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Archive for May 27th, 2020

#NHL Stats Pack: Player Gaming Challenge Week 5

May 27, 2020

NHL STATS & INFORMATION NOTES

NHL Player Gaming Challenge – May 27, 2020

 

MATCH 13 – BUFFALO SABRES vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Brandon Montour (BUF) vs. Mackenzie Blackwood (TBL)

 

* Montour has averaged nearly 20 minutes per game for Buffalo in 2019-20, leading the Sabres with a +13 rating.

* Blackwood tops NHL rookie goaltenders with 22 wins in 2019-20, highlighted by a six-game winning streak in February. He is one of three goaltenders in Devils history to record 20 wins as a rookie, following Martin Brodeur (27 in 1993-94) and Sean Burke (22 in 1988-89).

* Montour and Blackwood were teammates on Team Canada at the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia, winning a silver medal.

* Both players were second-round picks: Montour (55th overall in 2014 to Anaheim) and Blackwood (42nd overall in 2015 to New Jersey).

* Blackwood became a goaltender by chance, when at age 12 the netminder on his local minor hockey team missed some time and Blackwood filled in and eventually stuck with the position.

* Montour played his first 169 NHL games with the Ducks before being traded to Buffalo for Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick on Feb. 24, 2019.

* Montour is of indigenous descent and spent part of his upbringing on Canada’s largest First Nation reservation – the Six Nations of the Grand River. He won a Minto Cup while playing lacrosse for Six Nations.

* Montour and Blackwood each excelled in the AHL before securing full-time roles in the NHL. The former skated with the Norfolk Admirals/San Diego Gulls franchise (2014-15 – 2016-17), while the latter played for Albany Devils/Binghamton Devils (2016-17 – 2018-19).

* Montour (2x; 2015-16 & 2016-17) and Blackwood (1x; 2018-19) each appeared in at least one AHL All-Star Game. Montour stockpiled several other accolades during his time in the league, including earning First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team honors in 2015-16.

* In 2013-14, Montour was named both USHL Player of the Year/Defenseman of the Year and received First All-Star Team honors, while Blackwood was named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team. The following season, Montour was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.

* In 2015-16, Blackwood was named OHL’s Goaltender of the Year and received First All-Star Team honors. He also represented Canada at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Finland.

* Both players simultaneously played in the GOJHL in 2012-13, when Montour was with the Caledonia Corvairs and Blackwood was with the Elmira Sugar Kings. Per the GOJHL website, Caledonia and Elmira met in six head-to-head games that season.

Head-to-head stats can be found in attached document.

 

*     *     *     *     *

 

MATCH 14 – CAROLINA HURRICANES vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Warren Foegele (CAR) vs. Anthony Cirelli (TBL)

 

* Foegele and Cirelli, former OHL teammates, each are enjoying the finest campaigns of their young careers. Foegele has doubled his point total to date in 2019-20 versus last season, while Cirelli has 44 points in 68 contests – which is five more than his 82-game total from 2018-19 (39).

* Foegele tallied 2-1—3, including the winning goal, in Game 3 of the 2019 First Round against the Capitals to give the Hurricanes their first victory during their run to the Conference Finals last year. It had been 10 years since the Hurricanes won a playoff game on home ice.

* Cirelli has also garnered significant postseason experience, despite being just 22 years of age. He appeared in all 17 games for Tampa Bay during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Lightning reached Game 7 of the Conference Finals, falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champions.

* Foegele and Cirelli made their NHL debut in March 2018, each collecting 1-1—2 (Foegele: March 26, 2018 vs. OTT; Cirelli: March 1, 2018 at DAL).

* In 2016-17, Foegele and Cirelli were traded to the OHL’s Erie Otters from the Kingston Frontenacs and Oshawa Generals, respectively. Foegele (13-13—26) and Cirelli (15-16—31) combined for 57 points across 22 playoff games as the Otters captured their second J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions (also 2002), with Foegele also earning the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the league’s postseason MVP.

* Cirelli was named Most Sportsmanlike Player at the 2017 Memorial Cup, where Erie fell to host Windsor in the final. The 2016-17 season also saw Cirelli represent Canada in their silver-medal entry at the 2017 World Junior Championship.

* Prior to 2016-17, Foegele played parts of two seasons for the NCAA’s University of New Hampshire (2-14-15 – 2015-16) before joining the OHL.

