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Coach Jon Cooper, Lightning have 'to circle wagons' after losing defenseman Victor Hedman to injury in round-robin finale – ESPN

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TORONTO — Tampa Bay Lightning star defenseman Victor Hedman left the team’s round-robin finale Saturday night, after it appeared he twisted his right ankle midway through the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Following the 4-1 loss that secured the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference for the Lightning, Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper didn’t have an update on Hedman’s status or how much time he might miss, though he acknowledged his potential loss would create a notable hole in the Lightning’s lineup.

“It’s a little frustrating because we feel like we’re going in the right direction and to lose some of the star power we have,” said Cooper, noting the Lightning are also without captain Steven Stamkos and played Saturday minus Hedman’s defensive partner Jan Rutta. “We’ve got to circle the wagons.”

Hedman went down untouched as he spun around to skate backward at the Tampa Bay blue line with the Flyers’ Tyler Pitlick driving up the right wing. The NHL’s 2017 Norris Trophy winner got up slowly and broke his stick while heading down the tunnel to the locker room.

Stamkos has yet to play after sustaining a lower body injury before the start of training camp last month.

The Lightning, last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, will play either Columbus or Toronto in the first round. The Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs will play a deciding Game 5 on Sunday to conclude the qualifying round.

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Senators part ways with longtime goalie Craig Anderson – CBC.ca

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Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion says longtime Senators goaltender Craig Anderson will not be offered a new contract by the NHL club.

In an availability with reporters Wednesday, Dorion thanked Anderson for his contributions to the Senators over the years but said the club would be moving in a different direction.

Anderson is an unrestricted free agent after completing a two-year, $9.5-million US contract this season.

The 39-year-old Anderson joined the Senators in a goaltender swap with Colorado on Feb. 18, 2011, that sent Brian Elliott to the Avalanche.

WATCH | Anderson makes crazy, no-look save against Sabres

Craig Anderson somehow was able to make a no-look backwards facing blocker save on the Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues. 1:02

Anderson has a 202-168-46 record over 435 appearances (422 starts) with a 2.84 goals-against average and ,914 save percentage over nine-plus seasons with the Senators. He helped the Senators reach the Eastern Conference final in 2016-17, though the team has struggled the last free seasons.

Dorion also said he expects defenceman Mark Borowiecki to test the free-agent market.

WATCH | Frustration building in the bubble?

In his daily recap, Rob Pizzo talks about the bubble, gambling, and previews Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. 2:47

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Scanning the Wire: Finding help after injuries took their toll in Week 2 – TSN

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Congratulations if you managed to survive Week 2 of the fantasy football season without losing one of your star players to injury.

The second Sunday of the NFL season was especially brutal, as injuries tore through the league at an unprecedented rate, shelving several of the game’s biggest stars.

Six of the top-30 players in TSN fantasy football leagues by ADP were forced to the sideline, five of which are expected to miss significant time.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, the consensus No. 1 fantasy pick, is out four-to-six weeks with a high-ankle sprain (the same injury that reigning receiving king Michael Thomas suffered).

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who was a consensus top-three overall option, tore his ACL and is done for the season.

With so many stars now on the sidelines, nailing the waiver wire this week is extremely important to your fantasy success.

So without further delay, here are the top pick-up options that could still be available in your league heading into Week 3.

RB: Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers

The absence of CMC creates an abundance of opportunity in the Panthers backfield. McCaffrey was averaging 24 touches a game and that work has to go somewhere.

Enter Mike Davis, one of only two healthy RBs on the team. Davis was a big part of the Carolina offence once McCaffrey left the game, and faces little competition for work.

As of right now, the only one standing between him and 15-20 touches a week is special teamer Trenton Cannon, making Davis a must-add in all formats. He’s currently available in over 99 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.

RB: Darrell Henderson Jr, Los Angeles Rams

The Rams backfield suddenly doesn’t seem so crowded. Week 1 star Malcolm Brown and talented rookie Cam Akers left Sunday’s game versus Philadelphia and both are question marks moving forward.

That’s great news for Darrell Henderson Jr., who ripped off 81 yards and a score on the ground, and added another 40 yards through the air. The Rams lead the NFL in rushing rate (56.83%) and Henderson is available in 55.4 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.

RB: Devonta Freeman, Free Agent

This is a bit of a leap of faith. Freeman, not Dion Lewis or Wayne Gallman, is the guy you want to replace Barkley. He already worked out for the Eagles and reportedly worked out for the Giants on Tuesday.

Multiple reports out of the Big Apple suggest the Giants are interested in bringing in a free- agent running back, and Freeman is the best name available.

Even if he doesn’t land in New York, with so many injuries to his position he’s bound to sign somewhere. When he does, he’ll have real fantasy value, which makes him a great add this week. He’s currently available in 92. 1 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.

WR: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans

A.J. Brown is dealing with a knee injury, which makes Corey Davis an enticing add for wide receiver-needy teams. The former first round draft pick has yet to live up to his potential so far in his career, but is off to a nice start so far in 2020.

