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ALAMEDA, Calif. Mark Jackson Pacers Jersey . - Derek Carrs demeanour has stayed remarkably the same even as the losses keep piling up for the winless Oakland Raiders.If the pressure and strain of an 0-9 start is wearing on the rookie quarterback, Carr isnt showing it.Hes a mature guy, a mature player, wide receiver James Jones said Wednesday. He understands at a young age that there are going to be times like this, in your career and in your life. You take it and run with it, you dont put your head down. You look at it in the face and you fight it.The Raiders are riding a 15-game losing streak that predates the arrival of Carr, Oaklands second-round draft pick this year. They are the only winless team in the NFL and are trying to avoid becoming just the second in to go 0-16 in a season.Carr played fairly well during the first two months but has regressed the past two weeks. He has thrown four interceptions in the previous two games and has completed only one pass longer than 25 yards in that time.That has raised concerns whether Carr is capable of being the franchise quarterback, though interim coach Tony Sparano has been quick to defend him.Not that he needs it.The 23-year-old Carr has a poise that many veterans lack. He insists his confidence is high and that he isnt feeling the heat from critics or fans.To be honest, if you were to come and just hang out in our locker room or hang out in our meetings, guys are driven to get better, Carr said. When the effort goes down, thats bad. The energy level is honestly like were 9-0. Guys are running around still striving to do what they can to make this thing right.Hopefully it will be sooner than later, but its going to happen one of these days.With little support from the running game to keep defences honest, the Raiders have been unsuccessful in trying to stretch the field with the passing game.Carr completed only 58.5 per cent of his throws and was picked off twice against the Seattle Seahawks. He followed that with two more interceptions last week against the Denver Broncos.He came back to throw a late touchdown in the loss to Denver and was thankful Sparano left him in the game despite the lopsided score.I should be out there no matter what, good, bad or ugly, Carr said. And for a long time it was ugly. For me it was important to continue to finish. I wanted to go out there and compete one last time and try to correct the things wed been trying to correct all game. We got to do that.Carr had his best game of the season in Week 6 when he passed for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-28 loss to San Diego.The Raiders play the Chargers again this Sunday in what Carr says is his first time facing the same team twice in one season.One thing for me is you know their personnel, Carr said. For me as a rookie, thats always something thats unknown. You can see something on film, but until youre really out there playing against somebody and you see him for the first time, you dont really know. So thats something thats really helpful.NOTES: Right tackle Menelik Watson was held out of practice but did conditioning work on the side. Watson sustained a concussion in the loss to Denver. Second-year player Matt McCants took reps with the first-team offence in Watsons absence. ... Defensive end Justin Tuck woke up with a sore neck and didnt practice, though Sparano didnt think it was serious. ... Cornerbacks DJ Hayden (groin) and Carlos Rogers (knee) were also held out. ... Spencer Hadley, a rookie linebacker on the practice squad, took reps at fullback. Jamize Olawale (shoulder/hamstring) rested. Paul George Pacers Jersey . The 49ers, 6-2 and riding a five-game winning streak following the bye week, also waived cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and activated cornerback Eric Wright from the reserve/non-football injury list. Manningham made 42 receptions for 449 yards and one touchdown in 12 games and 10 starts last season before injuring his left knee in a loss at Seattle Dec. Doug McDermott Jersey . Coach Randy Carlyle didnt know the severity of Bozaks injury. Bozak left the bench and went down the tunnel early in the second period, returned to play a handful of shifts and then did play in the third.St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Rams signed defensive end Eugene Sims to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday. Sims was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2013 season. His new contrract runs through the 2015 campaign. Reggie Miller Jersey. Originally selected by the Rams in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, Sims has recorded 47 tackles, three sacks and one interception in 38 games with St. Louis. ' ' '