* Cirelli won both an OHL and Memorial Cup championship with Oshawa in 2015. He then served as captain of the Generals for parts of two seasons (2015-16 – 2016-17) before being traded to the Otters.

 

Head-to-head stats can be found in attached document.

 

NHLStats Pack – NHL Player Gaming Challenge – Week 5.pdf

 

MATCHUP PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

NHL Player Gaming Challenge Week 5 Matchups: Sabres vs. Devils and Hurricanes vs. Lightning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK (May 27, 2020) – Two matchups featuring Eastern Conference teams will air in Week 5 of the NHL Player Gaming Challenge™ presented by Honda, the NHL announced today. Each NHL Club is represented by one or two current players and will play in a one-time matchup against another Club in an EA SPORTS™ NHL®20 best-of-three series. Matches will be available on NHL platforms: TwitchYouTubeTwitter and Facebook Premiere. Content is also available here.

 

WEEK 5 SCHEDULE

 

Thursday, May 28 (5 p.m. ET)

MATCH 13 – BUFFALO SABRES vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Brandon Montour (BUF) vs. Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD)

 

Saturday, May 30 (3 p.m. ET)

MATCH 14 – CAROLINA HURRICANES vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Warren Foegele (CAR) vs. Anthony Cirelli (TBL)

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

ICYMI: WEEK 4 REPLAYS

Match 10: Zach Hyman (TOR) Defeats James van Riemsdyk (PHI)

Match 11: Ryan Reaves & Alex Tuch (VGK) Defeat Thatcher Demko & Adam Gaudette (VAN)

Match 12: Colton Parayko & Robert Thomas (STL) Defeat Victor Mete & Nick Suzuki (MTL)

 

The NHL Player Gaming Challenge™ presented by Honda is a #HockeyAtHome initiative that reminds fans to stay safe, stay home and play together. As the NHL community continues to practice social distancing and take all necessary precautions during this time, the League will continue to help fans stay connected to players and the game by providing access to unique content and archived games. NHL Pause Binge™ aggregates NHL video, editorial and digital content available on NHL.com, the NHL app and across the NHL’s social channels. Fans can follow along using #HockeyAtHome.

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

BUFFALO SABRES vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Thursday, May 28, 5 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: TwitchYouTubeTwitterFacebook Premiere

Brandon Montour (BUF) vs. Mackenzie Blackwood (NJD)

 

* Montour has averaged nearly 20 minutes per game for Buffalo in 2019-20, leading the Sabres with a +13 rating.

 

* Blackwood tops NHL rookie goaltenders with 22 wins in 2019-20, highlighted by a six-game winning streak in February. He is one of three goaltenders in Devils history to record 20 wins as a rookie, following Martin Brodeur (27 in 1993-94) and Sean Burke (22 in 1988-89).

 

* Montour and Blackwood were teammates on Team Canada at the 2019 World Championship in Slovakia, winning a silver medal.

 

* Blackwood became a goaltender by chance, when at age 12 the netminder on his local minor hockey team missed some time and Blackwood filled in and eventually stuck with the position.

 

* Montour is of indigenous descent and spent part of his upbringing on Canada’s largest First Nation reservation – the Six Nations of the Grand River. He won a Minto Cup while playing lacrosse for Six Nations.

 

Additional facts and head-to-head stats can be found here.

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

CAROLINA HURRICANES vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Saturday, May 30, 3 p.m. ET

Where to Watch: TwitchYouTubeTwitterFacebook Premiere

Warren Foegele (CAR) vs. Anthony Cirelli (TBL)

 

* Foegele and Cirelli, former OHL teammates, each are enjoying the finest campaigns of their young careers. Foegele has doubled his point total to date in 2019-20 versus last season, while Cirelli has 44 points in 68 contests – which is five more than his 82-game total from 2018-19 (39).

 

* Foegele tallied 2-1—3, including the winning goal, in Game 3 of the 2019 First Round against the Capitals to give the Hurricanes their first victory during their run to the Conference Finals last year. It had been 10 years since the Hurricanes won a playoff game on home ice.

 

* Cirelli has also garnered significant postseason experience, despite being just 22 years of age. He appeared in all 17 games for Tampa Bay during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Lightning reached Game 7 of the Conference Finals, falling to the eventual Stanley Cup champions.

