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Jets must learn how to compete with top teams like Avalanche

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WINNIPEG — This was quite simply a blowout of epic proportions.

A one-sided affair.

To call it a complete no-show would be an exaggeration, but when the Colorado Avalanche found that extra gear to put things into overdrive, the Winnipeg Jets had no answer on Thursday.

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The 7-1 loss was representative of the flow of play, especially over the final 40 minutes — when the Avalanche watched their top line of Nathan MacKinnon (one goal, five points), Gabe Landeskog (three goals, four points) and Mikko Rantanen (one goal, three points) turn a 1-1 tie into a laugher.

No, a loss like this one doesn’t undercut the work previously done as the Jets rattled off a three-game winning streak that included victories over a pair of Western Conference powerhouses — the St. Louis Blues and Vegas Golden Knights.

But it did reinforce the margin for error when playing the top teams can be incredibly slim.

And if the Jets want to try and push a team like the Avalanche down the stretch, they clearly need to elevate their level of play.

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“We’re going to play those guys a few more times and you want to be successful. In the Central Division, you’re probably going to have to go through Colorado,” said Jets centre Adam Lowry. “I think we see them quite a bit on the highlight reel just how elite those guys are, and sometimes it gets lost until you get back onto the ice with them. They have such a deep team, they have such a great back end and they’re so mobile, and that line is so elite. They’re definitely one of the best in the division, if not the best team. Like I said, the likelihood to get out of the division is you’re going to have to beat Colorado at some point.

“An important way to beat them is to shut those guys down.”

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Shutting those guys down is a common goal, but the ability to actually be successful on that front is easier said than done.

On this night, MacKinnon’s explosive speed was on full display, as he was darting in and out of traffic and generating some tremendous opportunities for himself and his linemates, who feature that important blend of skill and power and did an excellent job of getting to the net to find rebound chances around the blue paint.

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“I think they’re one of the best lines in the league,” said Lowry. “All three of them are elite, they’re elite at different things and they complement each other extremely well. They’ve played together for so long, and with an active back end like Colorado has, it seems like they come at you with four or five guys.

“They get some zone time and they always seem to know where each other is and are able to create those chances when it seems like they don’t have a lot. It’s one of those things now where we need to find a way to limit those chances.”

The Jets didn’t do that on Thursday and it cost them dearly.

MacKinnon had eight shots on goal and 11 shot attempts to pace the offensive attack and looked like the guy who has forced his way into the Hart Trophy discussion in recent years.

The Jets slipped to 16-11-5 on the season, while the Avalanche improved to 20-8-2 and their .700 winning percentage is tops in the Western Conference.

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A look at the standings shows them five points behind the Nashville Predators in the Central Division, but Colorado holds five games in hand.

So to overreact and say the Jets can’t compete with the likes of the Avalanche isn’t accurate either.

On this night, there was a wide gap, nobody is disputing that.

The Jets had a glorious three-on-one opportunity when the game was still tied early in the second period, but the Avalanche scored with a man-advantage shortly after that and never looked back.

“We didn’t bring it, we weren’t prepared. And it showed on the scoresheet,” said Jets centre Mark Scheifele. “They got that power-play goal, and then they just kind of took it from there. They capitalized on their chances. They made us pay if we turned it over. They have a pretty deadly offensive zone structure.”

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A similar lesson was learned in a 7-1 defeat to the Minnesota Wild back at the end of November.

When the Jets face a deep, talented team like the Avalanche (or the Wild), they need to be at their absolute best — and not just for one period.

While the top stars on the Avalanche were shining, the same could not be said for the Jets, whose lone marker came from Scheifele on the power play.

The Jets won’t play again until next Thursday, when they face the Detroit Red Wings.

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Games like this one are sure to leave a sour taste, but the Jets finished off the road trip with a 2-1 record and they remain a single point behind the Edmonton Oilers and continue to hold a game in hand in the chase for the final wild-card berth.