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Jacob Lindgren, the New York Yankees top selection, is ready for whatever pitching role his new organization has in store. Teemu Selanne Jersey . The Yankees took Lindgren in the second round with the 55th overall pick Thursday night. New York hasnt told Lindgren whether they project the 5-foot-11, 203-pound pitcher from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi as a starter or reliever. "Its hard to make the big league club," Lindgren said. "Im sure the Yankees will do a good job monitoring" progress at each level to see where he fits best. Lindgren was a talented high-school pitcher taken in the 12th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago Cubs, yet chose college ball over the pros. He worked mostly in relief his freshman year before earning a spot in the Bulldogs rotation to start his sophomore season. Lindgren, though, was inconsistent and Mississippi State coaches moved him back to the bullpen where he said something finally clicked. Lindgren became more aggressive in late-inning situations, he said, and that helped the speed on his fastball improve from the upper 80s-lower 90s to mid-90s this season. He refined that at the Cape Cod League last summer and brought that new mindset to the Bulldogs bullpen. "My stuff was just playing out better," he said. "And I feel like its worked out." That showed in his performance as Lindgren was one of the best relievers in the Southeastern Conference. He led the country with more than 16 strikeouts over nine innings this season. His 100 strikeouts this year was tops among all relievers in Division I and his draft status perked up. "I knew my junior year was going to be a huge year for me because I had a lot to prove," he said. "Thats why I worked hard." Lindgren had heard from many clubs including the Yankees prior to the draft, but didnt have a strong feeling about where hed end up. He grew up a Minnesota Twins fan, but "everybody dreams of playing for the New York Yankees and wearing the pinstripes," he said. Mississippi States season ended last weekend, losing in NCAA regional play to top-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. Lindgren came on early in the final game Monday and worked 4 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, but it wasnt enough in the Rajun Cajuns 5-3 victory. The Yankees took pitchers with their first five selections, including Lindgrens Mississippi State teammate Jonathan Holder in the sixth round Friday. They also selected Connecticut high-schooler Austin DeCarr in the third round, South Carolina lefty starter Jordan Montgomery in the fourth and Central Michigan right-hander Jordan Foley in the fifth. Lindgrens selection carries a slot bonus value of $1,018,700. He doesnt expect holdups in reaching a deal and hopes to get that wrapped up as quickly as possible and begin helping the Yankees win games. He said baseball is about winning championships and "hopefully, we can bring one back to New York." Nick Ritchie Jersey . Mauer struck out to end the inning, with a runner on third base in the seventh on Wednesday and the Twins trailing 1-0. Everybody does this, of course, in a sport with a 30 per cent success rate at the plate long proven to be a benchmark of excellence. Jakob Silfverberg Jersey . The Maple Leafs handed their embattled head coach a two-year contract extension on Thursday, while at the same time announcing that assistants Dave Farrish, Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon will not be back.MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- The NASCAR Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway was rained out Saturday and will be made up as part of a rare doubleheader at the track Sunday. The Sprint Cup race will start at 1:13 p.m., and NASCAR and track officials aim to start the nightcap as quickly as possible afterward. NASCAR said it hopes it can start by about 5:30 p.m. The tricky part will not only be co-operation from the weather -- the forecast is good -- but a smooth Cup series race because Martinsville Speedway, the oldest in the premier series, does not have lights. The doubleheader will be the first since a truck race washed out after 17 laps at Pocono in August 2011 was completed the following day, with the Sprint Cup race run afterward. Kevin Harvick won the truck race, and Brad Keselowski took tthe Cup victory. Jakob Silfverberg Ducks Jersey. In another unusual twist, especially for Martinsville, which hosts two truck races every year, no Cup drivers are entered in the truck race this weekend, so no one will drive both races. It is the first time a truck race at Martinsville was postponed since March 2009. The track says tickets for both races will be honoured, with the caveat that ticket holders with truck race tickets only will have to wait until 100 laps have been run in the Cup race to enter the track. Darrell Wallace, who gained his only truck victory here last October, will start on the pole in the race based on combined practice times from Friday. Ryan Blaney will start second, followed by Timothy Peters, Erik Jones and Ron Hornaday Jr. Kyle Busch won the pole for the Cup race. ' ' '
lebaobei123 5 hours ago
lebaobei123
