#1 MONTREAL — Anyone wondering why Jack Eichel is challenging Canadian phenom Connor McDavids claim of top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft got their answer in the Americans opening game of the world junior championship. [url=http://www.kingsauthentic.com/aut von jokergreen0220 09.09.2019 03:26

MONTREAL — Anyone wondering why Jack Eichel is challenging Canadian phenom Connor McDavids claim of top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft got their answer in the Americans opening game of the world junior championship. Trevor Lewis Kings Jersey . Eichel made a sharp move to set up Alex Tuchs goal in regulation time and snapped one past goalie Ville Husso in a shootout as the United States downed defending champion Finland 2-1 on Friday afternoon. The 18-year-old Eichel seemed to own the puck when he was on the ice, and only a solid game from Husso and some tenacious Finland checking kept the score close. Eichel and Tuch each had five of the Americans 38 shots. Jack is an unbelievable player, said American defenceman Noah Hanifin, who is also expected to be a top-five pick in the draft. Playing against him, you just have to be aware every time hes on the ice. Hes just so explosive, he can make a play any second in the game. Finlands Mikko Rantanen scored 1:22 into the game, before Tuch tied it on a power play at 13:54, for the only goals in regulation time and overtime. In the shootout, Eichel beat Husso on the first shot. Finland captain Artturi Lehkonen tied it, but Chase De Leo got one to win it for the U.S. We battled hard from start to finish, said Eichel, the American captain. We knew it was going to be a tough game. Theyre the defending champions. You have to give them credit. They played a really close checking game. Its really good for us to get the win. Hopefully we can build off it and get some confidence. Most scouting services have McDavid and Eichel ranked one-two for the draft and both will likely figure prominently in the tournament, especially when Canada faces the Americans on New Years Eve. Chances are, the Canadian crowd wont go easy on Eichel. I know well be scrutinized and up against things, he said. But we dont want to let the crowd or any outside distractions get to us. We just want to focus on playing hockey. Finland caused a surprise when Juuse Saros, the hero of last years gold medal performance in Malmo, Sweden, did not get the start in goal. But coach Hannu Jortikka said it was no surprise to anyone watching Finnish hockey. Husso plays in the Finnish league all the time like a number one goalie for IFK Helsinki and hes been unbelievably good season, said Jortikka. We have two top goalies at this moment. When we go a couple of games more, then we must decide who is number one. Finland plays Saturday against Slovakia and faces Canada on Monday. After that, Ill know much more about my team, said Jortikka. Always, when you start a tournament, nobody knows exactly where you are. Everybody is a little bit what is our level? We must play a couple of more games and then well know our level. The Finns scored on the first chance of the game when a mix up between goalie Thatcher Demko and 17-year-old Noah Hanifin left the puck for another draft eligible player, Rantanen. He banked the puck in from behind the net off the skate of 2016 draft eligible centre Austen Matthews. Eichel showed his skill when he played the puck off the boards to himself on a power play, then made a perfect feed to Tuch to tie the game. The Americans had several glittering chances, like Nick Schmaltz missing an open net midway through the second frame, moments after Sonny Milano rang one off the crossbar. Finlands Julius Honka came close 11 minutes into the third on a power play when his point shot got through traffic, but it looked to hit a post. I think it hits the crossbar or something, said Honka. But if we keep playing like that, well score goals. The U.S. outshot Finland 38-29, including 4-1 in the five-minute overtime. Wayne Gretzky Jersey . Hamelin overcame a weak start to win bronze in the 500-metre race behind winner Wu Dajing of China and American J.R. Celski on Saturday at the world short track speed skating championship. Marty Mcsorley Kings Jersey . Pekovic had an MRI test Tuesday on his right ankle that revealed bursitis, which is inflammation of the fluid-filled pad that cushions the joint. http://www.kingsauthentic.com/authentic-jonathan-quick-kings-jersey/ . The 21-year-old Canadian earned a spot in his third career ATP final on Saturday thanks to his first Top 10 victory of the new tennis season, a 6-4, 6-4 win over world no. 10 Nicolas Almagro of Spain.INDIANAPOLIS - Terrence Ross came off the bench for the fifth time in Tuesdays game against the Pacers, Torontos most complete outing in weeks, but appears to be well on his way to earning back his spot in the Raptors starting lineup. The third-year forward, who had started 102 consecutive games dating back to last season, was demoted after a series of underwhelming and disengaged performances 10 days earlier. At the time, the team had dropped seven of nine contests and Ross, while not solely responsible, had a lot to do with the slide. Now, with the Raptors trending back in the right direction, winning four of their last five, Ross is beginning to look like the player of old, the confident and assertive version that took a big step forward after stepping into the starting lineup last year. I was really impressed with the way Terrence played, Dwane Casey said following the Raptors 104-91 win in Indiana. His body language, his defensive presence, his attention to what hes supposed to be doing on the defensive end was huge. Although Ross was not perfect defensively, glaringly missing a few assignments on the perimeter in his 19 minutes of action, he was decisive and played within the flow of the game offensively, scoring 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Coming off another positive outing in Sundays win over Detroit, to which Casey praised him prior to Tuesdays game, Ross continued to demonstrate improved decision making ability, putting the ball on the floor and making plays off the dribble. With Greivis Vasquez stepping in as a temporary member of the first unit, the Raptors are beginning to rediscover their playing personally, holding four of their last five opponents under 100 points. Despite the relatively low degree of difficulty - Indiana is 28th in offensive efficiency - Torontos defence was especially impressive after a slow start on Tuesday. Trailing by seven at the end of the first quarter, having allowed the Pacers to shoot 50 per cent, they held the home team to 38 per cent the rest of the way. Ross was part of the group that turned the game around early in the second quarter. Of course, crediting Vasquezs move to the starting lineup with the teams almost immediate turn of fortunes would be misleading. This stretch also coincides with a friendlier stretch in the schedule as well as the return of DeMar