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Archive for May 9th, 2018

Reds 1B Joey Votto National League Player of the Week last week

PORTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE COMPILED FROM PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Joey Votto before a game 2014 photo by Blackngold29 - Own work, https commons.wikimedia.org

Cincinnati Reds fans have become accustomed to slow starts by the team’s best player and hitter, Joey Votto.

Since 2007, when the native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, starts slow but by season’s end is always among the league leaders in walks, hits, RBI’s, slugging percentage, runs scored and batting average.

Last week he was the National League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending April 29th.

That week, the 34-year-old had a batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage of Votto slashed .360/.543/.880 while collecting nine walks and striking out just five times.

This is the fourth time he’s been honored as National League Player of the Week, and first since the week of July 2 of 2017.

Votto homered in four straight games, which snapped a homerless streak of 93 plate appearances to start the season. He’s now reached base in 14 straight games, raising his on-base percentage 111 points to .397 after starting the season in his usual slow start status.

 

Yankees SS Didi Gregorius American League Player of the Week last week

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

 

Didi Gregorius at bat 2017 photo By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Shortstop Didi Gregorius of the New York Yankees has been named the American League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending April 29th.

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

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (.500, 4 R, 5 XBH, 8 RBI) also posted a strong week amidst the Club’s eight-game winning streak. The Venezuelan native enters play today having homered in each of his last three contests (April 26th-28th), becoming the first catcher in Club history to accomplish the feat. Over his last 13 games, the 2016 All-Star has recorded a slash line of .391/.451/.761 with five doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. Other noteworthy performances last week included closer Edwin Díaz (4 G, 0.00 ERA, 3 SV, 8 SO) and starting pitcher Marco Gonzales (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 12.0 IP, 12 SO) of the Seattle Mariners; shortstop Eduardo Escobar (.370, 4 R, 6 XBH, 4 RBI) of the Minnesota Twins; and Didi’s teammates, starter CC Sabathia (2-0, 0.69 ERA, 13.0 IP, 8 SO), backstop Gary Sánchez (10 R, 3 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI) and starter Masahiro Tanaka (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 14 SO).

Gregorius posted a slash line of .357/.419/.821 with seven runs scored, a double, four home runs, 10 RBI and three walks to claim his first career AL Player of the Week Award, and the first for the Yankees since his All-Star teammate Aaron Judge last season for the week ending September 24th. Among qualified AL leaders, the 28-year-old finished his strong week tied for first in home runs; second in RBI; third in total bases (23); tied for third in hits (10); fourth in runs scored; fifth in slugging percentage; and tied for seventh in extra-base hits (5).

In a road tilt against the Los Angeles Angels on April 27th, the Amsterdam, Netherlands native went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double and a solo home run. The go-ahead homer in the 10th inning was the first extra-inning home run of his career, and was his 10th on the season. In addition, the clutch round-tripper resulted in his 30th RBI on the season, the third-highest April RBI total in franchise history (since RBI became an official statistic in 1920). Tino Martinez recorded 34 RBI during April of his AL MVP-runner-up season of 1997, while Alex Rodriguez also plated 34 in April during his AL MVP-winning 2007 campaign. The round-tripper was also his fifth over a six-game stretch. From April 22nd-25th, the left-handed-hitting slugger homered in four straight games, becoming the first shortstop in Yankees lore to accomplish the feat. Didi, who enters play today with a slash line of .340/.436/.766, is on pace to become just the fourth player in Major League history to slash at least .330/.420/.750 with 30 RBI-or-more in April, joining Albert Pujols in 2006 (.346/.509/.914, 32 RBI), Larry Walker in 2001 (.375/.446/.852, 30 RBI) and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. during his AL MVP-winning 1997 season (.340/.420/.786, 30 RBI). The Yankees play their final April game tonight against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Led by Didi’s hot start, the Yankees (18-9) have won each of their last nine games dating back to April 21st, and trail the Boston Red Sox (20-7) by 2.0 games in the competitive AL East.

