Category Archives: NHL Hockey

NHL Hockey

Quintana has struggled this season, and right-handed batters have been the reason why.

Jeimer Candelario (B), 16 percent, Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Chad Kuhl): Yes, I’m going against one of my recommended pitchers, but part of that is just acknowledging that not everyone goes directly down the list and uses every single guy. Plus, it’s not like Candelario’s having a solid day precludes Kuhl from doing the same. Candelario has done his best against righties with a .929 OPS and nine of his 10 extra-base hits. He has batted second in every game this year, too.

Marcus Semien (R), 27 percent, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers (LHP Cole Hamels): My weekly Oakland Athletic! Semien is a known lefty-destroyer and he’s done nothing to change that reputation this year. His OPS was 108 points higher against lefties during 2015-17. He’s toting a .321/.400/.536 line against them this year and has batted first or second in every game so far. Hamels has allowed an MLB-high seven homers so far this year, all to righties.

Matt Davidson (R), 43 percent, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals (LHP Eric Skoglund): If there’s one pitcher you want exposure against on Saturday, it might be Skoglund. The lefty has been a glorified batting-practice pitcher this season, as right-handed bats have pummeled him for a .340/.389/.560 slash line. What’s amazing is that that’s actually an improvement over 2017 (.366/.397/.547). This looks like a prime matchup for Davidson, who has the power to capitalize on Skoglund’s mistakes.

Jeimer Candelario (B), 27 percent, Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Chris Tillman): Candelario heads a streak of Tigers in a good spot against one of the worst hurlers in the league. Candelario is featured since he’ll enjoy the platoon edge against the inevitable parade of relievers. Joining Candelario as options are Leonys Martin, Dixon Machado and JaCoby Jones.

Eduardo Escobar (B), 10 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Sal Romano): Escobar has done his part filling in for the suspended Jorge Polanco. He’s been particularly dangerous against righties, batting .313/.382/.563 with a .250 ISO. Consider Escobar a great “plug and play” option on Saturday against Romano and his .373 wOBA against lefty batters.

Hernan Perez (R), 1 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs (LHP Jose Quintana): Right-handed hitters have put up a .313/.397/.547 slash line against the lefty. This includes a bloated 47.2 percent hard-hit rate. Perez has struggled out of the gate but, for his career, he’s done most of his damage against southpaws, including a .316/.342/.447 slash line in 2017.

Buccaneers schedule 2018: Tampa Bay will be challenged as breakout hopeful

The Buccaneers have a talented roster, but Tampa Bay has its work cut out with the list of teams on its 2018 schedule.

Biggest breaks: The schedule overall is tough, but the Buccaneers caught a few breaks in drawing some of their more difficult opponents at home. Aside from the Bucs’ divisional foes, the Eagles, Steelers and 49ers all have to travel to Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay of late has not had the greatest home-field advantage, but anything helps.

Bottom line: The Buccaneers have been the same team for a few years — on the cusp of breaking out. But that breakout hasn’t happened yet, and their 2018 slate won’t help. Having to play six games against the Saints, Panthers and Falcons is rough enough, but throw in teams like the Eagles and Steelers, and it’s tough to see a winning season for Tampa Bay. Record prediction: 6-10

“What they were going through the last week was awful,” Thompson said. “I can’t imagine how hard it is to go out there and perform under those circumstances.”

Spurs assistant Ettore Messina coached San Antonio for a third straight playoff game.

“Pop, if you’re watching out there, we love you,” Kerr said. “Our whole team and coaching staff has been thinking about you every day. Your team reflected who you are tonight.”

Kerr didn’t want to guess when Curry might be cleared. The two-time MVP is scheduled to be re-evaluated later this week as he works back from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee that he injured March 23 the same night he returned from a six-game absence with his latest right ankle injury.

“We’ll see. We are locked in on tonight. Steph has been coming into the gym every day working and he’s doing his thing and we are doing ours,” Kerr said. “We are just hoping for the best. Not making any predictions.”dolphins_074

It seems to be working out just fine for the Eagles …

NEW YORK a Watch Yankees manager Aaron Boone give his scouting repot on top prospect Gleyber Torres , whom the team called up for the first time before Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.

Baseball America ranks Torres the games’ No. 6 overall prospect. had him at No. 5.

Tuukka Rask, Bruins goalie: We had a great run after that game, and that win started it. [The Bruins lost in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks.]

Reimer: Any time you fail, you take something out of it. For myself, it was to just keep trusting your game, no matter the score or the time of the game. Don’t try to be a hero. Just stick to what you do.

