Why Jake DeBrusk is more vital to the Bruins than you might think

It wasn’t the swine flu. Although Jake DeBrusk admits it certainly made for a more compelling tale from the road after the Boston Bruins returned from China.

“I don’t think it was actually swine flu,” he said. “But it felt like swine flu. Very similar. Very awful.”

As the Bruins went through China during the preseason, with games in Shenzhen and Beijing, everything was going through their 21-year-old winger. “We went on a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride to the airport and then a flight for 12 hours after that. That was tough.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

He was impressive in stretches last season, with 16 goals and 27 assists in 70 games, playing big minutes with center David Krejci on the team’s second line. He managed 143 shots on goal, fifth among Bruins forwards, and picked up a few votes for the Calder Trophy. But he was a rookie, and with that inexperience came bumps in the road, such as his one assist in six games and five games without a point.12

The role DeBrusk is playing for the Bruins this season is a critical one. His performance as the second-line winger could influence everything from lineup decisions to whether GM Don Sweeney feels the need to go shopping for another winger, as he did in acquiring Rick Nash last season. As DeBrusk’s sophomore campaign gets rolling, it’s that dependability that coach Bruce Cassidy needs to see.

“What we’re looking for is a little more consistency on the nights when the offense isn’t there,” he told ESPN last week.

“Saying that young guys disappear is maybe a little unfair. But sometimes they’re not as dialed in as they need to be. Mentally, they’re not as strong as the older guys, who know there are going to be rainy days. Some rainy weeks and months. So you just have to find a way to contribute. That’s what happens with the younger guys. They have a level of success, and that’s what they want every night, but life doesn’t work that way.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

DeBrusk knows this. That’s why he has sought council on how to handle what he has called “some ups and downs” in his first NHL season. “I listen to the veterans here. [Krejci] was helping me out, saying stuff that he went through. Obviously, he’s played for a while. He understands the game,” DeBrusk said.


Inside the Hurricanes’ wild new postgame celebration

Postgame celebrations in the NHL have become perfunctory. Players win a game. Players skate out to the logo at center ice. Players raise their sticks to salute the crowd, perhaps adding a glove clap or two, and then head to the dressing room to pump their victory song of choice from the speakers.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“Listen, they’re all good shows of respect to the people that come and watch. But sometimes they get a little bit stagnant, like you have to do it. It starts feeling less and less, when it should feel more and more,” said Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams.
What the Hurricanes did was a far cry from the usual stick raise after their 8-5 win over the New York Rangers on Sunday, having rallied with four goals in the third period. All the players lined up on the blue line. The raised their arms in the air and did a slow clap, at times looking like they were transitioning from the “Y” to the “M” in the “YMCA” dance. Williams then broke from formation and skated down the ice, waving his glove for his teammates to join him. One by one, they followed, smiling broadly.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

After the game, Williams was keenly aware that the Hurricanes might have breached hockey culture protocol. It’s a culture that de-emphasizes that level of enthusiasm in an “act like you’ve been there” way, and one that can demonize emphatic celebrations. Witness last week’s incident when Brad Marchand reacted to Lars Eller’s postgoal merriment by repeatedly punching him in the face.

What Williams discovered, however, was an outpouring of love for the Hurricanes’ jubilation. “The response we got from everyone after the game — on Twitter, phone calls and text — about 98 percent of the people enjoyed it. But you can’t please everybody,” he said. “I just think that if we can have fun doing what we love, we’re going to be better for it. Hockey’s a tough game. There are good days and bad days. But if you can enjoy yourself by working hard, we’re going to be a lot more cohesive on the ice. Become not just guys on the ice, but brothers on the ice.”

And, in the process, help change the perceptions of the Carolina Hurricanes, a frequently maligned franchise that hasn’t made the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2009.

“We’re trying to rebrand the Carolina Hurricanes into being relevant, I guess,” said Williams. “This is one small thing. This is just a celebration after the game. But it means something to us because there hasn’t been a lot of success here, and we’re trying to show people that we won’t stand for it.”


