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LAS VEGAS (AP) Nate Schmidt spent
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laiyongcai92 Offline
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LAS VEGAS (AP) Nate Schmidt spent
the previous four seasons playing for the Washington Capitals Womens Alex Goligoski Jersey , and he personally experienced the heartbreak of their recent playoff disappointments. The defenseman understands why many people thought this talented, experienced team might never win a championship.Schmidt and his many good friends with the Caps are finally in the Stanley Cup Final this week. Only they’re on opposite benches after the Vegas Golden Knights grabbed Schmidt in the expansion draft and wouldn’t give him back.Schmidt was Washington’s sixth defenseman last season, but he now leads the Golden Knights in ice time. The improbable matchup in Monday night’s series opener puts a bewildered grin on Schmidt’s face.”Yeah, I don’t think you could have written this up any better for me,” he said Sunday.Both of his franchises are in the midst of banner years, and Schmidt won’t argue with the idea that he deserves a small part of the credit.Or maybe the blame.”I really enjoyed my time in Washington,” Schmidt said. ”I thought that team was special, and we still had a good chance to go and do something, and here they are, proving it.”Schmidt stops himself as another grin invades his serious interview session.”I must have been the reason why!” he said. ”I must have been the problem.”Not likely. Schmidt’s irrepressible personality and two-way acumen have made him one of the Golden Knights’ most valuable players during their improbable inaugural season.He surpassed his previous career highs with five goals and 31 assists while doing steady work on the back end. Given extensive responsibilities in Vegas after playing a smaller role in Washington, Schmidt has taken a major step forward.”The perception of your game could be remodeled and redone, and I think that’s the coolest part of what we’ve been able to do here in Vegas,” Schmidt said. ”You have guys that have been able to revamp their image or revamp their style Christian Dvorak Jersey , and for other guys to grow into the players that people may not have thought they could be.”Schmidt might have had this success in Washington if he had stuck around. He had begun to assert himself in a pairing with John Carlson, the Caps’ No. 1 defenseman.”We were playing together last season, and that’s probably how it would have started out again this season,” said Carlson, who led all NHL blueliners this season with 68 points. ”So there’s a little disappointment from that, but obviously he’s done really well for himself. That’s no surprise. I wish him all the best, but not for these next two weeks.”Schmidt has been particularly effective in the playoffs. Partnered with former Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb in the Knights’ top pairing, Schmidt has provided energy, timely scoring and strong back-end play while Vegas roared past Los Angeles, San Jose and Winnipeg with just three losses.Schmidt knows more about the Caps than his teammates, so he realizes the enormity of their task. He’ll lead the Golden Knights’ efforts to minimize Alex Ovechkin’s time and space with the puck.”He’s a beast,” Schmidt said. ”I played against him in practice for a long time, so hopefully I know a few tendencies of his. But in reality http://www.officialcoyotes.com/authentic...ler-jersey , he’s a player that can shoot the puck from anywhere.”Schmidt’s unusual perspective on this series is matched only by Vegas general manager George McPhee. Before the Caps fired him in 2014, McPhee acquired many of the players on Washington’s roster – including Schmidt, an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota, in 2013.McPhee acquired him again last summer for Vegas, but Washington general manager Brian MacLellan tried hard to keep him with a post-draft trade. If anybody could have made a deal, it’s these two men, who have known each other for 44 years since their bantam playing days in Guelph, Ontario, followed by college careers at Bowling Green and several years together in Washington’s front office.Not even a childhood friendship could keep Schmidt away from his new destiny in Vegas.”We made our selection, and then he called and asked if there’s any way we could do a deal for him to get Schmidt back,” McPhee recalled. ”And I said, `I don’t see anything, but we’ll try to come up with something to give you a chance to say no.’ We made a proposal that I didn’t think would work Youth Derek Stepan Jersey , and it didn’t work. Our guys liked Schmidt.”—More Stanley Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/StanleyCupFinals COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Drama stemming from the uncertain future of two of the team’s biggest stars has simmered in the background for half a season, but the Columbus Blue Jackets don’t seem all that bothered.With a bye week bumping up against the All-Star weekend, most of the Blue Jackets enjoyed a long midseason break, knowing changes could soon be coming that will alter the team’s lineup and identity.Two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and winger Artemi Panarin will be unrestricted free agents after the season and thus far have refused to sign extensions. At least one of Russian stars could be dealt by the Feb. 25 trade deadline.Despite the inner tumult and an anemic power play, the Blue Jackets are winning. They entered the break 28-17-3, on track for a 100-point season and elbowing for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division with the New York Islanders, Washington and Pittsburgh. After dropping a back-to-back before the bye week, Columbus won five of its last eight and put together separate winning streaks of four and five games since mid-December.“They can handle a lot of things,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told BlueJackets.com. “They can handle things internally, they can handle things face to face, and they take the message the right way and move along. That speaks well for the leadership inside the locker room and also the character of the players in the room.”Columbus returns to action at home Tuesday against Buffalo.The 30-year-old Bobrovsky, a fan favorite in his seventh season in Columbus Womens Jason Demers Jersey , wants more money than the team is willing to pay for a multiyear deal. His contract has a no-move clause he would have to waive to be traded and he’s declined to say whether he would be willing to do so.“Bob,” who will make $7.4 million this year, has been inconsistent (19-14) and not played to the level that earned him honors as the NHL’s top goalie after the 2012-13 and 2016-17 seasons. He received a high-profile rebuke from the team and was suspended for a game for an unspecified incident after coach John Tortorella pulled him in the third period of a 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay on Jan. 8. Although Bobrovsky apologized to the team, it’s not likely the situation helped him want to stay.Tortorella has acknowledged that he’s given Bobrovsky’s backup, Joonas Korpisalo, more playing time this season because of the uncertainty over Bob’s future. The 24-year-old Finn has responded with a 9-3 record and a goals-against average of 2.95, not much worse than Bobrovsky’s 2.91. “Korpi” already has played in more games than in all of last season.“I was prepared for that,” Bobrovsky said of the additional starts for his backup. “Every season brings some challenges, it doesn’t matter what kind of situation. There will be tough times, there will be fun times. It’s a long season.”Panarin, 27, was traded to Columbus before last season and added critical scoring punch, setting career and franchise highs in points (27) and assists (55). “Bread” is playing his best hockey lately and is on track for a 100-point season. Linemates Cam Atkinson and Pierre Luc-Dubois have been terrific Paul Thompson Jersey Womens , too.Panarin gives few interviews in English but seems unfazed by all the noise over his contract situation. He is not sure he wants to be in Columbus for the long haul.“Every guy is different,” Atkinson said. “Every guy goes through different personal experiences. He’s playing really well for us.”A couple of billboards have gone up in Columbus in hopes of persuading Panarin to stay, including one from a distillery offering him free vodka for life if he re-signs with the Blue Jackets. He has had some fun with the offers on social media but hasn’t tipped his hand on which way he is leaning.“I don’t think he knows what he’s going to do,” Tortorella said. “But we can’t do anything about that. We’ve just got to keep going about our business.”Captain Nick Foligno, who missed four games recently when his 5-year-old daughter had heart surgery, said the players’ approach to each game has not been affected by all the other stuff swirling around.“It hasn’t been that strange for us,” he said. “For us, it really hasn’t been any different. We have a job to do. Whoever is in the lineup doesn’t change that.”For power play help, Columbus is looking to newly minted Hockey Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis, who has been hired as a special teams consultant. St. Louis will be reunited with Tortorella, who coached him as part of the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
03-12-2019 04:09 AM
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