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In the Habs' Room: 'Defensively we're sloppy,' Julien says after loss – Montreal Gazette

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“You can’t play pond hockey in this league and expect to win hockey games,” coach Claude Julien said.

SUNRISE — Folks flock to Florida each winter in search of sunshine and fun.

The Canadiens found neither on the weekend.

Clouds blanketed much of south Florida and the Canadiens operated under their own cloud as they lost 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night and followed up with a 6-5 loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.

The losses dropped the Canadiens further out of playoff contention in the Atlantic Division. The Panthers hold down the third spot with 45 points, three more than Montreal and Florida has a game in hand. And Tampa Bay edged Detroit 2-1 on Sunday to move two points ahead on Montreal with two games in hand.

You only have to look at the scores to see where things have gone wrong for the Canadiens.

“You can’t play pond hockey in this league and expect to win hockey games,” coach Claude Julien said. “You score nine goals in your last two games, five tonight and four last night and that should be enough to win on the road if you play well defensively.

“We’re sloppy,” Julien added. “Everyone’s to blame. We need saves, we need guys killing plays and defensively we’re sloppy. We’re happy to trade chances and that’s what got us in trouble in the first place.  We have to get back to work and clean up that part of our game which we tried to do this morning. We talked about that, but we didn’t get the results we were looking for.”


Canadiens goaltender Carey Price turns away a shot from Panthers centre Aleksander Barkov during third-period action in Sunrise, Fla., Sunday night.

Steve Mitchell /

USA TODAY Sports

The problems start — but do not end — with goaltender Carey Price, who said: “I have to do my part and make more stops.”

When asked whether the free-flowing style of the game created problems, he said: “I’m just focused on making the next stop.”

Price was making his 32nd appearance in 39 games and when asked whether he was fresh, he replied “as a daisy.”

“We’re definitely not tight enough, tonight and last night as well,” said captain Shea Weber, who was part of the trading chances group. He scored his 12th goal to keep the Canadiens’ hopes alive late in the third period, but he was also on the ice for four of the Florida goals.

“There were definitely some positives in the way we fought back, but we know that’s not the way we’re going to be successful,” Weber said. “We have to tighten up again. That’s why we were winning games. After a few days off (for Christmas), we were little bit loose and we have to be cognizant of our game and what we need to do to be successful.”

The loss gave the Canadiens a 3-3-0 record on their holiday road trip, which winds up Tuesday in Carolina. The Hurricanes are currently holding down the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. That’s another crucial game because the Canadiens are coming home Thursday and face a tough test with a rematch against Tampa Bay.

The Canadiens let the game get away from them Saturday in Tampa. After 12 minutes, the Canadiens were outshooting the Lightning 18-0 and had a 2-0 lead. But the momentum shifted when Alex Killorn scored the first of his two goals in the final minute of the period and Steven Stamkos touched off a three-goal outburst early in the second period.

The Canadiens stayed overnight in Fort Lauderdale and were scheduled to have a day off Monday before wrapping up their road trip Tuesday against the Hurricanes (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).

phickey@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/zababes1

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Ilya Mikheyev and Maple Leafs settle on a new contract – Pension Plan Puppets

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Kyle Dubas and Ilya Mikheyev have settled on a new contract only hours before a salary arbitration hearing was scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The contract is a fair bit bigger in real dollars in Year Two, which is likely to benefit Mikheyev somewhat thanks to escrow.

The deal comes in between Mikheyev’s arbitration proposal (one year at $2.7M) and the Leafs (two years at $1M.) It’s hard to know for sure what the Leafs will get from Mikheyev based on his half-season, but he doesn’t need to be much more than competent for this deal to work out. He will be an unrestricted free agent once the deal ends.

Mikheyev put up 23 points in 39 games this past regular season before a hand injury took him out of action. He did appear in the qualifying round but did not get on the scoresheet against Columbus. He would have made a bit of an unusual arbitration case given his small NHL sample. With this night-before settlement, the Leafs are spared the necessity of talking down a player they’ve clearly worked at building a relationship with.

Mikheyev was the only Leafs player to enter the arbitration process this season. The only remaining Leafs Restricted Free Agents still in need of a new contract are defenceman Travis Dermott and winger Joey Anderson, who was acquired from the Devils when they traded away Andreas Johnsson.

Poll

How do you feel about this deal?

