Alex Ovechkin injury update Pre-game ska

Alex [url=][b]Andre Smith Jersey[/b][/url] Ovechkin has a date. Whether he keeps it will depend on how he feels. The date: Saturday's game between his Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres. The problem: Ovechkin is nursing a "lower-body" injury. Don't ask; neither Ovechkin nor the Caps are saying what hurts. MORE: Cut by gla s pane, fan stays to watch game | Ovechkin rarity: He sits | Track games, get results Before the 7 p.m. ET game, Ovechkin will take a turn around the Verizon Center rink and decided whether he is fit. Coach Barry Trotz is down with his star making the call. Wise man, that Trotzie. Best advice: Don't bother trying to play, Alex. Take time to heal. [url=][b]Germaine Pratt Jersey[/b][/url] The Caps don't play again until Wedneday, against the New York Rangers. Ovechkin's injury came in Tuesday's victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He mi sed Thursday's lo s to the Minnesota Wild, although he told CSNWashington's Chuck Gormley he would have played had it been a playoff game. About Saturday, Ovechkin told Gormley: Well see. Ill take warmup and see how it goes. Right now you [url=][b]Geno Atkins Jersey[/b][/url] dont want to push it if you dont feel healthy enough. Right now I feel much better so were going to try and see. MORE: NHL highlight video | Penguins down Ducks | Sabres fall to Senators | Isles keep winning Trotz will have Andre Burakovsky take warmups too, in case he is needed. Not that Burakovsky can replace Ovechkin; the Great 8 is the NHL leader with 43 goals [url=][b]Alex Redmond Jersey[/b][/url] . And with 67 points Ovechkin matches teammate Nicklas Backstrom, John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the NHL best. The Caps are fighting for a playoff berth and enter the night as a wild-card team in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres, meanwhile, have the NHL's worst record. Read More

