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Trending Topics: With home ice squandered, Capitals face tough questions

The morbid beatdown the Bruins administered in Games 1 and 2 is a kind of heartbreaking that comes at you early and leaves you demoralized, but I don’t think it’s quite what the question-asker had in mind.

What’s happening to the Capitals very much is.

In Game 1, the Caps went up 2-0, cheap official nfl jerseys blew that lead, went ahead again early in the third period, blew that lead on a bad penalty, and lost early in overtime on a what-can-you-do goal from a star talent.

In Game 2, they went up 2-0 and then 3-1, blew that lead, scored a late game-tying goal, then lost midway through the first overtime period on a bang-bang play.

That’s two home games in which the Caps either held a third-period lead or scored a late equalizer to give the fans hope, only to snatch it away in overtime in consecutive games. This is, however, nothing all that new. In the Barry Trotz era, the Caps are 6-9 in overtimes, which is a lot of overtimes to play in six-plus rounds over four seasons. And fully half of those wins came in last year’s seven-game series against the Leafs, during which five of the six games went to OT.

After blowing home ice and heading to Columbus for Tuesday’s Game 3, the Caps’ problems beyond making their fans type “I want to die” into various social media text as a sort of rite of spring are coming into clearer focus. It is, in fact, the same old tune played by the same old band.218

To look at the Caps’ underlying numbers, you understand that they are great. Basically every non-goal 5-on-5 percentage is between 53 and 55, despite trailing for just 12 minutes in this series so far (and by the way, they’re 0-2 despite trailing for 12 minutes). But also, they’ve only scored two goals at full strength to the Blue Jackets’ five, all from at least middle-danger parts of the ice.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Caps don’t seem to cheap nfl jerseys cheap shipping be able to convert even the large amount of high-danger scoring chances they generate into actual goals on the scoreboard. They’ve taken 22 shot attempts from in close to the goaltender, and allowed just eight. The conversion rates there? A stunning 37.5 percent from the Jets (three goals on eight attempts) versus a not-so-stunning-if-you-watch-them-in-any-playoffs 0 percent for the Caps (zero on 22).

217

Wild can’t solve Jets’ Hellebuyck in Game 4

Mark Scheifele scored both goals for Winnipeg and Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his seventh shutout this season, as the Jets beat the Wild 2-0 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

“You knew, five to 10 minutes into that game, nfl jerseys for sale cheap he was right and feeling good,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Scheifele scored with 28 seconds left in the first period, spoiling a fine performance on the other end by Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, and tacked on an empty-netter with 11 seconds remaining.

The Wild, now without star left wing Zach Parise because of a broken sternum suffered late in Game 3, must now win in Winnipeg in Game 5 on Friday night to extend their season.

“Certainly can’t fault us in trying. It’s a disappointing finish,” said Dubnyk, who stopped 26 shots. “It just shows you, too, you never know which plays are going to be the difference in the game.”217

The Wild were livid about one in particular, when Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey delivered a vicious-looking cross-check to Eric Staal’s neck that knocked Minnesota’s leading scorer to the ice during a Wild power play that went unnoticed by the officials. Morrissey had an assist on Scheifele’s goal and also helped thwart a Wild breakaway later in the game, and a red-faced coach Bruce Boudreau said afterward that Morrissey should have been ejected.

“I’m the tallest guy on the ice. He cross-checked me in the neck. There’s not much more you can say. Everyone saw it. I don’t know how no one with stripes saw it,” Staal said.

After a six-goal outburst in Game 3 that prompted Maurice to pull Hellebuyck after two periods, only his second early exit of the season, the Wild had trouble generating the same kind of organized and relentless attack. cheap official nfl jerseys The Jets closed up the holes they gave the Wild through the neutral zone in Game 3, and the Wild simply weren’t as crisp with the puck.

Hellebuyck, fittingly, was named earlier in the day one of the NHL’s three finalists for the Vezina Trophy that’s awarded annually to the best goalie in the league.

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Cubs GM Jed Hoyer disappointed in rotation’s struggles

As if on cue, Tyler Chatwood backed up those comments with a rare performance against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-3 loss: 4.2 innings pitched, seven strikeouts and seven walks. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, only two pitchers compiled nfl jerseys for cheap at least seven and seven in less than five innings pitched last year. Before that, it hadn’t happened since 2008. It meant throwing a lot of pitches — 97 — in a short outing, not exactly what fielders want when the temperature is 35 degrees at first pitch.

