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Archive for April 12th, 2017

Blue Jackets to host fan festivities during 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs

APRIL 11, 2017
Activities include pre-game plaza parties, game-night giveaways
COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Blue Jackets invite fans to “March On” with game-night festivities surrounding the 2017 Blue Jackets Stanley Cup Playoffs, presented by AEP, OhioHealth, Huntington and FOX Sports Ohio. The Blue Jackets open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against Metropolitan Division rival Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. When the series shifts to Columbus, Nationwide presents the pre-game parties on the Front Street plaza in front of Nationwide Arena starting three hours before each home game.On Sunday, April 16, the party starts at 3 p.m. Fans are invited to enjoy music, attractions, beverage stations and watch an hour-long edition of FOX Sports Ohio’s Blue Jackets Live pre-game show hosted by Brian Giesenschlag and Bill Davidge starting at 5 p.m. On Tuesday, April 18, the party officially kicks off at 4:30 p.m. but Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan’s Common Man & T-Bone will get an early start as they broadcast live from the plaza starting at 3 p.m. Game tickets are not required to attend the plaza parties.

Doors to Nationwide Arena will open 90 minutes before each home game and fans are reminded of the arena’s bag policy that requires permitted bags to measure no larger than 5”x8”x1” with exceptions allowed for guests that require a larger bag for medical or childcare needs.

Thanks to AEP, OhioHealth, Huntington and FOX Sports Ohio, all fans attending the Apr. 16 game will receive a T-shirt and those coming to the Apr. 18 game will receive a rally towel.

The complete schedule for the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Series against Pittsburgh follows:

Game 1: Wednesday, April 12 at Pittsburgh – 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, April 14 at Pittsburgh – 7 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 16 at Columbus – 6 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18 at Columbus – 7:30 p.m.
*Game 5: Thursday, April 20 at Pittsburgh – TBD
*Game 6: Sunday, April 23 at Columbus – TBD
*Game 7: Tuesday, April 25 at Pittsburgh – TBD
Bold – home games * – if necessary

FOX Sports Ohio will broadcast live the first four games of the series. If other games are necessary, FOX Sports Ohio will air all games except those that are carried exclusively on national television. All games can be heard live on the Eldorado Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan in Columbus and online at BlueJackets.com.

Fans are encouraged to check the club’s official website and social media channels, including @BlueJacketsNHL on Twitter, to receive news regarding potential last-minute playoff tickets going on sale. Any tickets that are made available will be on sale at the Big Lots Box Office at Nationwide Arena, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, the FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, online at BlueJackets.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by phone at (800) 745-3000.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS COMMUNICATIONS

 

NHL Morning Skate for Ted uesday, April 11, 2017: A reflection on the recently-completed regular season

A QUICK REFLECTION
A look back at the 2016-17 regular season in advance of the start of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs . . .

RECORD PLAYOFF TURNOVER SHOWCASES COMPETITIVE BALANCE
Intense competitive balance, a hallmark of recent NHL seasons, again was a notable feature in 2016-17 as seven teams made the Stanley Cup Playoffs after not qualifying in 2015-16 (BOS, CGY, CBJ, EDM, MTL, OTT and TOR).

* The seven-team turnover matched the largest year-to-year change in NHL history, equaling the mark achieved in 2014-15. Overall, there has been playoff turnover of at least five clubs in 10 of the past 12 seasons.

* Five Canadian teams qualified for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one year after – for only the second time in NHL history – none did.

* Four of the bottom five teams from the 2015-16 regular season qualified for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Toronto (30th in 2015-16), Edmonton (29th), Columbus (27th) and Calgary (26th).

* The Maple Leafs became the first team since the 2007-08 Flyers to qualify for the postseason the year after finishing last in the overall NHL standings.

* Seven teams posted double-digit gains in points from the 2015-16 regular season, led by the Oilers (+33), Blue Jackets (+32), Maple Leafs (+26), Canadiens (+21) and Wild (+19).

