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NHL hockey nears a return and Scott Cullen weighs in on what happened during the Olympics and how it will affect players and teams going down the stretch. Saucony Shadow 5000 Kopen . Notes on Zetterberg, Tavares, Ovechkin, Kessel, Granlund, Crosby, Kunitz, Price and more. 1. Its been a big enough challenge for the Detroit Red Wings this season, battling injuries as they sit in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but as they return from the Olympics, they do so with the knowledge that star LW/C Henrik Zetterberg is out for at least the next eight weeks following back surgery. For the record, there are about seven weeks left in the regular season, so expecting Zetterberg for the first drop of the puck in the playoffs sounds a tad optimistic. No big deal. Zetterberg merely leads the Wings, with 48 points in 45 games and, at 20:33 per game, is one of two Red Wings forwards (Pavel Datsyuk, at 20:45 ATOI is the other) to play more than 18 minutes per game. Hes a puck possession star who plays tough minutes, so the Wings are going to be hard-pressed to replace Zetterbergs contributions. Certainly, if Datsyuk is healthy enough to play -- and he was healthy enough to put up six points in five games for Russia at the Olympics -- then that will help matters, but the Wings are still going to depend heavily on their young forwards that have been playing an increasing role as the season has progressed. That means the crew of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco, Darren Helm all have to raise their games if the Wings are going to survive Zetterbergs absence. The other option is that the Red Wings could use some of their organizational depth to acquire more immediate help. 2. The New York Islanders are, understandably, not thrilled about the prospects of spending the rest of the season without C John Tavares, who suffered a knee injury against Latvia but, provided he has a full recovery, there isnt much downside for the Isles. The Islanders, 12 points out of a playoff spot, werent going to contend for the postseason this year and are already preparing to move LW Thomas Vanek prior to the March 5th trade deadline. Under those circumtances, there will be some opportunities available for other Islanders, rookies Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson among them, to play more prominent offensive roles. Additionally, the loss of Tavares ought to ensure a higher draft pick for the Islanders. While the Islanders would prefer a healthy Tavares, if his absence results in picking a couple of spots higher in the summer, then thats not the worst thing in the world. If someone is potentially going to take a hit without Tavares, it could be RW Kyle Okposo, who has been having a career year playing primarily with Tavares and Vanek and will be rolling with new linemates over the final quarter of the season. 3. Rangers RW Mats Zuccarello, the teams leading scorer with 43 points in 58 games, suffered a broken hand while playing for Norway at the Olympics and is expected to miss the next couple weeks. While Zuccarello is out, that could offer more power play time for Blueshirts wingers, maybe even captain Ryan Callahan, who has been an afterthought in that respect, ranking eighth among Rangers forwards in power play ice time per game (1:47). Callahan has ranked first or second among Rangers forwards in power play time over each of the past three seasons. 4. Penguins D Paul Martin has endured a difficult campaign, missing 25 of 58 games already mostly due to a fractured tibia, and now he could miss another month with a hand injury. Since the Penguins are already going without Kris Letang, in the aftermath of his stroke, they are going to need to lean heavily on young defencemen. 19-year-old rookie Olli Maatta has been a revelation, scoring nine points (3 G, 6 A) in his past 11 NHL games and adding five points (3 G, 2 A) in six games for Team Finland at the Olympics. But the Penguins will need more than Maatta and Matt Niskanen. It could be an opportunity for Simon Despres, who hasnt been able to stick full-time with the Penguins, but has 22 points in 34 games with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. 5. Capitals RW Alex Ovechkin took plenty of heat for Team Russia coming up short on home ice, and with one goal and two points in five games, Ovechkin was due for criticism. At the same time, he had 24 shots on goal in five games (4.8 per), the kind of shot volume that would typically lead to more than one goal. It just so happened that, in this tournament, it didnt. Ive defended Ovechkins play in the NHL this season already, so theres no need to get too far into his Olympic performance. Could he have been better? Sure, but he was hardly alone in his performance and, considering the number of shots he generated, theres little reason to think he wont be able to continue scoring goals when Washingtons season resumes. Ovechkin wasnt the only Russian superstar to struggle. Penguins C Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists in five games, despite putting 20 shots on goal. Two goals on 44 combined shots (4.5%) from Malkin and Ovechkin is a difference-maker, in the wrong direction. In the NHL this season, Ovechkin has scored on 13.4% of his shots and Malkin on 12.6% of his shots, so if they managed to hold form on those 44 shots, that would have given them an expected 5.7 goals. But, sometimes in short series or tournaments, the pucks dont go in and the result was disastrous for home team Russia. 6. One of the stars for Team USA in Vancouver was Zach Parise, who had eight points in six games, including that late tying goal in the Gold Medal Game. It didnt quite work that way in Sochi, for Parise, however, as he was held to one goal and 11 shots in six games. Considering Parise has put up 3.91 shots per game for the Wild this season, his best rate since 2009-2010, and had nine points in seven games upon returning from injury prior to the Olympics, his lack of production was surprising. 