Connect with us

Sports

Kyrou scores two as Blues beat Wild in record-cold Winter Classic – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


MINNEAPOLIS — The St. Louis Blues boarded their bus to the game in a humorous ensemble of shorts, Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops, lightening the mood before the coldest outdoor game in NHL history.

Jordan Kyrou and his linemates made the Winter Classic look like a day at the beach.

Kyrou had two goals and two assists in a five-goal second period, and the Blues cruised to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Wild with a faceoff temperature of minus-5.7 degrees on Saturday night.

“It’s a nice little trick. I definitely was fully awake,” said Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly, who helped orchestrate the dress code in the player group chat.

This was the first of 33 outdoor games the league has played with a temperature below zero. The Blues got serious once they hit the ice, filling their water bottles with chicken broth and tucking hand warmers in their pads to help against the cold.

“It was important to have energy and emotion in the game,” coach Craig Berube said. “When you’re playing in that kind of extreme weather, you’ve got to dig in.”

David Perron got the Blues on the board in the first period. Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev and Torey Krug joined Kyrou by scoring in the second, and Robert Thomas pitched in with two assists. Jordan Binnington made 29 saves for the Blues, who are 11-1-2 in their last 14 games against the rival Wild.

“It was a crazy show, and I think it’s something we’ll always remember,” Binnington said.

Kirill Kaprizov had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who trailed 6-2 at the second intermission and pulled goalie Cam Talbot after 22 saves in two periods in favor of Kaapo Kahkonen. Talbot had a lower-body injury, coach Dean Evason said.

Rem Pitlick, Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala also scored for the Wild, who pulled within 6-4 on Fiala’s 6-on-5 goal with 5:38 remaining after Kahkonen was pulled for the extra skater, but they were in too big of a hole.

“It’s cold for both teams. The ice is bouncy for both teams. They just outplayed us for 40 minutes, easy. We didn’t play smart hockey like we’ve been doing most of the time this year,” right wing Mats Zuccarello said.

Talbot, who posted an outdoor shutout for Edmonton in the Heritage Classic in 2016, wore a forest green stocking cap on top of his mask to match Minnesota’s jerseys. He didn’t have much help. The Wild were missing their two best defensemen, captain Jared Spurgeon (lower-body injury) and Jonas Brodin (COVID-19 protocols), and allowed 14 shots on goal in each of the first two periods.

“They’re a team that likes to make plays, and obviously the ice is not the best. We kind of tried to capitalize on their mistakes, and that’s how we got our chances,” Kyrou said.

Due to virus outbreaks on other teams, the Wild had four games postponed over the last three weeks and had not played in 12 days. They have allowed 22 goals in their last four games.

“It’s hard to reflect now, obviously, but I think once we look back on it it’ll be an exciting experience,” Evason said. “Just ended a little bit bitter, that’s all.”

The Blues were the sharper team, having beaten Edmonton 4-2 on Wednesday behind a goal and two assists from Kyrou in his return from a four-game absence due to an upper-body injury.

Perron deposited a rebound past Talbot’s blocker with 5:31 left in the first period after O’Reilly’s shot deflected off Wild defenseman Jon Merrill’s skate.

Kaprizov tied the game 25 seconds later by banking the puck off Blues defenseman Niko Mikkola’s skate, but Kyrou put St. Louis in front for good 27 seconds into the second period on yet another bad-bounce goal that glanced off Hartman. Kyrou’s four points are the most in 13 editions of the Winter Classic, the main outdoor event the NHL made for TV on New Year’s Day.

Pitlick added to the highlight reel with his behind-the-net shot that clinked off the side of Binnington’s mask to cut the lead to 5-2 late in the second period.

DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

The Blues also considered lumberjack outfits for their arrival wear, which Binnington had already purchased 30 shirts for, but the beach look won out. Defenseman Marco Scandella even carried a cooler in one hand with a cup of coffee in the other, his white shirt fully unbuttoned.

“We just figured when we’re 50 years old looking back, do we want to see us getting off the bus in a suit or something funny like that?” Binnington said.