NHL free-agent winners losers Who got th

Ron Hextall nailed it. "Sometimes, this day, you make some of the poorest decisions you can make," the Flyers general manager told reporters at the end of the first day of free agency. MORE: Day 1 analysis | Blues sign Stastny | Draft aftermath Hextall hadn't done anything particularly questionable in the immediate run-up. Moving Scott Hartnell for R.J. Umberger is in the past by, like, a week or whatever. We move on. His overall point stands, though adding big pieces in free agency is, in a lot of [url=][b]Hardy Nickerson Jersey[/b][/url] ways, a sucker's bet. When lots of people are bidding on a specific thing, like a hockey player, odds are somebody overvalues it and, thusly, overpays. Kent Wilson talked about The Winner's Curse as it applies to the NHL a little more in depth last year. So, the contracts parceled out early in the day great players! big prizes! often look bad down the road. Even with the high-end forward market somewhere short of its craziest point, more than $500 million was spent in about nine hours Tuesday. You can bet a bunch of it was wasted. That's not always the case, though. Sometimes, good players are worth the money. With that in mind, some winners and losers from Day 1: WINNERSStars: The Stars aren't just exciting; they're good. Adding center Jason Spezza to play behind Tyler Seguin (and sending only Alex Chia son back to Ottawa off the NHL roster) allows Dallas to hang in a Western Conference that isincreasingly defined by its center-stocked elites. "(I) didn't want to give up too many a sets if I didn't have to for the wrong type of player," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "We did give up a lot of a sets in this trade, but we're getting a great player in return." If Spezza doesn't work out, Nill can flip him at the deadline as a rental. If he does work out, Dallas could have something special on its hands; Seguin, Spezza, Jamie Benn, Valeri Nichushkin that's high-end offensive talent capable of controlling the puck, generating goals and winning games. Dallas' biggest problem last season was an overreliance on Benn and Seguin. Spezza's biggest problem was going up against top competition. Voila. Whoops, Ales Hemsky. Almost forgot about him. At three years and $12 million, he's closer to a steal than an overpayment. He played well on Spezza's wing after the Senators acquired him from the Oilers. No reason to think that won't continue. Factor in a third line capable of eating some tough minutes, and there's a ton [url=][b]Preston Brown Jersey[/b][/url] to like about Dallas. Oilers:It's weird to feel good about a set of moves from the Oilers' front office, but here we are. Giving five years and $20 million to Benoit Pouliot is going to get slammed in some circles, and that's understandable. He had the look of a first-round bust not all that long ago. Still, he's become a big, physical, reliable puck-po se sion player who scored 15 goals last season on the Rangers'third line. Edmonton needs guys like that. "He's gone from a bit of an enigma to a guy whose calling card is his work ethic," GM Craig MacTavish said. Defenseman Mark Fayne ($14.5 million, four years) is another solid addition. He may have benefited from playing with Andy Greene in New Jersey, but he's effectively kept the puck away from opponents for several years. He won't provide much offense, but he's a solid player all the same and cheaper than Nikita Nikitin. This is about Edmonton's Tuesday, though. Lightning: Here's a way to get better: Add depth from the Eastern Conference champions. First, Tampa signed defenseman Anton Stralman for five years and $4.5 million. He should've played on New York's top defensive pair, and the Rangers should've re-signed him. That's another i sue, though. Now, Tampa can roll out a pretty impre sive trio of defensive pairings. Some combo of Victor Hedman, Jason Garrison, Stralman, Matt Carle and Radko Gudas sounds pretty solid. Brian Boyle also left New York for Tampa. Worst-case scenario is that he's a $2 million fourth-line forward and penalty-killer. That's decent enough. Boyle, though, was looking for an expanded role, and he'll likely get that shot. Penguins:Jim Rutherford had needs, and he filled them. Almost. First, Pittsburgh needed a defenseman to take the place of Matt Niskanen, who was guaranteed to sign for huge money elsewhere. Enter Christian Ehrhoff, bought out last week by Buffalo because of a contract that, thanks to a retroactive penalty applied to it, was set to become toxic had it stayed on the books. Not his fault he's still good. He's also crazy-cheap a $4 million, one-year deal for a player of his caliber is rare. Setting up another big deal and chasing a Cup has its perks. Thomas Grei s is [url=][b]Alex Redmond Jersey[/b][/url] a good backup goaltender. Marcel Goc is a good fourth-line center. Blake Comeau provides some measure of bottom-six depth. Now Rutherford, no matter what he says, is probably another second- or third-line forward away from managing to reshape Pittsburgh's top-heavy roster and girding himself against Niskanen's exist. Not bad. Blackhawks:They signed Brad Richards for one year and $2 million. That's more than enough. Richards isn't the player he was five years ago, but at that price, and as Chicago's desperately needed new second-line center, he fits. Kings: They wisely took care of Marian Gaborik last week, then basically stayed out. They're the champs for a reason. Deryk Engelland:Nearly $9 million for a guy who spent nearly a decade in the minors, then a few years as a fringe defenseman (and sometimes winger, and always puncher) in Pittsburgh? Good for Engelland. Maybe not for the Flames, but good for Engelland. Maple Leafs:It couldn't have been easy for them to pa s on Dave Bolland, but they did. Josh Gorges turning them down was a ble sing in disguise, too. So despite their best efforts, here they are. LOSERSCapitals:At seven years and $40.25 million, Niskanen's contract is lengthy and expensive. It's also not all that bad, and certainly not surprising; he's been solid for several years based on puck-po se sion stats and the sort of competition he faced. He was fortunate to see his offensive output increase this season, thanks to a relatively high shooting percentage and some extra power-play time, but that only underscores what he does well. He's a legitimate second-pairing defenseman on his average days. The better you play in previous years, expectations go up," Niskanen said. "The larger the money, the expectations go up. I think Im ready for that challenge. I played top-four minutes about 80 percent of the year last year." Will he be worth every dime of his deal with the Caps? Maybe not. Will he keep on scoring 46 points a year? Probably not. But he's not the reason for Washington's inclusion here. Brooks Orpik's deal is a lot tougher to defend.Washington signed him for five years and $27 million. As good a player as Orpik has been, that's too much money and too much term for a 33-year-old defenseman whose teammates generally fared better when they played away from him. He's still tough, a good leader and decent enough for now, but that only goes so far and not for five years and $27 million. Senators: Chia son and a handful of decent prospects for Spezza, who wanted out, isn't a terrible return. Signing Milan Michalek for three years and $12 million isn't bad, either. He's still a useful player when he's healthy. Still, and maybe it's because of that pesky ol'"internal budget," the Sens don't feel right. They're robbing Peter to pay Paul, and it's not conducive to winning. Red Wings: Winding up with Kyle Quincey (two years, $8.5 million) after chasing Niskanen, Stralman, Ehrhoff and Dan Boyle is settling. Let's put it that way. Detroit is a great organization, but at some point, unrestricted free agents are going to have to start signing there again. Rangers: They lost Stralman [url=][b]A J Green Jersey[/b][/url] and gave a shorter-term deal with an identical cap hit to Dan Boyle, who's older and not as good. They let Pouliot and Brian Boyle walk at reasonable prices, too. Dom Moore is a useful player, but he's still a fourth-line center. New York made it to the Stanley Cup Finallargely because of its depth, and that took a major hit on Tuesday. It's tough to figure out why. Panthers: Bolland is a third-line center. He should not get a deal worthmore than $5 million annually for five years. Full stop. Shawn Thornton, good a guy as many say he is, is a 37-year-old fighter. He should not make $1.2 million annually for two years. Full stop. Those deals are bad enough to overshadow a decent one with forward Ju si Jokinen, who's capable of totaling 50 points and driving play even without Evgeni Malkin as his center. There are worse backups than Al Montoya, too it's not his fault. The Eastern Conference:All this, and Jarome Iginla left Boston for Colorado, too. Not a good day for the East as a whole. Read More

