Buffalo Bills fire GM Doug Whaley one day after draft

Injury troubles aside, Whaley was criticized for paying too high of a price to select Watkins in a draft class that produced a bounty of receivers including Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr., Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, and Jarvis Landry.Whaley acknowledged he took a gamble and suggested his tenure in Buffalo might well be judged on that one move.Last year, the Bills selected defensive end Shaq Lawson with the 19th pick while knowing the player would likely require surgery to repair a shoulder injury that had nagged him at Clemson. Lawson aggravated the injury during the team’s rookie minicamp and eventually missed the first six games of the season.Whaley was more successful in identifying experienced talent.Two of Buffalo’s best additions last year were free-agent linebackers Lorenzo Alexander, who had a team-leading 12 1/2 sacks, and leading tackler Zach Brown.Concerns were also raised regarding Whaley’s relationship with Buffalo’s two previous coaches. Our search for a new general manager will begin immediately,” Pegula said in a statement released by the team. He was groomed to become the GM, he took over the job in May 2013 when Buddy Nix stepped down.Though Whaley was present in the Bills draft room this past weekend, it was unclear how much influence he had on the selections.The Bills made six picks and swung several trades in addressing both immediate and long-term needs.Buffalo opened by acquiring two selections, including a first-rounder next year, in a trade with Kansas City to move back 17 spots and select LSU cornerback Tre’Davious White at 27th.McDermott sidestepped questions regarding Whaley’s job security saying he was solely focused on the draft. Instead, those responsibilities fell exclusively to McDermott.The Bills drafting history had been spotty this decade.Of the 35 players Buffalo drafted from 2010-13, only defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and left tackle Cordy Glenn remain on the roster.Whaley has been second-guessed on a number of selections.Overseeing his first draft as GM in 2014 and with the franchise’s stability in question a month following the death of Hall of Fame owner Ralph Wilson, Whaley made a bold gamble to land receiver Sammy Watkins. The Buffalo Bills have fired general manager Doug Whaley one day after the end of the NFL draft, a move that further solidifies rookie head coach Sean McDermott’s control over the team.Team owner Terry Pegula said Sunday he and his wife, Kim, reached the decision after a lengthy review of the team. Doug and his staff have done a nice job,” McDermott said. “He is a good person and we want to thank him for his work and commitment to our football team.”Whaley’s future was also uncertain when Ryan was fired, though he received the full backing of Pegula at the time. “We’ve had great conversation, to your question, the entire time in terms of healthy meetings and productive meetings.”In a departure from tradition in Buffalo, the general manager was not made available to reporters in the weeks leading up to the draft or at any point during the three-day event. It was not an easy decision but I believe it’s the right one for the future of the Buffalo Bills. The owner’s change of heart coincides with the authority McDermott has amassed in the three months since being hired.The 42-year-old detail-oriented defensive specialist has become the voice of the franchise in discussing all team-related topics, including free agency and the draft.The shake-up leaves the Bills seeking their seventh GM during what’s been a 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports.Whaley had three seasons left on his contract after signing a four-year extension in January 2016. Whaley’s dismissal completes what has become yet another front-office house-cleaning which began when coach Rex Ryan was fired in the final week of last season. At one point on Saturday, he credited Whaley’s work without discussing his future.“Nothing’s changed from what I’ve said all along. After Whaley worked up the scouting ranks with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bills hired him as an assistant general manager in 2010. Doug Marrone elected to use an opt-out clause in his contract to step down as coach after the 2014 season.In January, Pegula told The Associated Press that while it was his decision to fire Ryan, Whaley had input based on conversations he and the GM had over the season.Both of Pegula’s Buffalo-based sports franchises are hitting the reset button. He dealt two draft picks — including Buffalo’s 2015 first-round selection — to Cleveland to move up five spots and pick the Clemson star fourth overall.When healthy, Watkins has shown flashes of his ability. Pegula fired GM Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma 10 days after the NHL season ended two weeks ago. “This was my decision.