7. If the Wild might be concerned about Parises Olympic showing, they have to be even more encouraged by the play of second-year C Mikael Granlund. Finland was shorthanded down the middle, with injuries to Mikko Koivu, Saku Koivu, Valtteri Filppula and, early in the tournament, Aleksander Barkov, thinning out the middle of the ice. No matter, as Granlund rose to the challenge, finishing with seven points (3 G, 4 A) in six games. The poing production is nice, and not completely out of line with his production in Minnesota, which includes three goals and 13 assists in the past 22 games, the last 15 of which have come while playing more minutes in the absence of Mikko Koivu. Whats more interesting about Granlund, however, is the 20 shots on goal he registered, the 3.33 shots per game a far cry from the modest 1.51 shots on goal per game hes averaged through his first 73 NHL contests. In the last handful of games before the break, Granlund had put up 20 shots on goal, so maybe there is some change coming to his game, and if hes generating chances more consistently, then its change for the better and Granlund may start living up to the hype that preceded his arrival in North America. 8. No player entered the Olympic break on the kind of roll that Maple Leafs RW Phil Kessel was, putting up 32 points (14 G, 18 A) in 21 games since Christmas and Kessel didnt miss a beat at the Olympics, leading the tournament with five goals and eight points, while playing a modest 15:20 per game for the Americans, which ranked sixth among U.S. forwards. Theres nothing to say that scoring in the Olympics will make Phil Kessel more legit in the NHL, but its encouraging to see that he was still a dangerous offensive threat against Olympic competition and the Leafs have to figure that Kessel and LW James van Riemsdyk (1 G, 6 A in 6 Olympic games) will be poised to lead them down the stretch as they battle for playoff position. 9. Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane took some heat for his lack of production (0 G, 4 A in 6 GP) for Team USA, but it only highlighted that Kane had been in a bit of a slump before going to the Olympics. In his past 18 NHL games, Kane has four goals and six assists and while Kane exploded in December, for 23 points and 55 shots on goal in 14 games, hes come back down a level from that peak production. 10. Islanders LW Thomas Vanek didnt do much for Team Austria, managing one assist and 10 shots on goal in four games, but the national team captain was also criticized in reports that noted Austrian players were drinking until 6 a.m. the night before their elimination game against Slovenia. Its not going to affect Vaneks NHL trade value, because hes still one of the premier offensive players available as the trade deadline approaches, but its understandably disappointing for an Austrian team that had three NHL forwards on the roster. Islanders RW Michael Grabner (5 G, 1 A in 4 GP) and Flyers LW Michael Raffl (1 G, 2 A in 4 GP) were others. 11. Kings D Drew Doughty was spectacular for Team Canada, scoring four goals and six points in six games, prompting the question: is he reined in too much in Los Angeles? It may just be small sample stuff -- Doughty had a very productive 2012 NHL playoff too (4 G, 12 A in 20 GP) -- but its puzzling to see a player who had 59 points in 82 games as a 20-year-old continue to linger between 35 and 45 per season since. With 30 points in 59 NHL games, Doughty is on pace for 42 points this season, which would be his most since that 59-point season in 2009-2010. 12. The same question might be asked of Kings RW Jeff Carter, who had his selection questioned in some circles prior to the tournament, but Carter was clearly one of Canadas best forwards, using his speed to play strong defensively, backchecking and killing penalties, in addition to scoring three goals and five points in six games. Since the start of the 2008-2009 season, Carter ranks sixth with 182 goals but, as he showed for Team Canada, hes capable of more than merely scoring goals. 13. Penguins C Sidney Crosby was a story, particularly early in the tournament, as the narrative about him being so difficult to play with angle gained more legs. Crosby didnt produce much throughout the tournament, finishing with three points (1 G, 2 A) in six games, though his lone goal was both crucial and an impressive individual effort to give Canada a 2-0 lead in the Gold Medal Game. And, truth be told, Crosby created a bunch of chances in the semifinal against USA, even though he wasnt rewarded on the scoresheet. There has been research done on the subject that indicates playing with Crosby isnt such a daunting task, but when the Crosby line wasnt producing, the tendency was to pin blame on those with whom Crosby played which, in some respects, is letting Crosby off the hook. On one hand, there are legitimate arguments to make about player selection and coaching decisions about who gets to play with No. 87, but some of it has to fall on Crosby too. Its tough to be universally considered the best player in the world in a team sport -- and he is -- yet simultaneously difficult for anyone to play with. 14. Which brings us to one of the most criticized selections for Team Canada, Penguins LW Chris Kunitz, with the chrous perhaps reaching a crescendo during the 1-0 semifinal win over USA, when Kunitz had an altogether decent game, but missed several quality scoring chances that would have obviously helped provide insurance in such a close game. On Twitter, I wondered if Kunitz, an undeniably solid NHLer, whose next NHL goal will be No. 200, has his reputation raised because of the fact that he rides shotgun with Sidney Crosby. Team Canada brass made it clear that Kunitz was selected on the merits of his own play and that sounds reasonable enough for a player that has 107 points (49 G, 58 A) in 106 games since the start of last season. Of course, we could also compare that to someone like Oilers LW Taylor Hall, who has 106 points (36 G, 70 A) in 108 games over the same time period, and then consider that Hall is doing it with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as his centre, and not Crosby, and thats where the water gets murkier. Players are valued on more than points alone, obviously, but there is an inherent challenge in figuring out