Penguins first practice under Mike Johns

PITTSBURGH Say this for Sidney Crosby: He's smart enough to know when to quit. Crosby, nursing a minor injury that was supposed to keep him out of Mike Johnston's first practice as Penguins coach, exited stage left before the fun stuff; a set of sprints that left some of his teammates ga sed and, superficially, [url=][b]Damion Willis Jersey[/b][/url] set the tone for Johnston's run-and-gun style. THE WATCHABILITY RANKINGS: How fun is Pittsburgh? "It started to get pretty intense there at the end, so (trainer Chris Stewart) said (stop)," Crosby said, adding that he'd probably practice on Saturday and that he "(didn't) think" the i sue, which cropped up during a pre-camp workout, would've kept him out of a game. "I went pretty hard," he said. "It's just one of those things that you want to be smart (about)." Crosby downplayed any differences between [url=][b]Kevin Minter Jersey[/b][/url] Johnston's practice and ex-coach Dan Bylsma's, but said the se sion had "a great pace to it." NEW JERSEYS: Penguins goback to yellow-gold look "That's the way we want to play," he said. Defenseman Olli Maatta summed it up: "As you saw, we were skating a little bit more." Yep and not just during sprints, either. That makes sense, given Johnston's puck po se sion-heavy philosophy which focuses on centers entering the attacking zone with control of the puck and deviates from the team's previous breakout plan under Bylsma. Johnston talked after practice about getting defensemen into the rush and "equal to the attack," which particularly suits Kris Letang, given his skating ability. "High pace, I was surprised," Letang said. "I dont think you can get faster and harder than that. It was fun to see that (Johnston) bangs everything quick." Now, defensemen like Maatta and Letang can start the play in their own end with more skating and le s stretch pa ses, then get the puck to guys like Crosby in the neutral zone. "Everybody likes to have the puck, but I think like a lot of teams try to take the walls away because that's normally the easier play," center Marcel Goc said. "They want to force you to use the [url=][b]Tee Higgins Jersey[/b][/url] middle and that's why we need a good low guy, whether that's a centerman or the winger and be in that spot, be available to send yourself and keep going north right away and move the puck." Back to those sprints, though Johnston, who is taking over a team that employs two of the few best players on earth but struggled immensely to generate puck po se sion beyond them, generally liked what he saw. "There's a couple things we really wanted to accomplish today in practice," he said. "One was to work on what we had talked about [url=][b]Michael Johnson Jersey[/b][/url] in video, our systems and our structure, (and) get some tempo and pace into practice because that's the way we want to play. We've got to practice that way. "And then the final part of practice (will) always have some competition. You win, you lose, you skate a little more," Johnston said. "These first three practices are about laying a framework for how we're going to play." Read More

NHL free agency 2019 Tracking the initia

NHL free agency'sjust around the corner, but that doesn't mean teams are sitting idle. The league's initial buyout period began on June 15, meaning teams can shed unwanted contracts and players in order to free up cap space before the official start of free agency on June 30. Last offseason, eight players had their contract bought out, and in 2017, 14 players were shown the door by their respective teams. MORE:NHL rumors 2019: Perry, Callahan and other potential buyout candidates Sporting News is keeping track of all the players getting bought out during free agency below. Andrew MacDonald, [url=][b]Patrice Bergeron Jersey[/b][/url] D, Philadelphia Flyers MacDonald had one year remaining left on his contract [url=][b]Bobby Orr Jersey[/b][/url] and the Flyers were expected to take a $5 million cap hit in 2019-20. He posted nine a sists and failed to find the back of the net in 47 games this year. Dion Phaneuf, D, Los Angeles Kings Phaneuf was acquired by the Kings from Ottawa back during the 2017-18 season. The 34-year-old had two years left on his contract and LA was expected to take a $7 million cap hit in each of the next two seasons before the buyout. The 13-year veteran mustered a mere six points (1-56) in 67 games in 2018-19. Corey Perry, RW, Anaheim Ducks Perry [url=][b]Brad Marchand Jersey[/b][/url] had two years left on his deal and Anaheim was due to take a $8.625 million cap hit in each of the next two seasons. The 33-year-old is seven seasons removed from winning the Hart trophy back in 2011. He played in just 31 games for the Ducks this season due to injuryscoring six goals and tallying 10 points. Roberto Luongo, G, Florida Panthers After 19 seasons, Luongo decided to hang up his skates with three years left on his 12-year deal. The 40-year-old was going to generate a $5.33 million cap hit each of the next three seasons. Patrick Marleau, C, Carolina Hurricanes Carolina decided to part ways with Marleau five days after trading for him from Toronto to avoid a $6.25 million cap hit. The 39-year-old notched 37 points (16- [url=][b]Nick Holden Jersey[/b][/url] 2137) in 82 games last season. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Dallas Stars Dallas decided to buy out the final year of Nichushkin's contract to clear $2.25 million in cap space. Nichushkin, who went 10th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft,couldn't find his footing with the Stars and had no goals and 10 points in 57 games this season after opting to play in the KHL in 2017-18. Over his four-year NHL career he has recorded 23 goals and 74 points in 223 games. Read More

