Blackhawks: Visit Winnipeg on Saturday night.

in Was ist neu im Forum? 20.08.2018 04:31
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To say that the Green Bay Packers had a disappointing season in 2017 is akin to saying that the Cleveland Browns struggled to win games. It's technically true http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jonathan-cooper-jersey , but it doesn't begin to tell the whole story.聽When superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down in Week 6 with a broken collarbone, the Packers went from contender to pretender in the blink of an eye. It was a stark reminder that as goes No. 12, so goes Green Bay. And at 34 years old, Rodgers' championship window isn't getting any wider.That made the edict clear for new general manager Brian Gutekunst and the Packers in 2018: Improve the roster on both sides of the ball to again be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.As the dust settles around the 2018 NFL draft, a quick look at the Packers roster shows that Gutekunst did his best to accomplish that goal.As Jason Wilde reported for the Wisconsin State Journal, head coach Mike McCarthy praised Gutekunst's first go-round calling the shots in the Green Bay war room."I thought he did good. I thought he did real good," McCarthy said. "He was confident, knew the board and he knew exactly what he wanted. Very composed.Green Bay GM Brian GutekunstMike Roemer/Associated Press"He needs to work on his introduction to the new players [after each pick]. And his handoff [of the telephone] to the head coach needs to be better. But we'll get that right next year."Quips aside, the Packers draft class that's been generally well-received by pundits, with Lance Zierlein of NFL.com ranking it among the 10 best in the league.Early in the draft, Green Bay's focus was improving a pass defense that allowed 236.8 yards per game in 2017鈥?3rd in the league. First-round pick Jaire Alexander of Louisville was the top-ranked cornerback on Mike Mayock of NFL Network's draft board other than Denzel Ward. In addition to Alexander, who allowed just one completion per 50 coverage snaps last year, the Packers picked up the New Orleans Saints' first-round pick in 2019 when they slid back 13 spots in Round 1.Gutekunst went with a cornerback double-dip on Day 2. Bad combine or no, the fact that Iowa's Josh Jackson, who led the FBS with eight interceptions a year ago, was still on the board at No. 45 was one of the bigger surprises of the draft.Per Wilde, it was a gift that Gutekunst just couldn't pass up."We were pretty surprised that Josh lasted as long as he did Joseph Noteboom Jersey Rams ," Gutekunst said. "You're playing through all the scenarios as we started to get close to our pick, and you had a certain number of players (ranked) A, B, C, D."Packers second-round pick Josh JacksonMatthew Holst/Getty Images"We really liked (Washington wide receiver Dante) Pettis, but our A聽was there. So, we went with it."It was a continuation of an overhaul in the secondary that's been going on since early in free agency. In addition to the youngsters, the Packers also brought back veterans Davon House and Tramon Williams.Those additions should more than offset the losses of Damarious Randall and Morgan Burnett, and combined with players like Kevin King, Josh Jones and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Packers now possess a defensive backfield loaded with talent, youth and athleticism.Some eyebrows went up when the Packers didn't address the pass rush in the draft. But Green Bay wasn't terrible in that regard (17th in the league with 37 sacks) in 2017. The team has a pair of capable rush linebackers in Nick Perry and Clay Matthews. The pair combined for 14.5 sacks last season.And to be fair, the Packers did make an addition that could bolster the pass rush in 2018鈥攁 potentially huge one.Muhammad Wilkerson's last two seasons with the New York Jets were admittedly something of a mess. But in 2015, Wilkerson had 12 sacks and made the Pro Bowl. If he can come close to recapturing past form, the one-year, $5 million pact he signed with the Pack will be one of free agency's biggest steals.Muhammad WilkersonAl Pereira/Getty ImagesWith Wilkerson flanking Mike Daniels on the defensive line, Perry and Matthews should be that much freer to wreak havoc in the backfield.Wilkerson wasn't the only big name who joined the team in free agency Youth Tre'Quan Smith Jersey , either. In a departure from the Ted Thompson era, Gutekunst wasn't shy about landing big fish on the open market.The addition of Jimmy Graham gives Rodgers the best tight end of his career. Over the last two seasons in Seattle, the 31-year-old found the end zone 16 times. He's averaged 8.7 touchdowns a season over his eight-year career.As Mike Spofford reported for the team's website, one selling point above all others lured Graham to Green Bay: the opportunity to chase a championship with Rodgers.Jimmy GrahamRonald Martinez/Getty Images"For me, it's about winning a ring, simple as that," Graham said. "I know this team. I know Aaron's hungry, I know the coaching staff's hungry, this franchise is hungry to win one. That was the defining factor for me."Graham isn't Rodgers' only new passing-game playmate in 2018. Fourth-round pick J'Mon Moore is a big-bodied wideout who was the second receiver in Missouri history to post two 1,000-yard seasons. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was taken in Round 5, is a tantalizing mix of size (6'4") and speed (4.37-second 40). Sixth-rounder Equanimeous St. Brown (given name: Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown) is an even lankier target at 6'5" with 4.48-second wheels of his own.That's a whole boatload of potential.Yes, Jordy Nelson's gone. And it's possible that Nelson's lousy numbers in 2017 had as much to do with Brett Hundley's play at quarterback as it did Nelson's age. But there's no denying those numbers were聽way聽down last year鈥攈is 482 receiving yards were Nelson's fewest since 2009.It's fair to ask if the 32-year-old is in decline.Then, of course, there's the return of Rodgers himself. The two-time MVP is arguably the league's best player at inarguably the most important position in football. And while much was written about Rodgers' unhappiness with some moves the team made (including Nelson's release) The playoff field for the Western Conference is almost set.

