After making it look easy early on, the Vancouver Canucks are now learning how hard winning can be in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Vancouver’s season would end with a loss Tuesday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
“It’s unchartered territory for a lot of players, a lot of young guys on the team,” said veteran winger J.T. Miller, who assisted on all three Canuck goals Sunday. “We just have to worry about the next game.
“We’ve proven we can play with these guys for a long stretch in the first four games.”
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The Canucks were saying all the right things heading into Game 5. They talked about focusing on the game at hand, refusing to be intimidated by the situation, playing their game.
“You can’t go into this game gripping your stick too tight,” said captain Bo Horvat, who leads the playoffs with nine goals. “You have to play the game, embrace the moment and everything is going to fall into place.
“The minute you start overthinking things, that’s when it goes the opposite way.”
The Canucks are facing an experienced Vegas team that has shown more speed, strength and depth.
Vancouver blew a chance to even the series Sunday. The Canucks battled back from an early 1-0 deficit to lead 3-2 heading into the third period before allowing three goals in 5:37.
“We put ourselves in a hell of a spot to win a hockey game [and] get right back in the series,” Miller said. “We need to do a better job.”
Accustomed to adversity
Vancouver lost to Minnesota in the opening game of the best-of-five play-in series, then won three straight. In the next round, against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, the Canucks won the first two, lost in back-to-back games, then won the series in six games.
Vancouver’s power play scored twice on five attempts Sunday but were two-for-11 in the previous three games.
After getting plenty of support from the third and fourth lines against the Blues, none of the Canucks’ bottom six forwards have registered a point against the Knights.
“Good teams have depth and they find scoring throughout their lineup,” head coach Travis Green said. “I’m not going to start putting pressure on certain guys to score.
“You win and lose as a team.”
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Goaltender Jacob Markstrom has been Vancouver’s best player most nights. He leads the playoffs with 491 shots faced and 451 saves but may be feeling the fatigue of having played more minutes (841.11).
“I felt great,” Markstrom snapped after Sunday’s loss.
The Canucks have received outstanding performances from Elias Pettersson, the league’s top rookie last year, who is second in playoff scoring with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists). Defenceman Quinn Hughes, a nominee for this year’s Calder Trophy, is tied for scoring among rookies with 13 points, including 12 assists.
‘No team is going away lightly’
The Knights know a series isn’t over until a team wins the fourth game. Last year Vegas led the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in the opening round of the playoffs only to lose Game 7 in overtime.
“No team is going to go away lightly,” said head coach Peter DeBoer who coached the Sharks last year. “We are going to need our best game in order to beat them.
Horvat said if the Canucks want to live to fight another day they must use their forecheck to contain Vegas’ offence.
“We have to get on them quick and delay their breakouts, spend more time in their end,” he said. “If we play good defensively, take care of our own net first, the offence just takes care of itself.
“We know it’s a do-or-die situation. Leave it all out there. We have nothing to save it for.”
Lakers Considered Heavy Favorites By Oddsmakers To Win Finals – RealGM.com
The Los Angeles Lakers are heavy favorites to win the Finals against the Miami Heat with BetOnline posting them at -350.
The Lakers are nearly 78 percent likely to win the series, according to the implied odds. Miami is at +280 as the underdogs.
The Lakers are generally considered the NBA’s most public team in terms of gamblers.
Sportsnet announces broadcast schedule for first two days of MLB playoffs – Sportsnet.ca
The expanded MLB playoff format created a wild race to the finish but now that the dust is settled, the wild card round matchups are now set.
The 2020 season, already unique due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of play, will feature 16 teams instead of the usual 10 and begin with eight best-of-three series. All three games in each series will be played on consecutive days and be hosted by the team with the higher seed, with one playing eight, two playing seven and so on.
The wild card matchups are as follows:
All games involving the Blue Jays can be seen exclusively on Sportsnet and SN Now. Coverage of Game 1 between the Blue Jays and Rays will begin at 4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT with a special one-hour Blue Jays Central pre-game show before first pitch at 5 p.m. ET/ 2 p.m. PT. Coverage of Game 2 will begin at 3:30 p.m. ET/ 12:30 p.m. PT with first pitch at 4 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. PT.
Former Blue Jays pitcher John Axford joins Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell and Pat Tabler for the special one-hour Blue Jays Central pre-game show, featuring a musical opening by The Arkells and a video essay from Stephen Brunt that explores the Blue Jays extraordinary 2020 season.
After the wild card round, the playoffs will continue in the traditional format with the best-of-five division series, best-of-seven league championship round and best-of-seven World Series.
The division series will pit the winners of the one/eight matchups against the winners of the four/five matchups and the winners of the two/seven matchups against the winners of the three/six matchups.
MLB is adopting a bubble format for the post-season following the success of the NHL and NBA’s playoffs.
As a result, the American League division series will be played in San Diego and Los Angeles and the championship series will be played in San Diego. The National League division series will be played in Houston and Arlington, Texas. Arlington will also host the NL championship series and the World Series at Globe Life Park, the newly opened home of the Texas Rangers.