NHL playoff odds updated predictions for

The NHL season wraps up in about a week and the playoff picture is still being figured out. It [url=][b]Torey Krug Jersey[/b][/url] may come down to the wire with the last few spots being decided when the regular season wraps up April 6. As of now, one thing is certain, the 2019Stanley Cup playoffsbelongto the Tampa Bay Lightning but as of now who they'll play in first round is still to be determined. AccuScore will update its 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs forecast by simulating the remainder of the NHL season 10,000 times to predict probabilities of reaching the playoffs. Below are the probabilities of making the NHL playoffs and competing for Lord Stanley's Cup as of March 30. MORE:NHL playoff schedule, standings, odds for 2019 Stanley Cup chase Odds to make the 2019 NHL playoffsAccording to AccuScore Tampa Bay Lightning 100%Calgary Flames100%Washington Capitals100%Boston Bruins100%Toronto Maple Leafs100%Pittsburgh Penguins100%Winnipeg Jets100%San Jose Sharks100%Vegas Golden Knights100%Nashville Predators100%St. Louis Blues100%New York Islanders100%Dallas Stars100%Carolina Hurricanes100%Colorado Avalanche100%Columbus Blue Jackets100%Montreal Canadiens0%Arizona Coyotes0%Minnesota Wild0%Chicago Blackhawks0%Edmonton Oilers0%Philadelphia Flyers0%Anaheim Ducks0%Buffalo Sabres0%Detroit Red Wings0%Florida Panthers0%Los Angeles Kings0%New York Rangers0%New Jersey Devils0%Ottawa Senators0%Vancouver Canucks0%Eliminated from playoff contention (0.00%): Florida, Buffalo, Detroit, Ottawa, New York Rangers, New [url=][b]Sean Kuraly Jersey[/b][/url] Jersey, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Chicago, Montreal and Vancouver. Eastern Conference playoff pictureBased on the simulations in the Eastern Conference, Toronto, Washington, Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders haveall but secured their position to the postseason. The Canadiens,Hurricanes andBlue Jackets are in the middle of the tight three-way race for the last two Wild Card spots. One team will be left out. Simulations predict that Carolina and Columbus will go to the postseason with 86% and 60% probabilities, respectively. The Canadiens' postseason chances are 55%,narrowly le s than Columbus, which invested heavily at the trade deadline to make a deep push to the postseason. Columbus has four out of six games on the road, but three of these teams have been eliminated a long time ago. Simulations predict that they take at least three victories and edgeMontreal for the last playoff spot. Carolina plays twice against Philadelphia andonce against New Jersey. They have most (3) home games among these three teams and are predicted to win three games of the six left. Western Conference playoff pictureThe Western Conference picture is a bit clearer. St. Louis andVegas have clinched playoffs spots. Behind them, there are four teams vying for Wild Card spots:Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota and Arizona. Simulations show that Dallas has over 97% probability to the postseason. Colorado is another team with [url=][b]Anton Khudobin Jersey[/b][/url] good chances to continue games after the regular season. The Avshave won five out of their last six games and will have three home games remaining compared to two on the road. The big game to ensure Colorados playoff position is on Saturday when Colorado hosts Arizona. Currently, Colorados playoffs chances are 79%. The picture is not looking too rosy for Arizona and Minnesota. Their playoff probabilities based on simulations are 13% and 7%, respectively. They play against each other on Monday that may eliminate one team from the playoffs race. Minnesota has [url=][b]Riley Nash Jersey[/b][/url] tough opponents as all remaining teams are either fighting for playoffs or already secured their playoff berth. Arizonas schedule is a bit easier with threehome games and twoon the road and one of those games is against rock bottom Los Angeles. Still, in order to really challenge Colorado for the last playoffs place, they need to win the next two games against Colorado and Minnesota. Read More

