One year away, Canadian athletes gearing up for 2018 Winter Olympics

A slopestyle bronze medallist in 2014, the Regina boarder bounced back from a broken femur in 2016 and is back on his epic game.MARIE-PHILIP POULINThe 25-year-old women’s hockey forward from Beauceville, Que., is a gold-medal gamer scoring a combined four goals, including an overtime winner, in the last two women’s Olympic finals.MARIELLE THOMPSONMs. “All we can focus on is making sure our athletes are as prepared as they can possibly be going into the Games. Athletes hoping to wear the Maple Leaf at the 2018 Winter Olympics have one year to secure a spot on the Canadian team and hone their performance for a shot at a medal.“It’s definitely on my mind pretty much daily, trying to figure out where you want to be come that day,” snowboarder Spencer O’Brien said. He’s also a powerful addition to the men’s pursuit team.PATRICK CHANOlympic gold in men’s singles has eluded Canada’s top male figure skater over the years. Russia was fourth at 109.The Germans led in gold medals won (64) ahead of the U.S. Not, ‘Who is going to be there?“’Despite the impeachment trial of South Korean president Park Geun-hye amid allegations of corruption, Pyeongchang’s Winter Games preparation appears to be on track.The venues will be ready, according to COC chief executive officer Chris Overholt.“I was there a year ago and they were already ahead of the game in my estimation,” he said.Canadian athletes are currently cycling through Pyeongchang for various test events. The 26-year-old from Toronto must up his quadruple-jump quotient to upgrade from silver in 2014.JUSTINE DUFOUR-LAPOINTEThe 22-year-old Montrealer is ramping up for a run at a second straight gold in women’s moguls. He was runner-up to now-retired teammate Alex Bilodeau in 2014.MARK McMORRISThe snowboarder is a double medal threat with the introduction of the Big Air event. Consistency in the elbows-up, first-to-the-line sport of skicross, the 24-year-old from Whistler, B.C., aims to become the first woman to win back-to-back gold. 1 in the overall medal count the target in 2010 and 2014.Own The Podium chief executive officer Anne Merklinger said Canadian performances at world championships over the next several weeks must be taken into account before that declaration.“We really need to wait for those to conclude, so we know where we stand relative to the rest of the world,” she said. “Winning more medals than we won in Sochi will certainly be a primary goal.”The host team won the most gold with 14, but finished third in the overall with 26 medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games.Four years later in Sochi, Canada’s 25 medals ranked fourth overall and third in gold with 10.Canadian Olympic Committee president Tricia Smith estimates it will take more medals than that to top the overall table in Pyeongchang.“We want to have a top performance and be contending for number one,” Smith said. (45), Canada (41) and France (33).Freestyle skiers, snowboarders and speedskaters are leading Canada’s charge to Pyeongchang.For Canadian hockey fans, the burning question is whether NHL players will play in Pyeongchang next year. 23 that disciplinary proceedings were underway on 28 Russians who competed in Sochi “for whom there is evidence of manipulation of one or more of their urine sample.” Several of those athletes are currently in various stages of appeal.“We can’t control who is on the start line,” Merklinger said. That’s what we think about every day. Here is a look at some Canadian athletes to watch heading into the Feb. “It’s pretty crazy to put four years into something and relatively for us, it’s four years for 30 seconds.”

Olympic speedskater Isabelle Charest feels ‘privileged’ to be Canada’s chef de mission (The Canadian Press)

The 23rd Winter Olympics open Feb. “The number of medals in what it takes to be number one changes depending on what all the other nations are doing, so you’re up there in the high 20s or early 30s, but we don’t have a specific target.”Despite falling short of its ambition in 2010 and 2014, Canada has cemented its position as a world power in winter sport.In World Cup medals won this season, Canada ranked third (116) behind Germany (163) and the United States (126) as of Monday. The freestyle skiers are there this week for World Cup moguls and aerials.“I want to win for sure, but I think the most important thing there is to take in as much information about everything,” said Canadian moguls star Mikael Kingsbury.—Athletes to watchThe 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics open a year from Thursday. 9-25 Games:TED-JAN BLOEMENA transplanted Dutchman now competing for Canada’s long-track speedskating team, Bloemen set a world record in the 10,000 metres after donning the Maple Leaf. Dufour-Lapointe and silver-winning sister Chloe provided Canada’s most touching moment of 2014 in their 1-2 finish.CHARLES HAMELINOwner of Olympic gold medals in the 500 and 1,500 metres and relay, the 32-year-old short-track speedskater from Sainte-Julie, Que., wants to complete the set with a 1,000-metre win.ALEX HARVEYThe 28-year-old cross-country skier from Saint-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., has the goods to become the first Canadian man to win a cross-country medal and be the difference-maker in a relay medal.KAILLIE HUMPHRIESThe 31-year-old bobsled pilot from Calgary goes for her third gold in as many Games.MIKAEL KINGSBURYThe 24-year-old moguls skier from Deux-Montagnes, Que., has won everything there is to win in his sport several times over, except an Olympic gold. 9, 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and close 16 days later.Those who run Canadian sport haven’t yet stated a goal for 2018 after making No. While many stars say they’re willing, team owners don’t see the benefits.New Olympic events will continue to be crucial to Canada’s bottom line in 2018Canadians are medal contenders, of varying degrees, in snowboard big air, speedskating’s mass start, curling’s mixed doubles and the mixed gender alpine relay making their Winter Games debuts.Of the 36 additional medals available in Sochi because of new sports, Canadians won five.Two developments emerging post-2014 for Canada are analytics and the crackdown on Russian athletes for alleged state-sponsored doping that country continues to deny.Canada’s Olympians had analysts crunching data for them for the first time at last year’s Summer Games in Rio.They focused on swimming, rowing, cycling and track and field, building projections models of the times and scores that would win medals there.They’ve been doing the same for Pyeongchang, predicting times necessary to win in luge, bobsled, long-track speedskating, biathlon and cross-country skiing, as well as the scores required in figure skating.They’re also analyzing which athletes are on track to hit those marks.“Helping identify athletes whose performance trajectory is greater than another athlete, that certainly helps in terms of athlete selection,” Merklinger said.The banning of some Russian athletes and not others from Rio had little influence on Canada’s medal count.At the track, for example, Canada’s six medals were in events that didn’t include strong Russian contenders.But given the host country’s dominance in Sochi — a table-topping 13 gold among 33 medals — any suspensions of top Russian athletes would have more impact on Canada’s medal count in Pyeongchang.The International Olympic Committee announced Dec.

