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In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there are all sorts of interesting records being approached by members of this current 2020-21 NHL roster, including some feats reached by Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse. There’s trade talk linking the Oilers to the Detroit Red Wings and one Oilers media insider addresses the idea of the team acquiring a big-name rental and what it might cost to do so.
Interesting Stat Lines for Darnell Nurse
Nurse scored his career-high 12th goal of the season as the Oilers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime on Monday night. Only one defenceman has scored more goals through the team’s first 36 games of a season, that being Paul Coffey who has done so on four different occasions. Nurse also scored his 3rd career OT winner, tying Eric Brewer for the most OT goals by a defenceman in Oilers history.
That’s not all, however. All of Nurse’s 12 goals this year are at even strength and he picked up the fifth game-winning goal away from home in his NHL career to date. That’s tied him for 2nd on this list of scoring rearguards in Oilers franchise history.
One of my colleagues took a look at the season Nurse is having, arguing he should be in the conversation for the Norris Trophy this year. It’s hard to look at what Nurse has done and how his game has grown and think he’s not going to be in the mix by the end of the season, even if Victor Hedman is still the favorite.
McDavid On Fire, Best Since Gretzky Through First 36
While Auston Matthews has retaken the goal scoring lead in the NHL, McDavid is simply destroying the rest of the field in points with 63 through 36 games. That is the most in franchise history since 1987-88 when Wayne Gretzky had 81. McDavid was held off the scoresheet in regulation of Monday’s game but he came through with a clutch play to set up Nurse for the overtime winner.
We spoke about the Hart Trophy conversation this season and I just don’t see how anyone but McDavid wins that award.
Koskinen Will Get the Start Tuesday
As the Oilers take on the Montreal Canadiens in a rescheduled game tonight, Mikko Koskinen will get the start for the Oilers in goal. Smith has been great, but as these back-to-backs start to become a more regular thing, Koskinen and Smith will need to share the load.
As TSN’s Jason Gregor points out, the Oilers are 6-1 in first games of back-to-backs and 5-1 in second games thus far this season. What’s interesting is that teams in the North Division playing the second night of a back-to-back on the road this year have a combined total of one win.
Oilers Running Out of Time on Red Wings’ Glendening?
Elliotte Friedman reports in his latest 31 Thoughts column that he believes there are potential conversations going on between the Oilers and Detroit Red Wings regarding forward Luke Glendening. Friedman notes Glendening is “very much on Edmonton’s radar”. That said, the NHL insider also adds that other teams are kicking tires on the faceoff specialist and Edmonton could be outbid by another team if they don’t act fast.
This is exactly the type of player the Oilers are looking for there have been a few insiders connecting the Oilers to the depth center. All that said, Edmonton shouldn’t be willing to overpay, especially if other options are available from teams desperate to make a trade. It will be intriguing to see what gives first.
Is There a Path to the Oilers Realistically Renting Taylor Hall?
Jonathan Willis of The Athletic asked an NHL executive if there was any path to the Oilers acquiring Hall as a rental before the deadline and doing so in a trade that wouldn’t send one of Edmonton’s multi-year deals back the other way? The response was interesting.
As per the NHL executive:
Hall back to Edmonton would be a great story. Maybe the way to do it is to trade Buffalo a first-round pick and Alex Chiasson. Then flip, say, a fifth-rounder to a third team in exchange for them retaining one-quarter of Hall’s remaining cost.
source – ‘Who says no? NHL execs evaluate your Oilers trade proposals for Taylor Hall, John Gibson and more’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 03/30/2021
Willis also looked at Kyle Palmieri, Scott Laughton and Conor Garland as trade-target rentals for the Oilers. Laughton was the player if exec thought the Flyers would move in a heartbeat if Edmonton offered up someone like Caleb Jones.
Brady throws two TD passes, Buccaneers beat Eagles – TSN
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers keep losing key players and stockpiling victories.
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, Leonard Fournette ran for two scores and the Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 on Thursday night.
The defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (5-1) lost another cornerback when three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, but their depleted defense held on after Jalen Hurts rallied the Eagles from a 28-7 deficit.
“It’s tough to win on the road,” Brady said. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best so we have to get back to work … We got to get better.”
Playing with an injured thumb, Brady came out firing. The 44-year-old, seven-time Super Bowl champion tossed TD passes on Tampa Bay’s first two drives while going 11 for 12 for 121 yards.
His best play came after Hurts’ second TD run and a 2-point conversion pulled Philadelphia within six points with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter.
