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and shoot open 3s,"

  • There is no doubting Ales Hemsky has been a nice addition to the Senators lineup. Dante Exum Jazz Jersey . Over the past two games, Hemsky has assisted on six goals and found instant chemistry with Jason Spezza. For most of the season, Sens fans bemoaned the fact that Spezza was not playing with quality wingers. These last two games with Hemsky have only served to tease everyone, wondering what could have been if Hemsky was riding shotgun with Spezza all season long. But would the Senators be sitting in a playoff spot if they had acquired Hemsky a few months ago? Since Im officially banned from using the phrase "probably not" in this town, I will instead answer by saying I think its highly doubtful the Senators would be sitting in a playoff spot if Hemsky had been here since October. Ottawas big issue this season has been in their own end. And to be brutally honest, that has been their biggest problem since Paul MacLean took over as head coach a couple of years ago. To MacLeans credit, he has drastically improved the offense on this team. When they missed the playoffs in Cory Cloustons last season at the helm, Ottawa scored just 193 goals and was one of only three NHL teams who failed to crack the 200-goal barrier in 2010-11. So heading into MacLeans first season, the big question was: Who is going to score goals for the Senators? But MacLean worked his offensive magic and had terrific seasons from the likes of Spezza, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson and the team ended up scoring 249 goals and ranking in the top five in the NHL in that category. Thats a remarkable transformation; bottom five in the league in goals one year to top five the next. But Ottawas defensive game showed no real improvement in that first season under MacLean. They ranked 24th in goals against under Clouston (giving up 250 goals) and they also ranked 24th in goals against under MacLean (giving up 240 goals). In fact, no team that made the playoffs in 2012 allowed more regular season goals than the Senators. And when you give up as many goals as the Senators do, you either make the playoffs by the skin of your teeth - or miss them altogether. This trend appears to be rearing its ugly head again this season, as the Senators have no real problems scoring goals. They currently rank in the top half of the Eastern Conference in goals scored with 185 - more than playoff-bound teams like Montreal, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers. But the Senators have surrendered an astounding 213 goals this season - the second-worst total in the entire NHL.  And no matter how many goals Hemsky would have added to the offensive side of the ledger, its hard to imagine how he would have helped with the defensive breakdowns that have been problematic with this team for months. A lot of people will point to the lockout-shortened season a year ago, where the Senators were the stingiest team in the Eastern Conference, sporting a 2.08 GAA. But last year needs to be taken with a grain of salt because it was only a 48-game schedule and the Senators were still giving up a ton of quality chances.  Take a look at Ottawas NHL ranking in shots allowed/game since MacLean took over and you will see they didnt actually have a great defensive improvement in that department last season: Shots Allowed/Game (NHL Rank) 2011-12: 32.0/game (29th in NHL)2012-13: 31.3/game (23rd in NHL)2013-14: 34.4/game (28th in NHL) Even though the Senators were near the top of the league in GAA in 2012-13, they were still giving up too many shots and chances each night. They werent necessarily playing a tough, defensive style. Instead, they were bailed out by unbelievable goaltending that was producing numbers that were never going to be sustainable for the long-term.  Craig Anderson, for example, had a .933 save percentage while short-handed last season - a number that has tumbled by more than 100 points this year. In short, the Senators brilliant goaltending masked the issues for this team last season. Now that the goaltending has been average this season, it highlights the defensive issues that have been around for the better part of three seasons. The best teams in the NHL over the past three years - like Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles - have all ranked in the top 10 in fewest shots allowed. Even a team like the Blackhawks, who have the reputation of being offensive-oriented, have allowed the fourth-fewest shots against this season. Again, MacLean deserves a ton of credit for turning this team into an offensive juggernaut. And if Hemsky re-signs next season, there is every reason to believe he can flourish in this system. But now is the time that MacLean and his staff need to fix the defensive flaws with this team.  