After Sanchez’s injury, Jays’ bullpen steps up to top Rays

The team hopes to have a better understanding on Monday after some of the swelling subsides.In Sanchez’s absence, an unlikely hero emerged as Toronto’s bullpen, especially Ryan Tepera, helped the Blue Jays (8-17) earn their first set of back-to-back wins — and first series win — of the season.Tepera came on in the second and cruised through 3 1/3 innings — Tampa didn’t get a hit until Ryan Miller’s leadoff single in the fifth. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s just something we have to battle now.”Sanchez had landed on the disabled list two weeks ago with a blister on the same finger and underwent a procedure to remove part of the nail from it.The nail split horizontally. Once in the dugout, the 24-year-old Sanchez slammed his glove down on the bench in frustration and headed straight into the clubhouse with pitching coach Pete Walker.“It was just a lot of pressure, stinging underneath the nail,” said Sanchez, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier in the day.“It’s like somebody grabbing your nail and ripping it out. “The ball got away from me a little bit.” Aaron Sanchez looked down at his finger and saw the blood five pitches into his start.All he could think about then was finishing the inning. Morrison walked to begin the inning and moved to third after a single and pop fly.Jose Bautista began Toronto’s rally in the bottom of the inning with his 1,000th hit as a Blue Jay — a game-tying double off reliever Alex Colome (1-1) that nearly cleared the left-field wall.Russell Martin followed with a base hit to right field for his fifth RBI of the season and pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera tacked on a run-scoring single.“I’ll get to enjoy (the 1,000-hit milestone) when my career’s over,” Bautista said. He had a career-high five strikeouts and left with one out in the fifth to a standing ovation from the crowd of 42,986 at Rogers Centre.“Coming into the game I had a different mindset knowing I’d have to go multiple innings,” Tepera said. That’s something that I struggle with. Bautista glared down at Archer from the batter’s box for what felt like an eternity.Bautista said after the game he “didn’t know” if there was intent behind Archer’s throw. He also had five strikeouts.Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued a warning to Archer after his first pitch to Bautista sailed behind the Blue Jays slugger in the first inning. I either throw it way too high or it gets in the zone. Howell (1-1) got the inning’s final out, and Roberto Osuna earned the save.“Today (the bullpen) showed everybody who they really are and we got this big win,” Sanchez said. “So I told myself: ‘Stay nice and easy and fluid and don’t overthrow.’ I realized it’s easier to just stay smooth and go with the delivery.“I was able to throw the four-seam up and that was a big key for me today. So just staying nice and easy and executing pitches, it helped.”Sanchez praised his bullpen, which has struggled lately, with holding Tampa to one run over eight innings.Aaron Loup followed Tepera with two frames, Dominic Leone went 2/3, Joe Smith started the eighth and allowed a run before J.P. Archer said there wasn’t.“I was just trying to go inside,” he said. “I think once you get into game mode and game speed, pressure on the nail starts to disperse in certain areas and maybe it wasn’t strong enough, honestly we don’t know.”Sanchez also doesn’t know if he’ll have to miss his next start. So he did.Sanchez threw 13 pitches, erasing a five-pitch leadoff walk with a strikeout and a double play before leaving Toronto’s 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday with a split nail on his right middle finger. “Hopefully I’ll get some more, but it does bring you back to the long time I’ve been here and the success that I’ve enjoyed.“It’s always fun when you can do it when you are contributing to a win.”Chris Archer allowed one run on four hits through 7 1/3 innings for Tampa Bay (12-14). It’s tough for me to put these guys through that but it’s just one of those situations where you didn’t know this was going to happen and they stepped up and did their part.”The game remained scoreless until David Robertson hit a sacrifice bunt off Smith in the eighth to plate Logan Morrison from third base. “Great defence behind them, timely hitting. The procedure, done by a specialist in Kansas City, had cut the nail vertically to remove a quarter of it.“Leading into today we didn’t think this would be an issue,” Sanchez said.

