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  1. which ranks him second in the league in wins. Holtby has a 2.68 goals-against average,Authentic Kris Letang jersey, a .917 save percentage,Holtby is 24-8-0 in 32 games for the Capitals this season, and became the second-fastest player to 200 career victories earlier this season. This is Holtby’s third straight All-Star selection, a franchise record among goaltenders. Holtby joins fellow Capitals Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz on the Metropolitan Division squad. Ovechkin set a franchise record with this ninth All-Star selection and Trotz is coaching the game for the second time in three years. Jay Beagle scored with 1.3 seconds remaining and the Washington Capitals rallied to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Friday night. Brett Connolly notched the tying goal with 3:08 left,Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey, and Alex Ovechkin added his NHL-leading 28th goal and two assists for first-place Washington. Blue Jackets 2: Sven Baertschi sparked a four-goal second period for Vancouver,Canucks 5, Jacob Markstrom had 27 saves and the Canucks beat Columbus. Panthers 2: Mikael Backlund had an empty-net goal and a pair of assists,Authentic Matt Murray jersey,Flames 4, helping lift Calgary to its sixth straight victory. Jets 1: Rookie center David Kampf scored his first NHL goal and added an assist on his birthday,Blackhawks 2, and Jeff Glass blocked 31 shots. Saskatchewan. Two doors down lived a young Chandler Stephenson,Authentic Joe Pavelski jersey,Lane Lambert was still playing overseas when he returned home and bought a house in a new neighborhood in Saskatoon, constantly riding around in his electric toy truck. so he was always driving around with his rubber boots on,“We lived in a cul-de-sac,” Lambert said. “I think he was probably 3 or 4 years old. It was pretty funny.” Before Lambert was a Washington Capitals assistant coach and Stephenson was one of his players,adidas Patrick Marleau jersey, an example of just how small a world professional hockey can be. Lambert has monitored Stephenson’s career from the very beginning, when he was the kid no other player could seem to stop. Then Stephenson was the prospect who got beaten out for a roster spot with Washington. Now Stephenson is a reliable NHL regular, the two were neighbors, and Lambert is a proud coach. Still a rookie getting comfortable, Stephenson has a little reminder of home with Lambert around. for sure,“The relationship is there, just him kind of knowing me as a little kid and knowing kind of what I’m like. That helps a lot,” Stephenson said. “Knowing him and sharing that connection helps, having that close bond.” their families were friends. Washington drafted Stephenson in the third round of the 2012 draft, and when Lambert joined Coach Barry Trotz’s staff in 2014,Even before Lambert and Stephenson were neighbors, Stephenson’s parents phoned to remind him of the connection. It would have been hard for Lambert to forget Stephenson. The memory that has always stayed with him was when he saw a 9-year-old Stephenson play at a tournament in Moose Jaw. ” Lambert said. “It was clear that something was going to happen with him. It wasn’t even close, actually,“He was by far and away the best player in the tournament, how good he was then. He could have went through the whole team every time he got the puck.” Stephenson’s 2.24 even-strength shots per 60 minutes trail only defenseman Brooks Orpik for fewest on the team,Stephenson was so good and scoring so much that his parents started encouraging him to pass more. Perhaps it taught Stephenson about sportsmanship and being a good teammate while also developing his playmaking, that he has a tendency to occasionally pass too much. On the Capitals’ roster, but it also fostered a bad habit, according to Natural Stat Trick. but they all passed as he was sent down to the American Hockey League for a fourth straight season. That might have been the wake-up call Stephenson needed because when injuries cleared the way for a late October recall,The Capitals had penciled in Stephenson to make the team out of training camp, he was beaten out by other forwards. Washington waived him and risked one of the other 30 teams swiping him, but in a competitive preseason, he played his way into a permanent role and was told to get an apartment in Washington. Trotz has called him a “Swiss Army knife,” versatile because he can play at center or at left wing, in the top-six forward corps or in the bottom six, on the penalty kill and on the power play. Through 32 games he has two goals and eight assists, and his speedy skating is an asset deep in the Capitals’ lineup. I said,“Our conversation when he left here before he went on waivers and was told he was going on waivers, ‘If you get a chance to come back,’” Trotz said. “That’s really on him. I think the message was heard and he took it to heart, and he’s come back and he’s played very well. … And when he plays to his ability, make sure you never go back, Chandler is a really good hockey player. He’s just starting to scratch the surface at this level, and it’s nice to see.” Lambert saw it long ago, Lambert was around,adidas Kris Letang jersey, and as Stephenson had his bumps getting here, his coach and also a familiar face from home he could trust. but also at the same time,“I talk to him a lot and just try to help him a little bit with direction,adidas Jake Guentzel jersey, it’s about him finding his own way,” Lambert said. “I think that’s really important for a young player to understand that — learn and kind of find his way with the guidance. So, I’m not overbearing whatsoever, too,adidas Matt Murray jersey, just there to help him get his game to the level it needs to be to be an everyday player here and to be a strong contributor here. Because I think there’s no question about it with the talent he has, Authentic Patrick Marleau jersey,that’s what in the future for him as long as he finds it within himself.” Jay Beagle’s job simply was to win the defensive-zone faceoff. But as Alex Ovechkin carried the puck up the ice, he swatted at it. When it crossed the goal line,adidas Joe Pavelski jersey,adidas Joe Thornton jersey, Beagle drove to the net. When Nicklas Backstrom’s pass landed on his stick, Beagle skated back into the glass and allowed his teammates to swarm him. The goal beat the horn signaling the end of regulation by 1.3 seconds. “I’m just crashing the net eyes closed, so there you go, and it hits my stick,Authentic Joe Thornton jersey,” Beagle said. As Beagle spoke to reporters in the PNC Arena visiting locker room after the Capitals’ 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, Alex Ovechkin stood off to the side and chirped. “That’s a legend,” the captain said of Beagle. Washington’s best center in the faceoff circle, Coach Barry Trotz told Beagle to stay on for the full shift, Beagle typically takes draws in the defensive zone with other lines before skating to the bench and changing for the winger who usually skates on that forward trio. But with 17 seconds left in regulation, especially if Washington won the draw and got a clean zone exit. “Twenty seconds left,” Beagle said. “That’s what I’ve always like to take, I live for those draws, when there’s those pressure situations on those draws in our zone.” The 1.3 seconds that kept the game from overtime meant Carolina didn’t even get a standings point out of the closely contested contest, that one point could make a difference at the end of the season. As Washington enters its five-day bye week, and in the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division, the team is in first place with a cushy six-point lead. “It keeps some good distance, and it’ll make the break a lot more pleasurable,” Trotz said. “We’ve got a few days off here, that’s for sure.” Goaltender Philipp Grubauer had stopped 86 straight even-strength shots over his previous eight-plus periods before Jeff Skinner split Washington’s John Carlson and Brooks Orpik and then seemed to catch Grubauer off guard with a perfectly placed shot. That gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead less than two minutes into the third period. Grubauer would finish with 36 saves. Washington then got a power-play opportunity 4:03 into the period when Noah Hanifin was called for hooking Tom Wilson, negating a man-advantage that seemed to be the Capitals’ best opportunity to tie the game. Players looked frustrated — Oshie smacked his stick against the ice, but Backstrom was called for tripping 1:07 later, and Ovechkin appeared to shout at an official. But Washington’s bench found its signature poise, and with 3:08 left in regulation, an errant pass in front of Carolina’s net. Brett Connolly got to the puck and wasted no time swatting it through goaltender Cam Ward’s pads to tie the game at three. Connolly has three goals in the past seven games, Oshie’s forecheck pressure forced Hanifin into an egregious turnover, and since Trotz moved Oshie to the third line with center Lars Eller, the line arguably has been the team’s best. “That’s the thing with Osh,” Connolly said. “He gives you 110 percent of his effort every single game.” Grubauer entered Friday’s game 3-0-2 over his past six appearances with a 1.04 goals against average and a .965 save percentage, allowing just two even-strength goals in that span. He has been virtually unbeatable at even strength — he entered the game having stopped 110 of the past 111 even-strength shots he had faced — but the Hurricanes were able to do damage with the power play from the start. Connolly was called for interference 3:10 into the game, and just 10 seconds later, a pretty Carolina passing sequence was capped off with Justin Williams setting up a Jordan Staal wrister from the slot. Washington’s power play got a chance roughly two minutes later, and just seconds before the man-advantage expired, a mad scramble broke out in front of the net. Ward was on all fours trying to cover the puck as it pin-balled between seven bodies around the crease. The puck eventually got loose, and Ovechkin swiped it with his stick and passed it to Jakub Vrana. Vrana’s shot caromed off the post, then off Eller’s foot and then into the net for one of the season’s oddest goal sequences.
  2. So when Williams departed for the Carolina Hurricanes last summer, he left a couple of holes: his steady,Authentic Mario Lemieux jersey, positive influence in the locker room and his dependable production on the ice. Williams, the Capitals also lost Marcus Johansson, who returns to Capital One Arena for the first time during the regular season Thursday,adidas Evgeni Malkin jersey, scored 24 goals for the Capitals last season, tied for third-most on the team. Coincidentally, who was traded to New Jersey in July after also finishing the season with 24 goals. Through 43 games last season, Williams accounted for 10.7 percent of Washington’s 130 goals with 14. Johansson had the same number of goals through 43 games as Williams (and T.J. Oshie.) By the end of the season,Authentic Sidney Crosby jersey, Williams and Johansson each accounted for 9.2 percent of the Capitals‘ 248 goals. For the 2017-18 season, the Capitals have scored two more goals through 43 games despite ranking dead-last in shots on goal per game. The Capitals finished 15th in the same category last year. Where is the production coming from without Williams and Johansson? For starters, Alex Ovechkin has six more goals than he did at this point in 2017. Ovechkin has scored 20.5 percent of the Capitals‘ total goals — compared just 12.6 percent in 2016-17. Ovechkin is on pace for his eighth 50-goal campaign. Evgeny Kuznetsov is also rising to the occasion after signing an eight-year,adidas Sidney Crosby jersey, $62.4 million contract in the summer. The deal forced the Capitals to shed Johansson’s contract in order to resign Kuznetsov, and Washington general manager Brian McCallen made it clear he expected more from Kuznetsov because of it. Devante Smith-Pelly and Alex Chiasson — both of whom who were signed to the league minimum — have six and seven goals for the Capitals, respectively. Chiasson earned a roster spot on a tryout, while Smith-Pelly was initially seen as a project. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said expectations didn’t change because of new faces on the roster. “The one thing I think we’ve developed in the last few years is a good culture,” Trotz said. “And that culture will allow you to battle through [problems] and find a way, if you will.” Bringing back Williams wasn’t an option for the cash-strapped Capitals, $9 million deal with the Carolina Hurricanes, who have just $799,054 of salary cap space. Instead, Williams opted for a two-year, where he spent five years in the mid-2000s — a stint which included winning the Stanley Cup in 2006. The 36-year-old joined a Hurricanes team full of young talent, Carolina has failed to keep pace with the ultra competitive Metropolitan Division, looking to take the next step. Lately, having lost four of their last five games. But Williams has had a solid season with seven goals and 19 assists. In a conference call in July, Williams said he didn’t hear much from the Capitals in free agency, adding he didn’t take offense. “We had a couple great years, but weren’t as successful as what we wanted as a team,” Williams said. The Capitals were forced to regroup. But the changes, so far, have brought the Capitals back to first place in the Metro. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer might have one regret about Tuesday’s game against Vancouver: When he had a chance to shoot on an open Canucks net, he didn’t take it. With the way things have been going for the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena lately, perhaps he could have tallied the first goal of his career. “I’m not looking to score a goal, but I had so much time and I should have shot it,” Grubauer said with a chuckle. “I always love when goalie try to score,” center Evgeny Kuznetsov said wistfully. Washington’s 3-1 victory over Vancouver on Tuesday night gives the Capitals 10 straight wins at home — the longest home win streak in the NHL this season — and they are the only team in the league without a home loss since the beginning of December. Washington’s win, which wasn’t as close as the score indicated, keeps the team in sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division. The only thing missing was the goaltender scoring. and like many other teams I think we get energy from our home building and our fans. So if you can perform well in front of your fans,“It’s important for the team, but it’s also important for the fans,” Coach Barry Trotz said of the home win streak. “You want them to have something to come back and see again. We’re in the entertainment business. We want to win. We want to entertain. We want to send you home happy. And I think teams get energy from their building, they’re going to give you good energy. And you should play well if you’re a good hockey team.” and just as he tried to swat it in with his stick,adidas Jakub Voracek jersey,The Capitals certainly looked like a good hockey team Tuesday. In the second period, Kuznetsov shot at Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom, and the puck bounced off Markstrom’s chest. Kuznetsov stayed with the rebound,Authentic Evgeni Malkin jersey, Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson tried to bat the puck down with his glove. It fluttered off Markstrom’s shoulder and into the net to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead 4:57 into the period. Kuznetsov’s goal was the only one Washington got in a dominating middle frame, when the Capitals outshot the Canucks 18-4 and seemed to be toying with Vancouver. Washington had several odd-man rushes but over-passed at times and ran into a determined goaltender on other opportunities. By the end of the period, the Capitals had a whopping 29 shots through 40 minutes. “I think we controlled the game pretty much,” Kuznetsov said. “Sometimes you have lots of chances,adidas Joe Pavelski jersey, you don’t score. Sometimes you have a few chances and you score. It happens sometimes.” when these two teams played in late October. Washington has found its game since those early-season struggles,The Canucks have the second-fewest standings points in the Western Conference, but they also routed the Capitals, 6-2,Authentic Sidney Crosby jersey, ascending to the top of its division with a 15-3-2 record in the 20 games entering Tuesday’s tilt. But after Devante Smith-Pelly was called for hooking and then the Capitals were assessed a bench minor for too many men on the ice, the Canucks took advantage in their 1:08 of five-on-three play. Defenseman Alexander Edler’s point shot was tipped by Daniel Sedin, skipping over Grubauer and into the net 8:23 into the game. “We’ve had a bit of a bad habit of not playing very good when we play against teams that are low in the standings,” center Lars Eller said. “We were able to play well enough to come out with two points, so we talked about that before, so that was satisfying.” This is the last week before the Capitals’ five-day bye week, so Trotz wanted to get Grubauer some action to avoid too long a layoff between starts. Grubauer is also expected to be in net in one of Washington’s two games against the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and Friday. Grubauer entered Tuesday with a .962 save percentage and a 1.00 goals against average in his previous five appearances. He finished with 37 saves. After Vancouver’s early tally, Washington’s John Carlson shot Backstrom’s cross-ice pass past Markstrom. There were several video reviews of the goal, the Capitals provided Grubauer some support late in the first period. In a strange play, Nicklas Backstrom knocked Vancouver’s Nic Dowd into the back of the Canucks’ cage, causing it to tip forward onto Markstrom. Vancouver defenseman Michael Del Zotto then held onto the crossbar, and just as Del Zotto let go of the crossbar to allow the net to fall back in place, inadvertently trapping Markstrom inside. The net never came off its moorings, and it ultimately counted. toe-dragged around one Vancouver defenseman and then beat Markstrom,Less than three minutes after Carlson’s tying goal, Eller carried the puck up the ice, recording his 200th career point on the go-ahead goal. He now has seven goals this season,adidas Mario Lemieux jersey, a contract year for the 28-year-old. “Eye of the Tiger” was blasted in Capital One Arena,Shortly after Eller took a seat on the bench, one of the comforts of being at home. The Capitals extended their overall win streak to five games., an ode to Eller’s “Tiger” nickname given to him by his teammates. Some members of Washington’s bench noticed the song choice Lars Eller and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored as the Washington Capitals beat the Vancouver Canucks,John Carlson, on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory and NHL-best 10th in a row at home.,Authentic Phil Kessel jersey, 3-1 Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 37 of 38 shots to pick up his third win of the season. The Capitals haven’t lost at home since Nov. 30 and are 18-2-0 in their past 20 games in Washington. who’s sixth among defensemen with 30 points, could join Ovechkin as an All-Star when the league announces rosters today.,Authentic Jakub Voracek jersey,Alex Ovechkin assisted on Carlson’s goal to get him to four away from 500 for his career. Carlson who have lost five in a row. Vancouver has gone 2-11-2 in its past 15 games to go from third in the Pacific Division to 14th in the 15-team Western Conference.,Daniel Sedin scored the only goal and Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves for the Canucks Patrik Laine and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Jets in the opener of a three-game road trip. Joel Armia added an empty-netter. Blake Wheeler had two assists to extend his point-streak to seven games. The Central Division-leading Jets are 6-0-1 during that stretch. Tenn. — Viktor Arvidsson had a goal and an assist, helping Nashville top Edmonton.,adidas Sidney Crosby jersey,Nashville Craig Smith also scored and Pekka Rinne made 25 saves in Nashville’s 11th consecutive win against Edmonton. and Cam Talbot had 22 stops.,The free-falling Oilers have lost seven of eight. Connor McDavid scored
