Scouting 2018 NHL draft prospect Brady Tkachuk


Boston University product Brady Tkachuk — one of the best-known prospects heading into the 2018 NHL entry draft — is cut from the same cloth as his dad, Keith Tkachuk, who scored 538 goals over an 18-year NHL career, and his brother, Matthew Tkachuk, who was the sixth overall pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL draft and has already become one of the league’s top agitators. nike nfl jerseys cheap china Opinions vary on Brady’s overall pro potential, but there’s no doubt that the 18-year-old is a favorite among scouts for his competitiveness, physical strength and solid all-around game. The winger is in the mix to be among the top five players — and first American — selected once the draft opens in Dallas on Friday.102

He’s ultra-competitive. He’s going to run through the wall for you. He’s going to want that puck and to win those battles. His competitive urge is stronger than everybody else’s on the ice. That’s the biggest strength he has.1 Once he gets comfortable and he knows he’s stronger than you, you’re done. He has that mentality. The Tkachuks are all like that.2 Matthew is ultra-competitive, too, but Brady has that little-brother syndrome. He’s tougher, he’s quieter and he’s sneakier. He knows how to get into those spots and disrupt people but also how to maintain his cool.3 The [Tkachuk brothers] have been taught how to play the game. To go where the goals are scored. If they’re not contributing on the score sheet, they know how to contribute with their physical game.4 Brady has the skill on top of it to be dangerous around the net. He has soft hands and can make plays and score goals. That’s a rare combination (competitiveness, physicality and skill) in a player in this day and age, when the emphasis is on skating and speed. 5 china nike nfl jerseys cheap

As for his weaknesses … even though he’s a big kid, he’s still a kid. He hasn’t developed his core, that three-period body [that allows him] to control the game, go for long periods of time and not disappear. His body hasn’t caught up to where his mind is yet. 6 The knock right now is his game speed — and his ability to turn and get back down the ice. I think it’s just a lack of strength, and not a skating issue. 7 I don’t think he’s ready for the NHL yet. He still needs one more year somewhere, whether it’s back at BU or in the AHL or the OHL. He needs that time to develop — not only his skill set, but his strength set. It all depends on who drafts him, though. I don’t think he’s too far away. I think he’s a year away. 8 Long term, I see him as a top-line guy for sure. And he’ll be put in situations where he’s very dangerous 5-on-5, very dangerous when the game’s on the line. 9

Tragedies loom large at 2018 NHL Awards show


Roberto Luongo walked around the table, shaking hands with each player wearing a vibrant yellow hockey sweater. Their honor in meeting an NHL star was reciprocated by the Florida Panthers goalie in meeting nine of the 13 surviving members of the Humboldt Broncos, the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team whose bus was hit by a semitruck on April 6, killing 16 nfl jerseys china nike

These players were young, and they were survivors. Luongo couldn’t help but think about others who fit the description.

“It brought me back to what happened back home,” Luongo said Tuesday in Las Vegas, site of Wednesday’s NHL Awards, where the Broncos players have reunited for the first time since the crash. “It’s obviously not the same kind of tragedy. But you see it in their faces. They’ve been through a lot. They’ve seen a lot. You just try to make them at ease as much as you can. It’s not easy to do. But if even for a few moments you can, then you try. It’s the least you can do. You try to put yourselves in their shoes. But it’s impossible to do that.”101

Luongo has tried. On Feb. 22, eight days after 17 people were killed in a shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Luongo took the ice before the Panthers’ game against the Washington Capitals to talk about a tragedy that literally hit home for the Parkland resident.

“To the families of the victims, our hearts are broken for you guys. There’s not much to say. It’s heartbreaking,” he said mournfully. “You guys are in our thoughts. We’ve been thinking about you every day constantly for the last week. Just know that we’re there for you if you guys need anything. You’ll be in our prayers.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

It was the second time in the NHL regular season that an active player grabbed a microphone and offered solemn words in support of a devastated community. Before the Golden Knights’ first regular-season home game in franchise history, longtime Las Vegas resident Deryk Engelland reassured the fans that they were “Vegas Strong” days after a gunman left 58 people dead and 851 injured.

What We Learned: Let Ovechkin be Ovechkin


Just a few days after they led 2-0 in the series and were heading home, and it looked for all the world like the Capitals were going to roll Tampa, a team any observer had every right to feel was vastly superior.