Can the Cup champion Capitals keep the band together?

Watching the Washington Capitals parade around with the Stanley Cup was Don Fishman’s dream. It’s what he thought about as a young man watching Rod Langway patrol the ice at the Cap Centre. It’s what he pondered as he watched Olaf Kolzig deflect pucks when the franchise made its only previous Cup Final. It’s what he couldn’t believe happened during Game 5 in Las Vegas, when Fishman quickly changed out of his Capitals jersey into a suit and made his way down to the ice to join the team’s other executives in celebration.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

It was a dream he helped turn into reality. As the team’s assistant general manager, director of legal affairs and resident capologist, Fishman will help determine if that dream extends through next season and beyond.

Fishman is in his 13th season with the Capitals, hired by former general manager George McPhee just as the NHL implemented the salary cap in 2005.104

“I love the cap. First, it gives me my job,” he told ESPN with a laugh. “I was thinking about that yesterday. I was brought on board in 2005 when the cap first started. It benefited so many organizations, and we were one of them: It gave us a chance to compete for a Stanley Cup. Not just compete to be competitive, but compete to win it all.

“There are probably 20 or so teams that want to spend to the cap and try to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s pretty cool for sports. I’m a fan of other sports too, and I’m not sure you can say that about other sports. Everyone wants to be able to go into a season saying they have a shot at the title, and I think we have the best parity of any sport.”

But there’s another side to the salary cap’s ample parity, which is that great teams are eventually forced to shed talent as their success inflates salaries.nfl cheap jerseys nike

“An agent said something similar to me about a month ago, saying you must not like the cap, or having to give up these players. But I never think about it that way. It’s just the system we live in,” Fishman said. “We had to go through something like that last summer. Our team got worse on paper because we ended up paying the players we kept more money. We re-signed T.J. Oshie. We re-signed Evgeny Kuznetsov. We re-signed Dmitry Orlov and Andre Burakovsky. That’s life. We made our bets on those players, and as it turns out, we made some good decisions.”


Four NHL trades we’d like to see this offseason

I’d flip O’Reilly and Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Nuge is coming off his best offensive season, with 48 points in 62 games, and I love his game. But O’Reilly is a little better offensively (0.79 points per game in the past three seasons vs. 0.63 for Nugent-Hopkins), and even though Nugent-Hopkins can play the wing, I like O’Reilly’s versatility better, both positionally and situationally.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The age gap isn’t that significant: O’Reilly is 27; Nugent-Hopkins is 25. The contracts are interesting: O’Reilly makes $7.5 million, but it’s through 2023; Nugent-Hopkins makes $6 million through 2021. I like the Nuge as an option to play with Casey Mittelstadt, unless he’s slotted with Eichel. I like O’Reilly as a fit with the Oilers. One problem, of course: In theory, there’s zero chance the Nuge gets moved for anyone who’s not a defenseman. But Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is not one to validate these theories, typically.103

Meanwhile, Milan Lucic’s days in Edmonton are numbered. Once one of the premier power forwards in the game, the 30-year-old’s production dipped significantly last season (from 23 goals to 10 goals, although to be fair, many Oilers struggled), and his $6 million cap hit through 2022-23 is becoming burdensome. The Canes may need help reaching the cap floor, so Lucic’s contract isn’t a problem. Lucic can provide leadership to a young group and add some name value to an owner looking to sell tickets.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

To make this more palatable for the Hurricanes, Edmonton would need to send over a draft pick as well. (It has each of its first- and second-round picks for the next three seasons, and an extra third-rounder in 2019). Dundon should view draft picks as the ultimate currency. The Oilers should welcome Skinner — offensively gifted, although defense was never a strength — as a middle-six winger to provide scoring depth. I see this as a win-win.


Expansion Vegas Golden Knights advance to Stanley Cup Final

”Everybody on this team has something to prove,” Ryan Reaves said. ”We call ourselves ‘The Golden Misfits’ for a reason. We’re doing a good job of proving everybody wrong.”