Golden Knights place Fleury and Marchess

The Vegas Golden Knights have placed goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forward Jonathan Marche sault on the injured reserve list. Fleury has been diagnosed with a concu sion after an apparent collision with Detroit's [url=][b]Phil Esposito Jersey[/b][/url] Anthony Manthain the Golden Knights' lo s on Oct. 13. Vegas acquired Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins during June's expansion draft. Fleury holds a 3-1 record and a 2.48 GAA for the Golden Knights. After leading Vegas to a 3-0recordto begin the season,Fleurywas named the NHL's Second Star of the Week. With Fleury out, Vegas has recalled goaltender Maxime Lagace from AHL Chicago. Lagace spent last season with the Texas Stars of the AHL and posted a 11-12-2 record. [url=][b]Anders Bjork Jersey[/b][/url] Marche sault is recovering from a lower-body injury. Marche sault, whose 30 goalsled the Florida Panthersin 2016-17, was considered one of the more surprising names made available during the expansion draft. When the Golden Knights snagged the 26-year-old, Vegas expected him to be one of the forwards [url=][b]Ryan Donato Jersey[/b][/url] to lead offensively.In four games, Marche sault has just one goal and has beenpaired with forwards Oscar Lindberg and Reilly Smith. Forward Alex Tuch has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves in a corresponding move. It's beginning to seem that the 'injury bug' has started to plague the Golden Knights, as forward Erik Haula was also placed on IR [url=][b]Matt Grzelcyk Jersey[/b][/url] on Oct. 14.While the trio of Haula, Fleury, and Marche sault are expected to mi s at least the next week,Vegaswill have to rely on a few newcomers to bail them out. Read More

NHL Rumor Roundup Is Jimmy Howard the an

Can't get enough NHL rumors? Lyle Richardson'sRumor Roundupcolumnserves as a one-stop guide to the latest rumblings around the league. Latest on William Nylander standoffWith the Dec. 1 deadline for getting William Nylander under contract fast approaching, there's mounting speculation over what the Toronto Maple Leafs will do with the restricted free agent. Last Thursday, TSN's Pierre LeBrun speculatedat least one-third of the league have contacted the Leafs about Nylander's status. In a recent column for The Athletic, he listed the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche as po sible destinations. The Hurricanes have been [url=][b]Aaron Donald Jersey[/b][/url] linked to Nylander for weeks. Carolina GM Don Waddell admittedhe's interested in the 22-year-old forward but believes the Leafs still intend to re-sign him.LeBrun's colleague Bob McKenzie said their priority remains to get the winger under contract. MORE: Michael Peca offers thoughts on William Nylander-Maple Leafs impa se LeBrun believes the Leafs face three options. They can re-sign Nylander before Dec. 1, trade him prior to that date, or attempt to move him at the trade deadline if they don't get a suitable trade offer by the December deadline. Under the last scenario, Nylander would be ineligible to play this season. However, LeBrun thinkshe could be attractive to non-playoff clubs looking to get an early start on retooling their rosterfor next season. Another option would see the Leafs let Nylander sit out the season and attempt to re-sign him over the summer. According to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, they're comfortable with that scenario if unable to re-sign or trade him by Dec. 1. Considering the Leafs are riding high in the Eastern [url=][b]Marshall Faulk Jersey[/b][/url] Conference standings without Nylander, or sidelined center Auston Matthews for that matter, thiscould be their most preferable course of action. It also shifts more pre sure upon the Nylander camp. Rather than risk losing one of his prime earning years to a contract standoff, perhaps he'll consider accepting a short-term bridge contract. MORE: William Nylanderrumors mount as deadline to sign with Leafs nears More moves coming for Penguins?After a couple of weeks of speculation, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford pulled the trigger on a trade last week, shipping left wing Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for left wing Tanner Pearson. So far, however, the move hasn't snapped the Penguins out of their current skid. With just two wins in their last 11 games, they're sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. On Saturday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Rutherford might not be done dealing. Friedman's colleague Johnston noted young winger Chris Sprong and defenseman Olli Maatta have surfaced in the rumor mill. He also claimed there were, renewed whispers about Phil Ke sel's availability, but considers that move unlikely because Ke sel remains among the Penguins' leading scorers. Much of the recent speculation suggests Sprong is the likely trade candidate, though Rutherford could be reluctant to move him for fear he'll blo som elsewhere. Maatta's been in coach Mike Sullivan's doghouse this season and might benefit from a move. Forwards Bryan Rust and Riley [url=][b]Greg Zuerlein Jersey[/b][/url] Sheahan could also become trade chips if Rutherford feels a further roster shakeup is in order. Flames' goaltending a concernThe ongoing struggles of starting goaltender Mike Smith is a growing concern among Calgary Flames followers. Entering this week, the 36-year-old won just five of 13 starts, sporting a bloated 3.48 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage. During an appearance last Friday on Calgary's Sportsnet 960, Friedman was asked about po sible goaltending options via the trade market. Among those mentioned were Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, and Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins. However, Friedman doesn't see Bobrovsky waiving his no-trade clause to come to Calgary andSchneider isstrugglingto regain his form following offseason hip surgery, which doesn't make him an attractive option. As for Halak,Tuukka Rask is going through a difficult start to theseason andFriedman doubts the Bruins will part with their backup. Howard, on the other hand, could be an intriguing option. He's playing well of late and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. While there are rumors the 13-year veteran -- all with Detroit --is looking at signing a short-term extension with the Wings, Friedman believes that [url=][b]Michael Brockers Jersey[/b][/url] doesn't nece sarily mean anything. Considering how Howard's recent performance helped the rebuilding Wings recover from a sputtering start, they're unlikely to move him right now. Perhaps at the trade deadline, though that talk of a short-term extension could become reality if he keeps them in playoff contention. Fortunately for the Flames, backup David Rittich (seven wins in 10 games played with a1.93 goals-against average and.931 save percentage) is playing well. GM Brad Treliving will likely remain patient in hopes Rittich can buy time for Smith to regain his form, take over the starter's job full-time, or for the goalie trade market to improve. Read More

