on-a-pole match with Goldust.

    (Wait, I’ve just given Vince an idea, haven’t I?)

    Yankees Playing More Like Bronx Stealers

    Yankees Playing More Like Bronx Stealers

    Team Nearly on Pace to Have More Stolen Bases Than Home Runs for Full Season

    April 30, 2014 8:42 p.m. ET

    Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) has eight stolen bases this year. Associated Press

    The 2014 Yankees may not be the best version of the team to take the field in the past decade, but they are certainly the most balanced, at least in the early stages of the season.

    With 22 home runs and 21 stolen bases through April, the Yankees are nearly on pace to have more stolen bases than home runs for a full season, an offensive identity out of character for a team with a payroll hovering around $200 million.

    But it seems to be working. The 22 home runs are the fewest any Yankee team has hit in April since 2005, and the 21 steals are the most. The Yankees are sitting atop the AL East at 15-11, their third-best April record in that span, with middle-of-the-pack power (tied for 14th in MLB) and top-class speed (tied, fifth).

    (Luck has also played its part: The Yankees have been outscored 121-110.)

    With the off-season acquisition of Jacoby Ellsbury and the re-signing of Brett Gardner, the Yankees intended to be a faster team this year, and it has allowed them to be patient with the rusty power strokes of Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano.

    If they continue at this pace, the Yankees will fail to eclipse 200 home runs in a season for the second straight year, but will steal more than 160 bases for the first time since 2001. That may not sound like Yankee baseball, but in recent years the team’s prodigious power has repeatedly been subdued by playoff-caliber pitching. With their newfound skill on the basepaths, the Yankees should be in better position to avoid that fate should they qualify for the playoffs this year.

    —Ryan Wallerson

    Stolen Treasures

    Here’s a look at how many bases the Yankees stole and how many home runs they hit in the past 10 Aprils.

    April Steals Home runs runs April record Final REcord
    2005 13 26 123 10-14 95-67
    2006 18 34 144 13-10 97-65
    2007 17 30 131 9-14 94-68
    2008 10 29 125 14-15 89-73
    2009 17 33 128 12-10 103-59
    2010 20 27 118 15-7 95-67
    2011* 13 43 134 15-9 97-65
    2012 13 37 120 13-9 95-67
    2013 11 36 120 16-10 85-77
    2014 21 22 110 15-11 ?

    Source: Baseball-Reference

    *Opening game was in March

    Mike D’Antoni resigns as Lakers coach

    Mike D’Antoni resigns as Lakers coach

    Marc J. Spears

    Yahoo Sports
    Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni resigns

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    View photo

    SACRAMENTO, CA – APRIL 2: Mike D’Antoni of the Los Angeles Lakers coaches against the Sacramento …

    Mike D’Antoni resigned as Los Angeles Lakers coach Wednesday night.

    “We’ve hit an insurmountable impasse and Mike will no longer be the Lakers coach,” said Warren LeGarie, D’Antoni’s agent.

    D’Antoni wanted the contract option for the 2015-16 season exercised, but the Lakers wouldn’t budge in talks this week, leading to the resignation.

    “Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” Lakers general Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “We thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team ever day. We wish him the best of luck.”

    The Lakers will be looking for their third head coach since Phil Jackson retired from coaching after the 2010-11 season. D’Antoni was hired after the Lakers fired Mike Brown five games into the 2012-13 season.

    D’Antoni guided the Lakers to the playoffs last season, but they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs with Kobe Bryant sidelined with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Bryant played just six games this season as the Lakers’ roster was decimated by injuries. They finished 27-55 this season, their most losses since the franchise moved from Minneapolis.

    D’Antoni left the Lakers with a 67-87 record in his two seasons.

    D’Antoni had become a target for criticism by Lakers fans, including former Lakers Hall of Fame point guard Magic Johnson, who was glad to see the coach leave.

    Rangers top Flyers in Game 7, advance to face Pens

    Rangers top Flyers in Game 7, advance to face Pens

    Associated Press

    New York Rangers' Mats Zuccarello (36) and Derick Brassard (16) celebrate a goal by Benoit Pouliot during the second period in Game 7 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo)
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    NEW YORK (AP) — Daniel Carcillo and Benoit Pouliot scored second-period goals, and the New York Rangers advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 on Wednesday night.