Facing a third-and-7 from Philadelphia’s 45, Brady rolled away from pressure and threw a perfect pass to Antonio Brown for a 27-yard gain to extend the drive and the Bucs ran out the clock.
“It was a great route, hell of a throw as Tom got out of the pocket,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. ″Couple times this year he slipped out of the pocket to the right and made a big play down the field.”
Brady finished 34 of 42 for 297 yards and an interception. He insisted his thumb, which was taped, is fine.
“I feel great, awesome,” he said. “It’s football season. I feel good. Really do.”
The Eagles (2-4) are winless in three home games under rookie coach Nick Sirianni. They heard boos at halftime but fought back to make it close.
“We were bad in the first half. Put that one on me,” Sirianni said. “There’s no doubt our offense needs to be better to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Brady’s 2-yard TD pass to O.J. Howard gave the Buccaneers a 7-0 lead. The Eagles answered on Hurts’ 5-yard scoring pass to Zach Ertz. Brady then hit Brown for a 23-yard TD pass to make it 14-7.
After two straight three-and-out series, Brady led the Bucs on another scoring drive with Fournette running in from the 2 to extend the lead to 21-7. Tampa increased its lead to 28-7 when Fournette walked in from the 1 in the third quarter.
Fournette ran for 81 yards and caught six passes for 46 yards.
“Having that year under my belt makes a big difference understanding it,” said Fournette, who signed with Tampa Bay shortly before last season after he was cut by Jacksonville. “The sky’s the limit for me.”
Brady was 19 of 22 before missing three straight passes late in the second quarter, including a deep ball intercepted by Anthony Harris that ended his streak of 227 passes without a pick.
The Buccaneers were already missing cornerbacks Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting and safety Antoine Winfield before Sherman went down on Philadelphia’s first drive. Sherman was quickly ruled out. Arians wasn’t certain the severity of the injury.
“We just have to keep playing with the guys we have and see how long the injury is. Next man up,” Arians said.
Still, against a patchwork secondary, Hurts struggled throwing the ball. He was 12 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD and one interception. Hurts ran for 44 yards and two scores.
“I haven’t executed enough to win, clearly,” Hurts said. “The ball is in my hands every play and I enjoy that and I like that. I have to be better. I’m not doing enough to win. I’m not doing enough to start fast. I will be better.”
LOOK OUT, TROUT
Hurts fired the ball toward the stands after running into the end zone for his second TD, causing a security guard to duck and three-time AL MVP Mike Trout to flinch in his front-row seat. Trout, who grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey, is a huge Eagles fan.
The Eagles inducted left tackle Tra Thomas and right tackle Jon Runyan into the team’s Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony. The duo started 134 regular-season games together from 2000-08. During that span, the Eagles reached the playoffs seven times, won five NFC East titles, reached five conference championship games and one Super Bowl.
Buccaneers: TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs), Winfield (concussion) and LB Lavonte David (ankle) were inactive.
Eagles: TE Dallas Goedert (COVID protocol) and RT Lane Johnson (personal) were inactive.
Buccaneers: Host Chicago (2-3) on Oct. 24.
Eagles: At Las Vegas (3-2) on Oct. 24.
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi and his work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/robmaaddi
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Dodgers beat Giants in Game 5, advance to NLCS – TSN
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cody Bellinger hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and prized midseason acquisition Max Scherzer came out of the bullpen for his first career save, sending the Los Angeles Dodgers past the San Francisco Giants 2-1 in a thrilling winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night and into the NL Championship Series.
Bellinger’s big hit decided a scintillating NL Division Series between talent-laden teams with lofty win totals — the latest exciting chapter of this storied rivalry.
And the dramatic finish came with a controversial call: With a runner on, Scherzer struck out Wilmer Flores on a check-swing to end it. First base umpire Gabe Morales rang up Flores on appeal — but on television replays, it certainly didn’t appear he swung.
No matter, the Dodgers rushed out of their dugout to celebrate on the Giants’ home field. Meanwhile, fans threw beer cans and debris onto the diamond in disgust.
“The umpire said it was a swing, so it was a swing,” Bellinger said.
Mookie Betts had a postseason career-high four hits and will lead the next step for the defending World Series champions at Atlanta for Game 1 of the best-of-seven NLCS on Saturday night.
Los Angeles came back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Braves in last year’s NLCS, taking Game 7 by a 4-3 score on the way to its first title since 1988.