  • 9%

    A steal for Toronto

    (77 votes)

  • 66%

    Good bet

    (536 votes)

  • 11%

    A bit risky

    (89 votes)

  • 13%

    Once again, the false king Kyle Dubas has overpaid an RFA

    (105 votes)



807 votes total

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Pandemic World Series draws smallest crowd in over century – Sportsnet.ca

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Julie and Lance Smith walked through the mostly empty concourse of Globe Life Field.

Tampa Bay infielder Joey Wendle is married to one of their cousins, and they weren’t going to miss his World Series debut.

“It’s so weird,” said Julie Smith, 38, from Gadsden, Alabama.

“It’s kind of nice in a way, too,” Lance, 39, said before they headed to their seats in the first deck behind home plate.

They wore masks, but many fans ignored the requirement for facial coverings except while eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.

A crowd of 11,388 attended the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Tuesday night’s World Series opener, spread in groups of up to four, mostly in alternate rows and none directly behind each other among the forest green seats.

That was the smallest Series crowd since 10,535 attended Game 6 in 1909 between the Tigers and Pittsburgh at Detroit’s Bennett Park, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Major League Baseball planned to make about 28% available of the 40,518 capacity at the retractable-roof stadium of the Texas Rangers. The new $1.2 billion venue opened this year and replaced Globe Life Park, the team’s open-air home from 1994 through 2019. During batting practice, through the new stadium’s glass walls, the sun glistened off the red brick of the old stadium across the street beyond left field, a field now used for high school football.

Behind home plate, the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium gleamed like a spaceship.

World Series games are usually festive, packed early with fans celebrating the dual accomplishments of their team making it to baseball’s ultimate stage and of their snagging hard-to-find tickets, usually displayed in plastic hanging from lanyard draped around their necks.

But this World Series had a surreal, at times sombre feel caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The small crowd was supplemented with fan audio from stadium speakers.

No fans were allowed into any of the 898 regular-season games this season, which were played in mostly empty ballparks due to governmental health restrictions.

Players’ families were allowed starting for the 18 first-round playoff games, the 15 Division Series games and the AL Championship Series between Tampa Bay and Houston in San Diego, with fans added for the Dodgers’ matchup against Atlanta in the NL Championship Series in Arlington, an average of 10,835 for the seven games. Roughly the same amount of tickets were sold for each World Series game.

Behind third base, a group of fans in Dodgers gear watched after flying in.

Brian Casey, a 29-year-old from Glendale, California, booked a plane ticket ahead of Sunday night’s win over the Braves, knowing he had 24 hours to cancel without penalty, then made a decision after the Dodgers rallied for a 4-3 win. He was in attendance when they last won the World Series in 1988 as a kid and was at Dodger Stadium when they played Boston in 2018. He watched Tuesday with Ryan Radenbaugh, 37, from Burbank.

“We just went to buy souvenirs and it was all Rangers stuff,” Radenbaugh said.

Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer, said the pandemic made it difficult to get gear shipped in the short time after teams won pennants last weekend.

MLB made the decision to play with the roof open. It was closed until the Dodgers started to warm up about 3 1/2 hours ahead of first pitch, then slid open as the public address system played Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarasuthra,” known to many as the opening music from Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The usual pregame introductions of teams were dispensed with. When the a cappella group Pentatonix sang a recorded version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” played on the 58×150-foot video board in right field and the 40-x111-foot board in the left-field corner, about 18 Dodgers were in front of the first base dugout and on the right field line, and roughly a dozen Rays were by the third base dugout and on the left-field line.

A live flyover of four jets followed, and ceremonial first pitches were thrown by medical personnel who assisted during the pandemic: Brittney Burns, a nurse practitioner from San Antonio; Erika Combs, an oncology and kidney transplant nurse at a Dallas hospital; and Jamie Edens and Ryan Ward, nurses from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who are a married couple.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was on hand, yelled “Play Ball!” into a microphone and retired Dodgers announcer Vin Scully delivered by video recording: “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” just before Clayton Kershaw walked to the mound.

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FOLLOW LIVE: Dodgers blowing out Rays in Game 1 – TSN

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It all comes down to this. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays are just four wins away from a championship as they meet in Game 1 of the World Series. Clayton Kershaw makes his fifth World Series start, while Tyler Glasnow makes his Fall Classic debut. Keep up with the action all game long with TSN.ca’s Game 1 live blog.

Rays – 3

Dodgers – 8

Final


11:14pm – Pedro Baez enters the game for the Dodgers in the eighth inning and gets a 1-2-3 inning of his own. Dodgers lead 8-3 going into the bottom of the eighth.  