    The Rangers shook off a 5-2 thrashing in Philadelphia on Tuesday and knocked out the Flyers about 24 hours later, improving to 6-0 in Game 7s at Madison Square Garden. New York will face another Metropolitan Division rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in the next round starting on Friday. Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves, allowing only a third-period goal to Jason Akeson 3:32 into the final frame. He protected the one-goal lead at 7:25 when he made an awkward save against Flyers captain Claude Giroux. The Rangers mobbed Lundqvist after the final buzzer, while the Flyers consoled their goalie Steve Mason. Mason, who didn’t start until Game 4 because of injury, was sharp in stopping 31 shots, but he couldn’t will his club to a complete comeback after the Flyers fell into a 3-2 series hole. The Flyers dropped to 9-7 in Game 7 after winning their previous three. No team won consecutive games in the series. The Rangers, who finished two points ahead of Philadelphia during the regular season, made the most of their home-ice advantage by taking three of the four games in the Garden.

    Carcillo, re-inserted into the Game 7 lineup, scored the all-important first goal 3:06 into the second off a picture-perfect pass from Mats Zuccarello. Zuccarello threaded the puck with a behind-the-back feed from near the right circle between the legs of Flyers defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Braydon Coburn to Carcillo for the redirection into the net. It was the second goal of the series for Carcillo, who played for just the third time in the series and the first at home. Carcillo had come out of the penalty box less than a minute earlier after serving a penalty for too many men on the ice. The Rangers nearly doubled the lead later in the frame when they mounted a flurry of pressure in the crease, only to be stymied by Mason and done in by errant whacks at the puck. But Philadelphia couldn’t capitalize on that mistake or on two power plays in the period in which the Flyers were outshot 18-5.

    New York did grab a 2-0 lead with 8:14 left in the second when Pouliot also turned a crisp pass into his second goal of the series. Derick Brassard sent the puck from the right-wing boards into the slot and appeared to be aiming for defenseman Marc Staal, but Pouliot streaked down the middle, snared the puck and steered it past Mason to send the once-nervous crowd into a towel-waving frenzy. The Flyers held an 11-10 shots advantage in the first scoreless opening period of the series. New York again failed to capitalize on the lone power play in the frame, stretching its streak of futility to 21 straight advantages. When the Rangers did put pressure on Philadelphia, Mason stood tall just as he did in winning Game 6 at home on Tuesday night.

    Rick Nash, still searching for his first goal of the series, nearly got it when after a Flyers turnover created a chance for him from the slot. But his drive was knocked away by Mason, who stretched out his gloved hand to deflect it.

    Nash also struck a goal post in the first minute of the game. Lundqvist matched Mason at the end as the Flyers had several stretches of puck possession within the Rangers zone. His best stop came when Matt Read let go a screened shot 4 minutes in.

    NOTES: Carcillo replaced J.T. Miller, who had played in the previous two games of the series. Carcillo is 3-0 in career Game 7s and has scored in two of them. Carcillo had four goals in the regular season in 57 total games with Los Angeles and the Rangers. … This was the only first-round series that didn’t require overtime in any game.

    Rangers vs. Flyers, Game 7 preview: New York, Philly battle for right to face Penguins

    Rangers vs. Flyers, Game 7 preview: New York, Philly battle for right to face Penguins

    <img src=”http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/32370415/487369565.0_standard_730.0.jpg” alt=””/>

    Bruce Bennett

    The Flyers and Rangers battle one final time in Game 7 on Wednesday night, with the winner moving on to face the Penguins in Round 2.

    Less than 24 hours after the end of Game 6 in Philadelphia, the Flyers and Rangers are 90 miles north on the New Jersey Turnpike at Madison Square Garden, where they’ll face off in a do-or-die Game 7. The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Second Round to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the loser will go home for the summer.

    The Flyers probably have the momentum entering the game, if you’re into that sort of thing, following a 5-2 victory in a must-win Game 6 on Tuesday night. Steve Mason was huge for the Flyers on Tuesday, especially in a first period where the Rangers came out flying and pressured the Flyers into submission. Mason’s excellent play helped the Flyers escape that first 20 minutes with a lead, however, and from there Philly took control of the game.

    For both the Rangers and Flyers, the key will be to put Game 6 behind them. Mason was phenomenal and the Flyers finally had an offensive attack that looked balanced for the first time in the series on Tuesday, but none of it matters heading into Game 7. The Rangers have been strong at Madison Square Garden in the series, especially at controlling play and dragging the Flyers out of position defensively, leading to prime scoring opportunities.

