#1

He has really brought a lot of players along

in Dies ist ein Forum in der Kategorie 19.11.2018 04:56
von officialsbaseball • 144 Beiträge

ST. PAUL Florida Panthers T-Shirts Authentic , Minn. (AP) Matt Dumba and the Minnesota Wild started a defining two-game stretch against the Dallas Stars with a determined performance.They’re one step closer to a spot in the playoffs.”That was what fueled the fire, just wanting to bury these guys,” Dumba said. ”Not let them think that they could potentially get back into this thing by getting a couple victories against us.”Dumba scored on a power play and finished with three assists for a career-high four points, leading the Wild past the fading Stars 5-2 on Thursday night.”It’s something we talked about, making that gap even bigger and pushing more teams down,” said Zach Parise, who scored 59 seconds after Dumba in the second period and tacked on an empty-netter in the waning seconds.Mikael Granlund sparked the Wild with a short-handed goal in the first period , set up by the first of two assists by Ryan Suter, and Jason Zucker scored on a power play with 11 seconds left before the second intermission.Even more important than Granlund’s goal was the effort by the Wild that immediately followed it.Tyler Seguin had set up Benn in the slot for the lead for the Stars less than three minutes into the game, and a high-stick double-minor penalty on Wild defenseman Ryan Murphy produced a four-minute power play. Granlund scored just 12 seconds in, and the Wild penalty killers took over from there.”It was a big turning point, and it gave us a lot of life,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.Jamie Benn and Devin Shore scored for the Stars Florida Panthers Hoodies Authentic , who have lost eight straight road games, including six in regulation. They’re just 1-7-2 in their past 10 games overall, staggering into position for the knockout punch to their postseason hope. They host a rematch with the Wild on Saturday night.With only four games remaining, the Stars are five points behind current wild-card spot holders St. Louis and Anaheim in the Western Conference standings. The Blues have six games left, and the Ducks play five more times. The Stars also trail ninth-place Colorado by four points, with five games to go for the Avalanche.”Every mistake we made ended up in our net, and the chances we had we didn’t finish on,” Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said, adding: ”We’re going to compete at a very high level, and then the autopsy for us can take place.”Devan Dubnyk stopped 29 shots for the Wild, who improved to 26-6-8 at home for the second-most points in the NHL. With five games to go, they’re up six points on the Avalanche in the race to clinch an appearance in the playoffs for the sixth straight year.Dumba, who set a career high with his 12th goal on a blistering one-timer Florida Panthers Hats Authentic , and Zucker gave the Wild’s power play a badly needed boost. They had only one goal in their previous 26 opportunities until the sizzling second period. The Stars, meanwhile, were left shaking their heads about the opportunities they handed the Wild.”I had a bonehead shot there on the penalty kill,” Seguin said, referring to the sequence before Zucker scored. ”I can’t shoot far-side short-handed, and they go down and score. That’s a tough play.”NOTESDumba became the first Wild defenseman with four points in a game in franchise history. … Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who has missed the past seven games with a torn right hamstring, could start skating next week, Boudreau said before the game. Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson left with an upper-body injury and was declared questionable to travel to Dallas. … The Stars fell to 2-23-2 when trailing after two periods. … Suter stretched his career high and franchise record to 45 assists. … Stars defenseman Stephen Johns was being evaluated for a concussion after leaving in the first period with the injury. … Zucker has three goals and two assists in three games against the Stars this season. … Granlund’s was the 10th short-handed goal allowed by the Stars to match the second-most in the league this season. … Granlund scored for the first time in 15 games since Feb. 27. … Seguin has 27 points in 23 games against the Wild. … Announced attendance was 19,350, the largest of the season for the Wild.UP NEXTStars: After the rematch with Minnesota, Dallas must wrap up the schedule on the West Coast with games at San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles.Wild: Following the quick trip to Dallas Custom Florida Panthers Jerseys , Minnesota plays its final regular-season home game on Monday against Edmonton. Then the Wild finish the schedule with the same three California road games the Stars have, against the Ducks, Kings and Sharks.