Category Archives: NHL Hockey

NHL Hockey

Packers schedule 2018: Green Bay must protect Lambeau to reclaim NFC North

The Packers’ 2018 schedule goes through the NFC West and AFC East, and that is part of Green Bay’s path in trying to get back to the top of the NFC North.

Bottom line: It all depends on how the Packers re-assert their weight in the NFC North. Minnesota is on top now, and Green Bay has lost three of the last four to its bitter rival. Chicago and Detroit have improved. The Packers finished 2-4 against the NFC North last season. If that flips to 4-2 or better and Rodgers stays healthy, Green Bay should be able to get back to 10 or more wins, which they’ve done in seven of 10 seasons with Rodgers. Record prediction: 10-6

Imagine drafting DeMarcus Cousins in the middle rounds while fellow managers steer clear of the big man coming off a devastating Achilles injury, only to see him return to form. Yeah, that’d be nice.

No matter where you end up picking in the first round of your draft — even in leagues with 12-14 teams — you’re going to get a star you can build around. The league is loaded at the top, and that will make preparing for the fantasy draft all the more vital to your success, as selecting the right combination of players in the first few rounds can often vault a team to the championship.

“Obviously I’m here to produce and try to create offense and make plays out there,” Kane said. “Overall, I’m happy … it was a fun tournament and a great experience for me and I hope it will help me with my career going forward too.”

Kevin Durant tells me it was a “total accident” that he liked a comment on Instagram about Russell Westbrook. Was just an honest mistake.

But we know better. This is the second time Durant has been caught engaging with a comment about the Oklahoma City Thunder and/or Westbrook on social media — and both times, he was either writing or agreeing with criticism. While it’s certainly possible he accidentally liked the comment, it’s unlikely.

The New Orleans Pelicans are feeling themselves right now, as they should be. None of the 22 ESPN NBA experts picked them to beat the Portland Trail Blazers, let alone sweep them, and the Pelicans’ Twitter account decided to let us hear about it.

Physically, he said, players’ measurements aren’t where he expects them to be. So this offseason is as much about what happens in terms of conditioning and the weight room as anything else.

“It’s hard because you don’t compare it,” Mullen said. “I go back to what it was like when I left here; we might not be at that level of talent, but that was teams that won two out of three national championships. You know what I mean? But we want to get it back that way of being the premier team in the country. And I don’t know that we can’t be there. We just have to get everyone here caught up.”

Rostered in fewer than 30 percent of ESPN leagues at the end of the season, Wilson finished among the top 50 on the Player Rater. Such is the life of a streamer for penalty minutes. Wilson had some fabulous months of hockey; December featured four goals, six helpers, a plus-9 and 34 penalty minutes in 14 games. He also had some not so good months, as January featured no goals, two helpers, a minus-4 and 27 PIM. Really, Wilson was roster-worthy when he was playing minutes with Ovechkin on the top line, but just another PIM streamer when he wasn’t.

Largely available across the ESPN spectrum when No. 1 Roberto Luongo fell injured in early December, Reimer did more than an adequate job as substitute. Through that full month (and before stumbling somewhat in the new year), the Panthers backup rocked a 7-3-3 record and .932 save percentage. In late March and early April, Reimer once more helped in keeping his club playoff-relevant and rewarded invested fantasy managers by running 6-1-1 in his own eight closing contests.
Now that doesn’t mean Mullen’s perspective as a coach hasn’t changed from one stop to the next. Far from it. With a different set of expectations and a different level of talent, he must develop a different caliber of athlete on a different, faster timeline.

Former NFL cheerleaders willing to settle for $1 to meet with Roger Goodell

Two former NFL cheerleaders, who recently filed discrimination claims against the league, will settle for $1 each if commissioner Roger Goodell will agree to meet with a group of cheerleaders.

The settlement proposal asks Goodell and league lawyers to meet with at least four cheerleaders to have a four-hour, “good faith” meeting to create binding rules and regulations for all NFL teams to follow, according to The New York Times.

The proposal was submitted by Sara Blackwell, the lawyer representing the cheerleaders, and sent to NFL attorney Steven Hurd on Tuesday. Blackwell, who represents former Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis and former Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware, asked for a response from the league by May 4.

“We’re not asking them to admit fault, or to admit guilt, or even admit that there is anything wrong,” Blackwell said in a phone interview with the Times. “But if they do want and expect that cheerleaders should have a fair working environment, as they have stated, then it doesn’t make any common sense why the answer would be no.”

DeRozan led all scorers with 35 points. And while he worked his way to the line for 18 free-throw attempts, it was possibly his least efficient outing of the series, a performance that seemed more solo practitioner than team catalyst.