He is trying to implement a similar system he used in Detroit when they won the Stanley Cup in 2007-08. That season, the Red Wings had no trouble scoring goals, ranking third in the NHL in that department. But they also allowed the fewest shots per game at 23.5 - the best number in the entire league. The offensive comparisons to Detroit are accurate, but its the defensive game for Ottawa that still has miles to go. Bryan Murray didnt make any trades involving defensemen at the deadline because the organization believes they have the right personnel on the back end. If thats the case, its the system that needs to be adjusted moving forward. So when it comes to the re-build that started a couple of years ago, its fair to say the Senators are only halfway there. John Stockton Jersey . -- Novak Djokovic benefited from an erroneous call and claimed he didnt realize he had broken the rules. Adrian Dantley Jersey . Trailing by a goal after 20 minutes of play, Joe Pavelski responded with three goals and an assist as the Sharks snapped a two-game losing skid with a 5-2 victory over the struggling Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.INDIANAPOLIS - Klay Thompson seized the moment twice Tuesday night. With a victory seemingly slipping away late in the third quarter, his quick scoring flurry helped Golden State regain control early in the fourth. Then, when it seemed the Warriors wouldnt be able to hold off Indianas late charge, he knocked down a 12-foot turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds to go, giving the Warriors a rare 98-96 victory in Indianapolis. "Well take any win we can get in this building," Thompson said. "This team is real good here. Theyre the best in the NBA (at home). To come here and get a win, its huge, especially on this road trip." Thompson was terrific in his dramatic closing act. He started the quarter by making his first three shots and finished with 16 of his 25 points over the final 12 minutes — none bigger than the baseline fadeaway he hit over George Hill. For the Warriors (37-24), it was a monumental victory. They have won five of six and are 6-2 since the All-Star break. They have matched last seasons road victory total (19), the first time theyve achieved the feat in back-to-back seasons since 1970-71 and 1971-72, and they snapped a six-game losing streak in Indy that dated to Feb. 5, 2007. The victory also gives Golden State the distinction of being the only team in the league this season with wins at Miami, the two-time defending league champion, and at Indiana, which owns the leagues best record and best home record (29-4). The Warriors can thank Thompson for bailing them out after blowing a 13-point lead with less than 6 1/2 minutes to go. "He was great," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "Hes durable and you take him for granted. Hes a guy whos never missed a game. He was big-time." It was a stinging loss for the Pacers (46-14), who had won five straight and could have clinched a playoff spot in front of a sellout crowd. Paul George had 12 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, missing a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left and the 29-foot buzzer beater that would have won it as he fell into the scorers table. David West had 27 points and seven rebounds. Yet the leagues top-ranked defence allowed Golden State to shoot 44 per ceent from the field and make 10 of 20 3s — the latest uncharacteristic showing against the NBAs third-best team in defending the arc. Custom Utah Jazz Jerseys. The only good thing was that the Pacers didnt lose any ground in the chase for the top seed in the East. Theyre still two games ahead of Miami after the Heat lost at Houston. But West knows the Pacers cant continue to rely on beating up bad teams and cranking up the intensity when necessary. "Mentally, weve got to be way tougher than we are because its time, you know, its just time," West said. "Its just not something that you can just say a week before the playoffs, say, OK. Youve got to work your way into it. But as a group, its time. Weve got a tough three-game trip coming up and its just time." The Warriors sure made things tough on the Pacers. They took a 10-8 first-quarter lead and didnt give it up until Lance Stephenson scored on a layup that made it 56-54 with 7:29 left in the third. Golden State started pulling away again with an 8-0 run late in the third, then fended off another Indiana spurt that got the Pacers to 73-70 after three. Thats when Thompson got involved. After making two free throws, he hit an 18-footer, a 3 and a 16-footer to give Golden State an 84-74 lead. When he hit his third 3 with 6:23 to go, the lead was 92-79 and the Pacers appeared to be doomed. "They caused us to protect the basket, which was a chain reaction to kick the ball out and shoot open 3s," George said. Indiana came right back. West, George and Roy Hibbert accounted for all the points in a 12-0 run that suddenly tied the score at 94 with 2:13 to go. But the Warriors regained the lead on David Lees layup and, after George tied it at 96 with 1:06 left, he missed an open 3. Thompson then hit the go-ahead basket and the Warriors celebrated as Georges potential winner was short. "It felt great. To hit that shot, Im not going to lie, it felt great," Thompson said. "I proved to people I can make that shot and I wanted that shot." NOTES: Stephen Curry had 19 points for the Warriors but did not score in the fourth quarter. ... Stephenson had 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists for Indiana. ... Golden State was 14 of 21 from the free throw line. China NFL Gear Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL White Jerseys Cheap NFL Hoodies Stitched Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys ' ' '
      July 4, 2018 9:35 PM MDT
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