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MacLeod: Crosby-MacKinnon face off fails to produce fireworks

Colorado Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere makes a glove save

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

It is still very early in the National Hockey League season, a time when any sort of angle or new twist is seized upon in order to drum up a smidgen of interest.

And so it was when Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon, two hockey playing phenoms, former No. 1 draft picks, who just happen to both hail from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, went head to head or the first time.

The two lads were facing off for the first time as professionals but, as it turned out, it was another former resident of Cole Harbour who wound up stealing the show in Pittsburgh.

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Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who spent three seasons with the Halifax Moosehead and lived with a family just outside of town, was the story, getting the shutout to help the Avalanche improve to 8-1 on the season with a 1-0 win over the Penguins.

The Avs pulled a Maple Leafs, winning despite getting outshot by a wide margin – 34-14.

In Halifax, the game pitting Crosby and MacKinnon was big news amongst the locals writes Laura Fraser of the Herald News, some of whom got together at a local sports bar to watch the game.

The gathering included Paul Mason and Jon Greenwood, who coached Crosby and MacKinnon in youth hockey as they were growing up in Halifax writes Corey Masisak on

Kathy MacKinnon, Nathan's mother, chose to watch the game solo in her living room while her husband, Graham, flew to Pittsburgh to watch the game live.

The first meeting between Crosby and MacKinnon did not exactly set off fireworks as the pair had little interaction as the Penguins carried the play for the most part to the Avalanche.

Crosby, the NHL's leading goal scorer, pumped a season-high seven shots at Giguere while logging just over 26 minutes of playing time.

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MacKinnon got off just two shots in about 11 minutes of ice time.

Crosby showed MacKinnon just why he is the NHL's elite player, giving the rookie a little sleight of skate that caused the pursuing MacKinnon to lose his balance and led to a good scoring chance for Pittsburgh in the second period.

The Avalanche played without forward Cody McLeod who earlier in the day was suspended for five games by the league for hitting Detroit's Niklas Kronwall from behind during a game last week.

The punishment will mean that McLeod will forfeit close to $30,000 in salary.

Ever wonder what David Beckham likes to do after retiring from the game of soccer, reputedly the most popular game in the world?

Beckham apparently likes attending hockey games as he was front and centre with his family in Los Angeles where the Calgary Flames skated off with a 3-2 win over the Kings.

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Farrell agrees move to Boston has paid off

The World Series gets underway Wednesday night at Fenway Park featuring the two best teams over the course of the regular season in the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.

The contest has more than a passing interest to Canadian sports fans as the Red Sox are managed by John Farrell, who bolted from the Toronto Blue Jays to accept his "dream job" in Boston before the season started.

Tim Brown writes in that Farrell agrees the move has gone OK.

Paul White and Bob Nightengale write in USA Today that the Red Sox will win the series because of their superior bullpen, the home field advantage and their ability to hit the fastball.

White and Nightengal write that the Cardinals will win because they hold an advantage at DH, they are October regulars, and they have been practically invincible of late playing at home.

Ticket prices to attend World Series games have been known to be outrageous but, as reported on, one lucky baseball fan managed to secure a seat for $6.

Jim Leyland, one of the game's more interesting managers, announced on Monday that he is retiring from the game after a managing career that spanned 22 years.

Joanne C. Gerstner writes in the New York Times that Leyland informed Tigers' president Dave Dombrowski of his decision in early September over coffee in Kansas City.

The Globe's Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings

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