YAOUNDE, Cameroon - Cameroon edged Moldova 1-0 in its final warmup for the World Cup as Edgar Sallis first-half goal decided the friendly international. Jerseys NFL Wholesale . Salli scored in the 30th minute to give Cameroon a winning farewell in Yaounde on Saturday. The squad travels to Brazil on Sunday and opens its World Cup against Mexico five days later. Salli ensured Cameroon built on its impressive 2-2 draw with Germany last weekend, but captain and leading striker Samuel Etoo didnt play in Yaounde amid concerns over his fitness. Cameroon should have won by more against Moldova and will travel to Brazil with two wins, a draw and one loss to Paraguay from four tuneup games. The four-time African champion plays Mexico on Friday, then Croatia and host Brazil in Group A. Cheap Jerseys From China .C. -- Kurt Busch put his chances at "70 per cent" at running the Indianapolis 500 this year because of recent developments that have pushed a potential program along. Cheap Adidas NHL Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla.LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Clayton Kershaws first home win of the season was a perfect example of how the two-time Cy Young Award winner has made a living out of pitching through early adversity and getting stronger as the game goes along. Kershaw shrugged off a two-run homer by Jose Abreu in the rookies return from the disabled list, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2 Monday night. "It was one pitch. Thats all it was tonight. One pitch. But he was great all the way to his last one," Dodgers catcher Drew Butera said. Kershaw (4-2) allowed four hits over eight innings, striking out nine and walking none. Kenley Jansen got three outs for his 17th save. "I think Kershaw just continues to fight no matter what. If they get him once, hes going to keep it right there," Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. "Hes not happy about the home run, but hes able to put it behind him and keep going. Thats the sign of a guy with a short memory. The great ones dont worry about the past. They just know what theyve got to do going forward." Justin Turners two-run single keyed a five-run sixth inning in which all the Dodgers runs were unearned. "Thats how you win games. You take advantage of one little mistake, and a lot of times it ends up rolling into a big inning," outfielder Scott Van Slyke said. "Good teams do that. When they get the opportunity, they take advantage." Jose Quintana (3-5) gave up six hits through six innings and was charged with all five unearned runs. The Dodgers parlayed two infield errors, four singles and a walk into the five-run rally that put them ahead. All the runs came with two outs. Kershaw led off with a single and Matt Kemp reached on one-out grounder that went under second baseman Gordon Beckhams glove for an error with the infield overshifted to the left side. Yasiel Puig struck out on a high fastball and slammed his bat in frustration, but the Dodgers got a break when third baseman Conor Gillaspie fielded Hanley Ramirezs grounder behind the bag and bounced his throw past first base as Kershaw scored. "He had a chance to get the force at third, but thats an error and thats part of it," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. "Q pitched a great game, going inning for inning with Kershaw, and he deserved a better fate. Theres no two ways about it. But when you dont play defence, and give a team like that opportunities, you leave that littlle crack in the door. Jerseys NFL Cheap. And they kicked it wide open." Adrian Gonzalez drove in Kemp with an infield hit, and Quintana gave up a two-run single to Turner and an RBI single to Butera after a walk to Van Slyke. "Its always fun to get hits, and its always fun when youre part of the run-scoring," Kershaw said. "Sometimes with us, it takes a couple times to get through the lineup. I knew if I just kind of kept us in the game, gave us a chance, we were going to break out." Kershaw needed only 12 pitches to get through the first two innings and retired his first 10 batters before Beckham singled and Abreu followed with his 16th homer. The Cuban slugger was leading the majors in homers and ranked second in RBIs with 42 before missing 14 games with tendinitis in his left ankle. The White Sox were 8-6 in his absence. "It was nice, coming against a guy like Kershaw," Ventura said. "It didnt seem like he missed too much of a beat. When we have that guy swinging the bat good, were a better offence." The only other baserunner the White Sox had against Kershaw through the first six innings was Moises Sierra, who hit a dribbler to the right of the mound and beat the left-handers throw to first base with two outs in the fifth. Kershaw, who led the majors in ERA each of the previous three seasons, made only 66 pitches through six. "I was throwing strikes. They were swinging and my pitch count was low those first four, five innings," Kershaw said. "Theyve got some aggressive guys over there. It doesnt really bother me as long as I make my pitches early." NOTES: The Dodgers announced after the game that RHP Chris Withrow will undergo Tommy John surgery Tuesday. ... Abreu set major league rookie records for homers (10), RBIs (32), extra-base hits (19) and total bases (71) in April and was named AL rookie of the month. ... Beckham committed another error in the seventh, booting a routine grounder by Puig. ... Abreu and Puig, teammates with Cienfuegos before defecting from Cuba to the United States, are among six Cuban-born players in uniform for this series. The others are Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo, Adrian Nieto, and the Dodgers Erisbel Arruebarrena. ... Ventura gave 1B-DH Adam Dunn the night off even though he is 8 for 13 against Kershaw with four home runs. ... Quintana has not allowed a home run in 43 1-3 innings over his last seven starts, after giving up one in each of his previous four outings. ' ' '