the impact of a players linemates on their production. Trying to identify an individuals contribution is the challenge of player evaluation and one that is ever-evolving and its hard to separate Kunitzs production from the fact that its coming alongside the best player in the world. The thing is, for all the criticism of his inclusion among Canadas best 13 forwards, Kunitz is the kind of wonderful story that is easy to get behind. He was undrafted out of Ferris State, hardly a hockey factory, and didnt stick in the NHL for keeps until he was 26-years-old after being waived by the Atlanta Thrashers. Hes a hard-working two-way winger who had won a couple of Stanley Cups, a Gold Medal at the Olympics and is having the most productive years of his NHL career as he approaches his mid-30s. After scoring his only goal of the tournament to seal the Gold Medal win, Kunitz wont have to listen to the criticism and he and Crosby can prepare for a stretch run and potentially a new winger before the trade deadline. 15. Canadiens G Carey Price was excellent (0.59 GAA, .972 SV% in 6 GP) behind Canadas spectacular defensive effort, and now returns to a Montreal team that has been decidedly unimpressive defensively. The Canadiens are allowing 30.6 shots against per game, which ranks 21st, and their puck possession numbers have been declining steadily since the start of the season, so if those trends dont reverse, a lot of Montreals playoff hopes (or even getting to the playoffs), will depend on their goaltender. Hes been great this year, posting career-high .925 save percentage in 48 games, but the Canadiens need every bit of that greatness. 16. 43-year-old Ducks RW Teemu Selanne, whose role has decreased in Anaheim -- he has 20 points (7 G, 13 A), with 13:57 ATOI in 47 games -- turned up the heat for a brief run and was named MVP of the tournament, scoring four goals and six points in six games for Finland on their way to a bronze medal. It wouldnt be reasonable to expect Selanne to rise up for a big finish to the season, just based on some short Olympic tourney success, but it does leave open the possibility that perhaps he could be a productive complementary player for the Ducks in the postseason. 17. The Czech Republic team was in disarray at times, but Oilers RW Ales Hemsky had a strong showing, with three goals and an assist in five games, despite averaging only 12:01 per game (some of that disarray was in how ice time was allocated). Combined with his lesser role in Edmonton, theres a decent argument to be made in favour of Hemsky as a trade deadline acquisition who has some upside if plugged into a role alongside skilled players and allowed to play significant minutes. As noted in the Kunitz portion, it matters who you play with. 18. Sweden reached the final with an injury-depleted roster, but there were some odd decisions in their blueline deployment. Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson was glued to the bench for five of the final six periods of the tournament and averaged 9:43 per game, while Blackhawks D Niklas Hjalmarsson played 18:20 per game. This was also a team that left Lightning D Victor Hedman at home, so there is a definite disconnect between the Swedish team and the esteem with which some its players are held in the NHL. 19. Speaking of Swedish defencemen who are held in high regard, Senators D Erik Karlsson was a dynamo on the big ice, as might be expected with such an exceptional skater. Karlsson had four goals and eight points, tying Phil Kessel for the tournament lead in points. 20. Switzerland played an extremely buttoned-down game, scoring a total of three goals in four games, but NHL goaltenders Jonas Hiller (Ducks) & Reto Berra (Flames) turned in strong performances, combining to stop 96 of 99 shots faced. Certainly, there is some credit due to the Swiss defence, led by NHLers Mark Streit, Raphael Diaz and Roman Josi, for allowing just 99 shots in four games. 21. Blue Jackets D Fedor Tyutin is out for 2-3 weeks after suffering an ankle injury. He ranks third on the Columbus defence in time on ice (21:34 per game), so someone will have to take on more minutes, potentially Nikita Nikitin, whose ice time has decreased quite a bit to 17:12 per game thsi season after playing 24:35 per game for the Blue Jackets in 2011-2012. 22. Panthers C Aleksander Barkov suffered a knee injury at the Olympics and is out indefinitely. The Panthers were shallow enough down the middle this season that 18-year-old Barkov has been their No.1 centre. If the Panthers trade veteran centre Marcel Goc, that could really change the minutes available for the likes of Nick Bjugstad, Drew Shore and Shawn Matthias. Scott Cullen can be reached at and followed on Twitter at For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Saucony Shadow 6000 . The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday that the veteran forward will return to the teams line-up on Saturday night when the Habs visit the Nashville Predators. Saucony Sneakers Nederland . Hamelin, who triumphed in the 500 on Saturday, edged out Victor An of Russia by 0.021 seconds to maintain his lead in the World Cup standings. Russias Vladimir Grigorev was third. In the relay, Canada took control six laps from the finish line to beat Russia and the Netherlands. . No. 13-seeded John Isner and No. 21 Philipp Kohlschreiber were among six players who dropped out of the tournament on Tuesday, joining No. 12 seed Tommy Haas and two other players who withdrew on Monday.Indianapolis, IN ( - Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger is expected to make his season debut on Friday after missing the teams first 25 games with a left calf strain. Granger appeared in just five games last season before a lingering left knee injury required season-ending surgery. While attempting a comeback in early October, Granger pulled a calf in the same left leg. "Theres no way to simulate game intensity," Indiana head coaach Frank Vogel said of Grangers return to the court. Saucony Shadow 5000. "Theres going to be an adjustment period while he gets used to that." Granger, selected 17th overall by the Pacers in 2005, has averaged 18.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists over 515 games (423 starts) over eight NBA seasons, all in Indiana. The 30-year-old swingman will make his first regular-season appearance since March 3 when the 20-5 Pacers host Houston on Friday. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys' ' '
