Monthly Archives: September 2015

Zdeno Chara leaves game with upper-body injury

BOSTON — Bruins jerseys defenseman Zdeno Chara jerseys suffered an upper-body injury during the first period of Thursday night’s 4-3 shootout win against the New York Rangers jerseys at TD Garden and did not return cheap nhl jerseys.

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Coach Claude Julien said Saturday that Chara has been given the weekend off and will be re-evaluated Monday. Chara was listed as day-to-day by Julien on Friday.

In his first exhibition game of the preseason cheap jerseys, the Bruins captain played three shifts and logged 1:57 of ice time before he suffered the injury. He controlled the puck near the Bruins’ bench, and after he dumped it in, the Rangers’ Ryan Bourque jerseys checked Chara into the boards.

Chara had the worst season of his career in 2014-15 after dealing with a knee injury. He never regained his top form after returning to the lineup in December and suffered a broken ankle near the end of the season but continued to play wholesale jerseys. He arrived at training camp healthy and motivated to rebound from last season wholesale nhl jerseys.

The Bruins are already without defenseman Dennis Seidenberg jerseys, who had back surgery jerseys Thursday and will be sidelined for eight weeks.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick to remain starter when Geno returns

Ryan Fitzpatrick jerseys will remain the starting quarterback of the Jets jerseys once Geno Smith jerseys is healthy enough to re-enter the picture.

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Jets jerseys coach Todd Bowles confirmed the plan during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, a day after Fitzpatrick and the Jets jerseys improved to 2-0 with a 20-7 win jerseys over the Indianapolis Colts jerseys.

“Ryan is the starting quarterback right now,” said Bowles, per ESPN.com jerseys. “I mean, we’re going good. We have good chemistry and everything else wholesale nfl jerseys. Geno understands that. As we go, Ryan is our starting quarterback, and we’ll go forward from there.”

The confirmation is hardly a shock cheap jerseys. Smith’s standing within the organization took a permanent hit when he was slugged in the jaw by former teammate IK Enemkpali jerseys, the grand culmination of a lingering dispute over $600. The ensuing controversy could have sunk the Jets jerseys‘ season before it started, but Fitzpatrick has proved to be a steadying force in the locker room and on the field.

Smith — who underwent surgery to repair a fractured jaw last month — is believed to be two or three weeks away from a return. Expect Smith to be the team’s primary backup, with rookie Bryce Petty jerseys remaining in a developmental role.

Fitzpatrick has done a quality job over two starts wholesale jerseys, completing 37 of 58 passes (63.8 percent) for 423 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions cheap nfl jerseys. He has been sacked just once and has an above-average passer rating of 94.3.

Things can change in a hurry in the NFL, and Fitzpatrick has been known to go into turnover-rich slumps in his first 10 seasons. Still, don’t be stunned if Geno Smith jerseys never plays another meaningful snap for the Jets jerseys.

Sergei Gonchar hoping for 2nd stint with Penguins

CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Entering his 21st NHL season, defenseman Sergei Gonchar jerseys is focused on earning a second stint with the Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys.

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Gonchar was a defensive leader for the Penguins for five seasons from 2005-2010, including during Pittsburgh’s two Stanley Cup Final appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Gonchar said when he contemplated continuing his career cheap jerseys, he first thought of Pittsburgh.

”I just decided I want to give it another shot. I decided I wanted to play,” Gonchar said. ”You want to go somewhere where you have a chance to win and where you can compete every night. So, Pittsburgh was the obvious choice wholesale jerseys.

”It is strange, a bit (to be back in a Penguins jersey). But it didn’t take me long to adjust to it. ”

The 41-year-old has 220 goals and 811 points in 1,301 NHL games cheap nhl jerseys, but scored just one goal and 13 points with the Montreal Canadiens jerseys last season. But Gonchar feels he has enough skill left to contribute to a young Penguins defense.