Flames regression will come but there ar

When it comes to surprises this season, the Flames are probably at the top of the list. Expected to be one of the leagues worst teams, the Flames are instead in the thick of the playoff hunt. They have 36 points, even with their recent three-game slide, and are in third place in the Pacific with a plus-13 goal differential. Coach Bob Hartley is getting early plaudits as a potential Jack Adams candidate. The numbers however, arent so kind to Calgary. When it comes to Calgarys 5v5 Fenwick For percentage (via, Calgary sits at 46.8, which is the sixth-worst mark in the NHL. In close situations, its a little better 48.0 which is good for [url=][b]Aaron Donald Jersey[/b][/url] 21st in the league but still poor overall. People who like numbers and hockey have seen this story before. The Maple Leafs were widely considered the test case for this last season after a hot start despite the numbers, the Leafs predictably collapsed, and ended up mi sing the playoffs by nine points. I say predictably because another team also had badpo se sion numbers last year the Colorado Avalanche. All they did was go on to finish second in the Western Conference with 112 points, before getting bounced by the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs. Regre sion has hit the Avalanche hard this season they own just 26 points and are 10 points out of a playoff spot in the west but sometimes it can take a while. So is Calgary more like Toronto or Colorado? Honestly, its hard to say. But theres reason to think the Flames could be a bit more like the Avs than the Leafs. For starters, the Avalanche had a FF of 46.7, 27th in the league last year. Thats bad, but Torontos FF was 42.3. Not [url=][b]Brandin Cooks Jersey[/b][/url] only is that the worst in the league, but the difference between the Leafs and Avs was the nearly difference between Avs at 27th and Lightning last year at no.10. Likewise, the Avs FF close was lousy at 46.8, also 27th, but the Leafs were at 41.6, second worst in the league. The Flames of this year are much closer to where the Avs where, as simply a bad po se sion team, rather than a cover-your-eyes train wreck that were the 2013-14 Leafs. Then we get to the goalie situation. Most teams that outperform their po se sion numbers by a large amount tend to have some combination of excellent goaltending and a high shooting percentage. Both the Leafs and Avs had that last year. Toronto shot 8.42 percent at 5v5, sixth best. The Avalanche were at 8.77, second best behind the Ducks. This year, the Flames are shooting 9.12 percent at 5v5, the fourth-best mark in the league. Toronto got 32 games of good play from James Reimer (.923 even-strength save percentage) and 55 games of stellar play from Jonathan Bernier (.933 even-strength save percentage). It wasnt enough in the end, but the Leafs' goalies kept them in it longer than theyhad any right to be. In Colorado, Semyon Varlamov had a .933 even strength save percentage one of the best marks in the league. In the past, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller has been an above-average goalie. Some of that may have been Anaheims system Viktor Fasth looked pretty good there too before cratering in Edmonton but the early returns in Calgary give credence to the idea Hiller is a very good netminder. Hiller owns a .931 even-strength save percentage in 17 games. Even if Hiller is not this good, hockey history is littered with goalies who outperformed their career track record for single seasons. For example, after that strong season, Varlamovs even-stength save percentage this season is .891. Varlamov isnt that nearly that bad, but he still probably isnt as good as Hiller was in his prime. In fact, he may not be as good as Hiller is right now. For his career, Hiller has a .927 even strength save percentage in 343 games since 2007-08. Varlamov has played 225 games since '08-09, and has a .923 even-stength save percentage. It's closer if you only count the most recent campaigns since the '11-12 season, Hiller' [url=][b]Marshall Faulk Jersey[/b][/url] s mark is .923 and Varlamov is .921, but it seems as if the baseline is just a little higher with Hiller.And if that is the case, Hiller may not have to overperform his true talent by as much to make a difference. Hiller has also been pretty consistent. Outside of a terrible 2011-12 campaign where he finished with a mark of .915, he's never had a save percentage below .925 for a season while he's played in five where he's been above .930. But he's also played 60 games just once his down year in '11-12 when he played in 73 had two other seasons with 50 or more games and two others above 45 games. In other words, Hiller is normally excellent when he plays, but he doesn't always manage to stay in the lineup. Now, having lost the last three games, in games where the advanced numbers suggest they may have deserved better fates, regre sion may be starting to catch up with the Flames. The clock could' [url=][b]Alec Ogletree Jersey[/b][/url] ve hit midnight.Or it might just be a losing streak. They happen to good teams too. Thats not say the Flames are a good team. They have good, even great players, but so do the Leafs and so do the Avalanche. Like everything else in life, succe s in hockey is abalance. Right now, the Flames' succe s is unbalanced towardsshooting and goaltending.If the Flames don't find a way to change that, it will, eventually, come crashing down. But if Hiller continues to remind us of what he was a few years ago, and can stay in the crease, that might not be until next year,and after the mostsurprising playoff appearance of the season. Read More

