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They hired Lou Lamoriello as president

Описание: О русском языке и русской культуре

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#1 officialsbaseball » 14.02.2019, 06:41

COLUMBUS http://www.islandersfanproshop.com/authentic-cal-clutterbuck-jersey , Ohio (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets backing into a playoff spot with an overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday somehow seemed fitting, considering the weird season it’s been.The road to a second-straight postseason appearance – the first time in franchise history that’s happened – was pocked with potholes for the Blue Jackets. Major injuries, slumping stars and an NHL-worst power play seemed to doom them as the grinding days of midwinter wore on.Not like last year, when the surprising young team had juice, momentum, healthy players having career years and a stunning 16-game winning streak that was the talk of the league. The Blue Jackets cruised to the playoffs with 11 games left in the schedule.By the time February rolled around this time, Columbus looked like an average team at best. The Blue Jackets lost eight of their first 11 games in the month and were slipping down the table in the rugged Metropolitan Division. A series of significant injuries to top players had coach John Tortorella piecing together lines from what was left and call-ups from the AHL team in Cleveland.The Feb. 26 trade deadline brought veteran forwards Thomas Vanek and Mark Letestu, as well as scrappy defenseman Ian Cole. After a pair of West Coast losses at the beginning of March, the Blue Jackets ripped off a 10-game winning streak on the way to winning 13 of 15 games.Still, it took three straight games of overcoming a three-goal deficit to get at least a point, and the overtime loss to Pittsburgh in the season’s penultimate game Thursday to earn a needed point and lock up a playoff spot. New Jersey and Philadelphia were always within a point or two, creating urgency every time the Blue Jackets stepped onto the ice in the past week.”There was a point that we stayed in it when we were playing lousy, we were banged up with injuries and we weren’t playing that well at certain times, even when some (injured) guys came back Matt Hunwick Jersey Womens ,” Tortorella said. ”We stayed in because (other teams) were losing. We’re just fortunate that we kept on winning when everybody else started winning. It’s crazy.”Crazy, indeed, considering key contributors Boone Jenner, Cam Atkinson, Alexander Wennberg, Seth Jones, Brandon Dubinsky and captain Nick Foligno all missed significant chunks of the schedule with injuries.The Blue Jackets wouldn’t be preparing for the postseason without Artemi Panarin, brought to Columbus in an offseason trade with Chicago, and 19-year rookie sensation Pierre-Luc Dubois, who got his 48th point of the season Thursday night, breaking the franchise rookie record set by Zach Werenski last season.The 26-year-old Panarin has become the dangerous puck distributor and sniper the Blue Jackets had been seeking, getting 27 goals and 55 assists for a Columbus franchise record of 82 points. He’s put up 13 points in the last five games, including a pair of assists against Pittsburgh.Columbus is playing its grittiest hockey at just the right time.”I am absolutely thrilled,” Tortorella said. ”The amount of work they put in; we were dead and gone there a couple of months ago. I’m thrilled we get to experience what we’re going to experience here.”If they can beat Nashville in the regular-season finale Saturday Jeff Skinner Jersey Womens , they have a chance to secure home-ice advantage for the first round of the postseason. That’s never happened in Columbus, either.”We’ve been playing our best stretch of hockey and coming together as a group, so obviously it’s a good time of year,” Jenner said. ”We have to keep going.”— John Tavares needed to post only one picture on his Twitter account to explain the grip the Maple Leafs have had on him since he was a youngster growing up in suburban Toronto.The photo featured a not-yet-10-year-old Tavares in bed, asleep on a pillowcase and under a blanket adorned with Maple Leafs logos, and accompanied by a note that read: ”Not everyday you can live a childhood dream.”In bidding farewell to the New York Islanders, where he was the captain and face of the franchise since being drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2009, Tavares chose Toronto and agreed to a seven-year, $77 million contract about an hour after the NHL’s free-agency signing period opened Sunday.The 27-year-old Tavares spent last week assessing offers from the Islanders, San Jose, Toronto, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Boston. He called his decision the toughest of his life in choosing between staying in New York or taking ”a calculated leap of faith into an opportunity I believe will be special to me and my family.”In the end, he was unable to avoid the lure Toronto presented John Tavares