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Archive for April 10th, 2019

NHL Morning Skate for Wednesday, April 10, 2019: Stanley Cup Playoffs Edition



Lightning look to add to record-tying 2018-19 season; Golden Knights aim to improve on improbable 2018 playoff run; Devils win NHL Draft Lottery




The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin with a five-game slate on Wednesday, with series openers on Long Island and in Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, Nashville and San Jose. Grammy Award-winning band Cage The Elephant will help open the festivities prior to Game 1 between the Lightning andBlue Jackets with a free concert at Curtis Hixon Park in Tampa.

* Teams that take a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series own an all-time record of 467-214 (68.5%).


* Teams that take a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series at home own an all-time record of 327-106 (75.5%).


* Teams that take a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup Playoffs series on the road own an all-time record of 140-108 (56.4%).

* Thirty-one different players in NHL history have scored a hat trick in their team’s postseason opener, a feat last achieved by Penguins captainSidney Crosby in the 2018 First Round.

* The most points recorded by a player in his team’s first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is six, accomplished by Boston’s Phil Esposito in the 1969 Quarterfinals (4-2—6 vs. TOR), Montreal’s Guy Lafleur in the 1977 Quarterfinals (3-3—6 vs. STL), St. Louis’ Geoff Courtnall in the 1998 Conference Quarterfinals (1-5—6 vs. LAK) and New Jersey’s Patrik Elias in the 2006 Conference Quarterfinals (2-4—6 vs. NYR).

* Sixty-one different goaltenders in NHL history have registered a shutout in his team’s playoff opener. Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury has recorded four such shutouts, tied with Hockey Hall of Fame member Turk Broda for the most all-time.

Fresh off capturing the franchise’s first-ever Presidents’ Trophy and matching the NHL single-season wins record, the Lightning host the Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the First Round. Columbus is making its third consecutive postseason appearance in search of the team’s first-ever series win.


* The Lightning, who required the second-fewest games to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy since its inception in 1985-86, aim to become the ninth team to hoist the Stanley Cup after capturing the award. The 2007-08 Red Wings and 2012-13 Blackhawks are the only teams to accomplish the feat in the past 16 years (since 2002-03).


* Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov became the second player in franchise history to capture the Art Ross Trophy after compiling the NHL’s highest single-season point total in 23 years (41-87—128 in 82 GP); he joined Martin St. Louis, who won it in 2003-04 (38-56—94 in 82 GP) and again in 2012-13 (17-43—60 in 48 GP). Kucherov (29-30—59 in 62 GP) is four postseason goals and nine playoff points shy of matching St. Louis (33-35—68 in 63 GP) for the most in franchise history.


* The Blue Jackets, who clinched the final berth in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs on the penultimate day of the regular season, are led offensively by Artemi Panarin (28-59—87 in 79 GP) who established a single-season franchise record for points for the second straight campaign.
* Columbus is one of five franchises in NHL history to begin each of its first five or more playoff series as visitors. The others: Avalanche/Nordiques (6; 1981 to 1984), Stars/North Stars (5; 1968 to 1971), Canucks (5; 1975 to 1981) and Sharks (5; 1994 to 1998).


For the first time in 31 years, the Islanders will open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on home ice when they host the Penguins at Nassau Coliseum in Game 1 of their First Round series. New York holds a 3-1 edge over Pittsburgh in its four all-time postseason series; the Penguins, however, defeated the Islanders in their most recent meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs – a six-game triumph in the 2013 Conference Quarterfinals.


* Islanders head coach Barry Trotz has a record of 20-13-7 in 40 career regular-season games versus the Penguins as well as a 9-10 mark against them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Trotz has advanced past the First Round in each of the last four years, including last season when he captured the Stanley Cup with the Capitals.


* Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has collected 122 points in 71 career games against the Islanders (regular season and playoffs), including 3-6—9 in the 2013 Conference Quarterfinals. Only two players in NHL history have recorded more career points against the Islanders: Jaromir Jagr (64-98—162 in 125 GP) and Mario Lemieux (53-87—140 in 78 GP).

The Jets will host the Blues at Bell MTS Place in Game 1 of their First Round series. The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature the return of the “Winnipeg Whiteout”, a tradition that dates to 1985 when fans were asked to wear white to home playoff games of the original Jets franchise during their opening-round series against the Flames – to rival Calgary’s “C of Red”.