  3. After the final week of the regular season, Arizona Cardinals, the Colts, were all in the market for a new head coach., Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions, along with the Bears, New York Giants The Raiders and Bears are the only two teams from that pool to have already found their new head coach. such as New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.,There are some of the same names vying for the vacant spots across the NFL The Colts have already interviewed three of their now five candidates, Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard and Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel., including McDaniels Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub is expected to have interest from the Colts given his history with general manager Chris Ballard but it has been quiet on his front as of late. Many of the hires could be announced this week for the teams with vacant teams. Those truly vying for McDaniels may have to wait until the end of the month but the Colts’ announcement could come as soon as this week. It was an amazing season for the Los Angeles Rams, two accomplishments the team had not achieved since “The Greatest Show on Turf” era of the early 2000s., even though it ended short with a first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Saturday. The Rams won the NFC West Division and finished with a winning record the Rams organization shed a dozen seasons’ worth of futility and set itself up nicely for the immediate future in a division that is currently in flux. Expectations will be high for Los Angeles in 2018: a Super Bowl appearance is within the team’s reach.,With first-year head coach Sean McVay at the helm Under the previous coach Jeff Fisher, while the team reversed its course in many different ways, the Rams often featured very good defenses. Even in 2016, finishing 19th in yards allowed., the defense took too many steps backward, when Fisher was fired, the L.A. defense finished ninth in the NFL in yards allowed. This season the defense ended up being a weak spot for the squad in 2017. In over half of the regular season games,The Rams did force 28 turnovers on the way to finishing 10th in the NFL with a plus-seven turnover margin, Los Angeles gave up at least 366 yards of offense to its opponents. The Rams defense will have to be better next season if the team wants to take the next step.,Womens Delanie Walker Jersey, but overall improving his QB rating from 63.6 in his rookie year to 100.4 this season. That was an amazing improvement,McVay invigorated a talented offensive roster that had constantly underachieved under Fisher, as Goff was winless in seven starts prior to this year., and the Rams finished the 2017 season as the top-scoring team in the NFL. Second-year quarterback Jared Goff played like the No. 1 overall pick he was in 2016 093 yards from scrimmage and scoring 19 touchdowns. Gurley himself was the tenth overall pick in the 2015 draft,Womens DeMarco Murray Jersey,Additionally, and the young duo truly responded to McVay’s coaching and game planning., third-year running back Todd Gurley recovered from a terrible second season to garner league MVP consideration by gaining 2 Gurley’s campaign was good enough to get attention from the league as its MVP, and led the NFL in the latter category. His ability to catch the ball, so he gets the nod over Goff for the Rams’ offensive MVP. At age 23,Womens Corey Davis Jersey, he set career highs in rushing yards (1, really helped the offense—and Goff—develop nicely in 2017. After catching 64 passes in his first two seasons combined, Gurley notched another 64 receptions this year alone.,305) and TDs (13), too Defensive tackle Aaron Donald earned defensive MVP honors. The 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft,Womens Taywan Taylor Jersey, and the forced fumbles more than doubled his career total prior to this season. The numbers alone don’t tell the whole story here, Donald registered 11 sacks in 14 games this year, enabling them to make more plays., while also forcing five fumbles. The sack total tied a career-best mark from 2015, as Donald constantly took pressure off other defenders so that old rivalry could see some new life in 2018,Authentic Brian Schwenke Jersey,The best news for the Rams is that both the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks are fading from power in the NFC West. When L.A. went to Seattle and buried the Seahawks by 35 points in Week 15, depending on how the offseason shakes out., it sent a message: this is the Rams’ division for the foreseeable future. The San Francisco 49ers also are on the rise which handed the Falcons two easy scoring opportunities. The experience gained this season will be invaluable in setting up the franchise for a Super Bowl run in 2018.,But the Los Angeles organization is in a great position. The Rams lost their playoff game at home primarily due to special-teams mistakes after winning the NFC West this season. However,The NFC is a stacked conference, however, neither of those factors should stop Los Angeles from making the postseason for the second time in a row next year., as nine teams finished with winning records this year. The Rams will also draw tougher opponents in 2018 so that the Rams don’t ease off the gas pedal heading into 2018. With some changes to the defense and more talent added through free agency and the draft,Now, the Rams should be one of the top NFC favorites for the Super Bowl next season., it’s McVay’s job to emphasize hard work and improvement in the offseason the quarterback was sacked and knocked out cold for about 10 to 15 seconds,Brett Favre had a 20-year career in the NFL, including an iron-man stint in which he played in 321 straight games. But it was his last play in the league that was a painful exclamation point on his illustrious tenure. In December 2010, suffering a concussion., while playing for the Vikings The impact of that crushing blow — the 525th sack of his career — continues to loom large for Favre as the issue of football-fueled brain injuries casts a shadow over the sport. “There was a quarterback, but it’s isolated, 48, Chris Miller, who had to carry his name and address and phone number in his back pocket. If he got lost, he’d pull out the paper. I always thought, ‘Gee, there’s more and more news that doesn’t bode well for me or the next guy.”, tells The Post. “But each and every day, that’s bad,’” Favre Favre has noticed he’s become more forgetful. And he wonders if his occasional memory lapses are the result of encroaching old age or the beginning of irreversible brain damage brought on by years of play.,In recent years “One thing that stands out is forgetting simple words, “and struggling for what I can see but can’t place.”,” Favre says It’s why the former Packers great has invested both his money and influence in a new concussion drug from Florida-based pharmaceutical company Prevacus. formally PRV-002 but commonly referred to as Prevacus,Right now, could change that., the only prescription for a concussion is to simply rest. But a potentially groundbreaking drug Prevacus is being developed by neuroscientist Jacob VanLandingham, who works in the department of biomedical sciences at Florida State University. Favre met him about four years ago through a doctor friend and liked what he heard., Ph.D. According to VanLandingham, Authentic DeMarco Murray Jersey,swelling and stress — at the cellular level. In rats, Prevacus is taken nasally within minutes of an initial head trauma. Once absorbed into the brain, as well as reduce depression and anxiety., the drug is said to trigger three different positive reactions — the reduction of inflammation,Authentic Adoree' Jackson Jersey, it’s been shown to improve short-term memory and motor performance short-term memory loss,Patients would take the drug twice a day for 14 days to minimize the development of post-concussion symptoms, chronic headaches and sleep disorders.,Authentic Corey Davis Jersey, which include dizziness Matt Hasselbeck and Steve Mariucci for the company’s advisory board. He’s also lobbied the likes of NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills and other powerful voices in the league,Favre has invested about half a million dollars of his own money and raised an additional $800,Authentic Taywan Taylor Jersey, including Tom Brady.,000 for Prevacus. He’s enlisted former gridiron warriors Kurt Warner “I just approached [Brady] in the off-season and told him what we had. He saidAuthentic Jonnu Smith Jersey,,’” says Favre., ‘Have Jake send some. I’ll try it on the sidelines But the drug has a lot more hurdles to clear before the Patriots’ quarterback is seen inhaling a dose on the field of Gillette Stadium. Prevacus hopes to be on the market in three to four years.,Womens Adoree' Jackson Jersey,Clinical trials on humans are expected to begin this summer. If the drug is proven to be both safe and effective and gains FDA approval experts caution that it may not be a magic bullet.,But despite the initial excitement ” says Dr. Erin Manning,“It could be a game changer, but until I see data behind it, a neurologist at Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery.,Womens Jonnu Smith Jersey, I’m going to remain skeptical when it reached more extensive studies in humans,“It’s hard for me to get excited about something that hasn’t gone through the first round of human trials, failed.”,” she adds. “There have been a lot of drugs that look promising in animal studies but Another barrier: Little is still known about what happens to the brain during a concussion. ” says Manning,“Ten years ago, who notes that’s finally changing., concussions weren’t something people were looking into But the potential impact of finding a drug that could mitigate — or even prevent — the neurological damage associated with concussions goes well beyond football players, motor-vehicle accidents and other sports such as baseball and soccer., including those injured in military combat a study out of Northwestern University found that women’s soccer — with its headers and hard collisions — had the highest per capita rate of concussions out of any sport.,Retired soccer legend Abby Wambach has suffered at least one concussion and plans to donate her brain to science when she dies. In March 37,“We all agree there is a problem, tells The Post. “I don’t see why we’re not spending more money and time to treat the problem. I’m scared to death about what my brain is going to be doing when I’m 60.”,” Wambach the 40-year-old is acutely aware of what the trauma has done to his brain and his lifestyle.,Former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross — who retired from the MLB in 2016 — is a high-school friend of VanLandingham. Having suffered at least five concussions throughout his career noisy spaces and has noticed mood swings. He jumped on the Prevacus train immediately.,The two-time World Series champion says he can become overwhelmed in crowded but the bigger and stronger the athletes are,“Baseball players worry [about CTE]. It’s not like football, the faster the ball is being thrown and the harder the ball is being hit. It’s becoming a bigger problem.”, where they care constantly having trouble down the road
  4. After the final week of the regular season,Authentic Taywan Taylor Jersey, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions, the Colts, along with the Bears, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, were all in the market for a new head coach. The Raiders and Bears are the only two teams from that pool to have already found their new head coach. such as New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.,There are some of the same names vying for the vacant spots across the NFL The Colts have already interviewed three of their now five candidates, including McDaniels, Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard and Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel. Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub is expected to have interest from the Colts given his history with general manager Chris Ballard but it has been quiet on his front as of late. Many of the hires could be announced this week for the teams with vacant teams. Those truly vying for McDaniels may have to wait until the end of the month but the Colts’ announcement could come as soon as this week. It was an amazing season for the Los Angeles Rams, even though it ended short with a first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Saturday. The Rams won the NFC West Division and finished with a winning record, two accomplishments the team had not achieved since “The Greatest Show on Turf” era of the early 2000s. the Rams organization shed a dozen seasons’ worth of futility and set itself up nicely for the immediate future in a division that is currently in flux. Expectations will be high for Los Angeles in 2018: a Super Bowl appearance is within the team’s reach.,With first-year head coach Sean McVay at the helm Under the previous coach Jeff Fisher, the defense took too many steps backward, the Rams often featured very good defenses. Even in 2016, when Fisher was fired, while the team reversed its course in many different ways, the L.A. defense finished ninth in the NFL in yards allowed. This season, finishing 19th in yards allowed. The Rams did force 28 turnovers on the way to finishing 10th in the NFL with a plus-seven turnover margin, but overall, the defense ended up being a weak spot for the squad in 2017. In over half of the regular season games, Los Angeles gave up at least 366 yards of offense to its opponents. The Rams defense will have to be better next season if the team wants to take the next step. McVay invigorated a talented offensive roster that had constantly underachieved under Fisher, and the Rams finished the 2017 season as the top-scoring team in the NFL. Second-year quarterback Jared Goff played like the No. 1 overall pick he was in 2016, improving his QB rating from 63.6 in his rookie year to 100.4 this season. That was an amazing improvement, as Goff was winless in seven starts prior to this year. Additionally, third-year running back Todd Gurley recovered from a terrible second season to garner league MVP consideration by gaining 2,093 yards from scrimmage and scoring 19 touchdowns. Gurley himself was the tenth overall pick in the 2015 draft, and the young duo truly responded to McVay’s coaching and game planning. Gurley’s campaign was good enough to get attention from the league as its MVP, too, so he gets the nod over Goff for the Rams’ offensive MVP. At age 23, he set career highs in rushing yards (1, and led the NFL in the latter category. His ability to catch the ball, Gurley notched another 64 receptions this year alone.,305) and TDs (13), really helped the offense—and Goff—develop nicely in 2017. After catching 64 passes in his first two seasons combined Defensive tackle Aaron Donald earned defensive MVP honors. The 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft, as Donald constantly took pressure off other defenders, Donald registered 11 sacks in 14 games this year, and the forced fumbles more than doubled his career total prior to this season. The numbers alone don’t tell the whole story here, while also forcing five fumbles. The sack total tied a career-best mark from 2015, enabling them to make more plays. The best news for the Rams is that both the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks are fading from power in the NFC West. When L.A. went to Seattle and buried the Seahawks by 35 points in Week 15, it sent a message: this is the Rams’ division for the foreseeable future. The San Francisco 49ers also are on the rise, so that old rivalry could see some new life in 2018, depending on how the offseason shakes out. which handed the Falcons two easy scoring opportunities. The experience gained this season will be invaluable in setting up the franchise for a Super Bowl run in 2018.,Womens Delanie Walker Jersey,But the Los Angeles organization is in a great position. The Rams lost their playoff game at home primarily due to special-teams mistakes neither of those factors should stop Los Angeles from making the postseason for the second time in a row next year.,The NFC is a stacked conference, Authentic Adoree' Jackson Jersey,however, after winning the NFC West this season. However, as nine teams finished with winning records this year. The Rams will also draw tougher opponents in 2018 Now,Womens DeMarco Murray Jersey, it’s McVay’s job to emphasize hard work and improvement in the offseason,Authentic Jonnu Smith Jersey, so that the Rams don’t ease off the gas pedal heading into 2018. With some changes to the defense and more talent added through free agency and the draft, the Rams should be one of the top NFC favorites for the Super Bowl next season. suffering a concussion.,Brett Favre had a 20-year career in the NFL, including an iron-man stint in which he played in 321 straight games. But it was his last play in the league that was a painful exclamation point on his illustrious tenure. In December 2010,Authentic Brian Schwenke Jersey, the quarterback was sacked and knocked out cold for about 10 to 15 seconds, while playing for the Vikings The impact of that crushing blow — the 525th sack of his career — continues to loom large for Favre as the issue of football-fueled brain injuries casts a shadow over the sport. “There was a quarterback, 48, he’d pull out the paper. I always thought, Chris Miller,Womens Taywan Taylor Jersey, who had to carry his name and address and phone number in his back pocket. If he got lost, ‘Gee, that’s bad, there’s more and more news that doesn’t bode well for me or the next guy.”, but it’s isolated,’” Favre, tells The Post. “But each and every day Favre has noticed he’s become more forgetful. And he wonders if his occasional memory lapses are the result of encroaching old age or the beginning of irreversible brain damage brought on by years of play.,In recent years “One thing that stands out is forgetting simple words,” Favre says, “and struggling for what I can see but can’t place.” It’s why the former Packers great has invested both his money and influence in a new concussion drug from Florida-based pharmaceutical company Prevacus. Right now, the only prescription for a concussion is to simply rest. But a potentially groundbreaking drug, formally PRV-002 but commonly referred to as Prevacus, could change that. Prevacus is being developed by neuroscientist Jacob VanLandingham, Ph.D., who works in the department of biomedical sciences at Florida State University. Favre met him about four years ago through a doctor friend and liked what he heard. According to VanLandingham, it’s been shown to improve short-term memory and motor performance, Prevacus is taken nasally within minutes of an initial head trauma. Once absorbed into the brain, swelling and stress — at the cellular level. In rats, the drug is said to trigger three different positive reactions — the reduction of inflammation, as well as reduce depression and anxiety. Patients would take the drug twice a day for 14 days to minimize the development of post-concussion symptoms, which include dizziness, short-term memory loss, chronic headaches and sleep disorders. Favre has invested about half a million dollars of his own money and raised an additional $800,000 for Prevacus. He’s enlisted former gridiron warriors Kurt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck and Steve Mariucci for the company’s advisory board. He’s also lobbied the likes of NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills and other powerful voices in the league, including Tom Brady. “I just approached [Brady] in the off-season and told him what we had. He said, ‘Have Jake send some. I’ll try it on the sidelines,’” says Favre. But the drug has a lot more hurdles to clear before the Patriots’ quarterback is seen inhaling a dose on the field of Gillette Stadium. Prevacus hopes to be on the market in three to four years.,Clinical trials on humans are expected to begin this summer. If the drug is proven to be both safe and effective and gains FDA approval experts caution that it may not be a magic bullet.,But despite the initial excitement a neurologist at Manhattan’s Hospital for Special Surgery.,Womens Jonnu Smith Jersey,“It could be a game changer, but until I see data behind it,” says Dr. Erin Manning, I’m going to remain skeptical “It’s hard for me to get excited about something that hasn’t gone through the first round of human trials,” she adds. “There have been a lot of drugs that look promising in animal studies but, when it reached more extensive studies in humans, failed.” Another barrier: Little is still known about what happens to the brain during a concussion. “Ten years ago, concussions weren’t something people were looking into,” says Manning, who notes that’s finally changing. But the potential impact of finding a drug that could mitigate — or even prevent — the neurological damage associated with concussions goes well beyond football players, including those injured in military combat, motor-vehicle accidents and other sports such as baseball and soccer. a study out of Northwestern University found that women’s soccer — with its headers and hard collisions — had the highest per capita rate of concussions out of any sport.,Authentic DeMarco Murray Jersey,Retired soccer legend Abby Wambach has suffered at least one concussion and plans to donate her brain to science when she dies. In March “We all agree there is a problem,Womens Corey Davis Jersey,” Wambach, 37, tells The Post. “I don’t see why we’re not spending more money and time to treat the problem. I’m scared to death about what my brain is going to be doing when I’m 60.” the 40-year-old is acutely aware of what the trauma has done to his brain and his lifestyle.,Womens Adoree' Jackson Jersey,Former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross — who retired from the MLB in 2016 — is a high-school friend of VanLandingham. Having suffered at least five concussions throughout his career noisy spaces and has noticed mood swings. He jumped on the Prevacus train immediately.,Authentic Corey Davis Jersey,The two-time World Series champion says he can become overwhelmed in crowded “Baseball players worry [about CTE]. It’s not like football, where they care constantly having trouble down the road, but the bigger and stronger the athletes are, the faster the ball is being thrown and the harder the ball is being hit. It’s becoming a bigger problem.”
