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Blue Jays GM Atkins ‘very optimistic’ Ken Giles will pitch again soon – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays are optimistic that Ken Giles will return to action in the relatively near future after the closer received a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection, Ross Atkins said Friday.

Giles was diagnosed with a “very mild strain” in the flexor muscles of his right forearm, said the GM, which occurred during a difficult outing last Sunday when he couldn’t close out a game at the Tampa Bay Rays.

PRP injections put a concentration of a person’s own platelets into an area that needs healing in an effort to accelerate the process, and Atkins said, “we’re confident that we can get past that within this very short season and we’ll see him again soon.”

“Never a good situation when someone’s injured,” he added during a Zoom call with reporters, “but of all the scenarios that could have come out of the MRI and his visits with medical professionals and experts, certainly on the better end of the spectrum. Very optimistic that we’ll see him pitching again soon. We’ll have a much better understanding of his timeline in less than two weeks.”

Atkins also said during the call that the Blue Jays – who have the weekend off after their series with the Philadelphia Phillies was postponed due to a pair of COVID-19 positives – expect to adjust their rotation coming out of the break for the start a three-game series at Atlanta next Tuesday.

Centre-fielder Randal Grichuck, who missed this week’s four games versus the Nationals with lower-back irritation, would have been ready to play Saturday and should be fine in Atlanta, Atkins added.

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Canadiens @ Flyers Top Six Minutes: There’s always Game 2 – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

Pre-game

  • Who thought we’d be watching the playoffs in August?
  • Better yet, who thought we’d be watching the Habs in the playoffs?

First period

  • This is already a better start than Pittsburgh. Price hasn’t faced 17 shots in the first five minutes (exaggeration… but not really)
  • Welcome to the playoffs, Suzuki. I’m sure that’s what Konecny is saying during all the after-whistle shoving.
  • Drouin must think the game is a bit too slow because he decides to make it 5-on-4 and heads to the box. I don’t have a good feeling about this.
  • The good news — I’m psychic. The bad news — I’m psychic.
  • I mean, I didn’t predict that Byron would help guide the puck past Price but I can’t know everything.
  • Lehkonen is so close to picking up where he left off with the best shot so far.
  • Kulak wakes Hart up by creating a flurry of chances but Hart fights through the traffic and keeps the puck out.
  • Grant slams Price into his net and was so close to feeling the wrath of Price. I mean, really close.
  • I mean, it was really Oulette’s fault for pushing a full-speed ahead Grant, but a blocker to the head is always fun.

Second period

  • We’re starting with a little 4-on-4. Let’s hope this works out more in our favour than the penalty kill.
  • Lehkonen with another great chance.
  • Here we go, we’re finally picking up some speed and the Habs start to really pile on the pressure.
  • Gallagher’s wraparound attempt rolls up Hart’s back but not in the net.
  • Lehkonen heads in for yet another shot all by himself and… gets a flat tire. Fight those hockey gods, Lehky. Fight them.
  • Flyers have a wide open net and even though Price is on his stomach, he gets his stick on it and send the puck over the net and into the glass. Ah-maz-ing.
  • Gallagher breaks a blade trying to block a shot and scrambles to the bench. If you’re ever having a bad day, just watch hockey players trying to get off the ice with a broken skate blade.
  • The Captain gets his team on the board to tie it up with a power-play goal!!
  • Well, that excitement was short-lived. Sixteen seconds later Farabee gives the Flyers the lead once again.
  • Geez man. You think you would have given us a little time to enjoy it.

Third period

  • Lehkonen is absolutely due for a goal tonight.
  • Time for another 4-on-4 as Domi and Farabee head to their respective corners.
  • And Lehkonen’s luck continues as he joins Domi in the box and sends the Flyers to another power play.
  • Sure, let’s give the Flyers another chance to score on the power play. Why not, Chiarot? Being just one goal behind isn’t enough for you?
  • Nate Thompson just misses the insurance goal. Well, obviously he doesn’t want to score on his old teammate. That’s just being respectful.
  • A big hit by Petry, followed by another almost-goal by (no, not Lehkonen) Gallagher with four minutes left.
  • Suzuki off the crossbar with 26 seconds left!
  • Well, there’s always Game 2.