DeRozan, who is starting to look like his old self after stringing together a pair of quality outings this week. So, with the Raptors winning once again, how long does Casey stick with whats working? He has reiterated the lineup change is not intended to be permanent. I dont call him a member of the second unit, hes a member of the team, Casey said of Ross ahead of Tuesdays contest. Its something thats not permanent. Its a chance to give him a breather, take some pressure off of him. Just to continue to play the way he [has been], said Casey, asked what Ross must do to get his starting gig back. Shot selection, defending with intensity, keeping the ball in front of him, just the whole nine yards is where I think Terrence needs to get back to. Hes made huge strides to get back there. While Ross, when focused and playing hard, is an asset to that first unit, spreading the floor and allowing DeRozan and Kyle Lowry room to operate, starting Vasquez has its merits as well. Despite his defensive deficiencies and some inconsistency with his jump shot, Vasquezs ability to handle the ball takes pressure off Lowry in the backcourt. But at 23 years old and with his speed, athleticism and versatility, its only a matter of time before Ross is reinstated. Thats been made clear. What Casey is looking for is consistency from the young forward. I think it was definitely a message to be sent but he took it in a professional way, Vasquez said of Caseys decision to bench Ross. Even though Im in the starting lineup, I want to see him get back in the starting lineup and do what he do. At the end of the day were a family here so were not trying to take anybodys spot, were just trying to win games. Im sure Coach is moving the pieces the right way. I think T-Ross, at any given point, he might be back. Who knows? Thats the coachs decision, but we need him, man. We need everyone in this room. One player who appears to be the odd man out as a result of this rotation shakeup is James Johnson, who did not log a single minute for the second time since the change was made. Externally, many have questioned and continue to doubt the rationale behind Johnsons limited minutes, but both Casey and the player himself have insisted theres nothing more to it, nothing going on behind the sceenes that people are unaware of. Rob Blake Jersey. Its simply a decision based on minute distribution under the recent lineup change. With two point guards in the starting lineup, the rotation is shortened. Vasquez is starting because of his ability to space the floor, something Johnson lacks, but also acts as the back-up point guard when Lowry is on the bench, hence his increased playing time. Lou Williams, another floor spacer, has not had his minutes altered off the bench and Casey still prefers to use Patrick Patterson and Tyler Hansbrough as his conventional bigs as opposed to playing small with Johnson at the four. As a result, theres roughly 18-22 minutes available per game on the wing for either Ross or Johnson. Word is Johnson is taking his decreased playing time in stride, handling it like a professional. Buying into his role, he has been a pleasant surprise for the Raptors this season, but despite his strong play in a few areas, hes not without his weaknesses. His range is limited offensively and his defensive prowess may be overstated as he has a tendency to gamble off his man, often irking the coaching staff. Ross is not without holes in his game as well. He has as many or more. But the 23-year-old is a more valuable long-term commodity and the Raptors have wisely committed to getting him right again. Johnsons game, while also important to the teams plans, is less likely to be impacted by a short layoff than the young Ross would. Splitting the 18 (or so) available minutes between them is also not a viable solution, it would be awfully difficult for either player to get in any kind of rhythm. Agree or disagree, this is the rotation Casey is riding with and, at least for now, it seems to be working. At some point, likely in the near future, the Raptors plan to revert back to their old lineup and minute distribution, returning Ross to the starting lineup and presumably freeing Johnson. ROUNDING OUT THE ALL-STAR ROSTERS Although Kyle Lowry and nine other starters, voted in by the fans last week, have already punched their ticket to New York for next months All-Star Game, there are still 14 more slots up for grabs. The process of selecting the reserves, seven for each the Eastern and Western Conference teams, took place on Tuesday as the NBAs 30 head coaches submitted their ballots, which will ultimately round out the rosters. Coaches are responsible for voting in the subs for their own conference, each of them selecting two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards (players at any position). Naturally, theyre prohibited from voting for their own players. As such, Casey has been doing some 11th-hour campaigning for DeRozan, in the hopes of getting a second Raptor to the game, although he understands its a long shot. Ive talked to other coaches, he said. I think for us, DeMar has carried us when hes been with us. Hes a big part of what we do [but] injuries have probably kept him from being an all-star. His case would likely start with the teams record, which some might argue is good enough to warrant two all-stars. However, it would be pretty tough to make a compelling argument for any Raptors outside of Lowry, let alone DeRozan, who missed 21 games with his groin injury. But like the conference itself, those reserve slots in the East are wide open. The closest player to a lock may be Chicagos Jimmy Butler, who would become a first-time all-star. Depending on who you ask, there are no easy choices. Between Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Al Horford and Paul Millsap, the Hawks should have at least a couple players on the team, but which ones? Horford, a former all-star, is their most important player but hes only recently gotten back to his pre-injury form. Teague and Millsap are enjoying career years and Korver is shooting the ball at a historic rate. As a 37-8 team, winners of 16 straight, its conceivable that all four end up on the team. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have all-star pedigrees but their performance has been sporadic for a middling team in Miami. The same can be said for the Cavaliers duo of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Will the Easts coaches reward winning or vote for name brand players? Casey leaned toward the former when filling out his ballot. I look for guys who are playing the right way, guys that are contributing to their team winning, said the Raptors coach. Winnings important. And I think guys who are playing the game the right way, not guys just putting up numbers. I think that to me is [important] as a coach and I think every coach Ive talked to is voting that way. The reserves will be announced Thursday on TNT. ' ' '

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