ANAHEIM, Calif. Jordi Masip Jersey . -- Its been obvious for quite some time that the Los Angeles Angels werent going to the playoffs. Now its official. The Angels beat Seattle 6-5 Saturday night for their 21st victory in 28 games, but this surge came way too late. Earlier in the day, they were mathematically eliminated from post-season contention. After starting the year with big expectations, boosted by the winter signing of former MVP Josh Hamilton, the injury-plagued Angels didnt spend one day atop the AL West after winning their season opener at Cincinnati. The Angels have been no fewer than nine games out of first place since the All-Star break. This is their fourth straight year without a post-season berth, after winning five division titles. "I think the one word that still lingers out of all this clubhouse and how we all feel is certainly frustration," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I dont think theres been any way to sugarcoat it. Its obviously not a good feeling when you dont accomplish your goal. "Theres been some nonperformance on our club, some injuries and some depth issues. But I think weve gone a long way in the past month to show the kind of baseball we can play, particularly on the pitching side. Hopefully well temper that frustration and finish strong," he said. Collin Cowgill homered and also stole home for the Angels. Rookie Grant Green hit a three-run double to help Jerome Williams win his fourth straight start. Cowgill walked and scored in the second inning and hit a solo homer in the fourth. He tripled to open the seventh, then broke for the plate as Andrew Romine squared around to try a suicide-squeeze bunt, and scored when left-hander Joe Saunders pitch sailed to the backstop. Williams (9-10) allowed one run, five hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings. He left after No. 9 hitter Henry Blanco snapped an 0-for-32 drought with a bloop single. "I always want to go out there and do my best," he said. "Ive had a couple of rough stretches, and now I just want to finish strong and end this season on a good note." Ernesto Frieri got three outs for his 36th save in 40 attempts despite giving up Raul Ibanezs 300th career homer. Ibanez and Ted Williams are the only players to hit 29 home runs during the season in which they were 41 years old. "I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be in this situation," Ibanez said. "Anytime youre in the company of the great Ted Williams -- and its just this one thing that I have in common with him -- its a great blessing. I read his book when I was in high school, and he was the greatest hitter that ever lived." What made this milestone even sweeter for Ibanez was that it came with the Mariners, the team he began his big league career with in 1996. This is his third stint with the club. "Ive always considered myself a Mariner," said the 17-year veteran, who hit a career-high 34 homers in 2009 with Philadelphia. "This is the organization that first game me the opportunity. So to do this in a Mariners uniform, I feel very fortunate." Saunders (11-16) tied the Astros Lucas Harrell and the Cubs Edwin Jackson for the most losses in the majors. Saunders gave up six runs and six hits over seven innings and tied a career best with nine strikeouts. The 32-year-old left-hander threw 125 pitches, one short of his career high. Abraham Almonte scored Seattles second run on a seventh-inning balk by rookie Cory Rasmus. NOTES: Last year, the Angels post-season hopes ended with two games left on the schedule. ... LHP C.J. Wilson, who goes into Sundays start with a 17-6 record and a string of nine straight winning decisions, was presented with the fifth annual Nick Adenhart memorial award as the Angels top pitcher of the season during a pregame ceremony. Jered Weaver won it the first four years. ... Justin Smoak was hitless in three at-bats against Williams, and is 1 for 19 lifetime against him with seven strikeouts. ... The Mariners are 0-68 this season when trailing after eight innings, and 6-221 during Eric Wedges three years as manager. Lionel Messi Barcelona Jersey . -- There were a lot of firsts for the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. Custom Barcelona Jersey . Ivanovic was leading 7-5, 1-0 when Hantuchova withdrew after falling 0-40 behind in the second game. The match started slowly for Ivanovic, who surrendered her first two serves as Hantuchova took a 5-3 lead. . Brandon Morrow allowed five runs on six hits over three innings. He struck out two, walked one and hit a batter. Edwin Encarnacion had a two-out, bases loaded two-RBI double in the third inning.PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain won 3-1 away to Bordeaux to reach the semifinals of the French League Cup on Tuesday. PSG lost in a penalty shootout at the quarterfinal stage last season, but took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Argentina playmaker Javier Pastore, who has been largely out of favour so far this season. In a hard-fought match, midfielder Andre Poko pulled aa goal back just after the interval for defending French Cup champion Bordeaux, before 18-year-old midfielder Adrien Rabiot restored PSGs lead in the 85th minute. Claudio Bravo Jersey. Fellow midfielder Blaise Matuidi completed the win for the French league leaders in the 88th. Former seven-time league champion Lyon hosts Marseille in the pick of Wednesdays quarterfinals. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys' ' '
