SIT: Cameron Bratein Diskussionen Allgemein über die Kryptowelt 08.10.2018 09:18
von linzhihong18 • 160 Beiträge | 320 Punkte
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The Penguins and Capitals will face off in the second round for the third consecutive year with the core groups changed only slightly from past battles. Back-to-back Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh still has playoff MVPs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and Washington still has stars Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom trying to make the Eastern Conference final for the first time.
”We faced each other for a lot of games, and we should know each other right now inside out,” Backstrom said. ”That’s just how it is. It’s usually tight series and one-goal games. We’re excited about this one.”
It’s hard not to get the ”Groundhog Day” feeling about these teams meeting for the fourth time in the past 10 years. The Penguins won the previous three series despite not having home-ice advantage, twice winning Game 7 in Washington on the way to capturing the Stanley Cup.
But this year is different in many ways, most notably on the Pittsburgh injury front. Malkin and winger Carl Hagelin will miss Game 1 on Thursday night in Washington. Coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin will travel, making him a possibility to play in Game 2 this weekend after missing the end of the Philadelphia series with an apparent lower-body injury.
”I think guys have to step up in different roles maybe,” Crosby said. ”I don’t think anybody has to put too much pressure on themselves. Collectively we can find ways and those are guys who aren’t easy to replace, but that’s what we’re faced with.”
A year after the last series between these two division rivals, gone from the Penguins are forwards Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz and Matt Cullen, defensemen Trevor Daley, Ian Cole and Ron Hainsey and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Gone from the Capitals are forwards Justin Williams, Marcus Johansson and Daniel Winnik and defensemen Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk.
”They have different personnel, we have different personnel,” said Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who’s back after missing the 2017 playoffs because of neck surgery. ”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.”
Pittsburgh, trying for a rare championship threepeat, has won nine of 10 all-time series against Washington [url=http://www.officialflames.com/authentic-adidas-mikael-backlund-jersey]Authentic Mikael Backlund Jersey[/url] , many of which predate current players and coaches. But Capitals coach Barry Trotz said it’s ”fitting” his team must again go through its nemesis to advance.
Asked why this year the outcome will be different, Ovechkin said: ”I don’t know. One day, it have to happen. If we want to get success, we have to beat Pittsburgh and move forward.”
SID VS. OVI
Crosby has won 44 of the 70 previous games against Ovechkin in the NHL regular season and playoffs, world junior championships, world championships, World Cup and Olympics. There may not be another dueling hat tricks game like the one in the 2009 playoffs, but Crosby and Ovechkin are red hot going into their latest showdown. Crosby is tied at 13 points with linemate Jake Guentzel for the scoring lead in the playoffs, and Ovechkin’s five power-play goals helped Washington beat Columbus in six.
”This year I think he’s playing his best, but it’s good to see,” Backstrom said of Ovechkin. ”Hopefully everyone can raise our level here in the second round.”
The Penguins relied heavily on their top-ranked power play unit to land a 12th straight playoff berth – the longest active streak in the NHL – but their title bid will rely heavily on a penalty kill that’s been uneven at best. Pittsburgh was a middling 17th during the regular season (80 percent) but killed 90.5 percent of Philadelphia’s power plays in the opening round. Washington scored just once with the man advantage in four regular season meetings with the Penguins, who kept Ovechkin in check.
”You have to reduce his time,” Letang said. ”You don’t want him to have all kinds of time to really use that puck.”
Penguins goaltender Matt Murray won the Cup twice as a ”rookie” by NHL standards after backstopping the Penguins to titles in 2016 and 2017. He missed all of Pittsburgh’s playoff series against Washington, however, while recovering from a lower-body injury. The 23-year-old has been up and down against Washington in his brief career and is coming off a Philadelphia series in which he flip-flopped between great (two shutouts) and not-so great (allowing four-or-more goals twice). Still, Murray has never lost a playoff series he’s played in, and even after giving up four quick goals in the first 21 minutes of Game 6 against Philadelphia, he limited the Flyers to just one the rest of the way to give his teammates time to rally.
HOLTBY DIALED IN
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby allowed six goals on 35 shots through the first two games of the Penguins series last year before getting his game back together. He has only allowed 10 on 137 shots in four-plus games since replacing Philipp Grubauer this time around and looks like a goalie who can match Murray save for save.
AP Sports Writer Will Graves in Pittsburgh contributed.
Welcome to the Week 1 edition of Start or Sit. While all teams start out 0-0, the decisions you make on your first weekly lineup will make the difference on whether your season starts with a win come Tuesday morning.