In the three games since, Tampa has proven that superiority time and again. In Game 3, Tampa got by on special teams. In Game 4, they got by because Tampa’s overwhelming talent did the kind of things overwhelming talent occasionally does to steal a authentic jerseys wholesale

Then on Saturday Tampa led for all but 0.5 percent of the game’s run time, and led by at least two for more than 80 percent. And when a team like Tampa gets up two goals for 50-plus minutes it’s going to be a long road back for whoever is trying to level the score.

The problem for the Caps, as it was for the Jets in much of the Western Conference Final, is that they flat-out didn’t show up in the first period. They got outscored 2-0, yes, and then gave up the third goal on the first shift of the second period, but they also got outshot 13-4. Tampa was up three before the Caps even decided they were going to play in this one, and while they put together a pretty good run down the stretch — they out-attempted Tampa 43-17 after the third goal — they also trailed by three so it didn’t really matter.

This is how score effects work; Tampa didn’t have to try too hard to score any more goals than it already had because three is plenty in most hockey games. Let the Caps empty the arsenal down the stretch, because you have an all-world goaltender and a roster of guys Nos. 1-18 who are at least pretty good defensively. The best defense is a good offense, sure, but the second-best defense is a good defense and Tampa absolutely has that. Washington came most of the way back — it was 3-0 for less than four minutes — but at no point did it feel like the game was winnable for the Caps.

The thing is, though, it should have been.296

Even if you’re adjusting for score and all that stuff, Washington has certainly outplayed Tampa in this series, but is getting smoked on special teams (Tampa has six power play goals to Washington’s three) but in Game 5 in particular, Washington’s problems proved out.

For one thing, the way Barry Trotz has been managing his best player this series is a bit confusing. Let’s talk about Alex Ovechkin’s usage in Game 5, because it’s bizarre. Ovechkin played a little more than 20 minutes in the loss, after only about 17 per in Games 1 and 2, and at least 23 in Games 3 and 4. You say, “Okay, well in the first two games they led for a pretty good chunk of both and in Washington they trailed more than they led.”where to buy official nfl jerseys

That’s fine. You give your best players a breather when you don’t need them (or in this case when you need to protect a lead and you think their defensive contributions are suspect). I’d rather have Ovechkin out there but I get the rationale even if I disagree with it. And when you’re trailing, you put those guys over the boards more often because you absolutely, positively need a goal.

So why, then, in this game in which the Caps trailed by at least two goals for like 50 minutes, do you only play him 20:16 in the entire game? And more to the point, why does 4:28 of his ice time come in the last 4:48? You mean to tell me that Trotz couldn’t find a Devante Smith-Pelly shift to give the Ovechkin line instead?

Ovechkin, Capitals prepare for ‘biggest game of life’


”I’ve never been in this position before,” he said Tuesday, looking ahead to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The winner Wednesday night earns a berth in the Stanley Cup Final opposite the Vegas Golden Knights, who will try for hockey’s biggest prize in their inaugural season.

Ovechkin and the Caps are hoping to shed a label as playoff underachievers, where can i buy nfl jerseys a franchise that dazzles during the regular season only to disappoint at the most important time of the year.

”I’m excited. We’re all excited. … We all want to be in this position and move forward,” said Ovechkin, who is playing in the conference final for the first time during his prolific 13-year career.

”(Wednesday night) is probably biggest game in my life, this team, organization probably. … We still haven’t reached our goal. Tomorrow is going to be a huge step forward.”

Not if the Lightning have their way.295

Tampa Bay is playing Game 7 in the conference final for the third time in four years. It beat the New York Rangers on the road to advance to the 2015 Cup Final, but fell short the following year against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

”Experience is always a good thing, but it’s nothing I’m going to sit and lean on,” said Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman, who is 7-1 in Game 7s during his career. ”It’s about doing your job at the highest level you possibly can.”

Washington forced Wednesday’s winner-take-all matchup with a dominating 3-0 victory in Game authentic jerseys wholesale

In a series where home ice has not been a clear advantage, the Lightning are hoping it provides an edge in Game 7.

Washington won Games 1 and 2 in Tampa, then dropped the next two at home. The Capitals are 7-2 on the road this postseason.

”When you get this deep into a series, everyone knows each other by heart. Now it really comes down to a little bit of will. You have to will yourself for this moment,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

”I do like the fact there will be 19,000 people helping us, to will us to victory. I want the guys to enjoy the game. It will be a phenomenal experience. … You just have to remember, don’t let the game get bigger than it really is. Go out there, execute, leave everything out there and we’ll see what happens.”

This will be Washington’s 11th Game 7 since the start of the 2008 playoffs, most among all NHL teams in that span. None of them, however, have been for a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after Monday night’s win in Washington that there’s no other team he has coached that he would rather lead into a seventh game.