”I think I do, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Gonchar said. ”Obviously, you have to compensate with your gap, with your read of the game. So, you have to keep it on those things. With your condition, you can only do so much. (The mental side of the game is) the stuff you can always improve.”

The Penguins’ defense, led by 28-year-old Kris Letang jerseys, will depend on a group of inexperienced defensemen after Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff jerseys left.

Because of their lack of experience, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said the Penguins would like to use eight defensemen wholesale nhl jerseys, which could increase Gonchar’s chances of making the roster.

”We want to start with eight defensemen just based on the competition we have going here,” Rutherford said. ”Each individual will take care of itself, based on how they play. Certainly, Gonchar will be a guy everybody will be watching. He’s had a very good career. We’ll see how much he has left. Can he keep the tempo?

”But he’s a smart player. I think he can contribute to our team. Now, we just have to watch these games.”

Gonchar had 54 goals and 259 points in 322 games with the Penguins. Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston complimented Gonchar’s career, while remarking that he has a legitimate chance to earn a spot on the opening day roster, if he impresses throughout training camp.

”Sergei Gonchar is a player people know well here,” Johnston said. ”You look at his track record, over 1,300 games, 800 points. He’s had a phenomenal track record at the NHL level. His puck decisions are really good. His poise with the puck is very good.

”(Gonchar) is a player we like because of how he plays. He can fit into our system. I want to see how he handles the camp, and how he handles the games.”

Kander comes to Minnesota to work magic with Wolves

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Arnie Kander was retired. The well-respected physical therapist and strength coach had called it a career and was assimilating to his first summer out of the NBA in nearly a quarter century.

He helped his son move to Boulder, Colorado wholesale nba jerseys, for grad school wholesale jerseys. He took a trip to New York. He even skipped summer league for the first time in 24 years.

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Just when Kander thought he was out, longtime friend Flip Saunders came calling and pulled him right back in. It took four trips to Minneapolis, meetings with Timberwolves players, coaches and staff and a couple of tours of the Twin Cities with his wife before Kander decided to pick and move to Minnesota to help his friend with one of the league’s long-struggling franchises.

”Originally I was retired. I was done,” Kander said about a week after the team announced his hiring as the new vice president of sports performance. ”My connection with Flip was the primary (reason). Everything else had to mesh. If it didn’t cheap jerseys, there’s not a chance. And there’s excitement. Coming in with a good young team. Players that are very open to hearing, seeing. Seems like the fit is right.”

Kander was one of the first full-time strength coaches to be hired by an NBA team when he started with the Detroit Pistons jerseys in 1992. Over more than two decades he developed an approach hallmarked by slow, deliberate, tai chi-centered warmups, unique ”contraptions” personally designed to help a player test how his body is feeling and homemade lotions and creams that aid the healing process.

The former ballet dancer once used frozen banana peels to help treat a hamstring injury on Chauncey Billups jerseys, has a series of boards at the practice facility that players use to test their knees, ankles and hips before they start working out and makes it a point to never ask players about any injuries they might be dealing with.

”We say, ‘How is life? How was your dinner last night?”’ Kander said. ”If you think of the game, it’s amazing the psychological aspects of injury cheap nba jerseys. Sometimes we stay too conscious on how is it feeling? The knee takes over the body, or the ankle or hip or ear or shoulder or whatever it may be.”

Kander worked with Saunders when he coached the Pistons from 2005-08, but the two knew each other long before that. Their families are close and Kander is also tight with new Timberwolves forward Tayshaun Prince jerseys, a longtime former Piston.

He also has a beautiful new practice facility that just opened this summer to call home. The Timberwolves partnered with the Mayo Clinic on the facility, which has a chef on site to cook healthy meals, an underwater treadmill and all the latest state-of-the-art training equipment.

The roster is also experiencing a renaissance, with Prince, Kevin Garnett jerseys and Andre Miller jerseys serving as veteran mentors to a group overflowing with young talent, including Andrew Wiggins jerseys, Karl-Anthony Towns jerseys, Ricky Rubio jerseys and Zach LaVine jerseys.