Houston police still searching for Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey

“Police investigators maybe contacting you so we can look to see in an attempt to identify everybody in that locker room at the time.”Crime Stoppers of Houston will also be offering a reward for any information leading to the stolen jersey and to the arrest of the person who took it, Buenik said.When asked about the need for police to get involved in the search for a missing jersey, Buenik said, “Our Major Offenders squad deals with all kinds of specialty cases.”“Texas Rangers offered their assistance along with NFL security, private security at (the stadium),” he said. “We are going to take everybody’s assistance and offers to see if they can help us.”Brady has joked that he expects to see the jersey soon in an online auction. Police are also trying to determine who had access to the locker room but that could be a long list as players, all the coaches, team support staff and members of the media all had access, he said.While a Houston police officer was stationed outside the locker room, access to the location was controlled by New England Patriots team security, Buenik said.“We’re attempting to gather a list of people who were in that locker room at that point so we can interview them,” he said.Investigators are also working to obtain video, including from some news cameramen, that might have caught the crime on tape.“We are asking all the cameramen to check your video to see if they may have captured something,” Buenik said. Tom Brady and his missing jersey have still not been reunited.The investigation, which is being led by the Houston police department’s Major Offenders division, has so far not turned up any leads on who swiped the jersey, Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik said Tuesday.The Texas Rangers, the state’s top law enforcement officers, are assisting in the investigation along with the NFL’s security department. “We want our top investigators on this case and hopefully we’ll make an arrest and more importantly recover that jersey for Tom Brady.”Buenik said investigators are working to identify who was in the locker room at the time the jersey was taken. Brady’s jersey was taken from the New England Patriots’ locker room at Houston’s NRG Stadium after the team’s 34-28 victory over Atlanta in the Super Bowl on Sunday.Buenik said officials are aware the jersey is considered valuable.“So we are deeming this a pretty important case,” Buenik said at a news conference held the same day the Patriots were celebrating their win with a Boston parade.

