Milt Schmidt: NHL player, coach and GM belonged to fabled Bruins line

The trio adjusted their game, and led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals, where they lost in five games to the Canadiens, Mr. 4, at the age of 98. Bauer and Mr. “He’ll never be able to look down the bench when the team’s in trouble and say as I could, ‘Milt, get out there.’”Mr. The Kraut Line went on to lead the Ottawa RCAF Flyers to an Allan Cup victory as senior Dominion championships.Mr. Dumart. Schmidt’s son and daughter with bicycles.The Bruins went on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 with Mr. He was the youngest of six children (three boys, three girls) born to Emma (née Warnholz) and Carl Schmidt, both German immigrants. Dumart inscribed silver trays, while Mr. He skated alongside an older boy named Woodrow Wilson Clarence Dumart, known also by the nicknames Woody and Porky.In 1934, the boys were joined on the Kitchener Greenshirts by the older Robert Theodore Bauer, nicknamed Bingo, who was born in Waterloo. Schmidt, a resident of Westwood, Mass., died at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., a Boston suburb. Bauer on right wing and the pacific Mr. Schmidt’s No. He helped the Bruins win Stanley Cups in 1939 and 1941. But all players don’t feel that way, including players who are assets to a team.”The Bruins missed the playoffs for six consecutive seasons in the 1960s before Mr. Schmidt himself considered changing his name to Smith.A week after the line’s last game with Boston, the trio skated for an air-force team against the Bruins in a charity match in Ottawa. Schmidt returned to the Bruins at war’s end, only to discover the style of play had changed. The boy delivered newspapers and sold peanuts at the local rink. Bauer also scored, to the delight of the Boston faithful.As age and injuries (a broken jaw, broken nose, broken ribs, a wrenched neck and countless knee ailments) took a toll, Mr. Schmidt was known for his stickhandling and playmaking. He lost far more games than he won, learning a lesson.“My greatest mistake was in expecting all players to have the same attitude toward hockey that I had as a player,” he told Jim Proudfoot of the Toronto Star in 1963. Schmidt twice led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup finals against the Canadiens, losing both times. Coach Albert (Battleship) Leduc, a former NHL defenceman with the Canadiens, called them the Sauerkraut Line, which became shortened to the Kraut Line. Mr. The ushers at the Boston Garden presented Mr. 15 sweater in 1980. The trio was exchanging Boston’s black-and-yellow hockey sweater for the smart blue tunic of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The skinny teenager shared ice with the likes of Dit Clapper and Eddie Shore, who left him feeling somewhat overawed by the experience. He then coached the team for a decade before a tenure as general manager, during which he added his name again to the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972.Mr. Orr’s 50th anniversary of joining the club and Mr. After the game, Bruins management presented the men with cheques for a full season of play, plus bonuses. Dumart’s son and Mr. “To me, every game was a matter of life and death, every practice serious business. 10, 1942, the mighty Boston Bruins, the defending Stanley Cup champions, whipped the Montreal Canadiens 8-1 in a game overshadowed by the Second World War. He had scored 229 goals with 346 assists in 776 NHL regular-season games, adding another 25 goals and 49 assists in 86 playoff games. Schmidt was made the team’s general manager. Bruin” and as “The Ultimate Bruin.”Milton Conrad Schmidt was born on March 5, 1918, in Kitchener, just 10 weeks after the start of the first NHL season. After just 26 games as a minor professional, Mr. Schmidt’s 80th.The Bruins retired Mr. Schmidt served as a physical education instructor. The absence of the Kraut Line from the Bruins’ roster ended the possibility of a Boston dynasty and the city would not celebrate another Stanley Cup championship for a generation.In the 1939-40 season, the trio finished 1-2-3 in the league scoring race with Mr. 15 patches on their sweaters for the remainder of the season.In 1957, Sports Illustrated magazine published an anecdote in which Lynn Patrick, the son of Lester Patrick and Mr. More importantly, he conducted training sessions in a swimming pool as he taught airmen the tricky manoeuvre in which a raft is inflated and flipped. Bauer got a silver pitcher. Schmidt for his contributions to hockey in the United States.He eventually made up with the Bruins and in recent years was feted as among the greatest of them all, sharing the spotlight with Mr. At the time of his death, he was believed to be the oldest living former NHL player, a distinction that now falls to 14-game New York Rangers player John (Chick) Webster, 96, of Mattawa, Ont.A tall, skinny centre at six-foot, 185 pounds, Mr. Schmidt was promoted to pilot officer, meaning his linemates, both corporals, had to address him as “Sir.”Mr. Hodge became a 50-goal scorer.Mr. He was predeceased by his Danish-born wife of 53 years, the former Marie Petersen, who died in 1999 at the age of 78. An unknown number of his pupils may have relied on the lifesaving skill after ditching in the English Channel or the North Sea.In the fall of 1943, Mr. Schmidt told Kevin Shea of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002. Dumart on left, all showing an uncanny ability to deliver timely passes to one another.The Kraut Line came to dominance just as Hitler’s armies began rolling over Europe. Other gifts included radios, golf shoes, cigarette lighters, a record player and groceries, including a six-month supply of ice cream. Schmidt and Mr. Teammates gave them gold identification bracelets, while manager Art Ross presented each with a wristwatch. He emerged a year later as the founding general manager of the expansion Washington Capitals, a woeful team now legendary for their incompetence. Schmidt traded centre Pit Martin, defenceman Gilles Marotte and goalie Jack Norris to Chicago for centres Phil Esposito and Fred Stanfield, as well as right winger Ken Hodge. Schmidt left the Bruins organization after a contract dispute in 1973. Orr at an event at the TD Garden last year. The arrival of heralded rookie defenceman Bobby Orr for the 1966-67 season gave Boston hope of embarking on a new era. Schmidt was called up to the parent Bruins.The youthful trio was a sensation with the cagey Mr. He called them “the most loyal and courageous players in the Bruins’ history.”Then, in a rare sight in the hockey arena, the players were hoisted onto the shoulders of friendly Bruins and enemy Canadiens alike to be escorted off the ice.The three spent much of the war playing for morale-boosting air force hockey teams, seeing more action on the blueline than the front line.Mr. After training, he was posted to northeastern England, where he led pilots and crews in workouts to keep in shape. Mr. At the end of the season, Mr. Bauer left Boston after the 1946-47 season, during which he scored 30 goals and won his third Lady Byng trophy for gentlemanly play, bringing an end to one of hockey’s most storied forward lines.A final hurrah came on March 18, 1952, when Mr. Schmidt’s immediate predecessor as Bruins coach, asserted Mr. Schmidt leading the way with 22 goals and 30 assists.“The three of us roomed together in Brookline, Mass.,” Mr. Mr. Mr. “We had one big room, so that we were always together. Schmidt scored a remarkable 20 goals in just 17 games, earning an invitation to the Bruins training camp that fall in Saint John, N.B. The ceremony marked Mr. Esposito emerged as the league’s top scorer while Mr. The Bruins held a contest to rename the trio, settling on the Buddy Line, which never caught on. The league had introduced a centre red-line in their absence, which encouraged fore-checking and a crowded offensive zone at either end. Schmidt, the last survivor of the trio, all of whom have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, died on Jan. Patrick was known to be a generous and modest man. Boston’s top line – childhood friends Milt Schmidt, Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, all from the neighbouring Ontario cities of Kitchener and Waterloo – recorded 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in their final National Hockey League game for the duration of the war. His father worked as a labourer at a tannery. Schmidt retired as a player in 1954 to take over the reins as head coach. He leaves a daughter, Nancy Marie Sommer, of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and a son, Milton Conrad Schmidt Jr., known as Con, of Medfield, Mass., who had a brief career as a minor pro hockey player. Bauer returned after a five-year hiatus for a single game during which the trio was to be honoured. Such a sacrifice did not go unhonoured. Orr, whom he had met and scouted at the age of 12. A crooked nose offered evidence of a willingness to absorb punishment around the net. NHL president Clarence Campbell, a former referee, presented each with a silver watch, while Boston’s sports writers gave Mr. “Schmitty will never be anywhere near as successful a coach as I was,” he repeated. One of them, Carl Jr., nicknamed Gunboat, tended goal for the junior Kitchener Empires, a team Milt joined at age 15. Both of his older brothers played hockey. The trio was dubbed the Baby Line and the Kitchener Kids. The claim shocked those who heard it, as Mr. Schmidt recording four points, including his 200th career goal. As well, the Bruins players will wear No. On the night the Kraut Line went to war, the hockey game was less important than a ceremony to honour departing warriors.On Feb. After a game, we’d say, ‘We did this wrong, or we did that wrong.’ There was no nightlife or anything like that.”After military service, the centre resumed his playing career, serving as Bruins captain for five seasons. Schmidt played a direct role in four of the franchise’s six hockey championships. He also leaves four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Schmidt would never be as successful behind the bench as he had been. After practices, we discussed things we should work on. After his death, the number was painted on the ice behind both nets at the TD Garden in Boston. He declined an offer to sign with the Boston organization, which would have meant toiling in the minor leagues, opting instead to return to Kitchener to finish his junior career.He signed with the Bruins organization a year later and was assigned to the Providence Reds, where he was reunited with linemates Mr. Schmidt, in a wheelchair, was pushed to centre ice on a red carpet by Mr. The trade has gone down in NHL lore as one of the most one-sided deals of all time, as Mr. It was an ignominious end to a storied career on the ice and in the front office.In 1996, the league awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy to Mr. (He was 11-years-old when Boston won its first Stanley Cup in 1929 and 93 when it won its most recent title in 2011.) He became a revered figure in Boston, where he was known both as “Mr. The stylish centre won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 1951.As coach, Mr. The former star player, whose name was on the Stanley Cup four times, spent part of two seasons behind the bench with the Capitals, winning just five games against 32 losses and five ties. Schmidt was held scoreless after suffering a severe charley horse in his right thigh in Game 2.Mr.