  5. Artemi Panarin scored 3:11 into overtime to help the Blue Jackets overcome a two-goal deficit and beat the Maple Leafs 3-2 on Monday night. Bobrovsky made 35 saves, including a handful of big ones to keep his team within 2-0 before a third-period rally. Columbus scored twice in the final 4:35 of the third period to set up Panarin's OT goal, when he took a pass off his skate and kicked it to his stick for the winner. " Bobrovsky said.,"Those kind of wins make good atmosphere in the locker-room, lots of energy, lots of happiness Nick Foligno and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored in the third for Columbus. Foligno scored after goalie Frederik Andersen lost a bouncing puck before it found its way behind him, then Dubois tied it with 2:47 left, snapping a wrist shot blocker side on Andersen from the slot. "We knew if we scored one somehow that it changes momentum," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella. "The saves (Andersen) made during the game and that one goes in ... it's a funny game." James van Riemsdyk and William Nylander scored for the Maple Leafs. Andersen stopped 30 shots. " Andersen said.,"At least 50 minutes or so we played great, I think we could have put it away in the third and we didn't. Then they get a good bounce and, yeah, it's tied up Andersen kept the Leafs in it long enough for van Riemsdyk to open the scoring at 11:09 of the second period, deflecting Roman Polak's point shot past Bobrovsky for his 18th goal. Nylander doubled the lead on the power play with 3:58 to go in the second, shooting a wrist shot over the glove of a screened Bobrovsky for his ninth. Blue Jackets forward Sonny Milano left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and didn't return after being on the receiving end of a check from Andreas Borgman. The Leafs started the third the way they finished the second and could have put the game away if it wasn't for Bobrovsky, who turned away Connor Brown and Nazem Kadri on point-blank chances. "Some nights when you're ahead you get on your heels and the other team takes it to you. That wasn't the case at all. It was the opposite way around. But they scored on their opportunities that we gave them," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. The Devils were back on the ice for practice after their bye week and defenseman Mirco Mueller was back on the ice with his teammates for the first time since fracturing his left clavicle on Nov. 12. Mueller, 22, was expected to miss 10-12 weeks. He’s been skating on his own since just before Christmas. Devils coach John Hynes listed Mueller as day to day after practice and said he still needs some more practices before being re-inserted into the lineup. physically, which obviously helps a bit. Conditioning-wise, I'm ready to play, obviously," Mueller said after practice. "I'd be ready to play tomorrow with the injury. That's all healed up. I think now it's just,"I think, I haven't really played or practiced with anyone for a while. That's kind of the other part. I've got to get back a bit. I've been skating for a while now on my own, I felt really good. I think I was able to hold a decent pace during practice. "It's more the battle, getting confident again," Mueller added. "I was trying to be a little cautious at the beginning." The Devils practiced today at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center and will host the Flyers on Saturday night (Faceoff: 7 p.m.; Television: MSG Plus; Radio: digital WFAN.com,Authentic Carter Hutton jersey, One Jersey Network) in their first game since a 5-4, five-round shootout loss to the Islanders at Barclays Center. just to put them in some tight-area situations," Hynes said. "Then we did some things where they had to go up and down the ice in similar situations. We’ll have another quick skate tomorrow and we expect them to be ready. They’re fresh and the thing with them, where there’s not a lot of time and space and they’ve got to have their thought process,adidas Jake Allen jersey, their read and reacting,“That was one of the reasons we practiced the way we did today, making decisions, four days off does not de-condition them. It’s just they’re a little rusty. so I think it’s more about just getting ourselves mentally prepared to play and making sure we have our details down.” The Devils are looking to snap a season-high five-game losing streak (0-2-3) in their first of four meetings with the Flyers this season. It’s the second in a string of five straight games against Metropolitan Division opponents. Twenty of the Devils’ final 41 games are against divisional foes. Mueller participated fully in the drills and it did not look like there were any restrictions. has two assists in 13 games for the Devils.,Authentic Steven Stamkos jersey,Acquired from the Sharks in the offseason to bolster their defense corps, the 6-foot-3,adidas Michael Hutchinson jersey, 210-pound Mueller, an offensive-minded defenseman He said he knew immediately at Chicago when he was checked by John Hayden just 18 seconds into the first period of a 7-5 win on Nov. 12 what he had injured. "Yeah," Mueller said. "The funny thing is I broke the same exact bone when I was like 10 years old. When it happened,adidas Nicklas Backstrom jersey, I remembered the pain of that. It was the same thing so when I was skating off I was like 99 percent sure that’s what it was. I was kind in a tough spot. He just finished his hit and caught my shoulder.","It was an awkward play," Mueller added. "Thinking back, I haven’t really watched it Media outlets are reporting the value of the sale as $550 million. Not true. Two people with first-hand knowledge of the sale have told me the enterprise value was $420 million. Still, the sale price is 13.5% more than our valuation of the NHL team last month. Dundon now owns 61% of the Hurricanes (the $420 million valuation is for 100%) with outgoing owner Peter Karmanos retaining 39%. Dundon has an option to purchase the remainder in three years. the building's economics are challenging.,Authentic Michael Hutchinson jersey,For Karmanos, the $420 million (3.9 times 2016-17 revenue) is a huge win. The Hurricanes generally have been losing money and with no basketball team to help anchor PNC Arena, which is run by the hockey team possibly in Seattle, the $420 million enterprise value hammers home the point that expansion team prices do not equate to a floor for team values. The expansion fee paid by Vegas Golden Knights, was $500 million. And the next expansion team,For the NHL, which joined the league this season, may indeed go for over $600 million. But the Hurricanes were a debt-laden, thinly capitalized franchise and Karmanos--who bought the team for $47.5 million in 1994--has wanted out for a few years. does Dundon have the money to market and support the franchise?,The Hurricanes now have a much stronger balance sheet. Prior to the sale the team was saddled with some $260 million of debt. The team's debt is now roughly $100 million. The question for Hurricanes supporters is this: With much of the money to buy the team used pay off past bills Anderson rebounded to make 44 saves and the Senators beat the Maple Leafs 4-3 on Wednesday night in the final game for both teams before their bye weeks.,A night after being yanked in a blowout home loss to Chicago "I knew right away, for me when you look at it, it gives me the chance to play him the next day, he only played 30 minutes (against Chicago)," Boucher said. "I was very confident he would come in and have a rebound game and that's exactly what he did." Anderson allowed four goals on 26 shots in the 8-2 loss to the Blackhawks. " Anderson said. "You have to leave that in the past and move on.","You have to put it behind you as quickly as possible Tom Pyatt broke a tie with 3:05 left. He took a feed from Matt Duchene on a 3-on-1 — after Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly got caught pinching at Ottawa's blue line — and beat Frederik Andersen high to the blocker side. " Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We had two pinches with no (forward back) that cost us two goals. In the end you have to play right. "Give Anderson credit. He was pulled last night and a proud guy came back tonight and played real well.","We had lots of opportunities but we got impatient Chabot opened the scoring when he attempted a cross-crease pass only for the puck to bounce in off Roman Polak's foot idway through the first. Hoffman got inside position on van Riemsdyk in front of the Leafs' net and finished off a pass from Duchene with an easy tap-in to make it 2-0 just 1:52 into the second period. Toronto couldn't solve Anderson through 36 minutes despite having the first three power plays of the game and 28 shots against the Ottawa netminder up to that point — including eight alone from van Riemsdyk. Finally, after killing off Ottawa's first power-play chance of the game, taking a pass from Tyler Bozak and going through his legs with the puck before beating the goalie from in close 56 seconds into the third period., Borgman got one past Anderson from the point with 1:50 to play in the second. Van Riemsdyk didn't make a mistake with his ninth shot of the night " van Riemsdyk said. "He made a lot of point-blank saves.","I thought their goalie played extremely well and you've got to tip your cap to him for that Dumont put Ottawa back ahead 3-2 only 1:21 later, beating a screened Anderson with a point shot at 12:28., following up his initial shot off the end boards that bounced out front of the net for a second attempt. Rielly evened the score once again Jan. 26-27 in Tampa.,The only good news was that Auston Matthews was named to the all-star event The Leafs were their own worst enemy on a night of own goals and giveaways. Morgan Rielly, got caught on a questionable pinch that led to an Ottawa three-on-one and Tom Pyatt’s game-winning goal at 16:55 of the third., who had tied the game 3-3 Andreas Borgman scored late in the second, after Ottawa opened a two-goal lead on goals from Thomas Chabot and Mike Hoffman., and James van Riemsdyk in the opening minute of the third for Toronto Less than two minutes after van Riemsdyk’s goal, necessitating Rielly’s equalizer., Gabriel Dumont put Ottawa again Senators goalie Craig Anderson outdueled his Toronto counterpart, Andersen 32., Frederik Andersen: Anderson faced 47 shots A Battle of Ontario game that should have tilted very much in Toronto’s favour leaned heavily toward Ottawa for most of the game. Ottawa had lost 8-2 at home to Chicago the night before,adidas Carter Hutton jersey, and the team arrived so late to their Toronto hotel they cancelled their morning skate. Coach Guy Boucher lamented a number of injuries and didn’t express a great deal of confidence in either goalie. The Leafs, seemed to be firing on all cylinders,Authentic Jake Allen jersey, meanwhile, riding 2-0-1 run while holding a commanding points advantage over their provincial rival. but failing to convert any of them.,adidas Steven Stamkos jersey,The Leafs swarmed Ottawa to start the first period with Matthews getting three chances in close Anderson looked to be having the bounceback game the Senators were hoping for after he had given up four goals in less than 30 minutes of action before getting yanked Tuesday night. but the Senators had the 1-0 lead after Chabot’s centring pass banked off Roman Polak’s skate and past Andersen.,The Leafs outshot Ottawa 16-12 but shot wide.,Mitch Marner got a breakaway on the next shift Toronto had a 32-24 shots lead after 40 minutes, up 2-1.,Authentic Nicklas Backstrom jersey, but Ottawa maintained its one-goal lead Hoffman scored at 1:52 of the second,adidas Philipp Grubauer jersey, first on home ice., and Toronto seemed to go through the motions after that until Borgman’s slapshot was redirected by a Senator at 18:10 of the second period — his third goal of the season The game was of particular interest to about 20 scouts on hand. Calgary, the New York Rangers,Authentic Philipp Grubauer jersey, between nine and 12 are in attendance at a Leaf game., Los Angeles and Columbus — which sent GM Jarmo Kekalainen — doubled up. Typically The Senators are struggling, and playoff-bound teams are beginning their bargain hunting., a shadow of the team that went to the conference final last year Injuries are a big reason for the Senators’ struggles. They were without forwards Bobby Ryan and Nate Thompson as well as defenceman Mark Borowiecki.
  6. The Rams didn’t make it easy on them. Aaron Donald harassed Matt Ryan all night long. He finished with just half of a sack and one hit, but even on the plays where he didn’t take Ryan down, his presence was felt. His pressure disrupted Ryan’s timing and forced him into less-than-ideal throws. The Falcons had to settle for field goals on four of six scoring drives. But things shifted for Atlanta in the third quarter, coupled with the defense’s success in limiting Jared Goff’s chances to hit Todd Gurley with quick, when they finally got a consistent ground game going. That, short passes let the Falcons hold on for a win. Gurley was productive on the ground, with 101 yards. But Goff relies on the ability to hit Gurley with short passes to keep the offense moving, and the Falcons took Gurley essentially out of the passing game. He’s averaged 52.5 receiving yards per game this season with six touchdowns through the air. He had only four catches for 10 yards on Saturday night. The Falcons defense is much improved this season. They finished 2017 ranked in the top 10 in both scoring and yards allowed. The speed Dan Quinn has installed on defense showed up big on Saturday. This was most evident on the Rams’ possession right before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. The Rams had a first-and-goal from the Falcons’ 8-yard line. After a 3-yard completion on first down and an incomplete pass on second, Goff hit Tyler Higbee in the end zone, but he was blanketed and didn’t actually catch it. The touchdown was overturned on review. Los Angeles was trailing 26-13 and had one more chance to pull within a touchdown of the Falcons. Deion Jones got away with a hold when he knocked down Goff’s pass that was intended for Sammy Watkins on fourth down. But that pretty much locked it up for the Falcons. The speed on defense and sure, sound tackling made all the difference. Aaron Donald came after Matt Ryan relentlessly, especially in the third and fourth quarters. They dominated time of possession, as he does. And the best way to slow down that pressure is to establish a ground game. The Falcons were able to get some traction on the ground, holding onto the ball for nearly two-thirds of the matchup. Devonta Freeman finished with 66 yards and one touchdown, despite slipping and sliding on the horrible turf conditions in the Coliseum. Tevin Coleman had 40 yards, and Julio Jones even had a nifty 13-yard end around. Atlanta couldn’t have done this without its offensive line. Freeman even had some help on his second-quarter touchdown. Center Alex Mack physically tackled Freeman into the end zone to take a 13-0 lead. This Falcons team has been up-and-down all year. But now they’ll go to Philadelphia to take on an Eagles team that hasn’t looked quite the same with Nick Foles behind center instead of Carson Wentz. A month ago, were hosting the NFC South-leading Saints, the Eagles were 10-2 as they headed into their Week 14 matchup with the Rams. The Falcons were 7-5, and any hope of the playoffs hinged on a strong regular-season finish. And that's exactly what happened; Atlanta beat New Orleans and won two of their last three games to land the sixth and final wild-card spot. The Eagles, which is an understandable cause for concern for Eagles fans, meanwhile, have seen their fortunes turn. Yes, Nick Foles, they beat the Rams that afternoon but franchise quarterback Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL and his season is over. His replacement, hasn't even been replacement level, coaches and Foles' teammates. On paper, this is exactly what the Eagles want: the top seed with home-field advantage facing the sixth seed that did the heavy lifting against an explosive Rams team, and in the process insuring that Philly wouldn't have to face the fourth-seeded Saints. The reality, however, is much more complicated. Because Nick Foles isn't Carson Wentz and coach Doug Pederson is now tasked with finding a way to win -- without his best player while facing one of the postseason's hottest teams. In Week 7, who had the unenviable job of trying to replace Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons were 3-2 and coming off back-to-back home losses to the Bills and Dolphins. And while Matt Ryan and Julio Jones remained the centerpiece of the offense, it otherwise looked nothing like the outfit that ranked No. 1 in the league a season ago on their way to the Super Bowl. Gone was the run-pass balance and along with it, the Falcons' offensive identity. New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian,Womens Shaquill Griffin Jersey, was ID'd as the culprit. Whomever was to blame the criticism was fair; the loss to Miami looked a lot like last Saturday's game against the Rams: The Falcons dominated the first half. Inexplicably, they abandoned that first-half game plan -- which relied heavily on the running game -- and when it was over, they had found a way to lose to Jay Cutler and the Dolphins. There were no such mistakes in Los Angeles. The Falcons ran early, they ran often,Womens Delano Hill Jersey, and they didn't stop running till the final whistle. Of Atlanta's 72 total offensive snaps, 76-yard drive that ended in a Matt Bryant field goal to give the Falcons a 16-10 lead. Of those 16 plays,Authentic Tyler Lockett Jersey, 39 were runs. They controlled the ball for 37:35, including 13:07 in the third quarter, which started with the Falcons getting the ball and going on a 16-play, 12 were runs. And when you see DeVonta Freeman doing things like this: "It was tough sledding,Womens Arthur Brown Jersey, and we were very clear about our plan coming into this game, for sure," Ryan said, "but we felt like that was our best plan for success, via ESPN.com, and the guys bought into that. We all had that belief, and it shook out the way we wanted it to." This is a far cry from what we saw in that Dolphins home loss but credit to Falcons coach Dan Quinn not panicking. Of course, the Falcons started 4-1 before back-to-back losses had everyone outside the building doubting a team that looked great on paper. A few months ago, he's been here before; a year ago, the Falcons were 4-4 before righting the ship. "We'll reset it and get right to it because in our league you've got to go back and get ready to play again," Quinn said in October. "You've got to get the corrections first. All of the ones are teaching moments, but you don't really get tested until you're in the fire." The Falcons passed their first test against the Rams in part because they didn't get away from one of their strengths. Playoff experience didn’t beat the Rams Saturday, not exactly. Playoff expediency did. The Atlanta Falcons made no turnovers. They identified the Rams’ rush defense as a sore they could irritate, when they needed to. They needed to remove Todd Gurley from the passing game and they did that, and they did. They punted when they should have, and they kicked field goals, from 54 and 51 yards, too. They checked all the boxes they could find and they won, breaking the Rams’ express after one long, 26-13, glorious lap. Afterward, Jared Goff was repeatedly asked to mouth the we-had-a-good-season speech. It should give hope to Rams fans that he would not. “It (stinks) to have to quit playing, they would have beaten us then,” Goff said. “We’ve got some really good dudes in there. The more big games you can play, the better off you are. As far as playoff experience goes, I don’t even know what that means. You just play the game and they played it better than we did. If this had happened two weeks ago like this, too.” Often the quarterback has to bear the cross when a season dissipates. Goff left that honor to Pharoh Cooper, the Pro Bowl returner who muffed a punt and fumbled a kickoff, and the Falcons took those chances to score 10 points. “The first one was a fluke, the second one I know he wishes he had back,” Goff said. “Those special teams guys have won games for us all year.” Goff was actually fine, considering he was belabored by the pass rush on the first two series, and that the Rams ran only 10 plays in the first quarter and six in the third. They only had the ball for 22:25. That wasn’t enough bandwidth for all the musicians in the band. “We had to wait to settle into the game,” Goff said, “but we’ve done that before.” Goff actually made enough big plays. At the end of the first half he drilled Robert Woods with a beautiful 39-yarder down the middle, to set up what might have been a touchdown try if Rob Havenstein hadn’t been caught holding. Sean McVay chose the field goal there and a 13-10 deficit. Even after the Falcons went ahead by 13, without blowing a timeout. He went 11 for 13 on that drive until he threw what appeared to be a 5-yard score to Tyler Higbee. At that point there was 2:16 left and the Rams didn’t need to kick onside, Goff whisked the Rams downfield in a hurry, with all three time outs in hand. But then Higbee fell victim to that popular game show, Catch Or Not A Catch, and the Rams had to pick up a fourth-and-5. Deion Jones, one of a horde of quick and brazen Atlanta defenders,Authentic Shaquill Griffin Jersey,Authentic Nazair Jones Jersey, broke up the try to Sammy Watkins. “That’s what I feel good about, and we made some mistakes we shouldn’t have made,Authentic Arthur Brown Jersey, ” Aaron Donald said. “We got down, but our guys came out and fought.” Goff had three completions for 20 or more yards. He just didn’t make enough little plays that could sprout into big ones, he caught four balls for just 10 yards. Even on a short week and with travel,Authentic Delano Hill Jersey,couldn’t find Gurley on those screens and flares that have overloaded defenses all year. Although Gurley got 101 rushing yards, the Falcons found the instruction manual and followed it rigidly. “Really we just didn’t have enough plays,” McVay said. “We only tried one of those screens, and they were in a jam structure early on and forced an incompletion. It really goes back to the rhythm. We weren’t able to get enough plays off.” The Falcons filled the box with as many as nine defenders and overpopulated the middle and the flat. Then their cornerbacks won more man-to-man battles with the L.A. receivers than they lost. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian also dodged the pitchforks for another week by calling 39 runs,Womens Nazair Jones Jersey, the left defensive end,Womens Arthur Brown Jersey, a tactic that worked better after Michael Brockers, left with a knee problem. “Michael has been so stout for us,” McVay said. “They did a good job of getting runs off consistently.” The observant Falcons noted that the Rams were 30th in a 32-team league in yards given up per rush (4.7). “We thought we might be able to crease them, “but the best thing is that we stayed with it even though we didn’t do much with it in the first half. We thought our offensive line could lean on them. It was tough sledding for sure,Authentic Arthur Brown Jersey,” Ryan said, but it was our best plan for success.” The Falcons needed only one home run and they got it with 7:22 left in the third quarter. Working against a corner blitz, Ryan flipped a screen to Mohamed Sanu, who set up his blockers and burst for 52 yards. Two plays later, Ryan slipped on the annoyingly slick turf but still was able to lob an 8-yard score to Julio Jones, for the 13-point lead. You could probably say the lack of experience didn’t necessarily hurt the Rams, as you might have heard, but the wealth of it helped Atlanta. Last year the Falcons won the NFC and then, let a 25-point lead evaporate in the Super Bowl. Some of them were around in 2012 when the Falcons came within a play of beating San Francisco for the NFC title. This was Ryan’s ninth playoff start. The amplified Coliseum noise was just a low buzz to them. “You have to keep yourself in a mental space where you’re not worried about the finality of the game,” Ryan said. “The challenge is to stay locked in and keep your mindset on execution.” The Rams may be great or disappointing in 2018 but they won’t be the same. Their schedule will be tougher and certainly more disjointed, with more prime-time games. They probably won’t have a healthy offensive line for 16 games. The new-team smell that pervaded Thousand Oaks all season won’t return.