The man behind Slap Shot’s Ogie had his share of battles off-screen

It wasn’t until a 2002 Globe and Mail article that Goldie revealed he was considered too dangerous to play Ogie in the movie – the role going to Ned Dowd. Never has a hockey player who never made it to the NHL become so legendary that people know him by two names – his real one, Bill (Goldie) Goldthorpe, and his nom de cinema, Ogie Ogilthorpe. But I’m not going to whine about it. I got that close to making it as a pro in the NHL. Then he comes out in a book saying Trog and I were jokes. It starts there.Rumour had it you needed a police escort for your junior games in Thunder Bay and that you were once busted for grave robbing?I was in the Thunder Bay jail, and [teammate] George Gwozdecky would sign me out for games, then he’d take me back after the game. I was in Denver with the WHA and I’m at our goal line and I’ve got the puck – how that happened, I don’t know. People have said to me I look serious all the time. He asked me, ‘Why did you do that?’ I said, ‘You skate too fast.’Any more?I also spoke at a Lakehead University dinner. You didn’t. They told me I should get my record cleaned up. But I’m not angry. They think I should be 15 feet tall and have lightning bolts shooting out my ass. You know, I went and saw the Hanson brothers [do their act] in Vernon, B.C. Bobby’s at our red line. [Teammate] Willie Trognitz had [third brother] Jack Carlson in a fight. I got offered smelling salts because that’s all they knew back then. A lot of people don’t believe I’m Ogie Ogilthorpe. Customs] let me in because it was for a charity. Is he still too dangerous after all these years? They didn’t offer me a contract, so I left.Why do you think so many hockey fans like you as Ogie/Goldie Goldthorpe?I’m always honest. I never robbed any graves. As the afro-haired goon in Slap Shot, Ogie’s story was torn from the life and hard times of Goldthorpe. Nancy Dowd was there. [Dowd wrote the Slap Shot script.] I didn’t know she was going to be there, and she got up and said I was the inspiration for Ogie Ogilthorpe. What was that like?I only played against them once in junior. I got $52 a grave. So I shot the puck at him. Why do you think that is?It’s because of my criminal record. People got to realize Ogie Ogilthorpe was a true Canadian hockey player.You first battled the Carlson brothers in junior. I had Jeff. He buried his head in my chest and never threw a punch. They’re on the ice, and the fans start chanting, ‘We want Ogilthorpe.’ They wouldn’t even say, ‘Look, he’s in the stands.’You’ve become a regular at speaking gigs across the country. That was a big moment. Does it bother you?I’ve met all the actors from the movie. I had a job digging them. The biggest thing for me was at a charity golf tournament in Southern Ontario. Dave (the Hammer) Schultz was there and he told me, ‘Don’t take the jokes personally.’ I think people still feel that I’m a nutbar. [U.S. I look away for a second and now he’s right in front of me. As the NHL Network celebrates the 40th anniversary of Slap Shot, Allan Maki caught up with Goldthorpe, who lives in Vancouver and has not been interviewed by the NHL for any of its movie recollections. I remember playing against Bobby. They didn’t do a thing.Do you have any regrets?I look back at my career and I wish I had never got in trouble off the ice. They took him to the dressing room, turned off the lights and left him there for the rest of the game. They were my mistakes. I woke up one day three days later. I don’t want to be angry any more. I was asked by the [Toronto Maple] Leafs to stick around after I’d gone to training camp with them. I couldn’t cross the border once because of something that happened when I was drinking. I got punched in the temple. I was stopped in Buffalo and I was trying to get to a Make-A-Wish foundation event. I said, ‘You know how many times I’ve been drunk?’When did your life go off the rails?I played the angel Gabriel in a Christmas pageant. I said, ‘Who said I’d never make it to university?’Did you ever have any concussions when you played?I had concussions. So the NHL has lost your phone number. It was the best job I ever had.In Slap Shot, several of the game’s wildest players got prime roles, such as Jeff and Steve Carlson and Dave Hanson. Anything to share?I was at one where we roasted Bobby Hull. I got into a fight in junior in Thunder Bay. In the WHA, Gordie Gallant got a concussion running into one of his teammates.

MLS to make big marketing push in Canada

Hockey has successfully made its outdoor games into big events, with four of them this season.“It takes a playbook from the National Hockey League,” Garber said. MLS will also establish a national marketing group with the goal of drawing coast-to-coast attention to some of the circuit’s marquee events, which include the playoffs, the all-star game and MLS Decision Day – the last day of the regular season, when several games are played at the same time.“We’re looking to figure out ways that we can grow our national television ratings,” Garber said. Instead, MLS wants to make Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver more popular in their regions – and across the country.“Our task,” Garber said, “is to connect the dots between those three and create a national fan base.” “In order to do that we need to make the sport, our league, more relevant here and we need to make our clubs more popular in their local markets.”When the new TV deals were signed, Gary Stevenson, the president of MLS business ventures, said it demonstrated that the league, its Canadian teams and the networks “are investing in the growth of the sport in Canada.”The success of the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC in last year’s playoffs gave the league’s Canadian profile a boost, which translated into a sellout crowd of more than 60,000 at Olympic Stadium for the first leg of the semi-final between the two sides. We have a long season.”The league isn’t looking for growth solely in Canada. But that record was broken just days later in the second leg (1.4 million viewers) before it was topped again in the MLS Cup final, when 1.5 million fans tuned in to watch Seattle Sounders FC top TFC for the championship.In order to grow that audience even further, and garner more sponsorship money, MLS plans to draw on a blueprint it has started to use in the United States – one that other pro sports leagues have employed with great success.In recent years, North American leagues have put an emphasis on their showcase events to produce spikes of interest during extended regular seasons. Both deals will run through 2021. Bell said the game drew more than a million viewers, the most ever for an MLS game in Canada. Basketball has had success with its slate of Christmas Day games and its all-star weekend. “They’ve done such a great job with their outdoor game and their Heritage Classic. Encouraged by a successful season in Canada, Major League Soccer plans to market itself more aggressively in this country, commissioner Don Garber announced during a visit to Vancouver this week.The league signed a pair of Canadian television deals in January, renewing its rights with TSN while inking a new contract with TVA Sports in Quebec. The bidders, ready to pay a $150-million (U.S.) expansion fee alongside stadium-development plans, include big-time sports money. Since it was established in 1996, MLS has expanded from 10 to 20 teams, and this year it will welcome two more: Atlanta and Minnesota.Twelve bids have been submitted for additional franchises, as the league pushes toward 28 teams by 2022. All leagues need special moments. In Detroit, for instance, Pistons owner Tom Gores and Detroit local Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, have partnered on a soccer bid.But there are no expansion plans in Canada.

Olympic high jump champ Drouin eyes decathlon spot

And I imagine he’s doing the same thing.”

