Thomas enters on passing downs

#1 by Cl11234566 , Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:06 am

PITTSBURGH -- Nathan MacKinnon has been compared to Sidney Crosby for much of his life. The two grew up in the same Canadian town and both went No. 1 in the NHL draft. Now they get to take a much closer look at each other. MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche visit Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night in the first NHL matchup of the pride of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Catch the game on TSN2 starting at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. The Avalanche and Penguins are each off to a 7-1 start, with MacKinnon and Crosby playing a key role. The 26-year-old Crosby has seven goals and 10 assists for a league-best 17 points. MacKinnon, who turned 18 on Sept. 1, has a goal and six assists. MacKinnon called Crosby the best player in the world and said the centre is "on fire right now." But MacKinnon is focused on what he needs to do to help the Avalanche get another win. "Any time hes out there when youre not on the ice, you sometimes get to enjoy and watch some good players when youre playing against them," he said. "But when youre out there, you dont worry about who youre playing against. You worry about what you have to do." Crosby knows a lot about what MacKinnon is going through in his first year in the NHL. Crosby, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft, faced high expectations when he was an 18-year-old rookie and had 102 points in his first season with Pittsburgh. MacKinnon became one of the leagues top prospects when he starred for Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the previous two seasons. He was the most valuable player of the Memorial Cup in May, leading his team to the title. "Obviously he skates really well, and I dont think you see too many young guys that can shoot the puck like he can in their first year," Crosby said. "I think hes got a great shot. I think hes got all the tools -- really good hands, he works hard, and hes not afraid to go into traffic areas and create chances that way. So I think he gives himself a lot of opportunities to create things." The Avalanche struggled during last years lockout-shortened season, but they have been one of the leagues surprise teams so far this year under new coach Patrick Roy, a Hall of Fame goaltender. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he expects to see a young team with fresh legs and a lot of speed on Monday night, and MacKinnon is certainly part of that mix. Hailing from the same hometown as one of the NHLs best players puts a lot of pressure on a rising player. But Crosby believes guys such as MacKinnon and Seth Jones -- a defenceman who was the Nashville Predators first-round draft pick this year -- are better prepared for the NHL due to their extensive experience coming into the league. "Both (MacKinnon) and Seth Jones were talked about for a long time," Crosby said. "Theyve been through everything -- World Cup, World Juniors, and all that stuff. So I think everything has prepared them to get to this point and, as everyone has seen pretty quickly here, it hasnt taken them long to get used to NHL hockey. Theyve adjusted well." Athletics Jerseys 2020 . These teams will see plenty of each other in the next few weeks as three of the Canucks next nine games are against the Wild (after today they meet February 9th in Minnesota and again February 16th at Rogers Arena). Chris Bassitt Athletics Jersey . LOUIS - Two-thirds of the St. -- Augusta James of Bath, Ont. Athletics Jerseys 2019 Oakland Athletics Shirts .com) - Stanley Johnson had 18 points and No.The New Orleans Saints offence ranked fourth in total yards in 2013, while quarterback Drew Brees finished behind only NFL MVP Peyton Manning in passing yards. In 2014, the Saints will have the offensive weapons to compete for the title of the leagues preeminent offence. The Saints will be without offensive stalwarts of the past Darren Sproles and Lance Moore this season, after Sproles was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and Moore was cut in the offseason. However, the Saints replaced Moore with first-round draft pick Brandin Cooks and previously had the running back depth to move Sproles. The group of receivers Brees will throw to this year may be more talented than any other unit in the league, featuring veterans Marques Colston and Robert Meachem joined with speedsters Cooks and Kenny Stills. Coltson posted less than 1,000 yards receiving last year for the first time since 2008 - when he only played in 11 games. His final stat line was 75 catches for 943 yards and five touchdowns. Yet, Colston was bothered by a foot injury in each of his past two seasons and claims to be in full health entering his age 31 season. "Its a totally different experience for me just being able to really rest and come into the season healthy," Colston told ESPN after reporting to training camp. Colston is slated to open the season as the receiver across from Stills. Stills, selected in the fifth round (144th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft, took defences by surprise in his rookie season, averaging 20 yards per catch. Stills finished with 32 receptions for 641 yards and five touchdowns. Hes primed to top those marks in 2014 as an every-week starter. By all accounts, Cooks impressed the Saints coaches, players and media throughout training camp and should be a key contributor to the teams explosive offence this season. Cooks posted an astounding 128 catches for 1730 yaards at Oregon State University in 2013.dddddddddddd He also rushed for 217 yards on 32 carries. Meachem and third-year receiver Nick Toon should complete the teams strong receiving corps. The biggest playmaker for the offence will not carry wide receiver title, despite his off-season attempt to earn the designation. Tight end Jimmy Graham will once again be the focal point for the offence in 2014, after leading the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season. Brees favourite weapon posted a league-high 16 touchdowns in 2013 and the only thing holding him back from repeating as the scoring leader may be added competition. The Saints offence will be balanced by running backs Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. Thomas led the team with 549 yards rushing last season and added 77 receptions for 513 yards. Ingram and Robinson, however, are expected to compete for feature back duties this season as Thomas enters on passing downs.With playmakers across the offence, the Saints will be in prime position to compete with Mannings Broncos, amongst others, for the title of 2014s top offence. Notes Defensive Additions: The Saints defence surprised offences in 2013, finishing as a top-five group in their first year under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. In the offseason, the Saints added to the group with the signing of safety Jarius Byrd and cornerback Champ Bailey. Byrd will join 2013 first-round Kenny Vaccaro on the back-end of the Saints defence, while Bailey could draw starts opposite Keenan Lewis. Kicker Controversy: The Saints have yet to name their starting kicker for the 2014 season after a competition between incumbent Shayne Graham and Dimke has been a dead heat. The Saints will either cut one while trimming their roster to 53 men and keep the other, or cut both and sign a kicker cut by another team. ' ' '

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Date registered 10.23.2019


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