#1 beating its first two opponents von jin shuiqian 09.11.2019 03:24

It really didnt come as a surprise that the Florida Panthers fired head coach Kevin Dineen Friday, but its not like a change in the coaching staff is going to magically cure what ails this team. Any time a team fails to meet expectations, coaches end up on the chopping block, but that leads to the question: why would there have been expectations put upon the Florida Panthers for the 2013-2014 season? Go back to the 2011-2012 season, when the Panthers won the Southeast Division, with 94 points in 82 games, despite recording 32 regulation and overtime wins, a total that tied non-playoff teams Buffalo, Carolina (who finished last in the Southeast Division) and Colorado for 20th in the league. The Panthers also had a minus-24 goal differential, so anything beyond the point total in the standings suggested they were not really a playoff-calibre team. Consider them a prime example of a team not being what its record is. Then the Panthers proceeded to lose in double-overtime of Game Seven (after losing in overtime in Game Six) in the first round of the playoffs against the eventual Eastern-Conference-Champion New Jersey Devils, making it easy to sell the idea that the Panthers were "this close" to competing with the top teams in the league. It needs to be noted, however, that the Panthers overachieved in 2011-2012, to even generate mediocre results disguised as playoff-worthy. Florida needed to spend a lot of money in the summer of the 2011 season just to get above the salary floor and, as a result, cobbled together a make-shift roster, handing out some contracts that had surprisingly long-term implications. Sure, Florida signed Tomas Fleischmann (four years, $18-million), and he scored a career-high 61 points in 2011-2012, and has generally been a productive scorer since. C Marcel Goc (three years, $5.19-million) has been okay and G Jose Theodore (two years, $3-million) was a low-risk move, but the Panthers also inked RW Scottie Upshall (four years, $14-million), D Ed Jovanovski (four years, $16.5-million) and LW Sean Bergenheim (four years, $11-million), none of whom has provided a decent return on investment. (Injuries have admittedly played a part in their lack of production.) The Panthers also dipped into GM Dale Tallons past and traded for some former Chicago Blackhawks: D Brian Campbell, RW Kris Versteeg and RW Tomas Kopecky. That roster didnt have any business harbouring playoff expectations yet, with Dineen taking over for Peter DeBoer behind the bench, the Panthers defied the odds and reached the postseason, thanks in large part to Fleischmann, Versteeg and Stephen Weiss, their top line that combined for 70 goals and 172 points. Campbell added 53 points while playing nearly 27 minutes per game. That quartet made up the entire list of Florida Panthers to record more than 33 points that season, so there wasnt a lot coming from the supporting cast. The 2013 season brought much worse results, particularly when injuries limited Weiss and Versteeg to a total of 27 games and the goaltending went from decent, ranking 11th with a .914 save percentage, to a league-worst .887 save percentage in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Those injuries, and subpar goaltending, over a small-sample season may have been what led Tallon to still harbour expectations for this team coming into the 2013-2014 season. Or maybe its because there is a new owner calling the shots that the Panthers couldnt simply see the 2013-2014 season as one for development of their young talent. After all, the Panthers have added some promising young players including LW Jonathan Huberdeau, C Aleksander Barkov and C Nick Bjugstad, who are all playing significant minutes. D Erik Gudbranson, the third overall pick in 2010, and D Dmitry Kulikov, the 14th pick in 2009 are still works in progress, but young enough to be part of what the Panthers are trying to build. G Jacob Markstrom is supposed to be the goaltender of the future, even if the 23-year-old has struggled this year. Forwards Vincent Trocheck and Drew Shore and defencemen Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak have been in the AHL, playing for new head coach Peter Horacheck. Trocheck, who has 11 points in 11 games as a first-year pro and nearly made the Panthers out of training camp, could get his opportunity soon. In the summer of 2013, the Panthers didnt spend big money, but brought in a lot of veterans on low-money deals. Defencemen Tom Gilbert has been a bargain as a top-four defenceman while Matt Gilroy and checking forward Jesse Winchester have been decent. Veteran forwards Brad Boyes and Scott Gomez along with blueliner Ryan Whitney have not been effective and goaltender Tim Thomas hasnt been able to stay healthy in his attempt to return to action after a year off. As a result, the Panthers have the leagues 28th-ranked goal differential (minus-1.36 per game), ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the goaltending hasnt gotten any better this season, ranking 28th with an .885 save percentage, and no team can win with goaltending of that calibre, let alone a team that isnt scoring at the other end of the ice and the Panthers rank 29th in 5-on-5 shooting percentage when the score is close. The good news, according to the probabilities of advanced stats, is that the Panthers arent likely to maintain such terrible shooting and save percentages all season, so they are due to get some better results; a little "puck luck" as it were. Of course, being better than their current 3-9-4 record doesnt mean all that much. When those young players start to control play more consistently and the Panthers start getting adequate goaltending, they may turn the corner, but thats going to require patience and the expectations placed on this team dont necessarily allow for patience. Trouble is, when a general manager makes moves that appear to reveal a lack of patience, its fair to start wondering if the next one on the chopping block will be the GM. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Wholesale Patriots Jerseys . The Rangers centre left early in Game 1 with an upper body injury after being checked by Canadiens defenceman Mike Weaver and has not played since. Brassard told reporters after practice that he was good to go. That brought a smile to the face of Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. Patriots Jerseys China . Francis told several hundred members of the European Olympic Committees that when sport "is considered only in economic terms and consequently for victory at every cost . https://www.patriotsjerseysale.com/.com) - Ryan Miller made 28 saves to record his fifth shutout of the season and second in as many nights as the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Friday. Patriots Jerseys 2020 .J. -- Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils took a lot of grief considering his scored the first of his career-best three goals just 12 seconds into a crucial game against the Florida Panthers. New England Patriots Shirts . In the opener of the World Group first-round series, world No. 18 Kei Nishikori defeated Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont.SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- After Mexico defeated Connecticut by a run in the Little League World Series consolation game, the teams shook hands and departed, sad they hadnt made it another game but satisfied with what they achieved. "Well reflect on this for sure," said Tim Rogers, manager of Westport, Conn. "I could not be more proud of the kids. They proved that they belong here, playing baseball right at the top of the world. Look how competitive they are. For them to stick with it, work, work, work, thats more important." Brandon Montes, Ramon Mendoza, Saul Favela, and Miguel Artalejo hit home runs for Mexico, which beat Connecticut 15-14. Mexicos World Series run ended with a 3-2 loss Saturday to Japan for the international title. Chad Knight slammed two home runs and drove in seven runs in the game, which featured a World Series-record nine home runs. Harry Azadian had a three-run homer and Matt Brown and Matt Stone had solo shots for Connecticut, which lost 12-1 to Chula Vista, Calif., in the U.S. title game on Saturday. Connecticut fell behind 11-6 heading to the fifth inning after Favelas home run keyed a three-run Mexico rally in the fourth. Undaunted as they had been the entire tournament, the New England champions promptly scored five runs in the top of the fifth to tie it, with Azadian hitting a three-run homer and Stone following with his homer. "They dont give up," said Rogers, who didnt know how he would adjust once he returned home. "Sure, we would have liked to have won, but the way they battled, were feeling good." The game ended an emotion-packed week for both teams, but they put on a real show in their final act. "All the people in Tijuana should be proud," Mexico manager Francisco Fimbres said. "This is the first time for the league here at the World Series. Im very proud of my kids." And why not. Mexico overcame two losses to Japan and finished third in the world. "Its exciting because a lot of teams in the world wish they could be here," Martin Gonzalez said. "Third place for us is pretty amazing." Mexico won this one with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, keyed by Artalejos three-run homer. It was just enough because Knight hit a three-run shot with two outs in the top of the sixth. Fimbres had to play the role of father before the game as Montes began crying during warm-ups, his base-running blunder against Japan on Saturday too hard to forget. "Yesterday, hee was very sad," Fimbres said.dddddddddddd"Its a hard thing to come back from. Its hard for him to come back that fast, but hes doing better now. Yesterday, he felt guilty, but he bounced back. Hes one of the greatest players that we saw." Montes slammed his fifth homer of the World Series, a drive that easily carried the centre-field wall in the second inning against Connecticut. Hes the fifth player in Little League World Series history to hit five home runs. The record is seven, set in 1996 by Chin-Hsiung Hsieh of Taiwan. Both teams departed Lamade Stadium with memories that surely will last a lifetime. Torched for 10 runs in an inning by Sammamish, Wash., on Friday, Connecticut rallied with seven runs an inning later, tying it at 13 on Knights home run. Max Popken, Ricky Offenberg, Alex Reiner, and Tatin Llamas also homered in a riveting 14-13 victory, won by Knight with a single in the seventh inning. The Connecticut players can only imagine what might have been -- they had a chance to beat eventual U.S. champion Chula Vista, Calif., on Wednesday night and failed. Brown hit a three-run homer for Westport, and the Northeast champions seemed headed for a big victory. But Californias Nick Mora hit his second homer of the game to make it 3-2 with one out in the top of the sixth and Chula Vista tied it when Reiner threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Chula Vista won 6-3 on Grant Holmans three-run homer in the ninth inning. Theres a parade back home in Connecticut on Monday and school beckons on Tuesday. Time to move on. "Itll be hard. Itll be a little rocky, but well figure it out," Rogers said. "I knew that we were a good team and had a chance to have a good summer. To get here to compete, thats amazing." Mexico had its moments, too, beating its first two opponents handily with a barrage of home runs. But Tijuana couldnt overcome the efficient Tokyo team, losing 5-2 on Wednesday and 3-2 in the heart-wrenching international championship game on Saturday. With the score tied at 2, Montes had led off the bottom of the fifth for Mexico with a double down the left-field line and was at third with one out when Favela hit a high fly to deep centre. Montes took a few steps toward home, stopped, and didnt have time to go back and tag up. He was stranded at third when Brandon Meza struck out. When Takuma Gomi led off the top of the sixth inning with a game-winning home run, Tijuana, too, was left to wonder what might have been. ' ' '

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