* The two franchises are set to meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time. The original Winnipeg Jets squared off with St. Louis during the postseason once in the 1982 Division Semifinals, a four-game triumph by the Blues.

* The Jets, who fell to the Golden Knights in the 2018 Conference Finals, are making their fourth Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in franchise history. Among franchises to debut in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68), four have reached the Conference Finals/Semifinals multiple times in their first four postseason appearances – the Blues (3x), Islanders (3x), Stars/North Stars (2x) and Ducks (2x).


*  The Blues, who ranked No. 31 in the NHL standings on Jan. 2, became the seventh team in the expansion era to reach the postseason after ranking last overall at any point after New Year’s Day (min. 20 GP). St. Louis, however, can become the first of that cohort to advance past the opening round.


After capturing the Central Division crown for the second time in as many seasons, the Predators will host the Stars in Game 1 of the first-ever playoff meeting between the teams. Nashville is one of three teams to have clinched a postseason berth in each of the last five or more seasons, joining Pittsburgh (13; 2006-07 to 2018-19) and Washington (5; 2014-15 to 2018-19).

* The Predators secured home-ice advantage for a third consecutive series (also 2018 R1 and 2018 R2). Nashville has earned 30 of its 49 all-time playoff wins at Bridgestone Arena (61.2%).

Ryan Johansen led the Predators with 64 points in the regular season (14-50—64 in 80 GP) and enters the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with at least one point in each of his last six playoff games (3-6—9). The other active players with points in each of their last six or more postseason games: Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (6-5—11 in 6 GP), Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner (2-7—9 in 6 GP) and Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (4-2—6 in 6 GP).
* Stars captain Jamie Benn has collected 9-11—20 in 19 career postseason games (1.05 P/GP). He can become eighth player in Stars/North Starshistory to average at least one point per game through his first 20 playoff games with the franchise – and first since the team relocated to Dallas in 1993-94.


The Sharks and Golden Knights will clash in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in as many years; San Jose and Vegas also met in the 2018 Second Round, a 4-2 triumph by the latter. The Golden Knights are the first team to face the same opponent in each of its first two trips to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the Wild faced the Ducks in the 2003 Conference Finals and 2007 Conference Quarterfinals.


* The Sharks are headed to the playoffs for the 21st time in 27 seasons since joining the League in 1991-92. Only two franchises have clinched as many playoff berths in that span: Detroit (24) and Pittsburgh (23).


* Sharks forward Joe Thornton (413-1,065—1,47 in 1,566 GP) is in pursuit of his first career Stanley Cup while skating in his 21st NHL season. Ray Bourque (1,612 GP) and Dave Andreychuk (1,597 GP) are the only players in League history to win their first Stanley Cup after skating in at least 1,500 career regular-season games.


* The Golden Knights are the seventh team in NHL history to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of its first two seasons, joining the Oilers as the only team to do it after debuting in the post-expansion era (since 1968-69). The Oilers went on to extend their streak to 13 consecutive seasons, a run which saw them capture five Stanley Cups within their first 11 campaigns.
* Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury enters the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a career postseason record of 75-58 (2.58 GAA, .911 SV%, 14 SO). Fleury is two playoff wins shy of tying Mike Vernon (77) for seventh place on the NHL’s all-time list; his 14 career postseason shutouts, meanwhile, are tied for the sixth-most in League history.


The 2018-19 NHL regular season delivered viewership increases across North America on NBC, NBCSN, Sportsnet and TVA:


* NBC Sports delivered viewership increases across all platforms, according to Nielsen. Combined viewership across NBC, NBCSN, and the NBC Sports app averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 424,000 viewers, up 2% vs. the 2017-18 regular-season. Click here for more.


* Hockey Night in Canada’s Prime East games (7 p.m. ET) delivered an average audience of 1.826 million, up 2% from last season, while the Prime West games (10 p.m. ET) experienced 6% year-over-year growth. Click here for more.


* TVA Sports’ Saturday night Montreal Canadiens broadcasts delivered an average audience of 627,000, up 2% from last season.



The Devils, Rangers and Blackhawks own the first, second and third overall drafting positions, respectively, for the First Round of the 2019 NHL Draft as a result of the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery Drawing in Toronto. New Jersey won the NHL Draft Lottery for the third time, moving from 8 to 4 in 2011 (drafted Adam Larsson) and from 5 to 1 in 2017 (drafted Nico Hischier).