— After Bill Foley agreed to pay a whopping $500 million for the right to put a hockey team in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the NHL decided his Vegas Golden Knights deserved a chance for a swift return on that investment.If the other NHL owners had known just how huge Foley’s reward would be – and how incredibly quickly he would get it – they probably wouldn’t have been quite so nice to the new guy.It’s too late now, though. After reaping a bonanza from one of the most generous expansion drafts in sports history, the Golden Knights are two victories away from an unbelievable Stanley Cup Final berth.A brand-new team in a league that has been around for 101 years already has a Pacific Division title, two playoff series victories and a 2-1 lead on the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference finals.”I don’t think anybody saw us here,” Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. ”It’s been a lot of fun to be part of it. Really proud of this team and the way these guys have been working. We deserve to be here.”Fleury and the other players accomplishing this feat refer to themselves as the Golden Misfits, yet few of Vegas’ expansion draft selections were truly undesired by the clubs that lost them 11 months ago.Instead, general manager George McPhee took full advantage of his opportunities to compile an uncommonly talented roster, and coach Gerard Gallant turned that roster into a brilliant team in shockingly swift fashion. But it all started with the draft that allowed McPhee to build this monster in less than a year.”It had a big impact,” McPhee acknowledged. ”The (expansion draft) rules were favorable. Gave us something to work with, and gave this team an opportunity to be a good team.”The NHL allowed its teams to protect only seven forwards www.officialkings.com , three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie. By way of comparison, when the NHL last expanded in 2000, teams were allowed to protect a whopping nine forwards, five defensemen and a goalie, or seven forwards, three defensemen and two goalies.The league also required teams to expose players with significant NHL experience who were under contract through next season, closing loopholes and helping Vegas even more. Third-line forwards and top-four defensemen were available from almost every team.The easiest acquisition was Fleury, of course. The Knights got a three-time Stanley Cup winning goalie with 375 career victories for nothing, and he has largely stayed healthy while playing at a formidable level.The Knights also landed the likes of James Neal, a proven veteran talent with nine consecutive 20-goal seasons. He scored 25 goals while providing steady veteran leadership.They plucked William Karlsson, a clearly gifted forward who had yet to reach his full potential with two NHL teams. The Swede swiftly became one of the NHL’s best players, racking up 43 goals – an NHL record for an expansion team’s first season – and 35 assists along with a plus-49 rating.And the expansion draft terms allowed McPhee to get creative in trades with teams hoping to keep players who couldn’t fit under the protection umbrella. For instance Los Angeles Kings T-Shirts Authentic , the Knights ended up with Reilly Smith in a trade because Florida wanted them to draft Jonathan Marchessault – and the two ex-Panthers became two of the Knights’ top four scorers.The draft bounty isn’t the only reason these upstart Knights have immediately entered their Golden years.All of this talent wouldn’t have won so many games without Gallant. He built a balanced, disciplined team that has rolled four lines and played relentless two-way hockey while mining untapped talents such as Karlsson and Eric Haula, who scored 29 goals after never managing more than 15 in Minnesota.”Gerard has done a terrific job of making this a team,” McPhee said. ”He has really brought a lot of players along, and they’ve played better than they’ve played anywhere else.”Foley bought this opportunity with his $500 million expansion fee, yet nobody in the sports world expected the Golden Knights to put it all together so swiftly. That includes the 73-year-old Foley, who raised eyebrows around the league when he set a public goal of bringing the Stanley Cup to Las Vegas within six years – a goal he later revised to maybe eight years.Instead, there’s an increasingly strong chance the Golden Knights will parade the Stanley Cup down the Strip one month from now. There are 12 other NHL teams that have never won a championship, along with seven franchises that haven’t raised the Cup in at least 23 years.Potential NHL expansion owners in Seattle and Houston are probably thinking $500 million was a bargain, since the expansion fee is likely to go up when the league eventually awards its 32nd franchise. It also seems improbable that the NHL would ever make it this easy to build a team again.But nothing will erase the Golden Knights’ remarkable embrace of this unusual moment in hockey history.”It was important to the league and to Las Vegas and to Bill Foley that this franchise had a chance to work,” McPhee said. ”That people that were coming to the games could enjoy the product and become real fans, and we could grow some deep roots in this marketplace. So I didn’t mind the rules.”—AP freelance writer W.G. Ramirez in Las Vegas contributed to this report.—

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