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TORONTO -- Understandably, Ryan Nelsen is torn about Jermain Defoe and the World Cup. [url=http://www.authenticmanchestercitysho

in Introductions Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:33 am
by jokergreen0220 • 1.050 Posts

BROSSARD, Que. Joe Hart Jersey . -- Those impatient for the Stanley Cup to return to Canada will have just one team to root for in the NHL playoffs -- the Montreal Canadiens. For the first time since 1973, only one Canadian team has qualified for the NHL post-season. The Canadiens will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round, with only home ice advantage to be decided in the final regular-season games on the weekend. Defenceman Josh Gorges said Friday he expects a lot of attention, but it will be no more pressure than what the team deals with every day of the season. "There may be more eyes within Canada watching our games," the Kelowna, B.C. native said. "In Canada, they have their loyalties to their local teams, but come playoff time, youve watched when Vancouver was in the Cup (final) a few years ago. "Calgary, Edmonton, the same thing. The whole country rallies around because they want to see a Stanley Cup come back to Canada. But I dont think it adds anything. Theres enough pressure just because of what were trying to accomplish." In 1973, the Canadiens were the lone Canadian playoff team and they won the Cup. They are also the last Canadian team to win a Cup in 1993. They are widely considered to be long shots to go more than a round or two this time, even though theyve had an excellent season, have Canadian Olympic gold medallist Carey Price in goal, and got a major boost at the trade deadline in scoring winger Thomas Vanek. Last season, four Canadian teams made the playoffs. Only two made it in the two seasons before that. It seems odd that clubs with such enthusiastic fans and which sell out every game have so much trouble finishing in the top eight in their conferences. But Gorges said the added attention may be what makes it so difficult. "Its a little bit strange, but at the same time, its not easy playing in Canadian markets," he said. "On a lot of teams in the States, theres nothing more to it than going out and playing the game and getting the two points, whereas a lot of times in Canada, you cant escape hockey. "No matter where you go, theres added, outside things that affect your performance. I think weve done a good job here of trying to find that balance, but that could, maybe, be a reason why some Canadian teams havent been in there." The Canadiens have reached the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, missing in 2012. Their best season since 1993 was in 2010 when they reached the Eastern Conference final. The Vancouver Canucks saw a run of five straight trips to the post-season end this season. "Going into the season, you look at all the Canadian teams and youd think most of them would be contending," said Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher. "For us, being the only one, well probably have some of Canada on our side. "Some of them will still hate us, but it doesnt change what we do and how we have to prepare." The second-year forwards only playoff experience was in an all-Canadian series last spring, when Montreal was beaten in five games by the Ottawa Senators. "Theres so much expectation for Canadian teams to compete because the fans are so passionate and they care so much," said Gallagher, an Edmonton native. "Every fan base in Canada expects their team to be in the playoffs every year. "Im sure next year it will be different, but for us, it doesnt change anything. Were happy to be where we are and want to take advantage of it." While having only one team is rare, its an improvement on 1970, when no Canadian teams made it. Bobby Orrs Boston Bruins beat St. Louis in the final that year. The Canadiens, who are 0-for-20 on the power play in their last seven games, worked mostly on special teams going into their regular season finale Saturday night at home against the New York Rangers. The Canadiens hope a win coupled with a Tampa Bay loss will let them start the playoffs at home, but they dont seem to be sweating it one way or the other. "If its us or Tampa Bay that has home ice advantage, we dont know," said coach Michel Therrien. "But I can predict what the answers will be when we know on Sunday night: The team that has it will be really happy and the team that doesnt will say it doesnt matter." Forward Lars Eller didnt skate and it likely to