* New York has picked No. 2 overall once, selecting future Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Brad Park in 1966. Chicago, meanwhile, has made five selections at No. 3 overall, a list that includes current captain Jonathan Toews (2006) as well as club legends Denis Savard (1980) and Ed Olczyk (1984).


WATCHCommissioner Gary Bettman draws the lottery for the 2019 NHL Draft.

PLAYOFF QUICK CLICKS series previews

Nikita Kucherov praised by rival top scorers ahead of playoffs
Stanley Cup handoff offers many options for playoff captains

Joe Thornton healthy, ready for another playoff run

Golden Knights counting on newcomers Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny, Mark Stone










Daily Almanac for Wednesday, April 10, 2019



(courtesy http












Ohio State recognizes outstanding Student-Athletes at Scholar-Athlete dinner



2019 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Department of Athletics held the 52nd-annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner Wednesday in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union to honor its student-athletes for their academic and athletic accomplishments. At the event, 674 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes were recognized and a number of senior awards were given out.


The finalists for the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is awarded to one male and one female student from the graduating class of each member institution who has demonstrated excellence on and off the field throughout their college career, were revealed at the dinner. The highest honor a student competing in conference athletics can achieve in the Big Ten, the award was established in 1915 and was the first award in intercollegiate athletics to demonstrate support for the educational emphasis placed on athletics. During the past century, the Big Ten Medal of Honor has been awarded to more than 1,300 honorees. These individuals have translated their campus experience into success in all walks of life.


The Ohio State Big Ten Medal of Honor finalists for 2019 on the women’s side are Lauren Boyle (ice hockey), Alyssa Hoying (synchronized swimming), Devon Kerr (soccer), Lilli Piper (softball) and Karrington Winters (track). For the men, the finalists are Marc-Antoine Blais Belanger (fencing), Cole Gorski (track), Mason Jobst (hockey), Martin Joyce (tennis) and Sanil Thomas (volleyball).


Four Buckeye sports programs were recognized for their performances in the classroom.


Women’s swimming and diving was recognized for having the highest grade-point average among teams with large rosters, while the women’s volleyball team received the honor among the teams with small rosters. Synchronized swimming was honored for having the most improved team GPA among the teams with large rosters and the women’s basketball team was honored as most improved GPA for the teams with small rosters.


Fencer Gabriella Leccese was the recipient of both the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award and the John Dana Cole Award. The Leann Grimes-Davidge Award, which is a tribute to Grimes-Davidge’s contributions to athletics at Ohio State, is given annually to a female athlete who reflects Grimes-Davidge’s outstanding qualities of athletic performance, scholarship, character, campus or community involvement and leadership. A member of the Ohio State women’s tennis team, Grimes-Davidge won four state and Big Ten titles. She graduated from Ohio State summa cum laude and received her master’s degree from Miami University where she served as the head women’s tennis coach. The John Dana Cole Award, established in 1966 by a gift through the Development Fund from John D. Cole, provides a one-time stipend for post-graduate studies at Ohio State. The recipient of the scholarship is a student-athlete who shows the promise of success in his/her chosen field and has demonstrated academic achievement (3.00 GPA minimum).


The Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award was given to Sasha Larocque of the men’s hockey team, men’s gymnast David Szarvas, wrestler Joseph McKenna and synchronized swimmer Alyssa Hoying. Fergus scholars are male or female student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, achieved academically (3.00 GPA minimum), demonstrated positive qualities of character and citizenship and shown potential for success in a graduate or professional program. Established in 1967, the award is given in memory of Corwin A. Fergus, a member of the Ohio State football team (1912-14), a graduate of the Ohio State School of Law and later a successful businessman. The award reflects his strong commitment to the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence and his positive contributions to society. The $5,000 postgraduate scholarships, which each are renewable for up to three years, can be utilized for graduate study or professional programs at Ohio State.


Szarvas also was the recipient of the Pierce Phoenix Award, which is given to a student-athlete who has excelled in academics, athletics and personal growth attained through perseverance and hard work. The award is to be used to attend graduate or professional school at Ohio State, with preference given to someone who intends to enroll in the Fisher College of Business.


In addition, Szarvas joined synchronized swimmer Alyssa Hoying as the Varsity O Scholarship Award winners. The Varsity O award provides each scholar-athlete selected (one male/one female) with a one-time stipend of $4,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. The ideal candidate maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher during undergraduate studies, earned a varsity letter and performed community service.


