Florida Sports News
Tyler Bradley and Timothy Mallard bring you Tampa Bay Sports This Morning! What did they learn from One Buc Place yesterday? What is there to be said about Mark Duffner? How did Jameis look? What do we expect from this Bucs defense?
Jaquan Cathey of SportsTalkFlorida.com joins to discuss the state of Florida College Football teams in action this Saturday!
And John Reid of the Florida Times-Union joins the show to discuss the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting the Houston Texans. How will the Jags respond after a rough two weeks?
All of that and much more on Tampa Bay Sports This Morning! Sports Talk 1040 The Team weekday mornings 7-9 or stream at SportsTalkFlorida.com
The post Will The Bucs Stop the Losing Skid? – Tampa Bay Sports This Morning – appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
HOUSTON (AP) — Left fielder Andrew Benintendi made a diving catch with the bases loaded for the final out, and the Boston Red Sox held off the Houston Astros 8-6 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the AL Championship Series.
Boosted by a questionable fan interference call early in a back-and-forth game and a go-ahead homer from Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox moved within one victory of their first World Series trip since winning the 2013 title.
Craig Kimbrel earned a shaky six-out save, aided by a rocket throw from right fielder Mookie Betts and Benintendi’s daring grab of Alex Bregman’s sinking liner in left.
Boston improved to 4-0 on the road in these playoffs and inched closer to eliminating the defending champions.
Game 5 is Thursday night in Houston, where ace Justin Verlander will pitch for the Astros. Boston’s starter was uncertain after Chris Sale was ruled out Wednesday while recovering from a stomach illness.
By Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press.
The post Benintendi’s Diving Catch Preserves Red Sox’ 8-6 Win Over Astros appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Mohamed Bamba made a big impact in his first NBA game.
Orlando’s 7-foot rookie dunked twice and blocked a shot during a 9-0 fourth quarter run, and the Magic held on for a 104-101 win over the Miami Heat in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night.
“I was so nervous going out there, but it was everything that I expected. It was a fun game to play in,” said Bamba, who came off the bench for 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes. “It’s just a matter of doing that 81 more times.”
Aaron Gordon had 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic, who went without a field goal over the final 4 1/2 minutes.
Goran Dragic led Miami with 26 points and Josh Richardson added 21.
With the Magic leading 86-81 early in the fourth quarter, Bamba swatted away a shot by Richardson, and Terrence Ross got his hands on two more Heat shots during Miami’s scoreless stretch of nearly four minutes. Bamba dunked in two Orlando misses, and Jerian Grant hit a jumper to lift the Magic to a 92-81 lead with 7:50 remaining.
Richardson, Dragic and backup center Bam Adebayo rallied the Heat in the closing minutes, and after the Magic missed three free throws in the final seconds, Miami had a chance to win. But Richardson dribbled out of bounds before Evan Fournier hit two free throws with 1.6 seconds left for the game’s final points.
“If I had a little more space on the baseline, I was going to attack, probably spin and make something happen, but I ran out of real estate,” Richardson said. “I’ve just got to make a better play.”
The Heat started well and ended with a rally. But after making 11 of their first 20 shots, they finished the game shooting just 39 percent (38-for-97).
“We had a tough time creating looks the way we wanted to, but you have to credit their defense,” sad Miami coach Eric Spoelstra. “They’re long, they do a really good job of protecting the paint.”
Miami led 28-14 after Richardson’s 3-pointer late in the first quarter.
A 3-pointer by Nik Vucevich gave Orlando its first lead at 37-36, and the Magic led 54-51 at halftime in spite of Dragic’s 16 points and Fournier’s 0-for-5 from behind the 3-point line.
The Magic’s bench (Bamba, Ross, Grant and Jonathon Simmons) contributed 36 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks.
“Offensively, we were here and there, but the story of the game was the bench,” said Magic coach Steve Clifford. “When they went in the game they picked up our defense and we played offense off our defense, which is something you have to do earlier in the year.”