miss a third game with a flu. Winger Brandon Prust is also out with an upper body injury. Therrien expects him to be ready for the playoffs but cautioned "were not quite sure yet." Forward Travis Moen, out eight games with a concussion, is also a question mark. Winger Michael Blunden was recalled from AHL Hamilton. The Canadiens announced that captain Brian Gionta edged out Gallagher for the Jacques Beauchamp Trophy as the teams unsung hero in voting by the local media. The two-way right winger has played 80 games this season after missing a large part of the last two campaigns with biceps injuries. "From the outside looking in, fans may not realize how important he is," Gorges said of Gionta. "Its not always about how many points you get, its what you do to help the team win games." 17:39ET 11-04-14 Harry Kane Jersey . The San Angelo, Texas product, who was a high school and college quarterback sensation in the Lone Star State, will start his first CFL game with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9-4) on Friday at Mosaic Stadium against the leagues top team, the Calgary Stampeders (11-2). Ryan Bertrand Jersey . They have watched it from afar. And now they have seen it for themselves. http://www.englandsoccerauthority.com/phil-jagielka-england-jersey/ .com) - American Madison Keys grabbed a first- round victory on Sunday in a rainy start to the Apia International Sydney tournament.PACIFIC DIVISIONANAHEIM DUCKSLAST SEASON: 54-20-8, 116 points. Won Pacific Division. Lost to Los Angeles in second round of playoffs.COACH: Bruce Boudreau, 4th season with Ducks, 111-55-22; 8th overall in NHL.ADDED: C Ryan Kesler, C Nate Thompson, D Clayton Stoner, LW Dany Heatley.LOST: G Jonas Hiller, RW Teemu Selanne, C Saku Koivu, C Nick Bonino, C Mathieu Perreault, C Daniel Winnik, D Luca Sbisa, D Stephane Robidas.PLAYER TO WATCH: Devante Smith-Pelly. After bouncing between the NHL and the minors for three years, the speedy, tough-nosed right wing is poised to build on his breakthrough effort as Anaheims top goal-scorer in the post-season. Hes likely to get a chance to contribute on the deep Ducks top three lines.OUTLOOK: Kesler and Thompson make the Ducks tougher down the middle, and this deep, balanced club should be in position to contend for the Stanley Cup again. Anaheim is taking its biggest risk in net, hoping Frederik Andersen and prospect John Gibson are ready for full-time NHL duty.___ARIZONA COYOTESLAST SEASON: 37-30-15, 89 points. Ninth overall in Western Conference.COACH: Dave Tippett, fifth season with Arizona, 156-96-42; In 10th NHL season as coach, 427-252-107.ADDED: C Sam Gagner, C Joe Vitale, RW B.J. Crombeen, G Devan Dubnyk.LOST: RW Radim Vrbata, C Mike Ribeiro, D Derek Morris, LW Paul Bissonnette, G Thomas Greiss.PLAYER TO WATCH: C Antoine Vermette. As Ribeiro struggled late last season, Vermette surged to the forefront as Arizonas top centre. He led the Coyotes with 24 goals last season and is a superb two-way player a a perfect fit for Tippetts defence-first system. A bigger season could be on the horizon as the Coyotes lean on him more.OUTLOOK: The Coyotes should contend for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Arizona lost captain Shane Doan for 12 games due to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and goalie Mike Smith was out the final 10 games with a knee injury. Even with the injuries, the Coyotes finished two points out of the Wests final playoff spot. Stay relatively healthy and get back to their defensive ways, they might be in the mix again this season.___CALGARY FLAMESLAST SEASON: 35-40-7, 77 points, finished 13th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs.COACH: Bob Hartley, fourth season with Calgary, 383-291-61-45 overall.ADDED: LW Brandon Bollig, D Deryk Engelland, G Jonas Hiller, LW Mason Raymond.LOST: D Chris Butler, LW Mike Cammalleri.PLAYER TO WATCH: Johnny Gaudreau. Offense was a major issue for the Flames, who finished 23rd and 24th, respectively, in goals per game (2.46) and power play percentage (15.7). Gaudreau, the reigning Hobey Baker winner, recorded 80 points (36 goals and 44 assists) in 40 games with Boston College.OUTLOOK: With the possible exception of John Tortorella, who attempted to fight his way into the Calgary dressing room during the first intermission of a Jan. 18 game in Vancouver to ostensibly express his displeasure about a line brawl following the opening faceoff, Hartley and the Flames earned praise around the NHL for their hardworking style of play. Even with the addition of Gaudreau and friends to the lineup, dont expect the Flames to change their modus operandi. But its too much to ask the Flames to compete for a playoff berth.