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Favorite playoff memory: Recchi recalls winner against Bruins in 1991 – NHL.com

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NHL.com is looking ahead to the Stanley Cup Playoffs by having former players discuss their favorite postseason game. Today, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach and Hockey Hall of Fame forward Mark Recchi recalls a 5-3 victory in Game 6 of the Wales Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins at Civic Arena on May 11, 1991.

Mark Recchi played in 189 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during his 22-season NHL career. But it’s No. 18 that stands out, the game that clinched his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

The moments come back immediately, even though it’s been nearly 30 years. In Game 6 of the 1991 Wales Conference Finals, the Penguins and Bruins were tied 3-3 in the third period until Recchi scored the game-winning goal with 4:20 remaining.

The Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup in six games against the Minnesota North Stars, the first of three NHL championships Recchi won (2006 with Carolina Hurricanes, 2011 with the Bruins). 

“I know there’s a lot of [games to choose from],” Recchi said. “But I was young [23], we’re getting to the Stanley Cup Final, first time for the Pittsburgh Penguins, everyone, for a lot of us, except for [Paul] Coffey, so it was a pretty special moment for us at that time.” 

After the Bruins won the first two games of the series, the Penguins came back to win the next three to set up Game 6. 

“We knew this was an opportunity, we had to grab it, and we didn’t want to go back to Boston,” Recchi said. “You could tell the guys were ready to do whatever it took.” 

Recchi recalled that the Bruins went to a man-on-man defensive scheme in the game, surprising the Penguins. It took them time to adjust, and the Bruins went up 2-0 in the second period. 

“There was a lot of emotion — the Ulf Samuelsson-Cam Neely thing that happened — there were just so many emotions,” Recchi said, referring to the hit on Neely by Samuelsson in Game 3. “When they changed to the man-on-man, once we figured it out, with our talent we were able to expose that because we had so much talent.”

The Penguins responded with two goals in the second, on the power play by Larry Murphy at 11:45 and by Phil Bourque at 17:17. Pittsburgh went ahead 3-2 at 10:08 of the third on a goal by Gordie Roberts, assisted by Recchi. Don Sweeney tied it 3-3 for Boston at 12:13.

That set it up for Recchi to score the eighth of his 61 NHL playoff goals. Mario Lemieux scored into an empty net at 19:32 for the 5-3 final.

“Gordie Roberts made a heck of a play, and we caught them on a line change,” Recchi said of his goal. “It kind of surprised them, and he just threw it off the boards, and I was able to come down the wing. I like to shoot on my off foot coming down the off wing, and I was able to get it by (goalie) Andy Moog.

“Right then, you just knew that was it. We had that feeling that was going to be the game, we were going to hold on to this thing, and just the emotions with all the guys, trying to keep it composed at the same time.”

It was a marker for Recchi that he had made it, that he could be the type of player who helped a team win at the most important moments.

“To be that young in my career and to be able to get us to the Stanley Cup Final, it was just a special goal,” Recchi said. “You want to be a playoff performer. You want to be somebody that your team can count on, regular season and playoffs. It just gives you a good feeling when you can really help your team. Obviously, a great feeling.”

Recchi said it wasn’t an easy choice for his favorite playoff game. There was Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final with the Bruins, a game he knew was going to be his final one in the NHL, regardless of what happened. 

But Game 6 of the conference final in 1991 got the nod. It’s something that has grown in his mind since it happened. He was in his second full season in the NHL then. Now he’s 52 and has been retired for nine years. 

“Today I appreciate everything much more than you do [at the time],” Recchi said. “I still appreciated it. But when you look back at games — I was able to watch a bunch of clips — you see the goals, you just kind of get the chills again.”

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Washington NFL team to retire nickname on Monday: reports – CBC.ca

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The Washington Redskins plan to announce Monday that they will retire their controversial team nickname, multiple outlets reported Sunday night.

One source told Sports Business Journal that the team “felt it was important to remove any doubts as to the future of the name.” The report indicated that a new nickname would not be immediately announced due to pending trademark issues.

Sunday night’s story further backed Saturday reporting from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, who each talked about an “imminent” name change. Robinson said Saturday the change would come “in the next 24-48 hours,” adding “the NFL is starting to take steps to tell everybody who has Washington’s nickname on its platform to start scrubbing it, start taking it off, which means something’s coming.”

Team owner Daniel Snyder has been under mounting pressure to change the team nickname, logo and mascot, with many Native American groups calling the name racist. Pressure ramped up this month, with companies such as Nike, PepsiCo, Bank of America and FedEx threatening to cut advertising ties with the team.

WATCH | Pro sports teams reconsidering Indigenous nicknames:

CBC News’ Raffy Boudjikanian reports on the Washington Redskins’ plans to review their nickname, followed closely by the Cleveland Indians’ decision to reconsider their team nickname. 2:30

FedEx asked team to change name

On July 2, FedEx asked the team to change the name. FedEx signed a 27-year, $205 million US deal in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., where the club plays its home games. A day later, the team announced it was conducting a “thorough review” of the team’s name.

Sports Business Journal reported Sunday that the club has finished that review.

Nike pulled all Redskins merchandise off its website, making Washington the only NFL franchise not listed on the site’s NFL index.