Rower Madison Sheahan and Jacyn Reeves of the women’s ice hockey team both received the M/I Homes Foundation Award, which has been awarded annually since 1976. The award was one of the first designed specifically to recognize and promote women’s achievements in intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State. It provides an outstanding female scholar-athlete $5,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. The award is based on demonstrated athletic and academic success as well as community contributions through involvement in civic or university organizations.


Five Buckeyes were selected for the Woody and Anne Hayes Award – Bailey Urbach from the rifle team, synchronized swimmer Rachel Warren, Hannah Gantt of the women’s lacrosse team and two members of the men’s hockey team, Brendon Kearney and John Wiitala. The award, established in 1979, provides one or more varsity athletes with financial assistance for postgraduate studies. The recipients of this scholarship are student-athletes who have demonstrated academic achievement (3.00 GPA minimum) and leadership qualities.


Ohio State football team has 47 players honored as Scholar-Athletes



Academic All-American Jordan Fuller, 4-time honoree Kevin Woidke lead academic achievers


COLUMBUS, Ohio – First-team Academic All-American Jordan Fuller, a marketing major from Old Tappan, N.J., and Kevin Woidke, a two-year letterman from Cleveland whose on field efforts have recently earned him a scholarship, lead nearly half a roster of Ohio State football Buckeyes – 47 in all – who have earned OSU Scholar-Athlete honors for the 2018-19 academic calendar.


A total of 674 student-athletes – those with 3.00 or better grade point averages for the year – were honored in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union this evening during the department’s 52nd annual scholar-athlete banquet.


Fuller, who carries a 3.81 overall grade point average and is majoring in marketing, is an OSU Scholar-Athlete for a third time. His impressive academic credentials include being named a Big Ten Conference Distinguished Scholar, Academic all-Big Ten (twice) and second-team Academic All-American in 2017 when he was a sophomore.


He tied for the team lead in tackles last season with 81 and he was second to Jerome Baker in 2017. Fuller enters his senior season with the Buckeyes with a team-high 162 career tackles.


Woidke earns the distinction of being the only football player this spring who is a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete. He has played in every game the past two seasons when the Buckeyes captured back-to-back Big Ten titles and won Cotton and Rose bowl games.


Three-time scholar-athlete honorees include: Drue Chrisman, Gavin Cupp, Brock Davin, Luke Farrell, Jake Hausmann, Dre’mont Jones, Bryan Kristan, Liam McCullough and C.J. Saunders.


Jones, a first-team All-American this past season who has graduated with his degree in sociology, led a corps of 21 players who were also named to the Academic All-Big Ten team last fall.


A total of 12 true freshmen earned OSU Scholar-Athlete accolades.


2018-19 Football Scholar-Athletes

*Indicates 2018 Academic All-Big Ten honoree (must be a sophomore academically); class indicates current academic standing