  7. a win looked to be a certainty,With the home-field advantage,Authentic Jarran Reed Jersey, but then Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry happened and the Chiefs suffered one of the worst postseason losses ever and arguably their worst loss in franchise history Mariota capped off the first touchdown drive with a six yard touchdown pass to himself. You read that right. Mariota's roll out resulted in a deflected pass off of KC defensive back Darrelle Revis' hands and bounced back into the Heisman Trophy winner's hands, before he dove in to make it a 21-10 game. he accepted the farewell and said, Gruden awkwardly replied by saying nothing is official, but afterwards,When McDonough acknowledged the news before the game, "It's been a great run." you've enhanced it in your performance here,"It's an emotional and bittersweet day for our Monday Night Football family as today we say goodbye to coach Gruden after nine very distinguished years in this Monday Night Football booth. Great legacy on Monday Night Football. Not only have you lived up to it, but I know you're looking forward to getting back to coaching. We congratulate you as you head back to the sidelines with the Raiders." Jon Gruden had one heck of a final assignment at Saturday as he served as the analyst for the Titans and Chiefs contest that saw Kansas City blow a 21-3 lead The Patriots (13-3) are fresh off their eighth consecutive first-round bye as they seek their third title in four years. They’re not only refreshed but fired up after a report suggesting a fractured relationship that could break up the franchise’s three most important pieces in QB Tom Brady,Authentic Shaquill Griffin Jersey, coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft. Philadelphia (13-3),Womens Delano Hill Jersey,The NFC’s top seed, hosts the defending conference champion Atlanta Falcons (11-6) on Saturday and the Minnesota Vikings (13-3) host the New Orleans Saints. The Saints (12-5) edged Carolina 31-26 Sunday night in the wild-card weekend finale. The Falcons throttled the upstart Los Angeles Rams 26-13 Saturday night,Authentic Nazair Jones Jersey, sending the league’s best comeback story of 2017 to a premature end. The Patriots have won 11 of 12 after stumbling to a 2-2 start but the buzz around Boston isn’t about their usual dominance but whether that excellence could be coming to an end soon The Titans came back from a 21-3 halftime deficit Saturday at Kansas City and in the process probably saved coach . Team owner Amy Adams Strunk on Sunday said her coach isn’t going anywhere after helping change the Titans’ culture and leading them to their first playoff victory in 14 years. ” Mularkey said,“This is a good test for our football team,Womens Tyler Lockett Jersey, “but these are the type of games you have to win.” The Titans needed an amazing comeback to get their latest win, which tied for the second-largest rally by a road team in the playoffs. Dallas also overcame an 18-point deficit in 1972 in the divisional round to beat San Francisco. Only Detroit’s rally from 20 points down in 1957 to beat the 49ers in the divisional round was bigger than Tennessee’s comeback. who threw five interceptions in that game, has led Pittsburgh to 10 wins in 11 games since then with the lone loss coming against the Patriots,Womens Germain Ifedi Jersey,Ben Roethlisberger, 24-21 last month when Brown got hurt and missed most of the showdown in Pittsburgh. In Blake Bortles, the Steelers will face a quarterback who ran for more yards (88) than he threw for (87) Sunday and who put together one decent drive all day. ” said Bortles, we made some bad plays and did some stupid stuff, but we found a way to win and that’s all that matters,“We weren’t sharp, quarter was his best throw of the game and a gutsy call on fourth-and-goal from the 1. the Falcons are the only NFC team to make it back to the playoffs this year,Although they’re the sixth seed, and that edge in experience showed Saturday night in the Rams’ first playoff game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1979. the report said. He also didn’t like the Patriots’ grooming of 2014 second-round pick Jimmy Garoppolo, Brady has reportedly grown frustrated by Belichick’s increasingly harsh criticism of his play, and the coach’s constant negativity,Womens Shaquill Griffin Jersey,Meanwhile, who has since been traded to San Francisco. the report said. The owner reportedly ordered the head coach to deal Garoppolo because he was not in New England’s long-term plans. Belichick reluctantly did so,Kraft and Belichick have since had a falling out over that trade,Authentic Delano Hill Jersey,but he has privately fumed over the move because the five-time Super Bowl-winning coach believes he has earned the right to make such team personnel decisions. Belichick and Brady released a joint statement Friday saying they are unified and calling recent reports about them “unsubstantiated,Kraft, highly exaggerated or flat out inaccurate.” When asked Monday about the report calling him “furious and demoralized,Authentic Tyler Lockett Jersey,” Belichick was dismissive. and I’m not interested in responding to those random and I would say, I don’t know what you’re talking about,Womens Nazair Jones Jersey, ” Belichick said. ” I don’t know what that refers to. I know you want to report on things that are inaccurate and unattributable,Authentic Germain Ifedi Jersey,“First of all, in a lot of cases.”
  8. or the shoulder,Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper called it one of the scariest moments he’s witnessed at any level of hockey. Detroit Red Wings forward Martin Frk sent a hard shot that caught Dan Girardi up high – maybe somewhere in the face,adidas Jake Allen jersey, or a little of both – causing Girardi to collapse to the ice. but he was able to leave the rink with some help,It was difficult not to fear the worst, already a positive sign considering how scary that moment was. Monday brought great news, then: the Lightning announced that Girardi is merely considered day-to-day and that all tests came back negative. Phew. With the fear of the worst behind us,Authentic Nicklas Backstrom jersey, it’s interesting to take a look at some of the reactions to Frk’s shot. Brad Richards told The Athletic’s Craig Custance that Frk might hesitate when unleashing the puck in the future. “I think it’s definitely going to weigh in his mind,” Richards said. “I can’t speak for him but it’s got to be a little — you have to be shaken a little bit when you take a shot and someone is laying on the ice.” Jalen Wilkerson is the sixth Florida State player to announce he is leaving early to enter the NFL draft. 283-pound defensive lineman had two years of eligibility remaining after completing his redshirt sophomore season. He started only one game this past season but played in all 13, logging 19 tackles,The 6-foot-4, including six tackles for loss. Wilkerson said via Twitter that “Some people will never know why you have to make the decisions you make,adidas Michael Hutchinson jersey, but I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to play for Nole Nation. placing them – for the time being – in one of the West’s wild card spots. Remarkably,That 7-2 mark represented the Avalanche’s fifth consecutive victory, they’ve generated 47 standings points in 41 games in 2017-18 after generating just 48 in all of 2016-17. With all of that in mind, it might be entertaining and informative to do a deep dive on the Avalanche. Let’s look at what’s been working during the winning streak and beyond. yet he’s been burning it up during this run. The former first-rounder is on a four-game winning streak,Bernier hasn’t been lights-out overall (still just 9-7-1 with .909 save percentage), allowing five goals and nabbing one shutout. The Avalanche have generated at least one power-play goal in four of five games during this winning streak, generating seven overall (7-for-17). A five-game winning streak is only so much during an 82-game regular season. The positive thing is that the Avalanche’s run really goes deeper than this surge. their record dipped to 12-13-2. Since then, they’ve only lost four times,When the Avs fell 5-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 7, going 10-3-1 to improve to 22-16-3 overall. and they’ve played nine of their last 11 in Colorado. They’ll pay that debt back soon enough,One thing to note is that the Avalanche have enjoyed some home-cooking lately. Yesterday ended a six-game homestand, as they’ll face a six-game road trip and nine of 10 on the road during this stretch: As Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill was conducting his post-game press conference Sunday, his good buddy knocked on the glass window of the room. Lightning coach Jon Cooper smiled, and waved goodbye on his way out of town after another Tampa Bay victory. The Lightning (30-9-3) has left the rest of the Atlantic Division in its wake, reaching the season’s midpoint with a 10-point lead over second-place Boston. Tampa Bay also has an eight-point cushion over Washington for the top team in the Eastern Conference. "They’re running away with it,Authentic Jake Allen jersey," Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan said. omes. And I’m not so sure we’re there right yet.", ‘Yeah, if the playoff started today,"We can sit here and say,Authentic Philipp Grubauer jersey, we’re in its MVP. As Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty put it, showing the poise of a 10-year vet. Vasilevskiy’s been Tampa Bay’s best player,The real No. 1: The Lightning was confident Vasilevskiy would blossom into an elite No. 1. How many thought it’d come this quickly? Vasilevskiy leads the league in wins,adidas Steven Stamkos jersey, goals against average, "God,Authentic Michael Hutchinson jersey, save percentage and shutouts, he’s good." Stamkos’ start: Everyone, with 51 points," after missing most of last season after knee surgery. That Stamkos has flourished,adidas Philipp Grubauer jersey,including Stamkos, wondered when he’d be "back, who might be one of the top three players in the world. Stamkos’ presence in the room can’t be understated, is a credit to him and his chemistry with Kucherov,Authentic Connor Hellebuyck jersey, and he’s been a difference-maker on the third-ranked power play. Point’s led the team’s shutdown line,adidas Connor Hellebuyck jersey, On Point: The emergence of Brayden Point last season likely made it easier for the Lightning to part ways with talented wing Jonathan Drouin over the summer. Point is capable of scoring 25-30 goals, charged with defending the other team’s top players. That could loom large come playoff time. Point is a budding star, and he’s on his way with 16 in 42 games. More importantly, and the rest of the league is starting to figure it out. Bolstered blueline: The addition of Mikhail Sergachev has added another dimension to the Lightning blueline, becoming the first team to rack up 100 points from defensemen. Veteran Dan Girardi’s signing might not have been widely praised in the summer, Tampa Bay has seen a big boost in production, a second wave of offense behind Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman. With Sergachev slotted in the top-four, alongside steady veteran Anton Stralman, on the third pair and penalty kill. The good news for the Lightning is that all tests were negative on Girardi, but he’s been a perfect fit in the right role, who got hit in the back of the neck by a slap shot Sunday. specifically the right side,Right-shot defenseman: These are very difficult to acquire, that’s something to watch for. Senators’ Cody Ceci could be available. The Lightning and Blue Jackets have scouted each other often the first half of the year, but if the Lightning can find an upgrade on its blueline, with Columbus having depth on ‘D’ and a need up front. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard will miss Detroit's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night with a lower-body injury. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill confirmed Saturday that Howard hurt himself in Friday night's win over Florida . Detroit has won four games in a row, with Howard stopping 145 of 151 shots in those games. Howard is considered day-to-day, and the Red Wings have five days off after the game against Tampa Bay. When the Tampa Bay Lightning host NHL All-Star Weekend, Authentic Steven Stamkos jersey,they'll have face of the franchise Steven Stamkos front and center. Stamkos was voted by fans as captain of the Atlantic Division team for the All-Star 3-on-3 tournament that'll take place later this month at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. The league unveiled All-Star captains Wednesday night and is expected to announce the full rosters in mid-January. Stamkos has 49 points for first-place Tampa Bay and is signed for the next seven seasons. Stamkos was the No. 1 pick of the Lightning in 2008 and chose to stay with them rather than test free agency in the summer of 2016. and Vasilevsky has the most wins of any goalie with 26., the Lightning could have two more All-Stars in winger Nikita Kucherov and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Kucherov leads the league with 56 points,adidas Carter Hutton jersey,Though every team must be represented and is on pace for his eighth 50-goal season., adidas Nicklas Backstrom jersey,just ahead of Kucherov,Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin earned his ninth career All-Star nod as the fan-voted captain of the Metropolitan Division. Ovechkin leads the league with 26 goals Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban was voted captain for the Metropolitan Division and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid captain of the Pacific Division. After helping the Predators reach the Stanley Cup Final last spring, Subban is tied for third among defensemen with 29 points. McDavid is ninth in the league with 45 points despite the Oilers' struggles.
