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Ramblings: Three Overtime Games! Morrissey Out for Round 1, Schmid Shines (Apr 23)



It was the day of overtime with three games finishing beyond regulation on Saturday. We are also guaranteed no first-round sweeps, as every series now sits at 2-1. I’ll run through these games and try to pick out a few fantasy-relevant bits along with some other trivia.

Golden Knights 5, Jets 4 – 2OT (Golden Knights lead series 2-1)

Michael Amadio scored the winning goal in 3:40 of the second overtime period. Watch the poor clearing attempt from Dylan Samberg that allowed Amadio to score.

The Jets were perhaps lucky to drag Game 3 as long as they did, as they were left with five defensemen for most of the game. Josh Morrissey left the game early in the first period with a lower-body injury after colliding knee-on-knee with Zach Whitecloud. According to Rick Bowness, Morrissey will be out for the rest of the series. In addition, the Jets also entered the third period down 4-1, but they managed to tie the game late in the third period with this Adam Lowry goal.


Lowry, by the way, is tied for second with four goals in the playoffs so far.

As expected, Neal Pionk took over on the first power-play unit and should likely remain there for the foreseeable future. Pionk registered assists on all three third-period goals and logged a game-high 41:08. On the Jets blueline, Dylan DeMelo played 36:31, Brenden Dillon played 30:30, Nate Schmidt played 28:42, and Samberg played 22:00. Pionk will be key in any attempt that Winnipeg will make to win this series.

After waiting eight seasons, Jack Eichel is making the most of his first-ever playoff series. Eichel scored two power-play goals and added an assist with seven shots in Game 3. The funny thing is that Eichel scored just two power-play goals in the entire regular season. Eichel now has three goals in three playoff games.

Alex Pietrangelo led the Golden Knights with 34:30 in icetime, also assisting on both of Eichel’s goals. He has two assists in back-to-back games.

Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 3 – OT (Maple Leafs lead series 2-1)

This game itself almost went to double overtime, but Morgan Rielly scored on a shot from the point with less than a minute to give the Leafs the lead in the series.

The Leafs won despite being outshot 39-28 in the game and not registering a double-digit shot total in any period. As well, they were able to force overtime thanks to a Ryan O’Reilly goal with exactly one minute left in regulation.

O’Reilly (not to be confused with Rielly) finished the game with a Gordie Howe hat trick and more, scoring the above goal, 2 A, +2, 5 PIM, 3 SOG, and 3 BLKS. This game had some unusual fights, which included O’Reilly fighting Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos forcing Auston Matthews into the first fight in NHL history between players that have scored 60 goals in a season. It appears that Stamkos got away with no instigator penalty.

Victor Hedman returned to the Bolts’ lineup after missing Game 2 with an undisclosed injury. He logged 32:35 in Game 3, which was second to only Mikhail Sergachev (37:27) among Tampa players.

Speaking of Bolts defensemen, Darren Raddysh has picked up additional minutes with the absence of Erik Cernak. Raddysh scored a goal on five shots with four hits in 31:50. Raddysh reached the 20-minute mark in just three of 17 regular-season games, but he has reached at least 22 minutes in all three playoff games.

Tanner Jeannot finished the game with 11 hits. He fell just shy of reaching 300 hits for the second consecutive season, so he qualifies as that category killer. The downside with Jeannot is that he fell from 24 goals and 41 points to just six goals and 18 points this season. The scoring seemed a bit unexpected last season, but his shooting percentage plummeted from 19.4% last season to 5.6% this season. A reasonable expectation next season might be something like 30 points, which would still make him serviceable in bangers leagues.

I meant to share this the other night when it was more top of mind: Corey Perry was a minus-28 during the regular season. No other Lightning player was worse than a minus-10. Yet Perry is in the lineup every game because he is the perfect curmudgeon for playoff hockey. If only they could simply save him for the playoffs.

Devils 2, Rangers 1 – OT (Rangers lead series 2-1)

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Dougie Hamilton scored the overtime winner 11:36 into overtime to give the Devils a much-needed win to avoid facing elimination in Game 4. Jesper Bratt earns a much-deserved primary assist with some sublime playmaking.

The road team has won each game in this series, although these teams don’t have to travel very far to meet their opponent.

The Devils made a goaltending switch prior to this game, replacing Vitek Vanecek with Akira Schmid. Both of Vanecek’s games had qualified as really bad starts, with Vanecek allowing a combined nine goals over those two games. Schmid settled things down with a superb playoff effort, stopping 35 of 36 shots he faced for the win. The fact that Lindy Ruff bypassed Mackenzie Blackwood and gave the nod to Schmid might speak volumes about where the Devils goalie situation may go this offseason.

