Christine Michael has cat-like quickness as a back, but it’s his uncanny feline skill for finding new NFL lives that is his most noteworthy trait at this point.
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Michael signed with the Indianapolis Colts jersey, the team announced on Thursday, to compete with Robert Turbin and 2017 fourth-rounder Marlon Mack jersey as the backup to Frank Gore jersey jersey. In four NFL seasons — it feels like he has been in the league a decade at this point — Michael has 254 carries for 1,080 yards (4.3 avg.) and seven touchdowns, plus 26 receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown.
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Michael resurfaced at the end of the 2015 season with the Seahawks (after a month-long stint on the Washington Redskins jersey’ practice squad) when Lynch and Thomas Rawls jersey were hurt and actually played well down the stretch, with a few big games including a 70-yard effort in the 10-9 playoff win in freezing temps over the Minnesota Vikings jersey.
Wholesale Chris Smith jersey But the Seahawks once again parted ways with Michael midway through the 2016 season, and he was claimed by the Green Bay Packers jersey, who were decimated by injuries in the backfield last year. The Packers signed him to a one-year deal this offseason but cut him a week after the draft when they took three backs.
Michael visited the New England Patriots jersey this offseason but instead lands in a decent spot with the Colts, who can’t count on Gore forever and don’t know if Mack is ready yet. At this point, Michael’s reputation is greater than his actual value, but he doesn’t turn 27 until November and 11 of his 13 best rushing games have come in his past 18 regular-season contests.
That said, two good teams now have let him go in the past nine months, he had six games with 22 or fewer rush yards last season, isn’t a terribly well-rounded back and didn’t do much for the Packers in the playoffs last year after he was surpassed by converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery jersey jersey.
The Colts can use the competition, and it was worth the risk to bring him in on the cheap. But fantasy owners’ headaches return for a player who has gained a reputation for being remarkable one week and invisible the next.
February 15, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Penguins beat Blue Jackets 5-4 in OT to take 3-0 series lead
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jake Guentzel had a hat trick, including a goal at 13:10 of overtime, to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys to a 5-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys on Sunday night and give them a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.
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Bryan Rust Jerseys added two goals for Pittsburgh, and Marc-Andre Fleury Jerseys overcame a shaky first period to make 33 saves. Guentzel is the first Pittsburgh to rookie to get a playoff hat trick.
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Cam Atkinson Jerseys had two goals for Columbus, and Zach Werenski and Brandon Dubinsky Jerseys also scored. Sergei Bobrovsky Jerseys had 42 saves.
Cheap Danny DeKeyser jersey After only scoring two goals combined in the first two games of the series, Columbus scored three goals in just over six minutes of the first period.
But the Penguins regained their composure and pushed back hard during the second period to tie the score at 3-3.
At 5:21, Rust got his second goal of the series when he tipped Brian Dumoulin Jerseys’s shot through Bobrovsky’s pads. Then, with Werenski flat on the ice bleeding profusely from a puck to the face, Rust got another one when he redirected a shot from Evgeni Malkin Jerseys to tie the score at 13:25. Werenski returned in the third period with a full facemask and a significant cut and bruise under his right eye – he tweeted a photo of his face after the game that showed his eye nearly swollen shut.
The teams traded goals in the third period before Guentzel beat Bobrovsky for the winner.
With Dubinsky in the box for cross-checking, Guentzel got his second goal of the game 11:48 into the third period to give the Penguins the 4-3 lead.
Dubinsky made amends, though, jumping on a rebound and banging it past Fleury at 15:11 to tie the score and force OT.
Eleven seconds into the game, Dubinsky put a shot on Fleury’s pads and Atkinson was in the right place to score on the rebound, pumping up a sold-out Nationwide Arena crowd hungry for some playoff prosperity.
Pittsburgh answered three minutes later. Guentzel played the ricochet off the back boards to the left of the net and beat Bobrovsky from a severe angle.
Atkinson got his second goal at 5:02 of the first when he picked Sidney Crosby Jerseys’s pocket at the right circle and beat Fleury with a backhand. Sixty-eight seconds later during a power play, Werenski’s wrister from the top of the left circle clanged off the bar and into the top of the net to put Columbus up 3-1.
NOTES: Columbus was penalized twice for having too many men on the ice. … Pittsburgh C Nick Bonino Jerseys took a puck in the face in the first period and immediately left the ice. He returned later in the period. … F Sonny Milano was recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League to cheap jerseys replace Matt Calvert Jerseys, who was suspended a game for breaking his stick on Pittsburgh’s Tom Kuhnhackl on Friday night.