The Czech Republic swept past Serbia in the doubles for a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup final on Saturday, leaving them one victory away from retaining the cup. Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek defeated Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4) on the indoor hard-court at Belgrade Arena. The victory improved the Czech pairs impressive cup doubles record to 14-1. Berdych plays Novak Djokovic, on a 23-match winning run, in the first reverse singles on Sunday, and the final could be decided when Stepanek likely meets cup rookie Dusan Lajovic in the final rubber. "I am in the best possible position after Saturday," said Berdych, who has beaten Djokovic only twice in 16 encounters, and never on a hard court. "I have nothing to lose. I am going to go there and fight for each point." Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said Zimonjic and Bozoljac gave their best, but lost against a better pair. "But we were in similar situations before," Obradovic said. Serbia came from 2-1 down in the 2010 cup final against France, and in this years semifinals against Canada. But both heroes of those ties arent playing. Viktor Troicki, who clinched Serbias only cup title in 2010, is serving a doping ban, and Janko Tipsarevic, who secured the win over Canada, is sidelined by a heel injury. Obradovic said he was not sure if Lajovic, who lost against Berdych in straight sets on Friday, would play if theres a fifth rubber. On Saturday, the Czechs broke Zimonjic at the start of the first two sets. Zimonjic netted an easy volley in the second set to give the Czechs a commanding two-set lead. Stepanek played almost faultlessly. He saved the only break point for the Serbs at 2-3 in the third set with a neat drop shot. In the third-set tiebraker, Stepanek first lost his serve, but then Zimonjic and Bozoljac both suffered mini-breaks. Stepanek won the match with an ace. "Today, it worked out really well. We fit perfectly. Honestly," Stepanek said. "It was one of the best matches we played. But, we have to stay humble, focused and concentrated. "If it comes down to the fifth match, I will be ready to fight to the last point." Zimonjic said "they were better in every aspect of the game." "We had a little chance in the third set, but that was the only one. They were controlling the match from the beginning to the end." DETROIT -- Chad Johnson made18 saves and Carl Soderberg scored both goals to lead the Boston Bruins over the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in a preseason game Saturday night. Boston (3-1-0) continued its strong exhibition season after coming up short in the Stanley Cup finals last season, losing in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks. Jonas Gustavsson stopped 12 shots for Detroit (2-2-0) in the first two periods.dddddddddddd Petr Mrazek made seven saves in the third. Soderberg opened the scoring with 1:04 left in the second period when he put a loose puck in from the bottom of the left circle for his first goal of the preseason. His second came on the power play off a rebound in front of the net only 41 seconds into the third. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys' ' '
EAST RUTHERFORD, N. Stephen Curry 1 Low Shoes .J. -- When the NFL chose the Giants and Jets to host the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, there was some wishful thinking in the area that the locals might somehow find a way to play in the first cold-weather title game in the modern era. The annual preseason game for the bragging rights to Saturday would then be a preview to a February showdown in front of the world. Yup. It was wishful thinking. With the 2013 regular season opener just weeks away, the Giants (1-1) and Jets (1-1) are longshots to reach the Super Bowl. Neither made the playoffs last year and neither is favoured to win their division this season. The Jets are still looking for a quarterback. The Giants need a defence. And both Rex Ryan and Tom Coughlin have a ton of questions to answer. Coughlin, who led the Giants to Super Bowl titles in 2008 and 2012, hasnt avoided talking about the big game being in the backyard. There is a countdown clock in the Giants locker room. "Thats a nice thing to be aware of," Coughlin said. "But we have a long way to go to be in that situation. But lofty goals? Yeah. There are 32 teams that the Super Bowl championship is their goal right now. But we have to make sure we take care of all the nuts and bolts in order to get to a position where youre even able to compete for something like that. "Yes, it is a reminder. Its all positive, provided all the work that has to go into it prevails." The Giants have undergone changes since missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw was let go in a salary-cap move and defensive tackle Chris Canty and linebacker Michael Boley were released from a defence that finished 31st overall. So far this season, injuries have forced the offensive line to change two spots and kept defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul off the field. Eli Manning has managed one touchdown drive in two preseason games, and the defence still has not generated a pass rush. "Its always a big game," said Manning, whose favourite target, Victor Cruz, will be out with a heel injury. "Most times its the third preseason game. The starters are going to play a bunch. Its an important game for us to go out there and try to play well." The game is even more important for the Jets. Rookie Geno Smith, a second-round draft pick, will start at quarterback in his bid to take the job from Mark Sanchez. Ryan also hopes to give Chris Ivory more work at running back and to get a little more out of his defence, which has been so-so in the preseason. Playing the Giants, however, seems raise the interest level. Jets guard Willie Colon was raised in New York City and attended Hofstra, so he is very familiar with the rivalry despite experiencing it for the first time as a player. "Its another challenge for us to go out there and show up and get ready for the season," Colon said. "They have a good outfit. Their championships speak (volumes) for them and for us were trying to get on the ball and get things going, so its going to be a great night for us." Before coming to the Giants in 2011, punter Steve Weatherford played for the Jets. He said the rivalry always ratchets things up a little, even in the preseason. "If we win the game, thats just the cherry on the top," Weatherford said. "We just want to stay healthy." Giants veteran cornerback Corey Webster smiled when asked about the Jets. "I dont think about the Jets at all," said Webster, who is going to miss his second straight game with groin and knee injuries. "Thats not disrespect or anything. They are an NFL team from across town and I wish them all the best, but were focused on us. There is a little rivalry when you have two teams in the same town sharing a whole bunch of stuff. "But ultimately, I want to win every game and it doesnt matter who we are playing." Under Armour Scorpio . Westbrook has missed 27 games since having a procedure on Dec. 27 to deal with swelling in his injured right knee — the third operation on the knee in nine months. Under Armour Micro g Anatomix Spawn II . 