October 10, 2018 at 08:05 #555
OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators are promising plenty of giveaways Monday on Fan Appreciation Night at Canadian Tire Centre when Rams Elite Jerseys , in fact, that has been a continuing theme all season.
Whereas paying customers will have the opportunity to walk away with various prizes from the team’s final home game of 2017-18 against the Winnipeg Jets, visitors have far too often left the building with two points in the standings and padded scoring stats.
The Senators (27-40-11) find themselves in 30th place for many reasons, not the least of which is their play in what’s supposed to be the friendliest of confines, where they have won just 16 of 40 games to date and given up 143 goals, second most home-ice goals allowed in the league behind the 147 surrendered by the New York Islanders.
By defeating the Jets, meanwhile, the Senators would tie their longest home ice winning streak of the season, which is two games.
“We’re not going to send any message in one game, but I think we know we have a good group in here,” Senators center Matt Duchene told Postmedia. “There are probably going to be some changes in the summer Marvin Jones Jr Jersey , but at the same time, the nucleus of this group is a really good one and I know this season won’t be repeated next year.”
The biggest change could be a trade including captain Erik Karlsson, a player the team will look to deal if it can’t find common ground on a contract extension when the sides are officially allowed to begin negotiations July 1.
So Monday could also mark the last game in a Senators jersey at Canadian Tire Centre for the greatest player in franchise history.
If the Senators are going to turn around their fortunes next season, they’ll need to get better at keeping the puck out of their net than the second highest goals against per game number (3.42) they currently boast.
Ottawa will need somebody to step up and give it the type of goaltending Connor Hellebuyck has given Winnipeg this season.
The Jets (48-20-10) clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was yet another steady showing by Hellebuyck, who along with having the second highest win total in the league has a 41-11-9 mark that should make him a strong Vezina Trophy candidate.
The Jets’ four remaining games are against nonplayoff teams, and they do have veteran goalie Steve Mason about ready to return from an 11-game absence with a knee injury. That means Hellebuyck could get some rest this week.
At the same time, coach Paul Maurice wants Hellebuyck to be in his groove for the playoffs.
“It’s been a heavy schedule for him,” Maurice told the Winnipeg Sun, “but he’s feeling strong right now and we need him to play just like that.”
The Senators will remember Hellebuyck from their Dec. 3 meeting, although he only had to make 21 saves in a 5-0 victory in Winnipeg.
The Jets will take the opportunity on Monday to rest one of their regular blue liners and give 21-year-old rookie Sami Niku his NHL debut. Niku, a seventh-round pick Youth Daniel Kilgore Jersey , has 15 goals and 52 points in 71 games with Manitoba Moose.
Even with temperatures in the mid-80s for the opening day of the Falcons rookie minicamp, wide receiver Calvin Ridley wore long sleeves under his red No. 18 jersey.
He just couldn’t resist.
It’s a freedom that was never allowed for skill position players in Ridley’s college career under Alabama coach Nick Saban.
”Oh man, I didn’t get to wear this in college so I had to do it,” Ridley said. ”Coach really didn’t like us to wear long sleeves and I had to do it. I had to try.”
As an NFL first-round draft pick , Ridley was enjoying some new-found flexibility during his first practice as a professional.
”I can have my shirt out a little bit,” he said, holding the bottom of his jersey. ”I don’t have to tuck my shirt in.”
Long sleeves? Shirt untucked?
Sorry coach Saban, but there’s more.
At times on Friday, Ridley even took off his helmet.
”It’s a little different to take my helmet off all the time,” Ridley said, smiling while recalling his days under Saban’s strict watch. ”A little more freedom. It’s cool Geron Christian Color Rush Jersey , though.”
Ridley may have felt like a rebel while catching passes in his first Falcons practice, but soon his old college rules will become a distant memory. The young wide receiver may quickly shed the long sleeves when the full Falcons roster is together for mandatory minicamp in June and training camp in July.
Besides, there are more important matters in Ridley’s mind. He must learn the Falcons playbook as he tries to prove he can join veteran receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu as another top target for quarterback Matt Ryan .
On Friday, Ridley may have been too eager to show he can meet expectations that come with being a first-round draft pick.
Ridley acknowledged he was ”just very excited” and may have tried to move too fast while running plays with other draft picks and 27 undrafted rookies participating in the camp.
On the first play following a water break, Ridley ran a crossing route over the middle and had the ball fall to the ground off his hands. He appeared to turn up field before securing the ball.
”I want to play fast and I’ve got to slow it down a little bit to learn better and get comfortable, and I’m going to be fine,” he said.
Coach Dan Quinn said it’s a common first-day scenario for rookies.
”Like most of the guys, they want to do right so well, they want more reps, more turns to get rolling,” Quinn said. ”It’s a good lesson. Stay in the moment of this play. That’s not uncommon for any of them.”
The Falcons expect Ridley to make an immediate impact as another playmaker on an offense that suffered a decline in 2017 after leading the NFL in scoring in 2016. He finished his college career ranked second on the Alabama records Logan Paulsen Color Rush Jersey , behind Amari Cooper, for catches and TD catches.
Ridley is the only unsigned player among Atlanta’s six draft picks. He said he is leaving the contract negotiations to his agents.
”I’m just letting my people work,” he said. ”… I’m worried about football.”
NOTES: Russell Gage, one of two sixth-round picks , was listed as a wide receiver in the NFL draft, but he worked at cornerback on Friday. ”Just to make sure where we’re going to put him,” Quinn said. Gage played both positions at LSU and will move back to offense when the minicamp continues on Saturday. Quinn said he may work other players at more than one position.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.