February 12, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Cowboys’ Dez Bryant won’t respond to Washington’s Josh Norman’s jabs … yet
There’s no cornerback better at getting under opponents’ skin than Washington’s Josh Norman jersey jersey, and there’s no receiver now playing who’s seen more than Dez Bryant jersey jersey. So naturally, they’re already at it, three months before the season begins.
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Norman fired the first shots last week, in a Bleacher Report article where he lit up Bryant as “just a guy.” “He doesn’t ‘wow’ you,” Norman said. “For me, he don’t. For other guys, he probably will do the worst to them because he’ll bully them. But you can’t bully a bully. You know what I’m saying?”
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Naturally, in the did-you-hear-what-he-said-about-you world that is the NFL, we had to get Bryant’s reaction. And, well … it wasn’t much. “Why would I respond to that?” Bryant said, according to ESPN. “He’ll see me when he sees me. When I line up against him, we’re going to go at it. That’s what it is.”
Wholesale Taylor Hart jersey In what reads like classic I’m-not-mad-this-is-funny-to-me distancing, Bryant insisted he wasn’t bothered. “I don’t have no words to say to him,” he said. “There’s no extra motivation. All I care about is me. All I care about is that first game, that second game, that third game, that fourth game, all the way up to the last game, all the way up to the playoffs.”
Dallas won both matchups last year, with Bryant totaling 12 catches for 174 yards across both. This year, Washington hosts the first game on Oct. 29, with Dallas getting the back half of the matchup on Nov. 30. This’ll be fun.
February 9, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Rangers know series vs. Canadiens ‘can change on a dime’ with Game 4 win
NEW YORK – New York Rangers Jerseys head coach Alain Vigneault described his team’s 3-1 loss in Game 3 “ordinary.” A few tweaks for Game 4 at Madison Square Garden are in store for what could be the turning point night in the series.
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“Tonight our guys know you gotta breathe, you gotta go out and you gotta play, and that’s what we’re gonna do,” Vigneault said Tuesday morning.
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While the Montreal Canadiens Jerseys have a chance to put New York on the brink of elimination, the Rangers are keeping a positive focus knowing that a win could alter the series.
Cheap Martin Marincin jersey “Playoff hockey is all about how you respond. You can have a tough outing and come back and play great,” said Rangers defenseman Marc Staal Jerseys. “That’s the beautiful thing about playoff hockey; a series can change on a dime and that’s what we have to do tonight.”
The Rangers aren’t facing a monumental task of a 3-0 or 3-1 series deficit. Despite being unhappy with their play through three games, there’s no doom or gloom emanating from their dressing room.
“We’re down one game. We’re at home. The feeling is ‘win a game, tie series,’” Staal said. “I think we’re excited, kind of champing at the bit here to get after it tonight.”
One area of improvement needs to be the power play, which is 0-for-10 in the series. But despite the lack of production, the Rangers are hoping that they can at least gain momentum from their two minutes with the extra man. That hasn’t happened yet, while the Canadiens special teams came up huge in Game 3 scoring on two of their three power play chances and killing off all three of New York’s.
In a playoff series, the focus is on one team, one set of players, and one goaltender for the span of at-most seven games. The video preparation allows for each coach to pick up on tendencies in various aspects of their opponent’s games, especially on special teams. Both the Canadiens and Rangers were 0-for-7 with the extra man entering Game 3, but Montreal found enough holes and exploited enough looks to score their first two goals on the power play Sunday night.
Vigneault said Tuesday morning that he will do cheap jerseys anything to help his team win Game 4, which could likely mean inserting Pavel Buchnevich. In 41 games during the regular season, the Russian forward averaged 1:52 of power play time, getting off 15 shots and recording three points.
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Regardless of the changes that the Rangers’ lineup undergoes for Game 4, Vigneault is feeling good that we’ll see a better performance from his team.
“Our power play has had quite a few areas where it hasn’t executed so far,” Vigneault said, “where we finished off the season and the power play was giving us momentum and giving us timely goals. I’m very confident that tonight we’re going to turn it around. With Pavel there or Pavel not there, we’ve looked at a couple of areas and we’ve got to execute and that’s what we’re going to do.”
February 8, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Twins pick Royce Lewis No. 1 in MLB draft, Reds select SI cover star Hunter Greene No. 2
The Minnesota Twins Jersey selected shortstop Royce Lewis with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLB draft.?
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The Reds selected?Sports Illustrated?cover star Hunter Greene with the No. 2 pick in the draft.?Greene, who SI declared “the star baseball needs,” is a stellar hitter and pitcher.?Sports Illustrated?writer Lee Jenkins profiled the 17-year-old for an April issue of the magazine.?
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Greene, a righthanded pitcher, starred at Notre Dame High School in California.?
