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ucks’ attention, remind
10-08-2018, 06:02 AM
Post: #1
ucks’ attention, remind
Dustin Byfuglien is a big problem for Vegas.

The 6-foot-5 Adrian Clayborn Color Rush Jersey , 260-pound Winnipeg defenseman can do it all, as the Golden Knights saw up close when he helped the Jets win Game 1 of the Western Conference finals with a goal and an assist.

”We got moving our feet right away,” Byfuglien said. ”And the ice opened up.”

Byfuglien has a powerful shot, as he showed with a slap shot 1:05 into the Jets’ 4-2 victory .

The 33-year-old former forward, who played right wing for the Chicago Blackhawks during their Stanley Cup run in 2010, can join a rush on offense in even-strength situations and plays on the power play. The NFL-sized player is nimble enough to skate fluidly and he handles the puck with soft hands. Byfuglien can crunch opponents against the boards or on the open ice with checks and kill penalties with savvy positioning.

In Game 1, he did all of that and more.

”You saw the Dustin Byfuglien spectrum,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”He can shoot the puck a ton. He can make soft-hand plays and he can be as big and strong as you want out there.”

Vegas center William Karlsson was asked to compare Byfuglien with any other player in the league. And he was stumped.

”He’s kind of one of a kind,” Karlsson said.

If the expansion Golden Knights can’t figure out a way to keep the puck away from Byfuglien and work around him offensively, their inaugural season may not last beyond this series.

Game 2 is Monday night in Winnipeg.

Byfuglien leads the league’s defensemen with 15 points and five multi-point games in the playoffs.

”When he is on his game, he is as good as anybody,” Vegas coach Gerrard Gallant. ”He’s a big strong man and can play the game any way you want to play it.

”Buf is a good player Kyzir White Color Rush Jersey , but hopefully we don’t give him too many chances to load up like we did (in Game 1) and take that big shot.”

The Blackhawks gave Byfuglien a shot to play in the NHL, taking a flyer on the Minnesota native in the eighth round with the No. 245 pick overall in 2003. He played his first full season in the league five years later and had 11 goals and five assists for Chicago during the 2010 playoffs.

Byfuglien didn’t get to celebrate the championship for very long because the Blackhawks traded him to less than three weeks after hoisting the Cup. Chicago sent him to the Atlanta Thrashers, who became the Jets, to help manage its salary cap. He has become a three-time All-Star with the franchise and a player respected enough on the blue line to be in the running for the Norris Trophy six times.

Byfuglien, though, got off to a slow start offensively this season with a slump that seems improbable for a player with five goals in 13 playoff games this year. He began the season with a 29-game goal drought and finished with eight goals, his fewest in five seasons.

”He had a helluva year and it was masked by the fact that he didn’t score a goal for a long time and didn’t generate points,” Maurice said. ”The question was `What’s wrong with Dustin Byfuglien?’ And the answer was, `Absolutely nothing,’ because our hockey team was winning and he was playing right.”

Byfuglien has been businesslike around reporters lately, appearing to be focused on his tasks instead of showing off tricks with a cosmetic tooth he can pop in and out of his mouth with his tongue. When a reporter asked about the Atlanta hat he wore in the dressing room before Game 1, wondering if it was a nod to his season with the Thrashers http://www.bearsauthorizedshops.com/auth...ler-jersey , he wasn’t in the mood to play along.

”The what?” he asked. ”I don’t even know what hat I got on.”

Byfuglien also wasn’t interested in comparing the Jets’ run to his success with the Blackhawks.

”That was a while ago,” he said.

Discussing the challenges of facing Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury also didn’t interest him.

”Get it behind him,” he said. ”Shoot pucks and hopefully they go in.”

His first shot against Fleury found the back of the net, and the blast probably pushed the netting to its limit because it was so powerful.

”That first goal was a bomb,” Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland said.



Follow Larry Lage at Yes, Predators forward Filip Forsberg has watched the video of his jaw-dropping goal against Colorado a couple times, and even he agrees putting the puck through not only his legs but a defender’s with a dangle ranks as his most creative yet.

”I had some opportunities, but I haven’t finished any of them off,” Forsberg said. ”But it was good.”

The Colorado Avalanche showed that they can give Nashville fits with their speed and too-young-to-know-better attitude with the youngest roster this postseason. Having a chance in this first-round Western Conference series against the NHL’s Presidents’ Trophy winners will mean figuring out a way to slow down the Predators’ top scorer.

