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MessagePosté: Sam 11 Aoû 2018 03:56 

Inscription: Mar 3 Juil 2018 11:41
Messages: 45
TAMPA http://www.ramsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-joseph-noteboom-jersey , Fla. — A potential Stanley Cup Final preview will be on display Sunday as the league-leading Nashville Predators visit the Tampa Bay Lightning.

A late-season surge by the Predators has them in front in the chase for the Presidents’ Trophy. Tampa Bay occupied that spot for most of the season before a mini-slump late in the season and is three points back.

Nashville, coming off a 7-4 loss at home to the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, continues to pace the league with 111 points, running off a 16-3-2 record since Feb. 19 to bypass the Lightning in the standings.

The Boston Bruins, who play at Philadelphia on Sunday, is two points behind the Predators and one ahead of Tampa Bay with a game in hand on both teams.

“That’s a huge game (Sunday) obviously,” Nashville center Austin Watson told The Tennessean. “Everybody knows that. It’s a great opportunity for us to bounce back. I don’t know how much we’ll look at this, or we’ll just look to Tampa. That’s up to the coaching staff. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to get our minds right.”

The Predators want to quickly put the loss to Buffalo behind them and avoid back-to-back regulation losses for the second time second time in the past 21 games.

“We have to get our stuff together, last four games we need to play hard http://www.steelersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-chukwuma-okorafor-jersey , play much better than we showed,” Nashville center Mike Fisher told Predators’ television network following the loss to Buffalo. “Good thing is we have a big game (Sunday), and we have to get back at it and play our hockey. We still have a lot to play for, we have to show it.”

The Lightning, meanwhile, have not only dropped out of the top overall spot in the league standings, they now trail Boston for the top overall spot in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings with a 4-5-0 record in the past nine games.

While getting back on the right side of the ledger is something for Tampa Bay to focus on in the final four games, there are other areas the team is looking at as well.

“I think we are focusing on some little things here and there,” Lightning center Tyler Johnson said. “Obviously we are in a funk and in a little groove right now we are trying to get out of http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-nathan-shepherd-jersey , but we will. I think once playoffs start it’s a completely different thing and it automatically elevates wherever you are, and I have a lot of faith in our team and our group, so I’m not too worried about there.”

Chasing down Boston is on the Lightning’s agenda heading down the final week of the season and is in the middle of a stretch of four emotionally charged games, including the matchup with Nashville. Tampa Bay hosts Boston on Tuesday.

“We have gone in to a little bit of a lull since we clinched,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “I think these upcoming games, they bring the emotions out, especially with the distance in the standings between us and Boston and what it has been. You don’t know how these games are going to turn out but I would expect our guys to be fully invested for sure.”

It will also be an expected matchup between Vezina Trophy favorites with Nashville’s Pekka Rinne likely facing Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Rinne has jumped to the forefront as the favorite thanks to a 22-3-1 run in which he has posted a 2.02 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in his past 26 starts. He enters Sunday with an overall record of 41-11-4, a 2.25 GAA, .929 save percentage and league-leading eight shutouts Authentic Olivier Rodrigue Jersey , but was victimized for six goals by Buffalo.

Vasilevskiy was the runaway leader at the All-Star break and though he leads the league with 42 victories, which is a single-season franchise record, he has seen his GAA blow up to 2.60 after giving up three or more goals 15 times in 21 starts since the All-Star break.

Marquand Manuel has taught Atlanta’s defense how to do a better job of closing out games in his first season as an NFL coordinator.

It took a few weeks for Manuel, a longtime defensive back and assistant coach, to get comfortable calling plays for the Falcons, but the defense has improved noticeably from a year ago.

He got the job in February, promoted from secondary coach after the Falcons blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl history – 25 points – to suffer a humiliating loss to New England.

In replacing Richard Smith, Manuel has essentially the same personnel from a season ago, but he’s helped Atlanta thanks in large part to greatly reducing potent plays.

The Falcons ranked No. 8 in passes allowed of at least 20 yards Ryan McMahon Colorado Rockies Jersey , up 15 spots from last season. They went from 25th in runs allowed of at least 20 yards to No. 2 this season.

Manuel’s challenge this week is to draw up a game plan that will help Atlanta (11-6) come away with an NFC divisional playoff victory at Philadelphia (13-3).

It won’t be easy, but he credits the years he spent coaching under Pete Carroll in Seattle and under Dan Quinn in Seattle and Atlanta with building the confidence he needs to succeed in pressure situations.

”Understanding the situations, how to call it, how are you going to respond?” Manuel said Tuesday. ”Are you going to be emotional or are you going to keep everyone poised? Again it goes back to getting the players prepared and also having that experience I have to get the coaches prepared.

”So that has been a blessing within itself and it’s been awesome just to watch the guys go out. We understood that to be road warriors you have to do the small details right, day in and day out.”

Quinn knew Manuel was the man for the job and didn’t look outside the building to make the hire. They had worked together for several years in Seattle. Manuel came with Quinn from the Seahawks and spent his first two seasons in Atlanta coaching defensive backs.

”He was waiting patiently for his opportunity at this shot,” Quinn said, ”and he’s certainly taken advantage of it in terms of implementing the style and communication that we like to get across for the defense.”

Manuel is still annoyed with how poorly the Falcons played in a Week 10 loss at Philadelphia last season, giving up 429 yards and allowing the Eagles to hold the ball for 38 minutes in a nine-point loss.

”They hit us in the mouth,” he said. ”So we have to be prepared for that.”

He also vividly remembers how ragged the Falcons looked this season against Jay Ajayi http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ed-dickson-jersey , the only running back to rush for 100 yards against Atlanta until the Rams’ Todd Gurley did the same in last week’s playoff win at Los Angeles.

Manuel sees this week’s NFC divisional matchup at Philadelphia as a chance to right two wrongs.

The Falcons aren’t just looking for payback against the Eagles. They’re also are eager to get another shot at Ajayi, who led Miami to a 20-17 win in Week 5 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but was traded in late October after Philadelphia lost Darren Sproles to a season-ending injury.

Philadelphia has a tough 1-2 punch at running back with Ajayi’s speed and LeGarrette Blount’s inside power game.

”We don’t have a (complicated) defense, but we are very detailed,” Manuel said. ”And the detail of expectations of understanding that they have to make our defense come to life, and they’re doing an awesome job at it.”

NOTES: QB Matt Ryan was not at practice because of a personal matter. He’s expected to return on Wednesday. … WR Julio Jones (ankle) was held out. … RB Devonta Freeman (knee) and WR Mohamed Sanu (knee) were limited.



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