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February 4, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Patriotsâ AFC Title Game Blowout Prompted Steelers To Revamp Their Secondary
After getting manhandled by the New England Patriots jersey in the AFC Championship Game, the Pittsburgh Steelers jersey are making some changes to their defense.
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Pittsburgh plans to utilize more man coverage this season, cornerback Artie Burns jersey told reporters Wednesday, moving away from the zone scheme that Tom Brady jersey jersey and the Patriots so easily exploited in January.
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The Steelers allowed just 30 total points in the 2016 wild-card and divisional rounds but were torched for 36 at Gillette Stadium in the AFC title game. Brady completed 32 of 42 passes for a Patriots playoff-record 384 yards and three touchdowns in the 36-17 victory, and wide receiver Chris Hogan jersey caught nine balls for 180 yards (another franchise record) and two scores.
Wholesale Mike Mitchell jersey “We had a good game plan going in there, and they played zone,” Hogan said after the game. “And after that, after we kind of knew what they were doing, we just … (offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) was calling good plays, and Tom was able to find the open guys.”
The Steelers made moves to bolster their secondary this offseason, drafting cornerbacks Cam Sutton and Brian Allen and adding corner Coty Sensabaugh jersey and safety Daimion Stafford jersey in free agency. Burns, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2016, should take a step forward in Year 2.
Pittsburgh should be better equipped to play more man coverage this season, as Burns and Sutton both were press corners in college. They’ll need to if they hope to slow down the Patriots, who added Brandin Cooks jersey jersey to their already-explosive receiving corps.
“It’s always some opening in a zone defense,” Burns said. “It’s someone who missed a drop, or it’s always some loop in a zone defense. To be able to play man, to get a guy right in someone’s chest with the pressure, it affects the quarterback a little bit.”
February 1, 2018
by admin Comments Off on What We Learned: Leafs making Capitals bleed their own blood
The smaller guy who’s been bullied for a while finally has to face the big bully in front of the whole school, gets in the first shot, and astounds. The punch the smaller guy packs is more than anyone expected. It staggers the bully. The crowd gasps.
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Then the bully, nose bloodied, comes in again and beats the crap out of the small guy anyway. But everyone saw something there, in that first punch. Things are changing. The power dynamic in the school is shifting.
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The Caps are the Presidents’ Trophy winners. Again. Second year in a row. Third time since 2009. This is a great team. And the Maple Leafs, less than a year removed from winning the damn draft lottery and less than a week removed from barely squeezing into the playoffs, are giving them all they can handle.
Cheap Luke Gazdic jersey Two overtime games. One the Caps were a bit lucky to win. The other the Leafs took, on the road.
Now, a quick look under the hood and you see that the Leafs are kinda scraping by in these games. They’re getting outshot. They’re not drawing as many penalties. They’re giving up more scoring chances. They’re getting electrifying goaltending. But in a short series, sometimes that’s all you need. And certainly, they’ve made a series that looked like a walkover (and frankly, could still end up being one) a lot more interesting than anyone had any right to expect.
After the double-overtime loss on Saturday night, Capitals players more or less to a man told the assembled media that they expected a more difficult series than outside observers did. You can see why. These Leafs are talented, they’re well-coached, they’re going to be riding a high given that it’s so many of these players’ first time in the playoffs. And because hockey games are already basically coin flips even before you get to overtime, the fact that this series is shifting to Toronto tied at one apiece was always a reasonable scenario.
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But the terrifying thing, if you’re anyone outside the greater Toronto area, is how much of this is being carried by Toronto’s U-24 players. Willy Nylander and OT hero Kasperi Kapanen is 20. Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews are still teenagers. Morgan Rielly Jerseys, averaging 32 damn minutes a night on the back end, is 23. Jake Gardiner Jerseys is the greybeard of the group at 26. Even Freddy Andersen, who seems like he’s been around the league forever, is 27. Not to draw too many conclusions from eight-ish periods of hockey, but it’s been this way all year, so nothing’s really different from what it was in, say, November.
The result of the next few games are almost immaterial. Obviously it would be amazing if Toronto pushed this to seven games, or even won the series. It’s not likely, but it could theoretically happen. The fact is that even if they get past the Caps, the deck is so stacked against them trying to come out of the Metro side of the bracket that their actual ability to be meaningfully competitive is basically nil.
But that’s only for now.
If this team can vaguely keep up with the Caps —in terms of 5-on-5 play — over the course of a whole series, given that Matt Hunwick Jerseys and Martin Marincin Jerseys are eating huge minutes every night, that’s really a credit to high-end their high-end young players are, and how good of a job Mike Babcock has done installing a workable system that plays to everyone’s strengths. And, obviously, to Andersen in net.