“I just have to be better with my command,” Chatwood said after the loss. “That’s the thing that’s hurt me so far. It was cold, but I could grip the ball.

“Our guys have to get back in there to hit and I’m leaving them standing there in the cold for a while. … That’s not a good recipe for success right there I don’t think.”

Chatwood isn’t the only disappointment in the starting staff so far, as his record dropped to 0-3 with his new team, despite giving up just one hit. The Cubs’ vaunted rotation — at least on paper — ranks near the bottom of the league after averaging just five innings per start through their first 15 games.206

That’s just one-third of an inning more than the worst team in that category, the Tampa Bay Rays.

“It’s going to happen,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said about longer outings. “I’m fully confident it’s going to happen. The starters are really good. There is a lot to look forward to with the starters.”

The Cubs had a slow beginning to last season on the mound, eventually righting the ship in the second half — and that includes their starting staff. But last year, they had the championship hangover to get over; this year, it’s just cold weather and some postponements. But every team has dealt with the same cheap nfl authentic jerseys conditions, some thriving better than others.

The Cubs have limped out of the gate at 7-8 and can partly blame the uneven play on a rotation that boasts three former all-stars in Jon Lester, Yu Darvish and Jose Quintana. None has looked his best thus far.

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Aaron Boone ponders dropping struggling Giancarlo Stanton lower in lineup

Stanton has batted third in each of the Yankees’ 16 games this season, including in Tuesday night’s 9-1 loss to Stanton’s former team, the Miami Marlins. In the eight games he has appeared in at home, he has hit .086 (3-for-35) with 20 strikeouts.

According to Elias, those 20 strikeouts are the most for a hitter authentic nfl jerseys cheap in his first eight home games during the modern era, which began in 1900. The 17 strikeouts he had through his first eight games as a member of the Marlins in 2010 are also tied for second on that list with three other players who all happened to accomplish that feat since 2002.

After striking out twice Tuesday, Stanton was booed loudly by fans who have grown frustrated with his performances in the Bronx.205

On the road, Stanton has been markedly better, batting .323 (10-for-31) with three doubles and seven RBIs in those eight games.

Asked if he could come up with a reason for the home-road statistical disparity, Stanton simply said: “No.”

If a change to the Yankees’ lineup comes, it likely will arrive during the team’s four-game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays that begins Thursday following an off day Wednesday. Boone said any changes that come during the series would depend upon how the Blue Jays’ pitching matchups line up with what the Yankees want to do offensively.

Right-handers Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Marcus Stroman are scheduled to start the first three games of the series for Toronto.

Boone said he might alter the first five or six spots in the lineup, nfl jerseys for cheap but don’t expect him to move Stanton into the bottom tier of the order.

“He’s one at-bat away from getting it locked back in, and then the last thing you want is him down in the order getting pitched around,” Boone said. “He’s too premier of a player, and an at-bat away, in my eyes, from locking it in.”

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Jason Garrett says he’ll always love Dez Bryant, but release best for Cowboys

Bryant went three straight seasons without 1,000 yards and was set to count $16.5 million against the cap in 2018. After much internal deliberation, Garrett said the decision was made to part ways with the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown catches.

“Dez Bryant has been a great player for this franchise during his time here,” Garrett said Tuesday at the Albertsons Companies All-Star Gala in which Pat and Emmitt Smith were presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for their charity work. “Certainly a playmaker, a difference-maker. A guy that we all love. Love him as a player, as a person and that will never change.

“It’s a challenging situation. A lot of different factors go into these kinds of decisions and again the guidepost for all of this is: What’s in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys?authentic nfl jerseys cheap And that’s why we made this decision. Wish Dez nothing but the best going forward. He’s a special guy. I love him. I will always love him and the impact that he’s made on this franchise has been significant.”181

In an interview with NFL Network after his release, Bryant referred to “Garrett guys” and players who wear the “C,” as captains, as playing a part in the team’s decision. Dak Prescott, Jason Witten and Sean Lee were three of the Cowboys’ six captains in 2017.