Davis has produced double-digit points in back-to-back outings and is tied for the team lead in targets (13). He’s currently available in 64.4 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.

WR: Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs

Mecole Hardman, everyone’s favourite 2020 sleeper, is in line for an increased workload due to the head injury to Sammy Watkins. The 4.33 speedster should now see work in three receiver sets.

Although he won’t be Patrick Mahomes’ first look, he has the talent to single-handedly swing your fantasy matchup in the blink of an eye.

Hardman converted six of his 26 catches into touchdowns last season. He is currently available in 57.8 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.

TE: Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Fresh off a two-touchdown performance in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, Jonnu Smith is the biggest priority-add at the tight end position. He’s tied for the team lead in targets (13) and leads all Titans with three touchdowns.

A freak athlete, Smith ranks 10th in the NFL in yards after catch (85) this season. He is still available in 59.7 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.

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Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic Show Lakers That the Nuggets Aren't Going Away – Sports Illustrated

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Some NBA players are so smart, and process the game so fluidly, that they can play faster than superior athletes, and they make their teammates play faster, too. If you are really fortunate, you find a guy like that. The Denver Nuggets have two.

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic probably won’t win the NBA championship next month. But they keep showing why they can, with a style of basketball that has to appeal to anybody who loves the game and not just the highlights. If they were a movie, you would want to watch it again and again, finding subtle charms and new bits of brilliance each time.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets’ 114–106 Game 3 win over the Lakers reminded us of what the rest of the playoffs have already shown: Murray and Jokic are not going away, in this series or in the next decade. The longer they play, the more they distinguish themselves. The Nuggets came back from 3–1 deficits in the first two rounds, and they are trying to come back from 2–0 down in this one, and people keep praising their resilience. That is part of it, to be sure. But also, with every game in a series, Murray and Jokic have more information to sort through.

“Hand in hand—there’s two parts to that,” Murray said. “You definitely learn more about your opponent, what to look for, tendencies and all that.”

On the two possessions that finished off the Lakers, Murray made winning plays. First, with Denver up 103–99, Murray started to back down the Lakers’ Alex Caruso, but as soon as Caruso bit on a fake, Murray dribbled away, realized he had time to set his feet behind the three-point line, and drained a three over Caruso. The craftiness that led to the three was every bit as impressive as the actual shot.

On Denver’s next possession, Murray drove, realized his shot would get block, dished to Paul Millsap, backpedaled so he was open, caught a pass, drove again, found Millsap again, and scored. He made a lot of choices, and executed them, in a very short span.

Denver coach Michael Malone said Tuesday night that “we have two superstars in Nikola and Jamal,” and it is amazing to think that a month ago, that would have seemed like hype. Now it is a statement of fact. If Murray was just a good player who had a hot series against Utah, somebody would have exposed him by now. Instead, he keeps exploiting every advantage.

Malone says that he sees teams game-planning more and more for Murray. It isn’t working. Blitz him and he passes the ball before he is trapped. Stick a bigger player on him, as the Lakers did at times, and he will beat his man off the dribble. Pester him with somebody smaller, and he uses his size. Murray is a master at creating just as much space as he needs.

nikola-jokic-nuggets

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jokic jokes that he is slow, and the jokes are funny because he is slow. But he doesn’t play slow. He is one of the best passing centers in history, capable of firing an overhand dart to a cutting teammate or making a no-look bounce pass in traffic. Still, the physical limitations are real, and this is especially evident against the Lakers.

In his first five games against Lakers this year, including Game 1 of this series, Jokic averaged 17.2 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists—a dropoff from his regular-season averages of 19.9, 9.7 and 7. It is easy to see why. L.A. has the freakiest center in the league, Anthony Davis, a player who is longer and much more athletic than Jokic. The Lakers can also throw a bunch of different large pests at Jokic—they have been starting each game with Javale McGee, then move on to Davis, Dwight Howard and others. For the first game and a half of this series, Jokic looked overwhelmed. But players this smart do not stay overwhelmed for long.

“We were one step slower than them,” Jokic said. “They were surprising us—by the pace, by the rebounding.”

Jokic has recovered in an assortment of ways. He counters the Lakers’ size by facing the basket. When he gets too much attention, he fires to a teammate. Howard has played this series like a pro-wresting heel. He appears to want to get inside Jokic’s head, but Jokic is far too smart to let it happen. He said he did not enter the game thinking about scoring.

“To be honest, they’re doing their job,” Jokic said of the Lakers. “I don’t think about it as a matchup. I’m just trying to play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

Murray and Jokic have an extremely advanced understanding of the way the game is supposed to be played. They are also both level-headed enough to be honest about when they don’t reach their standard, no matter what the stats say. After his 28-point, 12-assist night, Murray said, “I didn’t think I had a good game in total, to be honest with you. I didn’t get everybody organized. I had too many live-ball turnovers that led to points.”

The Nuggets still trail this series 2–1. The Lakers still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But Murray and Jokic have 48 more minutes of information in their brains that they can take to Game 4.

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