Jersey , and informed the Maple Leafs he had chosen them late Saturday night.”I just felt this opportunity was just so rare, the timing of where the organization’s at, and obviously the connection being from here,” Tavares said. ”I really believe there’s a big window here to win, to be part of something special. It just felt right.”Tavares, whose 306 points over the past four seasons rank sixth among players over that span, was the highest-profile player to hit the market since the Minnesota Wild signed both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts.Tavares’ signing led to a domino effect in player movement.Toronto lost two forwards in free agency. James van Riemsdyk left the Maple Leafs after six seasons to return to Philadelphia, where he signed a five-year, $35 million contract. The Leafs also lost center Tyler Bozak, who signed a three-year, $15 million contract with St. Louis, which later on beefed up down the middle by acquiring Ryan O’Reilly in a blockbuster trade with the Buffalo Sabres.Some of money the Lightning saved by not landing Tavares was spent on signing defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year, $47.25 million extension Authentic Jordan Eberle Jersey , which kicks in next summer.Paul Stastny caused another ripple of moves in the Western Conference. He left Winnipeg to sign a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Stanley Cup finalist Vegas Golden Knights – a spot left open after David Perron returned to St. Louis by signing a four-year, $16 million deal.Vegas forward James Neal is among the more high-profile free agents still unsigned.In Nashville, the Predators will turn their attention to negotiating a contract extension with defenseman Ryan Ellis, who is entering the final year of his contract. The Ottawa Senators are expected to do the same with their captain, Erik Karlsson.Tavares’ signing has the potential of shifting the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.He joins a young, talented group that already features Auston Matthews, the 2016 draft’s No. 1 pick, a veteran presence in Patrick Marleau and a top coach in Mike Babcock.The Leafs, who haven’t won a championship since their last Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1967, have made strides in three years since Babcock’s arrival. Toronto has made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons after qualifying just once in the previous 11. And yet, they have not advanced past the first round since 2004.Tavares specifically referenced Matthews and 21-year-old center Mitchell Marner, who led the Leafs with 69 points last season as reasons to be optimistic.”They’ve accomplished so much in such little time. You can only think about the trajectory they’re on, and that’s what gets me excited Womens Josh Bailey Jersey ,” Tavares said.The Islanders experienced struggles even with Tavares by qualifying for the playoffs just three times in nine seasons.Now they face a daunting uphill climb minus their unquestioned leader and point-a-game producer. In a bid to retain Tavares, the team underwent an organizational makeover in recent months. They hired Lou Lamoriello as president of hockey operations and fresh Stanley Cup winner Barry Trotz as coach.”The New York Islanders would like to thank John Tavares for everything he has done for the franchise throughout his nine seasons,” Lamoriello said in a statement released by the team. ”We wish him and his family all the best.”Bruins GM Don Sweeney expressed one lament in losing out on signing Tavares.”I would have preferred it not be in our division,” Sweeney said, referring to Tavares making the switch from the Metropolitan to Atlantic Division. ”We put our best foot forward. It just didn’t fall our way.”Other notable deals:-Veteran defenseman Jack Johnson signed a five-year, $16.25 million contract with Pittsburgh. The 31-year-old Johnson is a 12-year NHL veteran, who spent the past six-plus seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets.-The Colorado Avalanche added two former Blue Jackets in signing defenseman Ian Cole and forward Matt Calvert to three-year deals. Cole gets $12.75 million and Calvert gets $8.4 million.-The Sabres filled a need at goaltender by signing former St. Louis Blues backup Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25 million deal. Hutton will share the starting duties with Linus Ullmark, who is pegged to make the jump to Buffalo after three seasons in the minors.-The Arizona Coyotes signed All-Star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract extension that averages $8.25 million per year.-The San Jose Sharks announced a $64 million, eight-year extension with center Logan Couture.-The New York Rangers agreed to sign restricted free-agent forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year, $8 million deal.—AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen, in Boston and freelance writer Denis P. Gorman contributed to this report.—

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