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Flames’ Gaudreau elevates his game in virtual homecoming in Philly

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With upwards of 40 friends and family members in the stands, it appeared for a while that Johnny Gaudreau might just record a shot on goal for every one of them.

Returning to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia where he grew up watching his childhood heroes play, the 28-year-old New Jersey native played one of his best games in years.

In the end, it wasn’t enough, as the Flames found a way to lose 2-1 in overtime to the Flyers on Tuesday.

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But if Gaudreau continues putting in efforts like that, the Flames’ recent scoring woes will soon be a thing of the past.

Armed with the sort of jump that helps separate him from almost every forward in the league when he’s fully energized and engaged, he used his speed and creativity to create a steady flow of chances for him and his linemates.

By night’s end he had an assist on Oliver Kylington’s goal and had an NHL season-high 10 shots on goal — also a career high for Gaudreau.

His playmaking also helped Elias Lindholm record eight shots, giving the duo more than half of the 34 shots Calgary had on net.

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“I was excited to play in front of a lot of people that have supported me for so long,” said Gaudreau.

“I’m not going to waste their time when they come out to watch me and have a bad game. Just try to work hard and do my thing on the ice.

“I thought we created a lot of offence the whole game. We had way too many Grade A opportunities and didn’t find the net. We’ve got to do a better job at that.”

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Indeed, the Flames do, as offence has been hard to come by of late for a team that has now lost six of its last eight.

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Gaudreau’s top unit has certainly gone cold throughout this stretch, but on this night he was the best player on the ice by a considerable margin.

Although he ran out of gas in overtime when his offensive-zone turnover ultimately wound up behind Jacob Markstrom for the loss, the game wouldn’t have lasted that long had Gaudreau not made two stellar defensive plays early and late in the game to prevent goals.

“He looked really good, right away from the start he was feeling it,” said Lindholm.

“He had the puck a lot and obviously when he has the puck it’s dangerous out there. Too bad none of those shots went in.”

Perhaps the best chance came with eight minutes left when Gaudreau went end to end with a rush that saw Carter Hart’s left pad deny him of a wraparound goal.

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“Kind of a back-and-forth game, both goaltenders played well,” said Gaudreau, whose club has lost four of its five overtime games this season.

“We had a lot of opportunities to score tonight, didn’t put them in, and it cost us the game. It’s more frustrating that we lost. Not frustrating with the game and how it went. I thought our line was productive in the offensive zone. I thought we did a really good job. We’ve got to find a way to put the puck in the net.”

MARKSTROM STEALS ANOTHER POINT

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Although content with his team’s play the first two periods, Lindholm figured his team was lucky to get a point after a third-period lapse that saw the hosts outshoot the Flames 14-5.

“I thought the first two periods it was a good game, but in the third period they took over and we were on our heels a bit and they had the puck most of the time,” said Lindholm, who also assisted on Kylington’s game-opener 10 minutes in.

“At the end, Marky kind of stole us a point there.”

Darryl Sutter wasn’t in the mood to dissect an effort that saw the Flyers outshoot Calgary 43-34 before Cam Atkinson converted a juicy rebound to hand the Flames their third loss on this seven-game road trip that continues in Buffalo on Thursday.

One of his many key saves included a pad-stacking stop to deny Scott Laughton on a second-period penalty shot.

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He also stood tall during a brief two-man disadvantage shortly after Calgary opened the scoring.

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“It certainly didn’t appear like that tonight,” said Sutter when asked about defensive hockey one would generally associate with a low-scoring game.

“Gonna happen. You’ve had bad days too.”

No more than 23 seconds after opening his presser, a clearly perturbed Sutter got out of his chair and declared, “gotta catch the bus.”

Consider the Flames lucky they won’t be practising Wednesday.

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TOUCHING MOMENT

Flyers fans were treated to a special moment early in the second period when Kevin Hayes tied the game.

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It was just his second game of the year following his second abdominal surgery, and his first goal since losing his brother Jimmy in the off-season.

Immediately after scoring, he looked and pointed skyward for his brother before reaching down to tap his heart.

“Personally, really, really happy for him,” said Gaudreau, who was Hayes’ roommate at Boston College.

“He’s gone through a lot these past few months. It’s hard, he’s on the other team, I don’t want him to score. But I was happy for him. He deserved it.”

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World Cup's 101 Most Memorable Moments: Croatia's Cinderella story

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Luka Modrić led Croatia to a storybook run at the 2018 World Cup. This is moment No. 48.



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3 NFL Teams Likely Headed Towards A Losing Season

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(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

 

As week four of the NFL season comes to a close, several NFL teams are doing poorly this season.

While some of those teams can rebound, others might have no hope for a better season.

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However, there are three teams who are clearly heading towards a losing season in 2022.

So who are those teams, and why will they have a losing record in 2022?

 

3. New England Patriots

While head coach Bill Belichick might hate to admit it, the New England Patriots miss Tom Brady.

The team is off to their second consecutive 1-3 start to a season, which doesn’t bode well for Belichick.

However, the Patriots won’t rebound this season like they did in 2021.

While Brady helped them rebound in 2001, and Mac Jones in 2021, they have neither QB currently.

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Brady is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Jones is out with an ankle injury.

But his injury, and timetable for return, is still unknown.

With him out, and now with the team’s backup QB out, the Patriots are in danger of starting 1-4.

Unless Jones can return, and give Belichick a miracle season, the Patriots might have their first losing season in over 20 years.

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2. Detroit Lions

Lions’ fans had so much hope for the 2022 season.

However, the team continues to disappoint, which is nothing new for the franchise.

The team started the season with an attempted late quarter comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But their attempt to defeat the Eagles fell short.

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In week four, the Lions allowed 48 points to the Seattle Seahawks, a team who’s seen as one in a rebuilding season.

The worst part about the loss was how the Seahawks had zero punts in that game, with their drives resulting in five touchdowns.

While the Seahawks were posting records, the Lions defense was a wreck.

Rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, who some see as the savior of the Lions defense, has been a disappointment.

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Outside his one good game against the Washington Commanders, he has 6 tackles and zero sacks in his three other games, with four of the tackles being assisted.

While injuries are plaguing the team, they have no answers to improve their 2022 season.

 

1. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are the only NFL team remaining that’s yet to win a game.

However, with them trading Deshaun Watson, and not getting a QB to replace him, it’s not odd to see them as a winless team.

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While the team has some good things going for them, they won’t have a winning season.

They are too far gone, despite their solid pass defense that held Russell Wilson to only 14 completions.

But even with a solid pass defense, they struggle because of their poor run defense.

If they could fix that, it gives the Texans hope they can win games.

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However, it won’t be until next season that they will probably improve that run stop game.

That means this season will be another lost season for the Texans.

With the way they are going, they are leading the pack for the worst record in 2022.

The post 3 NFL Teams Likely Headed Towards A Losing Season appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Albert Pujols hits his 703rd career home run, passing Babe Ruth for second-most career RBIs in MLB history

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St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols hits his 703rd career home run, passing Babe Ruth for second-most career RBIs in MLB history.



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