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Soccer-Heartbreak hotel for Howe as Newcastle drop to last after 3-3 draw

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Newcastle United‘s French winger Allan Saint-Maximin rescued a point for his side in a thrilling 3-3 Premier League draw with Brentford on Saturday, as new Magpies coach Eddie Howe got a glimpse of the scale of his challenge on Tyneside.

Former Bournemouth boss Howe, watching from a hotel room due to a positive COVID-19 test, will have been pleased with the tenacity of his side and their positive play but not that they conceded three goals for the third successive home game.

Despite twice coming from a goal down, Newcastle dropped to the bottom of the standings on six points below Norwich City who beat Southampton 2-1 nL1N2SB0B6 at Carrow Road.

“I feel a bit bad today because I tried to do my best to help my team, but it’s still the same again – I score but we draw. So I will do my best and make sure the next time I score it is to win the game,” Saint-Maximin told the BBC.

“But it’s so important (the result) because it is better to draw than lose, and I think the team showed good character because it is not easy to come back. We just have to keep going, stay together and try to do our best to win the next game.”

Jamaal Lascelles headed Newcastle in front after 10 minutes, meeting a Matt Ritchie cross. But their joy was short-lived as Brentford equalised 75 seconds after the restart through the right boot of Ivan Toney, scoring against his former club.

The visitors then went ahead after the half hour mark when Rico Henry headed in a cross from Sergi Canos.

It was then Newcastle’s turn to hit back, this time through Joelinton shortly before the break. The Brazilian fired in from the middle of the penalty box for his first goal of the season.

NICE FOOTBALL

The hosts came out energised in the second half, playing nice football but without a clinical touch in front of goal.

They were left to rue their profligacy as a speculative curling effort from Brentford’s Frank Onyeka in the 61st minute took a wicked deflection off Lascelles and went in beyond goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

That sucker-punch looked to have taken the wind out of the home side’s sails until Saint-Maximin popped up in the 75th minute to strike the ball into the bottom left corner.

The team received plenty of applause from the home supporters after the final whistle but despite the result, Newcastle slipped to the foot of the table.

Howe’s side, now backed by a hugely wealthy Saudi Arabian consortium, are five points from the safety zone.

Brentford are 14th with 13 points from 12 games, continuing to impress in their debut Premier League campaign. However, manager Thomas Frank was disappointed with his side’s defending.

“We were at a big party and we weren’t invited. We showed great mentality, but we didn’t defend well enough today – we gave too much away,” he said.

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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McDavid overtakes Crosby as Canada's king of the ice – The Globe and Mail

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Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Mike Matheson tries to check Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Dec. 1.Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

It is not that we did not know this before, but this week Connor McDavid made it eminently clear that he has surpassed Sidney Crosby to become the best Canadian on hockey’s landscape.

This is not a swipe at the Penguins’ venerable captain because he has delivered so many thrills in 17 years as the sport’s marquee player. It is more a recognition that McDavid has elevated the level of his game to a place where it is no longer arguable.

McDavid had a goal and three assists in Edmonton’s 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. He was on the ice each time the Oilers scored, which made him plus-five for the night. Crosby had a mostly quiet-to-difficult evening: he had an assist but ended up minus-four. We can say with certainty that has rarely if ever happened to him.

“He’s just so good at creating something from nothing,” Crosby said of McDavid, who has risen from heir-apparent to unrivalled. “There is not a lot of danger and all of a sudden he’s on a 2-on-1 or he’s got a fast break. It’s a pretty small margin for error.”

McDavid skates so fast and handles the puck so adroitly that he almost plays at video-game speed. He defies how much anyone can dominate the game in an era in which players are bigger and quicker and stronger than they have ever been.

McDavid set up Zach Hyman for Edmonton’s first goal on its first shot. He then slipped another perfect pass to the former Maple Leaf on a 2 on 1 for the Oilers’ second. Later he put a puck right on Evan Bouchard’s stick for an easy tap-in during another 2 on 1. Then he scored an empty-netter with a little more than two minutes remaining to leave no doubt about the outcome.

On that play, McDavid preferred to pass to Hyman for what would have been his first career hat trick but Hyman waved him off at the last second because he could not free himself of a defender.

“I was trying to get him the puck,” McDavid said. “I almost felt guilty putting it in the net.”

Earlier, Hyman had one wiped out by an offsides penalty on Kailer Yamamoto.