No surprise Kris Russell’s a fearless defenceman — his dad was a bullfighter

And in two of the past four years, he finished second and third.“He is unbelievable,” says Connor McDavid, the Oilers’ 20-year-old captain and the NHL’s scoring leader. The brothers remain close – and raise bucking bulls together in the offseason.In their first game in juniors, they played for rival squads in the Western Hockey League and fought at centre ice.“It was fun,” Kris says. His father was their hockey coach when they were kids.“I couldn’t be more proud,” Shaky says. He gave it up because he wanted to be in one piece for his sons – and also because he had gotten the worse end in too many confrontations with bulls.“They look big and slow, but you can’t outrun them,” he says.Kris and Ryan both made their mark in hockey. For the second time in three years, Russell leads the league. The year before last, though, the town celebrated a Kris Russell Day while the Flames were in the playoffs – a bit of thanks for being such a tough customer.Shaky quit bullfighting when Kris and his identical twin brother, Ryan, were born. I don’t know how he does it.”In 2014-15, Russell set a league record by blocking 283 shots as a member of the Calgary Flames. Talbot has faced more shots and recorded more saves than any other goalie in the league this season. The Oilers are Kris’s fifth NHL team, and Ryan played 41 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hendricks once had part of an ear lopped off by a shot by Alex Ovechkin. For 14 years, Doug (Shaky) Russell protected riders by getting between them and the bulls that bucked them off. “I don’t know that I would do what he does, and I have a lot more equipment on.”Russell missed seven games with an upper-body injury early on, but has stalked the NHL leaders in blocked shots since returning to the lineup. We didn’t wear anything special back then.”Kris laughs it off, but there must be something in his makeup passed down to him by his dad. “The guy finds a way to be in shooting lanes all of the time. Another time, one stood on his toe so he couldn’t get away as it roughed him up. He is listed at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds – and that might be a stretch.Yet, in recent games he has gone toe-to-toe with New Jersey winger Kyle Palmieri, shoved one Nashville player away from in front of Talbot and cross-checked another, all the while deflecting numerous shots with no apparent concern.“It takes a special guy to do what he does,” says Matt Hendricks, the Oilers’ rugged forward. Russell blocks more shots per game than anyone else.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he has blocked 1,309 shots in 617 games in 10 seasons in the NHL. The league doesn’t keep career statistics on blocked shots, but it is certainly fair to say that it is a specialty – enjoyed at such an elite level by a scant few.Despite his bravado, Russell has been fortunate to escape without major injury. During the course of his career, he broke the same leg twice, fractured both thumbs and had knee surgery nine times. The lower and closer you get, the less risk there is in taking one in the teeth.”It is a close race between him and teammate Drake Caggiula, a rookie forward, but Russell is likely the Oilers’ smallest player. “We didn’t try to hurt each other, but it’s not like either of us wanted to lose.”Kris says his mom, Terri, was appalled. “Getting hit goes along with doing it. He has been a revelation for the surging Oilers, a pugnacious terrier that has helped drastically improve one of the most porous defences in the NHL.In one recent game, he blocked two shots in overtime, stepping in front of one seemingly sure game winner blasted at close range.“His instincts are amazing,” Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot says. His dad? And then there was that day when, after getting a horn in the rump, he was pitched over a gate 10 feet high. “My dad took on 2,000-pound bulls. “I broke a couple of ribs. “There aren’t a lot of people lining up wanting to do it.”There is no argument that it takes great courage, but it still prompts debate. Kris Russell, the pint-sized defenceman who deflects shots like bullets for the Edmonton Oilers, isn’t even the toughest member of his own family.That distinction goes to his dad, who was a bullfighter on the professional rodeo circuit. He is way braver than I am.”Once, an angry bull charged Shaky and hit him full force on the inside of one knee. “I only deal with 250-pound guys,” Kris says. Caroline, the village of 500 residents where he grew up, is most famous for being the hometown of figure skater Kurt Browning. Last week, he passed Erik Karlsson of Ottawa, who has played three more games, to take over first place. He set another mark that season by deflecting 15 in a single game.“Some of my body parts are numb,” he joked at the time.He is 29 and signed a one-year, $3.1-million (U.S.) contract with the Oilers as a free agent the weekend before the season started. They managed only 20 shots on net in the same game.“On my end, it is a big help,” Talbot says. He grew up on a farm in the foothills of the Rockies in central Alberta. How else to explain his passion for tossing his body in front of frozen pucks launched at 90 miles an hour?There is nobody in the National Hockey League as good, or fearless, when it comes to blocking shots. Not so much. “Each time someone blocks a shot, that is one fewer that I am going to see.”Russell could have been a cowboy like his dad. Some detractors argue it is a sign that a team has defensive problems. It was like something out of Green Acres, only a lot less funny.“It caught me just right,” Shaky says. It has even been suggested the NHL make it illegal for players’ feet to leave the ice to block a shot.In their last game before the all-star break, the Oilers blocked 22 shots in a 4-1 victory over San Jose. Bullfighters wear flak jackets and padded pants now. He has had only a broken knuckle and fractured pinkie finger – and more bumps and bruises than can be counted.“Part of it is being willing to do it,” he says.