“The two easiest quarterback evaluations I’ve had in the last 8-10 years are Andrew Luck and Carson Wentz ,” Mayock said. “That’s because everything checked off both on the film and all the intangibles. Those two guys walked and talked like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, etc. I don’t see anybody in this class that I get the same gut feeling for as those two.”

Luck left Stanford as one of the most highly-touted quarterback prospects in recent memory after a stellar collegiate career, and he was continuing that success in the NFL before missing the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury.

Wentz was — and is — a physical specimen coming out of college wit a 6-foot-5, 237-pound frame and top-level arm talent and athleticism for a quarterback prospect. It wasn’t quite the same consensus as Luck was, though, as Wentz had a history of injuries and played at the FCS level. The Rams traded up to pick Jared Goff over him.

As for the 2018 prospects , Mayock is a little less sure. Here’s specifically what he said about Darnold, Allen, Rosen, Mayfield and Jackson as it relates to the Wentz/Luck comparison.

It was quite the power dinner Sunday night as the Giants entertained not one, but two of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.

They dined with Saquon Barkley, the No. 1 running back, and Baker Mayfield, who could very well be destined to play quarterback for the Jets.

As part of their ongoing 30 allowed pre-draft visits, the Giants continue to bring through the highest-rated players, as they have the No. 2 overall pick, their highest selection in 37 years. Barkley, the 233-pound dynamo from Penn State, is unquestionably on the Giants’ radar, as he is considered a generational running back and would fit general manager Dave Gettleman’s criteria as far as being a player who, far down the road, could be projected for Hall of Fame status.

Monday morning, new Giants head coach Pat Shurmur opens up the offseason workout program, with a high percentage of the players on the roster expected to attend. So, Barkley and Mayfield during their tour will undoubtedly get a glimpse of and perhaps a few words with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.

Last month Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges. A judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim. He later surrendered to police on charges he violated the restraining order.

The Raiders released the linebacker after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

Several factors have helped the Snakes slither atop the NL West. In the lineup, A.J. Pollock is thriving in the cleanup slot, punishing teams after a Paul Goldschmidt free pass, with 11 extra-base hits. On the pitching side of things, the rotation is leading the NL with 10.8 K/9, while the bullpen has combined for a 1.92 ERA while profiting from Brad Boxberger’s closing to allow Archie Bradley to work earlier in games. — Christina Kahrl,

The Indians’ rising fortunes in the rankings owe something to a four-game sweep of the Tigers last week and to improved hitting from Francisco Lindor (.984 OPS) and Jose Ramirez (1.182). If the Tribe can get Jason Kipnis, Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso going, watch out. — Kahrl

Bruce Allen: Team presidents should be judged by wins and losses

Washington team President Bruce Allen thinks he upgraded at the quarterback position this offseason because Alex Smith has won more games than Kirk Cousins as a starting quarterback. But in making that case, Allen may have inadvertently painted himself as a failure.

Allen said at the league meeting that everyone in football — not just the quarterback but everybody, including the team president — should be judged on winning or losing.

“Wins and losses is the most important statistic when it comes to an equipment manager, a team president, a quarterback, a running back, a guard or a coach,” Allen said, via the Washington Post.

But in 2016, Palm Beach County also was the epicenter of Florida’s opioid crisis; 571 people died from overdoses that year alone, the most of any county in the state and a 110 percent increase from the previous year, according to an analysis of state data by the Palm Beach Post.

Jamie checked into Beachway Therapy Center in Boynton Beach, an intensive in-patient facility that cost $15,000 per month. He spent more than a month at Beachway before moving into Sober Living in Delray, a supervised apartment complex.

The Chiefs made Hunt the 86th overall pick, and in Week 1, he showed he was drafted too low. His 246 yards from scrimmage in the season opener were the most ever in a player’s debut.

“I feel like I’m getting [respect] now, but coming up I definitely didn’t feel I was getting the respect I deserved,” Hunt said on Good Morning Football, via the team website. “I just put that right here [in my mind] and now you have to show and be about it.”

Hunt, 22, rushed for a league-leading 1,327 yards, while catching 53 passes for 455 yards and three touchdowns. He wants to grow in the passing game.

“I want to be known as a guy who can do it all,” Hunt said. “Le’Veon [Bell] is a great receiver out of the backfield and route-runner, and I definitely want to show more of that.”

