Kovalchuk indeed will remain in Russian to play out the final year of his contract with SKA St. Petersburg

Two teams in the 2017 postseason — the Oilers in the first round and Ducks in the second round — have lost by six or more goals. Both came back to win their next game.

Three stars

3. Carter Rowney, Penguins — At this time of year, Penguins tend to come out of the woodwork. Rowney is the latest after the career AHLer tallied three assists in Game 5. The 28-year-old forward was skating in his 12th game this postseason and had yet to record a point. Not bad.

2. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins — Malkin extended his NHL-leading points tally to 23 with his three assists. Sidney Crosby, who had a goal and an assist, is directly behind him in the No. 2 slot with 19 points.

1. Matt Murray, Penguins — Murray might not get enough credit for his play in such a lopsided affair, but the 22-year-old has stopped 68 of 71 shots since taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 4.

It may be in Kovalchuk’s best interest to play one more year in the KHL until he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Kovalchuk indeed will remain in Russian to play out the final year of his contract with SKA St. Petersburg, according to agent Jay Grossman. The Devils were unable to find a trade to their liking, the New York Post reported, even though Grossman said Kovalchuk’s preference was to come to the NHL. But Kovalchuk can now pick his destination next summer (with New Jersey no longer holding his rights) and is free from the NHL’s constraints in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

More to the point about the team’s discipline, after averaging 8.6 penalty minutes per game Kobe Bryant Cheap Jerseys in the first 16 games of the 2016 playoffs, the Penguins averaged 4.1 in the Lsu Cheap Jerseys remaining eight games of their Cup run. And in 27 playoff games combined since that column appeared, the penalty-minute average for the team is 6.5. That’s a 24-percent decrease.

Stanley Cup Final 2017: How Nashville came together to will its Predators back into series

The NHL is here, in full force, and has been for some time.

Of course, all of this has been written in the present tense when we might be talking about a career that is now in the past. There was no language in Chicago’s release Wednesday morning that gave much in the way of hope for Hossa’s career to continue on at some point. Given that he’d be 40 in 2018-19 after taking a full season off, the logic behind such a return doesn’t even match up.

Personally, I don’t want to give up hope. Hopefully, this isn’t Fc Barcelona Cheap Jerseys the last we see of him in an NHL arena. He’s someone seemingly everyone can enjoy watching, and I learned that as well as anyone. You see, there’s no reason for Hossa to be one of my favorite players to watch in recent NHL history. In fact, growing up a Penguins fan, I have plenty of reasons to dislike him, including the way he left the Penguins for the team that defeated them in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, the Detroit Red Wings — even citing that he felt he had “better of a chance to win the Cup in Detroit.” Once he signed with the Red Wings, I assumed I would go on silently hoping he’d never win a Stanley Cup.

Included in shaping Winnipeg’s goaltending profile a season ago was 24-year-old Connor Hellebuyck, who went through something of a sophomore slump. After a stellar rookie season that saw him post a .939 Manchester United Cheap Jerseys even-strength Man Utd Cheap Jerseys save-percentage, and force his way into the Jets lineup, he regressed this past season, the even-strength save percentage dropping 22 points, and his save percentage in all situations down 11. Hellebuyck was a standout in his two years as a collegian at UMass Lowell, winning the inagural Mike Richter Award in 2014 as the NCAA’s best goalie, and is the only player in the history of Hockey East to twice win tournament MVP honors.

Rajon Rondo will ‘absolutely’ ask for a trade from Bulls if benching continues

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg played every one his players Saturday in a 20-point loss to the Bucks — everyone except Rajon Rondo, who was a healthy scratch.

Rondo, who was benched for the entire second half Friday in a loss to the Pacers, is understandably upset with Hoiberg’s decisions, although the second-year coach said the point guard has carried himself well.

“He was great, very professional,’’ Hoiberg said of a meeting between the two on Saturday. “We talked about accepting whatever role he has and helping our guys stay ready.’’

During a game against the Trail Blazers in December, Westbrook heaved the ball from halfcourt to the officials as Damian Lillard was lining up for free throws. The ball hit the stanchion, and Westbrook was initially issued a technical foul. The referees convened and determined the throw was unintentional.

Given what happened in Portland, a reporter wondered whether Wednesday’s throw was part of a trend of recklessness. Westbrook took exception to the question during and after the media scrum.

“I don’t want to hear that s—, man. Come on, man,” Westbrook said. “I ain’t perfect, bro. I make mistakes like everybody else. The ball slipped in Portland. Don’t come up with that s—, man. Don’t do that.”

As the media was leaving the locker room, the reporter in question tried to apologize NFL Jerseys Outlet to Westbrook one on one, explaining his motive behind the question, but Westbrook wasn’t having it.

“Don’t appreciate that s—,” Westbrook said multiple times, adding NFL Cheap Jerseys Wholesale that he felt disrespected just by the thought of his actions Wednesday being intentional.

Mike Budenholzer is trying to bring Gregg Popovich flavor to the Hawks

How about a little drama to kick off the new year?

The Hawks rallied late at home against the Spurs and held on for a 114-112 overtime win Sunday.

Kawhi Leonard missed an open lay-up as time expired in overtime, giving Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer his first win over his former boss, Gregg Popovich. Prior to Sunday, Atlanta (18-16) had lost 11 straight to San Antonio (27-7).

Russell Westbrook: Sure, 33 points is impressive, but it took him 31 shots to get there. Westbrook finished the 123-112 loss to the Thunder just 10 of 31 from the floor, marking the 20th game this season he’s Ravens Cheap Jerseys missed at least 20 shots in a game. The star point guard added 15 rebounds and eight assists, but his reckless style is starting to hurt the team.

James finished the 106-94 loss to the Bulls with 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving did not play.

The Cavaliers are now 0-8 in the last three seasons when multiple members of their big three sit out of a game.

Everyone already considers the Raptors to be contenders in the East, but Utah’s inspired play has come as a bit of a surprise thus far. Other than a trouncing by the Warriors last month, the Jazz have looked like a team to fear in the postseason. Their physical, defensive style is similar to San Antonio’s. Which Nike NFL Jerseys Supply team will be able to impose their will in this matchup?

2017 NBA All-Star Voting: SN’s Sean Deveney’s official media ballot

For the first time, an email arrived in the old inbox here in mid-January. The NBA had invited 75 of us media folks to vote for what will amount to 25 percent of the input in the league’s All-Star starting five. The fan vote will still count for 50 percent of the tally, and players will get the remaining 25 percent of the say.

Can’t quite say that this new system will change all that much when it comes to All-Star Super Cheap Jerseys China snubs and outrages, but it’s an effort at least. And it was fun to go through and pick starters for a change. With voting for starters having wrapped up Monday night, here’s how my ballot went.

Derrick Rose has rejoined the team and has been fined. He is expected to be in uniform tomorrow in Philadelphia.

He reportedly already was unhappy with how coach Jeff Hornacek has used him, particularly in late-game situations, though the 2011 NBA MVP doesn’t recognize his diminished play from his previously elite level.

Rose has been critical of Hornacek in private, but no one in the Knicks locker room or management has expressed any issues with how Hornacek has coached Rose, unidentified league sources told Yahoo.

According to Yahoo, the Knicks already were undecided about what kind of commitment to make to Rose in free agency this offseason. Now his failure to alert team officials ahead The Best Cheap Jerseys of his absence Monday not only left them livid but also embarrassed, Yahoo’s sources said. (ESPN reported that “a family issue” in Chicago led to Rose’s absence.)