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Nov 16, 2012 10:15pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

ST. Reggie Wayne White Jersey . LOUIS —Two
long-time have-not franchises that took off after switching coaches midseason
are among the last eight standing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Ken Hitchcock of
the St. Louis Blues and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings both have
top-shelf goaltending and the two stingiest defences overall. Both teams
dispatched their first-round opponents in five games, too, with relentless
styles of play. That leaves plenty of time to prepare for Game 1 of the Western
Conference semifinals Saturday night. “If you look at the stats, the defence,
the scoring, everything is very similar,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said. “Well
see what the difference is in the game. “Im sure theres going to be differences
that show up once we have to play each other six, seven times or whatever its
going to be.” The second-seeded Blues hadnt won a playoff game since 2004 before
this spring. Theyre coming off their first series win since 2002, and are the
top seed remaining in the conference under Hitchcock, who replaced Davis Payne
in November after a 6-7 start and guided the franchise to its first division
title since 2000. “Its normal that people are putting us in there, but theres
also seven other teams that think the same as us,” Blues forward David Perron
said. One of them is the eighth-seeded Kings, who knocked off the Presidents
Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks for their first series win in 11 years. They
won the season series 3-1, too, under the hard-nosed Sutter, who replaced Terry
Murray in December. “L.A. plays nasty, they play real nasty,” Hitchcock said.
“They follow the coachs orders, and they finish all their checks. They play with
a level of commitment to physical play thats going to be a challenge for any
team.” That sound just like whats coming from the opposing locker room. “You
play these guys every time, youre leaving the game beat up,” Kings defenceman
Matt Greene said. “They grind you. Theyre not high scoring, but definitely some
action.” The biggest stars are in the net. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is a
finalist for the Vezina Trophy, set a franchise record with a league-leading 10
shutouts and had a 1.59 goals-against average in the first round while allowing
just eight goals in 172 shots. He shut out the Blues twice in the regular
season, the last time a 1-0 shootout victory March 22 at Los Angeles. “To say
hes the hottest goalie with some of these great goalies that are still around is
an argument,” Blues defenceman Barret Jackman said. “But he definitely stood on
his head in that first series.” The Blues can match that, even with one half of
their goalie tandem. Brian Elliott led the NHL with a 1.56 goals-against average
in the regular season and the last of his nine shutouts in that shootout loss to
the Kings. Elliott was better in the first round, stopping 98 of 103 shots after
Jaroslav Halak was sidelined with an injury believed to be an ankle sprain in
Game 2. That should have been enough to earn the nod against the Kings. “I think
our goalie is pretty hot, too,” Perron said. “I dont know if its called hot or
not, hes been like that all year.” Hitchcock eliminated any suspense earlier
this week when he ruled out Halak for the first two games. Untested rookie
Jake Allen is the backup for now. “I just dont want to deal with it while the
competition is on,” Hitchcock said. “Going at it every day, is he on the ice, is
he whatever. Hes out and weve got our two goalies and away we go.” The Blues top
line stepped up in the first round, with speedy Andy McDonald getting four goals
and four assists and Patrik Berglund totalling seven points and Alex Steen
adding a goal and two assists. Forward David Backes, the captain, sets a blue
collar standard and was plus-3. McDonald missed all four regular-season meetings
with a concussion and Steen missed two of the games, “so hopefully weve got a
surprise for them,” Hitchcock said. After surviving the first round, the Blues
wont be surprised by anything on the ice. St. Louis is in the playoffs for just
the second time in seven seasons. “To me, everything is getting out of the first
round, it validates your season,” Hitchcock said. “Now, its just compete and
play.” Andrew Luck Womens Jersey . Baltimore was
ahead 4-0 heading into the eighth, but its bullpen gave up the lead. Kevin
Youkilis hit a three-run homer off Koji Uehara (1-0) to tie the game. However,
the Orioles offense rallied against Daniel Bard (0-3) in the home half to send
the club to its second straight win. Reggie Wayne Youth Jersey . Agent Mike
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. The Ontario, Atlantic and Canada West associations named their awards winners
Thursday. Quebec unveiled their winners on Monday with Groulx leading the way.