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Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. Cheap Jerseys . This week they discuss the tactics of coaches Mike Tomlin and Jason Kidd, the strategy of the Raptors Rudy Gay, and the glow of victory in Saskatchewan. Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who jumped out of the way just in time to avoid a thumbs down. Tomlins Steelers were down 13-7 to the Ravens Thursday night when Baltimores Jacoby Jones took off on a kick return that was interrupted just enough by a certain Steelers head coach nonchalantly watching himself on the Jumbotron as he strayed onto the edge of the field. Tomlin leaped out of the way just in time; Jones had to change direction just enough that he was tackled. Tomlin grinned like the Cheshire Cat. Pittsburgh didnt win, but come on. There are lots of ways to sort of cheat, but using the Jumbotron as a rearview mirror? Timing your jump out of the way? Thumbs up to sort of cheating with style. Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Jason Kidd, the struggling rookie coach with the Brooklyn Nets, who cant seem to do anything right in his first year removed from playing the game. Kidds nets cant win games but at least give him points for creativity: the other night he was out of timeouts late against the Los Angeles Lakers and while standing in front of the bench, quietly asked one of his players to bump him so he could inadvertently spill his soft drink on the court. The ploy worked. Sort of. He got his stoppage. But the NBA, lacking a sense of humour afterwards, and a sense of pity for the overmatched coach, fined Kidd $50,000. Maybe, in this season gone wrong, they should have looked the other way, applauding him for his guile. Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: Because there is no "I" in either the word "stat" or "sheet," my thumb is up to Raptors forward Rudy Gay, who has banned those offending stat sheets from the post-game locker room. Gay says the only stat that matters is the "W." This is true - as long as, say, youre not trying to negotiate a contract. Anyway, this selfless stand is worthy of applause, unlike Gays shot selection and shooting efficiency. If his teammates could peruse the stats immediately after a game, they might note that Gay, shooting 38 percent on the season, has had games of 6-for-23 and 11-for-37. Gays right. Nothing to see here. Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is up to Saskatchewan - to the province, to the people, to the football fans, to the football team. The Grey Cup was their celebration, and for the rest of the country, it was a reminder of what sports can do to inspire, to enthuse, to make life better or just to make life seem better. It has long been said of the Saskatchewan Roughriders that theyre the favourite team of some CFL fans and the second-favourite team of all the others. Their Grey Cup victory and the reaction to it explained that for anyone who wasnt sure why the team in green was so easy to root for - you just had to watch last Sunday and look at the faces - in the crowd and under the watermelons and inside the helmets and you understood. We havent seen a sports story told so well by pictures alone in a long time. Wholesale NHL Jerseys Authentic . After Mariota was pushed around by Stanford on Thursday, finishing 20/34 with 250 yards and two touchdowns in Oregons Title hope-crushing defeat, hes going to need a poor performance or two from the remaining frontrunners to have a shot at the most coveted individual trophy in college sports. NHL Jerseys China . Now, the hottest team on the ATP are pointing their sights on qualifying for the eight-team season finals in London next November. Pospisil has now established the year-end World Tour Finals as the benchmark for a breakthrough season, with Pospisil and Sock provisionally standing ninth.KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Royals have agreed to terms with reliever Aaron Crow on a $1.475 million, one-year deal that leaves Greg Holland as their only unsigned arbitration-eligible player. The deal includes a $50,000 bonus if Crow is an All-Star, which he was in 2011. Crow had asked for $1.7 million and the Royals offered the same $1.28 million he made last year. Crow went 7-5 with a 3. Cheap NHL Jerseys. .38 ERA in 57 games last season. The former first-round pick is 14-10 with a 3.19 ERA in his three-year career. Holland, coming off his first All-Star appearance, asked for $5.2 million and the Royals offered $4.1 million. He made $539,000 last year, when he was 2-1 with a 1.21 ERA and 47 saves. Arbitration hearings begin this weekend and run through Feb. 21. ' ' '