 

* In 2016-17, Foegele and Cirelli were traded to the OHL’s Erie Otters from the Kingston Frontenacs and Oshawa Generals, respectively. Foegele (13-13—26) and Cirelli (15-16—31) combined for 57 points across 22 playoff games as the Otters captured their second J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions (also 2002), with Foegele also earning the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award as the league’s postseason MVP.

 

Additional facts and head-to-head stats can be found here.

 

MATCHUP PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY Julie Young | NHL Public Relations; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

 

 


NHL announces Return To Play plans for 2019-20 Season

24 Teams Will Restart Play, Compete for Stanley Cup; 2 “Hub” Cities Will Play Host to Games; Protocol for Players’ Return to Training Outlined; Draft Lottery to Assign Top 15 Picks in 2020 NHL Draft

 

NEW YORK (May 26, 2020) – The National Hockey League announced today a Return To Play Plan for the 2019-20 season, highlighted by a modified competitive format in which 24 teams will return to play and vie for the Stanley Cup at two “hub” cities beginning later this summer. The Plan also includes an outline for the return of NHL players to their Club training facilities (Phase 2) and formal training camp (Phase 3), as well as information regarding the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

 

Today’s announcement follows approval of the Plan by the League’s Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

 

The NHL paused its season on March 12 from concerns over the coronavirus, having played 85 percent of the 2019-20 regular-season schedule that started in early October (1,082 of 1,271 games).

 

“At the pause, we committed to resuming play only when appropriate and prudent,” said Commissioner Gary Bettman. “We are hopeful the Return To Play Plan will allow us to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup in a manner in which the health and safety of our players, on-ice officials, team staff and associated individuals involved are paramount. Accordingly, an essential component of the Plan is a rigorous, regular schedule of testing.

 

“On the hockey side, the return-to-play format reflects the League’s extraordinary competitive balance while honoring the tradition and integrity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

“The Return To Play Plan is the result of weeks of constructive dialogue with the National Hockey League Players’ Association and we are grateful for their cooperation. We also thank our consulting health experts and the local, regional and national authorities who are helping steer us through a complex set of issues.”

 

Following are details of the Return To Play Plan:

 

Regular Season

* The 2019-20 regular season is declared concluded through games of March 11. The 189 games originally scheduled from March 12 – April 4 will not be played.

 

* 24 teams will resume play: the top 12 in each Conference on the basis of points percentage at the pause (through games of March 11).

 

Timeline

* Since the League’s pause on March 12, the League has been in Phase 1 with teams having been instructed to self-isolate as much as possible.

 

Phase 2 – Early June

* In early June, it is expected that teams will be permitted to return to home facilities for small group, voluntary, and on- and off-ice training.

 

Phase 3 – Not Earlier than First Half of July

* Not earlier than first half of July, formal training camps will begin after guidance from medical and civil authorities.

 

Phase 4 – Timing TBD

* 24 teams in 2 “hub” cities will compete in Seeding Round Robins, a Qualifying Round and Conference-based Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

* The 2 “hub” cities will be selected from among the following:

 

- Chicago, IL

- Columbus, OH

- Dallas, TX

- Edmonton, AB

- Las Vegas, NV

- Los Angeles, CA

- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

- Pittsburgh, PA

- Toronto, ON

- Vancouver, BC

 

* Each Conference is assigned a “hub” city with secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation.

 

* Teams will be limited to 50 personnel in the “hub” city with only a small number of support staff permitted to enter the event areas.

 

* Timing and sites will be determined at a future date and will be dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations.

 

Competitive Format

* In each Conference, teams seeded by points percentage.

 

Round Robin: The top 4 teams play for First Round seeding (regular-season overtime rules in effect)

 

Qualifying Round: The remaining 8 teams play best-of-5 series to advance to the First Round (playoff overtime rules in effect)

 

First Round and Second Round: Format (seeding vs. bracket) and series lengths to be determined

 

Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final: Best-of-7 series

 

* The winners from the Qualifying Round play the top 4 seeds in the First Round. Individual First Round series matchups remain to be determined.