EOTP 3 Stars

3) And it finally did

2) Saved by his guardian angel

1) This isn’t even their final form

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Haggerty: Nick, you're out of time – NBC Sports Boston

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As feel-good as any Stanley Cup Playoff game undoubtedly is, there is also time for evaluation and improvement.

It will be a quick turnaround time for the Boston Bruins after they took a 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday afternoon in the Toronto bubble at Scotiabank Arena, and that won’t give the Bruins coaching staff much time to break things down. The biggest decision will be who they should go with between the pipes — Tuukka Rask in a back-to-back situation or backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

There are good reasons to go with either one of them already up 1-0 over Carolina in the best-of-seven series.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

But there are other decisions to be made, and one that the Bruins should go with starting in Thursday’s Game 2 is the removal of Nick Ritchie from the lineup.

Ritchie came into this postseason as a real question mark after playing little more than a handful of games for the Bruins after arriving at the trade deadline from Anaheim in exchange for Danton Heinen.

In theory, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Ritchie would provide needed physical thump to the Boston lineup and play the power forward game on the wing along with big, strong third line center Charlie Coyle. But Ritchie simply played like a weak link in Boston’s overtime win against the Hurricanes in his first real playoff experience with the Black and Gold.

Krejci lines dominates & other takeaways from Game 1

The 24-year-old Ritchie finished without a shot on net in 12:50 of ice time with the Bruins on Wednesday and had four hits while sometimes taking the body against the Hurricanes. But he wasn’t nearly a big enough physical presence, and even worse played a key role in a pair of goals against for the Bruins while making both mental and physical mistakes at crucial moments.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t going to hammer anybody for it after a playoff win, but Ritchie’s subpar performance certainly didn’t go unnoticed either.

“I think [the young guys] were looking after their own game. I think just one line was on the ice for a couple goals and this is Bjork’s first playoffs with us, Ritchie,” said Cassidy, referencing the third line being on the ice for a pair of goals against as well as Charlie Coyle’s second period goal for Boston. “[The veteran guys] were like ‘hey, listen stuff happens.’ Let’s make sure we tighten up the next time. Keep playing your game. They got a big goal for us, too, so there is a little bit of that communication to the new guys.

“We talked to Lauzy [Jeremy Lauzon]. Charlie [McAvoy] had to go to the dressing room for a second so Lauzy got a few extra shifts. You just battle and play. I think you have to get the first couple [of playoff games] under your belt. No one is tearing anybody down here. It’s not the time of the year to do that. We’re trying to motivate and encourage guys for sure, but the players are good that way. That’s why they’re winners. [Ondrej] Kase is another guy, first game. I thought he was fantastic. He’s on pucks all night, played his game. Had some good looks. A nice play on [David] Krejci’s goal. That line arguably was – you always look at the tape, whatever the tape after and they’re probably our most dangerous line tonight. So that is something that we talked about. Secondary scoring. Get a goal out of Charlie Coyle, third line.”

In the first period, Ritchie gave up on a play along the boards and drifted away from Warren Foegele as the entire unit of Bruins defenders puck-watched rather than working to get the puck out of the zone. Eventually it turned into a Joel Edmundson scoring point shot from the high point that Ritchie wasn’t able to put a body in front of on its way to the net. But the bigger issue was Ritchie simply giving up on a play when he was the closest to be able to give defensive support on a play that ended up going bad.

It was Ritchie again in the third period losing a battle along the boards to the much smaller Martin Necas that extended Carolina possession, and eventually ended with Haydn Fleury scoring on a point blast with a screened Tuukka Rask in front.