KILLING IT

Binnington was called for tripping in the first period and has 14 penalty minutes this season, the most in the league for any goalie. The Blues killed off that penalty and three more, and they’ve allowed only one goal in their last 24 penalty kills since Dec. 4.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME

The Wild had played outdoors once before, in a Stadium Series game in 2016 at the University of Minnesota’s football stadium. The Blues won the Winter Classic in 2017 at Busch Stadium, the home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals.

This was the 11th time in the 33 outdoor games — and seventh time in the 13 Winter Classics — that the NHL played at a baseball venue. The announced attendance was a sellout of 38,619.

UP NEXT

The Blues play at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

The Wild play at Boston on Thursday.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Canada's Denis Shapovalov is on to the fourth round of the Australian Open – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Published

 on


The Canadian Press


Published Friday, January 21, 2022 7:28AM EST


Last Updated Friday, January 21, 2022 6:40PM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canada’s Denis Shapovalov has a spot in the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career.

He beat Reilly Opelka 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday to set up a showdown with third-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

The Canadian has been pushed hard at Melbourne Park, averaging three hours 37 minutes of court time per win so far.

“I’ve gotten very familiar with the ice baths the last week,” Shapovalov said with a smile in an on-court interview. “We’ve become very good friends.”

At six foot 11 and 225 pounds, Opelka is an imposing force on the court. He had a 17-10 edge in aces on the 14th-seeded Shapovalov but made 46 unforced errors.

“Early on I actually found a rhythm on his serve,” Shapovalov said. “I was able to chip quite a lot back, so I was happy with that. I think I did a really good of just taking the chances today.

“Obviously it’s really tough to get the rhythm against a guy like that so I’m super happy.”

It was the first career meeting between Shapovalov and the 23rd-seeded American. Zverev, meanwhile, has a 4-2 edge in head-to-head matchups against the Canadian.

“Hopefully I can win,” Zverev said. “It’s going to be a great match.”

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., previously reached the third round at Melbourne Park in 2019 and 2021. The 22-year-old’s best Grand Slam performance was a semifinal showing last year at Wimbledon.

Zverev defeated Maldova’s Radu Albot 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in third-round play.

“Radu is in great form right now … 1/8I’m 3/8 happy to be through in three sets,” Zverev said.

Ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal was scheduled to play Britain’s Daniel Evans in third-round play Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Defense trade targets for the Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe's "soft" comment, and how many games should Petr Mrazek start the rest of the way? – MLHS Podcast Episode 38 – Maple Leafs Hot Stove

Published

 on


Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast).
Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled “Leafs Notebook.”
MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Tennis-‘I’m not God! Can’t win every match’ – Osaka proud despite early exit

Published

 on

Naomi Osaka was at peace with herself after yet another failed attempt at defending a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and the former world number one was especially proud of the way she has managed to mould her mindset to deal with tough losses.

The former world number one crashed out from Melbourne Park after a third round loss in the deciding set tiebreaker to American Amanda Anisimova — the same stage the four-times major winner exited the U.S. Open four months back.

Following the Flushing Meadows defeat, a tearful Osaka told a news conference that she was taking a break from the sport, raising more concern about her mental health struggles that forced her to miss parts of the tennis season.

The soft spoken and self-confessed introvert declared at the start of the 2022 season that she was looking to have more fun on court and enjoy playing the sport.

“I would definitely say I’m proud of myself for this,” the Japanese player told reporters on Friday. “Though to me it didn’t feel like a short amount of time. It felt like ages ago.

“This for me is the biggest step. Even though I lost. I was really focused throughout the entire match, and I didn’t have a dip. So that’s really good. Hopefully as the season continues, I’ll be able to keep this up, and get even better at it.”

It was the fourth time that Osaka had failed to defend a Grand Slam title but on Friday she held two matchpoints against the American – something that also made her proud.

Osaka felt her defeat by 60th-ranked Anisimova showed the depth of women’s tennis.

“I fought for every point. I can’t be sad about that,” Osaka said, adding that she was yet to decide on her schedule before the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells in March.

“I’m not God! I can’t win every match. The last match that I played in New York I think I had a completely different attitude.

“Of course I lost, but I’m happy with how it went. I just want to go into this year knowing that I’ll play the whole year and I’ll just have the greatest attitude ever.”

 

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge)

Continue Reading

Trending