Kyle Lowry doesn’t hold back when asked about Trump’s ban

government to ensure the safety of its citizens.“I think there’s need for that,” Ujiri said. “But I think there’s ways to deal with people. But he is fearful that Trump’s travel ban will only have an adverse effect on the United States.“To me, it’s just not good to see,” Ujiri said. “It’s very unfortunate that stuff like this is happening in Canada and all over the world. I really shy away from it because it’s not my thing, it’s not my expertise. “I think that is why we have the amendment for freedom of speech. If you use it, you use it. We care about our children growing up in this situation. I am finding it difficult to really absorb some of this stuff – from the [President’s] ban to everything that’s going on.“Being somebody that travels around the world, you meet a lot of people – especially youth that I deal with and work with. “I think it’s absolute bullshit. President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.“I think it’s bullshit,” the Philadelphia native and Toronto Raptors all-star point guard said bluntly after practice on Monday. “We care about our world. And yeah, I’m not a politician, but there are ways to deal with people the proper way.”Ujiri said he is not afraid of travelling anywhere in the world. For that to happen is bullshit. That’s how I feel about it. Toronto will attempt to get back on track Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans.Despite the recent slide, the primary topic of discussion after practice involved worrisome world events, including Trump’s travel ban and Monday’s shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that left six dead.“First of all, I think I’ll start by saying our thoughts go out to all the people in Quebec,” said Masai Ujiri, the Raptors president. I think it’s just ridiculous what’s going on out there.”The National Basketball Association, more than any other North American sports league, prides itself on the globalization of its game; earlier this month, the NBA staged regular-season contests in Mexico City and London.At the beginning of the year, almost 25 per cent of the league’s active players were born outside the United States – a total of 113 international players from a record 41 countries and territories, including 11 from Canada.And a league with open borders has not shied away from expressing outrage over Trump’s executive order banning people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – countries the U.S. Our country is the country of the home of the free. I think everyone can say and speak their hearts, if you feel you want to or you don’t.“At the end of the day, I don’t get into politics. I have two young children. citizens.Lowry, who said he bleeds “red, white and blue,” argued that athletes should be free to speak their minds on issues outside their sport.“I think everyone in the world who has a voice has an obligation to speak out,” he said. “Y’all have to bleep that out. I won’t get into it too deeply, but personally I think it’s bullshit.”

Lowry’s comment was honest and obviously from the heart – unlike the bland offerings many professional athletes will mouth when asked to comment on subject matter that doesn’t transpire on a basketball court or football field or in a hockey arena.But the swearing was a bit much for at least one national television reporter, who asked if Lowry would agree to a “do-over” for the camera – without the pointed language.Lowry dug in his heels like a petulant bulldog, giving no quarter.“No, not at all,” Lowry said. believes house terrorist militants – from entering the United States.Trump said the ban is necessary to ensure the security of U.S. Just like the way he competes on the basketball court, Kyle Lowry was uncompromising when asked his opinion on U.S. But when it comes to having an opinion, that right there [the ban] bothers me.”And Lowry isn’t the only one to proclaim his objection to the travel ban.Over the weekend, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called the plan’s roll-out “Keystone Kops-like,” and Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warrriors, described it as “shocking” and “a horrible idea.”“NBA players – a lot of us just go out there, and people don’t know that we do pay attention to everything,” Lowry said. “Somehow you’re starting to get people to start to think in a bad way all over the world, and I just don’t know how that’s good.” I’m sure you can bleep it out.”The Raptors have lost six of their past seven games, a slump that has seen them relinquish first place in the NBA’s Atlantic Division to the Boston Celtics, with the Atlanta Hawks hovering close behind. I want them to grow up to be happy with who they are and be proud of who they are in the situation in the country that they are in.”Ujiri – who was born in Zaria, Nigeria, and was allowed to emigrate to the United States, where he pursued his basketball dreams – said he can understand the desire of the new U.S.

U.S. wrestlers plan to travel to Iran despite Trump’s ban

Iran will also host the Greco-Roman World Cup in Tehran in March. by an executive order from President Donald Trump.USA Wrestling’s Rich Bender told The Associated Press that the Americans have “every intention” of travelling to Kermanshah for the men’s freestyle World Cup on Feb. Bender said the U.S. athletes travelling to one of the seven nations affected by Trump’s 90-day ban, issued last week.“We’re going to respect the laws and orders of those in leadership positions in government and figure out how to embrace those and work with them to secure proper documentation for athletes to come here and us to go there,” Bender said.Iran’s senior vice-president Ishaq Jahangiri, through the official IRNA news agency, said Monday that Trump’s executive order was “illegal, inhumane and against human rights.”The U.S. 16 times since the 1990s.“Wrestling has shown a long, rich history of transcending politics and participating despite governmental disagreements,” Bender said. It’s about competition, not politics.”USA Wrestling plans to send 13 wrestlers, two coaches, a referee, a medical staff member, a videographer and other official delegates to Kermanshah, which is in western Iran some 310 miles southwest of Tehran.The annual World Cups in each discipline are among the most prestigious tournaments in the world. The U.S. wrestling team was the first American sports team to compete in Iran in nearly 20 years back in 1998, and the Iranian team has competed in the U.S. federation been given assurances from the Iranians that special attention is being given to their applications. and Iran — two of the world’s top wrestling countries — have long found common ground on the mat. “That’s the beauty of sport and the Olympic movement. The scheduled trip to Iran will be the first major test for U.S. 16-17. The executive director of USA Wrestling said Monday that the American team still plans to compete next month in Iran, one of seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens were temporarily banned from the U.S.

Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in Australian Open to win 18th Grand Slam

