September 14, 2018 at 5:16 am #453
The Minnesota Wild made sure the bad news didn’t defeat them.
Their season-ending road trip sure feels a little lighter now Alex McGough Jersey , with a spot in the playoffs secure.
Zach Parise scored twice and Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves to blank his original team, pushing the Wild past the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Monday night.
”I hope it makes them feel good about themselves,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”I thought our defense was good.”
With 98 points, matching the fourth-most in franchise history, the Wild did their part. Then Los Angeles chipped in with a victory about 2 1/2 hours later over Colorado that took the pressure off Minnesota’s last three games, at Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. The Wild are nearly locked into third place in the Central Division and a first-round matchup with Winnipeg.
”I don’t know how all this math works out,” Boudreau said, before leaving the arena to watch the conclusion of the Avalanche-Kings game at home. ”I just wake up in the morning and hope to see an `X’ by the name.”
Playing for the first time in nearly three years without stalwart defenseman Ryan Suter, the Wild wrapped up their home schedule with a staggering 21-3 shots advantage in the third period. Joel Eriksson Ek added an empty-net goal as the Wild finished 27-6-8 at Xcel Energy Center, the second-best home record in the league.
With rookies Nick Seeler and Carson Soucy, in his NHL debut no less Pierre Garcon Jersey , playing key roles on the blue line, the Wild put together a postseason-caliber performance.
”You need different people to step up and do important things, and that’s going to be the case for us,” Dubnyk said. ”That was a good look.”
Cam Talbot made 37 saves for the Oilers, who lost their fifth straight game and ensured a sub-80-point finish for the eighth time in the last nine years.
”The finish line is non-rewarding. You fall behind, you feel like you don’t get a break, you miss a net or something like that, it takes a little bit more out of you,” coach Todd McLellan said. ”We should be more resilient. We’re not right now.”
Parise has been a big part of the push. The Wild are 24-9-7 with him in the lineup, after he missed the first 39 games of the season recovering from back surgery. Playing next to Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund has given him a clear boost.
”As a group, we’re meshing really well together,” Parise said.
The Wild scored the first goal for the first time in seven games Vonn Bell Jersey , when Parise snagged a bouncing puck at his own blue line that Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson was struggling to control with his skates and broke loose on an unabated path to the net. He snapped a shot though Talbot’s pads just 3:33 into the contest.
Dubnyk then went to work on his fifth shutout of the season, making some difficult saves, including a denial of NHL points leader Connor McDavid’s attempt with his right leg.
Parise provided some padding when he swooped into position to knock in a rebound of Jonas Brodin’s attempt before the midpoint of the second period.
Making the 400th start of his NHL career against the club that drafted him in the first round in 2004, Dubnyk recorded his 133rd win for the Wild since they acquired him in a trade on Jan. 14, 2015. No goalie in the league has played in more games (230) or pitched more shutouts (20) since then.
Edmonton won the first two meetings with Minnesota this season, with McDavid registering two goals and two assists, but after the breakthrough in 2016-17 the Oilers have tumbled back down the Western Conference standings. They’re 17-23-4 since the Christmas break.
Talbot was pulled at Calgary on Saturday night after only 11 1/2 minutes, after allowing three goals on seven shots, but McLellan stuck with him and was rewarded with his highest save total in nine appearances since he stopped 40 shots at Florida on March 17.
”We definitely had opportunities to make this a good road trip,” said left wing Milan Lucic, ”but we didn’t do it in Vancouver when we had a real good start the way that we did. We didn’t do it in Calgary and once again here.”
NOTES: Parise has at least one point in seven straight games and 12 goals over his last 19 games, the third-most in the league since March 1. … Oilers defensemen Andrej Sekera and Yohann Auvitu were each injured in the second period and didn’t return. … With Suter’s absence Tony Gonzalez Jersey , center Eric Staal became the Wild’s new ironman by playing in his 161st consecutive contest. He has not missed a game since joining the team prior to last season.
Oilers: Host Vegas on Thursday.
Wild: Play at Anaheim on Wednesday.
Ever since the Rams came home to Los Angeles two seasons ago, a big segment of their long-faithful local fan base has pleaded with them to dress better.
The Rams have listened to their fans’ pleas, and now the NFL is allowing them to wear their classic blue-and-yellow uniforms five times at the Coliseum this season.
The Rams will don the franchise’s traditional uniforms in their final five home games this season, chief operating officer Kevin Demoff announced Friday to a thrilled throng of Rams supporters at training camp.
”I’m excited for our fans, because their voice was heard in the NFL office,” Demoff said. ”We’re glad that we were able to deliver for them.”
The Rams’ uniform choices have attracted uncommon scrutiny since mere days after the team announced its return to California in 2016. Most local fans fondly remember the Rams in their royal blue jerseys with yellow pants, which the Rams wore from 1973 until 1999.
The St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in the white version of that uniform, but swapped out that color scheme the next season in favor of a navy-and-gold look. The Rams tweaked their look when they moved back to LA, and the Rams wore a hybrid look last season that resembled the blue-and-white look worn by the Los Angeles Rams from 1964-72, but with accents of the St. Louis gold.
The Rams adopted the classic blue-and-yellow look as their throwback uniform when they moved home, and they’ve worn it in two home games apiece over their first two seasons in the Coliseum. Their fans wanted more, and they’re getting it.
”(The NFL) understood our fans’ requests about why we wanted to wear throwbacks more David Sharpe Jersey ,” Demoff said. ”They saw the passion. We sent them all the letters, all the discussion from last year.”
The Rams essentially were allowed to swap out their current navy-blue jerseys for their throwbacks for four games during the upcoming season. The team spent several games last season wearing what appeared to be mismatched navy jerseys and pants, and fans were fed up.
They’ll also swap their current white-horned helmets for gold horns while wearing the throwbacks. The Rams’ headgear also is historic: they have the first NFL helmets ever to feature a logo, after halfback Fred Gehrke painted the horns onto the leather helmets in 1948.
After the NFL agreed to the switch this week, the Rams will wear the royal blue jerseys with yellow ram horns around the shoulders in five of their seven home games. Their eighth ”home” game is in Mexico City, where the Rams will wear their yellow ”Color Rush” alternate uniforms.
The Rams will wear their current white home jerseys in their two preseason home games and their first two regular-season games at the Coliseum in September. That decision will force their opponents to wear colored jerseys in the hottest temperatures of the season.
The team also will wear the blue-and-yellow gear with roughly the same frequency in 2019, Demoff said.
But this franchise’s uniform saga is far from over.
The Rams have long planned to unveil new uniforms when they move into their palatial new stadium in Inglewood for the 2020 season. Demoff indicated the new look is likely to be ”a blend” of the classic and the new.
”Certainly we know where the fans’ passion on colors and uniforms are,” Demoff said. ”But we want to make sure we walk into the world’s newest and most modern stadium with a uniform design that is reflective of our history, but also reflects the building that we’ve just constructed.”
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