“I took some shots that I wish I could have had back,” DeRozan said. “But it’s just my mindset going out there and being aggressive, wanting to win, wanting to feel like I was doing whatever it took offensively to push us to a win. But with that came some bad shots that I will definitely understand next time.”

Toughest tests: The Cowboys, armed again with running back Ezekiel Elliott for a full season and a further developed QB in Dak Prescott, present the Seahawks a tough intraconference matchup, even though Dallas will have to travel to Seattle. The Seahawks also have to travel all the way to London for their October matchup against the Raiders.

Biggest breaks: For the most part, Seattle draws its toughest opponents (on paper) at home. The Seahawks also have to make just one trip to the East Coast in 2018 — their trip to Carolina to play the Panthers. Of course, that does not include the trip to London.

Bottom line: Despite their division’s tough matchups against the NFC North and AFC West, the Seahawks have a relatively manageable schedule. Based on 2017 results and 2018 projections, Seattle’s home opponents are much stronger than its away opponents, making the home-field advantage of CenturyLink Field that much more important. The Seahawks might be slipping into rebuild mode around Russell Wilson, but while that’s happening, they’re fortunate their 2018 schedule is not tougher. Record prediction: 8-8

Jackson also told the NFL Network after being picked by the Ravens: “They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me. Believe that.”

Yankees’ Aaron Boone on Gleyber Torres

Helped that Gregorius, Miguel Andujar and Luis Severino did most of the heavy lifting as the Yankees moved to two games over .500 (11-9) since starting the season 2-0. Toronto fell to 13-8.

Gregorius homered and drove in two runs while Andujar had four hits, including a pair of doubles.

Severino pitched seven one-run innings, his best outing of the season since he gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings against the Rays on April 4.

“Taylor’s a player that we expect to be a leader on our team, and the way we want to play,” said Hynes at the start of the season. “We feel within our group and our room, that if he can lead with the way he plays, he’s going to help this team take the next step.”

Those words seem prophetic now.

Hall credits Hynes with making him a better two-way player, which is one reason for his sudden uptick in offense. The Devils play an aggressive style with plenty of pressure on the puck carrier, and Hall did that in exemplary fashion: His 81 takeaways were a career high, and nearly 40 more than he had last season (43).

He’s hoping that a healthy offseason and lack of uncertainty will bode well for his second campaign in Pittsburgh.

“[Before] it was just trying to get the plays and that stuff down,” said Haden. “Now, I can work on myself and my individual game and put it together. I was happy I could do it, being able to be healthy. It made me feel good working out in the mornings, get that work in, then having afternoons to myself.”

Haden leads a defensive backfield that also includes Artie Burns at the opposite corner, but underwent some changes this offseason with the departures of safety Mike Mitchell and corner William Gay . It’s also welcoming former Packers safety Morgan Burnett and awaits further realization of the potential of young corner Cameron Sutton .

Could Haden regain his former Pro Bowl form? He’s at least putting in the effort to do so.

Being jettisoned from the Oilers, after they drafted Connor McDavid and appeared to finally be on an upward trajectory, was devastating.steelers_122

NFL players are joining attorneys, professors and others at Harvard Law School for a summit on criminal justice issues.

The Players Coalition members participating in Friday’s event include the New England Patriots’ Devin McCourty and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins. Retired player Anquan Boldin also will attend.

The Players Coalition is a group formed by Boldin, Jenkins and others advocating for changes to further social and racial equality.

The Rays own the worst win percentage in the AL, and their ace, Chris Archer, has not quite been himself. Archer has allowed 19 runs in four starts, tied for the most runs allowed in baseball to this point. One bright spot for the Rays so far has been the performance of Yonny Chirinos, a 24-year-old rookie right-hander who has pitched 14⅓ scoreless innings so far. — McCarthy

Gronkowski missed one game due to injury last season but struggled through a concussion in the playoffs.

“I definitely feel like a brand-new guy just being able to do exercises here [at the TB12 center]. Exercises that help stabilize your core, exercises that help me and my whole body,” Gronkowski told the Boston Herald in early 2017.

While Gronkowski’s status for the forthcoming season has yet to be confirmed, insiders told ESPN it’s “pretty certain” the tight end will return to the Patriots as long as Brady, 40, is still under center. That seems a certainty for this upcoming season, even with reports surfacing that it’s possible the father of three pulls the plug on his NFL career sooner rather than later.

There is some thought that Belichick could consider trading Gronkowski, too.

Over the weekend, Gronkowski was spotted working out with a familiar face, on-and-off-again flame Camille Kostek. The Sports Illustrated beauty posted a snap on the beach as she held a cable pulley for her one-time beau. They later browsed through a pet shop.