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(Sports Network) - A recent MRI on the injured shoulder of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez appears to show a partial labrum tear. Marshall Faulk Youth Jersey . A source reported the news to ESPN, and that Sanchez is expected to seek a second opinion from renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews later this week. The Jets have been mum regarding the maligned quarterbacks situation ever since he was inserted into the fourth quarter of a preseason contest against the New York Giants. Sanchez was injured behind a group of backup offensive lineman, left the game in a sling and New York refrained from naming a starting quarterback until this past Wednesday, when rookie Geno Smith was anointed. Johnny Unitas Colts Jersey . The club says Fridays surgery was successful. Holiday, a former Eastern Conference All-Star acquired from Philadelphia last summer, has not played because of the shin injury since Jan. Andrew Luck Youth Jersey .Y. - Sven Andrighetto scored once and set up two more as the Hamilton Bulldogs hung on to defeat the host Adirondack Flames 5-3 on Tuesday in American Hockey League action. CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Tony Stewart will not race Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, the third Sprint Cup race hes skipped since his car struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race. Stewarts decision was announced Wednesday and Jeff Burton will once again replace him in the No. 14 Chevrolet. Burton also drove Stewarts car at Michigan last weekend. Stewart-Haas Racing is allowing Stewart to take the time he needs away from the track, and the team statement indicated the three-time NASCAR champion is taking it week-by-week. Stewart will not have to decide on another race until the Aug. 31 event at Atlanta. Stewart has been in seclusion since the Aug. 9 incident at an upstate New York dirt track. He has not commented since he issued a statement the day after Wards death. Stewart also pulled out of the race at Watkins Glen, which began about 12 hours after his car hit Ward at event in Canandaigua, New York. Wards car had spun into a wall as he and Stewart raced for position, and the 20-year-old climbed out to confront Stewart. Authorities said the first car to pass Ward had to swerve to miss hitting the driver, who was gesturing toward the NASCAR star. The front of Stewarts car then appeared to clear Ward, but Ward was struck by the right rear tire and hurtled through the air. Ward died of blunt force trauma, and authorities are still investigating the incident. Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero haas said investigators did not have any evidence to support criminal intent by Stewart, but the investigation is expected to last at least another week. Marvin Harrison Colts Jersey. Povero said this week were no new updates. None of Stewarts peers has spoken to the driver since the accident. But theyve come to his defence, with six-time champion Jimmie Johnson saying nothing hes seen has convinced him that Wards death was anything but a tragic accident. Kevin Harvick, a longtime friend of Stewarts and his teammate at SHR, also bristled at the negative portrayal of Stewart since Wards death. "Ive known Tony Stewart for a long time ... I know for sure that Tony Stewart is not going to run over somebody," Harvick said. "I dont think theres anybody in this garage that would. It would be hard to find somebody in the racing world that could point that car, just run somebody over." NASCAR last week announced a rule that prohibits drivers from exiting from a crashed or disabled vehicle -- unless it is on fire -- until safety personnel arrive. Stewart has 48 career Cup wins in 542 starts. He has one career win at Bristol, in 2001. Burton made just his third start of the season last week. The 21-time Sprint Cup winner parted ways with Richard Childress Racing at the end of the season and is transitioning into an analyst for NBC. Burton won at Bristol in 2008 and has 15 top-10 finishes in 40 career starts. ' ' '
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NEW YORK -- Manny Pacquiao is out to show Timothy Bradley that he still has a "killer instinct. Blake Griffin Clippers Jersey ." Pacquiao was in New York on Wednesday as part of a media tour to promote his rematch with Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas. Bradley beat Pacquiao in 2012 in a hotly disputed split decision. At a news conference on Tuesday in southern California, Bradley said the 35-year-old Pacquiao still has skills, but the former welterweight champions "killer instinct is gone." In an interview with The Associated Press, Pacquiao said he takes that as a challenge. "The aggressiveness and killer extinct, I have that, but sometimes Im too nice with my opponent," Pacquiao said. "But this fight he challenged me to do that. But this fight, hell get it." Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) was scheduled to attend the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden later in the day, and then appear on Keith Olbermanns ESPN show. Pacquiao, who is a congressman back home in the Philippines, lost to Bradley and was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez six months later in 2012. He didnt fight again for almost a year before beating Brandon Rio in a decisive unanimous decision in November. During that time he ran for re-election -- unopposed -- and he helped his wife run for office, too. "I dont lose my passion or my desire to fight," Pacquiao said. "Its part of boxing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose." Pacquiao said at 35 years old he has changed his training routine to allow himself more time off, but his workouts are as intense as ever. Still, he said he plans to retire in two or three more years. "I feel in my body I can still fight, by Gods grace," he said. That doesnt leave much time for the match fight fans have longed for: Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. The two have never been able to come to an agreement and each fighters camp has blamed the other for it not getting done. Pacquiao said he suggested the two fight for charity. "My line (open) is 24/7," he said. "He can contact us to say, Yes, Id love to fight." Jerome Robinson Clippers Jersey . 