FINAL RUN FOR WADE
Dwayne Wade entered his 16th and final NBA season at the 8:22 mark of the first quarter and played 26 minutes, finishing with nine points and 11 rebounds. “I’m not going to play him playoff minutes, or anywhere near that, right now,” said Spoelstra. “He knows how to approach an 82-game season even better than I do.”
BIG STEPS UP?
While declining to predict a number of wins, Clifford said a “realistic goal” is to finish among the NBA’s top 10 in defense and top 15 in offense in points per possession. Orlando was 21st and 24th, respectively, in those categories last season.
Heat: F Justise Winslow (hamstring), G Wayne Ellington (ankle), G Dion Waiters (ankle) and F James Johnson (hernia) did not play and are not expected to play Thursday night.
Magic: The Magic made 7-of-25 3-point shots and missed 12 free throws. . … Orlando is 52-64 all-time against its intrastate rival, but has won 7 of the last 11.
Heat: At Washington on Thursday night.
Magic: At home against Charlotte on Friday night.
By Dick Scanlon of the Associated Press.
The post Bamba Makes Strong NBA Debut As Magic Open With Win Over Heat appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
Election Day is coming up soon and there are two stadium proposals on the ballot in San Diego that definitely have the interest of Major League Soccer and perhaps the National Football League. San Diego elected officials would like to knock down the city’s seldom used stadium that Major League Baseball’s Padres and the National Football League’s Chargers once called home. There are two questions facing voters which is unusual. Generally there is just one stadium plan put before voters. San Diego State University has a different vision for redeveloping the stadium area than Soccer City backers. There are a few possible outcomes. One plan wins, the other loses. Both plans win but the proposal that gets the most votes wins. Both lose and the future of the stadium area is unknown with city elected officials having to come up with a new plan.
The San Diego State University and Soccer City proposals have the same goal. Build a stadium that could be used for a Major League Soccer franchise. Soccer City wants a 23,500 seat building that could be expanded to accommodate San Diego State football. The university would build a 35,000 seat stadium that could be used for soccer or expand the building by 20,000 seats in an attempt to lure the NFL back to town. Soccer City’s plan includes setting aside 16 acres in the event the NFL is interested in returning to San Diego to build an NFL style stadium. There would be the stadium-village offerings, a hotel, housing, a commercial district and a park. There is also a question of how both groups will pay for the city land that will be turned over for development. Neither plan is asking for taxpayers help. The NFL is not expanding but the MLS has two expansion slots open. San Diego voters are on the clock.
The post The MLS Is Watching The San Diego Election Day Stadium Vote appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
On today’s episode, Rock brings you the latest from One Buc Place and discusses interim DC Mark Duffner’s press conference. Do you think the Bucs Defense will improve under Mark Duffner?
Rock also talks about last nights wild NLCS game 4 and the ‘dirty’ play by Manny Machado that cleared the benches. Do you think Manny Machado is a ‘dirty’ and lazy baseball player?
Guests on today’s show:
Seth McClung, Former Professional Baseball Player – Discusses MLB playoffs, Manny Machado, and what he is doing to help develop players on and off the field.
Mark Reyes Jr., Local Boxing Champ – Discusses his recent fight that he won in the 3rd round by TKO and shares what he is doing outside of the ring in helping The Children’s Cancer Center of Tampa.
Lee Diekemper, JoeBucsFan.com – Discusses the mood of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers locker room, Mark Duffner taking over for Mike Smith as interim DC, and Gerald McCoy’s injury.
Jason Michaels, 10 year MLB Veteran – Discusses MLB playoffs, Manny Machado and TheBigLeagueAppraoch.com
Listen to The Rock Riley Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 on Sports Talk Florida AM1040 The Team!
The post Machado is a ‘Dirty’ Player – Rock Riley Show – 10/17/18 appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
The Chicago Bears could be without star defensive weapon Khalil Mack for their NFL showdown with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Bears linebacker Mack is considered day-to-day with an ankle injury suffered in last week's overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins, head coach Matt Nagy announced on Wednesday.