”I’m just fortunate to come in here and say ‘hallelujah,”’ Kander said. ”This is awesome.”

Of course his arrival also comes at a time when Saunders has had to take a leave from the team after experiencing complications in his treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Sam Mitchell has been elevated to interim head coach and GM Milt Newton is taking over primary responsibilities with the roster while Saunders is away.

”We’re friends. We’ve been very straight with each other through life circumstances,” Kander said. ”We all have kids. We all know what our journeys and struggles are throughout life. It’s a blessing to be here. Whatever situations are here, I’m here.”

In Minnesota he will collaborate with head athletic trainer Gregg Farnham to try to improve the health situation of a team that has been decimated by injuries in recent seasons. Rubio is coming off of ankle surgery, Shabazz Muhammad jerseys missed big chunks of time with an injured finger and Nikola Pekovic jerseys is recovering from surgery on his Achilles tendon aimed at repairing chronic foot issues that have plagued him the last two years.

”There’s a rationale and a method behind everything that you’re doing,” Kander said. ”And probably for me most important, always have something else you can do. Never be, ‘We’ve tried, there’s nothing else we can do.’

”There’s always something else we can do to heal it.”

Basketball-Lithuania, Serbia reach European championship semis

LILLE, France, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Former winners Lithuania booked a semi-final clash with Serbia after they beat Italy 95-85 in overtime, while the high-flying Serbs overpowered the Czech Republic in the European Championships on Wednesday.

Holders and hosts France meet Spain in the first semi-final on Thursday while the Serbs, aiming for their first title as an independent nation, clash with Lithuania on Friday.

The event is also doubling as an Olympic qualifying tournament with the top two sides advancing straight to the Rio Games next year, while the next five-ranked sides enter inter-continental qualifying tournaments for an extra three spots.

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The Italians threw away their last possession in regulation and were punished in overtime as Jonas Valanciunas jerseys capped an outstanding individual performance.

The Toronto Raptors jerseys centre racked up a game-high 26 points and 15 rebounds to cancel out Denver Nuggets jerseys‘ forward Danilo Galinari’s 17 points for the Italians.

“Italy always scores more than 80 points and before the game we discussed that we will have to score more if we’re going to win this cheap nba jerseys,” Lithuania coach Jonas Kazlauskas told the tournament website.

“It was the first time that we started planning from offence rather than defence.”

Playmaker Milos Teodosic once again pulled the strings for a fast-flowing Serbian team, dishing out 14 assists as forward Zoran Erceg led the scoring with 20 points on the back of strong long-range shooting wholesale jerseys.

Centre Jan Vesely jerseys, who had 23 points and 10 assists, and guard Tomas Satoransky jerseys kept the Czechs in touch until the final quarter when they ran out of steam.

Serbia coach Aleksandar Djordjevic jerseys, who won a haul of honours for the former Yugoslavia as a player in the 1990s, praised Teodosic.

“He is an unbelievable player cheap jerseys,” Djordjevic told reporters.

“His vision is unmatched and he is very special wholesale nba jerseys. I enjoy watching him even in training as he keeps producing things I have never seen before.”

Cubs-Pirates Preview

Having closed the gap on one division rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates Jerseys now hope to distance themselves from another.

A four-game series that could help decide home field for the NL wild card – and potentially more – gets underway Tuesday with a day-night doubleheader between the Pirates and visiting Chicago Cubs Jerseys.

Pittsburgh (86-56) is in position to host the wild-card game for a third straight year but has its eyes on a bigger prize. The Pirates have pulled within 2 1/2 games of first-place St. Louis in the NL Central with a 7-3 run they began by winning two of three from the Cardinals from Sept. 4-6.

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“We try to keep the mentality of just taking care of our game cheap jerseys, but you can’t help being aware (of the standings),” pitcher Jeff Locke jerseys told MLB’s official website.