Reaves scored the winning goal, Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and the Golden Knights beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday to wrap up the Western Conference final in five games.

”It’s insane,” said defenseman Deryk Engelland, who grabbed the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after the final buzzer to celebrate with his teammates. ”Your goal is always to make the playoffs. But if I were to guess I would be sitting here doing this right now, you would be a little skeptical at the time.”order cheap nfl jerseys

Alex Tuch also scored for the Knights. They lost Game 1 in Winnipeg before winning four straight to become the first expansion team since the 1968 St. Louis Blues – when the six initial expansion teams were put alone in the West – to get to the final.

”It was their time,” Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler said. ”They’re just playing really well.”298

Vegas will meet Tampa Bay or Washington in the final. Tampa Bay leads the Eastern final 3-2, with Game 6 set for Monday night in Washington.

The Knights, whose jaw-dropping inaugural 109-point campaign included a Pacific Division crown, swept Los Angeles in the first round, and knocked out San Jose in six games in the second.

”All those records and everything, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not the last team standing,” Vegas center Jonathan Marchessault said. ”I think we have a lot of gas left.”

Josh Morrissey scored for the Jets, and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves.

”It’s very difficult to find that positive feeling at this moment,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Reaves, the bruising Winnipeg native acquired from Pittsburgh before to the trade deadline in February, snapped a 1-1 tie with 6:39 left in the second period when he tipped Luca Sbisa’s point shot past Hellebuyck. Reeves last goal before Sunday came 3 1/2 months ago while with Pittsburgh.wholesale nfl jerseys supply

”The guys that weren’t playing, myself included, we stayed ready,” Reaves said. ”We had fun while we were doing it, but we worked hard so when we were called upon we were ready to go.”

Fleury stopped 151 of 161 shots in the series, and allowed just six goals the rest of the way after giving up four in the opener.


Stanley Cup-bound Vegas turning impossible into possible

Those words have been projected onto the ice in big, bold letters at T-Mobile Arena before each game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Well, the Vegas Golden Knights are turning impossible into possible.

The stunningly successful expansion squad is headed to the Stanley Cup Final after beating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday to win the Western Conference final series in five games.

”I remember eight months ago, when we won against Dallas (in the season opener), we had that unbelievable feeling,” Vegas center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. ”Doesn’t feel like we’re satisfied. It’s a good feeling when you know the guys are excited for the next one.”where to buy official nfl jerseys

The Golden Knights are the third franchise in NHL history to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season, joining the Toronto Arenas in 1918 in the league’s early days, and St. Louis Blues in 1968, when all six expansion teams were in the same division and one of them had to make the final round.297

Vegas will play either Tampa Bay or Washington on hockey’s biggest stage. The Lightning lead the Eastern Conference final 3-2, but the Capitals host Game 6 on Monday night.

”Either way, we’re not going to be favorites,” said Jonathan Marchessault, who leads Vegas with 18 points in the postseason. ”That’s been the case all year. Tampa has been the best team all year. Washington, (they’re) playing great hockey right now. Either way, we’re not going to be favorites, and that’s fine with us. We went all year like that and we’re going to keep going.”

Hence, ”The Golden Misfits” tag.

Nobody could have scripted Vegas, a 500-1 long shot at the start of the season, making the playoffs – let alone earning a shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup.

But the Golden Knights, who finished fifth in the league during the regular season, just knocked off the No. 2 team in the regular season in Winnipeg, which in the conference semifinals knocked off the No. 1 team in the regular season, Nashville.order cheap nfl jerseys

Vegas clinched all three of its Western Conference series on the road, becoming the seventh team in NHL history to accomplish such a feat.


Young Finland defenseman Heiskanen eyes NHL

The talented defenseman opened it at the junior world championship in Buffalo before becoming a mainstay on the Finnish men’s national team at the next two top tournaments: the Pyeongchang Olympics and the ongoing world championship.