By the time the Jets return to action, they could have some reinforcements, since Paul Stastny missed Thursday’s game with a lower-body issue and fellow forward Jansen Harkins and defenceman Dylan DeMelo ended up in COVID-19 protocol along with taxi squad goalie Arvid Holm and video coach Matt Prefontaine.

Monitoring COVID-19 in the NHL
The coronavirus has run rampant through the league, forcing teams to deal with the threat of outbreaks and games being postponed. Here’s the latest.

Adapting to a lineup that can occasionally be in flux is going to be a required skill for many teams, given the current circumstances around the NHL.

The absences opened the door for Cole Perfetti to return to the Jets lineup for the first time since Oct. 16.

After dealing with the disappointment of seeing the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship cancelled after Team Canada had played two games, Perfetti expressed gratitude earlier in the day about being around the Jets on the taxi squad before earning the latest promotion.

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Perfetti didn’t look out of place, finishing with two shots on goal while taking 14 shifts for 10:31 of ice time, including 2:07 on the power play.

Although he started on the fourth line, he did take several shifts with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor, providing a glimpse of his offensive instincts and hockey intelligence.

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people around the hockey world, and then they tell listeners all about what they’ve heard and what they think about it.

It’s far too early to make a determination about whether or not Perfetti is ready to graduate from the minors, but there were enough smart plays made to suggest that another look is warranted.

The growth since October was apparent and that’s a testament to the work Perfetti has put in to get to this point.

“I’ve kind of reflected on my first couple of games there, and I wasn’t mad with how I played or upset or anything like that,” said Perfetti. “To be quite frank, not nervous but it’s my first NHL game and you don’t want to make mistakes. To be honest, I didn’t play up to my fullest potential and what I’m capable of.

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“I’ve recognized that and realized that I’ve got to play at a certain level, I’ve got to have that confidence, still manage that and be smart with the puck but at the same time make plays, try things. That’s my game and that’s why I’m here. It’s for that reason. So, if I’m not playing to my game and identity, then there’s no point.”

Kenny and Renny talk Jets
Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe and Sean Reynolds offer everything you need to know about the Winnipeg Jets on their podcast.

For the Jets, this is one of the games you simply try and rinse off and leave in the rearview mirror.

Responding to losses — especially the disappointing ones — is an essential quality for teams that want to continue playing beyond the 82 games on the regular-season schedule.

“We’ll go back and get to work,” said Jets interim head coach Dave Lowry. “We know there’s some things we have to fix.”





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The Orioles Are Reportedly Calling Up Another Top Prospect

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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

 

Despite trading slugger Trey Mancini and All-Star closer Jorge Lopez at the deadline, the Baltimore Orioles keep winning games and are in contention for a spot in the postseason.

They are currently 58-53, fourth in the AL East division and just half-a-game behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

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It’s an incredible organizational turnaround, considering that Baltimore had an awful 52-110 record in 2021.

Recognizing that they do have a strong chance of making the playoffs against all odds, the Orioles are making a win-now move, a refreshing development considering they traded the aforementioned stars.

“Source: DL Hall is joining #orioles in St. Petersburg,” MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko reported via Twitter.

The world is about to see what the Orioles are made of: they are playing a three-game series against the Rays, starting on Friday.

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Austin Voth will start tonight’s game for Baltimore, and will face off against veteran right-hander Corey Kluber.

The Orioles have been able to bring in, nurture, and develop many young players this year, most notably position players and relievers.

 

Baltimore Needs Rotation Help, And Hall Can Provide It

Their starting rotation, however, remains a work in progress.

That’s where a guy like DL Hall can help.

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He is one of MLB’s best pitching prospects.

He has some issues with his control, but the quality of his stuff is unquestionable.

So far, the left-hander has a 4.52 ERA and 126/45 K/BB ratio over 77 2/3 innings while covering three levels this season.

He has 114 strikeouts in 70 Triple-A innings, though, so the potential in that area is tantalizing.

Hall has a chance to be a special pitcher, as long as he can keep the walks under control (no pun intended).

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If he pitches well, the O’s will have another quality starter to fuel their playoff run.

