— AP Hockey Writer Stephen

— AP Hockey Writer Stephen

Postautor: linzhihong18 » 13 sie 2018, o 04:51

The Washington Capitals have never used more rookies during a single postseason than the half-dozen who helped Alex Ovechkin and Co. reach the Eastern Conference final.

They’re contributing in various ways Josh Allen Jersey , including with secondary scoring and a freedom from the past playoff failures that became a burden for Capitals veterans.

”Man, they gave us a big boost with their energy and enthusiasm,” said Matt Niskanen, a defenseman in his 11th NHL season. ”It’s infectious.”

It’s part of a league-wide trend, too: The 50 rookie skaters in these playoffs are the most since teams used 54 in 2005-06. That could be a reflection of teams having greater trust in young players arriving from junior hockey or college, or the need to stock rosters with cheap talent as a greater percentage of the salary cap is devoted to the elite.

”The way you build your hockey teams, those kids get a chance to play all season long. They get put in positions where they can succeed,” Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. ”Over the last 10 or 15 years, they’re more prepared.”

The Capitals advanced to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in a series beginning Friday night by using five rookies during a clinching 2-1 overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. One of the fresh faces, Nathan Walker, assisted on a goal.

In Washington’s Game 5 win over Pittsburgh, another rookie, right wing Jakub Vrana, was bumped from the third line to the top one and delivered an assist on the tying score before putting the go-ahead goal in the net. And to think: Vrana played a tad under seven minutes in Washington’s opening playoff game, then was a healthy scratch for the second. Played every game since, though.

”I got an opportunity and I was ready Authentic Austin Corbett Jersey ,” said Vrana, a 22-year-old from the Czech Republic. ”I didn’t get a whole lot of minutes at the beginning, but even if I get eight minutes, I still go out there and do my best and try to make those eight minutes count.”

Similarly, defenseman Christian Djoos sat out Washington’s first two games but played in the other 10.

Vrana and Djoos were expected to appear in Game 1 at Tampa Bay, perhaps joined by forwards Chandler Stephenson and Travis Boyd, who skated together on the third line at practice Wednesday. Walker and another rookie who faced Pittsburgh, Shane Gersich, are also part of the group that matched the franchise record of six playoff rookies set in 1989-90.

”There’s two kinds of things that happen with young guys. They’re naive and just play and have a lot of fun and it doesn’t bother `em. … There’s other ones that get the starry-eyed, saucer-eyed (look) and they have to sort of work through that,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. ”Early in the Columbus series, (Vrana) had a little bit of those saucer eyes. And then he sort of grew out of it.”

The Lightning’s trio of rookies combined for 12 playoff points through two rounds: Anthony Cirelli, Yanni Gourde and defenseman Mikhail Sergachev. Cirelli has played a key defensive center role after getting into just 18 regular-season games.

There are fewer youngsters in the Western Conference final.

Alex Tuch, who turned 22 on Thursday, has four goals and three assists as the sole postseason rookie for the Golden Knights. Their opponent, Winnipeg P.J. Hall Jersey , has three rookies, but only one has logged regular playing time – left wing Kyle Connor broke out with two goals and an assist in Game 5 of the second round against Nashville, then had two assists in the Jets’ 5-1 victory over the Predators in Game 7 on Thursday night.

Back in 2013-14, his first full season as an NHL coach, Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper used nine rookies in the playoffs, a total no team has eclipsed since.

That Lightning club was swept in the first round.

”I don’t think we were necessarily prepared for it,” said Tyler Johnson, one of four members of that precocious crop who also has appeared in the playoffs for Tampa Bay this time around. ”We didn’t know what to expect.”

That’s the thing about newcomers, of course. They don’t know how they’ll react to being in the faster, more physical, higher-quality, higher-pressure playoffs.

Nor do coaches or teammates.

”There’s a little bit of the enthusiasm of the youth, something about the young guys. They’ve always got the smile on. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they’re naive,” Trotz said. ”Sometimes they just sort of need a little bit of tightening from their peers or their coach.”



AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno, AP Sports Writer Fred Goodall in Tampa, Florida Authentic A.J. Green Jersey , and AP freelancer W.G. Ramirez in Las Vegas contributed to this report.



>Time for the fantasy championship, the culmination of 15 grueling weeks to get to the final game.Does the waiver wire matter this week? Probably not as much as most other weeks. It comes down to team needs.Obviously, depth is no longer important with only one game left. So if you are claiming someone, it is likely because you either have a lineup decision to make that will involve one of the player(s) that you are trying to acquire, or you want to keep someone away from an opponent.Yes, you should be looking closely at your opponent’s lineup this week. You need to figure out if they have a weakness anywhere. Perhaps they have Antonio Brown and don’t have much depth at wide receiver. If that’s the case, then you may want to claim the best WR on your waiver wire. You may even want to claim more than one, if you have the room on your roster. Just make sure the players you give up won’t help your opponent or hurt your chances of winning. There is nothing wrong with being proactive.One last note, if you play in a dynasty or keeper league, then this may very well be the last week in which you can acquire a player. Even if you’re not a team in contention, you should scan waivers for players that can help you next season. You never know who a playoff team might have had to drop in order to try to win, and so many teams just hang it up once they’re eliminated rather than trying to get better for next season. If your league does extend to Week 17, we also offer some fliers.NICK FOLES, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (39 percent): With his performance against the Giants, Foles erased any doubts about whether he could handle the starting job in the wake of the season-ending injury to Carson Wentz. Foles used all the weapons around him to throw for 237 yards and four touchdowns. He also gets the Raiders at home this week Marcus Davenport Youth Jersey , one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.KERWYNN WILLIAMS, RB, Arizona Cardinals (39 percent): It’s not that Williams is a great back, but the Cardinals believe in a one-back system and pretty much running that back into the ground. He doesn’t have to be great to have a good fantasy game. The volume will be there and so will the fantasy points.JAVORIUS ALLEN, RB, Baltimore Ravens (37 percent): Just about any running back with a pulse in the NFL has value. Yes, the Ravens have so many cooks in the kitchen with Danny Woodhead, Alex Collins, and Allen looking for touches, but it is the Colts they are playing this week Indianapolis made C.J. Anderson look like a must-play in Week 15.AARON JONES, RB, Green Bay Packers (48 percent): The Packers may have been waiting for a bad game from Jamaal Williams to get Jones more touches. Williams didn’t play well versus Carolina on Sunday but even if you believe Jones will get the starting job back, the Vikings are on next on the schedule and it’s hard to see either back having much success in Week 16.WAYNE GALLMAN, RB, New York Giants (10 percent): It’s hard to tell what the Giants might do as coach Steve Spagnuolo seems more inclined to try and win games rather than see what kind of players he has for next season. Gallman should see increased touches but that’s not written in stone.CHRIS IVORY, RB Austin Corbett Browns Jersey , Jacksonville Jaguars (29 percent): He would only come into play if you believe that Leonard Fournette will miss another game and Ivory would get the start over T.J. Yeldon.BRANDEN OLIVER, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (1 percent): With Austin Ekeler lost for the season with a broken hand, Oliver is next in line to give Melvin Gordon a breather here and there.KENNY BRITT, WR, New England Patriots (9 percent): You would have to be extremely desperate to trust Britt but maybe you’re a Chris Hogan owner or play in 16-plus team league.KEELAN COLE, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (2 percent): Marquise Lee had to leave the game Sunday with a sprained ankle and will be extremely questionable to play in Week 16. Cole was the biggest beneficiary of Lee’s injury Sunday as he had seven receptions for 186 yards and a score.ELI ROGERS, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (1 percent): He is another deep play as even with Brown out for the rest of the regular season, he will still not be any better than fourth or fifth on the depth chart behind Martavis Bryant, Juju Smith-Schuster, Le’Veon Bell, and possibly Jesse James (who is also a possible pick up if you need help at TE as he is only owned in 20 percent of CBS Sports leagues).This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, .

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