The NBA released the first half of its schedule for the 2020-21 season on Friday, which will be split up by an all-star break that takes place March 5-10.
The new campaign gets underway on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 4, 2020
Toronto will have four of its games nationally televised in the U.S. (Feb. 5 at Brooklyn, ESPN; Feb. 18 at Milwaukee, TNT; Feb. 24 at Miami, ESPN; March 4 at Boston, TNT) and three of them on NBA TV (Jan. 2 at New Orleans, Jan. 16 vs. Charlotte, Jan. 24 at Indiana). They will also play three back-to-backs in the crunched schedule and will have a particularly arduous three-game stretch against the Philadelphia 76ers (twice) and the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in late February.
Below is the Raptors’ first-half schedule in its entirety:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18), a key date on the league calendar every season, will contain a 10-game slate and feature the Phoenix Suns against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks against the Nets and the Lakers against the Warriors.
Under this season’s 72-game format, each team will play three games against each opponent in its conference (42 total games per team), with each pairing featuring either two home games and one road game or one home game and two road games.
As for the other conference, each team will play two games against each opponent (30 total games per team), with each pairing featuring one home game and one road game.
The second-half schedule of the overall 72-game campaign will be released at a later date, and will include not only the remainder of each team’s contests, but any games that are postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added in.
McIlroy hoping for ‘close to normal’ Ryder Cup
(Reuters) – Rory McIlroy said he is hopeful that a near-capacity crowd will be able to attend the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in September.
McIlroy said organizers had made the right call by deciding not to stage the event without fans last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m excited for the Ryder Cup,” McIlroy told the European Tour’s website.
“Hopefully, with how the vaccine is being rolled out, we are starting to see some light at the end the tunnel with this pandemic.
“It may not be the full, full capacity that a Ryder Cup usually is, but hopefully it will be very close to what a normal Ryder Cup is and I am excited for that.”
McIlroy, who is playing at the Abu Dhabi Championship this week, said he was in a good frame of mind.
“I’m raring to go after the Christmas break, I’ve done some good practice and you come into the new season with renewed optimism and a lot of goals,” McIlroy said. “I guess that has translated into some good golf here.
“I keep getting myself into contention and someone goes out and has a really good Sunday but I need to take the initiative and have one of those really good Sundays myself to get over the line.”
The Ryder Cup will be held from Sept. 24-26.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
Canadiens’ penalty killers simply perfect in Edmonton
“We had some good sticks tonight,” said Weber. “(The Oilers) were trying to hit seams and we were able to get sticks in lanes. (Goaltender Jake Allen) was able to make the first save and we were able to clear the puck after that.”
Julien rotated seven forwards on the PK to ensure there were fresh legs on the ice.
“Having more bodies allows us to be more aggressive,” said Weber. “Obviously, our forwards are trying to use their speed against the other team and that allows us to be more aggressive.”
Artturi Lehkonen completed the Montreal scoring with a short-handed goal. Not only did the Oilers go 0-for-10 on the power play in the two games in Edmonton, but they also gave up short-handed goals to Lehkonen and Jake Evans.
As good as the PK was, the fact that it had to work so hard indicates that the Canadiens have to do a better job of staying out of the box. It should also be noted that Weber and Romanov received cross-checking penalties. It might be a coincidence, but the penalties came in the wake of complaints that the Canadiens manhandled Auston Matthews last week in Toronto.
The Canadiens are bigger this year and they are playing bigger. They also outhit the Oilers 31-17 Monday.
“We were playing hard, we have many hits,” said Romanov. “We’re playing like a team, we’re playing like a family.”
It should be noted Allen deserved a shutout. He didn’t get one because Jonathan Drouin misplayed the puck at his own blue line and that led to a breakaway goal by Shore.
The nasty look Weber directed at Drouin told you everything you need to know about the play.