    The game and the series might come down to special teams. The Flyers have blanked New York on their last 20 power play attempts, while Philadelphia has been a team that’s ridden the roller coaster along with its power-play success. The Flyers won the special teams battle in each of their three wins in the series, while the Rangers blanked Philly’s power play notably in their Game 5 win.

    Simply put, both teams know they can beat the other, and it simply will come down to execution in a tightly-matched series and what should be a tightly-matched final game.

    Flyers lineup

    Michael Raffl – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
    Scott Hartnell – Brayden Schenn – Wayne Simmonds
    Matt Read – Sean Couturier – Jason Akeson
    Zac Rinaldo – Vincent Lecavalier – Adam Hall

    Kimmo Timonen – Braydon Coburn
    Andrew MacDonald – Mark Streit
    Erik Gustafsson – Luke Schenn

    Rangers lineup

    Rick Nash – Derek Stepan – Martin St. Louis
    Benoit Pouliot – Derick Brassard – Mats Zuccarello
    Carl Hagelin – Brad Richards – J.T. Miller
    Brian Boyle – Dominic Moore – Derek Dorsett

    Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
    Marc Staal – Anton Stralman
    John Moore – Kevin Klein

    ***

    Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers

    Game 7, Eastern Conference First Round | Series tied, 3-3
    7 p.m. ET | Madison Square Garden | Manhattan, N.Y.

    Bruce Springsteen Dusts Off ‘Linda Let Me Be the One’ for Stage Debut

    Bruce Springsteen Dusts Off ‘Linda Let Me Be the One’ for Stage Debut
    The song hadn’t been played live since it was written 40 years ago
    April 30, 2014 1:40 PM

    Bruce Springsteen‘s 2014 tour has been filled with rarities and left-field covers, and the rock legend didn’t disappoint Tuesday night in Sunrise, Florida, performing a 40-year-old track – Born to Run outtake “Linda Let Me Be the One” – for the first time on-stage.

    The E Street Band unveiled the tender sing-along several tracks into the setlist, though the performance wasn’t without its hiccups. After a mid-song miscue, Springsteen stops the band, playfully reminding the audience to give them a break. “We fucked the whole thing up right there!” the singer shouts. “I told you it was the first time!” After that humorous interruption, the band then finishes the simmering track (which features a chorus cadence not unlike “Hungry Heart”). The night’s setlist also included an opening cover of the Clash’s “Clampdown” and a version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.”

    Other rare tracks featured on the current tour include “Hearts of Stone” (performed for the third time ever) and “Iceman” (performed for the first time with the full band), not to mention the second-ever full band performance of 1973’s The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. Along the way, Springsteen has also played a handful of geographically themed cover songs, including Lorde’s “Royals” in New Zealand (which made the latter singer “teary” in appreciation) and an eclectic batch of tracks (AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive”) in Australia.

    Despite Courney Love expressing her distaste of the E Street Band’s musical style (claiming “saxophones don’t belong in rock & roll” in a recent Youtube video), it’s been a great month for the backing band, who joined their frontman in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    22 immediate reactions to the ‘Star Wars’ casting announcement

    An era ended on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 29. For eighteen beautiful months, the people of Earth were allowed to speculate wildly, recklessly, and ridiculously about the actors and actresses who would populate Star Wars: Episode VII, the much-anticipated reboot of our culture’s lost innocence the Star Wars movie franchise. Benedict Cumberbatch as Grand Admiral Thrawn! Jennifer Lawrence as a young Jedi Knight! Michael B. Jordan as Brando Calrissian, the bounty hunter son of Lando! But those days are over now. The cast has been finalized. They’re sitting together, wearing comfortable jeans on comfortable couches. What are we, the citizens of Star Wars nation, to make of these casting announcements? Forthwith, an attempt to corral all our feelings into twenty-two coherent thoughts:

    1. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are all in the movie. We all sort of knew it since October 2012, and now we know it for sure. And now we also know that Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will be in the film, reprising their immortal roles as Man In The Fur Suit, Man In The Tin Suit, and Man In The Lovable Moving Trashcan. Their presence is that Abrams and post-Disney Lucasfilm remain devoted to the original Star Wars — or anyhow, that they value appearing devoted to the original Star Wars.