“For me, I mean being a quarterback, being a captain, I take the blame,” Prescott said. “I take all the blame. When you lose, things like this happen. So Dez knows how I feel. We’ve shared messages and he knows my stance on everything so I wish him well.”

Bryant and Witten became close over the years, especially since Bryant moved into the same neighborhood as the Pro Bowl tight end. Witten said last Friday “was an emotional day for all of us,” but defended the captains.

“I don’t know what all that’s about,” Witten said. “I know when you go through these processes there’s a lot of things that probably go into it. I know I enjoyed my time with Dez and I think that I appreciated everything that we were able to do. Certainly invested a lot in him and he has helped me become a better player, nfl jerseys for cheap too. So I appreciate that time together. Look, being a captain is a huge honor for me and the other guys and I know what those guys’ character is all about. There’s really nothing there.”

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The Yankees are letting Gleyber Torres open their eyes

158With Brandon Drury still on the DL due to migraine headaches and blurry vision, and Tyler Wade, Neil Walker and Miguel Andujar not hitting, stud infield prospect Gleyber nfl cheap jerseys Torres is on the Yankees’ radar for a possible promotion, although Boone didn’t sound like it would be this week.

“I would say anything is possible and we have conversations about that kind of thing. But possible? Yes,” Boone said. “Likely? Not necessarily.”

Torres, who had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last summer and didn’t play well in spring training, has started strong for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

In 10 games, the 21-year-old infielder is batting .385 (15-for-39) and has been used at second base, shortstop and third base.

“I think he is playing well and the last couple of days have been better. I have been watching a lot of his at-bats and the last couple of days he has gotten better,’’ Boone said. “Obviously, nfl jerseys cheap china with Gleyber we watch closely. To see him playing well, healthy and off to a good start is certainly something we take notice of.”

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Juventus’ Buffon, Benatia can’t blame referee Oliver for Madrid meltdown

It is often said that a good referee is the referee who makes his decisions and is not seen. Unfortunately for Michael Oliver, in his biggest game to date, this was not the case.

All was going well in the Champions nfl shop free shipping League quarterfinal second leg between the two European giants of Real Madrid and Juventus, especially if you supported the Italians who were 3-0 up, until the final moments of the match.

With the clock ticking down at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid began a last-ditch attack. As the ball was played into the Juventus penalty area, defender Medhi Benatia inexplicably barged into the back of Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez just as the forward was about to shoot. Benatia made a challenge for the ball but made no contact. He was guilty of impeding his opponent by physical contact, a clear foul.

Anywhere else on the field, this action would have resulted in a free kick being awarded. But in this instance it provided a penalty kick to Madrid and near certain Champions League elimination for Juventus.

Premier League referee Oliver, 33, had no hesitation with his decision and showed immense character to give such a monumental spot kick. His decision was based purely on the actions of Benatia.

Of course Oliver would have been aware of the magnitude of the occasion but, at that precise moment, all thoughts of where he was — the game, the timing, the occasion — would have become secondary. As a referee, the call comes from your gut and what you have witnessed. Oliver was in an optimal position and his body language showed a positive and decisive reaction.

The reaction of the Juventus players was predictable, official nfl shop given the consequences — they were moments away from extra time and could have avenged last season’s defeat in the final to the same opponent.

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Cristiano Ronaldo joy, Gianluigi Buffon woe define wild night in Madrid

One crazy minute, at the end of an incredible Champions League quarterfinal second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, perfectly summed up the contrasting fortunes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Buffon in club football’s most prestigious competition.

Buffon, the perennial Champions League fall guy, the Juventus veteran with three runners-up medals making his 117th and last appearance in the competition,nfl jerseys cheap shop is sent off by referee Michael Oliver for protesting against the awarding of a stoppage-time penalty. And Ronaldo, the man with four Champions League winners medals in his pocket, is given the chance to not only mark his 150th appearance with his 120th goal from the penalty spot but also to salvage a place in the semifinals for Real Madrid by extinguishing Juventus’s sensational fight-back.

Buffon, who angrily confronted Oliver after he penalised Mehdi Benatia for a clumsy shove on Lucas Vazquez, was off the pitch and down the Bernabeu tunnel by the time Ronaldo guided his spot-kick beyond helpless substitute goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to make it 4-3 on aggregate to Real in the dying seconds.