In that time the 18-year-old has established himself as a reliable defenseman who has passed the test against top NHL talents at the tournament in Denmark. He plays in the top unit, meaning he has to stop the offensive aces of the opposition and that’s exactly what he has done.

NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid could attest to that.nike football nfl jerseys

On Saturday, Finland upset star-studded Canada captained by McDavid 5-1 and Heiskanen contributed a great deal.

He played 18:25 but his best moment came in the middle period when Canada was trailing 3-1 and desperately pressing to score. At one point, McDavid had just an empty net in front of him. Goaltender Harri Sateri was still at the far post and McDavid’s shot from the left circle was heading for goal.

But then Heiskanen came seemingly out of no where to Finland’s rescue, tipping the puck to safety.190

”It was almost in the net but I hit the puck,” Heiskanen said. ”It was a good save.”

When the two met in the third period, the result was a two plus two-minute penalty for high sticking for a frustrated McDavid, effectively ending Canada’s chances of a comeback.

Finland captain Mikael Granlund praised Heiskanen.

”I have seen him at the games here and nothing really surprises me about him,” Granlund said. ”The way he skates, the way he handles the puck and sees the ice. He can play these games. He’s been really, really good this tournament. He’s got a great career ahead of him.”

The obvious next step is the NHL.

The Dallas Stars picked him with the third overall selection in the 2017 NHL draft and signed him to a three-year entry level contract. He spent last season on loan with IFK Helsinki where he played since he was 17.cheap nfl throwback jerseys

He finished with 23 points including 11 goals in the regular season and added three goals and nine points in the playoffs.


US routs Norway 9-3 at hockey worlds, Germany upsets Finland

Captain Patrick Kane scored two goals for the second straight game and added an assist to lead the United States to a 9-3 victory over Norway for its sixth straight win at the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.

Defending champion Sweden also recorded its sixth win, 5-3 at the expense of Switzerland, while Finland was upset by Germany 3-2 in overtime – a day after the Finnish team outplayed Canada.

The Czech Republic beat France 6-0 for its second consecutive shutout.authentic nfl football jerseys

Kane scored with a slap shot from the right circle on a power play to open the scoring and added another power play goal almost from the same spot for a 2-0 lead.

The forward leads the tournament with 15 points for five goals and 10 assists.189

”A good performance by the team tonight,” Kane said. ”We had a lot of different guys to contribute and chip in, which is good to see, and give us a lot of confidence going into the next game against Finland.”

Forward Patric Hornqvist, who joined the Swedish team after Pittsburgh Penguins’ elimination from the NHL playoffs, scored in his first game of the championship against Switzerland.

John Klingberg, Mikael Backlund, Adam Larsson and Magnus Paajarvi also netted for Sweden.

Markus Eisenschmid scored the winner for Germany against Finland two minutes into overtime.

”For us to get a win against a nation that plays such good hockey is pretty big,” Germany captain Dennis Seidenberg said.

A day after a 5-1 victory over Canada, Eeli Tolvanen put Finland 1-0 up in the first period when the Germans were held to just two shots on goal.

But they came back in the second period. Frederik Tiffels tied it at 1 and Bjorn Krupp scored for a 2-1 lead. Sebastian Aho scored the equalizer for Finland with 2:06 left in regulation, forcing overtime.

”We were little bit down in the second period,” Finland captain Mikael Granlund said. ”Their goalie played a great game. Let’s move from there and let’s get ready for the next one.”

Germany goaltender Mathias Niederberger made 36 saves.nike football nfl jerseys

David Pastrnak and Roman Horak had two goals each and Dmitrij Jaskin and Martin Necas contributed one each for the Czechs against France.


Penguins limit Capitals’ Tom Wilson-less top line to even series

Alex Ovechkin was on the ice when Jake Guentzel scored into an empty net, sealing the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Game 4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. It was Guentzel’s second goal of the 3-1 victory, on his seventh shot. cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale Ovechkin ended the night with no goals, nor any shots for the first time in his otherwise-dominant 2018 postseason.