 

City 1

Team Conf. Rank P%
Boston Bruins 1 .714
Tampa Bay Lightning 2 .657
Washington Capitals 3 .652
Philadelphia Flyers 4 .645
Pittsburgh Penguins 5 .623
Carolina Hurricanes 6 .596
New York Islanders 7 .588
Toronto Maple Leafs 8 .579
Columbus Blue Jackets 9 .579
Florida Panthers 10 .565
New York Rangers 11 .564
Montreal Canadiens 12 .500

 

City 1 – Round Robin for Seeding in First Round

1. Boston Bruins

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

3. Washington Capitals

4. Philadelphia Flyers

 

City 1 – Best-of-5 Qualifying Round

#5 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #12 Montreal Canadiens

#6 Carolina Hurricanes vs. #11 New York Rangers

#7 New York Islanders vs. #10 Florida Panthers

#8 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. #9 Columbus Blue Jackets

 

City 2

Team Conf. Rank P%
St. Louis Blues 1 .662
Colorado Avalanche 2 .657
Vegas Golden Knights 3 .606
Dallas Stars 4 .594
Edmonton Oilers 5 .585
Nashville Predators 6 .565
Vancouver Canucks 7 .565
Calgary Flames 8 .564
Winnipeg Jets 9 .563
Minnesota Wild 10 .558
Arizona Coyotes 11 .529
Chicago Blackhawks 12 .514

 

City 2 – Round Robin for Seeding in First Round

1. St. Louis Blues

2. Colorado Avalanche

3. Vegas Golden Knights

4. Dallas Stars

 

City 2 – Best-of-5 Qualifying Round

#5 Edmonton Oilers vs. #12 Chicago Blackhawks

#6 Nashville Predators vs. #11 Arizona Coyotes

#7 Vancouver Canucks vs. #10 Minnesota Wild

#8 Calgary Flames vs. #9 Winnipeg Jets

 

2020 NHL Draft Lottery

The NHL Draft Lottery will determine the order for the first 15 selections of the 2020 NHL Draft. The picks will be awarded to the seven teams that do not resume play and the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that acquired their first-round picks).

 

Phase 1

* Phase 1 of the Draft Lottery will be conducted prior to the Qualifying Round on Friday, June 26.

 

* Three draws: First Draw (first overall pick), Second Draw (second overall pick) and Third Draw (third overall pick).

 

* Clubs entered: The seven teams that do not return to play, ranked in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause, and eight “place-holders” to represent the to-be-determined Qualifying Round teams that will not advance, thus maintaining previously-established odds.

 

Team P% Odds
1. Detroit Red Wings .275 18.5%
2. Ottawa Senators .437 13.5%
3. Ottawa Senators* .437 11.5%
4. Los Angeles Kings .457 9.5%
5. Anaheim Ducks .472 8.5%
6. New Jersey Devils .493** 7.5%
7. Buffalo Sabres .493** 6.5%
8. Team A n/a 6.0%
9. Team B n/a 5.0%
10. Team C n/a 3.5%
11. Team D n/a 3.0%
12. Team E n/a 2.5%
13. Team F n/a 2.0%
14. Team G n/a 1.5%
15. Team H n/a 1.0%

Acquired in a trade with San Jose Sharks (.450 points percentage)

** Buffalo Sabres ranked higher than New Jersey Devils on the basis of higher regulation/OT win percentage (Buffalo, .406 ROW%; New Jersey, .348 ROW%)

 

First Draw

* If the winning team of the First Draw is from the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

 

* If the winning team of the First Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the first overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.

 

* After the First Draw, the winning team (from either the #1-7 group or the #8-15 group) will no longer be eligible for the Second or Third Draws. All number combinations originally assigned to this team will become “Re-Draw Combinations” for the Second and Third Draws. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the Second Draw based on which team wins the First Draw.

 

Second Draw

* If the winning team of the Second Draw is from among the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the second overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

 

* If the winning team of the Second Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the second overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.

 

* After the Second Draw, the winning team (from either the #1-7 group or the #8-15 group) will no longer be eligible for the Third Draw. All number combinations originally assigned to this team will become “Re-Draw Combinations” for the Third Draw. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the Third Draw based on which team wins the Second Draw.

 

Third Draw

* If the winning team of the Third Draw is from among the #1-7 group above, that team wins the right to the third overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

 

* If the winning team of the Third Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the third overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery.

 

If All Three Draws Are Won by Teams in #1-7 Group . . .