START: Alex Collins, RB [url=http://www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-auston-matthews-jersey]Auston Matthews Jersey[/url] , Ravens: A potential breakout performer, Collins faces a Bills run defense that allowed 4.49 yards per carry to opposing backs last season. He also proved to be more effective at home, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and scoring four of his six touchdowns at M&T Bank Stadium, making him a good second running back (RB2) despite having his touches curbed by Javorius Allen, who will serve as Baltimore's running back in passing situations.
SIT: John Conner, RB, Steelers: Waiver wires went hot upon news that Le'Veon Bell would not get the start at the Browns, giving the nod to Conner, who rushed for 144 yards on 32 carries in his rookie season. Cleveland's run defense ranked among the league's best last year, finishing seventh in yards allowed and second only to the Broncos in yards per carry allowed (3.4). Conner looks like fool's gold and is more of a flex option than an RB2.
START: Trey Burton, TE, Bears: Do believe the hype with Burton, who is a solid TE1 that will see more than double the 29 percent of snaps he had with the Eagles last season. Burton also caught nearly 78 percent of passes targeted to him and will thrive with new coach Matt Nagy, who helped turn Travis Kelce into a Pro Bowler when he guided the Chiefs offense. An afternoon of double-digit targets awaits Burton, who faces a Packers defense that allowed 30 touchdown passes last season.
SIT: Josh Gordon, WR, Browns: Don't expect much from Gordon, who will be lucky to see more than 15-20 snaps against the Steelers as he gets into game shape. Temptation lies strong with him, as Gordon did average 18.6 yards per catch in limited action last season. He'll need the reps to become a more reliable receiver considering he caught just 41.8 percent of passes targeted to him. At best, Gordon is a flex in deeper [url=http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-matt-irwin-jersey]Youth Matt Irwin Jersey[/url] , non-PPR leagues.
START: Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots: The Texans were 30th in average yards allowed per catch and gave up 30 touchdown passes, a perfect scenario for Hogan, who will be fed extensively by Tom Brady. Hogan averaged nearly 17 yards per catch in the postseason and scored a combined seven touchdowns on his 43 receptions during the regular season and playoffs. With the Houston defense focused on slowing down tight end Rob Gronkowski, look for Hogan, a high-end WR2, to put up WR1-caliber numbers.
SIT: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers: Only seven quarterbacks put up better fantasy numbers than Garoppolo over the last five games of the regular season. Garoppolo averaged 308.4 yards per game in that span but will be hard-pressed to reach that total against an aggressive Vikings defense that gave up a league-low 13 touchdown passes while finishing second to the Jaguars in passing yards allowed per game (192). There are better options available.
START: Andrew Luck, QB, Colts: It's easy to forget that Luck ranked among the four best quarterbacks in fantasy football three times in the previous four years prior to last season. The Bengals were eighth in passing yards allowed but Luck won't need much time to get readjusted to firing the ball to receiver T.Y. Hilton along with benefiting from an improved running game and offensive line. He's worth the start and will remind fantasy owners why he threw 86 touchdowns in his previous three seasons.
SIT: Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks: After holding off rookie Rashaad Penny for the starting job, Carson projects to be a sleeper play. Guess again. The Broncos can still stop the run, finishing fifth in yards allowed while leading the league with a stingy 3.3 yards allowed per carry. Carson will get his share of touches, but the thought of playing him on the road against an elite run D should be more than enough for his owners to fill their flex positions with a better option.
START: Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants: There will be some trepidation in playing Barkley against a Jaguars defense that gave up just seven touchdowns to opposing running backs last season. Barkley belongs in the lineup on Sunday because his pass-catching skills will counter any resistance he may get from running the ball, especially if New York finds itself in catch-up mode. It's not a stretch to envision Barkley getting at least 8-10 targets [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/sony-michel-jersey-cheap]Sony Michel Jersey[/url] , and his open field skills could lead to a big play or two.
SIT: Randall Cobb, WR, Packers: Since catching 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, Cobb's numbers have been in freefall, plummeting to 66-653-4 to go along with a career-low 9.9 yards per catch last season. The return of Aaron Rodgers could perk up his numbers, but Cobb faces a Bears defense that was seventh in passing yards allowed while giving up a modest total of 18 touchdown passes last season. At this point, Cobb is a fringe flex option that's best off riding fantasy pine.
START: Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: Gates decided to pause his countdown to Canton to return to the Chargers as a replacement for the injured Hunter Henry. Gates will be a red zone monster against the Chiefs and will get between 7-9 targets. At the very least, his presence will open things up for receivers Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin and Mike Williams.
SIT: Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers: Second-year tight end O.J. Howard continues to press for playing time, which will hurt Brate's chances of being productive against the Saints. Brate can be productive, as his 12.3 yards per catch average in 2017 indicates, but Tampa Bay didn't use a first-round pick on the freakishly gifted Howard to be a glorified run blocker.
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