In both instances board battles were lost that ended up with pucks in the back of the Boston net. And if Ritchie isn’t even going to win the board battles, what is the point of his size and strength that’s bringing to the table?

Wednesday’s game was physical to be sure as a playoff opener, but it wasn’t overly nasty to the point where you need Ritchie for intimidation purposes. The Bruins would be much better off going with the speedy, two-way play of Karson Kuhlman in Game 2 on the third line while also sliding Anders Bjork to his natural left wing spot on the third line. That would give the Bruins a much faster third line that could better combat the speed and pressure that the Hurricanes are bringing to the table against the Black and Gold.

Perhaps a healthy scratch would also send a message that there’s no room for him in the lineup if he isn’t decisively winning his physical battles and playing up to the size/strength combo he was blessed with as a hockey player. Either way, the Bruins should learn from some of the mistakes that didn’t end up costing them permanently in Game 1, and Ritchie made way too many of them to stick around in the Boston lineup.

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Canadiens @ Flyers G1: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Game 1

Montreal Canadiens @ Philadelphia Flyers

How to watch

Start time: 8:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM PDT
In Canada: CBC, Sportsnet (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the US: NBC
Streaming: Sportsnet Now

Since the Canadiens sent the Pittsburgh Penguins packing, much of the entertainment for Habs fans has been derived from watching the Toronto Maple Leafs. First it was a three-goal comeback that had everyone in the national media wondering if that was the moment the Leafs overcame their demons to become a proper Stanley Cup contender, then two days later those same Leafs did the familiar thing of stumbling their way out of the post-season without winning a single playoff series.

Now that media switches its attention to a Habs team it completely wrote off ahead of the post-season beginning, and is finding out there is a surprising amount of quality on the Montreal roster despite its regular-season performance and a few sales at the trade deadline.

The Flyers aren’t going to be nearly as surprised as the Penguins were. Rather than relying on a few offensive stars, Philadelphia has a good complement of forwards and a forechecking system that works hard regardless of the quality of their opponent. It’s not a team that is going to get outworked very often, and that’s something Montreal will need to match to have a chance.

Where the Canadiens may have the advantage once more is on defence. Claude Julien trusted two pairings with major minutes in the opening round, while Alain Vigneault only has one he feels confident handing the defensive matchups to. If Montreal can get the play flowing more to the Flyers’ end with their own forechecking abilities, they will get a shot to surprise a few more pundits tonight.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left WingCentreRight Wing
Left WingCentreRight Wing
Artturi LehkonenPhillip DanaultPaul Byron
Tomas TatarNick SuzukiBrendan Gallagher
Jonathan DrouinJesperi KotkaniemiJoel Armia
Dale WeiseMax DomiAlex Belzile

Defencemen

Left DefenceRight Defence
Left DefenceRight Defence
Ben ChiarotShea Weber
Brett KulakJeff Petry
Xavier OuelletVictor Mete

Goaltenders

StarterBackup
StarterBackup
Carey PriceCharlie Lindgren

Scratches: Jake Evans, Cale Fleury, Christian Folin, Charles Hudon, Noah Juulsen, Michael McNiven, Gustav Olofsson, Ryan Poehling, Cayden Primeau

Philadelphia Flyers projected lineup

Forwards

Left WingCentreRight Wing
Left WingCentreRight Wing
Claude GirouxSean CouturierJoel Farabee
Scott LaughtonKevin HayesTravis Konecny
Nicolas Aubé-KubelDerek GrantJakub Voracek
James van RiemsdykNate ThompsonTyler Pitlick

Defencemen

Left DefenceRight Defence
Left DefenceRight Defence
Ivan ProvorovMatt Niskanen
Philippe MyersTravis Sanheim
Shayne GostisbehereJustin Braun

Goaltenders

StarterBackup
StarterBackup
Carter HartBrian Elliott

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