#1

Blues: Offseason

in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 31.08.2018 04:33
von laiyongcai92 • 759 Beiträge

>In the topsy-turvy NFC playoffs C.J. Uzomah Jersey , only the Falcons return from last year, and they sneaked in as the sixth and final team. They narrowly avoided the same fate as the Cowboys, Seahawks, Packers, Giants and Lions 鈥?all sitting this one out.The top five seeds are newcomers, led by the Eagles. They are going with a backup quarterback and are making their first trip to the postseason party since 2013. The Vikings are back after a year away, hoping to become the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in its home stadium .The five new teams went a combined 32-48 in 2016 but 59-21 this season, providing hope to all those franchises and fans who are already preparing for free agency and the draft.The field features just two Super Bowl winners, the Rams at the turn of the century when they were based in St. Louis, and the Saints in 2010, when they upset the Colts and Peyton Manning.The Rams, in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, host the Falcons on Saturday in the showcase of wild-card weekend. The Saints, who ended a four-year playoff drought, host the Panthers on Sunday.Strength and weakness of each team:1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-3). No Lombardis: lost Super Bowl 15 to Oakland in 1981 and Super Bowl 39 to New England in 2005.Hope: The Eagles have the NFL’s third-ranked rushing offense with three productive backs: Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. They’ll have to rely on them more to take pressure off QB Nick Foles and a passing attack that has struggled since second-year sensation Carson Wentz tore his left ACL in December, a major blow to the Eagles’ bounce-back season .Nope: Foles isn’t Wentz Sam Shields Jersey , who was a leading MVP candidate when he got hurt. But the offense still has plenty of pop and talent, and Foles has the ability to get on a roll. He needs to develop more chemistry with receivers during the bye, be more consistent and avoid mistakes. Otherwise, the Eagles could fall into the trap that befell the Cowboys last year when Dallas became the first No. 1 seed not to reach the Super Bowl since 2013.The Dope: “We’ve got some good work the last couple of weeks with Nick, and we’ll go back and evaluate all of that. We have to get better in the run game. That helps any quarterback obviously, so we have to get better there. Then just taking a look at what his strengths are, strengths and weaknesses. Everything at this time of the year now becomes magnified even more going into the postseason.” 鈥?coach Doug Pederson.2. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (13-3). No Lombardis: Lost Super Bowl 4 to Kansas City in 1970, Super Bowl 8 to Miami in 1974, Super Bowl 9 to Pittsburgh in 1975 and Super Bowl 11 to Oakland in 1977.Hope: The defense , with all due respect to QB Case Keenum and the job he’s done. The Vikings ranked second in the league in both fewest rushing yards and fewest passing yards allowed, so there’s not really a one preferred way to attack them. No team gave up fewer points, either. With Pro Bowl picks at each of the three position groups yet a selfless attitude that’s kept individual players from chasing splashy plays or padding statistics at the expense of the scheme, coach Mike Zimmer’s unit will be a challenge for any opposing QB, especially in Minnesota at raucous U.S. Bank Stadium.Nope: There aren’t many culprits, but Kai Forbath will certainly be a person of interest. Vikings fans still wince thinking about stunningly missed field goals by Gary Anderson (1998) and Blair Walsh (2015) that cost their team seemingly certain postseason victories. Forbath has been better than his predecessor Walsh, but he has missed eight extra points in 23 games with the Vikings. He also missed five of 15 field goals over the last seven games of this season.The Dope: “Guys have to understand that you have an opportunity here to do some great things and you have to take advantage of that opportunity. If you don’t, you’ll probably regret it for the rest of your life.” 鈥?DE Brian Robison.3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-5). Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 34 Trey Burton Jerseyl , beat Tennessee 23-16 on Jan. 30, 2000, while based in St. Louis.Hope: The NFL’s most surprising comeback story shows few signs of ending prematurely. L.A. has the talent and smarts on both sides of the ball, with the league’s highest-scoring offense led by QB Jared Goff and MVP hopeful RB Todd Gurley. The Wade Phillips-led defense remains a strength with DT Aaron Donald disrupting offenses weekly. Rookie coach Sean McVay has outsmarted his older foes with impressive regularity.Nope: They can’t act like they’ve been here before, because they haven’t. Only six Rams have any playoff experience whatsoever, easily the fewest in the current field. McVay, Goff, Gurley and Donald have never been under the postseason spotlight, where every mistake is magnified. So the big question is whether they’ll continue to thrive under pressure or crater.The Dope: “There is a lot of value in experience. This is a very humbling business. … You try to learn from the experiences that you do have and not try to repeat the same mistakes twice. But I think, for a younger team, we’ve demonstrated a maturity throughout the course of the year.” 鈥?McVay, who was born 20 days after the Rams last hosted a playoff game in Southern California on Jan. 4, 1986.4. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-5). Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 44, beat Indianapolis 31-17 on Feb. 7, 2010.Hope: Although Brees passed for his fewest yards (4,334) since joining the Saints in 2006, he was as efficient as ever Mark Barron Jersey , setting a single-season record with his 72 percent completion rate. And Brees didn’t need to throw as much because the Pro Bowl running back tandem of Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara combined for 1,852 yards rushing. They also performed well as receivers, particularly on screens, each gaining more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage.Nope: Although the defense m Gabriel Landeskog sat at his locker stall, his skates still laced and most of his gear still on.

