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was coming out of Stanford, and the Colts earned the top draft p

in Share With Other Members Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:08 pm
by sakura698 • 1.170 Posts

LOS ANGELES -- The Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings walked between the palm trees into the Dodger Stadium outfield, a beach volleyball court on their right and a Kiss performance stage to their left. Chicago Bulls Pro Shop . A surprisingly good ice rink was straight ahead, glistening in the Hollywood night. "We felt like rock stars," Anaheim defenceman Ben Lovejoy said. "That was by far the coolest feeling Ive ever had playing hockey." After all the spectacle and sensation of the NHLs first warm-weather outdoor game, Jonas Hiller and the Ducks demonstrated whos on top of this rivalry -- with or without a roof. Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey scored first-period goals, and the Ducks beat the Kings 3-0 at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night. Hiller made 36 saves in his 20th career shutout as the league-leading Ducks dominated the landmark meeting of Southern Californias two hockey teams under the stars in Chavez Ravine. Andrew Cogliano added an empty-net goal with 1:29 left to close this unusual chapter in the NHLs expanded slate of outdoor games. "Its a little different playing out here, but its nothing that threw us off," Hiller said. The league threw a California carnival for the event: People in shorts and tank tops played Frisbee and practiced yoga between periods while skateboarders rolled past a ball hockey court featuring youth teams. Although the temperature was 63 degrees with significant humidity when Wayne Gretzky dropped the first puck, the ice held up fairly well in the night air. The Ducks had no problems adjusting to the new sightlines and backgrounds while shutting out the Kings. "It was maybe a little slower than some rinks, but it was smooth," Anaheims Teemu Selanne said. "Were used to not-good ice out (West) anyway. The whole package was incredible. You dont have that many chances to play in front of 55,000 people. This was pretty high on my bucket list." The Ducks earned their 21st victory in 24 games, beating Los Angeles for the second time in three days. The Kings lost their fifth straight game. The Kings hosted the first official outdoor game west of the Rocky Mountains in recognition of the NHLs near half-century in Los Angeles and their rivalry with the Ducks, who joined the league two decades ago. And though this game bore little resemblance to the snowbound outdoor contests in northern climes, the excited fans and enthused players embraced this unorthodox version of pond hockey with gusto. "I cant see any reason we shouldnt do this more," Selanne said. "The quality of hockey was great. Im going to remember this." The teams wore specially designed jerseys for the game, with the Kings crown logo dominating their grey jerseys while the Ducks sported bright orange. After a day filled with fan events and celebrations of the cold-weather sports rich California roots, Anaheim showed whos currently in charge of this rivalry. The Ducks followed up their 2-1 victory in Thursdays rivalry meeting in Anaheim by opening a seven-point lead over Chicago atop the overall standings. Jonathan Quick made 18 saves as the Kings matched their longest skid of an otherwise solid season. After getting a goal in the opening minutes of Thursdays loss, Los Angeles hasnt scored in 116 consecutive minutes against the Ducks. "As for us not scoring goals, its been a constant theme, and its getting embarrassing," Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty said. "So we need to pick up our socks, and everyone needs to get hungry around the net and score goals." Hiller made 20 saves and stopped Anze Kopitars penalty shot in the first period, and the Swiss netminder turned away every good scoring chance after that in his fourth shutout and 24th victory of the season. Just 2:45 in, Perry scored the first goal in Dodger Stadium history, connecting rather easily on a rebound of Ryan Getzlafs shot off a faceoff. Less than six minutes later, Beleskey was alone at the side of Quicks net to score on a play set up by Selannes pass. Kopitar was awarded a penalty shot midway through the period when Lovejoy hooked him on a breakaway, but the Kings leading scorer couldnt do much with the puck, and Hiller stopped it. "The experience was fun and it was exciting, playing on a stage like this in front of all those people, but it was definitely not the outcome we wanted," Kopitar said. Cogliano had the best scoring chance of the second period, but lost the puck on a breakaway. Hiller was outstanding after struggling in his last start against Winnipeg, and Cogliano wrapped up the win in the closing seconds with his 17th goal. NOTES: The crowd was announced at 54,099 -- a number that likely made Gretzky smile. ... Despite significant public interest, the game didnt sell out until early Saturday. The NHL overpriced many tickets when they first went on sale, forcing price reductions and refunds in the sections that werent selling. ... Perry joined Cristiano Ronaldo as the first players to score a goal in their respective sports at Dodger Stadium. Last August, Ronaldo scored Real Madrids first goal against Everton in the stadiums first soccer game. Fake Bulls Jerseys . This week they discuss the Philadelphia 76ers, Gregg Popovich, Royal and Ancient Golf Club and Bill Belichick. Wholesale Bulls Jerseys . The New York State Supreme Court only partially dismissed the lawsuit, meaning the case could be headed for trial. The tour announced a year ago that Singh would be suspended for saying in a Sports Illustrated story that he took deer antler spray, which was believed to contain the banned substance IGF-1. https://www.cheapbulls.com/ . The seventh-ranked Berdych wants to focus on the ATP Tour after helping the Czechs beat the Netherlands in the first round. Seeking their third straight Davis Cup title, the Czechs will rely again on veteran Radek Stepanek.SEATTLE - Game plans vary from week to week, opponent to opponent. Any NFL coach will scoff at the notion theres a formula that works the same against everyone.The exact opposite is true when constructing a contender. The basics must be adhered to:—Stability in coaching, the front office and, perhaps most importantly, ownership.