Not that anyone would ever admit it, but this playoff appearance for the Leafs is one of those “happy to be there” things. Clearly they’re showing they belong, but it’s fair to say they’re a bit ahead of schedule. That’s bad news for the rest of the league, because if players keep improving until they’re 25 or 26, you really have to wonder what this team looks like next postseason, or three years from now.
This team still has some obvious holes, for now. The defensive depth is basically non-existent, and they don’t really have the kind of true top-end guy that come standard with all great teams of this era (people keep trying to connect them to names like Doughty and Shattenkirk; that’d provide instant credibility, but let’s be more realistic). The forward depth issues are more easily addressed, but right now they’re also fairly obvious; that top-six looks great, the bottom-six not so much.
Read MoreMoreover, it would be a bit silly to expect that every young guy on the Leafs takes a step forward next season. Yeah, Matthews scored 40 as a 19-year-old. Yeah Nylander and Marner both cleared 60 points as rookies. Yeah, Rielly keeps getting better. But the kinds of performances they’re turning in despite their ages aren’t easy for even the best players to post year after year. Of course, even if you get 50-plus points and 30 goals from players their ages, you’re ahead of the game, but so much of the Leafs’ success turned on their production alone that to not plan for a lateral or even small backward step would be worrisome.
The good news is this: The core of this team is young and incredibly elite. The coach is the best in the world. The management side is probably among the smartest in the league, even if it has the same tendency toward old-school foibles everyone else does.
And if they’re acquitting themselves well against the team that amassed 238 points over the past 164 regular-season games (I mean, come on!) now, with so many young contributors, a little maturation is going to push this team to the top of the league in a hurry.
How long before they have a Presidents’ Trophy of their own? How long before they’re the ones getting the “Leafs in a walk” predictions in the first round? How long before they win a Stanley Cup?
Less than a year after a 30th-place finish, the future looks almost unbelievably bright. None but the most obnoxiously optimistic Leafs homer would have expected the turnaround to be this strong, this quick.
But they’re already punching harder than expected. They gave the best team in the league over the past two years an eye-widening surprise. Even if — when — they eventually stumble, get eliminated, and spend the summer retooling, every other team in the East has to understand what this team is going to do to them in the near future, and plan accordingly.
Again, not to draw too many conclusions from 140-plus minutes of hockey, but you can see what this team is becoming. And it should fill them with a great, inescapable terror.
Soon these Leafs will be a juggernaut, and no one’s gonna be laughing then.
What We Learned
Anaheim Ducks Jerseys: The Ducks keep saying, “Please, beat us at home. Come on.” And the Flames keep saying, “We’d prefer to take dumbass late penalties and put guys like Troy Brouwer Jerseys and Lance Bouma Jerseys out there in important late-game situations, but thanks anyway.”
Arizona Coyotes Jerseys: This is a nice little signing from the Coyotes but boy, there goes that Minnesota-Duluth team that was one of the best in college hockey this year.
Boston Bruins Jerseys: The injuries have gotten so bad that I heard if you call TD Garden and ask real nice, they might let you be the Bruins’ No. 6 defenseman tonight.
Buffalo Sabres Jerseys: Do Jack Eichel a favor and never ever ever tell him how many posts he hit this season.
Calgary Flames Jerseys: Yeah the Flames kinda got screwed in Game 2. And they’ve been the better team on the balance of the series. But you take too many penalties and a team with Ryan Getzlaf Jerseys and Corey Perry Jerseys is gonna make you pay. Oh well.
Carolina Hurricanes Jerseys: The team isn’t bringing back its goalie coach next season. Are you surprised?
Chicago: I’m just gonna throw this out there but maybe try scoring a goal on Pekka freakin’ Rinne. That’s why I would be such a good NHL coach. Surely Joel Quenneville simply hasn’t thought of this.
Colorado Avalanche Jerseys: Hmm, you really think so?
Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys: This Tortorella quote nicely encapsulates why he’s not a good coach and never learned a damn thing despite all the media fawning this year: “I talked to our guys, during when we had that 16-game winning streak. We were filling the net. We forgot about who we were and what our foundation is, and that’s a team that’s going to bang and have some grind to its game.” He’s descended into self-parody.
Dallas Stars Jerseys: Yeah, this is SOP. Fire the coach, miss the playoffs again, fire the GM. Pretty simple.
Detroit Red Wings Jerseys: lol.
Edmonton Oilers Jerseys: This kid, man. He makes the amazing look so mundane.
Florida Panthers Jerseys: The Panthers should hire Darryl Sutter. I’m gonna keep saying this until it happens. I don’t care how long it takes.