NHL Draft Rewind to 2005 the last time t

Note: This article was originally published on March 26, 2020. When it comes to work stoppages in profe sional sports, every sports league in the world bows down and kneels before the altar of the NHL. After never having a single season interrupted in the first 74 years of existence, the worlds premier hockey league shut down four times between 1992 and 2013 because of labor disputes, including the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season. Of course, the current suspension of play in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has nothing to do with a breakdown in employer-employee relations. The NHL made the right call in ceasing operations until the time is right. But it once again begs the question for hockey fans, Why does this always happen to us? Whatever [url=][b]Sam Shields Jersey[/b][/url] decision is made regarding the regular season, the one thing we as fans can count on is the NHL draft, which was slated for the last weekend in June in Montreal but has since been postponed. Theleague may never resume play, but history tells us it is more than willing to drive on with the draft, even if it means breaking away from tradition and standard operating procedure. Just like 2005. 2020 NHL DRAFT: When is it? | Team-by-team draft picks It was during late July of that summer one that followed the canceled 2004-05 campaign when owners and the players a sociation, led by Bob Goodenow, finally came to an agreement to end the most infamous work stoppage in the history of the sport, with one of the key tasks that required immediate attention being the entry draft. The lockout ended officially on the morning of July 22, and it was only a few hours later when the NHL held an official pre s conference to outline the way forward for the draft lottery and the draft itself. Based on feedback and recommendations from clubs, and per the guidelines outlined in the NHLs new Collective [url=][b]Josh Reynolds Jersey[/b][/url] Bargaining Agreement, the revamped draft lottery was to happen immediately. In fact, both the lottery and league commi sioner Gary Bettmans official announcement took place simultaneously in different areas of the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers. There simply wasnt a moment to spare. It was during Bettmans pre ser where he outlined the specifics for the draft , which would take place in Ottawa on July 30 but was limited in scope, scale and coverage compared to previous events. The biggest difference, however, was that summer of 2005 was more than just a watershed moment because of the end of the lockout. It also marked the long-awaited chance for NHL clubs to draft Sidney Crosby, who at the time was considered the most coveted draft prospect since Eric Lindros in 1991. To nobodys surprise, Crosby was the first player off the board, followed by winger Bobby Ryan to the Anaheim Ducks and defenseman Jack Johnson to the Carolina Hurricanes. Other [url=][b]Nolan Cromwell Jersey[/b][/url] notables from that 2005 cla s include all-star goalies Carey Price (fifth overall) and Tuukka Rask (21st overall); two-time Stanley Cup winner Anze Kopitar (11th overall), plus center Paul Stastny (44th overall). What is surprising is that the top three defensemen from that draft Marc-Edouard Vlasic (35th overall), Kris Letang (62nd overall) and Keith Yandle (105th overall) were chosen outside the first round. Thanks to a new CBA, the number of rounds in 2005 were reduced from nine to seven; a standard that exists to this day. The 230 players selected in 2005 also included 18 compensatory picks, and both totals represent the most in a draft year since the 2005-06 CBA was signed. It was also one of the last drafts to have all seven rounds in one day. The league tried it again in 2007 before switching to the current format of Round 1 on Friday and Rounds 2-7 the day after. As for the Penguins, the pre-draft boasts from prognosticators that lionized Crosby as the savior of a desperate franchise were validated almost immediately. And although Crosbys impre sive102-point rookie season wasnt enough to prevent another losing [url=][b]Sammy Watkins Jersey[/b][/url] campaign in Pittsburgh in 2006, the buzz he generated was felt throughout the league and in North America as a whole. By 2007, Crosby was a scoring champion and league MVP while leading the Penguins to the playoffs. The following season, the Penguins were in the Stanley Cup Final, and in August of 2008, they broke ground for a new arena. Since entering the league, Crosby has captained the Penguins to three Stanley Cup championships and 13 consecutive playoff appearances while winning two Hart Trophies; two Ro s Trophies; and consecutive Conn Smythe Trophies in 2016 and 2017. Read More