Below is the full schedule for the MLB playoffs. All times Eastern.
WILD CARD SERIES (BEST OF THREE)
|Tuesday, Sept. 29||Rays (1) vs. Blue Jays (8), Game 1||5 p.m.||SN|
|Athletics (2) vs. White Sox (7), Game 1||3 p.m.||SN360|
|Twins (3) vs. Astros (6), Game 1||2 p.m.||SN1|
|Indians (4) vs. Yankees (5), Game 1||7 p.m.||SN1|
|Wednesday, Sept. 30||Rays (1) vs. Blue Jays (8), Game 2||4 p.m.||SN|
|Athletics (2) vs. White Sox (7), Game 2||3 p.m.||SN360|
|Twins (3) vs. Astros (6), Game 2||1 p.m.||SN1|
|Indians (4) vs. Yankees (5), Game 2||7 p.m.||SN1|
|Dodgers (1) vs. Brewers (8), Game 1||10 p.m.||SN360|
|Braves (2) vs. Reds (7), Game 1||Noon||SN & SN360|
|Cubs (3) vs. Marlins (6), Game 1||2 p.m.||SN NOW|
|Padres (4) vs. Cardinals (5), Game 1||5 p.m.||SN NOW|
|Thursday, Oct. 1||Rays (1) vs. Blue Jays (8), Game 3||TBD|
|Athletics (2) vs. White Sox (7), Game 3||TBD|
|Twins (3) vs. Astros (6), Game 3||TBD|
|Indians (4) vs. Yankees (5), Game 3||TBD|
|Dodgers (1) vs. Brewers (8), Game 2||TBD|
|Braves (2) vs. Reds (7), Game 2||TBD|
|Cubs (3) vs. Marlins (6), Game 2||TBD|
|Padres (4) vs. Cardinals (5), Game 2||TBD|
|Friday, Oct. 2||Dodgers (1) vs. Brewers (8), Game 3||TBD|
|Braves (2) vs. Reds (7), Game 3||TBD|
|Cubs (3) vs. Marlins (6), Game 3||TBD|
|Padres (4) vs. Cardinals (5), Game 3||TBD|
DIVISION SERIES (BEST OF FIVE)
|Monday, Oct. 5||AL Division Series A||Game 1||San Diego, (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)|
|AL Division Series B||Game 1||Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|Tuesday, Oct. 6||AL Division Series A||Game 2||San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)|
|AL Division Series B||Game 2||Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|NL Division Series A||Game 1||Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)|
|NL Division Series B||Game 1||Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|Wednesday, Oct. 7||AL Division Series A||Game 3||San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)|
|AL Division Series B||Game 3||Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|NL Division Series A||Game 2||Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)|
|NL Division Series B||Game 2||Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|Thursday, Oct. 8||AL Division Series A||Game 4||San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)|
|AL Division Series B||Game 4||Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|NL Division Series A||Game 3||Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)|
|NL Division Series B||Game 3||Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|Friday, Oct. 9||AL Division Series A||Game 5||San Diego, (1/8 vs 4/5 winners)|
|AL Division Series B||Game 5||Los Angeles (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|NL Division Series A||Game 4||Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)|
|NL Division Series B||Game 4||Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
|Saturday, Oct. 10||NL Division Series A||Game 5||Arlington (1/8 vs. 4/5 winners)|
|NL Division Series B||Game 5||Houston (2/7 vs. 3/6 winners)|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (BEST OF SEVEN)
|Sunday, Oct. 11||ALCS||Game 1||San Diego|
|Monday, Oct. 12||ALCS||Game 2||San Diego|
|Tuesday, Oct. 13||ALCS||Game 3||San Diego|
|Wednesday, Oct. 14||ALCS||Game 4||San Diego|
|Thursday, Oct. 15||ALCS||Game 5||San Diego|
|Friday, Oct. 16||ALCS||Game 6||San Diego|
|Saturday, Oct. 17||ALCS||Game 7||San Diego|
|Sunday, Oct. 18||NLCS||Game 7||Arlington|
WORLD SERIES (BEST OF SEVEN)
|Tuesday, Oct. 20||World Series||Game 1||Arlington|
|Wednesday, Oct. 21||World Series||Game 2||Arlington|
|Thursday, Oct. 22||OFF DAY|
|Friday, Oct. 23||World Series||Game 3||Arlington|
|Saturday, Oct. 24||World Series||Game 4||Arlington|
|Sunday, Oct. 25||World Series||Game 5||Arlington|
|Monday, Oct. 26||OFF DAY|
|Tuesday, Oct. 27||World Series||Game 6||Arlington|
|Wednesday, Oct. 28||World Series||Game 7||Arlington|
Jeff Van Gundy, Ty Lue Emerge As Early Candidates For Clippers – RealGM.com
Jeff Van Gundy and Ty Lue have emerged as the early favorites to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers parted ways with Doc Rivers on Monday.
Lue is also a candidate for the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans.
Van Gundy is a candidate for Rockets.
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