Los Angeles Kings Jerseys: Is Rob Blake the right guy to fix the Kings? Well, he used to be a good hockey player himself and that seems to be the only qualification you need in this league, so yes. Definitely he’s the guy. Unless he isn’t. But we won’t know for sure until like five years from now.
Minnesota Wild Jerseys: And here I expected a lot of quotes from Bruce Boudreau about how he has no idea how to handle the Blues and from Zach Parise Jerseys about how they’re going to freak out and just give up.
Montreal Canadiens Jerseys: We all like Brendan Gallagher Jerseys, right? I mean, until he plays your team, you should like him. He’s cool.
Nashville Predators Jerseys: Hmm, probably not.
New Jersey Devils Jerseys: Wow, the Devils have a lot of free agents to re-sign. And why wouldn’t you want to?!
New York Islanders Jerseys: I kinda hope the Islanders re-sign Tavares on July 1 just so we don’t have to sit through a year of will-they-won’t-they. That would be horrible.
New York Rangers Jerseys: These are amazing new criticisms of Alain Vigneault that have never been brought up before and certainly don’t need to be addressed.
Ottawa Senators Jerseys: What a moment for Clarke MacArthur Jerseys. And what a damn shot, too.
Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys: “No.”
Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys: My man Flower is gonna look so good in Vegas next year, I’m tellin’ ya folks!
San Jose Sharks cheap jerseys Jerseys: Just a thought: If you’re really worried about Logan Couture Jerseys’s face — which is apparently causing him great pain all the time — maybe don’t play him. Thank you Pete DeBoer for sayin’ what needed to be said.
St. Louis Blues Jerseys: Yes well we can all say for sure that we definitely predicted Jake Allen Jerseys being the Conn Smythe frontrunner through the first two games of the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Lightning Jerseys: Tampa would be facing a cap overage if Yzerman hadn’t made all those deadline trades. Instead, no problems at all. Dude knows what he’s doing.
Toronto Maple Leafs Jerseys: We also all saw Freddie Andersen being better than Braden Holtby Jerseys coming. For sure.
Vancouver Canucks Jerseys: Let me answer your question with a question: How much time do you have?
Vegas Golden Knights: Yeah I don’t get this hire.
Washington Capitals Jerseys: These games have both been incredible. I love this series. I wish it could go on forever.
Winnipeg Jets Jerseys: The Jets are the new Oilers.
Play of the Weekend
This is the kind of nice reminder that even guys who spend their entire NHL careers on the fourth line were often super-creative and productive players in college. One time I saw Brian Boyle Jerseys score all four goals for Boston College in a 4-3 overtime win. What a dang pass.
Gold Star Award
View photosFreddie Andersen you are too pure for this world!
Minus of the Weekend
View photosThe timing of this truly bad take couldn’t be worse. “A kinder, gentler Torts,” less than 24 hours after Calvert went out and tried to send a message as his team was getting humilated? That’s classic Torts garbage.
Perfect HFBoards Trade Proposal of the Year
User “Myers888” forgot about the salary cap.
Kings need to get younger and cheaper:
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6th OA 2017 3rd Rounder Zemgus Girgenson Will Borgen
One of the most popular movies of all time, sir! What were you thinking?
Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.
(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)
January 28, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Radulov helps Canadiens beat Rangers 3-1 for series lead
NEW YORK (AP) — Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers Jerseys on Sunday night, giving the Canadiens a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.
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Artturi Lehkonen and Shea Weber Jerseys scored power-play goals for Montreal and Carey Price Jerseys stopped 20 shots.
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Brady Skjei spoiled Price’s shutout bid with 2:56 remaining for his first career playoff goal.
Cheap Sam Bennett jersey Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist Jerseys, coming off a playoff career-high 54 saves in Game 2, stopped 26 shots in this one.
Game 4 is Tuesday night.
With Montreal leading 1-0, the Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello Jerseys was whistled for a double-minor for high-sticking 4:07 into the third.
The Canadiens took advantage 3 1/2 minutes later with their second power-play goal of the game. Weber got a pass from Alex Galchenyuk Jerseys in the left circle and fired it past a sprawled Lundqvist at 7:42.
Radulov made it 3-0 with some nice stickhandling, and dumping the puck past Lundqvist with 4:25 left.
The second period was played with a deliberate pace, with the Canadiens outshooting the Rangers 12-6. Price stopped a slap shot by Michael Grabner Jerseys about 6 minutes in, and then made a glove save on Derek Stepan Jerseys with 5:45 left.
With the Rangers’ J.T. Miller Jerseys off on a delay of game penalty for a faceoff infraction, the Canadiens started pressing on their first power play of the game. Lundqvist made a succession of saves in close with 2 1/2 minutes to go, stopping Lehkonen twice and then Plekanec once.