1 position. The Mustangs (6-0), who beat Queens 50-31 last weekend, earned 17 first-place votes and 287 points in voting by the Football Reporters of Canada. Western was last ranked first in the country in October 2011. .C. -- After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats Bradley Beal scored 21 points and the Wizards used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control of what had been a close game and beat the Bobcats 97-83 on Tuesday night.In the segment, Cabbie discusses potential team names, owning their own bowling ballls and facing rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Under Armour Curry 3. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys' ' '
BUFFALO, N. Diego Godin Jersey .Y. -- These arent sunny days for the Buffalo Sabres. Theyre off to an NHL-worst 2-10-1 start, have two players currently suspended and Sunday night traded star scorer Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders. But longtime general manager Darcy Regier doesnt want to consider himself under pressure, despite his current situation. "I dont do well with that word," Regier said. "I think theres a better word. Is it a bigger challenge? Yeah. Id substitute the word challenge for pressure." As far as challenges go, its a monumental one. Regier is in the midst of trying to rebuild a roster around a young core without losing the support of fans, ownership and his veteran players. Trading Vanek was another step in that process, which could include shipping out franchise goaltender Ryan Miller and others before the March trade deadline. Its up to Regier get the best return out of such moves. "If youre under so much pressure, its paralysing, so you cant operate that way," he said. "You have to operate as though its a challenge and its something that you have to get done as a part of our team thats working on this. And you have to find the enjoyment in doing your work." Its not enjoyable for Regier or any man in his position to hear home fans chanting for him to be fired. But with Buffalo in the Atlantic Division basement after failing to qualify for the playoffs the past two years, that frustrated sentiment is certainly expected. Lindy Ruff, who coached the Sabres for 14 full seasons before being fired in the middle of 2013, gets it. "I understand where theyre at," said Ruff, whose Dallas Stars were in Buffalo to face the Sabres on Monday night. "Its tough to see where the team is at in the standings, but I watch how these players play and how some of the young players play and I think theres a lot of promise there." Its a long rebuild, and one Vanek told reporters in Uniondale, N.Y., that he didnt really want to be a part of. Regier knew Vanek would not re-sign, so he took a major step toward the future by acquiring winger Matt Moulson, a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-rounder in 2015 from the Islanders. "I dont want to show any lack of respect to our fans, but internally its just doing the work and focusing on what our plan is and trying to execute it as well and as soon as possible," he said. "I dont love where we are. I love what were doing and I believe in the direction were going in." That plan includes stockpiling draft picks. The Sabres have 17 first- or second-round picks from 2012 through 2015, the most in their history, something that is by design. Buffalos two first-round picks from 2012, Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, and 2013, Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, are all getting NHL experience right now. Thanks to the trades of Vanek to the Islanders, Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild and Robyn Regehr to the Los Angeles Kings, the Sabres have two first-round picks and three second-rounders in Junes draft, and one first and three thirds in 2015. "With where our hockey club is the first and second-round picks are important," Regier said. "Whether we use the picks to select players at the draft or whether we use them to continue to improve the hockey club as we go forward through this season is yet to be determined." Its also yet to be determined how many early picks the Sabres will have by the time theyre done dealing. Like Vanek, Moulson is a pending unrestricted free agent, so its very realistic to think he goes to a contender by the deadline in exchange for more selections and/or prospects. Moulson isnt worrying about that right now, preferring a "day-to-day" approach. "Being from Mississauga Im well-acquainted with Buffalo. I used to love coming to Bills games," he said. "Its a great city and who knows, it could be for a long time. Well see what they have in store."Of course the biggest question surrounding the Sabres roster has to do with Miller, the 33-year-old goalie who has been a franchise cornerstone since he became the starter in 2005-06. Miller is in the final season of a US$31.25-million, five-year deal and figures to generate significant interest in the trade market. "I think any time a player plays better, you get more and when he plays poor, you get less," Regier said. "I think that will happen. I think its obviously good for our organization, its great for Ryan and it means a lot." Miller has a no-trade clause that allows him to block a move to eight teams. Asked if he had received any inquiries about Miller, Regier said: "I probably talk to a third of the league of my counterparts on a weekly basis. You end up talking about a lot of things." Impending free-agents Steve Ott, Cody McCormick