nd for the national anthem. Jetsin Fanclub Dölbau 19.09.2018 08:32
von huangjian123 • | 524 Beiträge | 5240 Punkte
Marc-Andre Fleury has been the foundation for the Vegas Golden Knights‘ run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Yet while he has a 1.68 goals-against average and .947 save percentage Sony Michel Jersey , he’ll be the first one in the locker room to credit the defensemen in front of him.
”It’s a team game – win as a team, lose as a team,” said Fleury, who looks to become the 11th goaltender in NHL history to have his name on the Cup at least four times – and the fourth of that group to win with multiple teams.
”These guys are a big part of our success. We’re well balanced, we got some veteran guys, some younger guys, got some offensive guys, some defensive guys playing together. Those guys have been rallying all playoffs, trying to help me out, blocking shots and letting me see the puck, so it’s been a lot of fun.”
The pairings of Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb, Shea Theodore and Deryk Engelland, and Colin Miller with Luca Sbisa or Jon Merrill, have helped the Golden Knights become a very tight defensive team during the playoffs, something that will have to carry into Game 1 at T-Mobile Arena, on Monday against the Washington Capitals.
Schmidt has developed into the team’s top defenseman after struggling to find consistent ice time in Washington last season, when he averaged 15:29 on the ice. The fifth-year pro leads the Golden Knights with an average 22:14 on the ice and brings a familiarity to the Final, having played with Washington’s top scorers Evgeny Kuznetsov (24 points) and Alex Ovechkin (22) Marcus Allen Jersey , who rank first and second, respectively, in overall playoff scoring.
”I know a lot of those guys, I know what they like to do,” said Schmidt, who has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in the postseason. ”For what I want to do on the ice, it helps me and I think it helps our group as well that we’ve had success against them. But it’s a whole other type of animal this time of year.”
The Golden Knights swept the regular-season series against Washington, winning 3-0 on Dec. 23 in Vegas and 4-3 on Feb. 4 in D.C.
With five more Capitals have double-digit points – Nicklas Backstrom (16), John Carlson (16), T.J. Oshie (15), Lars Eller (13) and Tom Wilson (11) – Vegas will need one last big effort from a defensive group that has helped allow the second-least number of goals among playoff teams that have played 10 games.
Washington coach Barry Trotz said he knows the Golden Knights have three dynamic duos that each feature one offensive guy who can skate and move the puck – that being Miller, Theodore, and Schmidt – paired with more of a traditional stay-at-home defenseman who isn’t afraid to get physical, block shots and slow the opposing team’s pace – such as Sbisa, Engelland, Merrill and McNabb.
”But they still bring some offense, too Duke Dawson Jersey ,” Trotz said. ”They play 5-5-5 all three zones just as we talk about with the Capitals. Watch the TV, you see five guys in the picture, then you’re doing good.”
Schmidt said using speed against them worked during the regular season, by moving their feet more than Washington did, and helping to develop plays in transition. But again, this is the Stanley Cup Final, and Schmidt said he knows Washington can skate well and will be a challenge.
”I think another thing is just making sure you’re really disciplined against this team,” Schmidt said. ”You’ve got to make sure you stay out of the penalty box, keep Ovechkin off the power play and keep that unit off the power play.”
To Vegas’ credit, however, it does have the fourth-best penalty kill in the playoffs, stopping 82.5 percent of the power plays it has seen. And, as Sbisa said, that circles back to Fleury and the chemistry that’s been built with the defensive pairings.
”That bond is definitely there,” Sbisa said. ”You don’t have to worry about anything else, play it loose, play to your strengths and that’s what we’ve been doing as a group. The six Ds that are playing that night, they’re tight; we play as a three-man group (with Fleury). Flower’s a guy that doesn’t take too much credit for himself Jack Crawford Jersey , even though he should, because he’s been that good and it’s obviously nice to hear stuff like that coming out of his mouth. But he definitely deserves all the credit here.
