SOCHI – If its not Canada, it could be the inspired bunch from the host-country. Garrett Cooper Jersey . If its not the Russians, it could be the Swedes, Finns, Czechs or Americans. The gold-medal winner likely will come from this group in Sochi, but forecasting the Olympic champion in the mens hockey tournament has never been easy. Since the participation of NHL players in 1998 there have been three different winners in the Czech Republic, Canada, Sweden and Canada again in four Winter Games. Its a short-term event and things can go wrong in a hurry for the top teams. A hot goaltender can steal a game in the medal round and all of a sudden a favourite is sitting on the sidelines. Just ask Hockey Canada. Were the Canadian teams that won gold in Salt Lake City in 2002 or in Vancouver in 2010 any better than the 1998 group that was stoned time and time again by Dominik Hasek in Nagano? Just ask Sweden about 2002, when goalie Tommy Salo surrendered that fluky late-game winning goal off his bean from 70 feet out off the stick of Belarus defenceman Vladimir Kopat. Who would have thought Switzerland could have pulled off its surprise run to the final at the world championship last spring? Like the sophisticated watches the Swiss are known for, the hockey teams timing was impeccable. It peaked at the perfect moment for wins over the Czech Republic and United States in the quarterfinal and semi-final, respectively, only to lose to Sweden in the finale. So, with all that in mind, what country will give Canada the biggest challenge in its gold-medal defence at the 2014 Winter Games? Here are the odds as of Monday night from bodog.ca. • Canada 19-10 (about 2-1)• Russia 12-5• Sweden 9-2• USA 6-1• Finland 11-1• Czech Republic 12-1 And, if you like to play the long odds: • Switzerland 25-1• Slovakia 33-1• Norway 200-1• Latvia 400-1\• Austria 750-1• Slovenia 1,000-1 Miami Marlins Shirts . -- Sami Salo joked that as the shootout went on and on, one thing went through his mind: "Youve got to tie up your skates. Kevin Brown Jersey . Strasburg (1-1) got 14 consecutive outs in one stretch and allowed only three hits, including Marcell Ozunas homer in the seventh. The right-handers lone walk was to the last batter he faced. Washingtons starter Wednesday, Jordan Zimmermann, left after a career-low 1 2-3 innings, leaving the bullpen "taxed," as manager Matt Williams put it. MINNEAPOLIS -- After a rough first two innings, Nick Tepesch settled down and cruised through another quality outing to help the Texas Rangers stay hot. Tepesch won his second consecutive start, Elvis Andrus and Chris Gimenez each had two RBIs, and the Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 7-2 on Monday afternoon. Tepesch (2-0) gave up both his runs in the first two innings before lasting 6 2-3. He struck out four to win consecutive starts for the first time in his career. "Thats one of the things that made me successful today, to be able to put the first two innings behind me," Tepesch said. "Treat each inning as a new inning." Alex Rios added two more hits and now has six straight multi-hit games. The Rangers have won three straight and five of six after a rough start to the season. "Early in the season everything didnt go the way we wanted it to," Andrus said. "At the same time, we still trust in each other and we knew theres a lot of baseball left. Everyone is feeling well right now as a team." Trevor Plouffe homered and Eduardo Escobar had two hits and an RBI for the Twins, who have lost four in a row since climbing two games over .500 on May 21. After Kevin Correia (2-6) set down nine straight, Roughned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo lined back-to-back two-out singles in the fifth. Andrus followed with a double to the gap in left-centre that scored both runners and broke a 2-all tie. "Its two-out hits. Thats been the theme this season," Correia said. "That one pitch or two pitches a game, you make that one pitch and its a world of difference." Gimenez made it 6-2 with a two-run double down the line in left in the eighth off reliever Jared Burton and Texas was on its way to another win. "We just got off to a bad start," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Im so happy that were finally putting it together as a group." Minnesota had its opening day outfield back together for the first time since the first week of the season. Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia were activated from the disabled list after Sundays game and started alongside centre-fielder Aaron Hicks. But the re-enforcements werent enough to overcome Tepesch, whoo didnt allow a runner past second base after the second inning. Alex Arias Jersey. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire knows it might take a few more at-bats before Willingham and Arcia are able to help lift Minnesotas struggling offence. "That can be a huge part of it, driving the baseball and let them get a few at-bats here," Gardenhire said. "It takes a little time, a little different pitching up here than down there." Tepesch dominated Triple-A Round Rock after getting demoted in spring training and has a 2.95 ERA in three big-league starts since being recalled May 14. "Hes shown these three starts what hes capable of doing," Washington said. "But you cant hang your hat on a couple of outings. If hes around here healthy, hes going to get many outings. I just want him to be consistent." Hicks, a career switch-hitter, informed manager Ron Gardenhire before the game that he has decided to only hit from the right side. The struggling prospect is hitting .250 right-handed compared to .149 from the left side. He had two singles Monday. Two replay reviews went against the Twins. Arcia slided into third after a botched play in the outfield in the first, but a review showed third-baseman Adrian Beltre tagging him before his foot reached the base. Gardenhire challenged an out call at first on Willinghams dribbler down the line in the sixth, but the call stood. NOTES: Hicks told Gardenhire before the game he had no confidence swinging from the left side. "He came to me this morning and said he wants to hit right-handed. So, obviously, when a guy has no confidence left-handed, you gotta do what you gotta do," Gardenhire said. ... This was Ron Washingtons 1,186th game as Rangers manager, tied with Bobby Valentine for most in franchise history. ... Texas P Tanner Scheppers, out since April 18 with elbow inflammation, had his first rehab outing on Saturday with Double-A Frisco and will make three more with Triple-A Round Rock before being eligible to return on June 3. ... Choo hopes to return to left field on Tuesday after DHing the last two games with a sore left ankle. ... Phil Hughes (5-1, 3.15 ERA) will try for his fifth consecutive win on Tuesday against the Rangers Yu Darvish (4-2, 2.35). ' ' '
