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Giants manager Gabe Kapler, several players kneel during anthem – Sportsnet.ca

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OAKLAND, Calif. — San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler plans to use his position to speak out against racial injustice and provide a voice for those who aren’t heard.

Kapler and several of his players knelt during the national anthem before their 6-2 exhibition victory against the Oakland Athletics. Kapler shared his plans when he addressed the team earlier Monday, and he said everyone would be supported by the Giants no matter what they decided to do.

“I wanted them to know that I wasn’t pleased with the way our country has handled police brutality and I told them I wanted to amplify their voices and I wanted to amplify the voice of the Black community and marginalized communities as well,” Kapler said. “So I told them that I wanted to use my platform to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with the way we’ve handled racism in our country. I wanted to demonstrate my dissatisfaction with our clear systemic racism in our country and I wanted them to know that they got to make their own decisions and we would respect and support those decisions. I wanted them to feel safe in speaking up.”

Right fielder Jaylin Davis, who is African American, and first base coach Antoan Richardson also took a knee as shortstop Brandon Crawford stood between them with a hand on each of their shoulders. Davis held his right hand over his heart, while Richardson, who is Black and from the Bahamas, clasped his hands in front of him.

Much discussion went into each person’s choice, and Kapler said some of the Giants reached out to other organizations. Kapler said the Giants would continue to have such important discussions together as a team and “make them a part of the fabric of our clubhouse.”

“We’ve had a lot of conversations about the anthem over the course of the last 72 hours and when I say we, I mean our coaching staff and our players,” Kapler said. “We connected with small groups of players, we connected with players individually and had meaningful conversations about this topic.”

It was on the same field where former A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell in 2017 became the first major leaguer to kneel for the anthem.

Kapler, beginning his first season managing the Giants after two disappointing years guiding the Phillies, didn’t say for certain how often he would kneel except that “we’re going to have 60 chances in the regular season to make the same decision that we made today, to either stand or kneel or do something different. Right now it’s another opportunity tomorrow night.”

Kapler has been outspoken about social injustice and racial issues and athletes’ roles in helping spur positive change.

“They felt strong about the issue so they knelt,” A’s pitcher Mike Fiers said.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee during the national anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police mistreatment of minorities. He was roundly criticized for years, but public sentiment has changed since George Floyd’s death in May.

Floyd, a Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck while Floyd was handcuffed and saying that he couldn’t breathe.

Also Monday, Alyssa Nakken — baseball’s first woman on a major league staff — got a chance to coach first base for San Francisco.

“Congratulations on making history!” Hunter Pence posted on Twitter shortly after the final out.

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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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Hurricanes' Rod Brind'Amour fined $25K for criticizing officials after Game 1 loss – ESPN

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Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour was fined $25,000 by the NHL after he criticized the officiating in Wednesday’s 4-3 double-overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Toronto.

In a statement, the league also assessed a conditional fine of $25,000 to Brind’Amour “which will be collected, in addition to any subsequent discipline, in the event of similar inappropriate behavior through Aug. 12, 2021.”

Brind’Amour took umbrage to Charlie Coyle‘s goal in the second period, arguing there was an illegal hand pass preceding it. The officials ruled Canes goalie Petr Mrazek controlled the puck, which negated the hand pass. The referees, however, did not blow a whistle when Mrazek appeared to freeze the puck.

Mrazek then lost control of the puck, and Coyle had a wide open net in which to shoot.

Brind’Amour was not asked about the incident in his postgame Zoom conference, so he called local beat writers afterward to vent.

“This is why the league’s a joke, in my opinion, on these things,” Brind’Amour told The News & Observer. “That one is a crime scene.”

Brind’Amour said referees Chris Lee and Francis Charron did not give him any information about the call on the ice, which left him a choice: challenge the hand pass or challenge the missed stoppage.

Brind’Amour chose wrong, and it cost the Canes a goal.

“They came to me, and I said, ‘If he has possession of it, then it’s goalie interference. If he doesn’t have possession, then it’s a hand pass. It’s one of the two. I don’t know what you’re calling on the ice,'” Brind’Amour told The News & Observer of what he said to the officials. “All he has to do is tell me, ‘We’re calling it non-possession [by Mrazek],’ then we’re challenging a glove-hand pass. If it’s possession, then goaltender interference. I said, ‘Tell me the call on the ice.’ They wouldn’t do it when I said, ‘What is the call?’ So I had to flip a coin.”

Brind’Amour said he asked the referees what they called on the ice, and he said the referees responded only that he had to “call one or the other.”

“It should be so easy,” Brind’Amour said. “If they said the goalie had it, then it’s an easy call. They wouldn’t tell you. It makes no sense. I know we weren’t the better team, but if that goal doesn’t go in, do we win that game? I don’t know.”

Patrice Bergeron scored in the second overtime to give Boston a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 2 is Thursday.

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