Hunt’s 1,782 yards from scrimmage ranked third in the league in 2017.buccaneers_118

The New York Jets can’t be accused of sitting on their hands at quarterback in 2018.

In free agency, they brought back veteran Josh McCown and signed Teddy Bridgewater. They also traded the No. 6 pick and three second-rounders to Indianapolis to move up to No. 3, presumably to give themselves a chance to land a potential franchise signal-caller.

The Jets could have quite the camp battle this summer to determine who will start under center for them in 2018. But once head coach Todd Bowles makes that decision, he needs to resist second-guessing himself if his team gets off to a slow start.

At the same time, the Cardinals were able to pick up a sixth-round pick for a player they likely had little intention of keeping on their roster.

Veldheer is a curious fit for the Broncos, who already invested a first-round pick on left tackle Garett Bolles and gave Menelik Watson a three-year, $18.4 million deal before last season. Watson wasn’t very good, but given that he hadn’t been impressive with the Raiders, that shouldn’t have been an enormous surprise.

Watson remains a major injury risk — he has played just 34 games in five pro seasons, and he went down after seven games with a foot injury — but Veldheer is years removed from his peak as a useful tackle. The Broncos could cut Watson or renegotiate Veldheer’s deal, but committing to either right tackle seems like a bad idea. You might imagine a world where these two provide injury insurance for one another, but this is more plausibly a situation in which the Broncos are paying two subpar right tackles significant money.

Mariota used his legs more in that playoff win than in the regular season, but at the combine, new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a scramble-happy Mariota in 2018.

I think that we have an idea what plays he may end up running and what plays he may end up handing it off or throwing, Vrabel said, per Ron Sanders of 247 Sports. We’ve got to be smart, and he’s got to be smart. How much are we going to use him to run the ball How much harm is he going to put himself in There’s a lot of factors that go into it—the risk/reward of when he does run with the football.

Whether it’s with his arms or his legs, the Titans just need to see a better Mariota in 2018.

Patterson’s role has instead been as a kick returner, where he has been very effective over his career. Patterson has five kick return touchdowns over his career, all of which came in Minnesota. He’ll take over as the primary kick return man for the Patriots given that Dion Lewis left for the Titans in free agency.

Seahawks add Barkevious Mingo

The Seahawks have sent a lot of defensive ers out the door this offseason, but Wednesday found them welcoming a new addition to the unit.

Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that Barkevious Mingo has signed a two-year deal with the Seahawks. Wilson reports Mingo’s deal has a base value of up to $6.8 million and has $3.2 million in guaranteed money.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Lions have also tendered a contract to restricted free agent wide receiver T.J. Jones. The Lions would get a sixth-round pick as compensation if Jones, who had 30 catches for 399 yards, leaves for another team.

Birkett reports the team did not tender running back Zach Zenner, linebacker Brandon Copeland or offensive guard Zac Kerrin as restricted free agents.

The Jets aren’t going to be a Super Bowl contender in 2018, so it is possible Suh takes less to play elsewhere, as NFL Media noted .?

Still, Suh is plenty talented and disruptive, if the Jets can find the right way to use him, and if he can avoid being a headache. (Let’s see if Suh actually visits the Jets, before we presume he will sign, though.)?

Celek was released two days ago as part of the Eagles’ moves to get under the salary cap, ending an 11-year run there.

Eagles free agent running back LeGarrette Blount is also scheduled to visit the Lions, as they are apparently looking for a more physical presence.

Will Cousins deal bring veteran guaranteed contracts into focus for NFL?

Once he’s comfortable his surroundings, he’s got that him.He had a strikeout walk ratio of 337 Strikeouts with the Braves.Bears rookie linebacker Leonard was taken off the field on a stretcher after sustaining a neck injury against the Giants.The only thing he’s battling now is health every now and then.The forecast Kansas City may be intimidating to some.

Former Washington Redskins tight end Niles Paul is signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to multiple reports.

The deal was first reported by Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.49ers_118

Report: Jaguars add more firepower by signing Seferian-Jenkins

The Jacksonville Jaguars are set to sign free-agent tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to a two-year contract worth up to $11 million, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Seferian-Jenkins produced a comeback season in 2017, catching 50 passes for the Jets following two seasons (one in New York, one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ) in which he had a combined 13 catches and looked on his way out of the league. The Jaguars have already added receiver Donte Moncrief and All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell and re-signed Marqise Lee. The signing of Seferian-Jenkins gives Jacksonville a long-needed threat from the tight-end position.