    2. The decision to feature them so prominently in the casting announcement, sitting alongside their younger co-stars, could mean one of two things. First: That the producers want to use the nostalgia value of the original cast to help launch their new cast into the stratosphere, the Booster Rocket strategy which Abrams utilized in his Star Trek reboot (hello, Old Spock!) and which Fox is currently attempting with X-Men: Days of Future Past. If that’s the case, then Episode VII could be less a new beginning than a bridge film, rounding out the old Star Wars saga while introducing the new one.

    3. The other possibility is that Hamill, Ford, and Fisher have major roles in the movie — equal to or greater than the younger stars. That’s a prospect that would have been much more appealing when Harrison Ford was the star of only three Indiana Jones movies.

    4. But let’s get to the new cast announcements! The mixture of complete unknowns with attention-getting up-and-comers and old-pros is encouraging. It’s also very much in the spirit of the original Star Wars. Max Von Sydow = Obi-Wan Kenobi. Oscar Isaac kinda = Harrison Ford, who at the time was best known for small roles in big movies (American GraffitiThe Conversation.) Daisy Ridley = Mark Hamill, which means that if nothing else Daisy Ridley can look forward to an incredible career in animation voicework.

    5. Also, Andy Serkis is in this movie. Andy Serkis! Caesar! Gollum! King Kong! We might be done with casting-announcement rumors, but hopefully this marks the beginning of eighteen months of rumors about what kind of alien Andy Serkis is playing. Andy Serkis Theory #1: He’s playing a Hutt crime boss who’s been running illegal contraband for a group of anti-Republic rebels (led by Adam Driver, who may or may not be a clone of Emperor Palpatine.) Serkis will spend the next several months living in seclusion, studying the movements of various species of slugs.

    6. Lucasfilm has announced that the new movies won’t follow the Expanded Universe. So we definitely need to stop talking about the Expanded Universe. Right after this: Daisy Ridley is definitely playing Leia’s daughter and Natalie Portman’s granddaughter, right? They’re sitting next to each other in the picture! She has brown hair, just like Princess Leia and Han Solo!

    7. Yes, there are an awful lot of white dudes in that casting announcement. No, there are not a whole lot of women. Yes, both of Disney’s previously announced Star Wars spin-off films are dude-centric. Yes, it’s entirely possible that Daisy Ridley talking to Carrie Fisher in that photograph will be the only time this movie passes the Bechdel Test. No, none of this necessarily has anything to do with the movie itself. Yes, it is still sort of a bummer.

    8. Because we still don’t really know anything about the characters in this movie, speculation will immediately run straight to who is playing the “bad” guy and who is playing the “good” guy. The democratic nature of this casting announcement makes that kind of theorizing even more difficult. But John Boyega is listed first, and the list isn’t alphabetical. Boyega’s biggest role so far was in the culty British sci-fi film Attack the Block, although he was already posed for a breakout pre-Star Wars: A role in 24, a Jesse Owens biopic, a role in the Sean Bean Julius Caesar movie that we all just learned about from checking John Boyega’s IMDB page. Does Boyega’s place at the top of the casting order mean anything?

    9. Max von Sydow is clearly playing some kind of bad guy wearing some kind of robe, right? Why else do you cast Max von Sydow in a Star Wars movie?

    10. An important factor to consider, given that this is a Star Wars movie: At least a few of these people were hired at least partially because they give good Cockpit Face. You know what I’m talking about: The camera angle that stares up from the controls of an X-Wing/Y-Wing/YT-1300 Light Freighter, their eyes staring offscreen excitedly at some kind of attacking horde of TIE Fighters/Star Destroyers/Death Star/Unfinished Death Stars. Apropos of nothing, Oscar Isaac’s angry-soulful homicidal-doe eyes seem uniquely well-suited for an X-Wing cockpit.

    11. Speaking of YT-1300 Light Freighters: Because J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy and all of Lucasfilm are so devoted to featuring old-school Star Wars personalities in the new-school Star Wars, it seems very likely that they will also strive to feature familiar bits of Star Wars iconography. Which means that Han Solo will probably get to fly the Millennium Falcon one more time.

    12. Or will it be just one more time? Harrison Ford thought Han Solo should’ve died in Return of the Jedi. Chewbacca actually did die, in the Expanded Universe mythology that is now even less real than most mythologies. J.J. Abrams rose to prominence presiding over TV shows that made bold moves and frequently killed off key characters. With the Star Trek duology, he was more careful. (Spock’s mom and Captain Pike, sure, but Kirk couldn’t even wait until the threequel to get resurrected.) Will Star Wars: Episode VII turn the page on the old Star Wars? Or will it attempt to recreate it, in bizarre waxwork form?