—Forward thinkers.—Strong drafting and personnel decisions.—Oh, and standout quarterbacks.Pete Carroll, who won national championships at Southern California and now has a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks, never thought he could top USC. His mind has changed.I thought I had seen the top of it. We won for so long, Carroll says of his Trojans years. We won a lot of games there, a lot of games in a row, and did a lot of stuff. How could you hope to hit it again? Ive been around coaching a long time. Its hard to do that and its rare when it happens. So it just feels like we were very fortunate that weve been able to find a way to put it together in this fashion.Lets see how this Final Four stacks up.SEATTLE (13-4)On the verge of becoming the first defending Super Bowl champion in a decade to reach the game again, the Seahawks easily check off all those categories.Hired in 2010 and given full power by owner Paul Allen — perhaps the NFLs richest man, but one who doesnt interfere in how the team is run — Carroll added John Schneider as general manager, and off the Seahawks went. They made the playoffs that first season, albeit as the first division winner with a losing record (7-9), and upset New Orleans in a wild-card game.The building had just begun, though, and it didnt all come together until 2013.Seattle has done its best work in the draft. Such stars as QB Russell Wilson, DBs Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, LB Bobby Wagner, and mainstays C Max Unger, LBs K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith (last Februarys Super Bowl MVP), and TE Luke Willson were drafted after the first round. Key wideouts Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse were undrafted.The Seahawks have hit the mark with veteran free agents DLs Michael Bennett, Tony McDaniel and Cliff Avril, too.As for forward-thinking minds, simply look at their belief that 2012 third-rounder Wilson should start as a rookie. He merely has a record-setting 36 regular-season wins already.GREEN BAY (13-4)The only publicly owned NFL team, the Packers havent allowed democracy to slow them in the Mike McCarthy era. While Packers President Mark Murphy is a steadying presence in Titletown, McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson have built a winner around All-Pro QB Aaron Rodgers.Their philosophy is to build from within — rarely does Green Bay delve into free agency, although the addition of DE-LB Julius Pepper was masterful this season. Of course, when youve gone from a Hall of Fame type quarterback in Brett Favre to another one in Rodgers, it makes personnel movess easier. Chicago Bulls Gear. This is the ninth year of our program, says McCarthy, who led the Packers to the 2010 NFL championship. Weve gone through this. Having 20-25 per cent of your roster turning over and the majority of it being first- and second-year players, its a process that you go through from Game 1 until today, and you put your best foot forward Sunday.McCarthy and his staff arent afraid to gamble, be it trusting that a jack-of-all-trades collegian such as Randall Cobb could become a star receiver, or that moving standout outside LB Clay Matthews inside would make the defence more formidable.NEW ENGLAND (13-4)Robert Kraft is one of the most powerful NFL owners, with input on all key issues. He might be more involved in league matters than those of his team, because he has Bill Belichick in charge.And Belichick has Tom Brady behind centre. Enough said.New Englands hierarchy reports to Kraft on business matters, to Belichick on anything football-wise. With all personnel matters in his hands, Belichick is willing to take chances (see Randy Moss, Chad Johnson, LeGarrette Blount, et al) on veterans with troubled histories. He also reads the draft better than most — except perhaps the Seattle group — finding gems everywhere, from DT Vince Wilfork in the first round (2004) to Brady at No. 199 way back in 2000 to quarterback turned star receiver Julian Edelman (232nd in 2009).No one pushes the limits in all aspects like Belichick. Some of it (Spygate) gets him in hot water, and others — last weeks use of eligible players at ineligible positions — is totally legal, if devious.INDIANAPOLIS (13-5)When Peyton Manning was at quarterback, this was a model franchise under coach Tony Dungy and owner Jimmy Irsay. Much changed when Manning missed all of 2011 following neck surgeries; Dungy had retired in 2009. Irsay has been the constant, and hes had his own personal issues, including a six-game league suspension after he was arrested on preliminary charges of misdemeanour driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.But Irsay is a first-rate owner and his choice of Chuck Pagano as coach has been a terrific one. The Colts have gone 11-5 all three of Paganos seasons, and have progressed one step further in the playoffs each year.A major reason: they lucked into Andrew Luck. Manning departed in 2012 just when Luck was coming out of Stanford, and the Colts earned the top draft pick.Pagano is a defensive mastermind, yet the Colts have been more impressive with the ball in his tenure. Theyve scored beyond Luck in the last three drafts with the likes of WR T.Y. Hilton, TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, DEs Bjoern Werner and Jonathan Newsome, and OL Jack Mewhort.Yes, they belong in this Final Four.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '

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