Forsberg’s two goals in the third period not only rallied Nashville to a 5-2 win in Game 1 , the forward is averaging more than a point per game for his career against Colorado. Forsberg now has 26 points (15 goals, 11 assists) and five game-winning goals in 21 games.

He also outscored Colorado’s top line as Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each had assists setting up the Avs’ opening goal.

Coach Jared Bednar said he thought his Avalanche, playing without top defenseman Erik Johnson (knee injury) Ito Smith Color Rush Jersey , did a nice job on Forsberg most of the game. Sam Girard played 22 minutes, 7 seconds in his postseason debut against the team that drafted him.

”He uses his skill and beats a guy one-on-one,” Bednar said of Forsberg. ”The go-ahead goal at 3-2 was a lucky bounce. They shot it wide, and he got to the right spot on the ice and hit maybe his stick and a shin pad. He just goes to the hard areas.”

The Avalanche are catching Forsberg at a bad time. The 23-year-old forward from Ostervala, Sweden, now has 32 points in his last 31 games after leading the balanced Predators with 64 points in the regular season.

The Predators have a chance Saturday in Game 2 at something they haven’t managed yet as a franchise: Taking a 2-0 series lead in their own building.

”We’ve got to be better to get this done,” Forsberg said.

Some things to watch Saturday:



Devils at Lightning, Tampa Bay leads 1-0 (3 p.m EDT, NBC/CBNBC)

The Lightning look and sound like a team rejuvenated by playing meaningful games again.

The Atlantic Division champions spent the final three weeks of the regular season essentially biding time while awaiting the start of the playoffs. Captain Steven Stamkos said it was important to re-establish an edge in the series opener, and now the top seed in the Eastern Conference can take a commanding lead on the underdog Devils.

”There’s a wealth of experience in this room, with guys that have been in this situation,” Stamkos said. ”I think you could tell http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/a...ski-jersey , once the puck dropped, that we were very determined to set the tone and play the right way.”

About half of New Jersey’s roster entered this series with no playoff experience. Coach John Hynes expects that to be less of a factor in Game 2.

”I don’t really want to get into what the exact message with our team was, but it (basically) was don’t get too high, don’t get too low,” Hynes said. ”We have to make sure we understand the areas we’ve got to be better at, and I think mentally make sure that we’re ready to play a certain way.”



Maple Leafs at Bruins, Boston leads 1-0 (8 p.m. EDT, NBC)

The Bruins may be without forward Tommy Wingels, who did not skate Friday after taking a hit from Toronto forward Nazem Kadri. Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said Wingels was being evaluated by doctors and lists him as questionable as the Bruins try to take a 2-0 lead.

If Wingels can’t play, a possible replacement could be rookie forward Ryan Donato. Cassidy said the former Harvard star could make his postseason debut Saturday. Donato skated with Noel Acciari and David Backes in practice. Cassidy said they have options with Brian Gionta as a right wing and Danton Heinen, who can slide over.

”I think Ryan played really well when he was here for his 12 games,” said Cassidy. ”We plan on using Ryan Sampo Ranta Blackhawks Jersey , just want to pick the right time.”

The Maple Leafs know they have to play better on special teams after giving up three power-play goals. They also spent Friday waiting to learn what punishment the NHL would give Kadri.

”I don’t know what they’re going to do so might as well get prepared,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said.



Sharks at Ducks, San Jose leads 1-0 (10:30 p.m. EDT, NBCSN)

The Ducks looked largely lifeless as they gave away their home-ice advantage by failing to maintain the momentum from their impressive finish to the regular season. This is a familiar pattern for the veteran Ducks, who have lost Game 1 at home in four of their last five playoff series over the past three seasons. They won two of those series.

Perhaps Evander K[Image: nike_redskins_593.jpg]ane’s gritty two-goal performance in his playoff debut will get the Ducks’ attention, reminding them that they can’t play into the Sharks’ hands by skating on the perimeter of the ice and failing to generate consistent traffic in front of Martin Jones.

Or maybe the Sharks are hitting their stride after losing five of their final six games in the regular season. San Jose was better on both ends to win the opener 3-0 .

”They played how you’re supposed to play in the playoffs,” Anaheim forward Andrew Cogliano said of the Sharks. ”They played patient and played the right way. When you get chances, you have to score on them. You just execute the game plan. They did that. I.
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