The Jets built Cup contender by drafting, developing talent


Vegas Golden Knights assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon was one of the few.

The former owner, general manager and coach of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings said he watched Winnipeg play 20 times last season, giving him a peek at what was to come.

”It was pretty easy to see that it was going to happen,” McCrimmon said. ”This year, certainly it has.”

The Jets earned 114 points during the regular season, trailing only nike authentic jerseys

Winnipeg advanced in the playoffs for the first time since moving from Atlanta in 2011. The Jets lost only once to Minnesota in the first round, and eliminated the top-seeded Predators on the road in Game 7 of the second round.

Unlike other NHL teams, which fire general managers and coaches if they don’t quickly have success, the Jets have allowed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to build a championship contender since hiring him in 2011 when they left Atlanta. He was just 20 games above .500 in his first five seasons as Winnipeg’s GM, and its only previous postseason appearance in 2015 lasted just four games against Anaheim.188

Coach Paul Maurice, likewise, was afforded the opportunity to lead the team for fourth-plus season this year. He made the most of it by helping the Jets go 52-20-10 during the regular season.

But ultimately, it comes down to having talented, unselfish players, and the Jets have plenty.

When Winnipeg had high draft picks, as it often did as a struggling team, it didn’t miss.

Patrik Laine, a 20-year-old winger, was drafted second overall two years ago and is one of the league’s best young players. He had 70 points in the regular season and scored his fourth goal of the playoffs in Game 1.

Mark Scheifele, selected No. 7 overall in 2011, leads all postseason scorers with 12 goals and has averaged more than a point per game the past two seasons. On the back end, defenseman Jacob Trouba has been exceptional in the playoffs as the franchise hoped he would be eventually after taking him No. 9 overall in 2012.

The Jets have also hit on some late-round picks, including Hellebuyck, whom they took No. 130 overall six years ago.authentic nfl football jerseys

”Hit home run after home run in the draft,” captain Blake Wheeler said . ”A lot of our marquee players are guys we drafted and have taken huge steps in the last year or two to be impact players.”

Winnipeg didn’t draft its best player, Wheeler, but the franchise acquired him from Boston in a trade while it was in Atlanta in 2011 and has built around him. That same year, the Thrashers took advantage of Chicago’s need to get rid of salaries by dealing for Byfuglien.

Capitals pull away, beat Lightning 6-2 for 2-0 series lead


The Washington Capitals scored in the opening minute of the game and twice in the last 1:02 of the second period to pull away to a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and two assists. nfl authentic nike jerseys Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist apiece.

Devante Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly also scored for the Caps, who took the first two games of the best-of-seven matchup on the road. Since 1974-75, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the conference final or semifinal have a series record of 39-2 (95.1 percent).

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Washington.187

Braden Point and Steven Stamkos had early power-play goals for Tampa Bay, which rebounded after falling behind on Wilson’s goal 28 seconds into the game.

Smith-Pelly’s one-timer finishing an odd-man rush made it 2-2 at 2:30 of the second period. The Caps took control when Eller scored with 1:02 remaining and Kuznetsov – with assists from Ovechkin and Eller – delivered on a power play less than a minute later.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was called for tripping Washington’s Andre Burakovsky with 10 seconds left in the period. Kuznetsov scored seven seconds later to make it 4-2, the second time in the series the Caps stunned the Lightning with a power-play goal in the closing seconds of a period.

Ovechkin and Connolly finished the rout with third-period goals. Braden Holtby stopped 33 of 35 shots to improve to 10-3 this postseason.

Ovechkin, playing in the conference final for the first time, also had a goal and an assist in Washington’s 4-2 victory in Game 1.

Vasilevskiy was pulled from the opener after facing 25 shots in two periods, nfl nike authentic jerseys but the Lightning didn’t pin the loss on him. Instead, they vowed to player harder in front of the young goaltender, who finished with 31 saves in Game 2.

Tampa Bay benefited early from a couple of questionable penalties – Wilson for goaltender interference and T.J. Oshie for high-sticking Victor Hedman, when the Tampa Bay defenseman actually was struck by the puck – to score twice in just over three minutes on the power-play for a 2-1 lead.

Stamkos and Hedman assisted on Point’s goal at 7:08 of the first. Stamkos’ fourth goal in five games gave Tampa Bay its first lead of the series.

Lightning beat Bruins 4-3 in OT to take 3-1 series lead


Dan Girardi scored 3:18 into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over Boston on Friday night in a game that featured more face-licking from Brad Marchand but left the Lightning with a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals as they return to Florida for a potential clincher in Game 5.