Predators down Blues 3-1, take 2-1 series lead

Cody McLeod scored the game-winner early in the second period, and the Nashville Predators beat the St. Nashville’s defencemen now have accounted for 20 points in this post-season with seven goals and 13 assists. Louis 18-4 in the period.Blues defenceman Robert Bortuzzo had a shot go off the post within the first five minutes of the third. Louis in this game before being pulled by coach Mike Yeo for the extra attacker with more than 4 minutes remaining and took his timeout with 1:25 left.Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne finished with 22 saves, including a flurry of stops to preserve the win.Game 3 is Tuesday night.With a national TV audience, Nashville had plenty of stars on hand for the matinee ranging from Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to country star Luke Bryan and Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray. … Louis within 2-1.The Blues had a chance to tie it up late in the second with a 2-on-1, but Rinne stopped the shot from David Perron from the slot. Louis 34-23, and they now have won seven straight playoff games on home ice, including all three this post-season. Alexander Steen scored for the Blues, who lost for the first time on the road this post-season.Blues goalie Jake Allen kept St. The local Triple-A baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, put the game on its guitar-shaped scoreboard during a rain delay. Josi scored on a slap shot with 5:49 left to prompt yet another standing ovation by the standing-room only crowd.NOTES: McLeod became the 13th different Nashville player to score this post-season. That goal came shortly after the Blues killed their third penalty of the game.St. Country group Little Big Town became the latest to sing the national anthem, and Lee Greenwood sang during the second intermission.Something had to give in this game.St. Louis Blues 3-1 Sunday to grab a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference semifinal.Defencemen Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi also scored, and Colton Sissons added two assists. Louis came in undefeated on the road this post-season after winning three in Minnesota in the first round, while the Predators won both games in Nashville while sweeping Chicago. Louis, which took eight of the first 12 shots, went without a shot through nearly 13 minutes of the second period without an attempt on Rinne. Nashville outshot St. Then Steen tipped in a shot by Alex Pietrangelo at 12:59 to pull St. Subban. The Blues also had won nine of their last 10 road games overall.The Predators never got the man advantage in losing Game 2 in St. Louis, and they got their first nearly midway through the first period.Just after the power play ended, Ellis gave Nashville a 1-0 lead with his slap shot from near the blue line at 10:34 off assists from Filip Forsberg and P.K. The Predators outshot St. Ellis now has a point in six straight playoff games, extending his franchise record for a defenceman and also leading the Predators.McLeod gave Nashville a 2-0 lead with his first goal of the post-season just 2:29 into the second period with a backhander past Allen. …

Raptors feel rested and ready for rematch with Cavaliers