“I don’t think about it too much,” Hyman said of getting his first three-goal game. He has scored two a dozen times. “I think eventually it will happen.”

McDavid had 15 goals and 40 points in 21 outings as he headed into Friday night’s clash with the Kraken in Seattle. As remarkable as those numbers are, he was only second in the NHL in scoring. His teammate Leon Draisaitl had 20 goals and 41 points.

Edmonton is 16-5 and jostling with the Calgary Flames for first place atop the Pacific Division. The Oilers’ start is their best since 1984, when Wayne Gretzky helped them burst from the gate to 12-0-3.

Naysayers will complain that Edmonton is really just a two-man team. I don’t recall if hockey fans said the same thing about Crosby and Mario Lemieux early on in Pittsburgh, or if anyone said, “Yes, but how good would the Blackhawks be without Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane?”

The difference, of course, is that the Oilers have only won a playoff series once in McDavid’s six seasons, and the franchise won its most recent Stanley Cup in 1990. Edmonton needs to make a long playoff run to turn some doubters into believers.

In that way the Oilers are not unlike the Maple Leafs. At this point, what Toronto accomplishes in the regular season barely matters. Despite the Leafs’ record, nobody will toss them bouquets until they prove their worth in the postseason. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2004.

McDavid is 24 and entering his prime now. Draisaitl is 26 and doing the same. Between them they have 81 points in 21 games. That is Gretzky-esque and Messier-like in a harder time for anyone to shine so brightly.

Crosby said this week that McDavid is playing at such a high level that it is hard to believe that he can find an even higher one.

“I think he’s done that,” Crosby said. “That’s the most impressive part about it.”

The Oilers have struggled to find any consistency in recent seasons. But their roster is much stronger now.

Hyman has a dozen goals and 17 points. Jesse Puljujarvi has seven goals and also has 17 points. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has scored just twice but has 20 points. Mikko Koskinen is 12-2 in the net. Edmonton beat Pittsburgh with Darnell Nurse, Duncan Keith and Cody Ceci all out with injuries. It lost its top four guys on the blueline in four games and still went 3-1. On Wednesday, it dressed four defencemen who had played a combined 74 games in the NHL.

Imagine how Toronto would fare without Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, T.J. Brodie and Rasmus Sandin. Probably not too well.

The Oilers were outshot by Pittsburgh 26-13 in the first two periods but went into the final 20 minutes with the score tied 2-2. Then they blew the Penguins away. They scored four times on 21 shots against Tristan Jarry, who had allowed three goals on 175 shots in the previous six games.

This is no longer a one- or two-trick-pony team.

“We kind of held on for the first 40 minutes,” McDavid said. “We kind of worked our way through the game, capitalized on our chances and got some timely saves.”

There will undoubtedly be some ups and downs over 82 games. But the Oilers have been more than good enough so far.

McDavid and Crosby have faced one another only eight times. In those games, Edmonton’s captain has four goals and 10 assists. Crosby has scored twice and assisted on five others.

On Wednesday night, McDavid won the opening faceoff against Crosby. He has worked hard to improve in that area. He remembered the first time he lined up across from Crosby in the faceoff circle as a rookie.

“I was all excited and ready for the faceoff and he flicked it away from me before I even knew it,” McDavid said. “I never even had a chance.”

Time flies, and so does Connor McDavid.

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Marner leaves Maple Leafs practice early after ‘scary’ collision with Muzzin – Sportsnet.ca

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Mitch Marner’s status for Saturday’s game in Minnesota is uncertain after the Toronto Maple Leafs winger was on the sour end of an accidental collision with teammate Jake Muzzin during Friday’s practice.

Marner hit the ice after the hit and needed a few moments to rise to his feet.

“It’s scary. I just hope everyone’s OK,” goaltender Joseph Woll told reporters.

“Two very important players on our team, and Mitchy looked like he took a little bit of the worst of it. So, I hope he’s good. He’s a battler, so I’m sure he’ll be fine and do everything he can to be playing.”

After expressing some frustration to Muzzin, Marner skated off the Ford Performance Centre ice early for precautionary reasons. He was accompanied by a member of the club’s medical staff.

“We’ll see how he is in the morning. It’s not looking like anything serious at this point. He’s going to travel and all that kind of stuff and prepare to play, but we’ll see how he is in the morning,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said before the club chartered west.