It was brutal on Juventus, who had stunned the European champions by cancelling out the 3-0 first-leg lead built up by Real in Turin just eight days ago. Massimiliano Allegri’s team had seemingly pulled it out of the fire with two goals from Mario Mandzukic and one from Blaise Matuidi to level the aggregate score. From there, Juve were looking strong enough to go the distance by winning the tie in extra time. But along came Ronaldo, the ultimate glory boy, to cast Buffon into retirement with his one last chance of Champions League glory snuffed out in the most dramatic and cruel circumstances.

This was in the impregnable Bernabeu, and Juve should have had no chance. Yet the Italian champions were 2-0 up on the night by half-time thanks to Mandzukic’s double and Real were awful.

Gareth Bale, making a rare start for Zidane’s team, was substituted at the break due to his anonymous first-half display, one that may signal the beginning of the end for the Wales international in Madrid. But Bale was not alone in not being able to put one foot in front of the other for the Spanish giants. nfl shop free shipping All of Zidane’s players, Ronaldo included, produced their worst performance for months or maybe even years as Juventus won every challenge and created every chance.

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Boston’s Hanley Ramirez leaves game after hit on wrist by Sonny Gray pitch

Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez left Boston’s cheap nfl jerseys china game against the New York Yankees after he was hit by a pitch in the first inning.

Ramirez has a bruised right wrist, the Red Sox said. X-rays were negative.

Both benches were warned after Yankees starter Sonny Gray plunked Ramirez square on the wrist, causing his batting glove to snap open.

The night before, the benches cleared twice and a brawl broke out in New York’s 10-7 win at Fenway Park.

But Gray was not throwing at Ramirez. Boston fans booed when Ramirez was hit, but players from both teams remained in the dugouts and there were no confrontations.

Boston’s training staff spent several minutes attending to authentic nfl jerseys Ramirez before manager Alex Cora replaced him with Mitch Moreland, who took over at first base in the second.

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Real or Not? Bad blood brewing after Wednesday’s bevy of brawls

We had three flare-ups from Wednesday’s action, two in the Yankees-Red Sox tilt at Fenway and one at Coors Field, when Nolan Arenado charged the mound against the Padres with anger boiling in his veins. cheap nfl authentic jerseys Worth noting: Both were intra-division episodes, which perhaps fueled the fires and also means it might not be the last time we see these teams going at each other.

Let’s start at Fenway, where the benches first emptied when Tyler Austin slid into second base and caught the back leg of Brock Holt with his spikes. Austin slid into the bag but sort of flipped his leg out as Holt stretched for the throw from third baseman Rafael Devers. The slide was in the gray area of being a slightly dirty play, especially considering Holt wasn’t trying to turn a double play. On the other hand, if you see the replay from the left-field camera, Holt didn’t stretch for the ball until Austin had started his slide. Holt also should have done a better job of getting out of the way. But again, the spikes were up.

That led to an exchange of words and a more or less conventional emptying of the benches and bullpens, with phone numbers exchanged and dinner dates planned. Aaron Judge had a big grin on his face, although Austin seemed a bit too riled up for his own good and had to be restrained.

Really, why would you want to fight the Yankees? It’s like “Mad” Max fighting Master Blaster in the Thunderdome without a whistle. You want Mookie Betts throwing punches at Judge? You want Andrew Benintendi going after Stanton? The Red Sox are lucky Judge is a gentle giant and merely grabbed Kelly in a headlock. It’s like when nobody wanted to mess with Frank Howard, even when he was just a first-base coach — that’s an offensive tackle just waiting there to mess you up.

If you’re a Red Sox fan, you’re mad hot at Austin. If you’re a Yankees fan, you’re mad hot at Kelly. In my humble opinion, the biggest issue here was it took Kelly two pitches to hit Austin, as he’d thrown inside earlier in the at-bat. The baseball code says you get one chance to throw at a guy; don’t blow it.

Of course, this rivalry goes back decades. The truth is — don’t deny it, Boston fans! — the Red Sox have always kind of been the punks here. I mean, what did A-Rod do other than try to slap the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove? Next thing you know, Jason Varitek is shoving a hand in his face.cheap nfl jerseys china There’s Pedro throwing down old man Zimmer. Or Carlton Fisk throwing the first punch at Lou Piniella after the two got tangled up at home plate back in ’76. Oh, yes, thems were the days.