Though the Pirates host St. Louis for three games to conclude September, they still can’t look past a Cubs team they’ll face seven times before then. Chicago (82-60) trails Pittsburgh by four games and is 39-32 on the road wholesale jerseys, the majors’ second-best winning percentage behind the Cardinals.

“Four one-game winning streaks would be great,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “If you start getting caught up in that big thing, it could really mess your head up. You just play that game and move on.”

Chicago could be accused of looking ahead after consecutive losses at lowly Philadelphia that followed a 7-1 stretch.

Chris Coghlan jerseys finished 4 for 5 in Sunday’s 7-4 loss to become the first Cubs player since 1950 with a home run and two triples in a game cheap mlb jerseys. He’s 10 for 25 through the first six of Chicago’s 11-game trip.

The Cubs draw another challenge with Gerrit Cole jerseys (16-8, 2.54 ERA) taking the mound in the opener on nine days’ rest from perhaps his best performance of the season – seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball in a 7-1 win over the Cardinals on Sept. 6. It was the latest successful September effort for the Pittsburgh ace, who is 9-2 with a 2.95 ERA in 13 career starts during the month.

Cole has been quite successful against the Cubs as well, winning his first six starts behind a 2.92 ERA before allowing two runs in six innings of a 4-1 road loss May 16. He yielded one unearned run and three hits over six innings in an 8-1 win at Wrigley Field on April 29.

Kris Bryant jerseys is 2 for 3 against Cole and batting .333 with two homers and seven RBIs over a seven-game hitting streak. Anthony Rizzo jerseys (5 for 11) and Starlin Castro jerseys (5 for 13) have also hit the right-hander well.

Jason Hammel jerseys (8-6, 3.59) gets the call for Chicago in the opener and seeks to win consecutive starts for the first time since June 1 and 6. The righty fanned six while allowing three runs in six-plus innings of an 8-5 decision over St. Louis on Sept. 8.

Hammel halted a three-start losing streak against Pittsburgh by surrendering four hits in eight innings of a 4-0 home win April 27. He was reached for three earned runs in a 4-3 defeat at PNC Park five days earlier.

Josh Harrison jerseys is 1 for 11 off Hammel but 9 for 19 over his last four games, and capped a stirring comeback with an RBI single in the 11th inning of Sunday’s 7-6 triumph over Milwaukee. The Pirates scored six unanswered runs to erase a 6-1 deficit in the bottom of the fourth.

The nightcap pits a pair of left-handers coming off strong starts in Pittsburgh’s J.A. Happ jerseys and the Cubs’ Jon Lester jerseys.

Happ (5-1, 1.79) was tagged for four runs and nine hits by Chicago in 4 1-3 innings wholesale mlb jerseys to lose his Pirates debut Aug. 4. He’s posted a 1.00 ERA in six games since and won a fifth straight start by allowing two runs over six-plus innings Wednesday in Cincinnati.

Lester (9-10, 3.50) held St. Louis to a run and two hits over seven innings Wednesday, but was denied a win when the Cardinals scored three times off Chicago’s bullpen in the eighth. The veteran did earn a victory when limiting Pittsburgh to a run in seven innings May 16.

Happ is 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA in five meetings with Chicago, with Rizzo 4 for 6 with a home run and two doubles off him and Castro 4 for 9 with a pair of doubles.

Raiders get good news on Carr’s hand injury

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — After a season opener when just about everything went wrong, the Oakland Raiders Jerseys finally got a piece of positive news.

Quarterback Derek Carr Jerseys‘s injured throwing hand that knocked him out of the game Sunday is not as serious as originally feared, and the Raiders are hopeful Carr will be able to play this week against Baltimore.

An MRI on Monday showed that Carr only had a bruise on his right hand. Carr even showed coach Jack Del Rio that he was able to squeeze a ball in a positive sign that he should be able to practice this week.

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”He was feeling good about it, feeling a lot better with the swelling having gone down quite a bit,” Del Rio said.

The Raiders are confident enough that Carr can play this week that they have no plans to sign a third quarterback to the active roster.