 

NHL Morning Skate for Tuesday, May 8, 2018: Capitals eliminate 2-time defending champion Penguins; Nashville forces Game 7 with Winnipeg

PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

MONDAY’S RESULTS

OVECHKIN, KUZNETSOV HELP CAPITALS ELIMINATE PENGUINS IN OT
Alex Ovechkin set up Evgeny Kuznetsov’s series-clinching goal at 5:27 of overtime to eliminate the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins and propel the Capitals into the Conference Finals for the first time since 1998 (4-2 W vs. BUF). Washington’s victory guarantees that there will be a new Stanley Cup champion for the 18th time in the past 19 seasons.

* The Capitals, who also reached the Eastern Conference Final in 1990 (4-0 L vs. BOS), improved to 2-9 in 11 all-time playoff series against the Penguins. Their only other victory came in the 1994 Conference Quarterfinals (4-2 W).

* The Capitals reached the Conference Finals for the first time since 1998 when they made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. Among teams who have ended such droughts, they are the only one to go 18 seasons between appearances in the Conference Finals. The Bruins and Kings ended 17-season droughts in 2011 and 2012, respectively, en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

* Ovechkin, who found the score sheet in five of six games (3-4—7) and factored on three game-winning goals in the series (1-2—3), has collected 15-18—33 in 26 career postseason games vs. PIT, the most playoff points and assists (tied) against the club by any player in franchise history.

* Kuznetsov, who notched 1-2—3 to rally his club to a crucial Game 5 victory on Saturday, became the seventh player in Capitals history to score a series-clinching goal in overtime. His was the sixth such goal on the road.

* Washington and Tampa Bay will meet in the postseason for the third time and first since the 2011 Conference Semifinals (4-0 TBL). The clubs first met during the 2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, which saw the Lightning advance in Game 6 after Martin St. Louis scored 4:03 into triple overtime.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CAPITALS-PENGUINS RIVALRY
Monday marked the third one-goal game – and first overtime contest – of the Pittsburgh-Washington series. Overall, 32 of 68 all-time playoff contests between the Capitals and Penguins have been decided by a one-goal margin (47%), including 14 in overtime and five of 11 series-clinching games.

* Of the 14 head-to-head overtime contests in the postseason, four have come in potential series-clinching games. Washington won Game 6 of the 2009 Conference Semifinals (David Steckel) to extend the series, while Pittsburgh won the other two such contests to advance: Game 6 of the 2001 Conference Quarterfinals (Martin Straka) and Game 7 of the 2016 Second Round (Nick Bonino).

* Washington ended a string of seven consecutive series defeats against Pittsburgh dating to the 1995 Conference Quarterfinals. It marked the second-longest streak of series wins between two opponents in NHL history, behind only Montreal’s 18 consecutive series wins against Boston from 1946 to 1987.

* The Capitals played their 67th playoff overtime game to surpass the Avalanche (37-29) and Blues (35-31) for sole possession of ninth all-time and third-most by any non-Original Six club. Washington has played 36 playoff contests since the start of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a League-high five this year (3-2).

* This marks the fifth time since 2011 in which a defending Stanley Cup champion has been eliminated in overtime (also CHI in 2011, BOS in 2012, LAK in 2013 and CHI in 2014).

FORSBERG, ARVIDSSON EACH SCORE TWICE AS PREDATORS FORCE GAME 7
Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg each collected two goals and an assist – with Forsberg going between his legs for a 3-0 lead in the third period – and Pekka Rinne turned aside all 34 shots he faced as the Predators forced a Game 7 against the Jets. The final game of the Second Round will be played Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Nashville (CBC, SN, TVAS, NBSCN).

* Forsberg, who established a franchise record for points this postseason (22-19—41), tallied multiple goals in a playoff game for the fourth time in his career. He and Arvidsson became the second set of Predators teammates to each score two or more goals in a game with the club facing elimination.

* After allowing six goals in 46:23 of playing time in Game 5, Rinne rebounded to post his second shutout of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs (and first by a Predators goalie in an elimination game). Monday marked the second time this series that Rinne rebounded from a defeat in which he surrendered at least five goals – he allowed five goals in Game 3 before backing Nashville to a 2-1 victory in Game 4.

LOOKING AHEAD TO GAME 7
For the 10th consecutive year, the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude with a Game 7. The eventual Stanley Cup champion has won at least one Game 7 in each of the past five years.

* The Predators will host a seventh and deciding game on home ice for the first time, with each of their other two such contests coming on the road in 2016 –  they won 2-1 in Anaheim in the First Round and lost 5-0 in San Jose in the Second Round.

