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The optics weren’t good.
Having won gold on Canadian soil at the World Juniors in Edmonton, USA posed for the customary team photo.
Then they rolled in what looked like a garbage can.
With a Hockey Canada logo on it.
Video of the US bringing the can out for the team pic. pic.twitter.com/eV3mWxR9P1
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 6, 2021
It turns out, they had a pretty good explanation for it.
According to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, the US had a “one barrel at a time” motto during the tournament and this was merely the last barrel.
USA head coach Nate Leaman confirmed this in his post-game media conference, according to ESPN’s Chris Peters. He said they meant no disrespect to Canada.
Speaking with US staff, the team had a motto – “one barrel at a time”. This was their last barrel and they’ve been putting team logos on them each game. That was the barrel for this game and the reason they brought it out. They say it wasn’t a trash can.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 6, 2021
Nate Leaman in post-game: The barrel comes from a story that Ron Rolston brought to our team in 2007. It was about crossing the heart of the Sahara desert, and the only way people could figure to cross desert was to put barrels out. I shared the story with the guys.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) January 6, 2021
We took a selfie with the barrel after every win. The players loved it. They got into the emotion of the celebration and they wanted to get the barrel on the ice. No disrespect to Canada, who played a great game. I’m sure every team had something they rallied around.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) January 6, 2021
International incident averted.
Not only that, but the Americans were extra classy after the game.
“On behalf of USA Hockey I just want to say thanks to everyone for helping run this tournament during this pandemic, for making it happen,” said USA forward Alex Turcotte. “We couldn’t have done it without all the help and support, so we appreciate everyone that made this happen.”
This content was created by Daily Hive’s editorial team independently, with financial support from a sponsor.
UFC 257 Aftermath: Dustin Poirier proves that pressure makes Diamonds – MMA Fighting
Well, now we know. In the second round of the pay-per-view headliner on Saturday night, Poirier answered any such questions definitively, viciously knocking out McGregor with a series of punches against the fence.
McGregor has lost before – a lot, in fact, over the last few years. But this one felt different. Aside from the fact that this is McGregor’s most meme-able loss, it’s also his least explainable one. Nate Diaz? He had little time to prepare for a different stylistic matchup and he blew his gas tank. He then came back and won the rematch. Khabib Nurmagomedov? It’s Khabib. No one beats Khabib.
But Poirier? McGregor already had a knockout win over Poirier, and he was predicting a finish inside of 60 seconds. He spent much of the build up for this fight talking about how prepared he was and that this was the best version of himself. And he got knocked out in 8 minutes.
That’s not an accident. Poirier didn’t finish McGregor because he “had attributes” or because he is a bad stylistic matchup for him. He did it because for the last seven years, Poirier has been steadily improving. Because, in essence, Poirier took to heart the mantra of McGregor’s own team, “win or learn.”
In many ways, Saturday night was the culmination of that journey. McGregor is not just the biggest star in the sport, one who lifts others into the realm of wider public perception. For Poirier specifically, he was the archetypal villain, the man who handed Poirier his worst loss and forced him to reconsider his career in a fundamental way. After their first fight, Poirier moved up to lightweight and reinvented himself. He became a very good defensive fighter who boxed instead of brawled. He put together wins. In his own words, he became mentally stronger by learning to “stop caring about the noise”. He steadily kept improving. He won an interim title. He lost in his title shot. He bounced back with one of the best fights of the year. And then, finally, he conquered the man who set him down that path to begin with. It’s the plot of a Disney movie. The only thing missing was the championship, and that shouldn’t be far off.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently the UFC lightweight champion. But Poirier will not fight him next. No one will. Khabib retired after his win at UFC 254, and since then, he has made his thoughts on returning pretty clear: he’s not going to do it.
Now that the prospect of a pay-per-view shattering rematch between Khabib and McGregor is off the table (such that it ever was on the table in the first place), the UFC can move on to crowning a new champion, and Poirier will be one half of that fight. He certainly deserves it. Poirier now has wins over numbers 1, 4, 6, and 9 in the current UFC rankings (and the top-ranked featherweight). That’s more wins over ranked opponents than anyone in the division, other than Khabib.
If Poirier goes on to win the undisputed title and finally get “paid in full,” it would be the perfect conclusion to his career. There is literally not another person in MMA who would deserve it more. Poirier is universally respected by the MMA world, and the reason this fight even came about was Poirier and McGregor began publicly negotiating for a fight to benefit Poirier’s charity, The Good Fight Foundation. But even if Poirier loses in his next fight and never does end up capturing the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, that won’t take away from what he accomplished on Saturday night. He vanquished his demons and ascended to a rarified level of stardom. As the saying goes, pressure makes diamonds, and on Saturday night, none shown brighter than Dustin Poirier.