42 sitting next to the bench. The 57-year-old with greying hair couldnt box out or grab a rebound, but owner Ted Leonsis waved his red towel and egged on a cheering crowd that chanted "Free Nene!" The Wizards did just fine without the suspended Brazilian forward. Custom Los Angeles Clippers Jerseys . Right-hander Ricky Nolasco and the Twins agreed to terms on a free-agent contract Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.Brad Richards looked to be on his way out of New York in 2013, when former Rangers coach John Tortorella not only demoted the veteran centre but scratched him in the playoffs. A year later, coach Alain Vigneault started down the same path by putting the 34-year-old on left wing of the Rangers fourth line in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final. Richards played just nine minutes 22 seconds at even strength and a total of 13:20 including power-play time. Vigneault said he met with his lines individually, including Richards, Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett. He wanted to spell out his reasoning and assignments. "I talked to Brads line. I talked to Brad about the decision I made," Vigneault said Wednesday night after the Rangers 2-1 victory that staved off elimination. "I mean, at this time of the year its only about one thing: Its about the team. You guys know how Richards has been this year, the ultimate pro. Hes fine with whatever I do." Richards, a strong candidate to be bought out of the final six years and US$27 million left on his contract, has no points in the Cup final annd just four goals and four assists in 23 games since a strong opener against the Philadelphia Flyers. Louis Williams Clippers Jersey. Vigneault said his line shuffling had to do with giving forward Dominic Moore a bigger role. As a result, though, he put Richards in a tough spot to be effective on a checking fourth line. Richards skated just 13 shifts. The 34-year-old managed a couple of quality scoring chances on the power play and was on the ice for a strong five-on-five shift that ended with a Kings penalty. Still, though, longtime friend Martin St. Louis knows what a demotion can mean to any star players ego. Richards was once a Canadian Olympian and 90-point scorer in the NHL. "Richies a pro and a tremendous leader," St. Louis said. "Im sure its tough for him. Hes a pro and a great teammate." Richards isnt expected to be a teammate of St. Louis for much longer. The Rangers have one more compliance buyout to use and just one more off-season window in which to use it, and these playoffs have done little to dispel the notion that hell be playing elsewhere next season. ' ' '
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Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork. Brett Hull Stars Jersey .com) - The New York Islanders sauntered into Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night to face the rival New York Rangers with a collective swagger not seen in almost three decades. That they walked out of the venerable building attached to Penn Station with a 3-0 victory to cap a seven-game cross-country road trip really doesnt matter. Jack Capuanos club stood toe-to-toe with one of the hottest clubs in the National Hockey League, in what was probably the most meaningful game between both bitter rivals since Game 5 of the 1984 Patrick Division Semifinals, and look to remain affixed at the forefront of the battle for the Metropolitan Division crown for the remainder of the schedule. Winning was just the icing on the cake. Our focus and attitude is all about how we prepare, Capuano told the New York Times after finishing the road swing an impressive 5-2-0. Its all about character and accountability. This was a big game with a lot of media attention, and I thought we played well. We have a lot of hockey left. It started and ended with goaltending. Henrik Lundqvist withered at a key time under a 44-shot barrage. Jaroslav Halak, on the other hand, stopped 27 shots to record his sixth shutout of the season and post his 23rd victory this year, in the process becoming just the second Islanders crease guardian to blank the Rangers in Manhattan and the fifth in franchise history to hold their older brothers off the scoreboard. Venerable troublemaker Billy Smith had been the first and only to record a whitewash on the road, turning the trick way back on Dec. 17, 1975, a 26-save effort which fueled a 3-0 win. In between, Mark Fitzpatrick, Tommy Soderstrom and Rick DiPietro also blanked the Rangers in the comfort of Nassau Coliseum. In the middle happened to be a three-goal second period which provided Halak all the offense he needed. The goals came from an American collegian (Anders Lee of Notre Dame), a Russian who plied his trade in the KHL before coming to North America (Nikolay Kulemin) and a Dane who arrived in the NHL via his native Scandinavia (Frans Nielsen). I think