“I was told there was a little bit of an exchange right before I came out here, but especially those two guys, I don’t worry about that kind of stuff at all. Things happen out there, whether it’s practice, games, whatever. Our team’s really close, and that kind of stuff will be shaken off pretty quickly.”

This is the second time this season Marner has been on the business end of an accidental hit during Leafs practice.

Wayne Simmonds clipped the winger the day before October’s opener. Marner left that skate early, too, but felt fine the next morning and has not missed a game all season.

Marner leads the club with 15 assists.

One-Timers: Ondrej Kase (upper body) took part in his first full practice in more than a week. He’s a possibility to draw into the lineup against the Wild. … Ilya Mikheyev (thumb) also skated with the team. He’ll travel with the group for the weekend double-header but will not play. … Backup goalie Petr Mrazek (groin) has been loaned to the Marlies on a conditioning stint. He’s expected to start Sunday versus Laval. … Both Joseph Woll (day-to-day, stiffness) and Michael Hutchinson will travel with the team. One should get the start Sunday in Winnipeg. … Morgan Rielly took Friday off for maintenance. He’s still smarting from a shot block (watch below) a week ago in San Jose and hasn’t missed a game since. “It acted up to the point where they wanted to get further imaging on it,” Keefe said. X-rays were clear.

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How to Choose the Right Online Casino Game

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People looking to start their online casino adventure are often astounded by the number of gaming options and their versatility. Thankfully, the Canadian online gambling scene continues to flourish, giving casino enthusiasts an abundance of exciting and unique games.

Choosing the right game is an important decision that will set the tone for the entire experience. If you come across something you don’t like or understand, you might get frustrated and end up losing money. To avoid that from happening, read the following article. It will help you set out your preferences and decide which games match them.

Afterwards, you could consult platforms like JohnSlots Canada, read different online casino reviews, and find a gambling site that suits you best. Let’s get started!

Explore the Available Game Types

Online casinos have become the ultimate entertainment thanks to their ability to host thousands of high-quality games, including slots, table games, and live dealer titles. That way, players of all tastes and preferences can enjoy a vivid and immersive gambling experience.

 

Below is a rundown of the most popular casino games perfect for beginners:

 

  • Slots — Millions of people enjoy online slots due to their simplicity and ease of use. Additionally, they carry fantastic features like free spins, multipliers, and bonus rounds that boost the excitement and odds of winning massive prizes.
  • Roulette — Roulette is another luck-based game that doesn’t require much experience. The excitement you feel while waiting for the spinning ball to find its place makes roulette a common choice among thrill-seekers.

 

  • Blackjack — Despite relying on skill and technique, blackjack is a fan-favourite thanks to its low house edge. In fact, this is a game with the lowest house edge among all gaming options. If played right, you might go home with fantastic prizes.

 

  • Baccarat — Although the game comes in many variations, the gist remains the same. You can bet on the bank or the player, choosing which one you think will win. If you guess correctly, your bank balance might increase.

 

  • Video poker — If you enjoy the simplicity of online slots but want to switch it up a little, video poker is an excellent choice. The decisions you make during this game can influence the outcome.

 

You may have noticed we left out one of the world’s most commonly played casino games. Poker is not a game fit for inexperienced players as it requires high levels of skill and strategy. Of course, we can’t stop you from trying, but you should first learn the rules and practice for a while before playing for real money.

Decide Which Ones Match Your Interests

Overall, casino games can be divided into two major categories — skill- and luck-based. The first group is reserved for games like poker and blackjack that require knowledge and experience. On the other hand, slots and roulette are games of chance because their outcome is unpredictable, and you have little to no control over the game course.

 

Therefore, choosing the right gaming option is no small feat. You need to be clear about your preferences and expectations before joining an online casino. Luck-based games are a better choice when looking for a relaxing and carefree gambling experience.

 

However, if you want to improve your skills or acquire new ones, you should go straight to the “Table Games” section and browse among dozens of blackjack and poker titles.

Choose Wisely

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preferences. You can follow our advice to better understand the game types you’d enjoy playing. With a little bit of research, you’ll uncover an assortment of engaging and fun casino games.

 

One last tip — find an online casino with a “free play” option. That way, you can test different types without investing real money and see which ones you like the most. Finally, remember to enjoy — no casino game is worth stressing over.

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