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MacLeod: Roy beats Tortorella to the punch

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy

JACK DEMPSEY/The Associated Press

The National Hockey League has been on high alert waiting for the first eruption from John Tortorella, the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.

Patrick Roy of the Colorado Rockies has beaten him to the punch and has been fined $10,000 by the league as a result.

Making his debut as coach in a home game on Wednesday against Anaheim, Roy went ballistic toward the end of the game, pounding on a glass partition that separated the two benches.

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The NHL deemed Roy's actions "irresponsible" on Thursday and decreed that he cut the league a cheque.

Tortorella kept his cool in his Canucks debut in San Jose where the Sharks inflicted a 4-1 decision over Vancouver.

In this game, writes Ben Kuzma in The Province, Vancouver goaltender Robert Luongo wasn't the problem behind the Canucks setback.

In Pittsburgh, where the Penguins began the regular season with a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils, Sidney Crosby scored a goal and Marc-Andre Fleury earned the shutout.

Shelly Anderson writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that at this juncture of his career Fleury needed a quality performance.

Puig the spark that ignites L.A.

Clayton Kershaw was the man of the moment for Los Angeles, striking out 12 batters to set the tone for a 6-1 Dodgers victory over the Atlanta Braves in the first game of the National League division series.

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While Kershaw was undoubtedly dominant it was L.A.'s spirited rookie, Yasil Puig, who set the tone writes Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times

Although it is a best-of-five series, it looked like another "October migrane" for the Braves, writes Jeff Schultz in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The competition was not any closer in the other N.L. divisional series played out earlier in the day as the St. Louis Cardinals crushed the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1.

After the game, Cardinals first baseman David Freese had trouble producing for baseball's drug testers, writes Derrick Gold in the St. Louis Post-Disptatch. That certainly wasn't the case in the game as the 2011 World Series MVP had two hits and two RBIs in the Cardinals victory.

The month of October always seems to be a time for the Cardinals to shine and, as Jayson Stark writes on ESPN.com the Cardinals are at it again. Carlos Beltran belted his 15th post-season home run of his career to put himself in some pretty good company, his rate of one dinger for every 8.6 at-bats tying him with Babe Ruth.

"That guy knows how to play in October," marveled Freese.

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Stricter security for New York marathon

Increased security measures became a way of life for the airline industry following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.

Now it is coming to the world of marathon racing.

Mary Pilon writes in the New York Times that next month's New York marathon will feature tighter security, including having family members of the runners go through a screening process before heading to the finish line.

"I think we've found a new normal coming after Boston," said Mary Wittenberg, the chief executive of New York Road Runners.

Wittenburg was referring to the last year's dreadful incident at the finish line of the Boston Marathon where bombs were set off, killing three and injuring more than 200 more.

Tiger meets squirrel

The U.S. had a good opening day at the Presidents Cup in Muirfield Village, Ohio, securing a 3 1/2 - 2 1/2 lead over the Internationals.

Tiger Woods paired with Matt Kuchar for a convincing win over Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman.

Afterward, Lindsay Vonn, Wood's girlfriend, helped relieve some of the tension by putting a live baby squirrel on her beau's shoulder.

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

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