I know guys are more comfortable this time around just because of those facts.”Cleveland and Toronto had identical 51-31 records in the regular season. Toronto had gone the distance with the Indiana Pacers, then also with the Miami Heat, and had to hop on a plane the next day for Cleveland with a single day to prepare for the best team in the East. It’s going to be a higher-scoring series than it was against Milwaukee,” Casey said. Since 2014-15, the Cavaliers have gone 11-6 (including playoffs) against the Raptors – including a 6-2 home record and a 5-4 mark at the Air Canada Centre.Toronto continues to battle the opening-game blahs in the postseason, in which the team is 1-11 in the first game of a playoff series. Facing the reigning NBA champs, starring LeBron James, never gets much easier, but rest and preparation helps.“It feels a lot better [this year], I will say that. They are not tired,” Toronto’s Patrick Patterson said. It’s not an excuse – it’s what everybody goes through at some point. Guys’ legs aren’t shot. We’ve got to be able to score.” Last year, the Toronto Raptors had played through two hard-fought seven-game series before facing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs. “We actually had a few days of rest, more time to prepare our bodies and our minds and just have better schemes going in. “I’d rather have this than what we had last year – jumping on a plane with one day’s practice and going through their personnel, their sets, their plays and what we want to do with them.”Since arriving home from Milwaukee after Thursday’s victory, the team has been dissecting film of last year’s playoff series and their meetings in the past two regular seasons – including this year, when Toronto dropped the season series (1-3), with all three losses being by four points or fewer. Boston and Washington just went through it from one series to the next in one day’s time,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “We don’t want to get in a knock-out, drag-out affair in the half-court with this team. “You’re looking at a new team in a different-coloured jersey in one day’s time. That feels worlds different than what the Raptors experienced a year ago. The Raptors’ lone Game 1 victory was May 6, 2001, at Philadelphia in their second-round series against the Sixers.This is where the Raptors will be judged, particularly after acquiring Serge Ibaka and P.J. This year, by comparison, the Raps feel a little fresher heading to Cleveland.Winning their first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks in six games earned the Raptors three days of preparation before opening the Eastern Conference semi-final against the Cavs on Monday at Quicken Loans Arena. We had to go out and really fight and get our hands dirty, which in the past hasn’t been one of the things you would say about the Raptors.”“In the same way Giannis [Antetokounmpo] was really good attacking on the break and we had to get in and fight for defensive rebounds, it’s going to be the same kind of fight with Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love down there when LeBron is attacking.”Before Sunday’s games, Toronto ranked first in points allowed (93.2) and sixth in opponent field-goal percentage (.415) during the 2017 playoffs. This series will be different.“You have to be able to score to keep up with them. Tucker at the trade deadline precisely for added muscle, physicality, rim protection and defence in the playoffs.“I liked the fight we had to go through Milwaukee,” Tucker said. “That was a different kind of series where we had to get out of our comfort zone to beat them. The Raptors held the Bucks to fewer than 100 points four times in their first-round series, including each of the last three games.