Drouin has won virtually every high jump title there is, including Commonwealth and Pan American Games gold. After the Rio Olympics, he revealed he’d competed with two stress fractures in his spine, an injury so painful he felt “80 years old” trying to roll out of bed in the morning.“Over all, my body [in college] was more symmetrical, rather than me running and turning right all the time,” he said.As for the Commonwealth Games – which are April 4-15 of 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia – Drouin would be up against Warner and rising star Pierce LePage, depending on how large a team Canada sends.“But for us right now, it gives us a goal instead of just training for it like we’ve done in the past couple of years,” Huntoon said. Drouin and Huntoon have always believed in mixing up practices (read: doing hurdles before a high jump competition).Instead of the traditional plyometric training of jumping over boxes, Drouin hurdles.“It’s been just an overall philosophy of, even though he’s a high jumper specifically, to train for all those types of things, and allow him to come along as an overall athlete, is really kind of an overriding goal. “It’s something I really haven’t done in a while, but I’m very excited to get back into that.”Huntoon actually recruited Drouin out of high school to the Indiana Hoosiers as a multievent athlete, but Drouin progressed more quickly in the high jump than the decathlon’s other nine events.“He became a pretty good hurdler, too. Derek Drouin may one of the world’s greatest high jumpers, but he’s a multievent athlete at heart. “And if he gets there, he gets there, and if he doesn’t, it’s not end of the world. He was ranked in the top 20 in the (NCAA) in his last year, running 13.89,” Huntoon said – Canada’s Damian Warner holds the world’s best decathlon hurdles time of 13.44. He’s sure to win at least one event: His Canadian high jump record is 2.40 metres, and the world’s best decathlon high jump mark is 2.27.Switching to decathlon training won’t be a massive departure from their daily mixed bag of training. Just be an athlete.”Drouin also hopes to escape some of the injury issues that often plague single-event athletes. I believe it as an overall philosophy. I kind of felt my strongest, felt like I was in my best physical shape, and I just have a whole lot of fun doing that,” Drouin said. “I just kind of sit back and smile. So it’s just a win-win.” Then he’ll take a brief break before attending a multievents camp in Australia to prepare him for a decathlon in Santa Barbara in early April.A decathlon combines 10 events: Day 1 features the 100 metres, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 metres; Day 2 has the 110-metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500. I think he’s got something else he can look forward to and be just fine.“But he genuinely enjoys the day to day. And so while he was soaring to world and Olympic high jump gold, the 26-year-old from Corunna, Ont., never strayed far from his other love.He’s drawn more than a few quizzical looks for it.“There’s a lot of times we go to these track meets and he’s doing long jump training, or hurdling, or running a 1,500 [metre] workout, and people are like ‘What in the hell is he doing?’” coach Jeff Huntoon said. “There were a couple of other events that came along pretty well.”When Drouin and Huntoon, who was hired away from Indiana by Athletics Canada in 2015, sat down to map out a four-year plan, switching their focus to the decathlon after the Rio Olympics was on their to-do list for this season.Drouin is competing in a high jump meet in Slovakia on Wednesday, then is one of the headliners in the prestigious Millrose Games on Saturday in New York. So this season, he plans to switch it up and compete in a few decathlons, with the ultimate goal of earning a spot on next year’s Commonwealth Games team.“It’s to get back to what I was doing in college, which was really when I was most confident competing.

Jake Allen makes 30 saves as Blues shut out Senators

Jake Allen made 30 saves for his second shutout of the season and Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice as the St. Louis RW Nail Yakupov, RW Dmitrij Jaskin and D Carl Gunnarsson were a healthy scratch. Louis was offside, but the review was inconclusive and the goal stood.Tarasenko gave St. The Senators challenged the play believing St. D Fredrik Claesson was also a healthy scratch for the Senators. Louis a 2-0 lead six minutes into the second as he was left all alone and Paul Stastny fed him a great pass leaving Hammond with little chance.The Blues opened the scoring early in the second as Paajarvi had some good speed coming down the wing and managed to beat Hammond high.Hammond was tested in the opening minutes of the game and made a couple of good saves on Jori Lehtera and Kenny Agostino. St. Louis made it 4-0 midway through the third as Steen scored on his own rebound after a Mike Hoffman giveaway. Ottawa is now 1-3-1 in its last five and have allowed ten goals in its last two.Hammond getting the start allowed the Senators to give Mike Condon a break who had made 27 consecutive appearances prior to Tuesday’s game.The Blues played the second of a five-game road trip. Minutes later Tarasenko scored his second and Barbashev made it 6-0 on yet another giveaway.Berglund jumped on a rebound for an early power-play goal in the third that allowed the Blues to jump out to a 3-0 lead. 18, when he suffered a high ankle sprain and missed the next seven weeks, was decent making 24 saves. Louis Blues defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-0 on Tuesday night.Magnus Paajarvi, Patrik Berglund, Alex Steen and Ivan Barbashev also scored for the Blues (27-22-5).Andrew Hammond, making his first start since Dec. St. Louis has now won five of its last seven road games after winning just five of its first 17.The 16,787 on hand at Canadian Tire Centre headed for the exits after St. Outshot 13-5 in the first by the Blues the Senators needed Hammond to be solid to keep things scoreless.The Senators played the first of a four-game homestand, the longest for the remainder of the season.Notes: Ottawa C Curtis Lazar was a healthy scratch for the second time in four games. Hammond didn’t have a lot of support from the Senators (27-18-6), who haven’t scored a goal in two straight games.