Instead, Federer became the first man in the Open era to win three Grand Slam titles at least five times (Wimbledon 7 titles, U.S. Federer watched the replay on the tournament screen, and leaped for joy when it showed his last shot was in. The comeback was perfect as it was. some injuries, well not new for me, but still tough when it happens,” Nadal said. 117-ranked Denis Istomin in the second round and top-ranked Andy Murray, a five-time losing finalist in Australia, went out in the fourth round to left-handed serve-volleyer Mischa Zverev.Federer beat Zverev in the quarterfinals and U.S. The call was overturned, and he got to play two.Not long after, he fired an ace to get his second match point and hit a forehand crosscourt winner to finish off.His celebrations were delayed, though, when Nadal challenged the call. “I fight a lot these two weeks. Tennis is a tough sport, there’s no draws. So congratulations.”Nadal spent two months recovering from a left wrist injury before heading to Brisbane for a warmup tournament, breaking his usual routine. But they hadn’t met in a major final since the 2011 French Open, won by Nadal.Three months ago, they were both on breaks when Federer joined Nadal in Mallorca for the opening of the Spaniard’s tennis academy and the pair joked about ever being able to contend for majors again.Yet here they were, first Grand Slam tournament of the season, renewing the classic rivalry that saw them dominate tennis a decade ago.The long-odds final – No. He reached the quarterfinals there, and had no expectations of reaching the final in Australia.“I had some hard time not being able to compete in full condition. Today, a great match, probably Roger deserved it a little bit more than me.”No two players had met more often in Grand Slam finals in the Open era, and Nadal had previously dominated. Both players were returning from extended layoffs – Federer for six months after Wimbledon with an injured left knee; Nadal for a couple of months with an injured left wrist – and were seeded 17th and ninth respectively.“It’s been a different last six months, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it here but here I am – we made it,” Federer said after accepting the trophy from Australian great Rod Laver, who lends his name to the main stadium at Melbourne Park.“I would have been happy to lose too, to be honest. 17 – unfolded after six-time champion Novak Djokovic was shockingly upset by No. If there was going to be one, I would have been happy to have it tonight and share it with Rafa, really.”Federer had lost six of the previous eight Grand Slam finals he’d played against Nadal, and had only previously beaten the left-handed Spaniard in 11 of their 34 matches.Nadal remains equal second with Pete Sampras on the all-time list, with the last of Nadal’s 14 majors coming at Roland Garros in 2014.He missed his chance to be the first man in the Open era to win each of the four Grand Slams twice. The six years between his Australian titles set a record, too, longer than the five years that both Boris Becker and Andre Agassi had between championships in Melbourne.It capped a remarkable weekend for 30-somethings – all four singles finalists were 30 or older – after Serena Williams beat her sister Venus Williams in the women’s final to capture her Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam title. Open champion Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss semifinal to reach the championship match. Roger Federer won his 18th Grand Slam title and put some extra distance on the all-time list between himself and Rafael Nadal, the man he beat 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in a vintage Australian Open final on Sunday night.It was the 35-year-old Federer’s first major title since Wimbledon in 2012, his first in Australia since 2010, and it reversed the status quo against his nemesis, Nadal. 9 against No. Just amazing, the way he’s playing after such a long time of him not being on the tour,” Nadal said. Open 5, Australian Open 5 and French Open 1).After four sets where the momentum swung alternately from one player to the next, the fifth had all the tension and drama that these two players are famous for.Nadal went up an early break and it seemed as if the injury time-out Federer needed after the fourth set may have been an indicator of things to come.But the Swiss star rallied, and broke back in a pivotal sixth game and took control in a period when he won 10 straight points.Nadal saved three break points in the eighth game but lost momentum again when Federer finished off a 26-shot rally – the longest of the match – with a forehand winner down the line.Consecutive forehand errors gave Federer the pivotal break for 5-3, but Nadal made him work for the very last point.Serving for the match, Federer had to save two break points with an ace and a forehand winner.At deuce, he was called for a double-fault but challenged the out call on his second serve. His 100th match at the Australian Open ended with his fifth title at Melbourne Park.“Congratulation to Roger … “For sure, you have been working a lot to make that happen. …

NHL says players won’t compete in 2018 Olympics if ‘status quo’ remains

“There were some owners who always hated it and then there were probably a bunch of clubs that really didn’t give it much thought until the IOC said ‘We’re not going to pay the expenses.’ And then I think it caused a number of clubs to say, ‘Well, wait a minute. The NHL remains reluctant to commit to attending the next Games in South Korea with deputy commissioner Bill Daly stating Saturday: “If the status quo remains I don’t expect us to be in the Olympics.”The NHL’s board of governors met Saturday and spent about 10 seconds on the Olympics, according to commissioner Gary Bettman. There was evidence, they’ve said, of an impact when the Games were in Salt Lake City, Utah (2002) and Vancouver (2010), but not so much when they took place outside of North America in Nagano, Japan (1998), Turin, Italy (2006) and Sochi, Russia (2014).Beijing in 2022, certainly has appeal with its massive audience, PyeongChang far less so.The owners also weren’t pleased when the International Olympic Committee said it would no longer subsidize the involvement of NHL players as it had since 1998.“Certainly I think big-picture there’s obviously a lot of challenges to it,” Tavares said. “I think still it’s the biggest competition in the world, one of the big ones at least.”Bobrovsky said the history of the event couldn’t be replicated elsewhere.“It’s great to be part of it too,” he said. The governors have expressed increasing angst against players returning to a sixth consecutive Games, opposed to shutting down their season in February for an event which they believe lacks in tangible benefit.Those players who have been hope they’ll reconsider.“I would love to go there [again],” said Sergei Bobrovsky, the Columbus Blue Jackets netminder who represented Russia on home soil in 2014. If that’s how they value our participation, why are we knocking ourselves out?“’ What exactly will convince the NHL to budge on letting its players attend isn’t clear, even to those involved.“All I can tell you is if we’re going to hear the same thing I don’t think it’s going to move the ball,” Daly said. Bettman reiterating Saturday that money was never the only issue.“We said from the outset that if they’re not going to pay the expenses we don’t even have to think about this,” Bettman said.“There were probably some owners over time who always thought the Olympics were a good idea,” he added. John Tavares’s first Olympics proved to be “bittersweet.”Though he ultimately captured gold with Team Canada in 2014, Tavares didn’t get to play in the gold medal game against Sweden because of a knee injury.“Well, personally I would love to go again,” said Tavares during all-star weekend in Los Angeles. Those are things I think you really enjoy as a player and appreciate.”“I agree 100 per cent because at [the] Olympic Games, people who don’t know [about] hockey, what’s the puck [or] all the rules,” Bobrovsky said. “To represent your country it’s a huge honour.”Beyond the logistical hurdles that shutting down for the Olympics requires – a compressed schedule and greater risk of injury – the NHL isn’t convinced that attending actually benefits the league in the big picture. Gary Bettman gives update on NHL’s stance on 2018 Olympics participation (The Canadian Press)

Whether he’ll get that chance again is unclear and looking increasingly grim. “But at the end of the day I think we as players love representing our countries and best-on-best hockey doesn’t happen very often. “The whole world [is] watching the games, the Olympic Games and the hockey.”The International Ice Hockey Federation has said it could come up with the out-of-pocket costs associated with NHL players attending – upwards of $10-million (U.S.) according to Bettman – but the league is skeptical.