Senators’ Pageau is a small but fearless centre during playoff time

It took nearly 23 minutes of overtime before the local kid everyone thought was too small for professional hockey came through.“He definitely was a big man today,” Boucher said.And outside, far into the parking lots, they were still singing his praises.“PAAA-geau, PA-geau, Pageau, Pageau … ” And Stone lucked into a goal when a Phaneuf shot banged off the boards and bounced back through Lundqvist’s legs to the blade of Stone’s stick.It seemed, after Skjei’s second goal, that the game lacked only a buzzer to end matters at 5-3 in the Rangers’ favour.But then Jean-Gabriel Pageau went to work.With three minutes left he tipped a long Zack Smith shot past Lundqvist to bring the Senators within one. “We got lucky.”The Rangers had two short-handed goals as the troubled Ottawa power play continued to stumble through its season. I had two chicken parms.”A few hours later, he also had two goals on tips and two goals on shots, with hats showering down onto the ice from the Canadian Tire Centre stands. He doesn’t care for afternoon games, for one thing. He is the only Ottawa Senator in the Guinness World Records.No, we are not talking about dubious expenses or shabby attendance – we speak here of the hockey Senators, specifically one Jean-Gabriel Pageau.Pageau, of course, is the local kid who on Saturday led the Senators’ come-from-behind 6-5 double-overtime victory over the New York Rangers by scoring four goals, including the last three in a row, to claim an unexpected victory. An “ugly day” that required “ugly goals,” Boucher conceded. The sellout crowd cheered him and sang “PAAA-geau, PA-geau, Pageau, Pageau” in mockery of the better-known “Ole” chant of Montreal Canadiens fans.Pageau’s chant, in fact, dates from a big playoff game against the Canadiens four years ago, when he scored a hat trick and lost a tooth in the Senators’ first series win over an Original Six team.It was a performance that led to then-head coach Paul MacLean saying they should rename the bridges to Gatineau “Jean, Gabriel and Pageau.” There are, however, four bridges linking downtown Ottawa to cross-river Gatineau, so perhaps Saturday’s four-goal performance is an even better argument.Led by Pageau, the Senators staged a truly remarkable third-period comeback to force the Rangers to overtime. “Tying goal. But he wasn’t through. It doesn’t care – it will take on anything.”The self-effacing Pageau had no sense that Saturday was about to turn special for him. The afternoon match was at times crazy, at many times sloppy, a few times dreadful and just as many times exciting, especially in the chaotic, scrambling overtime periods.“We dug ourselves a hole and we found our way out of it,” Phaneuf said. The unassisted goal was Pageau’s second of the post-season.New York also got goals from Chris Kreider and two from defenceman Brady Skjei, who played a particularly strong game for the Rangers.Marc Methot scored for Ottawa when the big defenceman followed up on a Mike Hoffman rush. Overtime goal. “Probably the most fearless animal on Earth. It couldn’t happen to a better person.”Pageau called it, “a special moment. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”It was not great hockey. At the 2:54 mark of the second extra period, Pageau took a pass from Alex Burrows, broke down the left side and beat New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist cleanly, high to the glove side.Ottawa defenceman Dion Phaneuf called the performance “legendary.”“Four goals – that’s absolutely sick,” Boucher said. Ottawa gained the New York zone, captain Erik Karlsson sent the puck across to Kyle Turris and Turris one-timed a slap shot that, again, Pageau tipped into the net.Hats rained down onto the ice for Pageau’s hattrick. With a minute and a half left in regulation, Boucher gambled and pulled Anderson for the extra attacker. And he didn’t feel particularly sharp: “I thought I ate too much before the game. Winger Jesper Fast picked up a puck that had been fumbled by Ottawa’s Mark Stone and threaded a perfect pass allowing Michael Grabner to beat Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson for his third goal of the playoffs.“I made a terrible play,” Stone confessed.The Rangers scored again short-handed to go up 3-1 when Rick Nash sent Derek Stepan down the right side and Stepan beat Anderson for his second goal of the playoffs.The Senators were at their best at even strength. The Senators, now up two games to none against the team that was favoured to win this playoff round, will next meet the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.Saturday’s hero is not himself in Guinness, but his namesake, “Honey Badger” is as the “world’s most fearless creature.” It might well be an apt description for the 24-year-old Gatineau native who is listed at 5 foot 10 and 180 pounds but is neither as tall nor as heavy as claimed.“A fearless animal,” head coach Guy Boucher said of his little centre’s moniker following the win. Gabriel scored his first when Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi, usually so dependable, blindly swatted a puck across to the far boards, allowing Pageau to pick up the gift and fire a hard wrist shot past Lundqvist.