The only thing missing was his jersey, which was given to a lucky fan.

Quick, get the captain a new one – the Colorado Avalanche are going to need it where they’re going.

Nathan MacKinnon scored his first goal in 10 games, Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots and the Avalanche earned the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

Defensemen Samuel Girard and Tyson Barrie scored, while Landeskog and Matt Nieto added empty-netters for the Avalanche, who won the West’s second wild card and head to the postseason for the first time since 2013-14. They will face top-seeded Nashville in the opening round a season after recording a league-low 48 points.

”It’s an unbelievable accomplishment,” MacKinnon said. ”It’s got to be one of the best accomplishments in modern sports history.”

Landeskog already has a start on his playoff beard.

Game No. 82 for these two boiled down to a winner-take-all scenario. Although, there was one caveat – the Avalanche couldn’t allow the game to go to overtime since the Blues held the tiebreaker. St. Louis pulled out all the stops late in the third: Taking out goalie Jake Allen with around 4:35 remaining. Landeskog and Nieto sealed the win with empty-net tallies that sent the raucous crowd into full celebration mode.

”Credit to Colorado they’ve improved immensely over the last couple of years,” Allen said. ”They played well again tonight.”

Colorado finished with 95 points to become first NHL team to post a 40-point gain over an 82-game season since the Pittsburgh Penguins jumped 47 from 2005-06 (58) to 2006-07 (105).

Next up, rest. That’s Landeskog’s plan anyway – lay on the couch with his dog and watch the Masters on Sunday. Then, get ready for Nashville.

”If we play the way we played tonight, we have a good chance Nick Bellore Jersey ,” Bernier said.

Jaden Schwartz had a power-play goal and Brayden Schenn scored with 38.4 seconds remaining for the Blues, who saw their playoff appearance streak halted at six straight seasons.

The Blues arrived in town late following a 4-1 win in Chicago on Friday night. They sent Allen to the Mile High City early so he would be better rested for the big game. Allen made one diving save after another to keep things close. He even played through a tweaked hamstring he suffered in the game.

”Any other game I probably would have went out but this a game we needed to win,” Allen said.

St. Louis was dealt a blow midway through the first period when leading goal-scorer Vladimir Tarasenko left with an upper-body injury. He didn’t return.

”He was very disappointed,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said.

Leading 2-1 late in the third, MacKinnon beat Allen with a shot over the goaltender’s shoulder. MacKinnon had been held without a goal since March 18 when he had two against Detroit. He finished with 97 points – the most by an Avalanche player since Joe Sakic had 100 in 2006-07.

Barrie gave Colorado a 2-0 lead in the second on a goal from the blue line that led to a challenge by St. Louis, which felt the puck left the zone. The officials took a long look before ruling it a good goal and determined ”there were no definitive replays which showed that the puck left the attacking zone,” according to NHL situation room.

”I’m not going to blame the season on a bad call,” Yeo said.

Girard scored his first goal since Feb. 22 on a slap shot through traffic with 46 seconds left in the first period to give the Avs a 1-0 advantage. He was acquired by Colorado from Nashville in the three-team deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa in November.

The last time two teams met in their final game of the season while contending for the last available playoff spot in the conference was 2010. In that contest, Philadelphia beat the New York Rangers in a shootout.

”What a night,” Landeskog said.

NOTES: Blues D Alex Pietrangelo played in his 617th career NHL game. He surpassed Bob Plager for second on the team’s all-time list for defensemen. … Colorado was without D Erik Johnson and G Semyon Varlamov, who are both sidelined by knee injuries. Varlamov won’t have a chance to play in the first round, coach Jared Bednar said. … Colorado had 28 home wins, matching a franchise record for wins that was set in 2000-01, when the team hoisted the Stanley Cup.

UP NEXT

Blues: Offseason.

Avalanche: Face Nashville in the first round of the playoffs. The Avs were 0-3-1 against the Predators this season.



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