Kelly: Roger Federer may never stop being great at tennis

He treats everything like it is both the first and last time he’ll get to experience it.“Emotions poured out of me,” Federer said on Sunday. He plainly loves playing the game, but neither covets the spoils nor broods on the defeats.He extended his own record for major tournament wins to 18 on Sunday. Hence the inability to contain himself. And no one had ever made tennis look simpler than Federer in his prime.It looks hard now, and has done so for quite a while. At his very best, Federer’s brilliance was robotic.He floated into tournaments, put the opposition through a physio-tactical wood chipper and left. He cries at centre court, he cries during the trophy presentation, he cries when anyone says anything nice about him. No major tournament can pass without a raft of ‘This may be the last time we see Roger Federer at [blank]’ stories.Whenever he starts to wobble in any match, stadiums will spontaneously erupt in a series of “We love you, Roger!” outbursts. He didn’t even go to the trouble of sweating.Things that look easy are never fully appreciated. We now have to confront the real possibility that Federer might never stop being great at tennis. He doesn’t qualify these remarks by guesstimating a good time to leave. He had not beaten Rafael Nadal in a major final for a decade, and never once outside London SW19. You’re either spending too much time dwelling on the past or fretting about the future.Federer competes in the present, disconnected from his own history. At a certain level, don’t they all want it? Wouldn’t the least of them probably give far more for it than the ones who’ve already done it? It’s vaguely ridiculous. Nobody would complain.As such, his real accomplishment on Sunday wasn’t tabular. Well, when don’t they? People quite reasonably fear this is the moment it all ends.It’s been going on so long, we’ve forgotten there was a time when the Swiss was admired, but without much affection. He can’t cover a court as he once did. What we are left with is someone more human and therefore more appealing.We often associate that decline with a new found pose of humility, ‘Oh, you know, so-and-so was too much for me today. I don’t just show up and look for something. I think he’s the most beautiful player I’ve ever watched, but at the same time, it’s the part where he can just shrug it off.”When we talk about the things that make Federer special, we start with the physical. At least, none that you could see. When someone tried to bait him into superlatives, Federer shrugged the question off annoyedly.“The last problem is the Slam count,” Federer said, already turning away from the questioner. Like many of us, Roger Federer has become a bit of a softie in his old age.Win or lose, he cries. Win or lose, he is the same. He just continues to go out and play. I was up two sets to love and a break. There was no apparent effort involved. He’d need to wear a life preserver. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter.”When you are in the presence of a top pro an hour after a match, you don’t need to have watched the contest to know its outcome. Maybe he’ll just go on forever. He cries either way.He wants to win – expects to do so despite recent evidence to the contrary – but doesn’t absorb the result.His ego is remarkably supple.All the maladies of the sporting mind – an overabundance of self-regard, doubt, fear, selfishness – are temporal. Then he collapsed to one knee and sobbed.For several years now, Federer’s weeping jags have all played like part of an extended farewell ceremony. Not because of his talent, but because of this unique ability to separate his enjoyment of the game from its results.In trying to describe how that works, McEnroe adopted Federer’s mittel-European drawl: “Well, you know, I lost the finals. Physics and metaphysics become a virtuous circle.The very best players have what continental types call “a good mentality,” but Federer has something more than that.He has the sort of mental make-up that contains multitudes. It was becoming the first athlete of the 21st century to extend the drama of his sporting life into a fourth act. Eventually, it gets to the metaphysical – what we might call the ‘heart’ advantage.We talk about athletes who “want it more” than anyone else, having no real idea what that means. He simultaneously does and doesn’t care about professional tennis. The slices, while still unseemly in their cheekiness, don’t always land as precisely as he’d like them to.He’s often called the greatest of all time, which is not quite correct. It’s evident in their tone and body language. Not with Federer. We’ve organized a party.”Federer had not won a Grand Slam in nearly five years. In order to be properly loved, Federer had to shed some of his greatness. And don’t the same ones win again and again? He is casually ruthless with himself, and with others.Asked after Sunday’s win how a 35-year-old celebrates, Federer said, “I’m a bit more experienced about it. After winning the Australian Open on Sunday, Federer waited until he’d completed the handshakes. Federer was the very best ever circa 2006. He cares about tennis, but doesn’t believe winning or losing is the highest expression of that fixation. One can imagine Federer trying to get through The Notebook. But he still booked a room for the victory shindig.Some might call that arrogance. He’s about 80 per cent of that player now.That small diminishment has turned him from a fearsome figure into a romantic one. Having done that desultorily for a while, he now finds himself back on top.It’s more than surprising. The sneaky power has left him. There’s always tomorrow …” – McEnroe bugged out his eyes – “… I’d be saying, ‘Where’s the Empire State Building?!’“That’s part of why he’s lasted. With Federer, I’d call it self-belief.The difference is in how Federer goes about his work. The man is nothing but emotions at this point.He’s repeatedly said that he does not intend to retire. I’m just happy to still be out here, etc.’ Federer doesn’t bother with that. On some level, the result is unimportant to him.John McEnroe once said Federer was the player he most envied. No player has ever had so complete a package of ability.

Donald Trump’s ban leaves athletes angry and uncertain

Mr. That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country.“I was wrong. “The NBA is a global league and we are proud to attract the very best players from around the world.”Mohammed Ahmed is a Somali-born Canadian long-distance runner who competed for Canada at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.The 26-year-old, who resides in St. Maker, 19, had a couple of nervous hours after the game, but cleared U.S. He’s a symbol of what makes America great and all immigrants believe about America. Trump’s ban.“A very fair question,” Mr. Casey said.With a report from Rachel Brady Farah posted on Facebook. Uncomfortable giving such strong thoughts without really being able to think them through, I gave an answer where I tried to make it clear that while I understand the need for safety, the values and ideals of our country should never be sacrificed.“I believe what I said, but it was too soft. Customs without problem and started Saturday night’s game for the Bucks in Milwaukee against the Boston Celtics.Related: How does Trump’s immigration ban affect you? President Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries has angered many in the world of sports, left some athletes uncertain of their ability to travel and threatens to impact athletics beyond American borders.Thon Maker, the NBA rookie from South Sudan who attended high school in Orangeville, Ont., played a game for the Milwaukee Bucks in Toronto against the Raptors on Friday night. He is unsure if he’ll be allowed back.“I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realize my dreams,” Mr. “I’m incredibly excited and proud of him. Trump’s executive order suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of the seven predominantly Muslim countries.The National Basketball Association released a statement on Saturday night saying it is trying to clarify the situation as it might pertain to players like Mr. The part I left out is how sad and embarrassed I am.“When Trump was elected, I only hoped that the President Trump would be different than the campaigner Trump. But he had no idea if he would be allowed to re-enter the United States afterward given Mr. Trump’s immigration ban, along with Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.Mr. Nazr posted on Twitter.U.S. U.S. Bradley, whose TFC teammate, defender Steven Beitashour is an Iranian-American, said his view was sparked by an earlier interview with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, who asked him about his thoughts on Mr. …“We must continue to share the stories of incredible immigrants and refugees who make America GREAT.”Sudan is one of the seven countries subject to Mr. Trump’s travel restrictions have angered a number of athletes, including former Canadian NBA star Steve Nash.“Freedom and liberty packing up their things … ” the Victoria native wrote on his Twitter account.Mohammed Nazr, a practising Muslim and a former NBA player, also sounded off on social media.“It’s a tough day when u find out that so many ppl that u thought were fans or friends really hate u and everything u believe in,” Mr. Bradley wrote on Instagram. soccer captain Michael Bradley, who plays for Toronto FC, wrote on his Instagram account that he was “sad and embarrassed” by the order.Mr. It is unlikely Mr. Catharines, Ont., retweeted a poem entitled Refugees by British Twitter poet Brian Bilston.Long-distance runner Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion and a British citizen born in Somalia, lives with his family in Portland, Ore., and is currently training in Ethiopia. Maker, who was born in the North African country but holds an Australian passport, spent two years attending prep school in Orangeville before he was a first-round draft pick into the NBA last year.Mr. Lasry wrote. “But one that caught me totally off guard. A Canadian guideRead more: Would-be Americans have dreams dashed by Trump’s executive orders on immigrationRelated: Anger, sadness as small Vermont city loses chance to rebuild with refugees“I appreciate all the fans’ concerns and prayers for Thon,” Bucks’ senior vice-president Alexander Lasry wrote in several messages addressing the situation on his Twitter account.“And today, a Sudanese refugee who fled oppression and is an incredible young man will make his second NBA start,” Mr. “… My story is an example of what can happen when you follow polices of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation.”The United States hopes to land the 2024 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and soccer’s 2026 World Cup. Trump’s controversial and sweeping executive order signed earlier in the day that also banned refugees from entering the country. Trump’s immigration ban would help secure those bids.Sunday night before the Raptors played Orlando in Toronto, head coach Dwane Casey said that the NBA celebrating the Chinese New Year was a message about diversity from the league.“It’s beautiful, especially with what’s going on in the U.S right now, to celebrate diversity, no matter what culture it is, what nationality, doesn’t matter, we all breathe the same air,” Mr. Maker and Luol Deng of the Los Angeles Lakers, who is also a native of Sudan.“We have reached out to the State Department and are in the process of gathering information to understand how this executive order would apply to players in our league who are from one of the impacted countries,” the NBA said. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward.”Mr.