Patrik Berglund and St. Louis are going to Colorado to try for the final spot.

Berglund scored three times to help the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Friday night, setting up a showdown with the Avalanche for the conference’s last wild card.

”When you have to win your last game, it’s intense Derrius Guice Youth Jersey ,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. ”Obviously there’s lot of pressure. I hope our guys embrace that because it’s going to be a fun game.”

Carter Hutton made 19 saves as St. Louis stopped a three-game slide that included a 4-3 home loss to Chicago on Wednesday night on Duncan Keith’s power-play goal with 8.5 seconds left. Jaden Schwartz also scored in the third after an ugly turnover by the Blackhawks.

St. Louis (44-31-6) moved one point ahead of idle Colorado (42-30-9) heading into their finale Saturday night. The Blues have won three of four against the Avalanche this season.

Colorado needs a regulation win to make it to the postseason, while St. Louis takes the spot if it goes to overtime.

”Final game, 82 all on the line at Denver,” Hutton said.

Erik Gustafsson scored for Chicago, and Jean-Francois Berube made 31 saves. The last-place Blackhawks (33-38-10) finished with an 18-18-5 record at home.

Veteran forward Patrick Sharp got the start in what was likely his final game at the United Center. The 36-year-old Sharp, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in his 15th NHL season, said he probably will retire after the finale Saturday night in his native Winnipeg.

”It’s never easy, but I’m just ready to take that next step in my life, and I’m looking forward to it,” Sharp said.

The team honored Sharp with a highlight video in the third period, and he waved his stick and tapped his heart to acknowledge the sustained roar from what was left of the announced crowd of 22,218. With his parents, wife and children watching from the stands, he took another spin around the rink after the game was over and waved as the crowd cheered again.

”It was a tough game out there, tough to concentrate with what was going on inside my head,” said Sharp, a key part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Chicago. ”But thankful that I was able to do that. The Hawks put that video on for me in the third which was really special. The guys staying on the ice and making me do a lap was something I’ll always remember. So Authentic B.J. Hill Jersey , special night.”

Berglund redirected a shot by Joel Edmundson past Berube with 1:43 left in the first period. The Blues carried the 1-0 lead into the third, but Gustafsson whipped a wrist shot by Hutton on the stick side at 8:08.

Just 16 seconds later, Berglund swept in from the side and poked home a rebound for his 16th of the season. After Brayden Schenn set up Schwartz’s one-timer at 12:40, Berglund added an empty-netter to complete his second career hat trick.

”I think we all played a pretty good game today,” Berglund said. ”It’s good for everybody’s confidence and now we know what we have to do tomorrow.”

NOTES: The Blackhawks honored Hall of Fame forward Stan Mikita with ”One More Shift” before the game. The 77-year-old Mikita, who is the franchise’s career leader in games played, points and assists and is second in goals to Bobby Hull, has a brain disorder called Lewy body dementia, so his three grandsons represented him on the ice for the national anthem. … Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury. Anthony Duclair (lower body), John Hayden (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (illness) also were scratched, and Chicago went with seven defensemen. … The Blues scratched G Jake Allen, and G Ville Husso was the backup for Hutton. Allen is expected to start against the Avalanche in the finale.


Blues: Visit Colorado on Saturday night.

Blackhawks: Visit Winnipeg on Saturday night.

Jay Cohen can be reached at .

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