Auston Matthews scores 25th goal as Toronto holds it together to top Dallas

When the Stars gave them a five-on-three power play, the Leafs seized the opportunity. This resulted in sustained pressure in the Leafs end, but they escaped with nothing worse than Dallas centre Adam Cracknell hitting the post.By the end of the period, the Stars held a 16-10 edge in shots and a 28-18 advantage in attempted shots. The difference was that McElhinney was solid in goal and their forwards were playing well at the other end of the ice against a Dallas defence that is every bit as wobbly as Toronto’s.So the Leafs escaped the first period with a 1-0 lead that came on a slick faceoff play. “Do you want to win or not? You’re still going to score just as much. Of course, the Leafs scored 11 goals in their previous two games, a 6-5 overtime loss to the New York Islanders and a 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins, which gave them three of a possible four points.So maybe even Babcock knew the youthful Leafs were probably not paying attention when he pointed out that dancing around offensively, as they did in their previous game against the Stars a week ago, may be fun but not when you still lose. There is now hope he can provide the necessary rest for No. It may work with so-so teams like Dallas that are willing to play river hockey, but elite NHL teams today are simply too disciplined to allow it.“I think it comes down to a simple decision,” Babcock said. The Leafs killed off two minutes at the end of the first period and the remaining two minutes to start the second.That led to a much stronger effort defensively in the second period. He relayed it to Gardiner at the point, and Gardiner fired a 60-foot rocket past Dallas goaltender Antti Niemi.The tide actually turned late in the period when Leaf centre Nazem Kadri took two penalties for hooking and cross-checking. I actually think the players are having fun. I like to know what we’re doing.“Now, we can come down and it’s like going to Vegas – you can gamble or you can play right. Tyler Seguin cut the Leafs’ lead to 2-1 with a power-play goal four minutes in. That game in Dallas was part of a three-game losing streak that led into the Boston win, and all featured sloppy defensive play.“We were terrible in our own zone, at our net and through the neutral zone without the puck,” Babcock said of the overtime loss to the Islanders on Monday. Leafs defenceman Nikita Zaitsev scored to restore the Leafs’ two-goal lead. “You’ve got to have fresh legs and we showed that.”Earlier on Tuesday, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock pleaded with his players to adopt at least some semblance of defence after surrendering 11 goals in their past two games and 22 in the last four. Some people don’t believe that, but I believe that if you play right defensively you score more.”Just in case the Leafs weren’t paying attention, the Stars got their attention in the third period. “It was a lot of fun.”Also on the plus side was the fact the youthful Leafs looked fresh in playing the second leg of a back-to-back, away-and-home set. “I felt confident the whole game,” said McElhinney, who faced 40 shots. Tyler Bozak won the draw in the Dallas zone and kicked the puck to Mitch Marner. They were still playing it loose defensively, such as when the defence pair of Jake Gardiner and Connor Carrick allowed the Stars a three-on-one rush midway through the period. 10. 1 goaltender Frederik Andersen, who is showing signs of wear in the dog days of the NHL season. So why don’t we just play right?”After the first period, it did not look like the Leafs had heard anything Babcock said. I think the crowd is having fun, and we leave pissed off every night. They also increased their lead to 2-0 when Auston Matthews deflected a Gardiner shot past Niemi for his 25th goal of the season.The thing is, even a team as young as the Leafs has to know it is playing with fire if it tries to get by with offensive flash and a modicum of defence à la the eighties Oilers. The result was a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night to kick off a four-game homestand.Even better, Leafs backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney was solid in winning his second game since joining the team on Jan. It wasn’t perfect, but it was what the Toronto Maple Leafs needed.Their defence held together for the last two periods, and their offensive game was there when it was needed. I don’t like to feed my family on hope. 31], when we feel space offensively and then [Monday] night with the Islanders we feel space offensively and everyone gets feeling good, we get dancing around and life is great.“We think we’re the eighties Oilers and then bang, bang, bang, we just yell at the goalie, ‘Here they come again, here they come again, here they come again.’ It’s fun. They looked much better than Monday night when they lost 6-5 in overtime to the New York Islanders.“The back-to-back thing doesn’t mean much to us,” said Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner, who bounced back from a poor outing Monday with a goal and an assist. I like to feed my family on know. The Leafs were far from perfect but they held the Stars to seven shots and took 17 themselves. “Any time we feel space, like against Dallas [on Jan. Then they shut down the Stars the rest of the way, with the final blow a nice job killing a late penalty taken by Carrick.“I thought our defence was solid,” Babcock said. “We were a little more organized, a little more determined than [Monday] night.”