FA Cup to have two non-league teams in last 16 for first time since 1888

Jamie Collins works as a builder in his full-time job and here he was getting mobbed by dozens of young Sutton fans in a joyful postmatch pitch invasion, having converted on a 53rd-minute penalty that saw off one of the grandest names in English soccer. Sutton, a tiny club from the southwest of London, advanced to the final 16 for the first time.The latest upset came a day after Lincoln, another team from outside England’s four professional leagues, beat second-tier Brighton 3-1 to reach the fifth round for the first time since 1887.It’s the first time since the foundation of the Football League in 1888 that two non-league teams have reached this stage of the FA Cup, according to sports data company Opta.“We’d like one of the Premier League big boys now – Man United, Arsenal, someone like that, away,” Collins said. And he could yet get his wish in Monday’s draw.On a day of cup shocks that saw top-tier clubs Hull and Watford knocked out by lower-league opposition, United powered into the fifth round with a 4-0 win over second-tier Wigan at Old Trafford.Bastian Schweinsteiger was one of United’s scorers on a rare run-out for the former Germany captain.Sutton 1, Leeds 0Twenty-eight years after Sutton dumped top-tier Coventry out of the competition, the team achieved another memorable FA Cup feat by beating an opponent 83 places higher in English soccer’s ladder.Leeds, which is challenging for promotion to the Premier League as it looks to regain its old status, chose to make 10 changes to its lineup and manager Garry Monk’s decision backfired spectacularly.“I take responsibility for that, maybe it was one or two too many changes,” Monk said. “There was no cohesiveness to our play so we got what we probably deserved.”A miserable afternoon for Leeds ended with Liam Cooper getting sent off in the 82nd.Fulham 4, Hull 1Hull striker Abel Hernandez had two penalties saved in the space of a minute in the closing stages, a final embarrassment for the Premier League team at Craven Cottage, four days after its elimination from the League Cup at the semi-final stage.Hull was already heading out of the competition when Hernandez’s first spot kick in the 87th minute was saved by Marcus Bettinelli, who then tripped Hernandez as the Uruguay international pounced on the rebound.Bettinelli went the right way to deny Hernandez off the second penalty attempt, too.Millwall 1, Watford 0Steve Morison scored a close-range volley in the 85th minute for third-tier Millwall, eliminating a Premier League team for the second straight round after earlier beating Bournemouth.Watford, a semi-finalist last season, made seven changes in light of a league game at Arsenal on Tuesday.Man United 4, Wigan 0United ensured there would be eight Premier League teams in the draw for the last 16, although one of them – Leicester – faces a replay against Derby.The titleholders used the aerial route to gain a 2-0 lead, with Marouane Fellaini and Chris Smalling scoring headers, before Henrikh Mkhitaryan finished off a flowing counterattack for the third.Schweinsteiger marked his first start for United in 385 days by hooking home an acrobatic finish for a late fourth goal. The FA Cup threw up its latest heartwarming story line on Sunday when Sutton United beat second-tier Leeds 1-0 to ensure there would be two non-league teams in the fifth round for the first time since the 19th century.Adding a touch more magic on a historic day for the 146-year-old competition was the background of the scorer of the only goal at atmospheric Gander Green Lane.

Canada’s men’s rugby sevens team settles for fourth in New Zealand

McGrath’s team went 2-3-1 in Dubai and 2-4-0 in Cape Town.The Canadians rebounded to win their pool in Wellington, defeating Scotland 28-19, Wales 28-5 and Russia 29-0 on Day 1.McGrath says his players know he believes in them. I hope it’s a solid base for things to come,” McGrath said. There have been more valleys than peaks of late for the Canadian men’s rugby sevens team. And I’m interested now to see how the players react to this success.”South Africa was unbeaten throughout the weekend, conceding just three tries in six games.It beat Olympic champion Fiji twice in Wellington, winning their first meeting in a difficult pool 31-12 on Saturday, then demonstrating its superiority with four tries in Sunday’s final.“We are happy to get a first win [in Wellington] since 2002 and it’s extra sweet after last year’s defeat in the final,” South Africa captain Phillip Snyman said. Jones and Douglas are expected be ready by the weekend.McGrath, the former Samoa coach, took over the Canadian team after coach Liam Middleton was let go following a disappointing 2015-16 season that saw Canada finish 13th in the overall standings and fail to secure Olympic qualification.Canada’s performances in the first two tournaments were spotty. Canada’s best showing on the circuit was a second in Glasgow, Scotland in May of 2014. But Canada climbed high at the Wellington Sevens on the weekend.The Canadians, who started the season with back-to-back 13th-place finishes in Dubai and Cape Town, South Africa, found their stride under new coach Damian McGrath and placed fourth Sunday in New Zealand. The Scots played with just nine men because of injuries.McGrath and his team felt they were hard done by in the dying seconds, denied a legitimate penalty deep in Scottish territory at the start of the move that led to the winning try.Isaac Kaay’s first try on the circuit, set up by a nifty Mike Fuailefau offload, had given Canada a 22-21 lead with 65 seconds remaining. That would have given Canada possession and ended the Scottish threat. “It’s a big step, we’re there to be shot at now. “Playing Fiji twice in one weekend doesn’t make it easier but our defence system was great.“Hats off to the guys and the coaching staff. South Africa defeated Fiji 26-5 in the championship game on a windy day at Westpac Stadium. Scotland, taking the kickoff at its goal-line, drove the length of the field on a sweeping six-pass move to score with Fleming eluding a desperate finale tackle attempt by John Moonlight.“If you had asked me earlier in the week whether I would have accepted top four, I would have gladly said yes,” McGrath said. And they believe in his approach to the game.“We’re a long way from being the finished article and I hope this isn’t a flash in the pan. The Canadian Press He is doubtful for Sydney, where he was scheduled to serve as captain. McGrath will have to await word on injuries to Nathan Hirayama, Matt Mullins, Harry Jones and Douglas.Hirayama pulled up lame with a hamstring issue chasing Fleming early in the second half of the bronze-medal match. Canada won four straight matches before falling 21-5 in semi-final action to the high-flying Blitzboks of South Africa, who have won two events and finished runner-up in the third. “But then when you get there and know really the boys are disappointed because we could have, should have, won that game at the end against Scotland to take well-deserved bronze I think.”Canada believed Kaay had won the ball at the breakdown after the kickoff following the Canadian go-ahead try. Instead Fleming scored the winning try with just 20 seconds on the clock.North Vancouver’s Zaruba, a powerful 6-foot-5, 265-pounder, had three tries against Scotland.Prior to the South Africa loss, Canada beat Argentina 17-12 in the Cup quarter-final Sunday on tries by Zaruba, Fuailefau and Justin Douglas.The World Series moves next weekend to Sydney, where Canada will play in a pool with Argentina, the U.S. It wasn’t zero tries [conceded] so definitely there is some work to be done before [the next round in] Sydney.”The Blitzboks beat Fiji for the title in Dubai before losing to England in the final in Cape Town. And it marked the first time Canada had made it to the elite Cup part of a tournament draw since the 2014-15 season.The Canadians came within seconds of finishing third Sunday but fell victim to a late try by James Fleming in a 28-22 loss to Scotland in the third-place match. Adam Zaruba, named to the tournament all-star team, scored a late consolation try for Canada.The last time the Canadian men finished as high as fourth was in Japan in April of 2015. and Russia. Mullins was not used Sunday after injuring his foot the first game of the tournament.