”As a D-man, knowing that you have the best goalie in the world behind you, saving you when something happens, it makes a huge difference because it allows you to play your game. Praise has to go both ways.”
Limited playing experience in high school and college makes Sam Darnold appreciate every game, even if it's just the preseason.
The third overall pick made his first exhibition start for the New York Jets on Thursday night and showed some of the growing pains of a rookie quarterback by throwing an interception , taking two sacks and having a couple of balls batted out of the air.
Darnold was 8 of 11 for 62 yards in the first half before giving way to Teddy Bridgewater in a game the Jets lost to the Washington Redskins 15-13 on a last-second field goal.
"Any game experience is huge," said Darnold, who felt he played well but wasn't as sharp as his 13 of 18 for 96 yards preseason debut. "I feel like I'm going to continue to grow and get better every single day, and that's what I'm most excited about is to see how much I'm going to be able to grow and get better."
Darnold went in looking like the front-runner to win New York's starting QB competition, and it's still muddled after Bridgewater was 10 of 15 for 127 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Veteran Josh McCown didn't play after starting the first preseason game because coach Todd Bowles already knows what he has in the 39-year-old.
"It's already been cloudy," Bowles said. "It'll be a tough choice."
Darnold showed flashes for the Jets (1-1), going 5 of 5 on his second drive but was sacked by Preston Smith to force a field goal on a night full of them. Bridgewater took some intentional risks to test the left knee he injured two years ago to the point Bowles joked he had a neighborhood he could send the former Vikings quarterback to if he wanted to get hit.
"Some of those plays, I could've thrown the ball away or run out of bounds, but I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could take a hit and it was fun," Bridgewater said.
Redskins starter Alex Smith was 4 of 6 for 48 yards in one series, his only work so far in the preseason. Smith said he always wished he could play more but acknowledged "it's a fine line."
Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins made all five of his field-goal attempts Malcom Brown Jersey , including a 40-yarder as time expired to win it for the Redskins (1-1).
Jets: CB Jeremy Clark left with a hamstring injury. ... LT Kelvin Beachum (foot), RG Brian Winters (abdominal), RB Isaiah Crowell (concussion) and DL Steve McLendon (leg) did not play.
Redskins: RB Samaje Perine injured an ankle on his first carry, a 30-yard run , and did not return. Coach Jay Gruden said Perine twisted his ankle but expects him to be OK ... RB Byron Marshall was evaluated for a lower-leg injury that Gruden said was fine after an MRI. ... LT Trent Williams, RB Chris Thompson, WR Maurice Harris and Jamison Crowder, TE Jordan Reed, OT Ty Nsekhe and DL Matt Ioannidis and Phil Taylor were among those nursing or coming off injuries who didn't dress.
REDSKINS RB COMPETITION
After second-round pick Derrius Guice's season ended because of a torn ACL , Rob Kelley was up first to show he deserves to be Washington's starter. Kelley had seven carries for 17 yards, Perine was impressive on his one run before being injured, Marshall had a kick-return fumble that was overturned on video review and Kapri Bibbs made six catches for 47 yards with only 6 yards on the ground.
"It will be a tough deal for us to figure all that out, but we will," Gruden said.
Linebacker Jordan Jenkins was flagged on the game's opening drive for roughing the passer against Smith when he drove the QB into the ground. Darron Lee was penalized for a horse-collar tackle on Redskins punt returner Danny Johnson. Then, there was rookie Frankie Luvu, who led with his helmet into Colt McCoy on a more egregious roughing-the-passer violation than what Jenkins had.
All players appeared to stand for the national anthem. Jets players locked arms along the visiting sideline with no one remaining in the locker room.
Jets: See what more Darnold can do in game action when they face the Giants on Aug. 24.
Redskins: Are expected to give Smith more snaps Aug. 24 when they host the Denver Broncos.
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