Namath had his best season in 1967, when he passed for 4,007 yards, and Maynard — who is with Namath in the Hall of Fame — had 1,434 yards. Both led the NFL.

Eagles to sign linebacker Paul Worrilow

The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to terms with former Detroit Lions linebacker Paul Worrilow on a one-year contract.

Worrilow, 27, signed a one-year deal with the Lions last year and ended up as a rotational linebacker. He played in 13 games, starting eight, and finished with 30 tackles and a fumble recovery.

Yes, he had a 27.00 ERA in a few awful innings against big league competition this spring. His command was horrible and his body language worse, and his confidence level somewhere below that. He struggled against the Tijuana Toros, and as poorly as you might think of the Oakland Athletics, we can all agree they don’t have 36-year-old Jorge Cantu hitting third. But Opening Day, as the poems tell us, heralds a new season, and Ohtani’s first start in the big leagues should reign as a cause for wonder and speculation.

The talent is undeniable, regardless of how any of this turns out. Every single big league team wanted this guy, and they wanted him because he can throw 102 to go along with a wipeout slider and a disappearing splitter and — oh, yeah — light-tower power with a bat in his hands. (His batting practice before Opening Day in Oakland included a howling liner that rose above the playing surface, beyond the center-field fence, over the first section of seats and smack into a club-suite window. In keeping with his brand, Ohtani didn’t seem to notice or care.) Besides, there’s something automatically endearing about a guy who created the most meta moment in the illustrious history of Japanese TV game shows: Can Ohtani hit Ohtani The results were inconclusive.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, told talkSPORT’s Alex Kibble that he is pursuing not just a Super Bowl in London, but also a team.

My ambition is to have more American football games in London and ultimately for there to be a franchise and, dare I say it, even the Super Bowl, Khan said.

London has played host to 21 NFL games. The city has demonstrated it can fill stadiums and loves the NFL. I think it’s just a matter of time before a team expands there.

While Cooks was productive with the Patriots and was the primary wideout for a quarterback who won league MVP, he wasn’t necessarily the best fit during his season in New England. The Patriots threw the ball downfield more frequently in 2017, seemingly owing to the presence of Cooks; 21.9 percent of Tom Brady’s passes traveled 15 yards or more in the air last year, which was the highest rate of his career and the ninth-highest rate in football. patriots_037

Mike Pouncey out in Miami

The Dolphins will be moving on from center Mike Pouncey.

Pouncey will be released, according to multiple reports. Pouncey told Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post that the team asked him to take a pay cut, and he declined.

It turned out I wasn’t careful this time, Skipper said. They threatened me, and I understood immediately that threat put me and my family at risk, and this exposure would put my professional life at risk as well.

Skipper said he wished he could have gone on temporary leave from ESPN, rather than resigning, but as he talked to Disney CEO Bob Iger about his predicament he quickly came to the conclusion that he was going to have to leave permanently.

When I discussed it with Bob, he and I agreed that I had placed the company in an untenable position and as a result, I should resign, Skipper said.

And so Skipper resigned from what he calls the best job in sports on the planet.

The Jets ‘ sudden leap into the fray — and Suh’s willingness to speak on the record about it — suggests the money could win out. New York would also provide similar off-the-field business benefits to Suh that he could find in Los Angeles, even if he’s joining a Jets squad amid a rebuild.

As professionals it behooves us to seek out opportunities to improve ourselves.85 overall pick of the 2008 draft, Stevens is forfeiting $2 million by hanging it up.Postmedia wants to improve your reading experience as well as share the best deals and promotions from our advertisers you.

The delay may also have been related to his often difficult relationship with the media during his playing career, of whom are still voting members of the BBWAA, and his career fading relatively early ?he last played the leagues at the age of 36.If they didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t be here, they would have declined.Of that, $1 million is guaranteed, including a $500 signing bonus.Five days later and the 22-year-old big-bodied forward is joining the Blackhawks for the stretch run, and potentially playoffs, too.

When talk of a potential trade of cornerback Marcus Peters emerged, no one believed it. It’s now officially happened.

Eugene Monroe was interviewed by the magazine.

THE FIT: Patterson is a relatively low-risk acquisition because of his cap hit (which on the Patriots slots him in between Shea McClellin and Chris Hogan ) and because of the draft capital required to nab him. Trading for a player like Patterson as opposed to signing another team’s free agent has the added benefit of not impacting the compensatory-pick formula.

Patterson also fills a few needs. His abilities as a kick-returner will be more than suitable with last year’s primary kick returner for the Patriots, Dion Lewis, out of the mix. What Patterson can do as a gunner and in kick coverage will also be useful with Johnson Bademosi now elsewhere. There’s also a chance Matthew Slater plays in a different city in 2017, in which case Patterson’s contributions as a gunner and in kick coverage could be critical. With Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman and Hogan all established in the Patriots offense, Patterson won’t be expected to take on a heavy role in the Patriots offense.

