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#1

Subban says defending comes first for a team

in Voliere & Einrichtung 05.12.2018 08:45
von officialsbaseball | 300 Beiträge

RALEIGH Buffalo Sabres T-Shirts Authentic , N.C. (AP) Hall of Fame player Ron Francis is out as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes after four years but will remain with the team in another front-office position, new owner Tom Dundon said Wednesday night.Dundon says the team will begin a search for a new GM who will report directly to the new owner, while Francis will move into a new role as the team’s president of hockey operations.”Since I took control of the team, I’ve had a good chance to be around and assess the operations,” Dundon said. ”There are a lot of good people working in the organization, but I feel that a change in direction is needed when it comes to hockey personnel decisions.”The move came a day after the Hurricanes’ 6-2 loss at Minnesota, which left Carolina four points outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture. In that game, former Carolina captain Eric Staal scored two goals against his former team while helping the Wild jump out to a 5-0 lead. Francis traded Staal two years ago to the New York Rangers in a deadline deal for a prospect and two draft picks.Francis, 55 Buffalo Sabres Hoodies Authentic , has served several roles with the Hurricanes and took over as general manager in 2014 after being groomed for the position by former GM Jim Rutherford, who has since helped lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cups. The Hurricanes have not made the playoff since 2009 – the longest active postseason drought in the league.Francis was a four-time All-Star who won the Cup twice with the Penguins in the 1990s. He finished his 25-year career with 549 goals and 1,249 assists and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.Francis brought in goalie Scott Darling from Chicago during the offseason and signed him to a four-year, $16.6 million contract. Darling has the worst save percentage in the league at .889 and has allowed at least four goals in half of his last 12 appearances.Dundon has been quick to shake things up in the two months since he purchased a majority interest in the team from longtime owner Peter Karmanos Jr. In his introductory news conference in January, he explained that the advice he received was that ”you’ve got to trust” the hockey-minded employees because ”I don’t think I’m going to walk in and understand more hockey than (general manager Ron Francis). That would be ridiculous.” NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Playing the Winnipeg Jets is exactly why Nashville coach Peter Laviolette wanted home-ice advantage in the NHL playoffs.Even if it’s a round – or two – earlier than anyone really wants.Laviolette’s Predators play Winnipeg in the Western Conference semifinals after turning in their best season in franchise history to grab the right to start and end a series in the place called ”Smashville.”They edged out their Central Division rival by a mere three points for the Presidents’ Trophy, and this will be just the fifth series since 1990 between the NHL’s top two teams in the regular season.”They wanted divisional battles, got them,” Laviolette said. ”This should be a big series.”It’s the second straight postseason that division foes and the league’s top finishers meet in this round. Pittsburgh Buffalo Sabres Hats Authentic , which wound up beating Nashville in the Stanley Cup Final, advanced to the Eastern finals by downing the Capitals in Game 7 in Washington.Winnipeg and Nashville played so well that this series has been anticipated for weeks, so good it could be a Cup Final despite the Predators winning the regular-season series 3-1-1. Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban dismissed such talk Thursday, noting this round remains a long way from the Stanley Cup Final.A thrilling series with lots of speed and goals? That the Jets and Predators can provide.”The thing about winning, and I’m sure you ask anybody who’s won a Cup, is the steps that it takes to get there,” Subban said. ”You have to go through some thick walls, and this is definitely one of the thickest walls that we’re going to have to get through to get there.”Winnipeg goes against the defending Western Conference champs coming off the franchise’s first postseason series victory after relocating from Atlanta in 2011 with 10 Jets making their playoff debuts against the Wild. Winnipeg center Bryan Little says that makes the Jets the underdogs by just a little bit.”It’s going to be a really tough series and a tight series, so I think that’s why everyone’s so excited about it Custom Buffalo Sabres Jerseys ,” Little said.Some things to know before Game 1 on Friday night:VEZINA FINALISTSGoalies for both the Jets and Predators are finalists for the Vezina Trophy with Nashville veteran Pekka Rinne looking to win the award in his fourth try.Connor Hellebuyck made his postseason debut, shutting out Minnesota twice with a 1.94 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Rinne’s numbers weren’t nearly as glitzy against Colorado, but he tightened up over the final three games with a 1.34 GAA and .951 save percentage, including a shutout in the series clincher.HOME AND ROADNobody was better in the NHL at home than the Jets who went 32-7-2, and they have won 12 straight in Winnipeg, including all three in ousting Minnesota. The Jets haven’t lost at home since Feb. 27 – to Nashville. The Predators were the league’s best away from home (25-9-7). The Predators won twice on the road in the first round, including clinching in Colorado in Game 6.OFFENSIVE FIREPOWEREven with Rinne and Hellebuyck in net, these teams combined for 42 goals in five games in the regular season with Nashville outscoring the Jets 22-20. It was the most goals the Jets scored against any team, while they also gave up the most goals to any opponent. The Jets also ranked second in the regular season for both most goals (273) and average goals per game (3.33)SHUT DOWN WHO?Nashville’s top trio is nicknamed the ”JOFA” line for Ryan Johansen www.officialflames.com , Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson. But the Predators’ top scoring line against Colorado was their third line of center Nick Bonino with Austin Watson and Colton Sissons, who combined for 19 points. The Jets can match Nashville’s scoring depth with seven players scoring at least 43 points in the regular season led by Blake Wheeler (91 points) and Patrik Laine (team-high 44 goals).SO DEFENSIVENashville has four of the NHL’s best defensemen in Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Subban and Mattias Ekholm. But the group that led the league with 55 goals only had one goal in the first round, and that came in Game 6 from Ekholm. Subban says defending comes first for a team that ranked second in the regular season in allowing both the second-fewest goals (204) and average goals per game (2.49).—

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