Spain’s Jon Rahm pulls out all the stops for his first PGA Tour title

He watched a replay of the last eagle putt, along with his celebration, and said, “I don’t even remember doing it.”On a day in which nine players had at least a share of the lead, the final 20 minutes only mattered for positions.Rahm finished at 13-under 275, three shots ahead of Charles Howell III (68) and C.T. Rahm, who turned 22 in November, beat Phil Mickelson’s mark as the youngest champion at this tournament. Pan of Taiwan, who had a 70. He stuffed a wedge into five feet on the 17th to take the lead, and he finished with his long eagle putt that broke hard to the right and peeled back to the left and dropped in on the side of the cup.Rahm, leaning forward during its 60-foot journey to the hole, unleashed a double fist pump as he hugged his caddy. Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Rodgers, tied for the lead going into the final round, fell back with too many mistakes on the back nine.Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., had another disappointing day, shooting 76 to finish in a tie for 49th place. He also became the first player in 26 years to capture his first PGA Tour title at Torrey Pines.Starting the final round three shots out of the lead, Rahm made up ground in a hurry.He hit 4-iron into 18 feet on the par-five 13th and holed the eagle putt to tie for the lead. He placed second at the CareerBuilder Challenge last week after a 13-under 59 in the third round.Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., (74) and Nick Taylor, also of Abbotsford (72) were tied for 54th while Ottawa’s Brad Fritsch (76) finished in a tie for 67th. Jon Rahm of Spain added his name to the burgeoning list of young stars Sunday with his big game and a big finish at Torrey Pines.Rahm made two eagles over the final six holes, the last one a 60-foot putt from the back fringe on the par-five 18th hole for a five-under 67 to win the Farmers Insurance Open by three shots for his first PGA Tour victory.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey blasts players for abysmal defence

He played 14 minutes and contributed four points and five rebounds.The Congolese big man checked into the game at 1 minute 24 seconds of the first quarter to a rousing ovation from the fans who had adored him when he was a Raptor. Just before Sunday’s game, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, sitting on the Toronto Raptors bench, appeared on the Air Canada Centre video board and Lowry began going wild, motioning to the crowd to give it up for his best friend. But Sunday didn’t go as might have been predicted. Orlando was in town, and Toronto had won 14 of its past 15 meetings against the Magic, including a 109-79 thumping last month. The 24-year-old holds the Raptors’ single-game playoff record for the 26 rebounds he nabbed in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.Toronto wanted to keep him, but Orlando signed him as a free agent for $72-million (U.S.) over four seasons. But Toronto couldn’t keep Orlando contained at the other end.Orlando, 19-30, broke a three-game losing streak.Next up for the Raptors is a Tuesday night home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The 6-foot-9, 255-pounder is averaging 6.3 points and 7.6 rebounds a game. DeRozan had 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting in his return, while Terrence Ross added 17. But Toronto coughed up 13 turnovers, which resulted in 21 points.“It’s as bad as we’ve played all year,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. In the next minute, Nogueira swatted away Biyombo’s first shot, erupted for a dunk, nabbed a rebound and drained a two-footer on what would be a four-point, two-rebound night for the new Raptor backup centre.Biyombo had averaged a career-best 5.5 points and 8.0 rebounds, while recording a team-high 133 blocks during his single season in Toronto, where the fiery centre had become a fan favourite for his big blocked shots and animated celebrations. After a three-game absence with a sprained ankle, DeRozan was back.It seemed like a good omen. The Raptors – who were in second spot in the Eastern Conference – had to chase the 13th-place Magic all night and lost a 114-113 nail biter.Lowry, who had been averaging 30.3 points, 5.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the three games fellow all-star DeRozan was out, carried the team on his back in the second half. He finished with 33 points, including six three-pointers. But once he left, I think they forgot how much Biz talked on defence.”Toronto, wearing special red uniforms to honour Chinese New Year, led 36-27 by the end of the quarter.The Magic turned the tables in the second quarter, going on a 21-2 run as Toronto had no answer for Nikola Vucevic, who was beginning what would be a 23-point night. “We’ve got to go back to the fundamentals, back to basics, almost back to training camp to get our defence back.”The Raptors, 29-19, have dropped five of their past six games and are 7-9 in January. His big personality and vocal, athletic defence rubbed off on Toronto’s other big men. It seemed to light a quick fire under his replacement in Toronto – Lucas Nogueira. He has been used mostly off the bench – having started just 23 of 47 games.“His communication, I would say, is one thing you miss, that big baritone voice,” Casey said. The Raptors failed to hit a field goal over the final 6 minutes 51 seconds of the quarter, and Orlando took a 60-51 lead into halftime.But that’s when the Raptors heated up – especially DeRozan, Lowry and Ross – and Toronto pulled to within two heading into the final quarter.The final quarter was dramatic, with some key buckets from the all-stars as well as Jonas Valanciunas, and Toronto pulled within two in the dying seconds. The team will finish a month with a record below .500 for the first time since March, 2015.Former Raptor Bismack Biyombo had a quiet night in his first trip to Toronto since helping the Raps reach the Eastern Conference final for the first time last year. “While he was here, guys were emulating him talking.