The post The Orioles Are Reportedly Calling Up Another Top Prospect appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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The Yankees Are Dominating With Defense From 2 Key Spots

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(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

 

Defense is always a major key to the success of a baseball team.

One of the reasons the New York Yankees have been so dominant for most of the season is the fact that their defense is among the best in all of baseball.

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But from two particular spots, the defense has been elite for the Yankees.

The Yankees have 70 defensive runs saved, with 29 of them coming from the pitcher and catcher positions.

Jose Trevino‘s pitch framing skills have certainly helped, but Yankees pitchers are also second in all of baseball in defensive assists.

SIS Baseball tweeted some of the stats that show why the Yankees have been so dominant on defense.

 

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What Makes The Yankees Great

Sometimes, just one guy can be the key to the defensive success of a team.

Other times, it can be a combination of guys.

For the Yankees, it’s clear that their defense is a well-oiled machine and is one of the main reasons they have been so dominant for much of the season.

Pitchers fielding their position is also an important aspect of a great defensive team.

The club clearly has pitchers who can field their positions very well.

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But as mentioned previously, Trevino has emerged as a solid defensive catcher.

The Yankees do also lead all of baseball in caught stealing percentage.

That’s always a sign of a good defensive catcher.

It goes even beyond his pitch framing skills.

But all of that stands to reason why the Yankees have been so successful defensively this season.

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Defense is always key for great teams, and it has been ever prevalent with the Yankees during the 2022 season.

As the old saying goes, offense wins games, defense wins championships.

The post The Yankees Are Dominating With Defense From 2 Key Spots appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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AC Milan vs. Udinese: Serie A opening match live stream, TV channel, how to watch online, news, odds

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Serie A is finally back as title holders AC Milan will face Udinese in the opening match of the 2022-23 Serie A season. The Rossoneri won the Scudetto last season, their first top-flight Italian championship since the 2010-11 season. This is their 19th Scudetto all-time, which ties Inter Milan as second in Serie A history, trailing only Juventus with 36 Scudettos. On the other hand, Udinese finished 12th last season with 47 points, their best Serie A performance since the 2012-13 season where they finished 5th with 66 points. Former coach Gabriele Cioffi left the club and was appointed as new Hellas Verona manager and Udinese decided to appoint Andrea Sottil as new coach. These two teams drew both their two matches last season. Here’s what you need to know about the opening match: 

Paramount+ is the only place to watch every minute of every Serie A match this season, not to mention select games in Italian. Sign up now with offer code ITALY to get a special one month free trial. A subscription also gives you access to other sports content including every UEFA Champions League and Europa League match, the NFL on CBS, and countless movies and shows. Get it all free for one month with promo code ITALY.

Viewing information 

Date: Saturday, Aug 13 | Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: San Siro — Milan, Italy
TV: CBS Sports Network
Live stream:
 Paramount+
Odds: AC Milan -270; Draw +380; Udinese +800 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

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Featured Game | AC Milan vs. Udinese

Team news

AC Milan: The Rossoneri allowed the fewest goals in Serie A last season, allowing just 31 goals all season. AC Milan’s +38 goal differential was ranked third in Serie A last season and the defense was the main secret of Stefano Pioli’s success. Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao ranked tied for 16th in Serie A having scored 11 goals apiece last season. Leao also finished the season with eight assists, tied for 8th-most in Serie A. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who renewed his contract this summer, is still recovering from a knee injury and will be out until the end of the current year. 

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.

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Udinese: The Bianconeri had 14 draws last season, Second-most in Serie A trailing only Genoa with 16 and also had the third-lowest possession rate in Serie A last season at 43%. Gerard Deulofeu’s 13 goals last season were tied for 10th-most in Serie A with four other players and despite some summer rumurs he’s still at the club as things stand today and he’s expected to start against AC Milan, his former club. 

Prediction 

AC Milan are expected to start off the new season with a win after a positive pre-season tour and should not lose points in the opening match at San Siro. PICK: AC Milan 2, Udinese 0. 

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