Vanecek is signed for two more seasons after this one before reaching UFA status, while Schmid is signed for one more before becoming an RFA. Blackwood is an arbitration-eligible RFA who would require a qualifying offer of $3.36 million as per CapFriendly. That’s not a terrible number, but Blackwood has had his share of injuries (not a Band-Aid Boy, Dobber?) As well, Schmid had far stronger ratios than Blackwood in a similar number of games, allowing an average of over one fewer goal per game. Vanecek is still the starter next season (barring a miraculous playoff run from Schmid), but the #2 goaltending spot in Jersey will be an offseason development worth following.

Chris Kreider scored the Rangers’ only goal in Game 3. He leads the playoffs with five goals and has at least one goal in each of the three games in this series.

Avalanche 6, Kraken 4 (Avalanche lead series 2-1)

For the first time in just over 100 years, a Stanley Cup playoff game was played in Seattle. The Seattle Metropolitans were the first US-based team to win the Stanley Cup back in 1917.

The modern-day Seattle hockey team has solid scoring depth, but they don’t have a gamebreaker like Nathan MacKinnon. Here are his two goals from Game 3. The second goal is cheat code material, but the first one demonstrates incredible breakaway speed.

The two goals were MacKinnon’s first of the playoffs. He’s fired a minimum of five shots in each of the three playoff games against the Kraken.

Mikko Rantanen didn’t have a bad game either, scoring a pair of goals while adding an assist with a plus-2 and six shots.

Devon Toews assisted on a pair of goals, giving him two points in back-to-back games.

Valeri Nichushkin missed this game, which according to Jared Bednar was for personal reasons. Bednar didn’t know how long Nichushkin would be away from the team. Not having Nichushkin, who starred in last year’s playoffs with nine goals and 15 points in 20 games, would be another roster hit to an Avalanche team already without Gabriel Landeskog.

With Nichushkin out of the lineup, Artturi Lehkonen was back on the first-unit power play. Lehkonen also has two points in each of his last two games, none of which were on the power play. Matt Nieto was also moved onto a scoring line with Rantanen and J.T. Compher.

Jaden Schwartz finished with two goals and a minus-4, which is very odd. One of Schwartz’s goals was on the power play.

Enjoy Sunday’s playoff action! Follow me on Twitter @Ian_Gooding for more fantasy hockey.



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Heat ride 17-5 run in 4th quarter to draw even with Nuggets in NBA Finals – CBC Sports



Staring down a 2-0 deficit in the NBA Finals, as the visitors in a hostile arena where no road team had prevailed in more than two months, the Miami Heat decided to do what they’ve done throughout the post-season.

They found a way. Against all odds. Again.

The Heat tied the NBA Finals and had to overcome a monster 41-point effort from Nikola Jokic to do it. Gabe Vincent scored 23 points, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each had 21 and Heat beat the Denver Nuggets 111-108 in Game 2 on Sunday night.

“Our guys are competitors,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They love these kind of moments.”



They were down by as many as 15 points, down eight going into the fourth, and those numbers signified they were going to lose. Denver was 11-0 in these playoffs when leading by double digits at any point in a game, and 37-1 this season overall when leading by at least eight going into the fourth.

The Heat didn’t care. They outscored Denver 17-5 in the first 3:17 of the fourth to take the lead for good, eventually went up by 12, then frittered most of it away and had to survive a 3-point try by Jamal Murray as time expired.

“This is the finals,” Adebayo said. “We gutted one out.”

Game 3 is Wednesday in Miami.

Max Strus scored 14 and Duncan Robinson had 10 — all of them in the fourth — for the Heat, who had a big early lead, then got down by as many as 15. They had no answers for Jokic, who was 16 of 28 from the floor, the last of those shots a 4-footer with 36 seconds left to get the Nuggets within three.

Denver elected not to foul on the ensuing Miami possession and it paid off. Butler missed a 3, and with a chance to tie, Murray missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“I just contested it,” Butler said. “Pretty glad that he missed it.”

‘Let’s talk about effort’

Denver lost at home for the first time since March 30, and for the first time in 10 home playoff games this year. And just as he did after a Game 1 win, Nuggets coach Michael Malone sounded the alarm after a Game 2 loss.

“Let’s talk about effort,” Malone said. “I mean, this is the NBA Finals and we’re talking about effort. That’s a huge concern of mine. You guys probably thought I was just making up some storyline after Game 1 when I said we didn’t play well. We didn’t play well. … This is not the preseason. This is not the regular season. This is the NBA Finals.”