Carr hurt his hand when he tried to stiff-arm Adam Jones Jerseys on a scramble late in the second quarter. He was replaced by Matt McGloin Jerseys after that, and the Raiders lost 33-13 to the Bengals.

”Using his throwing hand to become a straight-arm tool, we would probably not ask him to repeat that,” Del Rio said.

Carr, who made all 16 starts as a rookie, struggled before the injury, going 7 of 12 for 61 yards.

Carr was not the only Raiders starter to leave the game with an injury. Safety Nate Allen Jerseys went down in the first quarter with a knee injury, fellow safety Charles Woodson Jerseys hurt his shoulder on a garbage-time drive in the fourth quarter and defensive tackle Justin Ellis Jerseys left early with an ankle injury.

Del Rio said Allen would miss time but could be back later this season. Del Rio had no results on Woodson’s MRI wholesale nfl jerseys, and Ellis’ injury is not believed to be serious.

The direst situation is at safety, where the only healthy bodies are Larry Asante Jerseys and recently acquired Keenan Lambert. Woodson and Allen wholesale jerseys, with more than 300 career starts, were expected to help cover up for an inexperienced cornerback group that struggled at times on Sunday.

Asante has started just two games since entering the league in 2010, and Lambert played just two defensive snaps in his debut as an undrafted rookie out of Norfolk State.

Del Rio said the team could add another safety this week.

Ellis was replaced mostly by Stacy McGee Jerseys, who struggled Sunday in his most extensive playing time since his rookie year in 2013.

Few players fared well in the opener as the Raiders fell behind 33-0 after three quarters and didn’t even run a play in Bengals’ territory until the fourth quarter.

”Bottom line is we expected to do better,” Del Rio said. ”Whether you do better or not cheap nfl jerseys, this is a day you kind of acknowledge what went wrong or acknowledge what went right. You make your corrections, you learn from the experience you had and then you go forward.”

NOTES: Del Rio was upset after looking at the film that Jones was not penalized more harshly for ripping Amari Cooper Jerseys‘s helmet off and slamming his head against it at the end of a long run. ”It was clearly way over the line,” Del Rio said. ”I understand now why our offensive lineman went down there and took issue with it. I respect that. I really don’t understand how that was missed cheap jerseys.” … Del Rio was pleased with what he saw from Aldon Smith Jerseys, who got 29 snaps two days after signing with the team. ”You can see he has obvious talent,” he said.

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Chicago Cubs staying loose, riding momentum

cheap usa nfl jerseys CHICAGO — Hey, you, Cubs fan. Stop refreshing those playoff odds. Hey, you, Cubs player. Stop scoreboard-watching and sweating your slumps.

Theo Epstein, the most popular man north of 18th Street not named Kyle Schwarber Jerseys, had a message for you before the Cubs’ most important September in seven years began with a wild, comeback win over the Cincinnati Reds Jerseys.

“I think there is a momentum at play in September that’s powerful,” the Cubs president said Tuesday. “That’s more powerful than playoff odds and math and things like that that people like to look at this time of year. I think being loose and having a positive vibe, even if you lose a few games in a row, is really important to keep the momentum going the right way.”

That’s right, Epstein, who likes to mix in baseball poetry with his linear weights, is talking about momentum. I wonder if the Cubs have a proprietary wMOM+ metric.

Epstein brought up momentum when asked about the possibility that having such a young team might help down the stretch as the pressure of a playoff chase turns up.

The Cubs have been a loose team all year, and it has worked out pretty well, thanks to the talent on hand. From the postgame dance parties to the easygoing vibes emanating from manager Joe Maddon, the leadership and the veterans on the Cubs have set the right tone for the young guys to follow.

“We’re not guilty of overthinking too many things, which is good,” Epstein said. “The guys are really loose, and it’s not just words. I think if you’re around the team, you feel it. There’s not a lot of weight to the clubhouse on a day-to-day basis. Just show up, have fun, go play hard and really compete and try to win a ballgame. If you win, celebrate extremely hard for about 15 minutes, and let it go … and do it again the next day.