This was notable because this was the first game Ovechkin didn’t have Tom Wilson on his line with Evgeny Kuznetsov, as the big Capitals winger served the first game of a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Penguins forward Zach Aston-Reese in Game 3.130

With Wilson in the lineup, Ovechkin had 31 shot attempts in the first three games of the series, resulting in three goals and two assists. Without him, and with winger Devante Smith-Pelly on his line instead, Ovechkin had two missed shots and nothing else on his offensive stat line.

“I don’t know if they’ve done anything differently. Trust me, Ovi will get his shots,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “I think [Smith-Pelly] did a really good job filling in. Obviously, Tom is a unique player. But I thought that line was going head-to-head pretty well.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china¬† There wasn’t much space out there on both sides. I mean, you look at, I think after two periods, there was only 15 shots or whatever for each side roughly. There wasn’t much space. We’re committed on both sides. We’ll just continue. I thought Devo did a real good job, and it’s next man up.”

As a member of the Capitals’ top line, Wilson created space for this linemates and made little plays that helped spring the two Russian scoring stars on odd-man rushes. He had at least a shot in the first three games; Smith-Pelly, in contrast, had one shot blocked but nothing on net in Game 4.


How the Penguins supported a grieving Matt Murray

When the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2016, goaltender Matt Murray celebrated in late July in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario, a city of about 100,000 sitting at the northern side of Lake Superior. A small group of friends, family and former coaches and trainers gathered at a barbecue restaurant Murray’s cousin owns. Before eating, Murray’s father, James, showed everyone an 8-inch replica of the Stanley Cup constructed from tin foil. Matt had made it for Father’s Day when he was a child, and James had kept it ever since.

Anyone who knows Matt knows he considers his father, nfl nike jersey cheap who owned a small law firm in Thunder Bay, his hero. James Murray wasn’t much of an athlete; he only picked up skating in university. But he took pride in his son. Every summer beginning when Matt was 10, he and his father would fly to Toronto together for a weeklong goaltending camp. In the NHL, Murray proudly detailed his helmet with Dutch and Scottish flags — honoring his family heritage — and his parents’ initials.

Murray, 23, entered this season shouldering towering expectations; the Penguins are looking to become the first team in more than three decades to win three straight Cups. Meanwhile, management parted with the beloved and still capable Marc-Andre Fleury — a No. 1 pick who won 536 games (and three Stanley Cups) over 13 seasons in Pittsburgh — to signal full trust in the young goaltender. Neither Murray nor the Penguins began the season as they hoped. Murray missed two weeks in November with a lower-body injury. The first three months felt like a post-championship malaise. (In a thorny twist, Fleury and the upstart Vegas Golden Knights have outperformed Pittsburgh.)

This January, James Murray fell ill and was airlifted to a hospital in London, Ontario. The Penguins were in Anaheim on Jan. 16, preparing for a three-game California road trip when Matt Murray received the news: His father had died.128

When Murray found out about his father’s death, the Penguins were in fifth place in the Metropolitan Division and not in a playoff position. And yet the team didn’t hesitate to tell their No. 1 goaltender to take time off. They offered Murray several options to get from Anaheim to Thunder Bay. They said, Don’t worry about hockey right now. Come back when you’re ready. Murray was gone for six days.

“There is no doubt, none, that it was the right thing to do,” star teammate Sidney Crosby said. “It’s something tough to go through. I can’t imagine how hard it was for him. He’s pretty quiet as it is. As teammates, we tried to be supportive the best we can. Whenever he was ready we’d be there.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Penguins are on the brink of elimination Monday night when they host the Washington Capitals in Game 6. Down 3-2, Pittsburgh will once again turn to Murray (.905 save percentage, 2.49 goals-against average in the playoffs) to soldier through and shine in the playoffs — a hallmark of his career thus far. His story is a reminder of the humanity in hockey.