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.com) - Three games isnt a large sample size by any means, but the Nashville Predators are already seeing results under new head coach Peter Laviolette. If there was ever a team in need of an identity change, it was the Predators. For 15 seasons since its inception prior to the 1998-99 season, Nashville was guided behind the bench by Barry Trotz. And to his credit, Trotz managed to do some great things with minimal resources. Nashville reached the playoffs seven times over an eight-season span from 2004-12, but missing out on the postseason in back-to-back years finally brought about the end of the Trotz era. Under Trotz, the Predators were always known as a defensively strong team, with the likes of Kimmo Timonen and Ryan Suter making a name for themselves while with the Preds. In fact, it is a defenseman in Shea Weber who serves as captain and is the most recognizable face of the franchise. Weber leads a still-strong unit that also contains the talented Roman Josi and a potential future blue line star in Seth Jones. Thats where Laviolette comes in. His job was to get Nashville more balanced on offense -- Webers 23 goals last season ranked second on the club -- and so far he has been up to the task. Nashville has scored nine goals through three games. Again, a small sample size but consider that the Predators averaged just 2.61 goals per game last season and 2.27 the campaign prior. A telling sign that Laviolettes system is working is the fast start by Filip Forsberg. The 20-year-old Swede has a goal and three assists through three games after managing just five points total in 13 games last season with Nashville. Forsberg was the 11th overall pick of the 2012 draft by Washington, which sent him to Nashville on April 3, 2013 for Martin Erat. Forsberg has had offensive success in Sweden and the AHL, and broke out with four goals and 12 points in seven games for his country at the 2014 Winter Olympics, but has struggled to stick in the NHL. He may finally emerge as a scoring threat under Laviolette if this pace keeps up. Im just trying to play as hard as I can every night; thats something I learned last year when I was starting out, Forsberg told Nashvilles website. Ive been really trying to earn my ice time, and it feels good to get this chance. Hopefully I can continue to keeping playing good here. While he never got a chance with the Capitals and played in only 18 games under Trotz in two seasons, Laviolette currently has Forsberg on his top line with Mike Ribeiro and James Neal. Nashville also has been a tough team to play under Laviolette in the early going. The Preds posted three-goal third periods in winning their first two games of the season versus Ottawa and Dallas after needing 20 games last season to record a pair of three-goal final frames. What makes the Predators offense a potential force is the fact that Neal, the clubs big offseason acquisition from Pittsburgh, has yet to get going. Its only a matter of time, though, as the winger has fired 12 shots in three games and is toping Nashville forwards with 17 minutes and 53 seconds of ice time. Ill get back to work here, and Ive just got to keep shooting pucks. I felt like I had some good looks in the first two games and if I keep doing what Im doing, theyll come, Neal told Nashvilles website. You just have to stay even keel, you cant get too high or too low. Its a long season, you stay in the game and your bounces will come as long as you keep working for them. It is a long season and the Predators offense will certainly have its ups and downs as it gets fully acclimated to Laviolette. But like a well-cooked meal, the early return has raised the excitement level. Jack Johnson Jersey
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. Brooks scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter against his former club, spearheading a 101-92 victory over Boston on Friday night and helping snap a franchise-record eight-game home losing streak. Bazemore had 15 points, including a pair of clutch 3-pointers less than 2 minutes apart during the final 4:20 as the Lakers outscored the Celtics 38-18 in the final period. http://www.bluejacketshockeyshop.us/Nick-Foligno-Jersey/
. The NBA began to issue punishments last season for flopping, the art of exaggerating contact to deceive referees into calling a foul, but only retroactively. If a player is determined to have flopped after a postgame review, he is given a warning for the first offence and a $5,000 fine for the second.TORONTO -- A December road game against the Buffalo Bills has never shaped up so well for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons face the Bills on Sunday at Rogers Centre, meaning Ryan and Co. wont have to deal with the wind, rain and snow being forecast for Buffalos home venue, Ralph Wilson Stadium, in Orchard Park, N.Y. It will be Buffalos sixth regular-season "home" game in Ontario as part of the Bills Toronto Series, which began in 2008 and was renewed in January for another five years. The Bills (4-7) are 1-4 at Rogers Centre and 0-3 in December contests there. Whats more, Atlanta (2-9) plays its home games in a dome. "I think obviously playing in a dome this time of year late in the year thats an advantage for both offences," Ryan said. "It can be difficult to go out there and play when its windy and cold and youre either getting hail or snow . . . so I think both offences, it cuts you a little bit of a break." But once again receiver Stevie Johnson and his Buffalo teammates must deal with the disadvantage of being the home team indoors in a different country. "Yeah, they must have fixed the schedule or something out there in Atlanta," Johnson said. "Who put the schedule together to have them come to Toronto?" Buffalos roster features two Canadians: rookie defensive lineman Stefan Charles, a Toronto native who grew up in Oshawa, Ont., and veteran linebacker Jamaal Westerman, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but grew up in Brampton, Ont. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff grew up in Guelph, Ont., and played at the University of Guelph. Charles, claimed last month off Tennessees practice roster, could see more playing time Sunday as defensive tackle Kyle Williams (back) is questionable. Williams, 30, has a career-high seven sacks and 48 tackles this season. The Bills Toronto Series was unveiled in 2008 as event organizers wanted to show Toronto was a viable NFL city. Rogers Communications Inc. paid US$78 million to stage eight games -- five regular season, three exhibition -- expecting southern Ontario fans to flock to Rogers Centre. But a slow economy, high-priced tickets -- initially averaging over $180 each, compared to roughly US$51 at Orchard Park -- and struggling Bills teams have made it a tough sell. Last year, a series-low 40,770 spectators watched Seattle dismantle Buffalo 50-17. Some ticket prices were reduced to make games more affordable but that hasnt resulted in a sellout. The average ticket price last year was roughly $99. Greg Albrecht, in his second year as the executive director of the Bills in Toronto Series, expects a crowd of about 40,770 on Sunday. But with events planned for the entire weekend, a pre-game show featuring "some surprises from the Department of National Defence," and a half-time performance by The Beach Boys, Albrecht said this has become much more than just a football game. "That is absolutely my goal, to make this the preeminent NFL experience in Canada," he said. The series has been good financially for the Bills as the original deal more than doubled what they wouldve made holding the games at Orchard Park. It has also aallowed the NFL club to establish a foothold in Canadas biggest market. Custom Blue Jackets Jersey
. But the Bills lose their huge home-field advantage playing late-season games in cold, blustery Orchard Park. Also, fans at Rogers Centre cheer as much -- or more -- for Buffalos opponents as they do the home team. However, Albrecht has a plan to help remedy that. "Were looking for the craziest fans when the Bills are on defence," Albrecht said. "Four of those fans, one per quarter, will be picked and prior to the end of the game were going to do a contest, basically an on-field event, and the two winners will be flown to Barbados for a week with their family. "Its a pretty high-end prize but its just an incentive to get people to really start making a lot of noise and creating that crazy NFL fan experience here in Toronto." The series has also created much speculation regarding the Bills potential relocation to Toronto after owner Ralph Wilson, 95, passes away. Such talk gained more steam last week amid reports that rocker Jon Bon Jovi has aligned himself with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment -- which owns the NHLs Maple Leafs and NBAs Raptors -- to purchase the Bills and move them to southern Ontario. "In my view, this is something were building to create more NFL awareness as well as build up the Bills fanbase and celebrate the NFL in Canada," Albrecht said. "The future of the team, who owns it and where it goes is a little bit beyond my purview. "Im here to make sure were doing what we can from a corporate partnership base, from a fanbase and make this the best NFL event that we can make." But that hasnt stopped some Bills players from criticizing the series. Centre Eric Woods blasted the Rogers Centre after last years contest. "I think that Toronto series has turned into pretty much a joke," Wood told a Buffalo radio station. "Its a bad atmosphere for football. I mean, nobody wants to play there. "I guess for opposing teams it beats the hell out of going in somebody elses stadium and dealing with a bunch of crowd noise. I dont think its turned out the way we wanted, and I hope we dont renew it. That sucked." Woods was signing a different tune this week. "I kind of said that in the heat of the moment after the game last year, and Im looking forward to it," he said. "Hopefully my feelings will change after this game." Buffalo rookie head coach Doug Marrone said the Bills could make Rogers Centre an inhospitable environment for opponents by playing better there and giving Toronto fans more to cheer about. "I think we do have some fans in Toronto and I think if we play well well create more fans," he said. "I think we can over a period of time, with success, really create that type of advantage for us over there." Still, Ryan is preparing for the worse at Rogers Centre. "Well anticipate going into it where its going to be really loud and difficult for us to communicate, and then obviously adjust if its different," he said. "But Im hoping weve got a bunch of supporters up in Toronto and they show up this weekend and are pulling for us." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Auston Matthews Maple leafs Jersey
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