LA Rolls Out Water-Saving ‘Shade Balls’

These days, "shade balls" received their second while in the sun. On Monday afternoon, the twenty,000 black plastic balls tumbled down the slopes of Los angeles Reservoir, joining ninety five,980,000 of their brethren now covering the floor of the h2o.The ultimate deployment of these shade balls was the last phase within a $34.5 million h2o high-quality safety undertaking targeted at stopping evaporation and algae expansion in the reservoir. The EPA mandates that each one reservoirs be coated, but because tarps is usually high priced and metal coverings can take way too extensive to set up, shade balls at the least in La are becoming a preferred strategy. As outlined by a 2008 L. a. Instances short article, the LA Office of H2o and Energy utilized the plastic shade balls in 2008 to protect the Ivanhoe Reservoir. In that scenario, the balls had been set up to Jacob De La Rose Jersey not block evaporation and algae but to prevent a harmful chemical reaction from taking spot in the drinking water."The h2o really should be shaded since when daylight mixes along with the bromide and chlorine in Ivanhoe's h2o, the carcinogen bromate sorts, mentioned Pankaj Parekh, DWP's director for drinking water high-quality compliance. Bromide is of course present in groundwater and chlorine is utilized to destroy micro organism, he explained, but sunlight could be the remaining ingredient inside the potentially damaging mix." Moreover to Ivanhoe, the shade balls are at this time masking two other LA reservoirs. With the L. a. Reservoir, the 96 million, 4-inch-diameter balls bobbing within the surface of the h2o are predicted to save lots of a lot Mike Reilly Jersey more than three hundred million gallons of h2o annually. "This is usually a mixture of how engineering seriously satisfies prevalent sense," claimed LADWP Common Manager Marcie Edwards. "We saved a great deal of cash; we did each of the appropriate matters." Each individual ball expenditures only 36 cents, producing it a cheaper answer than po sibilities like dividing the reservoir into two elements that has a dam and putting in floating addre ses, which might price tag more than $300 million. In line with a Bloomberg short article, the balls are coated in chemicals to block UV light-weight, are certainly not degradable and therefore are intended to last up to twenty five several years. Speaking at the reservoir yesterday, La Mayor Eric Garcetti stated he was proud of his city's innovation. "While it is really conference the least standards Guy Lapointe Jersey , we wish to transcend that and also have the healthiest water so we've been spreading these balls everywhere you go," he claimed. In the meantime, the surreal photos and movies of the shiny, water-filled spheres slithering down the edges from the reservoir, coupled together with the simple fact it can be hard to say "shade balls" that has a straight deal with, turned the water-saving evaluate into Net gold. 'Shade balls' sounds like both a Artturi Lehkonen Jersey different phrase for disrespect or a little something offensive Timothy Cama (@Timothy_Cama) August eleven, 2015 I simply cannot get sufficient of regional LA newscasters declaring #ShadeBalls Wu Sean Pat (@thenewconfucius) August ten, 2015 @pourmecoffee Gonna begin throwing shade balls, Scott Bateman (@ScottBatemanMan) August eleven, 2015 Shade balls is my new rap name. Ernie luckman (@ErnieLies) August eleven, 2015 Read More