NHL all-star weekend shows off the creativity of three-on-three action

It was that way Sunday – 13 goals scored in the first mini-game, 16 in the second and then, when it got a little serious, seven in the decisive game, won by the Metropolitan Division 4-3.Time after time, a player left alone in front of the goaltender found the tiniest of openings to bury a shot, proof that there can be more offence in the game if players are given a chance to create.Gretzky had the two greatest players of the current generation, Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin, at his disposal. It was pretty much how Sunday’s all-star game in Los Angeles unfolded, too – a lot of goals, interspersed with a lot of laughs.Only when the final game got down to short strokes and the prospect of a $1-million (U.S.) shared prize slipping through their fingers did the players start to take it seriously – for a few minutes, anyway. freeway at rush hour. It was like that all weekend – a laugh riot, as long as you didn’t expect more than that the way, say, TV commentator Don Cherry, did.If Nashville, which also featured the John Scott sideshow last year, was a country-music extravaganza, then this year’s Hollywood version upped the ante for celebrity content.Of course, as in all these things, once the glam and glitz moments passed, they eventually had to go on the ice and play some hockey.Three-on-three may be the most inspired all-star format since the old days when the Stanley Cup champion played the all-star team and the players actually cared about the result, but it will still never be confused with actual NHL competition.Thankfully, it all gets back to normal Tuesday, when the regular season resumes and the playoff races zoom into high gear. Three-on-three is the equivalent of the Pacific Coast Highway on a sunny weekday afternoon – clear sailing.And great NHL players – the direct descendants of the Orr-to-Gretzky-to-Lemieux generation – can do great things with the puck if they have the time and space to improvise. This year, it once again showcased a key rule change – to three-on-three overtime, which was introduced at the start of last year and designed to reduce the number of games decided by shootouts.It has accomplished that. Gretzky, filling in for John Tortorella as the Metropolitan Division’s coach, even won a coaching challenge that turned the final game around and made his side winners over the defending champions from the Pacific Division.Once upon a time, the all-star game mostly showcased the players. Simmonds was selected the game’s MVP. Luckily, first-timers such as Cam Atkinson and Wayne Simmonds didn’t see it that way. The NHL all-star weekend began Friday with Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr gleefully cackling about what it would have been like to play three-on-three hockey when they were in their primes.Lemieux had it figured this way: Orr could lug the puck up to the offensive blueline, at which point he and Gretzky would get in on the fun. Though Crosby had been selected for the all-star team six times, this was only the second time he’d ever played in the game, and his first since 2007, an eternity ago.Crosby and Ovechkin generally lacked chemistry, deferring to each other far too often. There is a little more than two months to ponder a far more pressing issue – how many (and which) Canadian teams make the playoffs. Naturally, he put them on the ice together. Nobody would check all that hard and a whole bunch of pucks would end up in the net. Alex Ovechkin blocked a shot, off the stick of Brent Burns no less. Shootouts are down roughly 20 per cent from the decade in which the NHL played four-on-four overtime. He, and a handful of others, tended to bear down on his chances, where others couldn’t, or wouldn’t.For a while now, the all-star game has been a thinly disguised trade-show extravaganza cranked up to another level in the NHL’s year-long 100th-anniversary celebration.Actual celebrities turned out – Jon Hamm to host the unveiling of the greatest players in history, John Legend to provide the musical interlude, Snoop Dogg to schmooze with the players during Saturday’s skills competition.Justin Bieber played in the celebrity game, and it probably wasn’t a real surprise that Chris Pronger – who never much liked the pretty boys during his playing career – mushed the Biebs into the boards and then pinned him there for a few extra seconds.The NHL’s player-safety department announced (tongue-in-cheek) that Pronger would face an in-person hearing for checking from behind. It also has had the happy consequence of producing a far more wide-open game.So much of today’s NHL is played in heavy traffic – gridlock of the sort you can see daily on an L.A.

Canadian curler John Epping says he received plenty of support after coming out

But that’s the type of people I think curlers are too.”Gay curling leagues are quite popular throughout the country and the 12th edition of the Canadian gay curling championship is on tap next month in Montreal. 8 spot in the Canadian rankings with Lisa Weagle of Ottawa.Epping serves as an ambassador for You Can Play, an organization that works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans.“It’s great to be involved with an organization like that, and trying to promote that and spread that,” he said. I know we still have a long way to come in sports in general.”Epping, a 33-year-old native of Peterborough, Ont., won his first Grand Slam in 2008 — The National — as a second on Wayne Middaugh’s team. But I just look at it like, I haven’t thought about going around broadcasting that I’m a gay person curling.“This is my life. But I think it says a lot about curlers and I also think maybe it says something about the people I’ve surrounded myself with too in my life.“So thank you to them and if anybody ever needs to talk about these things, I’m always there for anybody, for any person that is having difficulty with that side of it. “In mine it was, and I’m very fortunate for that so I owe a lot of gratitude to those people. The locker-room culture — nothing changed. Epping threw out the first stone at the 2015 playdowns in Toronto.“We really take pride as an organization that curling truly is a welcoming and inclusionary sport, regardless of age, ethnicity, level of ability or sexual orientation,” said Curling Canada chief executive officer Katherine Henderson. But like I said I’ve been very spoiled and it’s curlers, curlers are the best people around. He’s an athlete, plain and simple, and one of the world’s best, who would do us proud if he wins the right to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics.”Epping, who will be getting married in June, is playing in this week’s Ontario men’s curling championship in Cobourg. It was pretty special.”

Epping knew there was growing interest in his story about being a gay athlete in a men’s team sport, but held off on sharing the news more widely as he didn’t want it to be a distraction for his team. That’s great.”While it was difficult to initially come out, Epping felt it worked out very well. What other sport do you see the curlers after a game in the Patch (party area) or hanging out after with the fans. I think that’s good to see.”His rink is currently ranked seventh in the world. You can always pop me a message somehow.” it’s a part of life, it’s what it is.”The number of active elite male athletes who have revealed that they’re gay has risen in recent years, although it’s still a rarity at the professional level and in the curling world. “And I know I probably should do more of these because it can help people. “On that end, I think I (should be) in my prime the next four or five — or eight years hopefully — I hope people see that as a good thing or a positive thing, that there’s a gay athlete out in their sport, in their prime. A victory would allow him to participate in the Tim Hortons Brier for the first time.He also has his eye on landing a berth in the Olympic Trials in December.“I know the support isn’t always there in every person’s situation that they face,” Epping said of coming out. “And the way people tried to relate it to me was just to say, ‘Hey it’s OK, we’ve got your back.’ It came in so many different ways. This is me … You don’t see that in a lot of sports.“It’s a very unique sport that way. For Epping, it’s a bonus to weigh in on a subject that could make things easier for someone — a curler, athlete, or anybody — who might be thinking about following his lead.“If it can make a difference for one person reading this story or even just one person in my life, if I can influence or help in a positive way — right on,” he said. “That’s fine with me. “I hope it would be that way for everybody but I know it’s not. The three-time Grand Slam winner said he received “loads of support” from teammates, friends, family, and sponsors.“I would say I was very, very lucky and spoiled,” he said after a recent practice session at the Leaside Curling Club. “But like I said I’ve been lucky. Epping also plays mixed doubles — a discipline that will make its Olympic debut next year — and holds the No. So there was no news conference, no statement, no television feature.“If somebody asks, I just talk about it,” Epping told The Canadian Press in his first in-depth interview on the subject. It has been over five years since curler John Epping told family, friends, and peers in his sport’s community that he was gay.“I got a ton of messages,” he said. His first Slam title as a skip came in 2012 at the Players’ Championship and he won the Canadian Open in 2015 with his current lineup of Mat Camm, Patrick Janssen and Tim March.The 2006 Canadian mixed champion has also played in the last two Olympic Trials.“I think it’s big to see somebody maybe that’s in the prime of their sporting career right now,” Epping said. You’ll always be welcomed into a curling centre with a handshake and a smile.“We’ve never thought of John as a gay athlete. “The labels really don’t matter.

MLS union expresses concern about Trump immigration restrictions

The executive order also suspends refugee admissions for 120 days and indefinitely bars the processing of refugees from Syria. That the xenophobic, misogynistic and narcissistic rhetoric would be replaced with a more humble and measured approach to leading our country. The statement said the union is still assessing the practical impact of the ban on players. The Major League Soccer Players Union released a statement expressing concern and disappointment with President Donald Trump’s executive order that bans citizens of seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States.Union chief Bob Foose said the organization is concerned not only with its athletes and their families but all people impacted by the order implemented Friday. national team captain Michael Bradley, who came out against the ban in an interview and on social media.“When Trump was elected, I only hoped that the President Trump would be different that the campaigner Trump. And the Muslim ban is just the latest example of someone who couldn’t be more out of touch with our country and the right way to move forward,” Bradley posted to Instagram.The White House has defended Trump’s immigration restrictions as protests spread throughout the country over the weekend. “We are extremely disappointed by the ban and feel strongly that it runs counter to the values of inclusiveness that define us as a nation,” Foose said.The union also expressed solidarity with U.S. I was wrong.