However, if he can pick up a new system, perhaps he could take on a role as a No. 4 or 5 wideout who benefits from plays designed to get him touches in space. Malcolm Mitchell, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt — now alongside Patterson — will all be competing for time in New England’s offense. Former Patriots coaching assistant Mike Lombardi seems to believe it’s unlikely Patterson contributes offensively.

“Legalization is picking up steam on a global level and I feel like now is the time to spread information about the curing capabilities of this plant,” Montana said. “As with any medicine, increased accessibility comes with the need for education. Cannabis eased my pain. It also put me in a state of healing and relief.”

As he did when he spoke with Sportsnaut about this topic, he continues to spread the message that cannabis is so much more beneficial than opiates.

In 1992 — the last time that happened — Pat Buchanan’s strong GOP primary showing here helped weaken incumbent George H.W. Bush, who went on to lose reelection against Democrat Bill Clinton.

“I’m certain that Trump will draw a serious primary challenger,” said Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. “A lot of voters are getting tired of this act.”patriots_019

Heat vs. Rockets: Preview, time, TV channel, how to watch online

After an impressive victory over the defending champion Warriors, the Rockets are hoping to avoid a letdown against a scrappy Heat team.

Houston (32-12) heads into Monday’s matchup against Miami (27-19) coming off consecutive home wins against Golden State and Minnesota. James Harden will look to continue his return to MVP form after scoring 22 points and dishing out eight assists against the Warriors.

Laine opened the scoring by putting a wrist shot past Lundqvist at 19:05 of the first period. He added on midway through the second period when he snapped off another wrist shot, then scored into an empty net with 34 seconds left.

Laine, the third overall pick of the 2016 draft, scored 36 goals in his rookie season. He leads the NHL in goals since entering the league with 74. Ovechkin and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov each have 73.

Ben Arledge, Insider editor: The Dallas Stars aren’t the same high-octane, all-offense team they were a few years back, but they are still dangerous up front with the likes of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov. More important, their defense is drastically improved. Following the acquisition of goalie Ben Bishop and defenseman Marc Methot in the offseason, Dallas sits fourth in the league in goals-against average (2.61). Bishop has played in a Cup final before and knows what it takes to make a deep run. If he gets hot, the Stars won’t be easy to dismiss.

Sean Allen, fantasy writer: The Florida Panthers. They’re coming in hot to the playoffs with Aleksander Barkov finally earning the credit he’s due and Roberto Luongo well-rested because of his injury layoff.

Kaplan: Pittsburgh. Yes, the Penguins’ defense is a bit leaky. But the addition of Derick Brassard gives Pittsburgh unparalleled center depth, and this is still a high-octane team — the Pens have scored less than three goals just once in their past 13 games. Their remaining schedule is quite favorable too; six of their final regular-season 14 games are against teams well out of playoff position. The Flyers only have only two such games.

Joe Thomas still mulling future with Cleveland Browns

Joe Thomas still isn’t ready to decide on his future.

The perennial All-Pro and future Hall of Fame left tackle said Wednesday he remains on the fence about whether he’ll return to the Cleveland Browns in 2018.

Cleveland has already attempted to lure him back with a pay raise, but Thomas’ tone suggests he might be leaning toward walking away.

The tackle recently launched a podcast with former teammate Andrew Hawkins, who retired in 2017, titled the Thomahawk Show, via Uninterrupted. During one of its earliest episodes, the two discussed Cleveland’s release of cornerback Joe Haden.

This year, the Browns made a lot of moves, trading guys, releasing guys, Thomas said on the podcast, but in the 2017 season, I think that move, when they cut Joe Haden, was probably the most deflating move for the coaching staff and for the players in that locker room, especially all those young guys that we had, they all looked up to Joe, they loved Joe, everyone loved him. And we’re thinking ‘we cut this guy and we had $70 million in cap space? What is that trying to say about the season?’

The season ended without a win and without Thomas. Cleveland very well could begin 2018 in the same fashion.

It’s not supposed to be this easy for the favorite-loving general public to cash so many tickets, VSiN’s Jeff Fogle wrote recently. But we have a unique situation where almost half the league is in the playoff chase, and must keep winning to have a chance at the postseason … while the other half is incentivized to lose for draft position. The market hasn’t been able to find the right pricing strategy when decent teams with good quarterbacks are facing non-contenders with bad or inexperienced quarterbacks.

On Sunday, the books got a bit of a boost when the Chiefs lost outright to the Bills as 8.5-point favorites, but that was about all that separated the books from a truly dismal weekend.patriots_148_4be14ba7776e125b-180x180