Trophy finalist

#1 von elaine95 , 01.11.2018 07:19

COLUMBUS http://www.minnesotawildteamshops.com/authentic-jared-spurgeon-jersey , Ohio (AP) Artemi Panarin turned out to be everything the Columbus Blue Jackets were looking for when they traded for him last summer: A dead-eye sniper and deft puck distributor who can get game-breaking goals and make everyone around him better.And, the Blue Jackets hope, a guy who can get them deeper into the playoffs.So far, so good. Columbus heads home to Nationwide Arena after taking a 2-0 lead over Washington in their first-round series on Sunday night, a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win in which Panarin contributed a pair of key assists.That came three nights after Panarin won the series opener in overtime. With two assists already in regulation, he drove down the left side, slipped past Capitals defenseman Dimitry Orlov and snapped a shot over goalie Philipp Grubauer’s shoulder.”There’s very few people who can make that shot,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said.”He can make a play from nothing,” Orlov said. ”He’s so smooth.”The Blue Jackets probably wouldn’t be playing in the postseason without the 26-year-old Russian they call the ”Bread Man.” He was a steady presence and consistent scorer through a bumpy season of slumps and injuries to other key players.Panarin led Columbus with 27 goals and 55 assists, and his 82 points were the most in a single season in franchise history. His plus/minus of 23 and average of just over 20 minutes on the ice per game were career highs.Panarin – sounds like Panera Bread, hence the hockey nickname of ”Bread Man” or just ”Bread” – has embraced being a featured star after playing in the large shadow of Patrick Kane in Chicago in his first two years in the league.”In Chicago, I played with Kane and got a lot of assists from him,” Panarin said. ”But I always wanted something more, to put more of the game on myself and be more accountable for the result. Here, I got that, what I wanted.”Panarin, who won the Calder Trophy as the top rookie in the NHL in 2015-16, was acquired from the Black Hawks last June along with forward Tyler Motte for forward Brandon Saad and goalie Anton Forsberg. Saad was a reliable player for Columbus for two seasons.”Bread is a different type player because he can make a special play to win a game,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. ”I just think for you to get through and find your way and try to be a better playoff team, you have to have some players that are dynamic. You’re not coaching it, they just see something, they seize a moment and they win you a game. Or they make a huge play to get you back in the game in another way.”With the Blue Jackets on a power play and down 3-2 in the second period on Sunday, Panarin dribbled the puck and patiently waited for a lane to open up before delivering a pinpoint circle-to-circle pass to Cam Atkinson , who scored the tying goal.Panarin’s line mates, veteran winger Atkinson and 19-year-old rookie center Pierre-Luc Dubois Jason Zucker Jersey , have benefited from his skills. Atkinson – who had two goals on Sunday – has come on strong after missing time with injuries, finishing the regular season with 14 goals and 14 assists in February and March. Dubois had 20 goals and 28 assists in the regular season, making him the most productive rookie in Blue Jackets history.Panarin makes $6 million a year on a contract that runs through next season. He’ll be due a sizeable salary bump if the Blue Jackets decide to keep him around after that.So far, he’s been an ideal fit.”When they first traded me, of course for a couple days, I worried,” he said. ”But then I calmed down and understood that this is all good for me. I understood that here I would progress as a player first and foremost. What’s most important to me isn’t money, but the whole game.”—Associated Press Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington contributed to this report.— TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Jon Cooper searched for adequate words to describe the feeling of coming within one victory of playing for the Stanley Cup.The Tampa Bay Lightning have done it twice in the past three years. And it hurts.”It’s everything from agonizing to angry to disappointed to shock,” the coach said Thursday, less than 24 hours after one of the most successful seasons in franchise history came to a screeching halt with a 4-0 loss to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.”I’m sure that’s going to turn into proud and happy for our group,” he added. ”There are so many good emotions about coaching this team … but the emotions of how it ended is tough.”After compiling the best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season, eliminating the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and rebounding from losing the first games of the conference final to take a 3-2 series lead, the Lightning truly believed this was their year.Now, general manager Steve Yzerman and Cooper face decisions about what needs to be tweaked.The Lightning won Game 7 of the conference final against the Rangers in 2015, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history. They made it back to the East final, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games two years ago.”If anybody sits and says it was an unsuccessful season, I have to question that. You look back at this team. All the accomplishments of the regular season, and then to be one game away from getting to the Stanley Cup Final,” Cooper said, his voice trailing off.”Now it’s just solving that piece of the puzzle,” the coach added, ”getting over the top.”With a talented roster that’s both deep and fairly young, there won’t be wholesale changes.Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy Joel Eriksson Ek Jersey , a Vezina Trophy finalist in his first full season as a starter, is just 23 years old.Leading scorer Nikita Kucherov is 24, Norris Trophy finalist Victor Hedman is 27, and emerging star Brayden Point is just 22.Even captain Steven Stamkos, completing his 10th NHL season, is only 28.”What were we missing? A couple of goals in Game 7,” Cooper said. ”You can sit here and pick apart all you want of what went wrong, it was one game. We didn’t score and we lost the game. They were opportunistic and scored, and they advanced. … It’s razor-thin how close this league is.”Yzerman said there are a number of areas where the Lightning need to get better moving forward, including defensively.The GM, however, rejected the notion that somehow the season was a failure because a team with such high expectations didn’t get back to the championship round.”It’s really difficult to win the Stanley Cup, and if you’re going to measure every year strictly on it’s a failure if we win or not, I don’t think I look at it that way,” Yzerman said.”There’s a process and there’s no definitive timeline for it. Just continue to improve, continue to hang around, I guess, and we’re going to win one of these things,” the GM added. ”It’s not a failure. It’s a disappointment at this stage, but we’re not sitting here saying we’re the best team by a mile. We realize there’s a bunch of good teams out there, a group of teams that could win the Stanley Cup.”Cooper said one thing it’s important to not do this summer is over-react.”It’s hard to explain just how hard it is to get here,” the coach said. ”There are 30 teams who are going to get Monday morning quarterbacked, and one team that is not. You just have to build on your strengths and keep getting better and come back next year stronger than ever.”—

elaine95  
elaine95
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