“Khabib reiterates he doesn’t want to fight any more – dude, I’m the champ. I’m not going to fight, some – and like I said, respect to Chandler – a new guy to the UFC who just beat a guy that’s coming off a loss that I just beat for the belt. That’s not exciting to me.” – Dustin Poirier on possibly fighting Michael Chandler for the UFC lightweight title.
“Just because he’s never had the opportunity. Gaethje just came out here and got beat, as I did. Not a knock on Gaethje, but he lost. I think Oliviera, probably, or let them fight to see who gets it.” – Dustin Poirier on why he thinks Charles Oliveira deserves the title shot.
“If he wants to have his disrespectful comments, come back and let’s go again, my man. I’m here for it. That’s fighting talk. If you’re coming back, come back. You try and do it. That’s that.” – Conor McGregor on Khabib.
“I did talk to Khabib. He said to me, ‘Dana, be honest with yourself. I’m so many levels above these guys. I beat these guys.’ I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s—it doesn’t sound very positive, so we’ll see.” – Dana White giving up that Khabib is ever going to fight again.
“I’m by no means a perfect man inside that octagon, but I promise you I can beat that man. I promise you I can beat Khabib, so I told him… I didn’t tell him personally, but I told him through the camera lens. You’ve earned every right to be able to sail off into the sunset and continue living your life and making your impact because you’ve done it thus far. But, man, if you ever do come back, there’s a man over here waiting for you from High Ridge, Missouri.” – Michael Chandler on Khabib.
Dustin Poirier: For all the reasons listed above. Poirier not only got back his worst loss, he did so on the biggest platform of his career. Poirier is set to receive the Conor McGregor bump in a huge way, and maybe even the lightweight title to go along with it.
Michael Chandler: Chandler had doubters coming into the UFC. Many of them. He has substantially fewer now. Chandler ran through Dan Hooker in a way no one else really has an immediately put himself in the lightweight title conversation.
Marina Rodriguez: Rodriguez came into this fight having had two subpar performances against grapplers. Well, third time is the charm, I guess. Rodriguez still got taken down, but when she got up she made it count.
Julianna Peña: Five years ago, Peña seemed destined for a bantamweight title shot, but then she lost to Valentina Shevchenko and hasn’t been able to build any momentum since. Finishing former title challenger Sara McMann is a good start and puts her right back in the mix at 135.
Joanne Calderwood: Calderwood was supposed to fight for the title last year until an injury to Shevchenko prevented it. Instead, “Jojo” took a fight against Jennifer Maia and lost. This win over Jessica Eye probably doesn’t get her back to a title shot, but it does at least keep her in the conversation.
Brad Tavares: Tavares continues to be one of the most consistent fighters in the middleweight division, racking up wins against all but the very best fighters in the world. Another workmanlike performance against Antonio Carlos Junior just affirms his place in the 185 ranks.
Conor McGregor: For all the talk of “win or learn,” McGregor hasn’t been doing a lot of either lately. McGregor has not beaten an elite fighter since the Obama administration, and now the book appears to be out on how to fight him. “Notorious” needs to make some changes.
Dan Hooker: Hooker had a big opportunity to make a name for himself on Saturday, and instead, he got folded up like a lawn chair by a UFC debutant. On top of that, Hooker just looked bad in the fight. He seemed overly concerned about Chandler’s wrestling and presented very little in the way of offense before getting clobbered.
Sara McMann: McMann is a former Olympic silver medalist and widely-respected MMA fighter, but she has a way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and she did so again on Saturday. A win might have gotten McMann a title shot. Instead, at 40 years old she can’t have much time left in the cage.
Nik Lentz winning Eric Colón’s scorecard is not a great look. But at this point, it’s expected that there will be at least one weird decision happening on any given UFC card. Much more troubling, though, is the continued decline of Herb Dean. For many years, Dean was one of the best referees in the sport, but those years are pretty far removed at this point. Lately, he has been plagued by indecision or poor decisions with his choices in stopping fights (and last weekend stood idly by as Max Holloway may have taken years off the life of Calvin Kattar) and that problem reared its ugly head again on Saturday.
In the main card opener, Marina Rodriguez dropped Amanda Ribas with a right hand that had Ribas in all sorts of trouble. Rodriguez followed her to the floor and started rifling punches into Ribas who was holding onto a leg in desperation. Dean hovered by the two, preparing for his moment to jump in. He then appeared to do so, but changed his mind while stepping in. The result was that Rodriguez felt Dean make contact with her and walked away triumphantly, only for Ribas to stand up and for Dean to tell them to keep fighting. Rodriguez obliged and then cracked Ribas with a few more shots before Dean stepped in to waive things off.