11:04pm – Josh Fleming gives the Rays exactly what they need with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh to hold the Dodgers at eight runs and Tampa Bay remains fives runs back with two innings to play.

10:58pm – Mike Zunino fires a 105.6 mph line drive right up the middle of the field, but Gonzalez snags it and turns to double off Brosseau at second base and escape the jam.

10:54pm – Kevin Kiermaier follows up the Brosseau single with a single of his own to score Wendle from third, the Rays now trail by five.

10:52pm – Brosseau singles on a 3-2 slider to cut the Dodgers lead to six.

10:49pm – More gamesmanship from the Rays, as Mike Brosseau will now hit for Choi.

10:46pm – Joey Wendle doubles to give the Rays a runner of second and third with one out. Ji-Man Choi enters the game to pinch hit with the Rays down seven, and the Dodgers counter with brining in lefty Victor Gonzalez.

10:40pm – Dylan Floro takes the mound for the Dodgers to start the seventh inning, meaning Clayton Kershaw‘s night is over. Kershaw finishes the night with eight strikeouts and gives up just one run on two hits.

10:32pm – Justin Turner and Max Muncy hit back-to-back doubles to extend the Dodgers lead to 8-1.

10:30pm – MOOKIE NUKE – In the fifth Mookie Betts did it with his legs, in the sixth he leads off the inning with a home run to right field.

10:26pm – The long wait between innings means nothing for Kershaw as he comes out for the sixth inning and needs just nine pitches to retire the Rays in order.

10:18pm – Los Angeles adds two more runs before Austin Barnes flies out to end the inning. The Dodgers score four in the fifth to extend their lead to five runs.

10:07pm – DODGERS CHASE GLASNOW – Will Smith singles in another run and Tyler Glasnow‘s night has come to an end. He leaves with one out in the fifth, two runners on base and trailing 4-1.

10:00pm  – MOOKIE MAGIC – Mookie Betts walks to lead off the fifth inning, steals second and third and scores from third on a ground ball hit to the first baseman. The Dodgers regain their two-run and now are up 3-1.

9:43pm – KIERMAIER GOES DEEP – Kevin Kiermaier cuts the Dodgers lead in half with a home run to right field.

9:38pm – Glasnow walked the next batter following the Bellinger home run, but limits the damage by striking out the final two batters of the inning. The Dodgers lead 2-0 heading to the fifth inning.

9:25pm – BELLI BOMB – Cody Bellinger opens the scoring with a two-run home run to right field. It’s his second in two games.

9:18pm – Another three up-three down inning for Kershaw. He now has six strikeouts after four innings and has not given up a hit since the leadoff single to start the game.

9:09pm – GLASNOW ANSWERS – Tyler Glasnow gives up a walk to Corey Seager but strikes out the side. The 26-year-old now has five strikeouts after three innings.

8:57pm – KERSHAW CRUISING- Clayton Kershaw has retired eight-straight Rays players and picks up his third and fourth strikeouts. The 32-year-old has given up just two base runners through three innings.

8:51pm – Glasnow gives up his first hit of the night, but nothing more and we’re headed to the third inning tied 0-0.

8:40pm – ABC, easy as an 1-2-3 inning for Kershaw. The southpaw needed just 11 pitches to get through his second inning of work.

8:34pm – Glasnow gives up a walk to Corey Seager and nothing more. Off to the second inning we go.

8:26pm – Just like his Kershaw, Glasnow opens his night with a first-pitch fastball for a strike.

8:23pm – Díaz leads off the game with a single and Randy Arozarena reaches on a walk, but the Rays fail to capitalize and we’re headed to the bottom of the first tied 0-0.

8:11pm – We are underway, Clayton Kershaw fires a first pitch strike to Yandy Díaz to begin the World Series.

*All times EST*


Over his six World Series appearances, Kershaw is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 26.2 innings. The southpaw has made three starts in the 2020 playoffs, picking up wins over the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres. But he struggled in his only start of the NLCS, giving up four runs in five innings to the Atlanta Braves, getting tagged with the loss.

Glasnow, 26, starts the first World Series game for the Rays since 2008. Like his counterpart, Glasnow picked up a win in the opening two rounds of the playoffs, shutting down the Toronto Blue Jays, and holding the New York Yankees to four runs through 7.1 innings. The righty was tagged with the loss in his only ALCS start when he tossed six innings, giving up eight hits and four earned runs.

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