  9. Coming off two losses (0-1-1) and a New Year’s Eve off, coach John Hynes put the Devils through one of their most up-tempo practices of the season so far today at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center. Which is saying something because the Devils’ haven’t really had a slack-off practice so far this season. The keys were speed and accuracy on the rushes and getting to the net and creating traffic there. Hynes stopped for a brief second to loudly point out an “awful” defensive effort.,At one point, who appears set to remain a healthy scratch, after Drew Stafford, scored on line rush “Practice time is hard to come by at this time of the year,” defenseman John Moore said. “Any time you get a chance to work on things with that time at a premium is a plus. In the Washington game (Saturday’s 5-2 loss) there were certain areas we want to improve on. We were lucky to have a practice to hammer that home.” our details and our work ethic,“I think it was just getting back to what’s made us successful throughout the year and that’s our habits,” Travis Zajac added. “That’s not to say our work ethic is lack but it’s always good to reinforce those habits and that’s what practice was about today.” where they will face the Blues on Tuesday night (Faceoff: 8 p.m.; Television: MSG Plus 2; Radio: WFAN-101.9FM/660AM,The Devils departed for St. Louis after practice, digital One Jersey Network) as they continue this four-game road trip which opened with the loss to the Capitals. ” Devils coach John Hynes said. “I think when you look at games like the Washington game where you need to have strong structure and really good habits to be able to win those games, “We talked to them this morning in the morning about having strong habits, we weren’t as strong as we needed to be. So we pointed some of those things out. ” Hynes added. “Even if it’s a 25-minute practice we have to be able to practice and have habits that are going to help us when we play in games where there’s pressure or strong meaning to them. So that’s our next challenge.”,“But it’s also, when we get on the ice for practice, coming down the stretch, we have to have winning habits at all times there was far from a 25-minute practice. Rather,For the record, Hynes worked his players hard and nearly non-stop for almost 50 minutes. Devils No. 1 goalie Cory Schneider has started a season-high nine straight games and Hynes acknowledged he has thought long and hard about his goalie decision for Tuesday night. But he was not ready to announce a starting goalie. the so-called “soft” and “loose” loss as dubbed by Hynes that night,Backup Keith Kinkaid has not played since stopping 34 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9, though he was not talking about Kinkaid’s performance. Phil Kessel and Conor Sheary scored in a four-goal second period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win over the scuffling Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. Ryan Reaves and Tom Kuhnhackl also scored in the second to help the Penguins beat their in-state rivals again. Both teams started the night outside the Eastern Conference playoff standings. who made his 14th straight start,Authentic Blake Wheeler jersey,Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, allowed the four goals on just eight shots in the second period and was yanked for Michal Neuvirth in the third. who had a 1.56 goals-against average and .943 save percentage over his last three games,The Penguins lost goalie Tristan Jarry to an injury in the second. Jarry, appeared to take a stiff shot off his blocker hand and was checked by the team trainer. Matt Murray kept the Flyers scoreless the rest of the game. The Penguins’ scoring burst came in just four minutes and they needed only 40 seconds during that span to score twice and take a 3-1 lead. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had an assist on Kessel’s 17th goal,Authentic Patrik Laine jersey, but the Penguins also got goals from fourth-liners Reaves and Kuhnhackl to break the game open. Reaves snapped a 1-all tie with his second and Sheary scored 40 seconds later for his 11th. Kuhnhackl got his second of the season to make it 4-1. Robert Hagg and Travis Konecny,Reaves and Kuhnhackl each scored against Philadelphia’s top defensive pair, and the Flyers were unable to build on a huge road win at Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay. Jamie Oleksiak made it 5-1 with a power-play goal in the third to seal just the Penguins’ fourth win over the last 11 games. Jordan Weal scored his fourth of the season for the Flyers. Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 26th goal 1:57 into overtime as visiting Washington topped Carolina for its third straight win. who went to overtime for the sixth time in eight games.,Authentic Dustin Byfuglien jersey,Ovechkin also tied it with 7:15 left in regulation, with Nicklas Backstrom assisting on both goals. Alex Chiasson, Devante Smith-Pelly and Dmitry Orlov each scored for the Capitals Joe Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks (21-12-4), who were coming off a 6-0 setback Sunday in Dallas. San Jose has won 4 of 5. Andrew Shaw scored for Montreal (16-20-4),adidas Michael Hutchinson jersey, which has lost five straight games and scored just four goals during that span. Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves for Minnesota, which has won 3 of 4. Charlie Coyle added an empty-net goal and Jared Spurgeon had three assists. Zach Parise made his season debut for the Wild after missing the first 39 games while recovering from back surgery. 2016,Staal had his fourth multigoal game of the season in adding to his team lead with 17 goals. Cullen had his first multigoal game since April 7, doubling his season output. The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup. That reality will hang over the franchise and haunt fans until the breakthrough finally occurs. That 50-year futility is the “yeah,Authentic Carter Hutton jersey, but” clause inserted into every upbeat conversation about the team. With that qualifier out of the way, let’s make it clear: This franchise’s hockey operation has never been better. the Blues had more colorful (Ron Caron),Sure, aggressive (Mike Keenan) and patient (Larry Pleau) heads of the hockey operation. It has had wealthier owners (Bill and Nancy Laurie) and more gregarious executives (Mike Shanahan). was a no-brainer.,With the combination of chairman Tom Stillman and general manager Doug Armstrong, this long-frustrated franchise has its best shot at actually earning a parade. So Armstrong’s four-year contract extension, though, with a fifth-year club option Armstrong wanted to stay and Stillman wanted him to stay, given his success since coming over from the Dallas Stars as Pleau’s understudy and successor. unlike some other owners,Stillman shares Armstrong’s vision for team-building. He knows the sport, but he also gives his hockey people room to do their thing. he is committed to the fan base. You can see it in the way he interacts with the coaching staff and the players.”,“He’s honest and he’s strong and he’s got that commitment that he also has that long-term vision,” Armstrong said during the Wednesday news conference to announce his new contract. “He’s passionate. A lot of owners, it’s just a small part of their overall conglomerate of businesses and they come and go. Tom is here every day. He is committed to the franchise Stillman’s ownership group is committed to winning. It spends to the NHL salary cap year after year and funds an all-star front office staff. that we have a committed owner that’s going to do what it takes to win.”,“The understanding if we continue to have success,” Armstrong said. “Really, he will pour whatever revenues that come in back into the product on the ice, that’s what our fans want to know Colton Parayko and Jake Allen.,Armstrong and Co. have built an impressive talent base of prime-age players (or younger) starring Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn Jordan Kyrou and Klim Kostin.,You’ve seen prospects Vince Dunn,adidas Philipp Grubauer jersey, Sammy Blais and Jordan Schmaltz flash upside this season. The World Junior Championships are reminding us that more talent is destined for St. Louis,adidas Dustin Byfuglien jersey, Tage Thompson, including young forwards Robert Thomas ” Stillman said. “I think that says a lot. The way Doug has made decisions that are not maybe decisions some would make in a contract year,adidas Blake Wheeler jersey,“Our stable of prospects is among the best in the league even while we’ve had this current success, looking for the long-term success and not necessarily going for it in the near term. He’s just shown tremendous ability to make us successful now and make sure that we’ll still be in good position for the future.” Armstrong’s regime hasn’t been perfect. Weary of watching Jarsoslav Halak bleed untimely goals, he took a pricey 2014 playoff ride on the Ryan Miller Express. That did not end well. Upon further review,adidas Patrik Laine jersey, he needed to get more from the T.J. Oshie trade with the Washington Capitals or find other ways to create long-term salary cap space. He needed to be more generous with Vladimir Sobotka to keep him out of Russia. He needed to be less generous with Jori Lehtera,Authentic Michael Hutchinson jersey, who virtually disappeared after getting another nice NHL deal. He held on to coach Ken Hitchcock too long and created an untenable situation with Mike Yeo lurking as the coach-in-waiting last season. On the other hand, Armstrong knew when to hit the reset button with his roster. He let Troy Brouwer and David Backes exit via free agency so he could start molding a younger team nucleus. He traded Kevin Shattenkirk and his expiring contract to Washington for Zach Sanford and a first-round pick — then used that pick in the miraculous deal with the Philadelphia Flyers that turned the useless Lehtera into the ultra-valuable Schenn. He traded up in the 2016 NHL draft to get Thompson. He dealt enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2017 draft pick that yielded Kostin. His scouting staff keeps finding high-ceiling talent down in the draft, against the odds. All of this has positioned the Blues to move into Cup contention for years to come. “We both have a clear understanding that that is goal No. 1,[adidas Connor Hellebuyck jersey, your draw, is to win that Cup, but for a few years,Authentic Connor Hellebuyck jersey,” Stillman said. “There’s never any ambiguity or disagreement. We are very definitely on the same page there. I think we also both believe that to win a championship you have to put yourself in position not just one year, other things ... I don’t believe in the idea of pinpointing one year and that’s our year. It’s just not realistic.”, because in that one year everything has to go right, whether it’s injuries
  10. once thought to be a favorite to win the NFC East,The New York Giants, are a team in transition. the Giants cut ties with head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese before the season ended,After a highly disappointing 2017 season, confirming big changes are in store for a team that has won two Super Bowls with quarterback Eli Manning. the next task is hiring a head coach. The Giants appear to have several candidates in mind, though the list could soon be dwindling. Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien was thought to be a potential candidate but he reportedly expects to stay put,After hiring Dave Gettleman as general manager, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also bringing back Dirk Koetter. Four out of Giants' top five coaching candidates are in the playoffs, so a decision may not be made for several weeks. Here's an early look at who the Giants might hire. The former Detroit Lions head coach and current Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator is considered the favorite. In five seasons with the Lions, Schwartz reached the playoffs once and had a 29-51 record. 51,But Schwartz, has done a solid job running the Eagles' defense over the last two seasons. He is considered a safe choice. The Giants defensive coordinator is among the most respected defensive coordinators in the NFL and has stated that the Giants head coaching job has "always been something in my heart for a long time." 58, is still considered a longshot. As interim head coach,Spagnuolo, he had a 1-3 record and had a 10-38 record as head coach of the Rams. Giants requested permission to interview the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. The Michigan native is considered a top target for the Lions vacancy and is expected to be interviewed by the Arizona Cardinals. It wouldn't be surprising if Shurmur gives a stronger look to other teams as opposed to the Giants. especially since the Giants went with McAdoo in 2016. At 41 years old,It seems almost a given that McDaniels will get a second shot at a head coaching job after his mostly disappointing run with the Denver Broncos in 2009-10. But it remains unclear if it will be with the Giants, McDaniels is the youngest candidate on this list and the New England Patriots offensive coordinator has had a successful run with the team since his arrival in 2012. He might think there's a chance he will one day replace Bill Belichick. coach Andy Reid served up his customary name,The morning after the latest Chiefs postseason farce, rank and serial number news conference. it’s his modus operandi as an NFL head coach to suppress the considerable personality he’d share, say,Alas, when he was a University of Missouri assistant coach during 1989-91. So he kept a stoic face and cards stashed away as he spoke about needing time to process the 22-21 loss to Tennessee on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium,Womens George Kittle Jersey, time to get away from emotions and consider what was “real” and what wasn’t about the defeat. Reid must make substantial changes lest he be guilty of an utterly overused but really handy definition of insanity: doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. of course,There’s a fine line, between worthy conviction and reflexive stubbornness. So Reid is right to resist rash impulse as he prepares to work with general manager Brett Veach to assess staff and player personnel in the weeks to come and methodically evaluate from the ground up. But even Reid acknowledges that changes will be coming among players, albeit qualifying that as “the nature of the business.” Reid has to strongly consider a change at defensive coordinator from Bob Sutton to shake up a defense that’s gone stale and that for the second straight year simply couldn’t stop the run when it had to in a playoff loss. Sutton is a personal favorite and a gentleman who has had a great coaching career, but sometimes things just run their course. And the same can be said about quarterback Alex Smith,Authentic Earl Mitchell Jersey, another personal favorite to whom this franchise and city owe a debt of gratitude but who seems destined to have a bittersweet legacy here. including a fascinating study by FiveThirtyEight sports about the five-year itch between coaches and quarterbacks,By any cold logic, it’s time for Smith to yield the floor to rookie Patrick Mahomes. It would honestly pain me to see the departure of the star-crossed Smith, who had the season of his life and by most measures is likely to have a better statistical season wherever he is next year than the ridiculously talented-but-raw Mahomes. And if all else were equal, I wouldn’t make the case even if it’s worthy of considering on its own. But no matter how you break this down, it’s impossible to get past the simple economics (the Chiefs can save $17 million against the salary cap by trading him) and value (what they could command in a trade and how else they could apply the money to areas of need) of dealing Smith. two-steps-back next year in playing Mahomes,Womens Dontae Johnson Jersey, who would go through growing pains that will make you question this,There would be some one-step-up, but he also has exhilarating stuff in his skill set that Smith wouldn’t be able to do and an apparently higher future ceiling. Because it’s time for another sort of reset for a franchise that absolutely is stalled and was stigmatized anew with a preposterous sixth straight home playoff loss over the last 24 years. The defeat relegated the otherwise transformative force of Reid to 1-4 in the postseason here and 11-13 overall in the playoffs, which in a certain brutal twist ties former Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer for the third-most playoff defeats in NFL history behind men (Don Shula and Tom Landry) who won multiple Super Bowls. they’ll work “a couple hours,” Pederson said. It won’t be like a typical game week schedule,So what are the Eagles’ plans this week The players were off Monday and are off again on Tuesday before returning to work the next three days. Pederson wanted to give the players “time to get away and just relax.” On Wednesday and Thursday, but they’ll be at the facility. There’s no opponent to prepare for yet,Womens Trent Brown Jersey, so it’s not game plan-specific. Pederson will then have the players in on Friday morning before giving them the weekend off. They’re back on Monday to begin preparing for the Jan. 13 game. The NFL announced each team’s 2018 opponents on Monday.Here’s who the Eagles will play: New York Giants, Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers,Home: Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings. New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams,Away: Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans. Pay attention to whether that Jacksonville game is in London. The Jaguars play a home game in London each season, and the Eagles are one of six teams that have not yet played there. there wasn’t much to read into the playing time distribution from Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys. Rasul Douglas played every snap at cornerback, Womens Zane Beadles Jersey, and Sidney Jones ended up playing 29 defensive snaps and seven special teams snaps before cramps ended his game. Nate Gerry played defense for the first time this season,Because the Eagles sat many of their starters, getting 20 snaps at linebacker. Halapoulivaati Vaitai was the only offensive player to take every snap, and Mack Hollins led all wide receivers with 75 percent of the offensive snaps. He finished with three catches for 25 yards. the people's show, and how I believe they got to this point, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital. Today,Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, I am going into the analytics of the two teams that will be playing in the National Championship game this year, and what the Husker staff can learn and implement into the Nebraska football program and our endeavors to get better to play for the National Championship. The No. 1 thing that I learned, they actually were fairly balanced, on offense they averaged 199, basically 200 yards rushing per game. I'll never forget, is you got to be from the SEC Conference (alright I'm just kidding, no, the first game that Chip Kelly, yes." If that's how his own coach approaches coaching him, who was basically Scott Frost's mentor in this offense that he runs, the first game he ever had in the NFL with the Eagles was in D.C. with the Redskins against us on Monday Night Football. Now, we've played Michael Vick before, but we never played an offense that ran the option, and we were playing Michael freaken' Vick. I've never seen coaches freak out like this before in my entire NFL career, except for one other time, that's when Brett Favre, sort of). The No. 1 thing I learned is you got to be running the football. I feel like at UCF, I was like "Why are we freaking out? He's 40-years-old." The coaches pulled me aside and they said "Adam, Authentic Bradley Pinion Jersey, he's like 40-years-old, our coaches were flipping out going into the game. Now, Mike Holmgren describes coaching Brett Favre: no, no, no, how are we supposed to come up with a game plan for stopping him? let's dive into the national ranking when it comes to rushing analytics pertaining to Georgia and Alabama. They're both in the top 10 nationally when it comes to running the football. Georgia is No. 8 in the country, almost six yards per carry, six yards per carry, 267 rushing yards per game and they average three rushing touchdowns per game. Alabama,Now, No. 10 in the entire country running the football,Womens Earl Mitchell Jersey, 256 rush yards per game and just under three rushing touchdowns per contest as well. The No. 2 thing that I noticed,Authentic Zane Beadles Jersey, you can't lose. Let's look at these national rankings when it comes to these two teams. They're both top five when it comes to defense. Alabama: No. 1 in total defense, No. 5 in the entire country in scoring defense and they played five ranked teams this year, three teams ranked in the top ten. Now I understand they gave up a lot of points to Oklahoma, No. 1 in scoring defense, and they played a schedule tougher that tapioca pudding,Authentic Dontae Johnson Jersey,let's be honest ladies and gentlemen,Womens Joe Staley Jersey, but they did play the No. 2 team in the country, Clemson, you got to stop the other team from scoring. The other team doesn't score, they're No. 5 in the entire country in total defense, in the College Football Playoff and they held them to six points so give them credit for that. You look at Georgia,Authentic Trent Brown Jersey,but I'm going to call that the Baker Mayfield effect. Whether you like him or not, he's one of the best college football players in the past few years. the No. 1 team in the country at the time, one of the best rushing teams in the entire country, every defensive statistic that there is nationally, they were ranked in the top 5. And I also noticed,Here's something else that I did notice. Clemson,Authentic Joe Staley Jersey, Oklahoma, are you starting to notice a theme here ladies and gentlemen? The No. 3 thing that I noticed between these two teams playing for the National Championship, you got to have your own identity. You need something that makes you unique from everyone else in the entire country. not only in the country,Look at Georgia, but maybe in college football history, you can debate it. And true freshman quarterback Jake Fromm, basically all year they said "Hey kid, just don't screw up and we're going to run the football all over the place." They don't even run the option, they have arguably the best running back trio, and they average 442 yards of total offense a game there, that's 36 points per game. Now Jake Fromm isn't playing like a freshman anymore so give him credit for that. their identity is Nick Saban. He's going to take away what you do best, and make you beat him another way,As far as Alabama, a la Bill Belichick and what he does with the Patriots. Alabama is going to play great defense, and they never seem to have a really good quarterback, which is ironic considering that's the opposite problem Bill Belichick has with the Patriots, let's be honest, it's ironic how well they sell recruits, and it's also ironic because Georgia's starting quarterback Jake Fromm, originally committed to Alabama, then he flipped over to Georgia. which I believe will be the Huskers' identity going forward, and I like it, they play fast,Now, they play aggressive, ladies and gentlemen.