* The winning teams receive the respective top three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft. The remaining four teams in the #1-7 group not selected in the three draws are assigned NHL Draft positions 4 through 7 in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause. The next eight Draft positions (8 through 15) will be assigned to the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round, in inverse order of their points percentage at the time of the regular-season pause. In these circumstances, Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery would not be necessary.

 

If Any of the Three Draws Are Won by Teams in the #8-15 Group

* The Draws for the corresponding selections will be conducted during Phase 2 among only the eight Qualifying Round teams that failed to advance.

 

Phase 2

* Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery, if necessary, will be conducted between the Qualifying Round and First Round.

 

* Phase 2 participants: the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that acquired their first-round picks).

 

* Following each Phase 2 draw, the winning team will be assigned the corresponding Top 3 selection and, if another Phase 2 draw is necessary, that team’s numbered lottery ball will be removed.

 

* When all Phase 1 and Phase 2 draws are completed and the Top 3 selections in the 2020 NHL Draft assigned, the remaining selections in the Top 15 will be assigned to the 12 teams that did not win a draw in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the season’s pause.

 

* In each Phase 2 draw, all participants will have the same odds.

 

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

 

 

LA Angels of Anaheim Baseball Foundation awards 24 College Scholarships

May 26, 2020

ANAHEIM – The Angels Baseball Foundation (ABF) proudly announced on Tuesday that it has awarded 24 high school seniors from the Orange County and Los Angeles area with four-year scholarships through its Angels Scholars Award. The program aims to assist the honorees with their continuing education at the collegiate level.

“The Angels Baseball Foundation is extremely proud to play a role in the lives of these special students as they continue the next chapter of their educational journey,” said Angels Baseball Foundation President, Dennis Kuhl. “These students embody what we consider ‘Championship Standards,’ characteristics that create a strong foundation to become future leaders. Their continuing success through education becomes a positive not only for our organization, but more importantly for our community.”

The Angels Scholars Award was established in 2016 and is a four-year renewable scholarship that supports a select group of individuals as they pursue undergraduate degrees. Scholars are selected based on academic achievements, financial need, community involvement, and the desire to achieve a higher education. The funds are applied to primary undergraduate expenses such as tuition, room & board, healthcare, textbooks and tutoring. The students are also provided with direct access to the Angels Baseball staff to receive support in navigating their four-year college journey and learning organizational skills to become financially independent and responsible adults.

This year’s 24 recipients were selected through a process involving recommendations from their high school’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, high school counselors and the non-profit organizations they work with. These organizations include Girl Scouts of Orange County, Families Forward, and Samueli Academy, a program of Orangewood Foundation. These impressive scholars will be attending highly acclaimed institutions such as Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon, University of California at Los Angeles and University of California at Irvine.

In addition, 2020 will mark the first class of Angels Scholars that will be graduating from their respective colleges this year. Following is a list of the eight graduates:

For more information on the Angels Baseball Foundation, please visit angels.com/foundation or follow on Twitter @LAAfoundation for updates, news and resources for fans.

Read more: Los Angeles Angels
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ANGELS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Houston Astros open up facilities for individual player workouts

Minute Maid Park & West Palm Beach Spring Training Complex available

 

HOUSTON, TX – As of May 25, the Astros have allowed limited player access to Minute Maid Park and the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches complex in West Palm Beach for individual workouts. Those workouts will be closed to the media and to the public.

At each facility, the Astros will closely follow medical and MLB guidelines to ensure the safety of the players and staff at each facility. Below is more information regarding the workouts:

• All personnel entering the facilities will be screened and must be cleared by medical professionals.

• No more than four players can be in the facility at one time. Workout times will be staggered to ensure proper social distancing.

• Each pitcher will be provided with his own set of baseballs for bullpen sessions.

• Initially, workouts will be for 40-man players, but some support from non-40-man players may be required.

• Most of the workouts will take place outdoors to ensure proper ventilation. Players must wear masks when not working out.

• Astros coaches and staff all must wear PPE equipment at all times.

• The entire clubhouse and all other accessible areas will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day.

• Workouts are closed to the media and to the public.

“Our top priority remains the safety of our players, staff, and their families. That will never change,” said Astros General Manager James Click. “It’s exciting and a very positive step for our players to return to our facilities, even on a limited basis. This will give our players the benefit of receiving individual attention from our staff, who can provide professionalism and expertise. That is significant.”

Read more: Houston Astros
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ASTROS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com