“It’s going to be another good one. It’s not going to be easy,” Bellinger said. “We played each other a few times the last few years. So we kind of know what each other’s got, and really looking forward to it.”
Camilo Doval plunked Justin Turner with one out in the ninth and Gavin Lux then singled before Bellinger delivered his most meaningful hit in a scrutinized season.
“You really do want to be in that moment,” Bellinger said.
Scherzer, the Game 3 loser who came over from Washington at the trade deadline, closed out a best-of-five series certain to go down among the several classics these franchises have played — right up there with the 1951 and ’62 clubs that each matched up in three-game tiebreakers for the NL pennant that the Giants won each time.
In the 24th and final meeting between these so evenly matched rivals who knew everything about each other by this stage, it was only fitting they split at 12 apiece. The 107-win Giants edged the Dodgers for the NL West title on the final day, Los Angeles winding up a game back with 106 victories.
The Dodgers already won once facing elimination, topping the Cardinals last week in the wild-card game 3-1. And manager Dave Roberts’ bold Game 5 gamble paid off: 20-game winner Julio Urías pitched out of the bullpen instead of starting as originally planned. Urías entered in the third inning and gave LA four innings of relief with five strikeouts.
“I think that you can’t do a job for fear of failure or potential criticism,” Roberts explained. “I think that you have to do your job given whatever you feel is the best way to win the game.”
Betts had the Dodgers’ initial three hits with singles at the top of the lineup before Corey Seager’s RBI double in the sixth as the Dodgers finally got to Game 1 winner Logan Webb.
Then Darin Ruf’s first hit of the series for San Francisco after starting 0 for 9 was a tying home run in the bottom half. The 452-foot drive is the longest of this postseason.
Webb was done after seven more brilliant innings, allowing one run on four hits, striking out seven and walking one as he once more delighted a sellout crowd of 42,275 with their swirling orange rally towels and those deafening “Beat LA!” chants.
The 24-year-old right-hander and two relievers shut out the Dodgers 4-0 here last Friday, and Webb’s Sierra Elementary School to the north in Rocklin held a day in his honor earlier this week.
Betts led off the game with a single but the Giants got out of it with an inning-ending double play and Webb faced the minimum through two.
Right-hander Corey Knebel opened for the Dodgers and gave up Buster Posey’s two-out double in the first, then pumped his fist striking out Brandon Crawford in a seven-pitch at-bat.
“Sometimes there’s things that you can’t really explain. It’s kind of like that `It’ thing. I feel like we have it,” Betts said.
Betts is only the second batter with three hits in a game against Webb this year, joining San Diego’s Eric Hosmer on April 30.
The LA right fielder also is the first player in Dodgers history with four hits in a winner-take-all postseason game.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who retired following the 2016 season after 67 years calling Dodgers games, weighed in on the magnitude of this Game 5 matchup in the clubs’ storied histories.
“To my knowledge, tonight’s game between the (at)Dodgers and (at)SFGiants is the most important game in the history of their rivalry. With nearly identical records, and so much at stake, I believe this to be the case,” Scully posted on Twitter. “Many of you might consider the 1951 game for the NL pennant to be bigger. Perhaps, but that was more about the greatest moment with Bobby Thomson’s game-winning home run.”
Roberts was told before the game of the 93-year-old Scully’s remarks.
“Now I feel pressure, gosh darn it, man,” Roberts said with a grin.
A moment of silence and a thoughtful big screen tribute were held for two-time All-Star catcher Ray Fosse, who died Wednesday at age 74 after a 16-year battle with cancer. He had worked earlier this season as a broadcaster across the bay for the Oakland Athletics.
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Scott Stinson: Watch Alphonso Davies score this audacious goal. This isn't the same old Canadian team – National Post
Wait, the Canadian men’s national soccer team is good now?
This is a thing that has not happened in my lifetime, and I have teenage children, one of whom is technically an adult now. World Cup qualifying campaigns are generally a time for the team’s humiliation and regret. Canada, a big wealthy country, sends its best men to a small, impoverished nation in Central America and gets embarrassed on a dusty pitch that features 18 blades of grass and is surrounded by a moat. Somewhere along the way they get drubbed by Mexico and the United States. A manager is fired. So it goes. The Canadian men have made just one World Cup, in Mexico in 1986.
But something remarkable happened Wednesday night in Toronto. Tied in a crucial qualifying match against Panama, Canada’s Jonathan David looped a hopeful ball up toward the centre of the pitch and his teammate Tajon Buchanan. It looked promising for a moment, but then skittered away toward the sideline. The moment seemed gone.