* Of the League’s 16 playoff teams, three made coaching changes midseason (BOS, MTL and STL). In 2015-16, Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan became the sixth head coach in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup after taking over midseason.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Of the 1,230 games contested during the 2016-17 regular season:

* 835 (67.9%) were decided by two or fewer goals;

* 517 (42.0%) saw a team overcome a deficit to win, including 106 multi-goal comebacks; and

* 100 (8.1%) featured a tying goal in the final five minutes, including 33 in last 60 seconds.

Overall, teams were tied or within one goal for 74.2% of the 74,715 minutes and 31 seconds of total playing time.

3-ON-3 OVERTIME SUCCESS CONTINUES
The 2016-17 campaign, the second played under the 3-on-3 overtime format, produced single-season NHL records for overtime goals (190) and highest percentage of overtimes with a goal (65.7%, 190 of 289).

Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk scored a League-leading five overtime goals, equaling the single-season NHL record set by Steven Stamkos in 2011-12 and matched by Jonathan Toews in 2015-16.

McDAVID SHINES IN SOPHOMORE SEASON
Playing just his second NHL season, Oilers captain Connor McDavid led the League with 70 assists and 100 points – as well as 30 multi-point performances – to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s scoring champion.

* At 20 years, 86 days, McDavid became the third-youngest player in League history to win the Art Ross Trophy, behind only Sidney Crosby (19 years, 244 days in 2006-07) and Wayne Gretzky (20 years, 69 days in 1980-81).

* McDavid became the second Oilers player to capture the Art Ross Trophy and first since Gretzky won seven straight from 1980-81 through 1986-87. He also became the first Oilers player to reach the 100-point milestone since Doug Weight in 1995-96.

* McDavid – who in October became the youngest captain in League history – finished the season on a 14-game point streak (7-18—25), the longest by any NHL player in 2016-17 and longest by any Oilers player since 1987-88.

MORE YOUTH TAKE OVER . . .
Several rookies made a significant impact during the 2016-17 regular season:

* Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, the first overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, led all rookies in goals (40) and points (69) while playing in all 82 games. Matthews, who at age 19 became the fourth rookie League history to score 40 goals in a season before his 20th birthday, also established single-season franchise rookie records for goals and points. Matthews made an immediate impact, registering four goals on opening night to become the first player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to score four times in his League debut.

* Two other Maple Leafs rookies, William Nylander (22-39—61) and Mitchell Marner (19-42—61), finished third and fourth, respectively, in rookie scoring. Toronto became the second team in NHL history to have three rookies record at least 60 points. The other: the 1980-81 Nordiques (Peter Stastny: 39-70—109, Anton Stastny: 39-46—85, Dale Hunter: 19-44—63).

* Jets forward Patrik Laine also put together a record-setting campaign, collecting 36-28—64 in 73 games to rank seventh in the League in goals and shatter franchise rookie benchmarks for goals and points in a season. At age 18, Laine became the first player in NHL history to post three hat tricks prior to his 19th birthday as well as the first rookie to notch three hat tricks in one season since 1992-93.

* A total of six rookies – Matthews (40), Laine (36), Carolina’s Sebastian Aho (24), Nylander (22), Toronto’s Connor Brown (20) and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen (20) – reached the 20-goal mark this season, the most since 2010-11 (7).

* Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski collected 11-36—47 in 78 games to pace rookie defensemen in all three categories and establish franchise records for assists and points in a season by any rookie.

. . . WHILE JAGR CONTINUES TO CLIMB ALL-TIME LISTS
Playing his 23rd NHL season, Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr (765-1,149—1,914 in 1,711 GP) posted 16-30—46 while appearing in all 82 games to continue his climb up the League’s record book.

* On Dec. 22 vs. BOS, Jagr registered his 1,888th career point to move past Mark Messier (694-1,193—1,887) and into sole possession of second place in NHL history.

* On Jan. 4 vs. WPG, Jagr collected his 1,136th career assist to move past Paul Coffey (1,135) and into sole possession of fifth place in League history.