* The Jets are set to play in their first Game 7 in franchise history, becoming the 29th active NHL franchise to do so (and first to make their debut since NSH). Fourteen clubs have won their first such appearance, including 10 road victories.

* The original Jets franchise played in two Game 7s, losing both (4-1 in 1990 DSF at EDM and 5-0 in 1992 DSF at VAN).

GAME 7 TRENDS:
Of the 170 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

* The team that scores first is 126-44 (.741), including 0-1 in 2018.

* Home teams own a 100-70 (.588) advantage, including a 1-0 record in 2018.

* Forty-one have required overtime (24.2%). Home teams have a 21-20 edge.

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NHL GAMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SET FOR EUROPEAN REGIONAL FINAL
The bracket for the European Regional Final of the NHL Gaming World Championship is set. Watch it all go down Tuesday afternoon on NHL.comand Twitch.tv/NHL beginning at 2 p.m. ET. Tournament details, regional brackets, news and players bios can be found at NHL.com/Gaming.

QUICK CLICKS

· Golden Knights prepare for another first heading into conference final

· Marc-Andre Fleury adding fun to Golden Knights playoff run

· Capitals fans light up social media after Eastern Conference Final berth

· Teemu Selanne returns to Winnipeg, gets standing ovation from crowd at Game 6

 

 

NHL releases dates, start times TV information for 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK (May 8, 2018) – The National Hockey League has announced the dates, starting times and television information for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals. The Eastern Conference Final features the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Washington Capitals and begins Friday, May 11, in Tampa. The Western Conference Final features the Vegas Golden Knights against the winner of Thursday’s Game 7 of the Second Round series between the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets and begins Saturday, May 12, in either Nashville or Winnipeg.

 

All times listed are ET and are subject to change.

 

 

* if necessary

Additional Canadian broadcast information will be announced following Thursday’s Predators-Jets Game 7.

 

NHL Western Conference Finals berth on the line as Winnipeg and Nashville get ready for Thursday’s Game 7

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

NEW YORK (May 8, 2018) – The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets will vie for the lone remaining berth in the Conference Finals of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs when they contest Game 7 of their Second Round series Thursday in Nashville (8 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

 

The winner of Thursday’s showdown will advance to the Western Conference Final and face the Pacific Division’s regular-season and playoff champion Vegas Golden Knights.

 

For the 10th consecutive year, the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude with a Game 7. The eventual Stanley Cup champion has won at least one Game 7 in each of the past five years.

 

The Predators will play host to a seventh and deciding game at Bridgestone Arena for the first time, with each of their other two such contests coming on the road in 2016. They defeated Anaheim 2-1 in the First Round and lost 5-0 at San Jose in the Second Round.

 

The Jets are set to play in their first Game 7 in franchise history, becoming the 29th active NHL franchise to do so (and first to make their debut since Nashville in 2016). Fourteen clubs have won their first such appearance, including 10 road victories.

 

The original Jets franchise played in two Game 7s, dropping a 4-1 decision at Edmonton in the 1990 Smythe Division Semifinals and losing 5-0 at Vancouver in the same round in 1992.

 

Head coaches Peter Laviolette of the Predators and Paul Maurice of the Jets boast a combined .778 winning percentage in Game 7s (Laviolette 5-2, Maurice 2-0). Laviolette is one of four NHL coaches who has won a Game 7 in each of the four different playoff rounds, along with Pat Burns, Mike Keenan and John Tortorella.

 

Tale of the Tape

 

NSH WPG
Reg. Season Points/NHL Rank 117/1st 114/2nd
Goals (this series) 18 22
Shots on Goal (this series) 217 213
Even-Strength Shot Attempts (this series) 338 338
Blocked Shots (this series) 97 97
Hits (this series) 144 141
Save Percentage (this series) .910 .921
Face-Off Win Pct. (this series) 52.0% 48.0%
Pct. of Time Leading (this series) 40.0% 31.4%
Pct. of Time Leading (at Nashville) 15.6% 52.5%

 

Game 7 Trends

Of the 170 all-time Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

* The team that scores first is 126-44 (.741), including 0-1 in 2018.

* Home teams own a 100-70 (.588) advantage, including a 1-0 record in 2018.

* Forty-one have required overtime (24.2%). Home teams have a 21-20 edge.

 

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