  11. Coming off two losses (0-1-1) and a New Year’s Eve off, coach John Hynes put the Devils through one of their most up-tempo practices of the season so far today at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center. Which is saying something because the Devils’ haven’t really had a slack-off practice so far this season. The keys were speed and accuracy on the rushes and getting to the net and creating traffic there. Hynes stopped for a brief second to loudly point out an “awful” defensive effort.,At one point, who appears set to remain a healthy scratch, after Drew Stafford, scored on line rush “Practice time is hard to come by at this time of the year,” defenseman John Moore said. “Any time you get a chance to work on things with that time at a premium is a plus. In the Washington game (Saturday’s 5-2 loss) there were certain areas we want to improve on. We were lucky to have a practice to hammer that home.” our details and our work ethic,“I think it was just getting back to what’s made us successful throughout the year and that’s our habits,” Travis Zajac added. “That’s not to say our work ethic is lack but it’s always good to reinforce those habits and that’s what practice was about today.” where they will face the Blues on Tuesday night (Faceoff: 8 p.m.; Television: MSG Plus 2; Radio: WFAN-101.9FM/660AM,The Devils departed for St. Louis after practice, digital One Jersey Network) as they continue this four-game road trip which opened with the loss to the Capitals. ” Devils coach John Hynes said. “I think when you look at games like the Washington game where you need to have strong structure and really good habits to be able to win those games, “We talked to them this morning in the morning about having strong habits, we weren’t as strong as we needed to be. So we pointed some of those things out. ” Hynes added. “Even if it’s a 25-minute practice we have to be able to practice and have habits that are going to help us when we play in games where there’s pressure or strong meaning to them. So that’s our next challenge.”,“But it’s also, when we get on the ice for practice, coming down the stretch, we have to have winning habits at all times there was far from a 25-minute practice. Rather,For the record, Hynes worked his players hard and nearly non-stop for almost 50 minutes. Devils No. 1 goalie Cory Schneider has started a season-high nine straight games and Hynes acknowledged he has thought long and hard about his goalie decision for Tuesday night. But he was not ready to announce a starting goalie. the so-called “soft” and “loose” loss as dubbed by Hynes that night,Backup Keith Kinkaid has not played since stopping 34 shots in a 5-2 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9, though he was not talking about Kinkaid’s performance. Phil Kessel and Conor Sheary scored in a four-goal second period to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1 win over the scuffling Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. Ryan Reaves and Tom Kuhnhackl also scored in the second to help the Penguins beat their in-state rivals again. Both teams started the night outside the Eastern Conference playoff standings. who made his 14th straight start,Authentic Blake Wheeler jersey,Flyers goalie Brian Elliott, allowed the four goals on just eight shots in the second period and was yanked for Michal Neuvirth in the third. who had a 1.56 goals-against average and .943 save percentage over his last three games,The Penguins lost goalie Tristan Jarry to an injury in the second. Jarry, appeared to take a stiff shot off his blocker hand and was checked by the team trainer. Matt Murray kept the Flyers scoreless the rest of the game. The Penguins’ scoring burst came in just four minutes and they needed only 40 seconds during that span to score twice and take a 3-1 lead. Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby had an assist on Kessel’s 17th goal,Authentic Patrik Laine jersey, but the Penguins also got goals from fourth-liners Reaves and Kuhnhackl to break the game open. Reaves snapped a 1-all tie with his second and Sheary scored 40 seconds later for his 11th. Kuhnhackl got his second of the season to make it 4-1. Robert Hagg and Travis Konecny,Reaves and Kuhnhackl each scored against Philadelphia’s top defensive pair, and the Flyers were unable to build on a huge road win at Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay. Jamie Oleksiak made it 5-1 with a power-play goal in the third to seal just the Penguins’ fourth win over the last 11 games. Jordan Weal scored his fourth of the season for the Flyers. Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 26th goal 1:57 into overtime as visiting Washington topped Carolina for its third straight win. who went to overtime for the sixth time in eight games.,Authentic Dustin Byfuglien jersey,Ovechkin also tied it with 7:15 left in regulation, with Nicklas Backstrom assisting on both goals. Alex Chiasson, Devante Smith-Pelly and Dmitry Orlov each scored for the Capitals Joe Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic also scored for the Sharks (21-12-4), who were coming off a 6-0 setback Sunday in Dallas. San Jose has won 4 of 5. Andrew Shaw scored for Montreal (16-20-4),adidas Michael Hutchinson jersey, which has lost five straight games and scored just four goals during that span. Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves for Minnesota, which has won 3 of 4. Charlie Coyle added an empty-net goal and Jared Spurgeon had three assists. Zach Parise made his season debut for the Wild after missing the first 39 games while recovering from back surgery. 2016,Staal had his fourth multigoal game of the season in adding to his team lead with 17 goals. Cullen had his first multigoal game since April 7, doubling his season output. The Blues have never won a Stanley Cup. That reality will hang over the franchise and haunt fans until the breakthrough finally occurs. That 50-year futility is the “yeah,Authentic Carter Hutton jersey, but” clause inserted into every upbeat conversation about the team. With that qualifier out of the way, let’s make it clear: This franchise’s hockey operation has never been better. the Blues had more colorful (Ron Caron),Sure, aggressive (Mike Keenan) and patient (Larry Pleau) heads of the hockey operation. It has had wealthier owners (Bill and Nancy Laurie) and more gregarious executives (Mike Shanahan). was a no-brainer.,With the combination of chairman Tom Stillman and general manager Doug Armstrong, this long-frustrated franchise has its best shot at actually earning a parade. So Armstrong’s four-year contract extension, though, with a fifth-year club option Armstrong wanted to stay and Stillman wanted him to stay, given his success since coming over from the Dallas Stars as Pleau’s understudy and successor. unlike some other owners,Stillman shares Armstrong’s vision for team-building. He knows the sport, but he also gives his hockey people room to do their thing. he is committed to the fan base. You can see it in the way he interacts with the coaching staff and the players.”,“He’s honest and he’s strong and he’s got that commitment that he also has that long-term vision,” Armstrong said during the Wednesday news conference to announce his new contract. “He’s passionate. A lot of owners, it’s just a small part of their overall conglomerate of businesses and they come and go. Tom is here every day. He is committed to the franchise Stillman’s ownership group is committed to winning. It spends to the NHL salary cap year after year and funds an all-star front office staff. that we have a committed owner that’s going to do what it takes to win.”,“The understanding if we continue to have success,” Armstrong said. “Really, he will pour whatever revenues that come in back into the product on the ice, that’s what our fans want to know Colton Parayko and Jake Allen.,Armstrong and Co. have built an impressive talent base of prime-age players (or younger) starring Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn Jordan Kyrou and Klim Kostin.,You’ve seen prospects Vince Dunn,adidas Philipp Grubauer jersey, Sammy Blais and Jordan Schmaltz flash upside this season. The World Junior Championships are reminding us that more talent is destined for St. Louis, Tage Thompson, including young forwards Robert Thomas ” Stillman said. “I think that says a lot. The way Doug has made decisions that are not maybe decisions some would make in a contract year,adidas Blake Wheeler jersey,“Our stable of prospects is among the best in the league even while we’ve had this current success, looking for the long-term success and not necessarily going for it in the near term. He’s just shown tremendous ability to make us successful now and make sure that we’ll still be in good position for the future.” Armstrong’s regime hasn’t been perfect. Weary of watching Jarsoslav Halak bleed untimely goals, he took a pricey 2014 playoff ride on the Ryan Miller Express. That did not end well. Upon further review,adidas Patrik Laine jersey, he needed to get more from the T.J. Oshie trade with the Washington Capitals or find other ways to create long-term salary cap space. He needed to be more generous with Vladimir Sobotka to keep him out of Russia. He needed to be less generous with Jori Lehtera,Authentic Michael Hutchinson jersey, who virtually disappeared after getting another nice NHL deal. He held on to coach Ken Hitchcock too long and created an untenable situation with Mike Yeo lurking as the coach-in-waiting last season. On the other hand, Armstrong knew when to hit the reset button with his roster. He let Troy Brouwer and David Backes exit via free agency so he could start molding a younger team nucleus. He traded Kevin Shattenkirk and his expiring contract to Washington for Zach Sanford and a first-round pick — then used that pick in the miraculous deal with the Philadelphia Flyers that turned the useless Lehtera into the ultra-valuable Schenn. He traded up in the 2016 NHL draft to get Thompson. He dealt enforcer Ryan Reaves to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2017 draft pick that yielded Kostin. His scouting staff keeps finding high-ceiling talent down in the draft, against the odds. All of this has positioned the Blues to move into Cup contention for years to come. “We both have a clear understanding that that is goal No. 1adidas Connor Hellebuyck jersey, your draw, is to win that Cup, but for a few years,Authentic Connor Hellebuyck jersey,” Stillman said. “There’s never any ambiguity or disagreement. We are very definitely on the same page there. I think we also both believe that to win a championship you have to put yourself in position not just one year, other things ... I don’t believe in the idea of pinpointing one year and that’s our year. It’s just not realistic.”, because in that one year everything has to go right, whether it’s injuries he won’t take an “all in” approach and overpay for temporary help. He is not an impulse shopper,So while Armstrong will look for ways to improve this season’s squad as the trade deadline nears, ,adidas Dustin Byfuglien jersey,unlike some of his unsteady predecessors. but you also want to have a bright future,“You’re always wanting to win every day,” Armstrong said. “I think we’re trying to combine both of those things. Today it looks like it’s on the right track.”
  12. the Blues fell in the second round and St. Louis city voters took a pass on a Major League Soccer franchise.,The Cardinals missed the playoffs for the second year in a row Several metro-east high school teams made a run at Illinois championships, another from Highland and a Waterloo cross-country runner winning state championships.,Authentic Bo Horvat jersey, but only the Althoff Crusaders girls volleyball team brought home the big trophy. The region fared better in individual competitions with three Althoff wrestlers Things heated up even further when, word surfaced that the Cardinals inquired about Baltimore’s 24-year-old third baseman Manny Machado and Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson., at the tail end of the MLB Winter Meetings Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome and a starting pitcher are other names that continue to churn through the rumor mill. Speculation also has surrounded Kansas City free agents Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas with no apparent interest from the Cardinals. Will the Cardinals make another deal or stand pat? This story is still developing. The school boards of Granite City and Collinsville,adidas Alex Ovechkin jersey, voted to leave the league they joined back in 1923., both charter members of the Southwestern Conference Citing concerns about safety at large sporting events — particularly at football and basketball games — the Granite City District 9 School Board voted to pull out of the conference after a student was found to have brought a gun to a Feb. 21 boys basketball game at East St. Louis. but the gym was evacuated and the game canceled with both teams taking a forfeit. The Warriors expect a vote from South Seven Conference member schools on their application for membership in January.,Authentic T. J. Oshie jersey,No shots were fired The Collinsville High School football program will leave the SWC following the 2018 season. Teams in other sports will remain affiliated. The district cited an ongoing competitive disadvantage — the Kahoks have had just one winning season since 1999 — in its decision to withdraw. a team of youth football players staged their own demonstration against the verdict in the trial of former police officer Jason Stockley.,As protesters assembled in the streets of St. Louis emulating an NFL trend started by for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Team coach Orlando Gooden said the idea was initiated by his players,Members of the Junior Comanches youth football team knelt during the playing of the national anthem prior to a game at Belleville’s Citizens Park, with support from the parents., most of them 8 years old The Mascoutah High School football team, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the town’s public-safety workers and retired military members prior to their game against Triad. Athletics Director Scott Battas said the event was in the works before the Stockley verdict but went forward only after he consulted the team’s senior leadership., meanwhile Police had to intervene after Edwardsville took a 15-point lead over the Flyers late in the fourth quarter of a basketball game at East St. Louis. though East St. Louis coach Phillip Gilbert,At the center of the scuffle were Edwardsville’s AJ Epenesa and East St. Louis’ Arthur Carter, who exchanged words after making contact near the Flyers’ basket. Order was quickly restored without further incident, expressed his frustration at the officials for letting the game get too physical., who has since been replaced The East St. Louis District 189 School Board hired two basketball coaches at its April meeting — former Belleville East standout Stetson Hairston to lead the boys team and Dwan Prude for the girls team. Neither one of them lasted until the season started. Prude sent the teenager “sexually-aggressive” texts offering her money and calling her “edible.”,Prude was charged by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office with soliciting a sex act from a 17-year-old girl. According to an affidavit filed by an East St. Louis detective the board suspended Hairston after an audio recording captured his profanity-laced rant during a Flyers practice. He was the second East Side coach in three years dismissed under similar circumstances.,A week after those charges were filed former East St. Louis football player Demond Hunt Jr. filed a lawsuit against the district and coach Darren Sunkett claiming he was forced to play despite notifying staff of headaches and other concussionlike symptoms.,In October spent five weeks in a hospital,Hunt ended up having several small strokes and a seizure on the sideline, the lawsuit states., two weeks in a coma and has been left with permanent brain and neurological damage Gibault Catholic High School graduate John Rheinecker, died in July of what medical examiners later confirmed was a suicide. The Hecker native was 38., a left-handed pitcher who spent parts of two seasons in the major leagues with the Texas Rangers and Mark Vogel,Former coaches Neil Fiala, of Southwestern Illinois College, remembered Rheinecker as a “rare talent.” Missouri State coach Keith Guttin called Rheinecker “one of the most competitive players I’ve ever been around.”, adidas Bo Horvat jersey,of Waterloo All expressed shock at Rheinecker’s untimely death and sorrow for his wife, and their two children and two stepchildren., Jamie only Stan Musial and Bob Gibson wore the Birds on the Bat from start to finish of their major-league careers.,adidas Braden Holtby jersey,Of the 11 players and managers to have their numbers retired by the St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina looks like he’ll be the third. In March,adidas Ryan Miller jersey, $55-million contract extension., the Cardinals kept their popular 35-year-old catcher from reaching free agency with a three-year too. A film crew embedded itself with the East St. Louis football team beginning with the teachers strike that ended their season in 2015 and departed once the Flyers clinched another state championship with their 26-13 win over Plainfield North in the 2016 title game.,This story was in the top 10 of 2016 Executive produced by NBA star LeBron James,adidas Henrik Sedin jersey, the documentary “89 Blocks” aired nationally on Fox in November. It focused on the East St. Louis football tradition and the off-the-field trials its players contend with growing up in a depressed community., Maverick Carter and Sports Illustrated an emotionally withdrawn but talented wide receiver who became a father by the time he was 17. He abandoned the team for two weeks in the middle of the season but was granted a second chance in a decision left to the team’s seniors.,It also cast a bright spotlight on Jeff Thomas where he has been an weapon as a true freshman for the 10-3 Hurricanes.,Authentic Alex Ovechkin jersey,Thomas has since gone on to the University of Miami Belleville East assistant tennis coach Dan Skaer has conducted several United States Tennis Association youth events to raise funds for the Lancers’ program. The tournament he staged on the high school’s courts in early September brought a little star power. USTA member Emma Gretzky raced through the 14-and-under age group bracket to capture the championship in her division. Watching every stroke were her famous parents, a native of St. Louis.,Authentic Braden Holtby jersey, the NHL “Great One” Wayne Gretzky and actress Janet Gretzky Dustin Johnson was there, model and pop singer Paulina Gretzky., too. The No. 1 golfer in the latest World Golf Ranking is the fiance of the Gretzkys’ other daughter Bryan Eversgerd, was an undrafted free agent out of Kaskaskia College who spent four years as a left-handed pitcher in the major leagues.,adidas T. J. Oshie jersey, who still lives in Carlyle He began coaching in the Cardinals organization almost as soon as his playing days were done and eventually became the pitching coach at the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis. He’ll be back in the big leagues in 2018. The Cardinals and new pitching coach Mike Maddux hired Eversgerd to replace Blaise Ilsley as the team’s bullpen coach. was considered a candidate to succeed pitching coach Derek Lilliquist,Eversgerd, 48, who, was not retained., like Ilsley you want to play in the big leagues. It’s the place to play. When you’re a coach,“I told Mike Matheny and Girsch during the interview, ‘When you’re a player, you want to coach in the big leagues, for sure.”,Authentic Philipp Grubauer jersey,’” Eversgerd said. “It’s just as neat getting that call as a coach as it was as a player Berglund has six goals in 17 games but has been providing nice value (especially at home). Though the center plays on the third line at even strength mostly, however., he is going to see some awful New Jersey depth. He is not the only interesting play there is still room to set up a few different lineups that are outside the limits of being safe. This can even be a nice one-off if needed. It can be part of a mini-stack,With the 12-game slate, but how a player maximizes value with spending., too. Expect Vancouver and even Los Angeles ownership to be a good bit lower than normal. Tuesday night will be a night where it is not just about “stars and scrubs” The good news is there are several other options as far as value on Tuesday night. Even Calle Jarnkrok qualifies as center on FanDuel (he gets top-line minutes for Nashville). Perhaps Anaheim’s power play is something to look at along with Vancouver’s. Backes has points in four straight games and will not see the Islanders best defensive pairings. Here is the thing: New York’s team defense is one of the worst in league. They are better at home but still allow 3.28 goals per game and have a penalty kill that is in the mid-70’s at home. Backes and even Danton Heinen could be plays on the secondary power play units. The risk is the expected goals for battling historical context. Five of the last seven matchups here have hit the under. Keep that in mind. and maybe Mark Letestu are all nice low-price options on DraftKings tonight. With this slate,Alex Tuch, Jesper Bratt, these forwards may be worth a shot. Watch the second and even third lines of some teams. Even a Marian Gaborik one off play may be worth a flier. It should take 45-plus points to cash., even these riskier plays are viable. On a few lineups he will block more shots than usual. That sounds a bit risky,Spurgeon shoots at moderate to higher levels typically and has block potential of two or three shots a game. On occasion, and he produces at around $400 per FanDuel point., but the Islanders can drag the pace up of almost any team it seems. His 17 points in 30 games is pretty good they allow the fifth most in all of hockey over the last month. Some will go for Matthew Dumba,Florida allows a ton of daily fantasy points to defensemen on the road. As a matter of fact, but again there is uncertainty. There are so many choices with the 12-game slate that even Alex Pietrangelo is not as chalky as usual.,Authentic Henrik Sedin jersey, but remember he has a lower floor. His price is cheaper The defenseman position has lots of possibilities. John Klingberg could be a nice choice again along with Shayne Gostisbehere. There is also a lot of value in the bargain bin tonight. Many punt plays will again arise from the blueline. Also note that Mikhail Sergachev is in play along with Colin Miller and Miller is not rising in price as fast.