30 nov. 2019
Wednesday kicked off the official start of Montreal Canadiens training camp with the players undergoing team medicals. Jaromir Jagr Jersey . For one player, in particular, having a good performance at this camp will be extremely important. Louis Leblanc didnt have the year he would have liked with the Hamilton Bulldogs last season. After being sidelined with a high ankle sprain Leblanc had difficulties trying to get his game going again: he had 10 goals and eight assists in 62 games in the AHL and played no games with the Canadiens. "When you go into the corners you never really trust your ankle the way you did before" Leblanc said about coming back from his injury, but he did say he was able to put that injury behind him this summer. Habs general manager Marc Bergevin acknowledged at his season-ending press conference that Leblanc did take a step back last season compared to the previous year, where he played 42 games with the Canadiens. Leblanc, a local boy from Kirkland, a suburb of Montreal, was selected 18th overall at the 2009 Draft that was held in Montreal at the Bell Centre. One can only imagine what the pressure is like for this young hockey player to succeed. Therefore, Leblanc has decided to work on his mental game with the help of a few different sports psychologists: Dr. Sylvain Guimond, who is the Habs sports psychologist, Dr. David Scott who works with the Hamilton Bulldogs and Dr. Wayne Halliwell. "When youre younger you dont realize that the mental part of the game is important as well," Leblanc told the media. With Brian Gionta and George Parros both recovering from injuries and questionable for the start of the season, there is a possibility that if Leblanc has a good showing at this camp he might earn himself a spot back with the big club. Other Camp Notes: Tomas Plekanec arrived in Montreal on Tuesday after missing the Canadiens annual golf tournament last week due to the passing of his father. Plekanec, being an only child, stayed back in his native Czech Republic for a little longer than usual to be with his mother during this difficult time. Brendan Gallagher will continue to live with Josh Gorges once again this season. Gorges got married this summer in Hawaii. Brian Gionta (bicep injury) and George Parros (shoulder) will take part in Thursdays practice but will not play in the scrimmage which is open to the public at 11am on Thursday in Brossard. Players who will not practice due to injury are: Alexei Emelin (not expected back before December), Steven Quailer and Joonas Nattinen. Rick Tocchet Jersey . The Swede became the first golfer to win the PGA Tours FedEx Cup and European Tours Race to Dubai in the same season. "It is still taking a little time to sink in what Ive achieved this week as was the case when I won the FedEx Cup but then it just kept getting better and better as the days went on and I am sure this will be the same," he said. Pascal Dupuis Jersey . Geovany Soto had an RBI for the Cubs. Carlos Silva gave up one run on three hits over six innings to pick up the win. Josh Willingham drove in the lone run for the Nationals, who had just four hits.SAN FRANCISCO - Yusmeiro Petit pitched a four-hitter for his second career complete game, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Tuesday night. Making his third start since replacing Tim Lincecum in the rotation, Petit (5-3) faced just two more than the minimum and matched his season high of nine strikeouts. The right-hander needed only 84 pitches to finish the gem, the fewest in a nine-inning complete game by any pitcher in the majors this season. Petit, who threw 26 first-pitch strikes, came within one out of a perfect game against the Diamondbacks on Sept. 6, 2013. Leadoff hitter Angel Pagan had four hits and scored twice. Joe Panik went 5 for 5 and Gregor Blanco added two singles to help San Francisco win its seventh straight home game. Overall, the Giants have won 10 of 13. Ender Inciarte homered leading off the fourth to end Arizonas seven-game homerless drought, but manager Kirk Gibsons club managed only three hits the rest of the way. The Diamondbacks have lost four straight. The Giants stranded seven runners in the first three innings but took advantage of control problems by starter Wade Miley (7-11) Andrew Susac drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning and Pablo Sandoval did the same thing in the second. Pagan scored both times. Buster Posey also drove in a run in the second when Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Trumbo couldnt handle a bounced throw from shortstop Didi Grregorius, who was trying to complete a double play. Kris Letang Jersey . . Miley, winless since July 30, gave up three runs and five hits in two innings. He walked four and struck out one. Gregor Blanco singled and scored on an error by Inciarte in left field. Posey added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. Petit did the rest in his best start since his near-miss against Arizona a year ago. He retired his first nine hitters — five by strikeout — before Inciarte went deep. The ball landed in McCovey Cove, the 101st splash hit since AT&T Park opened in 2000. Petit also singled in the second — his first hit of the season — and scored on Poseys grounder. TRAINERS ROOM Diamondbacks: RHP Brad Ziegler will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Phoenix. ... LHP Patrick Corbin and RHP David Hernandez each played catch for the first time since having elbow surgery in the spring. ... Arizona called up RHP Zeke Spruill from Triple-A Reno. Giants: 1B Brandon Belt is scheduled to fly to Pittsburgh on Thursday to see a concussion specialist. Belt, on the disabled list since Aug. 8, could resume baseball activities as soon as this weekend. UP NEXT Diamondbacks RHP Josh Collmenter (10-7) is one win shy of his career high. His 103 strikeouts are already a career best. Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (8-10) has a 5.51 ERA in three starts against Arizona this season. ' ' '