Last Wednesday, Amazon pulled Redskins merchandise from its site. Two days earlier, The Washington Post reported that three minority owners of the team hired an investment banking firm to find buyers for their shares of the club.

Snyder, in 2013, said he would “never” change the name.

The franchise began using the Redskins nickname in 1933, when it was based in Boston and previously called the Braves. Team owner George Preston Marshall moved the club to Washington in 1937.

A statue of Marshall was removed from the Redskins’ former Washington venue, RFK Stadium, on June 19 in the wake of protests seeking racial equality following the death of George Floyd. Under Marshall’s leadership, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, adding their first Black players in 1962.

Washington is scheduled to open the season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 13.

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Montreal Canadiens reveal their expanded roster for Phase 3 – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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With Phase 3 set to begin on Monday, the Montreal Canadiens have announced their list of 30 skaters and four goaltenders who will be on the ice as part of the expanded roster.

The notable absence at camp will be Max Domi, who is waiting seven to 10 days after Phase 3 begins before making a decision on whether to join the team (he is listed on the roster). Karl Alzner has already opted out of participating.

Alexander Romanov will be joining the club as well after agreeing to a contract, It will be hs first time on the ice with the NHL team.

The list of players Claude Julien will have at his disposal this week while devising his lineup for the Stanley Cup Qualifier versus the Pittsburgh Penguins are:

Forwards (17)

Defencemen (12)

Goaltenders (4)

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Montoyo says competition on for rotation spot after Anderson’s injury – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO – A pathway to the starting rotation for Nate Pearson – or someone else if the Toronto Blue Jays are intent on manipulating their top prospect’s service time – is open after Chase Anderson suffered an oblique strain and is uncertain to be ready for opening day.

Manager Charlie Montoyo says the club still plans to deploy a five-man rotation, which is set to include Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Matt Shoemaker and Trent Thornton, who ripped through a roughly-60-pitch live batting practice session Sunday.

Given the way he pitched during the first spring training, the work he put on from then to now, and how he impressed again during an intrasquad outing Saturday, Pearson would seem like an automatic in light of Anderson’s injury.

But, since the Blue Jays can push his free agency back a year by assigning him to the club’s Alternate Training Site for about a week, he’s far from a lock to break with the team.

“They’re going to compete for that spot,” Montoyo, without specifying names, said of the club’s young pitchers. “I love the fact that all these guys know they are competing. We’re building them all up, so they’re all going to have a chance to compete. We’ll see where we go a week and a half from now. Other stuff can happen from here to when we start, as you know.”

Beyond Pearson, left-handers Ryan Borucki and Anthony Kay and righty Thomas Hatch are the likeliest other contenders, although the Blue Jays are trying to stretch out other pitchers, too.

“It’s a crazy year, as you know,” said Montoyo, “and we’ve got so many options, which is great for all these kids because they’ll be competing for a spot if Chase is not ready by the time this season starts.”

Anderson hurt himself while loosening up ahead of a recent bullpen and Montoyo said the veteran right-hander was already built up for 3-4 innings of work, building toward more ahead of opening day.

Montoyo described him as day-to-day.

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THORNTON SHARP: Trent Thornton knows better than to take a place in the Blue Jays rotation for granted but he had essentially sewn up a spot during the spring training and he’s right back where he left off at summer camp.

The sophomore righty looked sharp in throwing an estimated 50-60 pitches Sunday, routinely generating poor contacts and awkward swings. He came away pleased with how he felt physically and, after snapping off a pair of pretty curveballs to catch teammates looking, with how he manipulated his pitches.

“I thought I executed pretty much all my pitches,” said Thornton. “Elevated fastball was definitely a point of emphasis today, I thought I did a decent job with that. As far as my off-speed, breaking balls, changeup, cutter all felt really, really good, and felt like I got to accomplish a lot of what I wanted to.”

Thornton was able to throw throughout the shutdown, getting a key to the field from his high school coach so he could get his work in. His dad gave him a weight set for his garage while a trainer allowed him to work out in isolation at his gym.

“I feel great,” he said. “I don’t feel like I missed a beat at all. Within another week or two, I feel like I can just let the reins off.”

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

UNCERTAIN SHUN: Shun Yamaguchi arrived at spring training determined to win a spot in the Blue Jays rotation but appeared to be destined for the bullpen.

Now?

“Same as March. I still haven’t gotten a formal notice on what type of role I’ll be playing in,” Yamaguchi, in comments interpreted Yuto Sakurai, said after logging 30-35 pitches during a couple of innings of live batting practice. “For me, I personally do want to be in a starting role so I’m trying my best to get the fifth spot.”

As things stand, it would appear he has some work to do for that to happen.

Yamaguchi allowed nine runs over nine innings with five walks and six strikeouts in four Grapefruit League games as he transitioned to the North American game after 14 seasons in Japan, and the thinking then was that his stuff would be best utilized in relief.

“At this point, to be honest with you, I’ve been able to adjust to the ball and I have a limited amount of time left until the regular season, so I can’t really be talking about the ball slipping out of my hand and whatnot,” said Yamaguchi. “Every day I’m trying to adjust and throw the ball better.”

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