Blue Jays fight tooth and nail, win first series against Rays

“So good thing the month is over.”Sanchez and the Blue Jays are hoping his latest finger mishap is not serious and he won’t have to miss a start.Tepera played no small role in the Toronto triumph, starting the second inning and setting career highs in both innings pitched (3 1/3) and strikeouts (five).Tepera was one of six Blue Jays relievers on Sunday, and the oft-victimized group responded by limiting Tampa Bay to four hits and one run.The game was 0-0 heading into the eighth inning where Logan Morrison scored from third base on a sacrifice bunt by Daniel Robertson that lifted the Rays in front 1-0.Toronto got to business in the bottom of the frame, when Rays starter Chris Archer walked Darwin Barney.After a groundout by Kevin Pillar, Alex Colome came in to pitch for the Rays and Bautista lashed his milestone hit off the wall in left, a double that scored Barney to tie the game.“I’ll get to enjoy it when my career’s over and hopefully I’ll get some more,” Bautista said. So it’s always fun when you can do it while contributing to a win.”A single by Russell Martin that just fell fair down the right-field line brought Bautista home with the winning run and a pinch-hit single by Ezequiel Carrera added an insurance marker.The game began with a bit of a stir when Archer threw a pitch behind Bautista’s back in the first inning. The Blue Jays were amped up for their game against the Tampa Bay Rays and one of the reasons was the return of their young flamethrower, who was sidelined by a blister issue on the middle finger of his right hand.The blister was caused by the fingernail irritating the skin when Sanchez threw, with the curveball the primary aggrieving pitch.Sanchez opted to have a portion of the nail removed during a surgical procedure in an effort to find some relief. And he had been sidelined about two weeks before being cleared to return to work on the weekend.But it was a short shift – three batters and 13 pitches in the first inning before Sanchez excused himself after the nail split, causing it to bleed.The Blue Jays were able to recover from that body blow, scoring three runs in an adventurous eighth inning to subdue the Rays 3-1 before close to 43,000 at Rogers Centre. “I’ve got blisters on my fingers,” Beatles drummer Ringo Starr once griped after extending himself during the recording of Helter Skelter in the late 1960s.Goodness knows what Aaron Sanchez was muttering as he stalked off the mound following an abbreviated one-inning outing for the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, but in all likelihood it was not fit for public consumption. “But it does kind of bring you back to the long time I’ve been here and the success that I’ve enjoyed. And the 2-1 series win over the Rays was their first series victory after seven straight setbacks to start the year.“We’ve had our struggles, obviously, this whole month between everything – defensively, hitting, pitching, bullpen,” Toronto relief pitcher Ryan Tepera said. Bautista simply held his ground in the batter’s box, glowering at Archer, who glowered back.The pitch prompted home plate umpire Jim Wolf to issue warnings to both benches.After Bautista flew out to right and was circling back across the infield to the dugout he exchanged words with Archer near the mound.Bautista was coy about the incident after the game, saying he had no idea if Archer might have been throwing at him with intent, something that Archer denied.“I was just trying to go inside and the ball got away from me a little bit,” he said.Toronto manager John Gibbons said the fact that the umpire issued a warning to both benches is an indication that Wolf thought something was untoward and that he hopes the league will take punitive action against Archer.“I would expect that there would be some sort of suspension with the way they [the league] handle things now,” Gibbons said. The Blue Jays also celebrated with the 1,000th hit of Jose Bautista’s Toronto career, a big run-scoring double in the eighth that helped spark the comeback.The Blue Jays (8-17) have posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Oilers underwhelm in 6-3 loss to Ducks

