It conceivable that he might draw one pitching assignment with a matchup unfavorable enough — think Week 6 with the two games at Coors Field, or Week 8 with three apiece at Toronto’s Rogers Centre and New York’s Yankee Stadium — that he’d be more useful as a hitter, but it’s still highly unlikely that it’d be so much so to tilt the balance (a pitching assignment at Coors where he’d be slotted at hitter, then perhaps draw 2-3 games against Minnesota Twins right-handed starters during the subsequent weekend series being a possible exception).

With the Alliance of American Football planning to start a year earlier than the XFL — and already dropping teams in non-NFL cities like Orlando — the XFL will need to factor the AAF’s apparent goals and objectives into the crafting of the new XFL game. Will the XFL put teams in the same cities where the AAF will be playing? If the AAF picks non-NFL cities, will the XFL decide to put football teams in towns that already are served by the NFL?

The biggest philosophical question relates to the style of play. The XFL, according to Vince McMahon, will attempt to be at the forefront of player safety. With the NFL taking safety to the extreme via the new helmet rule, the looming elimination of the kickoff, and the eventual (possibly) removal of the three-point stance, maybe the XFL’s vow to “reimagine” football should include turning back the clock.

With tailbacks Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara still on hand, Line’s return means the Saints have all the key pieces from their backfield back for another year.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys and some big names missing. It could have been easy yesterday or today to come up with a poor effort or a lack of commitment,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said. “We were making some mental mistakes and stuff but I think the effort was there from the beginning until the end.”

After falling behind 1-0 on Dzingel’s goal 12:31 into the game, Boston tied it on Pastrnak’s power-play goal 8:08 into the second period. The tie lasted less than a minute before Wingels fired a wrist shot that Taylor got his glove on but couldn’t hold and the puck bounced over the goal line at 8:59 of the second.

Heinen made a steal at the Boston blue line and took it the other way, beating Taylor on a wrist shot with 2:59 left in the second.

Dzingel pulled Ottawa to 3-2 at 7:07 of the third with his second goal of the game, but Acciari added an insurance goal for Boston with 1:51 left and David Backes scored on an empty net with 43 seconds left to play.texans_007