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Stafford Hockey Club • View topic - He has proved a leader on ice
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Postby officialsbaseball » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:03 am
ANAHEIM , Calif. (AP) The Anaheim Ducks showed their embarrassment from their playoff-opening shutout loss with every bone-crunching hit they landed on the San Jose Sharks throughout Game 2.The Sharks knew what to expect from their hard-nosed California rivals. Even after the Ducks scored in the opening minute, San Jose survived the storm quite well – and when Anaheim made minor mistakes, the Sharks capitalized for enough goals to take a major series lead back to San Jose.Logan Couture had a goal and an assist, Martin Jones made 28 saves and the Sharks thrived on the road again, beating the Ducks 3-2 Saturday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.Marcus Sorensen and Tomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks, who gave another disciplined, organized performance while moving halfway to their first playoff series victory since their Stanley Cup Final run in 2016.”Nothing we haven’t taken before,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said of the Ducks’ physical style. ”Maybe they are coming a little bit harder. Be poised. Make some plays. Stick to what we are trying to do.”They’re not leaving Orange County without bruises, however: The Ducks attempted to make up for their listlessness in Game 1 with a series of big hits early in the rematch. Nick Ritchie, Hampus Lindholm and Francois Beauchemin all delivered early on, with Lindholm sending Game 1 hero Evander Kane to the bench with a mouth injury from an open-ice shoulder check.The Ducks kept up that pressure until the final minutes, when Corey Perry clobbered Melker Karlsson with 3:43 to play. Instead of getting mad, the Sharks took the power play and salted away the win.”We didn’t shrink ,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ”We stood in there. That’s one thing about our group: We don’t get pushed out of games. We didn’t ask the referees to fix it. We stood in there and came out of the first period up 2-1.”Game 3 is Monday night in the Shark Tank.Lindholm had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who are leaving Honda Center with an 0-2 series deficit for the third time in their last five playoff series. Jakob Silfverberg scored in the opening minute and John Gibson stopped 32 shots as Anaheim dropped to 3-6 in its last nine home playoff games overall.”I know the resolve in our room,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. ”I guarantee you we’re not going to lay down. We made some mistakes and basically gave them goals. When you gift things in the playoffs, you’re usually going to end up on the wrong side of the score.”Anaheim undeniably showed more resolve and creativity than in its series-opening defeat, but its scorers still couldn’t crack Jones and the San Jose defense when it counted. The Sharks’ late-season slump hasn’t hurt their ability to rise in the postseason, while the Ducks have retained little momentum from their ferocious second-half surge in the regular season.But after getting shut out two days earlier, the Ducks scored on their first shot of Game 2. Just 40 seconds in, Silfverberg flung a long shot past a few defenders and got his 18th career postseason goal past Jones, who didn’t appear to read it well.The Sharks still evened it midway through the period when Brenden Dillon shot the puck off the back boards and it caromed perfectly to Sorensen at the far post for the tap-in. Couture then put San Jose ahead with a slick power-play score, badly faking Gibson before sliding home his 31st career playoff goal.Honda Center grumbled when Hertl put the Sharks up 3-1 early in the second, and the Ducks finally responded with their first sustained stretch of control. Lindholm trimmed the deficit with a nasty wrist shot during a power play, and Perry barely missed tying it up moments later with his shot off the post.”We have some strong shifts, then we take a couple off ,” Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour said. ”We have some lapses, and they capitalized on those.”NOTES: Joe Thornton sat out again for San Jose. The 38-year-old center hasn’t played since Jan. 23 after having right knee surgery. … D Kevin Bieksa returned to the Ducks’ lineup for his 86th career playoff game. He missed the past month recovering from hand surgery. … Ducks D Cam Fowler missed his sixth straight game with a shoulder injury. He isn’t likely to return for this series, depriving Anaheim of its top defenseman.— A 36-goal scorer is moving closer to home and couldn’t be happier about it.No, the other one.James van Riemsdyk signed a $35 million, five-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, the second-richest deal signed by an NHL unrestricted free agent when the market opened and John Tavares left the Islanders for his hometown team in Toronto.It’s the kind of long-term, big-money contract general manager Ron Hextall has been unwilling to hand out to free agents, though van Riemsdyk became an exception.”The term we could live with,” Hextall said. ”We can manage our way around the salary cap. We’ve looked up, down and all around at different projections for the next few years and we felt comfortable with the term and the player.”Van Riemsdyk will count $7 million against the salary cap through 2022-23, which is currently third on the Flyers behind captain Claude Giroux at $8.275 million and winger Jakub Voracek at $8.25 million. Taken by Philadelphia second overall behind Patrick Kane in the 2007 draft, van Riemsdyk played with Giroux and Voracek during his first stint and talked to them before picking the Flyers over other interested teams.The 29-year-old wasn’t likely to return to Toronto even before the Maple Leafs won the Tavares sweepstakes. But the Middletown, New Jersey , native also grew up rooting for the New York Rangers and picked the Flyers in large part because of familiarity .”There were a couple different teams in the mix,” van Riemsdyk said. ”I’m happy to be coming to Philadelphia, and I think it’s going to be a great fit.”Van Riemsdyk set a career high with 36 goals last season, a year after putting up a career-high 62 points. The 6-foot-3, 217-pound winger who was traded to the Maple Leafs in 2012 isn’t a fundamentally different player now but gained confidence and experience from a bigger role in Toronto the past six seasons.”I think my whole game has definitely expanded,” van Riemsdyk said. ”Style-wise, I think I’m still very similar. I think I’m still a cerebral type of player who can skate well and have good offensive instincts and can make the smart plays in all three zones.”He has to be for the Flyers to make this type of commitment. This is by far Hextall’s biggest free agent signing and Philadelphia’s richest since giving goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov $41.88 million on a nine-year deal in 2011.Bryzgalov is retired and still collecting $1.6 million a year from the Flyers through 2026-27. As Bryzgalov was tweeting from Russia’s World Cup game against Spain, the Flyers were introducing van Riemsdyk, who they hope will be a far better use of money with an eye toward contending for the Stanley Cup in the coming years.”Our philosophy four years ago was to get our cap in order and gather young assets,” Hextall said. ”We’ve kind of been through that process now. It’s coming to fruition in terms of guys we have on our team and where we can add to strengthen our team, we want to do it.”—
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