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Publicar un nuevo temaPublicar una respuesta Página 1 de 1   [ 1 mensaje ]
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 Asunto: on in Eastern Confer
NotaPublicado: 10 Ago 2018 06:28 
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Registrado: 26 Jul 2018 08:35
Mensajes: 99
A year ago at this time the Vegas Golden Knights had one minor league player on an otherwise empty roster and no idea what to expect when an entire team was finally assembled.

Now Alex Cappa Color Rush Jersey , they are two wins away from playing for the Stanley Cup.

The best story in sports got even better Wednesday night on the Las Vegas Strip, where the Golden Knights continued their improbable run toward the Cup final with a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. Before a raucous crowd of 18,477 newly minted hockey fans, the expansion team like no other won a second straight against the Jets to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference final.

As much as 500-1 to win the Stanley Cup in this gambling city’s sports books when the season began, the players that like to refer to themselves as the Golden Misfits are now incredibly the odds-on favorites to win it all.

In a city built on losers, the first major pro franchise could be the winner no one expected – even the players cast off from their former teams.

Misfits, they’re not. But many of them had never even met before last summer’s expansion draft, and now they’re on the brink of the Stanley Cup finals.

”I don’t think anyone saw us here,” said Marc Andre Fleury, the three-time Stanley Cup winner who was left unprotected in the expansion draft by Pittsburgh. ”I’m really proud to be part of this season.”

On a night when Fleury made one spectacular save after another, the Knights were just good enough to take the advantage in the series. They held onto a one-goal advantage most of the third period Cheap Baker Mayfield Jersey , despite being outplayed and outshot by the Jets.

The grudges they once held against their former teams are gone. But they’ve played the entire season with a chip on their shoulders after being judged expendable by their former employers.

”We all came here with the right mindset,” said James Neal, who had a goal and an assist in the win. ”No one likes to be left unprotected.”

That the Knights were competitive in their first season wasn’t a total surprise. The NHL set up the expansion draft so teams couldn’t hold onto all of their top players, and the Knights wasted no time in making Fleury the backbone of the new team.

What did surprise a lot of people in hockey was that general manager George McPhee nailed just the right combination of speed up front to go with the stellar goalkeeping. And so far they’ve held their own speed-wise in the series against the Jets, a team built on speed itself.

”They’re a quick team, for sure,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”When we’re fast we look faster, too. It’s the ebb and flow of the game.”

The Knights are not only the hottest ticket on the Strip, but the hottest thing in a city of 2 million. Las Vegans have embraced their first major pro franchise and opposing players often talk about the atmosphere inside the T-Mobile Arena.

Away from the arena it’s more of the same. Golden Knights merchandise is everywhere in the city and hundreds of fans show up just to watch practice at the team’s facility in the suburbs. Homegrown baseball hero Bryce Harper is such a big fan he has bats with Golden Knights logos, and singer Carrie Underwood offered (it was declined) to sing the national anthem after her Nashville Predators were eliminated.

And if the Jets drove past Caesars Palace on their way to the game they might have noticed the statue of Caesar was holding a Knights hockey stick.

Fleury, who made spectacular back-to-back saves that left him sprawled across the ice while the Knights were clinging to a 3-2 lead in the third period http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-justin-reid-jersey , was asked after what he would have thought before the season if someone told him the team would be within two wins of the Stanley Cup finals.

”Probably laugh a little bit,” he said.

No one is laughing now as the Knights try and make history as an expansion team turned Stanley Cup champion. The team has defied the odds since the opening game of the season, and bookies are having a hard time finding anyone to bet against them now.

They were Vegas Strong, starting the season just after the murderous Oct. 1 rampage just down the street from the arena that took 58 lives in the worst mass shooting ever in the U.S. They became Vegas Born, which has resonated in a city where so many people are from elsewhere.

Call them what you want. But soon you may be calling them Stanley Cup champions.