The opposite happened. They outshot the Ducks 28-27, and outhit them 47-39. The excitement is anticipatory for not only what might happen now, but in future years.“It is a good time to be Edmonton mayor. “Now Gretzky is back and everything is the way it should be. He didn’t have that sort of magic on Sunday night.“We stole one in Game 2 we ultimately didn’t deserve to win,” McDavid said. “I have some added testosterone as a result of this whole playoff experience.“The growth potential of this team reminds me of the last dynasty. He was nine when he saw his first game live – the night of Oct. It trickled past Cam Talbot, the first easy one the Oilers goalie has allowed in nine postseason games. “We have proved it all year.” He ended up allowing all six goals.“For all the good work Cam has done for us this year, we have to pick one up for him,” Letestu said.It took Anaheim only 25 seconds to take the lead on a breakaway by Rickard Rakell, the fastest postseason goal in franchise history. The door is now open for the Ducks, who will spend the next two days 900 kilometres away in Kelowna, B.C.They were wary about staying in Edmonton and having to cope with the Oilers’ ardent supporters.About 1,000 Edmonton fans made the 2,800-kilometer trip to Anaheim to take in the first two games. They had won four straight playoff games since that 7-0 stinker in Game 4 of the first round in San Jose.They were underwhelming again on Sunday night at Rogers Place, falling into a 3-0 deficit to the Ducks in the first period before dropping a 6-3 decision that relieves pressure on Anaheim. Game 5 will be back at the Honda Center on Friday.“It is better to be up 3-0 but ultimately (the Ducks) are a great team,” Connor McDavid, the Oilers captain, said. The third – Braden Holtby of Washington – was pulled in the second period on Saturday.Talbot led the NHL in games and saves during the regular season and tied for the most wins. The Ducks were in danger of falling behind 3-0 in the second-round series but can even it by winning Game 4 in Edmonton on Wednesday night. “We have couple days between the next game and will be able to refocus.“My expectation is that we will bounce back like we have all year.”Right from the beginning, it looked like the Ducks were finally solving Talbot, who had 39 saves in Friday night’s 2-1 victory and had stopped 75 of 79 shots in the first two games. Silfverberg put them up 2-0 five minutes later on only their second shot. “It is a long series and we are still in a decent spot.”Edmonton made it interesting by scoring three straight goals to tie the game in the second period. It is probably not a surprise that the Oilers would have a letdown. Then Maroon deflected a deflection by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with 39 seconds left to start the Oilers on the way to a comeback.Anton Slepyshev was credited with a goal when a puck bounced off defenceman Shea Theodore in a scrum in front of the net to trim the margin to 3-2 1:28 into the second period. The whole city is swept up in the excitement, including Don Iveson, the Edmonton mayor.He was five years old when he accompanied his dad to the Oilers’ first Stanley Cup parade in 1984. The Ducks added two more in the third period to pull away – Jakob Silfverberg’s second goal of the night and one by Ryan Kesler.“We came out flat,” Patrick Maroon said. But after tying it up, they let it get away.“The hole at the start was too big to come back from,” Mark Letestu, the Edmonton centre, said. Nobody even noticed when it snowed last week.”The Oilers gave one of the two games back that they won in Anaheim, but can take a commanding lead with a victory at home on Wednesday.“Ours is a good team that never gives up,” Maroon said. When Ryan Getzlaf added a third goal with 9:19 left before the first intermission, the game was threatening to get out of hand. The battle lines are clear.”Iveson is in his 16th day of growing a playoff beard. “I don’t think the opportunity for us is lost. I think we are in a good position.”The Oilers played marginally better than in a 2-1 victory in Anaheim on Friday night. A second before, the 20-year-old had reversed direction suddenly to shed his defender and make room for himself to take the shot.Chris Wagner answered less than a minute later, firing from a bad angle on one side of the net. The last was a wicked wrist shot by McDavid. We are still up 2-1.“We have to learn from our first period, and take Game 4 on. They raised a ruckus in Honda Center, and chanted in bars and restaurants late into the night as they celebrated two somewhat unexpected victories.The Oilers received a wild welcome back on Sunday. 25, 1988, when Wayne Gretzky returned to Edmonton for the first time following his trade to Los Angeles.“I got to see the Oilers win, but I had really conflicted emotions,” Iveson, 37, said. He decided to grow one as a means of coping with the Oilers’ loss to San Jose in the first game of their first playoff series since 2006.The mayor had one when the team went on its last previous postseason run, but had to shave it off. “We definitely deserve to win this game tonight.”Talbot spent two seasons with the Rangers as the backup to Swedish star Henrik Lundqvist before being acquired by the Oilers in June of 2015 for three draft picks.Earlier in the day, Talbot had said the Oilers would do everything possible to keep from giving Anaheim new life. Then McDavid scored for the third time in the playoffs and it seemed that the Oilers were about to escape.It wasn’t to be for a lot of reasons – a leaky defence and subpar goaltending among them.The game was out of character for the normally solid Talbot.Two of the three candidates for the Vezina Trophy – Montreal’s Carey Price and Sergei Bobrovsky of Columbus – are on teams already eliminated from postseason. He got married on June 17, 2006, the day the Oilers defeated Carolina to extend the Stanley Cup finals to seven games.“I am hoping to look like a mountain man by sometime in June this year,” Iveson said. Nearly everyone dressed in orange, and at times the clamour raised was ear-splitting.

