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Canadiens, Golden Knights on divergent paths despite similar adversity



MONTREAL — It was a win that pushed the Vegas Golden Knights to 6-5 on their season.

They’ve been without leading scorers Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone for nine of their 11 games. Their best two-way centre, William Karlsson, broke his foot three games ago. One of their most versatile players, Alex Tuch, was traded to the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday for a superstar, in Jack Eichel, who won’t be available for at least three more months, and regular defenceman Zach Whitecloud missed his seventh game of the season on Saturday.

But the Golden Knights have still found a way to be on the right side of .500 so far.

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On Saturday, they looked like they brought the Vegas Flu with them to Montreal. After touching down in the city early on Friday and cancelling practice at the Bell Centre, they stepped back onto the ice in this building for this game and started with one shot to the Canadiens’ 20 and zero goals to their two before first intermission rolled around.

The Golden Knights began the second period by taking a penalty. They gave up many quality chances and relied on Robin Lehner to turn miracles in their net, and then they got a power play and immediately scored to get on the board.

Jonathan Marchessault made it 2-2 five minutes later, and Dylan Coghlan scored his first of the season to make it 3-2 Golden Knights with eight minutes to go in the frame.

They added two empty-net goals late in the third to win 5-2. They were out-shot 38-18 in the game and, as Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme accurately noted, out-chanced 23-7.


The Golden Knights found a way to win because that’s what good teams do.

“I think when you have a two-goal lead like that, good teams find a way to lock it down,” said former Golden Knight draft pick Nick Suzuki, who is now Montreal’s top centreman.

What does it say of the Canadiens that they found a way to lose?

They’ve been without top goaltender Carey Price since the season started. They’ve been without captain Shea Weber, who’s too injured to continue his career. Joel Edmundson, another pillar on defence, suffered an injury right at the onset of training camp and won’t be available for another couple of weeks. Speedy winger Paul Byron is out until late December or early January, top two-way centre Phillip Danault and key leader Corey Perry play for other teams now, and everyone understood they were going to be in tough to make it work without all of them.

But the expectations were that they still had enough good pieces in place to remain somewhat competitive until Price, Edmundson and Byron could return.


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The Canadiens haven’t found a way to win more than three of 13 games, though. They haven’t even found a way to get to overtime or the shootout in any of their 10 losses.


And somehow, Saturday’s game must have felt worse than any of them. It was completely demoralizing.

Under different circumstances, it was a game that could’ve inspired a lot of confidence in the process.

We asked backup-turned-starting goaltender Jake Allen how differently the Canadiens might have viewed this loss had it occurred with the team hovering around .500.

“One hundred per cent it changes everything,” he said. “(But) to be 3-10, it’s a little bit different. If we were right there on the .500 mark, or right around that where we’ve won some good games, played some good hockey… But it’s tougher to take right now when you look at all the teams ahead of you and you’re 3-10.”

When contemplating how his team might take the positives out of its performance and feel good about things going into the next one, Allen said, “It takes balls to do that, to be honest right now.”


He wasn’t wrong.

Neither was Ducharme when he said, “nine times out of 10, the win would be on our side.”

But whether or not the Canadiens can build on the way they played to finally generate the result they so desperately need is completely up in the air and frustration lingers.

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Suzuki, who started out with zero points over his first four games but has turned it around with 12 in his last nine — including a goal and an assist against Vegas — was feeling it.

“We’ve got to find a way,” he said.

Those were the same words uttered by Brendan Gallagher, who had Montreal’s best chance to tie the game 3-3 in the dying seconds of the second period and is stuck on just two goals and three assists in his 12 games.

He also said, “We understand it’s early (in the season), but we also understand the hole we’re in.”

The Canadiens just haven’t found a way to tackle adversity the way the Golden Knights have.


Vegas came into the game with zero goals on 19 power plays and managed to break the ice with two against a Canadiens penalty kill that went from not allowing a goal in 13 consecutive playoff games at one point last summer to allowing 16 goals on the opposition’s first 47 attempts this season. They’ve managed to score 2.73 goals per game despite the gaping holes they’re dealing with up front, while the Canadiens have averaged just two goals per game. And they started off losing four of their first five before winning five of their next six.

The Canadiens didn’t, and their season is quickly turning into a lost cause.

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Fernando Tatis Jr. suspension: An optimistic look at the Padres’ season without their star shortstop



The Padres have lost shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. for the rest of the season and into May of next year. He’s been suspended 80 games for a violation of the league’s joint drug agreement

Of course, the Padres haven’t had Tatis all season, so did they actually lose him? 

If it sounds like I’m about to go on a path of optimism in looking at the prospects for the Padres moving forward during Tatis’ suspension, that’s because it’s exactly what I’m going to do. Look, I grew up a Cubs fan. I’ve had to be an eternal optimist for the entirety of my sports fandom in order to maintain sanity. It comes in handy at times like these, so I’ll channel that energy here for the sake of Padres fans — really, for any baseball fans who wanted to see new blood late in the playoffs in the form of these Padres. 