There are two things here that make this so bad. First, is that Dean basically changed his mind about a stoppage. Had Ribas recovered and then gone on to win the fight, Rodriguez would have a very strong case that Dean negatively impacted the outcome of the fight, which is a core responsibility of the referee – to remain neutral. Secondly, he should have stopped the fight! Ribas was conscious, but clearly done, and instead of protecting her from taking more unnecessary punishment, Dean created a situation where Ribas stood back up and got lit up again. Overall, it was a terrible performance by Dean, and we’re lucky he didn’t do something similar in the main event.
Dustin Poirier vs. Charles Oliveira: Poirier deserves to fight for the title, and Oliveira is the man most deserving of the next one. This should be straightforward.
Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos: The Nate Diaz trilogy is what everyone is thinking and probably what will actually happen next, but the RDA fight makes more sense. McGregor wants to stay active and he wants to remain in the lightweight title hunt, and with RDA once again a going concern at 155, there is plenty of backstory here to build on.
Michael Chandler vs. Justin Gaethje: For years this was the dream non-UFC fight and now it can happen in the octagon, with a title shot on the line. A no-brainer.
Dan Hooker vs. Tony Ferguson: There will be violence.
Joanne Calderwood vs. Lauren Murphy: Both women need another win to put a stamp on their title claims, and with things trending toward Jessica Andrade getting the next crack at Valentina Shechenko, this seems like the only true option.
Makhmud Muradov vs. Brad Tavares: No need to overcomplicate this. Muradov is on a 14-fight win streak and deserves a crack at the middleweight elite. That is practically Tavares’ job at this point.
Marina Rodriguez vs. Claudia Gadelha: It would be nice to give Rodriguez a break from people who are going to try and take her down but the strawweight division is not very accommodating in that regard. Gadelha would be a huge scalp for Rodriguez and put her on the path to true contention.
Julianna Peña vs. Raquel Pennington: It’s kind of surprising these two haven’t fought already. Both women are coming off wins, so now is the time.
Movsar Evloev vs. Shane Burgos. Burgos was supposed to fight at UFC 257, but an injury to his opponent forced him off the card. If Evloev is prepared to make a quick turnaround, this would be a good introduction for him to the top-15 of the division.
LaFleur regrets decision to kick late FG in NFC title game – theScore
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur expressed his regret over how his team’s last possession transpired in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.
With 2:15 left in the contest and the ball on the Buccaneers’ 8-yard line, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass on third down, though it appeared he could have run the ball in for a touchdown.
On the following play, the Packers kicked a field goal rather than take a fourth attempt at a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game.
The Packers wouldn’t get the ball back and lost 31-26.
“Anytime it doesn’t work out, you always regret it, right?” LaFleur said, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “Having three shots and coming away with no yards and knowing not only (we) need the touchdown but the 2-point … anytime something doesn’t work out, do you regret it? Sure.”
Rodgers both defended and expressed surprise at the call from the sideline.
“It wasn’t my decision. I understand the thinking,” Rodgers said, per Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated.
“I thought maybe we were gonna have four chances to go,” he added, according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic.
Jets’ emotional weekend ends with hollow feeling as Oilers stymie late rally – Sportsnet.ca
WINNIPEG — There’s nothing quite like an unexpected shot to the solar plexus to end an emotional weekend.
With the Winnipeg Jets wrapping up the busiest stretch of the NHL season after the organization completed a blockbuster deal involving a guy who was viewed as a franchise cornerstone, this rollercoaster evening included a stirring rally to take the lead late in the third period but concluded with a buzzer-beater from Leon Draisaitl.
Just like that, the Jets were left to deal with a hard-luck loss as the Oilers snatched defeat from the arms of victory. Oilers 4, Jets 3.
Even earning a single point and getting the game to overtime probably would have palatable, given that this was the fifth game in seven days. Ending up with nothing left a hollow feeling for a group that had won three consecutive games against the Ottawa Senators after a lacklustre showing against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“There’s no excuses,” said Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers, who scored in the third period and has four goals during the past four games. “We were behind and we battled our way back and didn’t end up getting the two points. The way we played today, we deserved at least a point. That sucks, but we’ve got a game in two days and we want to get those two points so we’re gonna look forward now.”
Considering the Jets didn’t play with the lead for a single minute until the fourth game of the season, it stands to reason that slamming the door remains a work in progress.
Losing leads is something that is going to happen over the course off a season. That doesn’t take away the sting.
Nor does it take away the importance of closing out games — especially against teams that are quickly approaching in the rearview mirror.
A topsy-turvy third period saw the Jets erase a 2-1 deficit with goals from Ehlers and Blake Wheeler to take the lead with just under five minutes to play.
That ability to rally under tough circumstances is what Jets head coach Paul Maurice is going to focus in on.