“It’s going to be the hardest game of the series, and it always is,” said Tampa Bay wing Ryan Callahan, who was swabbed by Marchand’s tongue in the second period — the second straight opponent to complain about the tactic by the Bruins’ forward.customized nfl jerseys cheap

“It’s unfortunate that he goes that low to do that, but doesn’t take us off our game,” Callahan said. “Hopefully, the league looks at it. I don’t know if there is discipline for spitting in someone’s face, but to me it’s worse if not the same.”127

Steven Stamkos tied it 3-all with seven minutes left in regulation after Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy turned the puck over behind the Boston net after he appeared to be pulled down from behind. Girardi ended it when he got a stick on a pass from Alex Killorn that was deflected off Brian Gionta’s skate in the crease.

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots for the Bruins. Torey Krug, who was helped off the bench to the locker room in the third period and did not finish the game, had a pair of assists, as did Marchand.

But Marchand — whose nickname “Little Ball of Hate” even made its way to President Barack Obama when the Bruins visited the White House after their 2011 Stanley Cup win — was the talk of the postgame more for his penchant for licking opponents.

Marchand went nose-to-nose with Callahan after a whistle with 1:21 left in the second, then leaned in and tried to lick Callahan’s face. The Lightning forward pushed him away.

“He punched me four times in the face,” Marchand said. “He just kept getting close. Nothing big.”

The Toronto Maple Leafs also complained about the tactic during their first-round series with Boston. Told that Callahan compared licking to spitting and said it should be penalized accordingly, Marchand said, “That’s cute. Good for him.”cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Two nights after scoring twice in the first 3:19 for a lead they would never relinquish, the Lightning again opened a 2-0 lead. Point scored about five minutes in when he split defenders Zdeno Chara and McAvoy at the blue line and then faked out Rask in the crease.

Vrana makes most of promotion, Caps win to put Pens on brink


Jakub Vrana scored the go-ahead goal with 4:38 remaining, Braden Holtby made 35 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in Game 5 Saturday night to take a 3-2 lead in the second-round series and put the back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions on the brink of elimination.

Vrana made coach Barry Trotz look like a genius for moving him to the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov, replacing Devante Smith-Pelly in the second period. Vrana sprung Kuznetsov for a breakaway on Washington’s tying goal 52 seconds into the third and finished off Ovechkin’s pass for the authentic jerseys cheap

The Capitals are one victory from advancing to the Eastern Conference final for the first time in the Ovechkin era and overall since 1998, when they reached the Stanley Cup Final. They can move on to face the winner of the Tampa Bay-Boston series if they win Game 6 Monday in Pittsburgh.

They’re up on the Penguins on the strength of Ovechkin’s offence and the goaltending of Holtby, who kept them in the game for long stretches when the Penguins were pressing. Holtby was at his best when the Capitals were outshot 18-5 in the second period.126

John Carlson and Brett Connolly scored 33 seconds apart in the first period for Washington to erase Pittsburgh’s lead from Jamie Oleksiak’s goal. Several penalties allowed Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist to score power-play goals that put the Penguins ahead until Trotz’s switch paid dividends with Vrana’s assist.

Washington put Pittsburgh on the brink despite playing without star centre Nicklas Backstrom for much of the third period. With Lars Eller double-shifting, the Capitals took control of the game and iced it on empty-netters by T.J. Oshie and Eller.customized nfl jerseys cheap

The Capitals took a 3-2 series lead on the Penguins for the first time in four playoff series dating to 2009. They needed to erase a 3-1 deficit just to force a Game 7 last year.

NOTES: Matt Murray allowed four goals on 30 shots in net for Pittsburgh. … The goals 33 seconds apart by Carlson and Connolly were the second-fastest in Capitals playoff history behind Craig Laughlin and Dave Christian (32 seconds) in 1984. … Crosby took sole possession of second place on the Penguins’ all-time playoff goals list with his 66th, breaking a tie with Jaromir Jagr. Crosby is 10 shy of Mario Lemieux for the most in franchise history. … Carlson is 36th defenceman in history and third active with 10-plus power-play points in the playoffs. No defenceman has reached 11 power-play points in the post-season since Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Gonchar in 2009. … Oleksiak’s goal was his first point in 11 playoff games.

You again? Penguins face familiar foe in Capitals


Still, Crosby sounded like a cautious investor on Tuesday when asked if Pittsburgh has a mental advantage over rival Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals heading into yet another postseason showdown in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting later this week.

Past performance, the two-time MVP stressed, authentic nfl jerseys does not guarantee future results.