Pominville and Niederreiter push Wild past Jets

The Jets announced he wasn’t returning because of a lower-body injury.Connor Hellebuyck made 10 saves in relief for the Jets, who were starting a four-game homestand.Minnesota forward Mikael Granlund’s franchise-record 12-game point streak ended. He had five goals and 12 assists during the span, which had been the NHL’s longest current point streak.Granlund had a penalty shot early in the third, but tripped over Hellebuyck while trying to go to the backhand. Niederreiter’s second goal was an empty-netter.Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves for the NHL Western Conference-leading Wild (35-12-5), who wrapped up a four-game road trip (3-1-0). Jason Pominville and Nino Niederreiter each scored twice as the Minnesota Wild hung on for a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.Pominville also had two assists, while Charlie Coyle picked up three assists. Joel Armia had a goal and assist and Bryan Little netted his 15th goal of the season for Winnipeg (25-27-4).Goalie Ondrej Pavelec went to the dressing room just over six minutes into the second period after stopping 11 of the 14 shots he faced. He was awarded the shot after Jets defencemen Dustin Byfuglien pushed a loose stick on the ice toward him when he had the puck in Winnipeg’s end.The Wild led 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 following the second.After teammate Jason Zucker sent the puck over an open net, Niederreiter got the Wild on the board at 11:51 of the first when Pavelec couldn’t make a quick glove save to stop his 16th goal of the seasonWith 41 seconds left in the period, Jets rookie Patrik Laine turned the puck over in the neutral zone and Pominville’s shot flew past Pavelec for the 2-0 lead.Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice started changing most of his lines with the Jets outshooting the Wild 12-11 heading in the second.It didn’t work at first as Pominville netted his 10th goal of the season at 2:33 and Coyle picked up his 28th assist.But three minutes later, Little scored with a backhand shot after a scramble to find the puck in front of Dubnyk.Shortly after Little’s goal, Pavelec left the ice and went to the dressing room.Armia’s high wrist shot on Dubnyk’s glove side squeezed the score 3-2 at 16:42, with the Jets finishing the middle frame with a 29-17 advantage for shots on goal.Both netminders made some close saves in goal-mouth scrambles late in the third.Niederreiter’s 17th goal was an empty-netter with 1:19 left.Notes — Earlier in the day, the Jets announced veteran defenceman Tyler Myers, who’s missed 44 games this season, including the past 39 with lower-body injuries, had surgery for a different lower-body injury Monday and is out an additional six to eight weeks.

Flames beat Penguins in shootout as Crosby nears 1,000 points

Sidney Crosby’s pursuit for 1,000 career points hit a speed bump — not to mention a couple of posts — against Calgary’s Chad Johnson.The Pittsburgh Penguins captain picked up point No. Crosby had a pair of opportunities just outside the crease turned away by Johnson in the second period and then watched a shot from the left circle early in the third clang off the near post and then the far post before skittering out of danger.“Had some really good looks, open nets,” Crosby said. Letang forced a turnover at the point then banked a pass off the boards to Crosby, who fed it to Kunitz for his seventh of the season 5:51 into the third. Johnson stopped 31 shots, including three from Crosby, and then turned away Crosby and Phil Kessel in the shootout as the Flames picked up two valuable points in the crowded chase for one of the final playoff spots in the wide-open Western Conference.Kris Versteeg scored the only goal in the shootout, a beautiful deke that left Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray sprawled badly out of position.“Sometimes you close your eyes and it goes in,” Versteeg said. “I think we had more than enough chances to win the game. You just try to be in position and be patient.”Crosby inched closer to becoming the 86th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points when he set up Chris Kunitz’s third-period goal for career point No. “That’s their style, so it made it interesting at the end there, unfortunately. Rookie forward Jake Guentzel forced overtime with his fifth of the season with just under five minutes remaining. “I try not to worry too much who I’m going against. “So, I was lucky there.”Michael Frolik scored his 13th goal of the season for the Flames and Micheal Ferland added his eighth. 998 with a third-period assist, but Johnson and the Flames recovered after blowing a two-goal lead for a 3-2 shootout victory on Tuesday night. He stopped Crosby on the doorstep in the second period and again in the shootout as the Flames won for the fourth time in their last five games.“You’re just kind of in the moment,” Johnson said. I think we deserved better tonight. It was Johnson, however, who did the heavy lifting. Frolik doubled the lead just over two minutes later, completing a perfectly executed 3-on-2 break by taking a feed from Matthew Tkachuk and firing it into the empty net.No matter. Guentzel tied it at 15:04 when he powered a shot from the right circle by Johnson.The Penguins, however, couldn’t quite get over the top.“They were coming the whole game,” Johnson said. The Penguins recovered to salvage a point. 998. That’s going to happen sometimes.”Kunitz’s score halved a two-goal deficit, one provided by some effective counterpunching by the Flames.Ferland tipped away a crossing pass by Crosby in the defensive zone then broke in alone on Murray, flipping the puck over the goalie’s glove 16:19 into the second period for his third goal in five games. The 29-year-old two-time MVP, whose 30 goals this season lead the league, has gained an appreciation for his impending milestone but also wants to get it over with so the focus can shift back to the Penguins chasing down Metropolitan Division-leading Washington.Johnson did his best to delay the party. “Goalie made some really big saves, hit some posts. But we got the two points.” Murray made 28 saves but had no chance on Versteeg’s beautiful deke in the shootout.“We gave them their opportunities,” Crosby said. Got back into it, but I thought by far we had the better scoring chances.”Crosby’s next shot at joining the exclusive club is Thursday in Colorado.