* On Feb. 15 at SJS, Jagr celebrated his 45th birthday with an assist, joining Wayne Gretzky (894-1,963—2,857) as the only players in NHL history with 1,900 career points.

CLUBS ENJOY HISTORIC COLLECTION OF LENGTHY WIN STREAKS
For the first time in NHL history, four teams posted win streaks of 10 or more games in the same season:

* The Blue Jackets won 16 consecutive games from Nov. 29 – Jan. 3 to establish the second-longest single-season winning streak in NHL history, behind only the Penguins’ 17-game run from March 9 – April 10, 1993. Columbus finished 2016-17 with a 50-24-8 record (108 points), setting franchise marks for wins and points in a season.

* The Wild established a franchise record with 12 consecutive victories from Dec. 4-29, with their streak ending on New Year’s Eve against the Blue Jackets, in what was the 15th victory of Columbus’ historic run. Minnesota finished 2016-17 with a 49-25-8 record (106 points), also establishing club marks for wins and points in a season.

* The Flyers (Nov. 27 – Dec. 14) won 10 consecutive games for the fourth time in franchise history, while the Flames (Feb. 21 – March 13) posted an equal run to match a club record set in 1978-79.

* Additionally, the Capitals registered nine consecutive victories from Dec. 31 – Jan. 15 and 15 straight home wins from Jan. 1 – March 4 (a franchise record) en route to capturing their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy. Washington posted a 55-19-8 record (118 points) to become the second team in NHL history to collect at least 55 wins in back-to-back seasons, joining Montreal (1975-76, 1976-77 and 1977-78).

* Also, the Ducks closed the regular season on a 14-game point streak (11-0-3) to win their fifth straight Pacific Division title, becoming the seventh team in NHL history to claim five consecutive division titles and first since the Canucks from 2008-09 through 2012-13.

RED WINGS MISS PLAYOFFS IN JOE LOUIS ARENA’S FINAL SEASON
The Red Wings missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 1989-90, ending a run of 25 consecutive postseason appearances – tied for the third-longest such streak in NHL history:

Most Consecutive Playoff Appearances, NHL History
29 – Boston Bruins (1967-68 through 1995-96)
28 – Chicago Blackhawks (1969-70 through 1996-97)
25 – St. Louis Blues (1979-80 through 2003-04)
25 – Detroit Red Wings (1990-91 through 2015-16)

Longest Active Playoff Streaks, NHL
11 – Pittsburgh Penguins (since 2006-07)
9 – Chicago Blackhawks (since 2008-09)
7 – New York Rangers (since 2010-11)
6 – St. Louis Blues (since 2011-12)

The Red Wings also closed the doors on Joe Louis Arena, their home since 1979-80. Playing in his 1,000th NHL game, captain Henrik Zetterberg posted 1-1—2 to lift Detroit to a 4-1 victory over New Jersey in the building’s finale on April 9.

NHL CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL
The NHL launched its year-long Centennial celebration on Jan. 1 at the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic in Toronto between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings. Among the highlights thus far:

* The League unveiled the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian, selected by a Blue Ribbon Panel comprised of 58 individuals representing more than 1,800 years of experience in the game.

* The NHL also announced that it has commissioned original portraits – painted by renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris – of each member of the 100 Greatest NHL Players, revealed each Monday on NHL.com and League’s social channels.

* The League launched the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, a traveling fan experience that already has made 16 stops, passed through 30 states/provinces and spent 102 days on the road entertaining fans.

* The NHL celebrated the 125th anniversary of the donation of the Stanley Cup, culminating with its designation as a National Historic Event by the government of Canada.

* The League also announced the 2017 Scotiabank NHL100 Classic – between the Senators and Canadiens – at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. The game, which will be contested on Dec. 16, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the League’s first games played on Dec. 19, 1917.

Visit NHL.com/100 for more information, including daily stories, videos and images.

SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Montreal, Game 1, 7 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Boston @ Ottawa, Game 1, 7 p.m., NHLN, SN, TVAS2, NESN
Columbus @ Pittsburgh, Game 1, 7:30 p.m., USA, SN360, TVAS3, FS-O, ROOT
St. Louis @ Minnesota, Game 1, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN360, TVAS2, FS-MW, FS-N
San Jose @ Edmonton, Game 1, 10 p.m., USA, SN, TVAS, NBCS CA
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PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHL MORNING SKATE PUBLICATION

Rangers’ outfielder Nomar Mazara named AL Player of the Week

Texas Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending April 9th.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Nomar Mazara will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Nomar Mazara By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Mazara batted .417 (10-for-24) with six runs scored, a pair of doubles, two home runs and nine RBI over six games to claim his first career Player of the Week Award. Among AL leaders, Nomar finished first in RBI; tied for second in hits; tied for third in batting average; fourth in total bases (18); tied for fourth in runs scored; tied for fifth in slugging percentage (.750) and extra-base hits (4); and seventh in on-base percentage (.462).

In Wednesday night’s tilt against the Cleveland Indians at Globe Life Park, Mazara delivered three hits, including his first home run of the season and three RBI. Mazara recorded at least two hits, a run scored and an extra-base hit in each of his first three games of the 2017 campaign. The talented young outfielder became the first Ranger ever to open a season in that prolific fashion. On Friday night against the Oakland Athletics in Arlington, Mazara went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored to go along with his first career grand slam. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic native totaled nine RBI through the first four games of 2017, eclipsing the previous franchise mark of eight RBI, set by Juan Gonzalez in his MVP seasons of 1996 and 1998. Mazara, who earned Rookie of the Month honors in consecutive months last season (April and May), became the first AL player with nine-or-more RBI in a team’s first four games since Chris Davis accomplished the feat for the Baltimore Orioles (16 RBI) in 2013. Moreover, the 21-year-old’s 10 hits in the first four games of the season were second-most in franchise history, trailing only Pete O’Brien, who tallied 11 hits in 1988.

Miguel Sano (.350, 7 R, 5 XBH, 8 RBI) and Ervin Santana (2-0, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP) also delivered strong weeks for the Minnesota Twins. Led by their slugger and staff ace, the Twins enter the second week of the 2017 season with the AL’s best record (5-1), and second best mark in the Majors behind the Arizona Diamondbacks (6-1). Additionally, George Springer of the Houston Astros became the first player in Major League history to record three leadoff home runs in his club’s first seven games of a season. Springer also became the first player in club history to hit a leadoff home run one game after hitting a walk-off round-tripper, accomplishing the feat on Wednesday and Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. Other noteworthy performances included George’s teammate Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 8 SO); Khris Davis (.360, 6 R, 5 XBH, 3 HR) and Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.08 ERA, 13.0 IP) of the Athletics; Alex Colome (3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 4.1 IP) and Steven Souza, Jr. (.417, 10 H, 3 2B, 6 RBI) of the Tampa Bay Rays; and Zach Britton (3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 5.0 IP) of the Orioles.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto named NL Player of the Week

J.T. Realmuto in 2015 By fressica on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period ending April 9th.

In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, J.T. Realmuto will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Realmuto hit .500 (11-for-22) with six runs scored, a double, one triple, two home runs and six RBI over five games to earn his first career Player of the Week Award. Among his NL counterparts, J.T. finished the week first in batting average, slugging percentage (.909) and on-base percentage (.542); tied for second in hits and total bases (20); and tied for fourth in runs scored.