Groulx, a fourth year sport administration student from Montreal, established a
Canadian record by completing 75. Reggie Wayne Womens Jersey . All exhibition
games for the Winnipeg Jets played at the MTS Centre will begin at 7pm ct. The
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only one victory from knocking the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks out
of the playoffs. Unlike the first two games in Oklahoma City, Game 3 wasnt even
close.KIEV, Ukraine—Poland and Ukraine have proved that just about anyone can
host the European Championship. Michel Platini is now suggesting that just about
everyone can. All at the same time. The UEFA president revealed a radical plan
for Euro 2020 on Saturday that turns the whole concept of hosting major sporting
events upside down. “This may surprise you,” Platini warned, before suggesting
that UEFAs showpiece tournament for national teams could be scattered among some
of his organizations 53 member nations. “We could either have one country with
12 host cities or have it in 12 or 13 cities all over Europe,” he said. UEFA had
been scheduled to announce a simple timetable to bid for Euro 2020, with
candidates expected to outline plans for 12 modern stadiums for 24 teams,
playing a total of 51 matches over one month. Held every four years, the
European Championship is second only to the World Cup in global popularity and
until 12 years ago was staged in one nation. However, three of the last four
editions have been co-hosted by two countries, with Poland and Ukraine staging
Euro 2012 in eight cities. Still, the financial demands on future hosts are set
to spiral with UEFA having increased the event from 16 to 24 teams starting at
Euro 2016 in France. Stadium building and renovation is merely the most obvious
demand. Teams, officials, sponsors and fans must be flown in, transported around
and housed. Broadcasters and journalists require ultra-modern telecommunications
to serve media markets in practically every country on earth. Responding to this
challenge, as austerity measures bite across the continent, UEFA was expected to
push the boundaries by encouraging a triple-hosting option. Ireland, Scotland
and Wales—which dont even share a single land border—have tentatively
offered that solution. After Platini put forward his unusual proposal on
Saturday, anything is possible. The head of European footballs ruling body said
a decision would be taken in December or January on how to proceed with his
idea. UEFAs executive committee, chaired by Platini, set May 2014 as the final
deadline to decide where Euro 2020 will be played. “Its an idea I feel really
passionate about,” said Platini, who scored nine goals as captain of the winning
France team in 1984 when it hosted an eight-team tournament. He added that “it
will be a lot easier from a financial perspective.” The burden on host nations
can be considerable, and getting even more difficult to bear during an economic
crisis across much of Europe. Poland and Ukraine had to invest billions of
dollars in infrastructure, including in four cities which staged just three
matches apiece. “We wont need to build airports, especially at this moment in
time whenn we have an economic crisis,” said Platini, who has previously
acknowledged unease that Ukrainian cities Kharkiv and Lviv got little attention
for their money. Adam Vinatieri Jersey. “We are going to have
more games in the stadiums and, if we look at the investments made in stadiums
for just three games, it is very expensive,” he said Saturday. Euro 2012 has
also been expensive for fans, and most stadiums have seen significantly fewer
than at previous tournaments. Fans arrived largely by air—often on connecting
flights via Germany and Austria—to reach the host cities. Gdansk on Polands
Baltic coast and Donetsk, near Ukraines eastern border with Russia, are 1,800
kilometres (1,120 miles) apart. “Its easier to go from London to Paris or
Berlin, than Kharkiv to Gdansk,” Platini said, to illustrate how a future
multi-nation event could offer simpler, cheaper travel. Spreading the tournament
across many countries would also expand the appeal—and financial benefits—
of a competition that already enjoys a huge global audience. UEFA has predicted
that a worldwide television audience of 250 million viewers will watch Spain
play Italy in Sundays final in Kyiv. Euro 2012 has provided a good return for
broadcasters in more than 200 territories who paid a combined C840 million
($1.07 billion) for media rights. They contributed 62 per cent of UEFAs total
commercial revenue of C1.345 billion ($1.7 billion) for the 31-match tournament.
Platinis announcement added fresh intrigue to a Euro 2020 bidding process which,
three months ago, seemed likely to be quickly awarded to Turkey without
opposition after Germany pulled back from its declared interest. Turkey was
defeated by France by a 7-6 vote of UEFA executive committee members for the
Euro 2016 rights, and Platini had publicly backed its chances for 2020. However,
the position was complicated by Istanbuls candidacy for the 2020 Summer Olympics
which is scheduled just weeks after the football tournament. UEFA and the
International Olympic Committee agree that one country cannot host both events
back-to-back. When UEFA set a May deadline for expressions of interest in
hosting Euro 2020, Turkey was joined by Georgia and the triple hosting option
from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Days later, Azerbaijan teamed with the
Georgians for a co-hosting bid when the IOC rejected Baku as a potential 2020
Olympics host. Platini said that Turkeys situation was “ambiguous.” “This is a
problem for the (UEFA) executive committee. Were not going to wait for a
decision from the IOC,” he said. IOC members will choose their 2020 host from
three official candidates—Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo—in September 2013.
Istanbul and Madrid may yet both end up as Euro 2020 hosts. ’ ’ ’ 

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