”I think it depends on what you do in the series and how you play,” Crosby said. ”I don’t think it plays a huge role. I guess to answer your question, no.”

A mantra Crosby’s teammates repeated over and over they prepared for yet another showdown in a rivalry that somehow manages to be both compelling and one-sided. Pittsburgh is 9-1 all-time in the postseason against Washington regardless of who is in the black-and-gold sweaters and who is in red, white and blue.

Not that Ovechkin is intimidated. The Capitals star said he “can’t wait” to get another shot at the Penguins after spearheading Washington’s first-round win over Columbus in six games. That’s fine by Pittsburgh, which has played Lucy to Washington’s Charlie Brown for more than a quarter century, dangling a potentially deep playoff run in front of the Capitals only to pull it back at the last minute.

The Penguins, however, remain wary. Just because they always beat Washington doesn’t mean they’re going to always beat Washington. The teams split their four meetings during the regular season, with the Capitals wrapping up their third straight Metropolitan Division title with a 3-1 win in Pittsburgh on April Fool’s Day.

Of course, none of it matters once the puck drops in Game 1.32

”It’s a new year,” Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. ”The series is going to play out differently. The game is going to be won differently. You don’t know how it is going to go. The only thing I know is it’s a good rivalry, two really good teams, two teams that have a lot of punch offensively. It’s going to be fun to be a part of.”

Particularly for Letang. He missed all of Pittsburgh’s run to a second straight Stanley Cup last spring while recovering from neck surgery, though he was able to make his way to the arena for Game 7 of the conference semifinals, when Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 29 shots he faced and the Penguins escaped with a 2-0 victory to finish a series in which both teams scored 20 goals and won on opposing ice at least twice.

Though there are a handful of new faces on both sides, the principals remain the same. Ovechkin and Crosby. Evgeni Malkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Letang and Braden Holtby. Two weeks of taut, tense hockey in the offing.

”I think it’s the same old dangerous team,” Letang said. ”Like, don’t get me wrong, those series went the distance, they went to overtime. It was a tough matchup that could have gone either way. They cause the same problems to our team.wholesale nfl jerseys They cause problems on the power play. They have a lot of skill. They make a lot of plays.”

Yet the Penguins have always found a way to make at least one more, though they may be at less than 100 percent when things get going. Malkin and forward Carl Hagelin both missed practice on Tuesday. Malkin is dealing with a lower-body injury while Hagelin has an upper-body issue after colliding with Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux in Pittsburgh’s clinching victory over the Flyers in Game 6.

Amid bevy of head shots, NHL attempts to explain rationale


Drew Doughty watched other playoff games this season and couldn’t believe that George Parros, the NHL’s discipline czar, had suspended him for a head shot.

”I saw four hits last night that deserved more than that,cheap nfl jerseys china ” the Los Angeles Kings defenseman said.

Doughty’s one-game suspension was the first of several in the first round for a hit to the head of an opponent. Toronto’s Nazem Kadri got three games and Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey and Nashville’s Ryan Hartman got one game each. Washington’s Tom Wilson and Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov were among those who got off without significant punishment.

The criticism, from Columbus to Colorado and from New Jersey to Los Angeles, was loud enough that the NHL’s department of player safety put out a video last week explaining its reasoning for suspending Doughty and Hartman but not Kucherov or Predators center Ryan Johansen.31

”The illegal check to the head rule is often misunderstood or misstated,” the league said in the video. ”Illegal checks to the head and legal full body hits often look similar at first glance because the difference between legal and illegal can be a matter of inches in a sport that moves fast.”

Discontent over the goalie interference rule has been grabbing headlines for weeks, but the head shot discussion carries far more serious implications for a league still grappling with how best to protect its players. What’s acceptable has evolved from the early days of hockey through Scott Stevens’ then-legal crushing blow on Eric Lindros in 2000 to today, where checks to the head are parsed frame-by-frame to determine if a line was crossed. The NHL, too, is still facing a federal class-action concussion lawsuit filed by former players alleging it failed to warn them about the health risks associated with head injuries.

Meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors last week, authentic nfl jerseys NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman insisted there was nothing new about the subject. Asked about player safety, Bettman said Parros is off to good start in the former enforcer’s first season as vice president of player safety. He said he is proud of player safety’s transparency in the form of videos detailing the reasons for suspending a player.

”Sometimes we get accused of splitting hairs, but that’s exactly what they have to do,” Bettman said. ”I think he’s reached the appropriate conclusion when it’s been a hockey play that doesn’t transcend the rules and I think he’s been appropriately punitive in cases where it warranted it. There’s never going to be a shortage of critics of what they do.”