it was just being a little bit more sure of ourselves, no hesitation, Islanders captain John Tavares said. We went out in the second and you could see us just getting our game going and starting to wear them down, making them have to defend. Eventually we got rewarded. Certainly its going to make a lot of people on Long Island happy [Wednesday] morning. Were excited about beating them. With Tavares and Kyle Okposo shut down, the balance in scoring came to the forefront. The Islanders currently boast 16 players who have recorded at least 10 points so far. All of that kept the Orange and Blue one point up on Pittsburgh for the division lead, leap-frogged the club over the Lightning into first place in the Eastern Conference, and might have finally erased any lingering notions of an eventual second-half nose dive. Oh yeah, and the Islanders could be the first team in the East to 30 wins if they are on the correct side of the scoreboard again, in Friday?s showdown with the Pens at Uniondale. Its far and away a season beyond all expectations for a club some pundits picked to only make the playoffs, and it?s a wildly successful one already for a team poised to bid farewell to the place it has called home for the last 42 years. At the midway point of 2014-15, the team once ridiculed for their Etch-a- Sketch coaching and GM rotations along with their now retro-cool Gortons Fisherman logo, has vaulted into the level of the all-time greats. New York hit the halfway mark tied with Tampa Bay -- the Atlantic Division leaders -- with the most wins in the Eastern Conference at 27. Their 27-13-1 record stands as the franchises second-best mark at the middle of any season with only the 1978-79 Patrick Division and Clarence Campbell Bowl winners ranking higher at 28 victories, and their 55 points marks the most accumulated since the 1981-82 squad under Al Arbour collected the same amount. Their opponents, the Broadway Blueshirts, were no slouches, either. Heading into the opening faceoff, Alain Vigneaults charges were riding a 13-1-0 streak, their best run of success since going unbeaten in 15 games (14-0-1) during the middle portion of the 1972-73 campaign, and one which vaulted them from the dregs of the division into prime playoff positioning, a full 11 points ahead of idle Philadelphia. In the end, the Islanders laid waste to any outcome as a result of that momentum, winning for the fifth time in their last six trips to the Worlds Most Famous Arena -- a string of success not found in the Islander history books since February of 2000 through November of 2002. A team once best known for its prowess in the playoffs beyond regulation has a bright young hero doing the same thing in the regular season. Tavares picked up his seventh career OT marker in last Friday nights 3-2 win against the Devils in Newark, extending his franchise record. Even though a five-minute extra session was only implemented league-wide at the end of the clubs dynastic run in 1983, thats something that Messrs. Bossy, Trottier, Gillies, Sutter, Goring, Potvin, Tonelli or Nystrom never came close to achieving during their distinguished careers. The Islanders march toward a franchise-record in victories (54, 1981-82) has been aided by an incredible 11-1 record so far in games decided beyond the first 60 minutes of play. Thats certainly worthy of confidence, to know you can outlast an opponent before sending them home unhappy. Both New York franchises renew hostilities three more times before the end of the regular season: Jan. 27, Feb. 16 and Mar. 10, all on Long Island. Even if the Rangers took a number and are able to recall how the Islanders beat them at home twice and by a combined 9-3 count already, will it matter? Capuanos kids are 15-9-1 on the road but are an equally-impressive 14-4-0 on home ice. Only Tampa (16) and Toronto (15) have produced more positive results in their respective arenas among fellow conference clubs. There will be garment rending and gnashing of teeth by die-hards once the Islanders leave the comfort of the Mausoleum and the suburbs for the flash of the Barclays Center and the lure of street cred in Brooklyn at the end of the season. Until then, the Islanders seem bent on giving their fans one last shot at puffing out their collective chests to claim local bragging rights which were theirs for a solid decade from the mid 1970s through the mid 1980s -- a feeling which is long overdue both on and off the ice. Craig Hartsburg Stars Jersey . -- The court fight over NFL concussions should heat up soon as a judge in Philadelphia weighs the fairness of the proposed $765 million settlement. Miro Heiskanen Stars Jersey . It led to his downfall on Tuesday. The Major League Soccer club fired Rennie after a second straight up-and-down season that saw the Whitecaps start strong before limping across the finish line.CHICAGO -- First-time manager Rick Renteria is focused on the future of the Chicago Cubs, rather than their past failures. Renteria preached accountability Thursday when he was introduced via teleconference as the franchises 53rd manager. He takes on a challenging job that goes beyond merely trying to bring a winning team to Wrigley Field. The development of young ballplayers has been labeled as one of his strengths. And with Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo needing help, the former San Diego Padres bench coach has got lots of work ahead of him with a team that finished 66-96. "My personality doesnt allow for being counted out," Renteria said. "I think what were trying to do between the lines will speak for itself. In the end, were all judged in one fashion or another, but I dont preoccupy myself too much about what I thinks going to happen. I preoccupy myself with what I want to do." First thing he needs to do: Get healthy. Renteria will be introduced at Wrigley at a later date as he is recuperating in San Diego following hip surgery in October. The 51-year-old Renteria got a three-year contract with club options for 2017 and 2018. He is another unproven hire by team president Theo Epstein and the Cubs after the struggling organization initially expressed interest in New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi. Girardi, a Peoria, Ill., native and Northwestern product who once played for the Cubs, signed a four-year contract worth up to $20 million to stay with New York. "Ricks reputation is impeccable," Epstein said. "He stood out throughout the process to lead the Chicago Cubs into our next chapter." "You cant find anybody in this game to say a bad or neutral word about Rick Renteria," he said. The Cubs are relying on Renteria to improve on a 127-197 record during Dale Sveums two years as manager. Despite the franchises four consecutive losing seasons and a last-place finish in the NL Central in 2013, Renteria refused to accept the assumption that the Cubs wont be competitive next year. The Cubs last made the playoffs in 2008 and have not won a playoff game since 2003. Under Renteria, theyll be coming off their first last-place finish in seven seasons. Renteria, who has spent 30 years in pro ball, is the latest manager hoping to bring the Cubs their first World Series title since 1908. "I cant speak to whats happened in the past," he said. "I can only think about moving forward with the kids that we have and the product thats being placed before us." "I know it might sound naive, but I still believe that any team that goes in and plays between the lines has a chance to win a ballgame every single day," he said. "If I was to come in here and assume that we were going to lose, what kind of expectations am I laying for the players who are here?" Epsteein said the rest of the coaching staff with be announced in the coming days and will feature a mix of turnover and returning coaches. Martin Hanzal Stars Jersey. Renteria does have history with the Cubs front office, which immediately put him on its radar when the managerial position opened. General manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice-president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod both worked with Renteria during their days in San Diego. "It was very clear when I was in San Diego that Rick was going to be a big league manager and pretty quickly," Hoyer said. Renteria spent the last six seasons in San Diego, the last three as bench coach. He also has coached in the Miami Marlins organization and in March managed Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Besides Renteria, the Cubs interviewed former Mariners and Indians manager Eric Wedge, Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, former Nationals and Indians manager Manny Acta, former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch and Brad Ausmus, who was hired by the Tigers on Sunday. The Cubs have dumped long-term contracts and traded most anyone of value in an effort to stock the farm system ever since Epstein was hired, hoping the payoff will be the sort of championship success he enjoyed in the front office in Boston. Among Renterias tasks will be getting the most out of Castro at shortstop and Rizzo at first base, two young players who have long-term contracts. Both were underwhelming last season and pitcher Jeff Samardzija had an up-and-down season. Renteria believes Rizzo, who he worked with in 2011 before getting traded to the Cubs, has a "tremendous future ahead of him." Settling in with his approach at the plate will be key, Renteria said. "Hes a very gifted athlete and obviously has some tremendous power," Renteria said. "He has a very good eye." With prospects Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, Albert Almora and Kris Bryant in the pipeline, the Cubs made it clear they want to provide the right environment for their young players to develop. Renterias bilingual background enhanced his resume with his ability to speak Spanish with Latin players. That will only help communication between the coaching staff and players, which was an issue at times the past two seasons. "Im hoping to be a good coach who happens to speak Spanish," Renteria said. "But I think the ability to communicate in the same language, it sometimes creates a bit of a comfort zone." Renteria was a minor league manager in the minors for eight years with the Padres and Marlins. That followed a 13-year playing career as an infielder that included all or part of five seasons with the Pirates (1986), Mariners (1987-88) and Marlins (1993-94). The 1980 draft pick was a career .237 hitter with 20 doubles, four home runs and 41 RBIs in 184 major league games. ' ' '
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