and Henrik Tallinder could be talked about, too. What the Vanek trade showed is that the Sabres are open for business, and players know it. "Everybodys job is kind of up in the air right now," said Ott, who became the full-time captain after the trade. "I dont think anybody has a free pass in trying to rebuild and I guess you could say restructure the whole organization and thats something right now we can only control what you can control as a player, and thats something Im planning on continuing to preach to the team." Regier said its "too early" to know what value veterans could have in the coming months. "Teams, I think theyre dealing with a very heavy October schedule, which is a little bit unusual that were getting because of the Olympics," he said. "There are quite a few injuries around the league, so in some cases theyre waiting for players to get back, get healthy and get back before they start to assess what their needs are. But I would also say that theres probably more conversations now than there have been in the past." Regiers focus is on getting younger and relying on his scouting staff to find the next-generation versions of Vanek, Pominville, Regehr and others. Its very different from the task of building and retooling a playoff team. "Its a process that you work through," Regier said. "And it is exciting when you can get young players and you can see them grow. The hard part is when you dont win games while theyre growing, and it makes it difficult. But the nature of this business is short-term pressures and its a long-term plan that is going to get it done." Gabi Atletico Madrid Jersey . Tracey comes to the Blue Bombers after spending over a decade with Queens University. Most recently he was the schools assistant football coach. Antoine Griezmann Jersey . Neymar curled home a free kick from just outside the area to put the 2014 World Cup host ahead in the 44th minute. Three minutes after the break, a simple through pass from Paulinho freed Oscar and the Chelsea star rounded goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong to extend Brazils lead. . - Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic has broken a shutout record that was only three months old in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.SPARTA, Ky. -- Ryan Blaney provided more evidence that Penske Racings No. 22 Ford can win no matter whos driving. Blaney earned his first Nationwide Series victory and another win for the teams Mustang, holding off Austin Dillon and surviving several late cautions to win Saturday nights 300-mile race at Kentucky Speedway. Blaney, who drives for Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski in the Camping World Truck Series, used his second start in the No. 22 to claim the cars 10th victory of 2013 and a season sweep at Kentucky. Keselowski drove the car to victory in June. Blaneys win included tense moments over the final 40 laps, from beating Dillon off pit road with a two-tire stop on lap 166 to reclaiming the lead from Dillon after losing it on the restart. More tests followed, including a near-brush with teammate Sam Hornish Jr.s loose Ford and one final restart. "We just had an awesome, awesome Mustang," Blaney said. "The team just kept getting the car better and better and as the race went on. Those restarts were tough. Luckily, I had a good enough car to hold them off." Matt Crafton was third, Hornish fourth and rookie Alex Bowman fifth in a Toyota. Dillon shaved two points off Hornishs series lead and trails by just 15 with six races remaining. Getting closer to Blaney was out of the question for Dillon and just about anyone in contention. Hornish gave it a shot late in the race before that late wiggle left him settling for his 21st top-five finish of the season. Dillon had hope on several restarts, only to let the son of NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney quickly snatch it away on several late restarts. The final one typified the futility: Blaney blasted out on lap 191 to open up a three car-length lead and didnt look back. "He did everything right," Dillon said of Blaneys restarts. "He did everything he could to hold me off and the car was better once he got out front for sure. I felt like if we couldve got out front we could hold him off for eight laps, but disappointed that we couldnt quite clear him." Hornish led 65 laps after starting on the pole, while Dillon led 32. Beating the Noo. Lucas Hernandez Jersey. 22 has been tough for everybody this season. Three other drivers have reached victory lane in it this season, including Keselowski, whos racing in this weekends Cup series race in Loudon, N.H. Blaney, who won a Trucks race in Iowa last year, became the fourth in just his 15th start. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins kept him calm and focused over the radio, and the only direction he ever really needed was to victory lane after taking the checkered flag. The points race meanwhile saw little change. Hornish entered Saturday looking to widen his edge on Dillon, who came into the series final stand-alone race seeking his third Nationwide victory in four Kentucky starts. He helped his prospects Saturday afternoon by clocking 179.235 mph to claim his third pole this season and leading Penskes front-row sweep with Blaney (178.159) taking the outside spot. Dillon was close by in the third spot with a run of 178.042 mph in his Chevy. With Cup regulars racing this weekend in New Hampshire, 41 drivers had the track to themselves, and Nationwide contenders did their best to exploit the freedom. Hornish and Dillon in particular looked forward to racing all-out here, with the points leader especially eager to follow up Junes ninth-place run. After the start was delayed briefly to allow track dryers to blow away some weepers, Hornish went about proving how good his Mustang was. He led the first 65 laps before his teammate won the race off pit road during the third caution and led on the restart. Dillon was second and needed only a lap to move in front -- on lap 68 -- and add another chapter to his impressive Kentucky resume. He led the next 32 laps before Blaney took the first of two leads to establish himself as the best driver in the best car. "Im a pretty lucky guy and privileged to have the drivers we have," Bullins said. "I dont think we have any slouches, so I dont have any complaints about my driver lineup. Ive got it pretty good. Tonight was another example of that. "We brought a good car, and we got somebody driving that knows what to do with it and was able to get the job done." 