    13. Andy Serkis Theory #2: He’s playing Figrin D’an and he’s playing the Modal Nodes. All seven of them. Serkis will spend the next several months actually inventing the Kloo Horn, the Bandfill, the Fanfar, the Doremian Beshniquel, and the Ommni Box. He will release a tie-in concept album, Modal Nodes Unplugged. Featuring the Roots.

    14. Actually, let’s just get all the good-guy/bad-guy theorizing out of the way right now, on the principle that we’ll probably be at least a quarter right. Adam Driver is playing a bad guy. John Boyega is playing a good guy. Daisy Ridley is a good guy. Domhnall Gleeson is playing a good guy who becomes a bad guy. Oscar Isaac is playing a wild-card who spends most of the movie seeming like a bad guy before becoming a good guy.

    15. Let’s also get the more out-there theorizing out of the way right now. One member of the original cast is definitely going to die. They won’t kill Leia, because Carrie Fisher is a national treasure. They might kill Han Solo, but only if Harrison Ford still really wants Han to die, and you get the vibe that Ford has made peace with the whole Star Wars thing/will always be happy with more money. That leaves Luke Skywalker, whose death would resonate backwards to Obi-Wan Kenobi (who died in the first movie of the original trilogy) and Qui-Gon Jinn, who died in the first prequel.

    16. Ugh, Qui-Gon Jinn. Suddenly I’m feeling incredibly optimistic about this new Star Wars movie.

    17. Someone needs to make a movie about Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels, two by-all-accounts-lovely gentlemen who have found themselves at the center of the biggest movies of five different decades. Notable: Kenny Baker is not in the photo. Probably because he doesn’t have any lines?

    18. UNLESS HOLY CRAP GUYS: Let’s say you’re J.J. Abrams. You want to officially announce that your Star Wars movie will begin a whole new era of Star Wars. You want to turn the page. You want to kill off a beloved Star Wars character. But you also don’t necessarily want to lose a character who could serve you well down the line, either as an aged mentor (Luke Skywalker) or chatty comic relief (C-3PO.) Suddenly, you find yourself staring at R2-D2, the astromech droid who is one of the most famous characters in movie history, but who really doesn’t do much more in movies than provide some sassy beep-boop (and occasionally deus ex machina-ing the gang out of a tight spot.) And maybe you start thinking: “Hmmmm.”

    19. Andy Serkis Theory #3: He’s playing IG-88, robot bounty hunter and Level Boss of the most difficult level in Shadows of the Empire. Andy Serkis Theory #4: He’s playing all the Bounty Hunters. Andy Serkis Theory #5: He’s playing all the little monsters in the Falcon‘s holo-chess set.

    20. On one hand, I believe strongly that the new Star Wars films should strike out on their own. Frankly, I would’ve been happy if none of the original cast came back. And yet, I have to admit: I am mildly disappointed that Warwick Davis is not in that photograph.

    21. Which is part of the central fascination around this new Star Wars movie. When you are restarting a movie franchise, you can opt for a clean break (see: Batman Begins), but doing so risks alienating the franchise’s fanbase (see: Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes.) On the other hand, you can strive to satisfy the highly specific requirements of a farflung fanbase (see: Abrams’ Star Trek, which architected a whole elaborate time travel plot to justify the “realness” of all possible Star Trek stories). But there’s a thing thin line between fan service and slavish devotion, and overdosing on the old can make your movie seem painfully out of date (Superman Returns, the Richard Donner homage only Richard Donner really wanted) or just painful (Terminator: Salvation.) So Lucasfilm is very carefully positioning Episode VII as a little bit of both. Look, there’s J.J. Abrams sitting next to Lawrence Kasdan! And look, Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels are hanging out right next to Andy Serkis! And look, the only two actresses in the movie are talking to each other! New and Old are playing together! All demographics will be serviced! All of time will be unified! You’ll love them in the movie; you’ll love them even more when you buy them as action figures!

    22. But so like, Scarlett Johansson is definitely playing Mara Jade in Episode VIII, right?

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    Image Credit: Johansson: Francois Duhamel; Star Wars: Lucasfilm. Designed by Jef Castro