Source: – Montreal Gazette
Ehlers scores OT winner as Jets rally for win over Senators – TSN
OTTAWA — Nikolaj Ehlers and the Winnipeg Jets have yet to lead a contest in regulation and yet they’ve won two of their three games to start the NHL season.
Ehlers scored in overtime as Winnipeg twice rallied from a two-goal deficit en route to a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
The Jets (2-1-0) opened their season Thursday night with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Calgary Flames and were coming off a 3-1 loss Monday night to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ehlers scored his first goal of the season at 2:20 of overtime, moments after Winnipeg goalie Laurent Brossoit made a nice stop on Ottawa’s Drake Batherson. Blake Wheeler forced overtime for the Jets, scoring with 1:17 remaining in regulation with Brossoit on the bench for the extra attacker — a goal originally credited to Josh Morrissey before an official scoring change switched it to the Winnipeg captain.
“It (winning despite not leading in regulation) shows we don’t give up,” said Ehlers. “We battled our (butts) off to stay in the game . . . it feels good to have the two points.”
Ehlers heaped lavish praise upon Brossoit, who got the start after Connor Hellebuyck played Monday night.
“He kept us in the game,” Ehlers said. “They had a lot of good open chances, especially the last one there before our goal.
“We know we’ve got two goalies back there that keep us in games and do a great job. We’re trying to do our best to limit the shots they get, but if they play the way they’re playing right now, we’re happy.”
Added Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice: “He (Ehlers) can be so dangerous, such a dynamic player late in a game, just the speed to get into that hole and then make the play that finishes it,. We need him to feel confident and healthy and strong and when he is he’s just so very dynamic.”
Adam Lowry and Kyle Connor also scored for Winnipeg, which was outshot 41-28 in the contest.
“I guess you should wrap all of us up in our goaltending,” Maurice said. “That’s the key in our game, our goaltending has been outstanding.”
Josh Norris, Chris Tierney and Alex Galchenyuk scored for Ottawa (1-1-1).
The game was the first of three in five days between the two clubs. They’ll square off again in the nation’s capital Thursday night before returning to Winnipeg on Saturday.
Winnipeg was minus forward Patrik Laine (upper-body injury) for a second straight game. He’s listed as day to day.
Rookie forward Tim Stutzel, who’s dealing with a nagging minor injury, didn’t play for Ottawa. The third overall selection in the 2020 NHL draft, who has a goal through two games with the Senators, is also considered day to day.
Maurice said Tuesday’s game was an indication of just how important it is for a team to continue playing hard and believing in the process, regardless of the score. Ottawa controlled much of the play and held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 but couldn’t break Winnipeg’s will.
“That’s the most important piece for any team, that the score on the clock doesn’t dictate your effort level and your compete level,” Maurice said. “The late comeback wins have a really nice impact on your team.
“You carry those for a number of games. You always feel that you have a chance.”
Ottawa dominated the first, outshooting Winnipeg 18-9, and was rewarded with the opening two goals of the contest.
Norris opened the scoring on the power play at 4:41. He registered his first NHL goal when he slid the puck in off Brossoit’s skate.
Conner came close to putting Winnipeg on the scoresheet when he fired a shot off the goalpost on the power play. But Tierney put Ottawa ahead 2-0 with a deflection at 10:31 for his second of the season.
Lowry pulled Winnipeg to within 2-1 at 18:09. He deflected Neal Pionk‘s shot from the point past Matt Murray — making his third straight start in goal for Ottawa — for his first of the year.
It was more of the same in the second as Ottawa outshot Winnipeg 14-8 in the period and went back ahead by two goals at 11:47 of the second on Galchenyuk’s power-play blast. It was his first of the season but Winnipeg countered with Connor’s goal with the man advantage at 16:12.
It was Connor’s third of the season. He’s scored in all three Jets games in 2021.
“He’s scratching the surface here,” Maurice said of Connor. “He hasn’t been lucky in his start and he’s putting up great numbers.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 19. 2021.
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