Montreal broke through when, off a faceoff to Lundqvist’s right, Lehkonen got a pass from Brendan Gallagher Jerseys and fired the puck over Lundqvist’s left shoulder with 2:23 left in the period for his first career postseason goal.
It was the first power-play goal of the series. Both teams were 0 for 7 through the first two games, and the Rangers finished 0 for 3 in this game.
The Rangers’ best chance early came when Oscar Lindberg’s shot beat Price, but rang off the right post about 6 1/2 minutes into the first period. Price also made a nice glove save on Michael Grabner Jerseys 2 1/2 minutes later.
The Canadiens had a flurry of chances after that.
First, Lundqvist had to make a flurry of saves after that. First, he stopped a tip-in attempt by Max Pacioretty Jerseys at 9:21.
Less than a minute later Lundqvist stopped a wrist shot by Paul Byron Jerseys, and after a giveaway by Chris Kreider Jerseys, Byron’s slap shot was denied by the Rangers’ goalie. Dwight King Jerseys then hit a shot off the crossbar with 8 1/2 minutes to go.
Price made a stop on an in-close attempt by Kevin Hayes Jerseys with about 3 minutes remaining, and then a diving save on a backhand follow by Rick Nash Jerseys seconds later.
NOTES: Rangers D Kevin Klein Jerseys played after sitting out the first two games of the series. Klein missed 16 straight games due to an injury before playing in six of the last seven to close the regular season. … D Andrei Markov cheap jerseys Jerseys appeared in his 86th playoff game, tying Yvon Lambert, Bert Olmstead and Peter Mahovlich for 40th place on the franchise list. Plekanec appeared in his 84th, tying Chris Nilan for 43rd. … Canadiens D Brandon Davidson Jerseys appeared in his first playoff game. … Canadiens coach Claude Julien tied Alain Vigneault and Fred Shero for 14th place on NHL playoff coaching wins list at 63.
January 27, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Kawhi Leonard performance is brilliant, yet empty, in Game 4 loss
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Having just played the game of his life, Kawhi Leonard swayed back and forth, fists jammed into the pockets of his joggers, with a green hoodie pulled low as he pondered just what went wrong in the San Antonio Spurs Jerseys’ 110-108 overtime loss to the Grizzlies in Saturday night’s Game 4 of the first-round Western Conference playoff series.
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“You can’t be happy or sad until you lose the game or win the game,” Leonard said. “I just kept living in the moment at the time.”
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In helping San Antonio rally from 10 points down in the fourth quarter, Leonard delivered the Spurs’ final 16 points in regulation to become the only player over the past 20 postseasons to produce at least his team’s 15 final points of the fourth quarter.
china nba jerseys wholesale “Honestly, I’m taking suggestions on how to guard Kawhi Leonard,” joked Grizzlies coach David Fizdale. “I’ve tried everything, and the guy is just tough. Man, is he a superstar.”
nba basketball jerseys fake cheap oakleys In this heavyweight slugfest on the hardwood, the teams combined for four game-tying or go-ahead makes in the final 15 seconds of the fourth quarter and overtime, and no playoff game in the past 20 years featured that many such makes, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
In fact, at one point, Leonard embarked on an 11-0 run on the Grizzlies, on his way to finishing with 43 points.
Kawhi Leonard had a huge game for the Spurs — 43 points, including his team’s final 16 of regulation — but ultimately he had nothing to be pumped up about. Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesBut in the end, Marc Gasol nailed a 12-foot floater with 0.7 of a second left in overtime, off one leg and with LaMarcus Aldridge’s hand in his face, to seal the deal and tie the series 2-2 as it heads back to San Antonio for a Tuesday matchup at the AT&T Center.
“Yeah, I was trying to be up. I was trying to make the catch tough. I didn’t want to foul,” Aldridge said when describing Gasol’s game-winning shot. “I was there. He took two dribbles. I was right there with him. I had my hand up. I contested, and he made a hell of a shot. He made a one-legged, floating-across-the-lane shot. I did what I had to do. I contested it. I was right there. Credit goes to him.”
San Antonio rushed out to a 2-0 lead to start this series, and on seven occasions in coach Gregg Popovich’s tenure as coach, the Spurs have lost Games 3 and 4 after such a start. But they captured victories in five of those series. San Antonio owns a 2-1 record in the past three series it started with a 2-0 lead before losing Games 3 and 4.