The Kitchener, Ont., native Murray had 18 points and 10 assists for Denver, while Aaron Gordon had 12 points and Bruce Brown scored 11.

“They just played hard, and like I said, it was more discipline,” Murray said. “It’s defeating when you’re giving up mistake after mistake, and it’s not them beating you, you’re giving them open dunks or open shots. That’s tough to come back from.”

WATCH | Kitchener, Ont., cheering on Murray:

Canadian NBA star Jamal Murray gets hometown love in Kitchener, Ont.

14 hours ago

Duration 1:56

Fans in Canadian basketball star Jamal Murray’s hometown of Kitchener, Ont., are ecstatic as he and the Denver Nuggets drive for a historic NBA championship victory over the Miami Heat.

Strus, who was 0 for 10 in Game 1, had four 3-pointers in the first quarter of Game 2. Butler made a jumper with 4:56 left in the opening quarter to put Miami up 21-10, tying the second-biggest lead any opponent had built in Denver so far in these playoffs.

In a flash, it was gone — and then some.

The Nuggets outscored Miami 32-11 over the next 9 minutes, turning the double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead thanks to an absolute 3-point barrage.

In a 70-second span early in the second quarter, Denver got four 3s — more points than Miami got in that entire 9-minute stretch — and they came from four different players: Brown, then Jeff Green, then Murray, then Gordon.

Boom, boom, boom, and boom. Murray had five straight points to end the flurry, and Denver led 44-32 when it was over. It looked like everything was going Denver’s way.

Miami insisted otherwise. And for the 44th time this season, the Heat won a game by five points or less. None of them was bigger than this one.

“When it comes down to the wire,” Vincent said, “we’re strangely comfortable.”

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Montreal Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to eight-year contract extension – Habs Eyes on the Prize



The forward re-signs with the team for the maximum length.

Montreal Canadiens sign Cole Caufield to eight-year contract extension
Anton Rasegard

The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Cole Caufield to an eight-year contract extension, the team announced on Monday.

The contract will have an average cap hit of $7.85 million per season, just under the AAV for the same length of contract signed by team captain Nick Suzuki last year. The contract will last until the end of the 2030-31 season.

Caufield finished last season with 26 goals, and held the team lead in that category for most of the season despite playing only 46 games before undergoing shoulder surgery. He also had 10 assists.

The contract now locks in the two franchise cornerstones Caufield and Suzuki for the maximum length and cap hits under $8 million. It’s a good bit of business for Kent Hughes to get this done before free agency, and has the potential for great cap management as the years go by.

In the sixth year of the contract, per CapFriendly, there is a 15 team no-trade clause that drops to 10 teams in year seven and five in year eight.

Patrik Bexell, Matt Drake, and Jared Book discuss the contract in a special Habsent Minded Extra.

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Blue Jays’ Chris Bassitt announces birth of child to cap ‘perfect weekend’



The Toronto Blue Jays had a memorable few days in New York, thanks to a three-game sweep of the Mets, but that’s not the biggest reason starting pitcher Chris Bassitt is all smiles these days.

Bassitt and his wife, Jessica, welcomed their second child over the weekend, with the veteran right-hander reporting that both mother and baby are doing well.

“Perfect weekend complete,” Bassitt wrote on Twitter. “Momma and Colson are doing great.”

Jessica went into labour Friday, while her husband took his normal turn in the Blue Jays’ rotation. Bassitt channelled all of his “dad strength” in that outing against the Mets, firing 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts in a 3-0 Toronto win. In a cruel twist from the universe, the start of the game was delayed more than 90 minutes due to inclement weather.


Once his outing was over, Bassitt rushed back to Toronto via private plane to be with Jessica for Colson’s birth. He made it in plenty of time, tweeting Saturday morning that the baby hadn’t arrived yet.

The 34-year-old will now be able to enjoy a few days with his family, as the Blue Jays placed him on the paternity list Saturday. Reliever Jay Jackson took his place on the 26-man roster.

Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt dominated the Mets in his outing Friday. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt dominated the Mets in his outing Friday. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Bassitt’s Blue Jays teammates gave him even more reason to cheer by eking out a 2-1 victory Saturday before getting the brooms out with a 6-4 win in the series finale.

Brandon Belt was the hero Sunday, connecting for a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh inning after Toronto squandered an early 4-0 advantage. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, while Whit Merrifield delivered a two-run double in the second inning.

Next up, Toronto welcomes the Houston Astros to Rogers Centre for a four-game series that begins Monday. Bassitt is listed as the probable starter for Wednesday’s contest.



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