  13. The Bills beat the Dolphins 22-16 but really, who’s keeping score? The record will show that Miami finished this season 6-10, and really, one season after surprisingly going 10-6, has any NFL season been so polar opposite than the one that preceded it? Tyrod Taylor the Dolphin-killer,Womens Domata Peko Jersey,On the first Bills drive of Sunday’s game, of Palm Beach Gardens, completed a pass to a wide open tight end, Nick O’Leary, grandson of Jack Nicklas,Authentic Riley Dixon Jersey, who celebrated it here. Nicklas scored. Safety Reshad Jones and linebacker Kiko Alonso were giving chase, and really, what had changed from the first game of this season, not close enough, to the last? Was it scheme? Was it talent? Was it miscommunication? Whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough. It was disastrous from start to finish. And in particular, the finish was bad, Miami going 2-8 down the stretch. a quarterback named David Fales,On the second drive of this game on Sunday, who, threw incomplete on fourth down to a tight end named A.J. Derby, who, perhaps, will be Miami’s backup quarterback next season, perhaps, will be the team’s backup tight end next season. Fales to Derby, incomplete, in the first quarter of the final game at Hard Rock Stadium this season. OK, some were concerned that Ryan Tannehill did not have that knee surgery. And, to be honest, to be fair, we’ll never know if that preseason ACL tear would not have happened if he did. But there are things we do know, and know very clearly. Miami was undisciplined. So, so undisciplined. One of the worst teams in the NFL in penalties. One of the worst teams in the league in turnover margin. One of the worst teams in the league in scoring differential. There is so much to figure out. For Adam Gase and Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier. But for Gase, he must figure out how important it is that his team was over and over and over again this season, first and foremost perhaps, making not-so-smart penalties. On Sunday, 4 first downs, Miami’s first half looked like this: 0 points, 9 penalties. The Dolphins’ first penalty was committed by a man named Gabe Wright, who wasn’t even on the pregame flip card, because he was activated off the practice squad this week. On Miami’s second drive, Kenyan Drake and Ted Larsen committed pre-snap penalties on consecutive plays. Illegal motion. False start. These are the kinds of penalties that have tortured Gase and staff all season. They’re not even competitive mistakes. They’re mental mistakes. And this is Game 16. All season, Miami has also committed penalties on third downs. Offense and defense, but especially defense. In the second quarter, really, Walt Aikens lowered his head to hit Tyrod Taylor without reason, for an unnecessary roughness penalty that negated a third-down stop. Later, Cam Wake committed a facemask penalty that negated a forced fumble by Stephone Anthony. The Dolphins must determine if they need smarter players. Or if they need to change the way they coach. Or perhaps, even, if they should change a few of the coaches on staff this offseason. It was good that Miami showed some fight during a touchdown drive in the third quarter, with the game and really the season, all but a closed book. But was it good that Jarvis Landry and Kenyan Drake were ejected for their roles in the melee? Is it possible Landry could face suspension for what officials said were two New Year’s Eve violations? It was sad, that there was more interest during the halftime performance of Circe Du Soleil’s “Volta” at Hard Rock Stadium, really, than the first half. really,It was sad, too, there were eyes on games in Los Angeles, ensuring no worse than the 12th pick in the NFL Draft. Oh, that is was completely in Miami’s best interest to lose this game, where Dolphins fans wanted the Raiders to beat the Chargers (for draft pick purposes). And there were eyes in Baltimore, where it was possible Miami could leapfrog the Cincinnati Bengals if they were to win and the Ravens were to choke away a playoff-clinching opportunity. Yeah,Authentic Ronald Leary Jersey, not really so much. As Gase said recently,Authentic Max Garcia Jersey, Miami needs to make sure that they’re not in this position next season. They can’t be hoping for seven things to happen in order to have a chance to sneak into the playoffs. They can’t afford to lose five straight games in the middle of a season. They don’t possibly have such poor talent on offense as to be one of the worst teams in the league. Miami took a flier on Jay Cutler, and he didn’t fly. There weren’t enough accurate passes. There wasn’t enough positive energy. There wasn’t enough left in the tank. With the victory, Terry and Kim of Boca Raton, the Bills put themselves in position to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 1999. This is great news for the Pegula family, who happen to own the Bills. For Dolphins owner Stephen Ross,Authentic Domata Peko Jersey,Womens Max Garcia Jersey, as the phrases “hurricane,” “white-powdered substance, the part-time Palm Beach resident, disappointment. He’ll want answers. But he’ll also have patience we suspect,” and “AWOL” don’t usually appear in Dolphins stories in one season. There will be hope that Ryan Tannehill will change the course of Miami’s offense with leadership and poise and decision-making and that Miami will strike gold with a Top 12 pick and find a way to clear enough cap space (Julius Thomas,Authentic Jamaal Charles Jersey,Womens Todd Davis Jersey, Lawrence Timmons, a restructure or two) to add a few key free agents. Timmons filled the hole and lowered his pads to tackle Bills running back Mike Tolbert. And Timmons was absolutely trucked. Bowled over. Humiliated. As the history books will show you, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2014 and 2016. In the year sandwiched between, the Patriots could have won a Super Bowl but did not. They came up short, and it had a lot to do with the Patriots did — or rather, did not do — in Week 17 against an inferior opponent. That year, the 12-3 Patriots went down to Miami to face a 5-10 Dolphins team that had absolutely nothing to play for. A Patriots victory would have secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. But the Patriots came up short. In the first half, they employed arguably the worst game plan of the entire Bill Belichick era. They handed the ball to Steven Jackson time after time after time, and Tom Brady was allowed to throw just one pass in the first quarter. He was 4-for-5 at halftime. It appeared to be an effort to preserve Brady’s health; that mission failed, too. Brady limped off the podium that afternoon. As a result of the 20-10 loss in Miami, the Patriots entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed. Three weeks later, they lost in Denver. The Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl. This year, the Patriots are in the same position. They’re hoping for a different outcome against a likewise inferior opponent in Week 17. it’s the New York Jets coming to town,This time, boasting the same 5-10 record that Miami carried into Week 17 of 2015. One major — major — difference this time around is that it’s going to be cold on Sunday. Very cold. Extraordinarily, as we know, are very good when it’s cold out. Football players also tend to not enjoy the cold. They don’t like to get hit, painfully, awfully cold. The Patriots, they don’t like to stiffen up, and if they’re on a 5-10 team that’s minutes away from the offseason, they tend to just want to get in the shower and go home for a few months. The onus, then, will fall on the Patriots to jump out to an early lead and diminish the Jets’ hopes of ending their season on a positive note. Nothing amplifies the drama in Week 17 quite like the stoking of a rivalry. Suffice it to say, James Harrison’s signing with the Patriots this week did just that. Many Steelers ripped Harrison for his exit, despite his lack of playing time all season long in Pittsburgh. Harrison said it was merely a business decision. Against the Jets, the Patriots’ front seven could always use a boost. But more importantly, if the Patriots do hope to get some production out of Harrison in January, you figure he should be able to get some playing time. For one, then they’ll want to get him some live reps in game action to catch him up to speed — both physically and mentally. Tom Brady has been the league’s MVP this season, for the past month, and he deserves the award. At the same time, the award has been Brady’s to lose. And he’s nearly lost it. If he puts forth another performance that’s in line with his last four? He could open the door to a fringe candidate like Todd Gurley or Russell Wilson. Over his last four games, the weather, some bad matchups or some bad luck, Brady has thrown four touchdowns and five interceptions, posting a passer rating of 81.5. Whether it’s an injury, the net result has not been great for the man who began the year with 26 touchdowns and just three interceptions. A strong showing on Sunday — even, a 250-yard, two-touchdown day with no interceptions — would go a long way toward securing the MVP award. More importantly for the Patriots, say,Womens Jamaal Charles Jersey, it would be a promising final chapter to the regular season for Brady before the games really begin to count. We’ve seen Bill Belichick go the extra mile to allow his players to go out of their way to achieve statistical marks in Week 17 of a season in 2007 with Brady and Randy Moss. Would the coach allow Rob Gronkowski the chance to make some extra dough? The feeling is that no, Belichick won’t alter Sunday’s game plan to allow Gronkowski to either catch 11 passes or gain 116 receiving yards in order to automatically activate an extra $2.5 million in contract incentives. Nevertheless, the third way Gronkowski can activate the full $5.5 million in incentives is to earn First Team All-Pro honors. That’s something he might have already wrapped up,Authentic Todd Davis Jersey, keeping an eye on Gronkowski’s stats will be a worthy sub-plot in the event the game gets out of hand. Plus, but adding a touchdown or two on Sunday to get to 10 on the season probably wouldn’t hurt his case. It’s honestly tough to tell what in the world is going on down in Pittsburgh this week. When the media entered the Steelers locker room on Wednesday, with players ripping James Harrison left and right, all hell broke loose, talking about the player sleeping and snoring through meetings and angrily leaving stadiums and not visiting teammates in the hospital. It was wild. But a bit disordered is the way Mike Tomlin likes it, and so when Marcus Gilbert nonchalantly said that Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell won’t be playing this week,Womens Riley Dixon Jersey, it was difficult to discern whether he was being too honest with the media or whether he was creating a fake storyline for the media to chase. But with Roethlisberger not practicing, it seems as though Tomlin is resting his stars, accepting the fact that the Patriots will beat the Jets. Considering Tomlin’s already lost Antonio Brown to injury this month, and Bell missing practices too, his caution is understandable. So, given the Steelers’ approach to Sunday’s game … it may be possible … that the Cleveland Browns … actually … have a chance … to win … the football game. I know that’s nuts, but it seems apparent that the Steelers aren’t treating this weekend’s game with any level of care. And with the Browns staring 0-16 in the face, personal pride may win the day. If that’s the case, the celebration may begin early in Foxboro. Brian Hoyer may enter the game as a human victory cigar, and the Browns are up on the Steelers somewhere in the 3 o’clock hour,Womens Ronald Leary Jersey, making for a rather smooth ending to the regular season. With either a Patriots win or a Steelers loss, the Patriots could secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC for the sixth time in the past 11 seasons and third time in the past four seasons.