Arvidsson, Jarnkrok lead Predators to victory over Canucks

From the low slot, his initial shot was denied by Markstrom, but Jarnkrok was able to swat at the rebound with a backhand and slip it just underneath his countryman for his ninth goal of the season.Forsberg’s power-play goal at 9:04 of the third made it 3-1, a slap shot from the left side. Granlund picked up the puck, and his wrist shot deflected off the stick of Nashville defenceman Yannick Weber and beat Rinne to the far side. It was Vancouver’s first shot on goal in the game.Arvidsson tied it at 12:20 of the first.Carrying the puck down the left side, Colin Wilson slipped a pass to Arvidsson at the left faceoff dot, where he beat Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom with a one-timer high to the glove side.Markstrom finished with 29 saves.Arvidsson has nine points in his last nine games.Jarnkrok made it 2-1 at 16:32 of the first. Viktor Arvidsson and Calle Jarnkrok each had a goal and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.Filip Forsberg and Mike Fisher also scored and Pekka Rinne made 31 saves for Nashville. The goal was initially waived off, but video review showed the puck crossed the line under Markstrom’s glove.Vancouver drew within one at 12:06 of the third when Edler beat Rinne with a wrist shot from the high slot high to Rinne’s stick side on a Canucks power play.Fisher scored an empty-net goal with 42.3 seconds remaining.Canucks left wing Sven Baertschi left early in the first after being hit by Nashville’s Cody McLeod in the Predators zone well away from the puck. No penalty was assessed on the play. Granlund scored the first goal at 6:01 of the opening period.Brandon Sutter won a faceoff against newly acquired Predators centre Vernon Fiddler. Roman Josi added two assists.Markus Granlund and Alexander Edler had the goals for Vancouver, which has lost four straight. The team announced that Baertschi sustained a concussion.

Canadian skier Erik Guay wins super-G world title

“It was more intense having a kid, I can tell you. The Austrian placed 10th on Wednesday.Though it has been seven years since Guay won a season-long World Cup title in super-G, his third-place finish in December in Val Gardena, Italy, hinted at his potential. Moritz in a World Cup downhill last year.Osborne-Paradis, from Invermere, B.C., has not finished on a World Cup downhill podium in almost two years, and not since November 2009 in super-G. He began this season wearing bib numbers in the 50s as a longshot.Wearing No. 14 and raced down leading Jansrud at every time check.“Erik today showed us how it’s supposed to be done. But late-starting Manny Osborne-Paradis edged World Cup champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde off the podium.On his 33rd birthday, Osborne-Paradis claimed his first career championship medal, trailing Guay by 0.51. Its main pre-race hope, Beat Feuz, was 12th, and now has Jansrud and the revived Canadians carrying momentum into Saturday’s marquee downhill.Toronto native Dustin Cook did not finish the run. “I can see (the crash) on TV no problem, but in my head I can’t really remember going off the jump and having that fear.”There were more jumps to handle Wednesday on a hill that launched racers airborne, testing their balance and ability to improvise through an unfamiliar gate-setting.Though Norway’s men won five of the past seven Olympic titles in super-G, the nation’s winless streak at the worlds was extended to nine.Jansrud and Kilde were 1-2 in the leader’s box, separated by just 0.09 after Kilde’s wild ride down the final slope, and celebrated by bumping fists in the finish area.At that moment, Guay was about to start wearing bib No. 26, still outside the top-ranked group, he was inspired by his longtime friend.“I got pretty fired up because of Erik,” said Osborne-Paradis, who returned to form three months after becoming a father. I’m not feeling any disappointment over that,” said Jansrud, the youngest of the medallists at 31.Guay took the record for oldest world champion from Hannes Reichelt, who set it by winning the super-G two years ago in Beaver Creek, Colorado. He was serenaded by a finish-area crowd, and later was hugged by his mother.Guay, from Mont-Tremblant, Que., added super-G gold to his downhill title from the 2011 worlds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Erik Guay led the veteran Canadians over the favoured Norwegians in the super-G on Wednesday and became the oldest gold medallist at the world ski championships.The 35-year-old Guay beat Olympic super-G champion Kjetil Jansrud by 0.45 seconds — his first victory in almost three years.Guay triumphed less than two weeks after a spectacular crash, when he flew 60 metres in the air off a jump in a treacherous World Cup downhill. I’m as happy as can be,” said Guay, putting his win down to “forgetting about everything and having a fun race.”It was a banner day for Canada after Norway seemed sure to also take bronze in an event it dominates. “It’s incredible. You can’t unsee those things.”It was also a sweet result for the Swiss director of Canada’s team, Martin Rufener, the former head coach of his home nation’s men.Switzerland’s best on Wednesday was eighth-place Carlo Janka, trailing Guay by 0.99. He also placed third in St. It was at the same German course last month that he wiped out in a twisting fall.“I was lucky to walk away with fairly minor injuries,” said Guay, competing at his seventh worlds.