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BEIJING -- Defending champion Victoria Azarenka was knocked out in the first round of the China Open on Monday, losing 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to Andrea Petkovic of Germany. Markieff Morris Jersey . The second-ranked Azarenka double-faulted 15 times and was broken five times by Petkovic, who reached the final here in 2011. "Im very happy with my performance," Petkovic said. "I was happy with my movement and my serve for the most part, and I managed to get a lot of balls back very deep and very strong. Parts of the match were a really, really good level - some parts I lost a bit of energy, but overall Im very happy." It was the second tournament in row in which Azarenka lost her first match, having been beaten by Venus Williams in Tokyo last week. "It was an awful match and a very bad performance from me, so theres not much to say about it," Azarenka said. "It happens once, twice a year to every player, and it happened to me today." Also Monday, Montreals Eugenie Bouchard advanced with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Slovakias Magdalena Rybarikova that took just an hour and five minutes. Bouchard, ranked 36th in the world, broke Rybarikovas serve six times in the match. She will play American Slone Stephens in the second round. Bouchard defeated Stephens at last weeks Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. In other Canadian results, Kazakhstans Galina Voskoboeva beat Torontos Sharon Fichman 6-4, 6-1. Elsewhere, eighth-seeded Jelena Jankovic rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia. Former No. 1-ranked Jankovic had lost three of her four previous matches against Pavlyuchenkova and didnt start well in Beijing, but recovered to break her opponent three times in each of the second and third sets. The 28-year-old Jankovic, who won the title here in 2008, took control of the match as her opponent struggled with her first serves and double-faulted nine times. Jankovics compatriots Ana Ivanovic and Bojana Jovanovski joined her in the second round with easier straight-set victories. Ivanovic defeated Flavia Pennetta of Italy 7-6 (9), 6-1 while Jovanovski took just 77 minutes to dispose of Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 6-2. In the doubles, wild-card entries Serena and Venus Williams wasted chances to win before losing 6-7 (3), 6-4, 11-9 in a Champions tiebreaker to Liezel Huber and Taiwans Chan Hao-ching. Serena Williams double-faulted on match point to hand her opponents the win, and then angrily slammed her racket against the court three times before tossing it to the side. In the mens draw, Australian Lleyton Hewitt knocked out seventh-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the first round. Australias Bernard Tomic, Fabio Fognini of Italy and Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany also advanced. Bradley Beal Wizards Jersey .C. -- Todd Fiddler scored a hat trick, including the overtime goal, as the Prince George Cougars survived an 8-7 win against the Kamloops Blazers in Western Hockey League play Sunday. Marcin Gortat Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. . - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is not a fan of his teams use of the wildcat formation, saying "it makes you look like a high school offence.ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor will miss Sundays game in Houston because of a sprained right knee. The Raiders ruled out Pryor on Saturday and announced that undrafted rookie free agent Matt McGloin will start against the Texans. Pryor had a setback at practice on Friday and had been listed as questionable. He leads all NFL quarterbacks with 504 yards rushing. But he wore a thick brace over his knee during last weeks 24-20 loss to the New York Giants when he was held to a season-low 19 yards on the ground and sacked four times. McGloin was 7 for 15 for 87 yards in relief of Pryor against the Eagles in Week 9 in his first game action of his career. He will be the 17th quarterback to start for Oakland since the start of the 2003 season. The Raiders also promoted rookie Tyler Wilson from the practice squad to back up McGloin and waived defensive end Brian Sanford. Wilson was a fourth-round pick but was beaten out for a roster spot by McGloin. McGloin entered training camp fourth on the depth chart. He was originally a walk-on at Penn State before setting the school record for career touchdown passes.& qquot;What can you say about Matt McGloin? Having been in that league, I know it takes a smart guy, it takes a competitive guy, it takes a guy that does the same thing every day," said Penn State coach Bill OBrien, the former offensive co-ordinator for the New England Patriots. Bradley Beal Jersey. "He works at it. Hes in the office early, he leaves late. Thats what Matt is. Everything Matt gets, he deserves because he works for it. Its going to be fun to watch him play." McGloin will start against another undrafted free agent in Houstons Case Keenum. This marks the first time since 2011 that two undrafted free agent quarterbacks started against each other. Kansas Citys Tyler Palko faced Chicagos Caleb Hanie on Dec. 4 that year, and Miamis Matt Moore faced Dallas Tony Romo on Nov. 24. Disregarding the strike year in 1987, this will be just the second time two undrafted quarterbacks in their first year in the NFL started against each other, according to STATS LLC. The only other time it happened came on Dec. 1, 1985, when Dieter Brock of the Los Angeles Rams faced Bobby Hebert of the New Orleans Saints. Cheap NFL JerseysCheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From ChinaCheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys' ' '
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