Lucroy also threw out 20 of 75 would-be base stealers in 2017. He has caught an MLB-most 191 runners trying to steal since 2011.

Backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev made 41 saves for his second win of the season.

During an appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub last week, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge suggested that knee soreness might be something that Irving might have to manage the rest of his career.

There are two games with a pair of potential playoff teams facing off: Minnesota Timberwolves-Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers-Philadelphia 76ers

NBA stars such as Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett had signed on with Chinese brands in years prior, but toward the end of their careers and as big men — a group that has long struggled to captivate the American sneaker-buying market. Never before had a superstar guard who still had a robust domestic sneaker market available to him made the move to a Chinese shoe at the height of his career.

Wade had been the face of the annual Air Jordan shoe — a dream-like endorsement deal for a 2-guard who grew up idolizing Michael Jordan — but Li-Ning offered a 10-year pact worth more than $8 million per year with additional incentives and royalties in tow. Ultimately, the financial offer and a market featuring more than 300 million active basketball players was too massive to overlook.patriots_038

Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore was an easy choice for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Lattimore, a first-round pick from Ohio State (11th overall), was named the league’s top defensive rookie during Saturday’s NFL Honors program in Minneapolis.

Lattimore tied for fifth in the NFL with five interceptions. He finished the regular season with 53 tackles (44 solo), five interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and 18 passes defensed, which tied for the most by a rookie in 2017 in 13 games (all starts). He posted a streak of three consecutive games with an interception. Lattimore was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month in October and December.

Timberlake has appeared in diverse films including, “Alpha Dog, “Black Snake Moan,” “Shrek The Third” and “The Social Network.” He has also won four Emmys for his appearances on “Saturday Night Live.” Timberlake is a co-star of the upcoming film “Wonder Wheel,” which opens later this year.

Sullivan has coached in the NFL for 15 of the past 17 years, including the last four with the Titans.

Sullivan previously had two stints as Cleveland’s offensive line coach (2007-08 and 2013) and did the same with San Diego from 2009-12.

I was there that day at the old Giants Stadium. I’ve never seen a team beaten up so badly as that 49ers team — especially when Giants nose tackle Jim Burt sent Montana to the hospital with a concussion after a crushing hit.

During the 1990 playoffs, Belichick outwitted Bill Walsh and the 49ers again by playing an all-nickel defense against a team that had just won two straight Super Bowls. Later, against Jim Kelly’s high-octane Bills offense at Super Bowl 25, Belichick again employed a bend-don’t-break defense featuring only two down linemen. The Giants squeaked by the Bills, 20-19, earning Parcells his second — and final — Lombardi

Once much maligned as the corner opposite Rhodes, Waynes has come into his own to be more of an asset than a liability.

RB Corey Clement: The Vikings shut down Mark Ingram easily last week, but they had trouble at times with Alvin Kamara, especially in the passing game. Clement isn’t the talent Kamara is, of course, but he was busy as a receiver against the Falcons, catching all five targets for 31 yards.

Clement, like Agholor, provides an extra speed and quickness element in the red zone. He needs to get his chances to see what he can do in the open field.

CB Trae Waynes: Because of Rhodes on Jeffery and the possibility of the Eagles needing to go more two-tight end, they are bound to test Waynes against Smith more than a few times, even if they shouldn’t.

As far as the protests that marked last weekend went, the strongest message of the day came when Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders arrived for the 4:25 p.m. game in Denver wearing a T-shirt that proclaimed: “Everybody vs. Trump.” Cam Newton of the Panthers raised a fist after he scored a rushing touchdown against New England.

About 30 members of the San Francisco 49ers — who had not played since Sept. 21, before Trumps comments about the league and kneeling players during a speech in Alabama — took a knee for the anthem. Their teammates stood behind them with hands on kneeling players’ shoulders and the other over their hearts.

Are they going to play Peppers at QB? Look, it’s great to amass prized picks. And the selection of Garrett at No. 1 overall was exactly the right move. But the Browns needed to emerge from this draft with Mitchell Trubisky or Desean Watson or Patrick Mahomes (or Jimmy Garoppolo or Kirk Cousins or even AJ McCarron).

The Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints started things Sunday morning, with the Saints collectively taking a knee before their game in London, before rising and linking arms for the singing of the national anthem. Meanwhile, three members of the Dolphins, tight end Julius Thomas, safety Michael Thomas and wide receiver Kenny Stills, continued to kneel during the anthem, performed by Darius Rucker.chargers_045