“That was a great game,” Popovich said. “Both teams played their hearts out; just a fantastic basketball game. The fans got their money’s worth, for sure. At the end, Marc made a great shot. L.A. [Aldridge] contested it very, very well, and it went down. The effort from both teams was marvelous. We got down a couple of times but stuck with the program and kept on playing, which is always a good thing to see. Usually, down the stretch, it comes down to making shots. Kawhi made a big shot on our last play. Then Marc made a big shot on their last play. It happens over and over in the playoffs.”
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Leonard’s 16 points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter registered as the second most in the past 20 postseasons behind Paul Pierce, who reeled off 18 points in the playoffs in 2003 in the same span of time. Leonard also became the first player in NBA history to score at least 40 points with five 3-point field goals (the 3-point line was established in 1979-80) and at least five steals in a playoff game, according to Elias research.
Leonard’s 43 points tied for the third most in Spurs postseason history. The only player in franchise annals to score more in a playoff game is George Gervin.
But the only score that mattered for Leonard on Saturday was what he saw up in lights at FedExForum as he walked off the court in disappointment. Prior to that, there had been moments when it seemed Leonard was unconscious, raining down bucket after bucket.
“I didn’t feel anything,” he said.
The disappointment of the loss to Memphis left Leonard numb, as well.
In seizing a 2-0 series lead, San Antonio had held the Grizzlies to 82 points in both Game 1 and Game 2. In Games 3 and 4, Memphis averaged 107.5 points, as Fizdale utilized a starting lineup featuring James Ennis III, Zach Randolph, Gasol, Vince Carter and Mike Conley, who set a Memphis postseason scoring record with a team-high 35 points to go with eight assists.
While Leonard connected on 7-of-10 from 3-point range, the rest of the Spurs made 2-of-20 from deep. Veteran sixth man Manu Ginobili still hasn’t scored a point through the first four games of this series; he is 0-of-15, including 0-of-5 in Game 4. Three-and-D specialist Danny Green shot 2-of-9 on Saturday, including 0-of-6 from deep. And San Antonio’s bench was outscored by the Grizzlies’ reserves 27-17.
“We probably could have used a couple others to make some shots,” Green said. “Kawhi had a great game. Tony [Parker] had a great game. L.A. too. Their others are playing really well right now, and we have to get it from ours too, including me.”
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Even a resurgent performance from point guard Parker couldn’t save the Spurs. Parker produced 22 points and five assists, and he carried San Antonio during a second quarter in which the Spurs trailed by as many as cheap jerseys eight points. Parker hit 5 of 7 shots and posted the first 12 points in the second quarter; no other Spur scored until Pau Gasol made a tip-in at the 3:00 mark.
Parker pointed out that Memphis “played the same way” it did in Game 3, when Popovich pulled the starters less than a minute into the second half. San Antonio put together a much stronger effort in Game 4 than in its previous outing, but breakdowns in communication on defense combined with Memphis hitting 46.3 percent of its shots doomed the Spurs.
San Antonio even gobbled up 23 Memphis turnovers and turned them into 31 points.
Still, it wasn’t enough.
“I think everybody here is sick about losing, definitely the way we did,” Aldridge said.
That includes Parker.
“You knew it was going to be a physical series. They are going to make it hard,” Parker said. “You know they are going to do a lot of fouling and stuff like that. They made shots. Playing at home, they play with a lot more confidence. I have to give them credit. I thought we played well enough to win the game. We made enough plays. But at the end, Memphis made the tough shot to go to overtime and the tough shot to win the game.”
The final one left Leonard standing there, hands stuffed into empty pockets, after a brilliant but ultimately empty performance.
January 23, 2018
by admin Comments Off on Aaron Judge isn’t simply a power hitter; he’s having one of the best rookie seasons in history
Aaron Judge is performing feats on and off the field that aren’t typical of rookies. He has inspired his own cheering section at Yankee Stadium, he leads the majors in homers with 21, and the American League in all three Triple Crown categories. Judge could become the second player in MLB history to win a single-season home run crown as a rookie, joining Mark McGwire, who belted 49 dingers in 1987. No rookie has ever achieved the Triple Crown.
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Judge has a long way to go before leading the league in homers or winning the Triple Crown. There is another achievement, however, that’s just as impressive and already within his sights. About 40% of the way through the season, Judge is carrying a .347/.453/.727 slash line. He could fall off considerably through the rest of the season, and still end the year clearing thresholds of .300/400/.600. Assuming he stays healthy and maintains his current pace of plate appearances per game, he’ll get another approximately 440 plate appearances and 370 at-bats this season. If he does have that many PAs and ABs in front of him, he could hit as poorly as .276/.372/.535 the rest of the way, and still finish the year north of .300/.400/.600.