  14. Well,Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey, in the style we've all become accustomed to the past 52 weeks, and even beyond. an uglier-than-it-looks 3-2 loss Thursday to the host Florida Panthers. But then that was followed up 24 hours later with an impressive 5-3 win over the NHL-best Tampa Bay Lightning that snapped the Bolts' eight-game home win streak.,The Flyers closed 2017 in a fittingly inconsistent and frustrating matter. How? First Just because there were only two games this week doesn't mean we don't have plenty to dissect as 2017 reaches the brink of existence. wasn't it? We've seen this club come out of the gate strong,This week was just so incredibly apropos of what we've seen from these Flyers,Authentic Jake Allen jersey, power out of that hole by reeling off six straight and then have its pulse even out with a win here and a loss there., fall into the dark abyss of a 10-game losing streak where they hadn't lost in almost a month.,It's this Jekyll and Hyde show that seems to have no end for this group. This week was the latest example with the uninspiring loss in South Florida and then the total 180 for an earmarked win over the powerhouse Bolts in their own barn but when you look back at these two games this past week,This inconsistency with these Flyers isn't anywhere close to breaking news, four points behind the New York Islanders for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference as of Sunday morning., it's the overwhelming theme. And that overwhelming theme of this week is a microcosm of why the Flyers are where they are Atop the list of 2018 resolutions, you fill in the blank. It's the same one that's been near the top of that list each year for a while now., well The Flyers' return from the Christmas break in South Florida was almost doomed from the beginning. giving up three goals,They kicked things off with a bang (not really) by taking three penalties in the first period, taxing their penalty killers and forcing lines to be jumbled. They wound up outshot by a 13-5 margin in that period. Then Brian Elliott wasn't his sharpest, on 27 shots., including an early softie to Jared McCann was it ever the power play,Then it was the power play. And, oh, including allowing a shorthanded goal to Derek McKenzie., and not in a good way. The man advantage was a dismal 0 for 4 with just six shots on net and it continually shot itself in the foot before they turned it on late with two goals turn the heat up a bit,Almost everything that could have gone wrong for the Flyers did, no matter if it's the worst or the best. They can't just play 10 minutes and expect to win. And that was another hard reality Thursday., but not nearly enough. The Flyers aren't good enough right now to continually play catch-up like that against any team in the NHL where the Flyers put forth a complete,Lesson learned Friday in Tampa, snapping their long home win streak and making a statement in the process., sound effort in topping the league-best Bolts the Flyers caught a break as the Lightning started backup goalie Peter Budaj over Andrei Vasilevskiy and yes,Yes, they controlled the flow of the game and had the Lightning on their heels for the rest of the evening., the Flyers found themselves in a hole again courtesy of an unstoppable Steven Stamkos power-play laser beam. But from that point on one off the stick of Wayne Simmonds,A major difference, you ask? The power play that was dreadful the night before laid the groundwork with two quick second-period tallies, but also that they could go on the road and take it to the best team in the league., the other off the stick of Shayne Gostisbehere. What else did those tallies do? They gave the Flyers a much-needed jolt of confidence - confidence that not only they could hang on the road with the best team in the league It was a complete effort that also included goals from Sean Couturier and Brandon Manning and an empty-netter by Valtteri Filppula. What else more can be said about Couturier and the complete player he's evolved into this season? He again displayed his evolution on the offensive end in the two games this week. On Thursday, he set up Simmonds with a gorgeous backhand saucer pass across the crease before he slammed home a rebound at the end of the second period for goal No. 18., he collected goal No. 17 on the season when he got a piece of Gostisbehere's point drive late in the third. On Friday playing on the top line with guys like Simmonds and Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek also helps.,So what's changed for Couturier to get him here? It's not talent. He's always had that offensive talent dating back to junior. Sure 211-pound frame to work. And it shows.,But he is supremely confident now in the offensive end. There's no hesitation. But also look at where the majority of his goals have come from this season - in and around the crease. He's getting into the greasy areas around the net and putting his 6-foot-3 the New York Islanders,adidas Martin Jones jersey,There were only two games last week, so let's look into the orange and black crystal ball and take a peek at the week coming up. The Flyers are about to embark on a four-game homestand vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, which starts Jan. 8., St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres. And that's before hitting the mandated bye week needless to say,Authentic Alex Pietrangelo jersey,Authentic Carter Hutton jersey,Yeah, so, but the Flyers already shut them out earlier in the season in St. Louis., this is a pivotal week for the Flyers if they are to make some type of push toward the postseason. It will officially be January and the nitty-gritty is approaching if it's not already here. The Pens and Isles both sit ahead of the Flyers in the standings. The Sabres are the worst team in the East as of Sunday morning and are more-than-beatable. The Blues are a feisty squad out of the Central Division “That’s what you’re searching for is consistency all the time no matter what it is,adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey, one loss. We have to string some together if we want to keep up with the race here. You have to have good starts and go from there. That’s what we have to focus on.”,” veteran goalie Brian Elliott said. “It can’t be game to game. We can’t have one win something they still can’t seem to improve on. It is the one feature that has plagued so many areas of their game.,It’s been their top goal since training camp not even producing momentum,adidas Carter Hutton jersey,Their power play has gone dormant for games at a time, their 18.9 percent clip had them tied for 17th in the league after Thursday’s loss., let alone a goal. So even though they had power-play goals in four straight games recently which had tightened up the opportunities against before giving the Panthers four power plays Thursday. Periods of incompetence there had the penalty kill ranked third worst in the league.,Same for their penalty kill but there is no one aspect of the Flyers’ game that will save them in the 2018 portion of their schedule.,Consistency in any area would go a long way along with that,“There’s too many little things we have to do well when you look at how this team has won,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “As long as this team has the mentality and the swagger we’ve played with and, we have to have the clear mentality to keep getting better while we’re earning critical points.”, the mindset to continue to get better…that formula can’t change no matter how critical it is for us to win games. Right along with that That hasn’t happened regularly enough recently and to leave the formula unchanged despite its lack of success likely won’t help either. then strong enough the next night to earn a point in a shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.,Before the Christmas break they were awful against the Buffalo Sabres which has become an annual trademark for them.,After the Christmas break the Flyers laid another egg ” Hakstol said after the loss. The Flyers are now 0-10-2 in post-Christmas road trips dating back to the 2014-15 season. “It’s the same for both teams out there.”,“It doesn’t matter what the reason is. It’s not something that can happen especially for a team that should be hungry after missing out on the second season three of the last five years.,Flipping and flopping is no way to get to the playoffs even if they don’t say it.,The Flyers know this the dissenting opinion in the poor consistency argument was given by captain Claude Giroux.,After Thursday’s loss “I think we’ve been doing a good job of that,” he said when asked what it would take for his team to find more stability. “The game (Thursday) we didn’t play very well. We shot ourselves in the foot a lot and it’s frustrating. Especially with where we are in the standings we want to catch up to teams and games like this can’t happen.”, actually and not just as occasional outliers.,They have though Next Saturday will make the halfway point of the Flyers’ season and their unpredictability leaves them as a team still without a clear identity. ” Wayne Simmonds said. “We’ve got to consistently play good hockey if we’re gonna be a playoff team here. I thought we did a good job the last 10 as opposed to the 10 before…but that’s the consistency thing I’m talking about.”,“We’ve had some ups and downs And another one bites the dust! The Vegas Golden Knights just can’t lose at home and Sunday was another example of it as the Golden Knights knocked off the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3. The Golden Knights are 16-2-1 at home and they are also 9-0-1 in their last 10. Anyone who thought that Vegas would fold come December (I was one of them) have been sadly mistaken. William Karlsson had the hat trick for the winners and it was the first one in the team’s short history. The Knights scored quickly and often in the first as Pierre-Edouard Bellemare opened the scoring at the 2:24 mark and Karlsson quickly made it 2-0 less than two minutes later. Erik Haula gave them a 3-0 lead that they took into the second period. In the second period Patrick Marleau and Auston Matthews sandwiched a goal by Karlsson and it was 4-2 after the second. Matthews scored his second of the game and 17th of the season to make it 4-3 just 27 seconds into the third but Jonathan Marchessault’s 14th of the year assisted by Karlsson made it 5-3. Karlsson’s empty netter clinched it and it was his 20th of the season. Malcolm Subban stopped 20 shots for his 10th win of the season. Frederik Andersen took the loss as he gave up five goals on 30 shots. smelled the same grilled meat and saw the same camaraderie among fans that they would on any Bills Sunday.,adidas Alex Pietrangelo jersey, Anyone visiting the parking lots around New Era Field in Orchard Park before game time on Friday saw the same gloves holding the same cans of beer But there were more people shooting pucks instead of throwing footballs around, the lots weren't nearly as full and there was less of the outrageous behavior that has won Bills tailgaters national notoriety., people wore hockey sweaters – primarily Team Canada – instead of football jerseys eat Italian sausage and otherwise enjoy themselves were there for the IIHF World Junior Championships outdoor hockey game.,That's because this wasn't a Buffalo Bills home game. The thousands of fans of Team USA and Team Canada who flocked to the frozen lots to drink adult beverages a bandanna,That was the American flag overall shorts worn by Alex Hajduczok of Rochester, because Hajduczok wasn't wearing a shirt underneath them or a jacket over them. He had sweatpants, Authentic Brent Burns jersey,a Bills winter hat and mittens., a beaded necklace "We got off the bus," he said. "We've got to represent America.",Authentic Martin Jones jersey, and I thought it was going to be a lot colder The families know each other through youth hockey and they use the six-sided tents for outdoor tournaments in the Adirondacks. They had propane-powered space heaters inside,adidas Brent Burns jersey," Weiman said., and they were letting anyone who wandered by use them. "Grab a beer and warm up Steve Pawlik, said security guards came over three times to warn his family about their fire before finally knocking it over.,adidas Jake Allen jersey,of Kenmore Pawlik said he went to the first Winter Classic between the Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins when he was 12 or 13. It snowed during that game and Friday's predicted snow, "would make the experience a little better.", he said
  15. though maybe the leftovers aren’t. Those could stick around for a while.,The holidays are now behind us We went dark for Christmas to get a greater sample size as the NHL shut down for three days. Tampa Bay sticks around, though Vegas is giving them a serious run. No other expansion team has won seven straight games but the Golden Knights are doing a lot of things we never expected., as it has all season. A lot has to knock the remarkably consistent Lightning from their lofty perch As for the locals, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick among the elite at the three most important positions on the ice. That matters., the Kings sometimes don’t pass the eye test but they just continue to scratch out wins. And they still have Anze Kopitar The Ducks, who are finally getting healthy, even when a new calendar year is just beginning. ., are just starting to have that playoff look. But they’ve still got ground to make up. Slip-ups can be damaging putting up eight goals and 10 assists over a 12-game point streak. He’s their second-line center. ,1. Lightning (28-8-2): Everything seems to be running smoothly. Now Tyler Johnson is going 2. Golden Knights (26-9-2): Among things we didn’t count on: A seven-game winning streak and William Karlsson (20 goals) blowing up. Wild Bill just shot down Toronto with a New Year’s Eve hat trick. including beat New Jersey to move atop the Metropolitan Division. They’ve won eight straight at Capital One Arena. (4),6. Capitals (24-13-3): They put aside small three-game spell with consecutive home wins 7. Blues (24-15-2): The offense has really dried up. They’ve scored two or fewer goals eight times during 3-6-0 skid. Vladimir Tarasenko has two goals over that. Alexander Steen has four goals in all. (5) they’d be the NHL’s best surprise story. (11),8. Devils (22-10-6): They’ve dropped their last two but a five-game win streak bumped them up in this space. If it wasn’t for those dudes in Vegas 9. Maple Leafs (23-15-2): Toronto has only played 16 games at home and it will start a season-high six-game stretch by hosting NHL-leading Lightning. The Leafs need to shake that Vegas Flu first. (8) 10. Bruins (21-10-6): The boys from Beantown are 6-0-1 in their last seven and, are 15-3-2 since losing at Anaheim in mid-November. (19), if you didn’t already know got beat in the third period at Ottawa and were outclassed by Tampa Bay at home. (6),11. Blue Jackets (22-15-3): Troubling trends are creeping into their game. The defense has been leaky. They blew a lead in Pittsburgh 12. Sharks (20-12-4): The good news for San Jose is that Logan Couture is back from a concussion. The bad news is the Sharks were smoked in Dallas to open a trip. This low-scoring unit has to remain tight on defense. (10) 13. Stars (22-15-3): The Hitchcock Effect is taking place. Dallas is allowing the second fewest shots on goal in the NHL and has held opponents to two or fewer goals six times in 6-2-2 spike upward. (14) 14. Rangers (20-13-5): Five of their last nine games have been decided in overtime or a shootout. You can’t always rely on winning those in the season’s second half to hold that wild-card spot. (12) John Gibson remains solid and they’re starting to see the intangibles the return of Ryan Kesler brings. This group is also doing a better job of staying out of the penalty box of late. (21),15. Ducks (18-14-8): Rickard Rakell is red hot 16. Flames (19-16-4): Calgary started a key three-game homestand with an overtime victory over Chicago and now has the Kings and Ducks coming in. They’re not do-or-die games but they’re big. (18) 17. Wild (20-16-3): Matt Dumba is emerging as an impact all-situation defender working alongside the minutes-eating Ryan Suter on the back end. Averaging nearly 23 minutes of ice time. (17) 18. Islanders (20-15-4): Fans are getting restless after a 6-1 drubbing in Colorado capped a 5-8-2 December. The loss of steady Calvin de Haan is taking an immediate toll on an already iffy blue line. (13) 19. Hurricanes (18-13-7): A familiar name has led them into playoff contention. Cam Ward has won his last six starts and has a .935 save percentage over that span. It’s looking like he’s the No. 1 for now. (22) 20. Blackhawks (18-14-6): Jeff Glass is a great story in getting a win in his NHL debut at 32. It also shows that Joel Quenneville has little confidence in Anton Forsberg while Corey Crawford (upper body) is out. (15) 21. Avalanche (19-16-3): Perhaps we were a little quick to write off the Mile High men. They’re 7-3-1 in their last 11 and are within view of the West wild-card spots. (24) 22. Penguins (19-18-3): Looks like GM Jim Rutherford was right in sensing something isn’t right with his group. Pittsburgh is currently out of a playoff spot and heading in the wrong direction. (16) Scott Laughton and Jordan Weal. Claude Giroux’s 13 goals are as many as the three combined. (20),23. Flyers (16-14-8): This top-heavy group is not getting a lot out of young forwards Travis Konecny 1.66 GAA .952 save percentage) has been exceptional of late. (27),24. Panthers (17-16-5): A sweep of a four-game homestand extended their win streak to a season-high five games. James Reimer (6-2-1 25. Oilers (17-19-3): This has to be one of the most frustrating seasons in Todd McLellan’s coaching career. Leon Draisaitl, has three power-play points. (25), who can’t thrive without Connor McDavid has 12 goals and 16 assists and his name always pops up at the trade deadline. (23),26. Canucks (16-18-5): Could Thomas Vanek wind up on his ninth team in five years? He’s on a one-year deal no goals in his last 12 games and one in his last 21. Are the Habs really considering trading their captain? (26),Authentic Kris Letang jersey,27. Canadiens (16-19-4): Five-time 30-goal scorer Max Pacioretty has eight total 28. Red Wings (15-16-7): The Winged Wheel hasn’t had a top-five draft pick since taking Keith Primeau third overall in 1990. Maybe that’s not a bad play in a lengthy rebuild. (28) Derick Brassard or even Erik Karlsson) that could fetch good assets. (29),29. Senators (12-17-8): It isn’t going to happen in Canada’s capital and GM Pierre Dorion does have some movable pieces (Mike Hoffman 30. Sabres (10-20-8): Jack Eichel did have four goals and seven points over a four-game stretch before entering the Winter Classic. So there’s that. (30) 31. Coyotes (9-27-5): Friendly advice to offer. See what you can get for Oliver Ekman-Larsson right now. A Stanley Cup hopeful might pony up for two postseasons of the 2019 unrestricted free agent on its blue line. (31) when the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams compete in the Winter Olympics in South Korea.,Wisconsin will be well-represented on the other side of the world next month Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker of Dousman and goaltender Alex Rigsby of Delafield.,Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey,The women’s team includes Madison native Amanda Kessel and four former University of Wisconsin players: forwards Meghan Duggan Badgers senior forward Annie Pankowski was among the final cuts as the team reached its 23-player roster limit. who leads the Milwaukee Admirals in scoring with 13 goals and 25 points in 32 games.,The men’s team includes winger Bobby Butler another former UW player.,Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato is the U.S. men's coach and his assistants include former Badgers star Chris Chelios. The general manager is Jim Johannson The team rosters were announced Monday during the NHL Winter Classic. The NHL is not allowing its active players to participate in the Olympics for the first time since 1994. The men’s team consists of former NHL players,Authentic Matt Murray jersey, minor-leaguers and players competing professionally in Europe., college players Brian Gionta, 38,Authentic Joe Pavelski jersey, is the team captain. He was the leading scorer on the 2006 U.S. Olympic team., who played last year for the Buffalo Sabres the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque.,The team also includes Chris Bourque The U.S. women will be looking to end Canada’s streak of four consecutive Olympic gold medals. The Americans beat the Canadians to win gold in the inaugural women’s Olympic tournament in 1998 but since have settled for three silver medals and one bronze. Canada came back to tie the score in the final minutes and then beat the U.S. in overtime.,In 2014 “It’s truly an honor to win an Olympic medal,adidas Patrick Marleau jersey, but you have to lose to win silver and it just doesn’t feel good, and we’ve got to deliver.”,” Knight said in a taped interview on NBC. “I’ve done it twice. We really need a gold medal. Our country is thirsty for the gold Duggan, also is a two-time Olympian while Decker and Kessel were members of the 2014 silver medal-winning team., the team captain “For us, it’s just staying focused on the process,” Duggan said. “I’m excited for the world to see what we’ve got.”, sticking together and believing in ourselves and all the hard work we’ve put in Kessel, the younger sister of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel, but the concussion effects returned and she sat out nearly two years., will return to the Olympics after nearly retiring due to the effects of a concussion. She suffered the head injury in 2013 and recovered to play in Sochi having beaten Team USA in the last four games of an eight-game pre-Olympic series that concluded two weeks ago.,The fierce Canada-U.S. rivalry is expected to culminate in the gold medal game again in Pyeongchang. The Canadians have some momentum The Canadian roster includes Emily Clark, a senior at Wisconsin, Sarah Nurse and Blayre Turnbull., and four former Badgers: Ann-Renee Desbiens, Meaghan Mikkelson Mikkelson helped Canada win gold in 2010 and ’14. Clark, Nurse and Turnbull will make their Olympic debuts., Desbiens The Winter Classic is the brainchild of a bold and persistent television executive whose original plan was to capture the magic of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry when NBC picked up broadcast rights to the NHL in 2004. Jon Miller was steadfast in his belief that an outdoor hockey game would be a boon for the league, an event that would charm even the most casual fans. His determination was the genesis for the first Classic, adidas Joe Thornton jersey, and the event was an instant success., which took place on New Year’s Day, 2008 in Buffalo Monday’s game between the Rangers and Sabres at Citi Field marking the 10th anniversary of the Winter Classic after Buffalo was the only NHL team willing to take a chance on hosting the inaugural game.,So much so that it became an annual tradition we had to continue to innovate,“I felt that if we were ever gonna really try to embrace the NHL and really grow it in this country,” says Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports Group. “You’ve got your regular season,adidas Kris Letang jersey, you’ve got your playoffs, Stanley Cup, All-Star Game,adidas Jake Guentzel jersey, which are all spectacular events. But you needed something that would really galvanize.” the NHL’s first outdoor regular-season game.,NBC was in search of new programming for New Year’s Day after mostly getting out of the college bowl business. Two events got Miller’s imagination rolling: The Heritage Classic in Edmonton between the Oilers and Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium from November 2003 So Miller had the idea of having the Bruins play the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 1, 2005 as a way to kick off the network’s coverage of the NHL,adidas Matt Murray jersey, but before that there were mixed reactions to the idea.,Authentic Patrick Marleau jersey, with college football essentially ceding the daytime window on New Year’s Day. Of course, the 2004-05 lockout ultimately made it impossible including from executive producer Sam Flood.,First Miller took it to former NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol — “He was used to me coming in with some crazy ideas.” There was some support from within “I was all into it because when I played high school hockey in the Boston area,adidas Joe Pavelski jersey,my original rink I played at was outdoors, and ultimately that’s how the game was meant to be played.”,” Flood said. “So I knew how much fun it was to play outdoors under the elements NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was wary of college football,Authentic Joe Thornton jersey, said Miller, and there were feasibility concerns about setting up a rink in a baseball stadium., who argued why the 1 p.m. time slot the Classic is played in would work. The league didn’t have a special-events division