“That’s really valuable, and it helps you avoid the pitfall of getting too tight. This time of year, if you start paying attention to the standings or things aren’t going your way or you’re not performing up to expectations or you don’t like what people are writing about you or you’re scoreboard-watching and you’re not getting the results you want to get, players and teams and organizations can get too tight. And it’s really hard to escape that.”

Epstein should know. It was the Red Sox’s 2011 September collapse that led to his leaving for the Cubs. Thanks again, guys. Fried chicken and beer on Tom Ricketts. (Note to Wally Hayward’s W Partners: Land a legacy chicken partner. I suggest Harold’s or Leghorn.)

After losing five of six, including one to Cincinnati, to end August, the Cubs’ September got off to a rousing start with Tuesday’s 5-4 win.

Kris Bryant Jerseys went 3-for-4 with two run-scoring singles. Miguel Montero Jerseys tied the game with an RBI single in the sixth. Most importantly, Schwarber (2-for-3, three runs) won the game with a two-run tee-shot homer off Burke Badenhop Jerseys in the seventh.

Schwarber ended August in a bit of a swoon. From Aug. 20 to 31, he went 5-for-41 with 16 strikeouts and four walks, which dropped his batting average from .311 to .263 and his OPS from 1.001 to .888.

Maddon said he knew Schwarber was in for a good night when Schwarber walked during his second at-bat. He would later score on Bryant’s single.

“The moment he walked, I said, ‘When you’re walking, you’re hitting,’” Maddon said. “He needs to accept the walk out there and calm his feet down. He’s been really jumpy at the plate.”

Schwarber singled and scored in his second at-bat. Fall ball is quickly taking on a new meaning for the talented rookie, who finished his first year of pro baseball in the Florida State League last year.

“Joe, Skip, he’s mentioned a couple things to me, just saying, ‘Wait ’til September. You’ll get an extra pep in your step every day,'” Schwarber said. “It’s not the dog days. It’s that time to get after the race and make it to the playoffs. We all feel it cheap mlb jerseys. This team’s been really good. We have a lot of good personalities, and it makes it fun to come in the clubhouse.”

Fun is good. Before the game on Tuesday, the Cubs clubhouse felt more like one of the bars that surround Wrigley Field. Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” was blaring from the speakers as the newcomers in the clubhouse mingled with a growing media pack.

It felt a little like 2008 — except no one was surrounding Mark DeRosa’s locker asking what it will be like when the Cubs win the World Series.

Javier Baez Jerseys was back for the first time this year, grateful to return after an unexpected sojourn in the minors. Austin Jackson Jerseys, Quintin Berry and Trevor Cahill had joined the club for the playoff push.

The Cubs have been building toward this moment, from their post-win dance parties to their dramatic wholesale jerseys, come-from-behind victories. Now they just have to seize the opportunity. With a sizable lead on San Francisco for the second wild card, the Cubs can only lose their way out of the postseason.

That has happened before.

Starting pitching will keep it interesting this month. Epstein can talk about momentum, but one of the hoariest baseball clichés is, “Momentum is only as good as the next day’s pitcher.” After Jake Arrieta Jerseys and Jon Lester, can the other starters hold their own in September?

The Cubs trailed 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth on Tuesday. Before the game, they were 7-34 when trailing after five innings. Cubs starter Dan Haren Jerseys was good enough, with just two runs given up in five innings. Clayton Richard Jerseys and Fernando Rodney Jerseys each gave up a run.

Epstein defended the bottom three of the rotation before the game cheap jerseys. He noted that pitching carried the team during some hitting slumps and referred to the present as a “snapshot moment of time.”

A shorter version of his message: “By no means are we panicking about it or concerned about it,” he said. “It’s just part of the evolution of the staff and the rhythm of the season.”

I can dig that. This is September in Chicago. We’re all about momentum, evolution and rhythm.

And in a pinch, a Schwarber home run works, too.