Blowing a late lead doesn’t erase the resilience shown, though it’s a reminder of how difficult it is to win — especially when two of the most talented players in the NHL raise their respective level with the game on the line.
“The real positive for the game is our third (period). To come out and find that in the tank, I was really impressed with that,” said Maurice. “So, it’s a brutal way to end the game, for sure. But I will be left with how hard they pushed in the third. I’m really, really pleased with those guys finding that gear. That was just about character in the third and it’s a tough lesson, the way it ended, but I’m really, really proud of them.”
If come-from-behind wins (like the one the Jets had in the season opener or last Tuesday against the Senators, when 3-1 deficits turned into overtime wins) are something that teams use as a springboard for future success, is there any concern about lingering residue when a team suffers a heartbreaking loss?
“You always deal with the hockey part of it. That’s always the easiest part in the NHL, dealing with that,” said Maurice. “We’ll look at this next game with a real strong focus, not real happy with the way it ended and feeling that we could have been in better control of our destiny at times.
“We did an awful lot of good things, but there’s also going to be a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.”
That light at the end of the tunnel for the Jets will be closing out this stretch of six games in nine days.
But head coach Dave Tippett of the Edmonton Oilers opted for the nuclear option, tapped Connor McDavid on the shoulder and asked him to go out on the ice with Leon Draisaitl and Kailer Yamamoto. Folks have seen this movie before and thanks to a strong offensive-zone shift, McDavid was able to thread the needle to Yamamoto for the tying goal.
Then, after the Jets killed off a minor penalty to Dylan DeMelo, Draisaitl find a quiet spot in the slot and ripped home the game-winning goal after taking a pass from McDavid.
Game. Set. Match.
“Yeah, they are good players, and they are going to do damage when given opportunities like that,” said Adam Lowry, who was frustrated by what happened on the game-winner. “So, I think I just get caught on the back-side there and vacate the slot as I’m worried about Nugent-Hopkins, and it goes right to the guy in the middle and he buries it. It’s unfortunate.”
Although the Jets did a great job of neutralizing McDavid and Draisaitl for a good chunk of the game, the late offensive eruption is precisely why the Jets went out and made the blockbuster move for Pierre-Luc Dubois, to give them another two-way weapon down the middle in the matchup game.
One of the most important decisions in this contest came late in the first period on a coach’s challenge by Tippett.
The Jets thought they had taken a 2-0 lead on a goal from Andrew Copp. After Mikko Koskinen stopped a shot from Ehlers, the puck was loose and Copp got a piece of it — but he also caught the glove of the Oilers goalie with his stick.
Although the puck appeared to already be behind Koskinen, the referees disallowed the goal because of the contact that was made.
“It’s a goal,” said Maurice. “For me, I think the puck is past his glove. I’m not even sure that there’s contact there. They felt it was close, so there’s no argument.”
Jets centre Lowry didn’t feel like the group sagged after the goal was disallowed.
“Sometimes those, I just feel like you flip a coin and see how it comes out,” said Lowry, who scored his third goal of the season. “I don’t see a whole lot on that, I feel like we’ve had ones where there’s more contact against us… They must have seen something that stopped Koskinen’s ability to make the save, so they make that ruling and we just have to regroup from there. I don’t see that we let that affect us negatively, it’s unfortunate though because (Copp) had a heck of a first period and really deserved that one.”
Tippett wasn’t sure it was goalie interference, but figured the challenge was worth the risk even if it didn’t work out, given how his team was playing.
“I was so frustrated with the way we were playing, I was going to (challenge) it anyhow,” said Tippett.
Instead of being down by a pair of goals and scrambling, the Oilers steadied themselves and then came out stronger in the second period, getting a rebound goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins just 21 seconds in.
Jesse Puljujarvi made the most of his promotion to the top line alongside McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins. Aside from his strong net drive and primary assist on the goal from Nugent-Hopkins, Pulujarvi was around the puck, generating scoring chances and engaged physically.
That’s the template for Puljujarvi to remain in that spot — or to get more future looks.
A lack of secondary scoring had been a major storyline for the Oilers in the early stage of the season but Kyle Turris put a dent in that well-deserved narrative with a well-placed shot over the glove of Jets backup Laurent Brossoit.
By the time the buzzer sounded on the period, the Oilers had outshot the Jets 19-6, outscored them 2-0 and had barely given up any scoring chances. The Oilers were fresh, while the Jets looked like a team that was playing for the fifth time in seven nights.
Just when you thought the Oilers had taken full control, the Jets scored twice in the third to pull ahead by a goal.
Instead of rolling over, the Oilers found a way to rally and they’ve now won two of the past three games going into Tuesday’s rematch.
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