But mostly those Padres fans who are reeling right now. Let’s get to it. 

Padres haven’t had Tatis anyway

As noted, the Padres have gotten zero games from Tatis this season, so it’s not like they lost a lineup fixture who has been doing heavy lifting for the team all season. That’s what Manny Machado has been doing, and he’s fully capable of continuing to have a huge season. He’s a 29-year-old seasoned veteran. He won’t run out of gas. 

The Padres as a whole have been in playoff position basically all season. They started 14-7 and have been under .500 just one day this season — when they started 0-1. 

A big part of the Padres’ success this season has been the rotation. It’s been one of the better rotations in baseball this season, and with Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Mike Clevinger and Sean Manaea, it figures to remain strong into the playoffs. The Tatis injury doesn’t affect that. 

What needed a boost was the offense. 


Trade deadline additions

Let’s just take Tatis out of the equation entirely for 2022. Let’s say he was out for the season from the get-go and we never even thought about his return. We’d be talking about a team that was 60-46 through Aug. 2. The starting pitching was in great shape. The bullpen was good as well and added elite potential in Josh Hader in front of the deadline. 

The offense needed a boost. Machado is the star while Jake Cronenworth and Jurickson Profar were having quality offensive seasons, but they needed more. 

Josh Bell was hitting .301/.384/.493 (152 OPS+) with 24 doubles, three triples, 14 homers, 57 RBI and 52 runs in 103 games, and the Padres added him. Brandon Drury was hitting .274/.335/.520 (126 OPS+) with 22 doubles, two triples, 22 homers, 59 RBI and 62 runs in 92 games, and the Padres also added him. 

And, of course, they added one of the best and most polished hitters in baseball: Juan Soto

So, we’re talking about a team that was 14 games over .500 adding a top-shelf closer, two very good offensive players and a generational talent. 


It sure seems like there’s a chance they’ll be OK, right? 

Division title was unattainable

One area they won’t be OK is in the race for the NL West. That’s over. After being swept by the Dodgers this past weekend, the Padres were facing a 16-game deficit in the division heading into Friday. They were never, ever going to make that many games up in this short period of time. Even if Tatis came back 100 percent healthy and played exponentially better than he ever has, they’d still fall short in the division. 

Follow the Braves’ path? 

In terms of sheer talent level, age and potential moving forward, Ronald Acuña, Jr. is a fair comparison for Tatis. He finished second in MVP voting at age 21 while Tatis finished third at age 22. Acuña might have been en route to an MVP last season, too, but he tore his ACL on July 10. 

The Braves were able to rally without him for a World Series championship. This was a team that only won 88 regular-season games, making them the playoff team with the worst record. They beat a 95-win Brewers team in the NLDS, a 106-win Dodgers team in the NLCS and then a 95-win Astros team in the World Series. 

No two teams ever have the same circumstances. We all know this. The 2021 Braves doesn’t mean the 2022 Padres are going to win the World Series. No one truly believes that. It doesn’t hurt for the team to look at a situation and believe they can pull off something similar, though. Plus, as we established here at the top, the Padres didn’t technically lose Tatis this season, as he never played a game. They also had a better record through July than those Braves did. The Braves didn’t add a player the caliber of Soto at the trade deadline. 


Hell, if anything, these Padres are better suited for a deep run than those Braves were. 

This has been your optimistic spin on the Padres’ current situation, vis a vis the Tatis suspension. 

Did it work, San Diego? 

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Kyle Tucker crushes go-ahead grand slam to give Astros the lead



Kyle Trucker crushed a go-ahead grand slam to give the Houston Astros the lead over the Oakland Athletics.

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Brentford vs. Manchester United: How to watch live stream, TV channel, Premier League start time



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The Premier League is back in action on Saturday.

Who’s Playing

  • Manchester United @ Brentford
  • Current Records: Manchester United 0-1; Brentford 0-0-1
  • Last Season Records: Brentford 14-18-6; Manchester United 16-12-10

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What to Know

Brentford lost both of their matches to Manchester United last season on scores of 1-3 and 0-3, so they’re hoping to turn the tables this season. They are meeting up for their first leg of the season at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at Gtech Community Stadium. Brentford is out to stop a three-game streak of losses at home.

On Sunday, Brentford and Leicester City ended up with a point apiece after a 2-2 draw.


Speaking of close games: Man United fell a goal short of Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, losing 2-1.

After unsatisfying finishes in their previous games, both teams are out for the full three points in this fixture.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.

How To Watch

  • Who: Brentford vs. Manchester United
  • When: Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Gtech Community Stadium
  • TV: NBC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
  • Caesars Sportsbook odds: Brentford +280; Draw +240; Man U +102

Featured Game | Brentford vs. Manchester United


Series History

Manchester United have won both of the meetings they’ve played against Brentford in the last two years.

  • May 02, 2022 – Manchester United 3 vs. Brentford 0
  • Jan 19, 2022 – Manchester United 3 vs. Brentford 1

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