Toronto Argonauts announce veteran offensive lineman Jeff Perrett has retired

Perrett also received the Jake Gaudaur Veterans Trophy in 2015, given annually to the CFL player who exemplifies the qualities of Canada’s military.The Argos also released receivers Dobson Collins, R.J. All were Americans. The Als took Perrett in the third round (24th overall) of the 2006 CFL draft.The 33-year-old native of Taber, Alta., appeared in 166 regular-season games with Montreal and helped the team win two Grey Cups during his tenure. Veteran offensive lineman Jeff Perrett has retired, the Toronto Argonauts announced Monday.The six-foot-seven, 320-pound Perrett signed with Toronto after spending 10 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. Harris and Jameon Lewis, defensive backs Santavious Bryant and Jabriel Washington, linebacker Trevonti Barber and kicker Ryan Hawkins.

World champion curlers Homan, Gushue to headline field at Roar of the Rings

6-12 Road to the Roar Pre-Trials at Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I. Teams could lock up berths by winning a national title (and reaching the podium at the world championship), winning a Home Hardware Canada Cup or via performance on the Canadian Team Ranking System.Canadian curling teams have reached the podium in every Olympic curling competition since the sport was re-introduced as a medal sport at the 1998 Nagano Games.Jones earned a direct berth into the 2013 Roar of the Rings before winning the Trials and then Olympic gold. 2-10 competition at the Canadian Tire Centre will serve as the qualifying event in four-player curling for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Gushue, from St. 2-7 qualifying event at a site to be determined.The Pyeongchang Games will be held Feb. World champions Brad Gushue and Rachel Homan will headline the field at the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.The Dec. Two men’s teams and two women’s teams from that 24-team field will qualify for the Olympic Trials.The qualifying process for the Roar of the Rings began in the 2014-15 season. John’s, and Homan, from Ottawa, both went undefeated at their respective world championships after winning national titles earlier in the season. Marie, Ont., Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers, Toronto’s John Epping, Calgary’s Kevin Koe, Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen.Reigning Olympic women’s champion Jennifer Jones will join Homan in the women’s field along with Calgary’s Chelsea Carey, Winnipeg’s Michelle Englot, Alli Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., and Edmonton’s Val Sweeting.The complete field will be rounded out after the Nov. Seven men’s teams and seven women’s teams had their participation for the Trials confirmed Monday in a release by Curling Canada.Joining Gushue in the men’s field are reigning Olympic champion Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. 9-25. They dropped a 6-5 decision to Switzerland’s Martin Rios and Jenny Perret in the final.Curlers who qualify for the Olympics in the four-man or four-woman team events will not be allowed to represent Canada in mixed doubles.Canada’s mixed doubles pairing for the Games will be determined at a Jan. Jacobs came out of the Road to the Roar competition before winning the Trials and an Olympic title.The Road to the Roar field is expected to be finalized later this month.Curlers will have another way to represent their country at the 2018 Games now that mixed doubles is on the Olympic program.Canada secured a berth in the Olympic field at last week’s world mixed doubles curling championship in Lethbridge, Alta.Edmonton’s Joanne Courtney — who plays second on Homan’s team — won silver with Carruthers.

More number crunching needed before committee decides on Calgary Olympic bid

That included Salt Lake City, Turin and Vancouver. No, we have not,” said Hanson.“We’re still waiting and drilling down to get the numbers we need because there’s only one thing this committee has, and that is credibility that we’re doing the job properly.” If so, the group must then decide whether it’s prudent to bid. In an interim report released Monday, the committee did not say whether it is leaning in any one direction, but said it’s on track to make a recommendation to city council in July.Hanson said based on polling and consultations so far, many Calgarians like the idea of hosting the games, but have questions about the price tag and security.“One of the things that’s so evident in talking to the community is they’re saying, ‘We don’t want to be surprised. For instance, Calgary will need to have two full-sized arenas and to update or replace the out-of-date ski jump at Canada Olympic Park.Hanson added that having venues clustered together both in the city and the mountains would help bring down security costs.“Have we, as a committee, landed on a yes or no? We want to know what it’s going to cost.“’The funding required by cities that hosted recent Winter Games has averaged around $3.2 billion, the report said. Sochi was treated as an outlier because of its significantly higher costs.However, Hanson said it’s tough to know how Calgary would compare as it has some existing facilities from the 1988 Winter Games that could be used again, thereby lowering the costs.“We’ve got venues that are in really good shape still,” he said.New facilities and upgrades will be needed, though, as the number of events and athletes has doubled since 1988. We don’t want to kind of be overwhelmed by how good it feels to host the games… More number-crunching is needed to determine whether Calgary should vie to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the chair of the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee said Monday.The 17-member committee chaired by former police chief Rick Hanson is weighing whether it’s feasible for Calgary and nearby Rocky Mountain communities to successfully host the games in a financially responsible manner.

Toronto Blue Jays place Aaron Sanchez on 10-day disabled list with split nail

The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Danny Barnes from triple-A Buffalo in a corresponding move.Toronto started a three-game series at the New York Yankees on Monday. The Toronto Blue Jays have placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a split nail on his right middle finger.It’s Sanchez’s second trip to the disabled list this season.He returned from the 10-day DL due to a blister on the same finger in time to start Toronto’s game Sunday against Tampa Bay, but left after the first inning after suffering bleeding and stinging pain underneath the nail.