Martin Havlat announces retirement after 14 NHL seasons

Havlat most recently played two games for the Blues last season before leaving the team for personal reasons. The 35-year-old announced his retirement on Wednesday through the NHL Players’ Association. In 75 playoff games, the Czech native had 21 goals and 31 assists. Martin Havlat has announced his retirement after putting up 594 points in 790 NHL games over 14 seasons.Nicknamed “Mach 9” for his skating prowess, Havlat played for the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, New Jersey Devils and St. Louis Blues. He said his body won’t let him play up to his standards anymore.A first-round pick of the Senators in 1999, Havlat was a Calder Trophy finalist as rookie of the year in 2001-02 and helped Ottawa win the Presidents’ Trophy in 2001-02.

Judge urges NFL retirees to register for concussion settlement

The league expects more than 6,000 of them to eventually be diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Players’ lawyers hope the first checks will be sent out by early summer.The NFL this week is moving the first $65 million in payments into trust funds that cover injury claims, baseline testing and education. The average award is expected to be about $190,000 for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia.The awards do not cover depression, mood disorders or future cases of chronic encephalopathy, or CTE, which some consider the signature disease of football. About 160 others have opted out and will pursue individual lawsuits. The settlement committee is setting up a network of doctors around the country to conduct testing. 7. 7, 2014.“One year from now, I expect to have a lot of money transferred from the NFL to, unfortunately, a lot of sick former NFL players,” said Christopher Seeger, a lead players’ lawyer.The awards cover ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and deaths involving chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The awards will vary based on a person’s diagnosis, age and time in the NFL. The awards can reach several million dollars for younger men with the most severe neurological damage, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Participants could be eligible for treatment and damage awards. A federal judge in Philadelphia is urging NFL retirees to register for a concussion settlement that could cost the league $1 billion over 65 years.About 22,000 retirees are encouraged to get baseline neurological testing. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The league must then pay another $120 million into the injury fund over the next six months.The 65-year settlement program covers players who retired from the league by Jan. The deal approved by Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody resolves thousands of lawsuits that accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the risks of repeated concussions in order to return players to the field.At a hearing Wednesday in Philadelphia, lead lawyers reminded participants they must register for the settlement by Aug. Any doctors with any ties to the NFL are ineligible to take part.Brody has ordered the parties to revisit the settlement as the science on CTE advances.Some former players appealed the settlement over the exclusion of future CTE cases and depression, but the U.S. However, the U.S. Supreme Court in December declined to hear appeals filed over those exclusions, prompting the rollout of the plan.

Legendary coach Scotty Bowman named to Order of Hockey Canada

He holds the NHL record for most wins by a coach with 1,244 in the regular season and 223 more in the playoffs. Twice named NHL coach of the year, Bowman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012.Costello served as president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Hockey Canada from 1979 to 1998, and was vice-president of the International Ice Hockey Federation from 2008 to 2012.He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005, the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2014, and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.Fran Rider, president and CEO of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, has played a vital role in the development of women’s hockey as a player, coach volunteer and executive since 1967.Rider was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada and inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame as the first female builder in 2015.The recipients of the Order are honoured for their contributions or service to the growth and development of hockey in Canada.The Order of Hockey in Canada includes 21 honourees since inception in 2012. Scotty Bowman, Murray Costello and Fran Rider were welcomed into the Order of Hockey Canada ranks today.Bowman owns 14 Stanley Cups with four different teams including nine as a head coach. This year’s class will be celebrated at the Hockey Canada Foundation gala June 19 in Saskatoon.

Megan Rapinoe left off U.S. national team roster for SheBelieves Cup

roster for a training camp ahead of the SheBelieves Cup tournament.Midfielder/forward Kealia Ohai also was not among the 25 players announced Wednesday by coach Jill Ellis. plays Germany on March 1 at Chester, Pennsylvania; England three days later at Harrison, New Jersey, and France on March 7 at Washington, D.C.“There will be no better test than opening against Germany, so we will need to have a laser focus as soon as we land in Orlando,” Ellis said in a statement. Ohai made her debut with the national team last year, appearing in three matches. The U.S. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe has been left off the U.S. The 31-year-old Rapinoe is a veteran of the last two World Cups but tore her right anterior cruciate ligament in December 2015 and didn’t return until the Olympics last August.Four players on the roster have not played for the senior national team: goalkeeper Jane Campbell and midfielders Sarah Killion, Rose Lavelle and Brianna Pinto.Carli Lloyd, the reigning FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, and Alex Morgan, who is currently playing in France with Lyon, are among the veterans on the roster.The team will train in Orlando, Florida, starting on Feb. “As our players have not yet returned to their clubs, they have been training in their independent environments, so playing as much 11-v-11 situations will again be critical during these few days.”The roster:Goalkeepers: Jane Campbell (Houston), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago)Defenders: Julie Johnston (Chicago), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland), Ali Krieger (Orlando), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue), Becky Sauerbrunn (Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago), Emily Sonnett (Portland)Midfielders: Morgan Brian (Houston), Tobin Heath (Portland), Lindsey Horan (Portland), Sarah Killion (Sky Blue), Rose Lavelle (Boston), Carli Lloyd (Houston), Allie Long (Portland), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina), Brianna Pinto (Capital Area Soccer League)Forwards: Crystal Dunn (Chelsea, England), Alex Morgan (Lyon, France), Christen Press (Chicago), Mallory Pugh (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (Kansas City), Lynn Williams (North Carolina) 20.