”We’re just a bunch of hockey players that wanted to find a home,” Jonathan Marchessault said a few games ago. ”And we did.”

—-

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or Here were the two primary goals for the Miami Heat on the final night of the regular season: Beat the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and get Wayne Ellington into the team record book.

Done, and done.

Ellington scored a career-high 32 points while setting Miami’s single-season record for 3-pointers, and the Heat wrapped up the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the Toronto Raptors 116-109 in overtime Wednesday night.

”It’s just absolutely fitting that it would come down to an overtime game with this group,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”It was a heck of a regular season. Now we’re on to the second act.”

That starts this weekend, when the Heat go to Philadelphia and take on the third-seeded 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Kelly Olynyk http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-sam-darnold-jersey , Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson each scored 11 points for the Heat, who got 10 each from Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo.

Ellington needed six 3s to beat the record of 225 that Damon Jones set in the 2004-05 season. He finished the season with 227, and now gets to go to his hometown to start the postseason.

”A big-time overtime win,” Ellington said. ”We feel like if you put us up against anybody in seven games, we can beat them. That’s the kind of team we feel like we are. It’s going to be a dogfight no matter what.”

Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto, which already had the top seed in the East wrapped up – but played its regulars in this one anyway. The Raptors will meet No. 8 Washington in the first round.

DeMar DeRozan had 19 points, Jakob Poeltl had 16 and Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 for the Raptors, who were outscored 11-4 in overtime.

”We had a goal set out that we would win 60 games before these 82 were up,” DeRozan said. ”That didn’t happen. Time to clear that. None of that matters now. Get ready for this weekend.”

Even with nothing standings-wise to play for Saquon Barkley Jersey Giants , the Raptors had no qualms about using their starters. Lowry, DeRozan, Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka combined to play more than 120 minutes.

The Raptors were 22-60 in 2010-11, the season before coach Dwane Casey came to Toronto. They ended this season 59-23.

”It’s taken us a while to build our program, to get it where it is,” said Casey, a coach of the year candidate this season. ”This (Heat) program has multiple championships and we’re trying to get to that level organically. And it takes time. You’re just not going to wave a magic wand and turn a player into Magic Johnson or Larry Bird or anybody like that. It’s part of the process, and that’s something I know our organization is proud of.”

Ellington’s 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds left in regulation put Miami up two, and Poeltl tied it with a tip-in. But Miami scored the first five points of the extra session and didn’t look back.

A year ago on the last night of the season, the Heat were left teary-eyed and with a sour taste in their mouths after missing the playoffs.

This time, Wade and Udonis Haslem toasted each other with flutes of fancy champagne to celebrate their 15th NBA season.

”It really means something Authentic Evan Bouchard Jersey , every time you complete a season especially as you get up there,” Wade said. ”So both of us are a little tipsy.”

TIP-INS

Raptors: Key reserve Fred VanVleet left with 1:32 remaining in regulation after apparently getting hurt while trying to fight through a screen. He stayed down for several seconds near the Toronto bench before getting helped off the floor. … Toronto went 25-16 on the road, and 40-12 against East opponents.

Heat: All-Star point guard Goran Dragic missed the game with soreness in his right knee. The Heat are not concerned about his availability for Game 1 of the playoffs. … Miami finished 26-15 at home.

FIORENTINO HONORED

Tony Fiorentino, one of the Heat original employees who started as an assistant coach in the team’s inaugural season 30 years ago before transitioning to broadcasting, was honored in a halftime ceremony. Fiorentino has spent the last 15 season as the Heat television analyst, and will assume a team-ambassador position when Miami’s playoff run ends.

SIZZLING POELTL
Imagen
To say Poeltl is going into the postseason on a hot streak is an understatement. Poeltl ended the regular season having made 34 of his last 39 shots in the final eight games. Poeltl is also the only Raptors player who appeared in all 82 regular-season contests.

UP NEXT

Raptors: Face Washington in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Heat: Face Philadelphia in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.



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