§  Fr. WR Kamryn Babb – management & industry exploring

§  Fr. QB Matthew Baldwin – business administration

§  Fr. SAF Ryan Batsch – exploring majors

§  Fr. K Jack Cappabianca – management & industry exploring

§  Jr. P Drue Chrisman* – consumer and family financial services

§  Gr. QB Chris Chugunov* – sport management

§  So. DL Aaron Cox* – Science & technology exploration

§  Jr. OL Gavin Cupp* – Human development & family science

§  Jr. TE Brock Davin* – finance

§  So. SAF Kevin Dever* – Finance

§  Jr. DL Noah Donald – Industrial and systems engineering

§  Fr. SAF Luke Donovan – Business

§  Jr. SAF Owen Fankhauser – Human development & family science

§  Jr. TE Luke Farrell* – Health promotion, nutrition & exercise science

§  Fr. DE Tyler Friday – Management & industry exploring

§  Jr. SAF Jordan Fuller* – marketing

§  Fr. LB Dallas Gant – Management & industry exploring

§  Fr. H-B Jaelen Gill – Communications

§  Fr. DL Zaid Hamdan – Science & technology exploration

§  So. K Blake Haubeil* – Communications

§  Jr. TE Jake Hausmann* – Communications

§  Sr. LB Justin Hilliard – Marketing

§  Jr. LB Logan Hittle* – Sport industry

§  Fr. OL Jack Jamieson – Management & industry exploring

§  Fr. RB Xavier Johnson – Management & industry exploring

§  Gr. DT Dre’mont Jones* – Sociology

§  Fr. LB Cade Kacherski – Finance

§  Sr. K Bryan Kristan* – Finance

§  Fr. OL Chris Kuhn – Mathematics

§  Jr. LS Liam McCullough* – Finance

§  Fr. LS Roen McCullough – Finance

§  Jr. RB Amari McMahon* – Biology

§  Jr. P Jake Metzer* – Electrical and computer engineering

§  Fr. LB Teradja Mitchell – Management & industry exploring

§  Fr. OL Nicholas Petit-Frere – Operations management

§  Jr. LS Bradley Robinson* – Human development & family science

§  So. RB Mitch Rossi* – Sport industry

§  Fr. TE Jeremy Ruckert – Exploring majors

§  Sr. WR C.J. Saunders* – Accounting

§  Fr. LB Ben Schmiesing – Business

§  Fr. DE Tyreke Smith – Science & technology exploration

§  Fr. RB Master Teague – Exploring majors

§  Fr. DT Taron Vincent – Management & industry exploring

§  So. LB Pete Werner* – Exploring majors

§  Fr. DT Alex Williams – Fashion &and retail studies

§  So. CB Marcus Williamson* – History

§  Sr. OL Kevin Woidke* – Real estate and urban analysis






88th Annual Ohio State Football Clinic set for April 11-13



Chris Spielman, Steve Specht, Ted Ginn Sr. and Ted Ginn Jr. to be honored


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 88th annual Ohio State football clinic will take place Thursday, April 11 through Saturday, April 13 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and will culminate at the LifeSports Spring Game, presented by Nationwide, at noon Saturday in Ohio Stadium.


New Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and upwards of a dozen speakers will present on various aspects of football coaching as featured speakers. Day will speak Friday at 12:10 p.m. on how to organize a game plan.


All five of Ohio State’s newest assistant coaches will also present at the clinic:


§  Quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich will address QB footwork and drills, and the intermediate passing game, Thursday at 6:10 p.m.

§  Co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison will also present Thursday at 6:10 p.m. He’ll address Ohio State’s defensive philosophy and goals.

§  Special team’s coordinator and assistant secondary coach Matt Barnes will speak on coaching fundamentals through special teams at 11:35 a.m. Friday.

§  Co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach Jeff Hafley will speak on defensive back techniques, Friday at 1:40 p.m.

§  Linebacker’s coach Al Washington will address defeating blocks, the art of confrontation, at 2:15 p.m. Friday.


Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa are also among the featured speakers that include Boston College head coach Steve Addazio, Wittenberg coach Joe Fincham, and leadership expert Tim Kight, from Focus 3.


Honorees include three-time high school state champion coach Steve Specht, from St. Xavier, and Ted Ginn Sr., who has produced 19 NFL players as head coach at Glenville. They will each receive “Ohio’s Finest” awards Thursday evening for the high school level.


Buckeye great Ted Ginn Jr., who has caught 379 passes for 5,281 yards and 31 touchdowns through 12 NFL seasons so far, will be honored Thursday with the collegiate “Ohio’s Finest” award.


And Chris Spielman, Ohio State’s two-time consensus All-American and Lombardi Award winner who went on to star for 12 years in the NFL, will receive the “Ohio’s Finest” award for an NFL player on Friday.


The coaching clinic kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, with a series of speakers and awards. The clinic will continue Friday morning with an Ohio State practice session and then additional lectures and honors, beginning at noon. Registered clinic attendees also get a ticket to the spring game.


Coaches can sign up for the clinic at the following link:


Spring Game Tickets

Tickets for the spring game are available at General admission prices are $5, plus there will be a limited number of $15 reserved club seats. Applicable service charges may apply.


Tickets can also be purchased in person at the OSU Athletics Ticket Office, or by calling 1-800-GOBUCKS (select option 3).  Group tickets – $4 for groups of 50 or more – are available by calling the Group Sales Office at 1-800-GOBUCKS (select Option 2). Fans requiring wheelchair accessible seating are encouraged to purchase accessible seats in advance.


Children under the age of 6 are free in the general admission areas only (everyone in club seating areas will be required to have a ticket). Current OSU students get in free with a valid OSU ID.






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