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Only three players in MLB history have slashed .300/.400/.600 or better as rookies. The first to do so was George Watkins in 1930. Watkins didn’t break into the majors until he was 30 years old, and he went on to have a relatively undistinguished career, but he hit .373/.415/.621 with 17 homers with the Cardinals in his rookie season. Nine years later, someone you’ve definitely heard of became the second player to check all those boxes. His name was Ted Williams, and in his rookie season with the Red Sox, he hit .327/.436/.609 with 31 homers and a league-leading 145 RBI, finishing fourth in AL MVP voting. He’d go on to have a pretty good career, if memory serves.
baseball jersey for sale in malaysia Another 63 years passed before a third player joined the club. In 2001, Albert Pujols Jersey cruised to the NL Rookie of the Year Award by slashing .329/.403/.610 with 37 homers and 130 RBI. He’d finish in the top three in NL MVP voting in eight of the next nine years, adding three of those trophies to his mantle.
throwback jerseys mlb cheap Take one more look at those slash lines and homer totals. It’s not a stretch to say that, at this point of the season, the greatest rookie year of all-time is within Judge’s reach. He’s on pace for 56 homers and 127 RBI, rounded to the nearest whole number. He could lose 122 points off his current 1.168 OPS and still finish with the highest OPS ever for a rookie. There may still be about four months of this regular season remaining, but it’s time to start thinking about Judge’s rookie year in its proper historical context.
What’s nearly as impressive is how Judge is putting his name alongside some of the game’s all-time greats. Let’s start with his spray chart. Judge has mammoth power, he strikes out a lot, and he’s seeing consistent MLB pitching for the first time as a 25-year-old rookie. He must be doing nearly all his damage pulling the ball, right? Wrong.
Judge is using all fields, and with authority. In fact, seven of his 21 homers have been hit comfortably to the opposite field, with five classified as right-center or straight-away right. Speaking of driving the ball, that’s pretty much all Judge does when he makes contact. His 49.6% hard-hit rate ranks second in the league, trailing Miguel Sano Jersey, while his 13% soft-hit rate is the 19th-lowest out of 169 qualified hitters.
While Judge swings and misses a lot, he’s also willing to take his walks. He leads the AL with 38 free passes, and his 15.3% walk rate is good for ninth in the league. He’s one of 11 players with a walk rate north of 15%, and the rest of the list reads like an MVP ballot. Mike Trout Jersey. Paul Goldschmidt Jersey. Bryce Harper Jersey. Joey Votto Jersey. Kris Bryant Jersey. If you can walk that often and hit for immense power, you’re going to be successful. Such is the case for Judge this year.
The biggest problem for pitchers is that they have yet to find a great place to pitch Judge. Courtesy of Statcast, here is his exit velocity by zone this season.
Judge’s lowest zone-specific exit velocity is 84.9 mph, and that zone covers all pitches off the plate inside above the belt, and all those that are over the plate but up out of the strike zone. All things considered 84.9 mph isn’t a bad exit velocity against those pitches.
Judge has an average exit velocity of 88.2 mph or better for 10 of the 13 zones tracked by Statcast. To give you an idea of how good that is, Mike Trout Jersey’s average exit velocity, regardless of zone, is 88.1 mph. By comparison, here’s Trout’s exit velocity by zone.
Understand, however, that this is out of character for Judge. He logged 670 plate appearances at the Triple-A level, hitting .252/.343/.443 with 27 homers. After at Fresno State he was older than the typical top prospect at every stop in the minors, and he still needed three full years to break through to the majors for good. There are also some troubling numbers deep in his peripheral stats.
Judge’s fly-ball rate is just 36.7%. To be fair, his line-drive rate is 25.2%, and he’s capable of hitting line drives like this one here.
When you can hit a ball like that, you don’t need to always hit true fly balls to get them to sail over the fence. Still, it’s worth noting that Judge has technically hit more grounders than fly balls this year. That’s not a good thing for someone with his skill set.
Judge’s HR/FB ratio is a staggering 41.2%. In other words, more than two-fifths of his fly balls have left the yard. There’s simply no way to sustain that rate over a full season, and it’s likely impossible to sustain that rate for a traditional half-season. What this all means is that if he doesn’t start hitting more fly balls, his home run rate could drop precipitously over the rest of the season.
Don’t let the impending regression spoil what is one of baseball’s most rollicking rookie seasons of all-time. Judge’s power is prodigious, and his plate discipline is strong enough to force pitchers to challenge him. The way he sprays the ball all over the field makes it hard for pitchers to have confidence in any portion of the strike zone, and helps guard against whiff-induced slumps. We witnessed the best 40-year-old season in history last year, courtesy of David Ortiz Jersey. This season, the other side of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry could very well produce the best rookie season the MLB has ever seen.