___EDMONTON OILERSLAST SEASON: 29-44-7, 67 points, finished 14th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs.COACH: Dallas Eakins, second season with the Oilers, 29-44-7.ADDED: D Mark Fayne, D Nikita Nikitin, F Benoit Pouliot, F Teddy Purcell.LOST: D Anton Belov, C Sam Gagner, LW Ryan Smyth.PLAYER TO WATCH: Justin Schultz: The Oilers signed the defenceman to a one-year, $3,675,000 deal on Aug. 29. Why one year? Justin is going to be a great player and a great Oiler. What we wanted to do as an organization is buyy ourselves a little bit of time to negotiate a long-term deal, general manager Craig MacTavish said. Chris Smalling Jersey. . We as an organization wanted a little more information, fully aware information can be expensive.OUTLOOK: Six straight years of drafting in the top 10 and stockpiling high-end young talent without showing tangible on-ice improvement tends to create skepticism.___LOS ANGELES KINGSLAST SEASON: 46-28-8, 100 points. Finished third in Pacific Division. Won the Stanley Cup.COACH: Darryl Sutter, 4th season with Kings, 98-57-24; 15th overall in NHL.ADDED: RW Adam Cracknell.LOST: D Willie Mitchell, C Colin Fraser.PLAYER TO WATCH: D Brayden McNabb. Mitchells departure was the only significant change to the Kings championship roster, and they hope the bruising McNabb can make the full-time NHL leap into his spot.OUTLOOK: This tenacious, balanced team has won two of the last three Stanley Cup titles, playing a record 64 post-season games in that stretch. Theres no reason to think the Kings cant contend for three crowns in four years, an NHL feat that hasnt been accomplished since Edmonton did it in 1990.___SAN JOSE SHARKSLAST SEASON: 51-22-9, 111 points. Lost to Los Angeles in first round of playoffs.COACH: Todd McLellan, 7th season with Sharks, 271-130-57; seventh overall in NHL.ADDED: F John Scott, F Tye McGinn, D Taylor Fedun.LOST: D Dan Boyle, D Brad Stuart, F Marty Havlat.PLAYER TO WATCH: Joe Thornton. Despite finishing second in the league in assists last season, Thornton was stripped of his captaincy this summer in response to the Sharks playoff collapse against Los Angeles. San Jose became the fourth NHL team to lose a best-of-seven series after winning the first three games. That prompted a search for new leaders. Thornton expressed no desire to leave San Jose but how he reacts to the new role and how he plays this season will be key questions going forward.OUTLOOK: The Sharks began the off-season with general manager Doug Wilson talking of rebuilding and becoming a tomorrow team after being a Stanley Cup contender for most of the past decade. Wilson has altered his stance a bit and the players still believe this team can compete with the other powers out West. Much of the success will hinge on continued improvement from younger core players like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl; Brent Burns move back to defence from forward; and more depth on the bottom two lines to take pressure off Thornton and Patrick Marleau.___VANCOUVER CANUCKSLAST SEASON: 36-35-11, finished 12th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs.COACH: Willie Desjardins, first season with the Canucks.ADDED: C Nick Bonino, LW Derek Dorsett, G Ryan Miller, D Luca Sbisa, RW Radim Vrbata.LOST: RW Zac Dalpe, D Jason Garrison, C Ryan Kesler, C Mike Santorelli, C Jordan Schroeder.PLAYER TO WATCH: Ryan Miller. On June 29, 2013, the Canucks had a goaltending tandem of Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider. When Vancouvers season ended 288 days later, the duo in net was Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom after Schneider and Luongo were traded. In a combined 45 games with Vancouver, Lack and Markstrom were 17-19-5 with a 2.39 goals against average and .908 save percentage. Miller, who was signed to a three-year, $18 million free agent deal, has a 2.55 GAA and .916 save percentage the last four seasons.OUTLOOK: The dismissals of coach John Tortorella and Kesler, traded to Anaheim, can be seen as addition by subtraction. Keslers in-season trade request became a distraction for a team whose 2013-14 campaign was an unmitigated failure. So the Canucks can do nothing but improve in 2014-15. Will there be enough improvement to qualify for a playoff berth? That may be too much to ask for a team in the tough Western Conference. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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