Except Alphonso Davies, the 20-year-old bolt of lightning from Edmonton, raced toward the ball from deep in his own end. He reached it at full speed, pulled it inside with his right instep — almost a back-heeled pass to himself — and then reoriented before bursting toward the Panamanian goal. The shot that followed almost had to go in: any move that audacious, that brilliant, deserves a finish. The play made it 2-1, Canada.
A crowd of more than 26,000 roared, partly at the spectacular goal and partly out of relief. This was a game we had to win. The home side was on their way to three big points, following two draws in this qualifying window, and, most important, holding on to one of the top spots in their group on the way to Qatar 2022.
It was a wild night for the Canadian men, an arrival as a team that is not yet close to being a world power but is turning into an honest-to-goodness threat. Panama made the World Cup in 2018, and after Davies sliced them open, his teammates Buchanan and David added goals on the way to a 4-1 final. Job done.
But it was that Davies goal that will go down in Canadian soccer lore. His incredible pace, the deft touch at the sideline — it is not hyperbole to say that very few players in the world could have pulled off that combination of athleticism and skill in a blink.
“It was pretty cool,” said Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, in a tremendous bit of understatement.
Davies said he was just concentrating on digging toward the ball, and once he had kept it in bounds, he knew he wanted to cut past the Panamanian defender. “In my mind, I was just like, ‘Shoot the ball’,” he said. The picture he painted, it must be said, does not at all live up to the action on the field.
The moment felt like a defining one: all those failures of the past? They were not authored by players like this.
It is not just that the men’s team hasn’t made a World Cup since Glass Tiger was on the airwaves. It’s that the team has struggled to be even the least bit relevant on the global soccer stage. Other than a shocking Gold Cup win 20 years ago, the Canadian men have all but lurched through World Cup qualifying cycles with painful regularity. And in the rare moments when they have achieved a spot of success to give themselves a decent chance at advancement, they have been smacked down in a dispiriting loss.
Canada reaches World Cup qualifying final round after ‘worst’ own goal from Haiti
How Canada got to the women’s soccer final: A journey that was a decade in the making
In qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, they needed just a draw against Honduras in San Pedro de Sula to move on, but lost 8-1. On the way to the 2018 tournament, they pulled a record crowd of almost 60,000 to a match against Mexico in Vancouver in what was setting up to be a landmark night — and were promptly spanked 3-0. The years since haven’t been much kinder, with the team shuffling through managers before eventually bringing in John Herdman, the Englishman who had led the Canadian women’s national team to such great effect.
Herdman finally has the team clicking. Buoyed by the addition of spectacular young talent such as Davies, David, Buchanan and Cyle Larin, this is a group that seems capable of setting a whole new Canadian standard. They tied Mexico in Azteca Stadium last week, an extraordinarily rare feat for a visiting team. Canada’s goal in the 1-1 draw was the first it had scored on that storied pitch since 1980. A 1-1 draw on the weekend in Jamaica wasn’t as impressive, but it kept the undefeated streak alive in the qualifiers and set up a match at BMO Field, in front of a big home crowd for the first time in forever, that gave them a chance to reach an excellent position in their group after six games.
But when Panama scored early, off a counter-attack in the fifth minute that felt like the first time the visitors had touched the ball, there was an uncomfortable familiarity to it all. Canada had ushered in a new era with dazzling stars — and then thrown up a little on themselves just at the worst time.
Except this time really was different. As the Panamanians celebrated their goal in the corner, the men in red took their positions and Davies was raring to get going in the centre circle. They had conceded a shocker, but they looked anxious to get it right back. And they almost did.
A beautiful sequence of passes sent David rushing toward the Panamanian keeper, but the forward made one pass too many, directing the ball backward instead of trying a shot. Canada attacked in wave after wave, with Davies in particular flashing dizzying skill on the ball.
Though it was late at night back in Munich, if his coaches with Bayern were watching they were probably having a serious rethink about playing the kid, as they do, as a fullback. The eventual equalizer came when Davies blasted a series of swinging corner kicks and the third eventually spilled in off a defender. It was a wholly different Canada, playing with flair and skill and, in every way but the score, running their guests off the pitch.
It would be Davies who eventually did the literal running that sent Canada on its way, and ultimately sent all those red shirts out, fat and happy, into a warm fall night in Toronto. This is a thing that, for this program, just doesn’t happen.
But this team is here now, and as they try to make it to Qatar, they are going to be a problem for anyone.
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