Realmuto logged four consecutive multi-hit games to begin the season, matching Jeff Conine (1993) for the second-longest streak in Marlins history. Emilio Bonifacio holds the club record with five such games, which he accomplished in 2009. On Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park, Realmuto, who was drafted by the Marlins in the third round of the 2010 MLB Draft, collected three hits, including his second home run in as many days. The 26-year-old backstop reached base safely four times in the Marlins’ 4-3 extra-inning win over the Nationals, driving in two runs and scoring twice, including the go-ahead run in the 10th inning. Among Marlins catchers in franchise history, Realmuto is tied with 2016 Hall of Fame electee Ivan Rodriguez for the second-most consecutive games with a hit to begin a season (5). Paul Lo Duca logged a hit in six straight games in 2004 (July 31st-August 10th) and 2005 (April 5th-April 10th), and Mike Redmond tallied a hit in six straight contests as well in 2004 (April 6th-April 18th). Entering play today, Realmuto’s 11 hits are most among Major League catchers, while Boston’s Sandy Leon, Kansas City’s Salvador Perez and San Francisco’s Buster Posey have each recorded seven hits.

Greg Holland of the Colorado Rockies converted save opportunities in each of Colorado’s first two games of the season, becoming the first closer to accomplish the feat in franchise history. Holland, who missed the entire 2016 campaign because of Tommy John surgery, has not allowed a hit or run yet, and paces the Majors with four saves. On Opening Day, Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants became the first pitcher to hit two home runs and strike out at least 10 batters in a game since Rick Wise did so for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1971. Bumgarner, who fanned 16 batters over 15.0 innings pitched last week, also became the first pitcher in MLB history to hit two homers in his team’s first game of the season. Other noteworthy performances included Greg’s teammate Mark Reynolds (.346, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI); Paul Goldschmidt (.346, 8 R, 5 XBH, 2 SB) of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Yangervis Solarte (.370, 10 H, 4 XBH, 8 RBI) of the San Diego Padres; and Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP, 16 SO, 0 BB) of the New York Mets.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

2017 MLB Opening Day rosters feature 259 foreign-born players

All-time record-high 29.8 percent of players born outside the U.S., spanning a record 19 countries and territories

Press Release |

A record total of 259 players on 2017 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists were born outside the 50 United States, Major League Baseball announced today.

The 259 players born outside the U.S. (29.8 percent) come from the pool of 868 players (749 active 25-man roster players and 119 disabled, suspended or restricted Major League players) on April 2nd rosters and represent a record-high 19 countries and territories outside the U.S. Previously, there were 18 countries and territories represented on Opening Day rosters in 1998 and 2016. The 259 foreign-born players and the percentage of 29.8 are both the highest figures in history, eclipsing the previous record totals of 246 players on 2007 Opening Day rosters and 29.2 percent of players on 2005 Opening Day rosters.

As it has each year since MLB began releasing this annual data in 1995, the

Dominican Republic again leads the Major Leagues with 93 players born outside the United

States. Venezuela ranks second with 76 players, the country’s highest total in history, far

eclipsing its previous high of 66 (2012). Cuba places third with 23 players, matching the record total set in 2016. Rounding out the totals are Puerto Rico (16); Mexico (9); Japan (8); Canada (6); South Korea (5); Curaçao (4); Nicaragua (4, surpassing previous high of three in 2012 and 2014); Panama (4); Australia (2); Brazil (2); Colombia (2); Aruba (1); Germany (1); Netherlands (1); Taiwan (1); and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1). Minnesota’s Max Kepler, a native of Berlin, Germany, is the first German-born product of MLB’s European Elite Camp to appear on an Opening Day roster in Major League history. Didi Gregorius of the New York Yankees is the first player from the Netherlands to appear on three consecutive Opening Day rosters.

The Texas Rangers have the most foreign-born players with a total of 14 on a roster that spans six different countries and territories outside the U.S. Texas is followed by the San Diego Padres (12), Seattle Mariners (12), Chicago White Sox (11), Cleveland Indians (11), Los Angeles Angels (11) and Philadelphia Phillies (11). The Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners have players from eight different countries and territories outside the U.S., marking the most in the Majors. They are followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers (7). The Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Rangers each have six players from the Dominican Republic, while the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Phillies and Padres each have six players hailing from Venezuela.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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