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e orld of sports. This week, they give a spe

Post by lw789 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:12 am

Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they give a special NHL playoff edition of Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, where the panel gives their Stanley Cup winner prediction. Bruce Arthur, National Post My thumb is up to the Boston Bruins who I think are going to be the 2014 Stanley Cup champions. Remember last season, there was a thought that Claude Julien would get fired if they lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round and jeopardy could extend all the way up to the general managers chair and they did what they did. I think theyre in better shape heading into the playoffs then they were last season, when they had a compressed schedule following the Boston Marathon bombings, they were a tired team in the first round and really, more than anything, they have the easiest road to the Stanley Cup Final of any Stanley Cup contender. I think Bostons ready. Steve Simmons, SUN Media It hurts me to say this just because of the history but Im going thumbs up to the San Jose Sharks, who year in and year out disappoint at this time of year, but I look at this team and all that size up front. The move of Joe Pavelski to left wing has really completed this forward group nicely and I think Marc-Edouard Vlasics play at the Olympics taught him that hes a big-time guy now. He can elevate his game and I think that team, with Todd McLellan coaching, can come out of the west and can beat the Boston Bruins. Theyre too big and theyre too fast. Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated My thumb is up to the Chicago Blackhawks because consistency is the hob gobble in little minds and nobody has a littler mind than I do. I picked them at the start of the year, I picked them at the deadline, and Im picking them now because Patrick Kanes going to be back, Jonathan Toews is going to be back, and because the Blackhawks have the best defenceman in the Stanley Cup tournament in Duncan Keith. Dave Hodge, TSN Im going to go through the apparently easy route in the east and say thumbs up to the Presidents Trophy winning Boston Bruins. Sure, they dont win as often as they lose but in this case, this is the best home team in the NHL, lots of playoff experience, theyre obviously good defensively, good goaltending, good special teams and they are reasonably healthy. Then theres that Eastern Conference path to the Stanley Cup Final again, and I think that ends up being the bottom line for my reason to pick Boston. Wholesale Air Jordan 2 . Arsene Wenger reportedly wants to convert the player into an attacking force, much like he did with Robin Van Persie. Cheap Jordan 2 Free Shipping .Y. -- Florida Panthers captain Ed Jovanovski finally has something to show for all the pain he went through in overcoming a string of injuries that kept him sidelined for much of the past two years. http://www.cheapairjordan2.com/.com) - Mike Miller scored a season-high 21 points in a rare start and the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back from their worst loss of the season with a 95-91 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Cheap Air Jordan 2 . The Brazilian-born strikers brace drew him level with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo as the leagues leading scorers with 17 goals apiece through 16 rounds. "The important thing is to help the team win, not the goals," Diego Costa said. After a first half dominated by defence, Atletico pressed Valencia into its area and Diego Costa did the rest. Jordan Retro 2 Cheap . "Last year we were in a ton of situations, late-game situations we couldnt pull out. Wed kind of fold under the pressure, get frustrated or let a big shot frustrate us," guard DeMar DeRozan said.NASHVILLE -- Ryan Fitzpatrick likes how he looks with a bushy beard, it makes him feel comfortable. Now, about to make his first start in Tennessee with Jake Locker sidelined with a sprained hip, Fitzpatrick is a little upset with himself for shaving his face clean a month ago. His current beard isnt nearly as impressive, and Fitzpatrick needs any edge he can get. "Its never easy I think to step in from a backup role to the starter kind of mid-stream I guess," Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. "I got to go in there and make these three days very productive. ... Being 3-1 with our defence playing great, I think with the confidence just in general that our team is playing with, this is a fun situation to step into." The Titans signed Fitzpatrick to a two-year contract in March wanting the veteran in his ninth season to mentor and back up Jake Locker. Now Locker is out a few weeks with a sprained right hip and knee, its time for Fitzpatrick to step in and try to keep Tennessees momentum going until Locker returns. Fitzpatrick said his role now is different than a week ago. He spent plenty of time talking with receivers during practice Wednesday in what he called side conversations. He also threw to them during defensive drills with some extra work after practice "With Jake now being injured, Ive got to go out and let them know what I expect," Fitzpatrick said. "If youre not on the same page, thats what leads to some of the miscommunication and things that cant happen." Titans coach Mike Munchak said its an adjustment for everybody with Fitzpatrick. "Hes been through it before," Munchak said. "Hes been in the league a long time, so were hoping he can make this adjustment rather quickly because we need that on Sunday." The Titans have plenty of confidence in Fitzpatrick because they saw how he nearly beat them last year in Buffalo where he started 32 games over the previous two seasons. Fitzpatrick had 80 touchdowns and 64 interceptions in 55 games with the Bills. He also set Bills records for the longest completion with a 98-yard TD pass and longest TD rushing by a quarterback wwith a 31-yarder both in 2009.dddddddddddd The Bills cut Fitzpatrick in March to escape the six-year, $59 million deal he signed in October 2011. The Titans scooped him up as a cheaper alternative to back up Locker. Now Fitzpatrick makes his first start Sunday against Kansas City (4-0). Chiefs coach Andy Reid has seen plenty of Fitzpatrick from his time coaching in Philadelphia where he said the quarterback got after his Eagles pretty good. "So Im well aware of him, and have a ton of respect for him, and our team here knows him," Reid said. "They played against him in the past. Everyone knows how capable he is and well prepare ourselves to play a heck of a quarterback and a heck of an offence." Fitzpatrick is 4-1 against the Chiefs. Munchak has said they likely will not call run plays like they did for Locker, who is averaging 6.5 yards a carry this season. Fitzpatrick said hes never been a real speedster himself. "Usually Im running out of fear because those guys are big," Fitzpatrick said. Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson isnt buying that talk. He called the Harvard graduate a smart quarterback who improvises with his legs just like all the other running quarterbacks. "Hes been in the league for a while," Johnson said. "He knows when you make a mistake, he can capitalize off it. This isnt a regular, backup-type quarterback game for us. He can still run all their plays." Notes: Locker spoke to reporters Wednesday, walking very stiff and with a neoprene sleeve covering his right leg. He said the injury was pain like hed never felt before and with the hip joint so big he thought about all the worst possibilities. Locker shared no timetable for his return, saying only that he will be working hard to get back as soon as possible. ... Munchak said the Titans will promote Rusty Smith off the practice squad to back up Fitzpatrick at quarterback. ... WR Kenny Britt returned to practice. RB Shonn Greene (right knee) and DT Sammie Hill (right ankle) worked inside with trainers. DE Ropati Pitoitua (shoulder) did not practice. RT David Stewart (right leg) got the day off. 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