With Ryan Tannehill ruled out of Sunday's game against Detroit, Brock Osweiler will get another start at quarterback, and the Miami Dolphins' super sub is optimistic he can deliver a successful encore to the most prolific game of his career last week. A journeyman already at age 27, Osweiler will start his second game in a row for the Dolphins (4-2). Tannehill also missed an overtime win against the Chicago Bears last Sunday, and Osweiler stepped in to throw for a career-high 380 yards and three touchdowns.
Another NBA season tips off tonight in Orlando as the Magic and their in-state rivals the Miami Heat are set for a 7 p.m. tip-off at the Amway Center. Both teams have high hopes but they also know there be more questions than answers as they head into the 2018-2019 season.
But for the Magic and the Heat, there are plenty of storylines to keep track of even in game one.
According to the Miami Herald, the Heat is without four rotation players when taking the floor tonight. The team has listed Wayne Ellington and Justise Winslow as doubtful to play, and James Johnson and Dion Waiters are out as they recover from surgeries earlier this year.
Meanwhile, this is the final season for Guard Dwyane Wade who is producing his own career-ending film. At the moment only Wade knows how the project will be handled.
“It’s something I eventually plan to roll out,” he said. “We’re trying to… come up with what that plan will be.” He said good friend and Lakers forward LeBron James – who has done several broadcast projects – is not involved in Wade’s video project.
It is hard to believe that the Magic and the Heat are starting their 30th season in Orlando and new head coach Steve Clifford is ready to see what his players can do.
“The biggest thing is you’re anxious, more than anything, to see where we’re at,” Clifford said. “Offensively, defensively, rebounding … so that you can get a gauge of what we have to do after that to get better.
“We play four with very little practice time against very good competition. to me, it’s the thing you want early in the year. You want to play against the teams that are hard to play against because it’s the best way to make an improvement.”
As for Orlando the schedule makers at the NBA front office in New York were not kind. The Magic will play four games in six days. After Miami, the Magic will host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, then hit the road for games Saturday and Monday at Philadelphia and Boston.
QUOTES USED IN THE STORY WERE FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS
The post Heat Vs. Magic In Season Opener For Both Teams In Orlando appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase described quarterback Ryan Tannehill's worsening injury last week as unusual, and now it has drawn the interest of the NFL. The league is looking into how the Dolphins reported Tannehill's shoulder problem on injury reports last week, two people with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday. The people confirmed the NFL's interest in the matter to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league wasn't commenting.
HOUSTON (AP) — Jackie Bradley Jr. didn’t let his demeanor change this season, even as fans begged the Boston Red Sox to trade him during a miserable first-half slump.
Stayed steady after the biggest swing of his career, too.
Bradley belted a grand slam for his second big hit in the AL Championship Series, helping the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros 8-2 on Tuesday for a 2-1 series lead. His low-key personality was on display as he rounded the bases without the hint of a smile. He greeted his screaming, excited teammates at home plate with one small jump and a few high fives.“One of my coaches back in the day … said: ‘No one should ever know whether you’re winning or losing. Kind of keep the same temperament. That way, it will allow you to put some perspective into things,’” Bradley said. “And I kind of took that to heart.”
Bradley’s slam backed a solid start by Nathan Eovaldi, who hushed Houston a day after some social media smack talk from Alex Bregman.
“We can play at any park,” Eovaldi said. “The first game is always the biggest one of any series when you go on the road.”
Game 4 is Wednesday night, with Boston’s Rick Porcello opposing Charlie Morton.
Steve Pearce hit a tiebreaking homer for the Red Sox off Joe Smith in the sixth, a drive that sailed just inside the foul pole in left field for a 3-2 lead.
Bradley’s slam capped a five-run burst in the eighth against Roberto Osuna. The Astros closer got two outs but allowed two singles and plunked consecutive batters to force in a run. Bradley then crushed a 1-1 fastball into the right field seats to send Houston fans streaming toward the exits.
“That’s the pitch I always get him out with,” Osuna said. “He hit it today, but I would go there 100 more times.”
Osuna was acquired from Toronto this season while serving a 75-game ban under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. He had a 1.99 ERA over 23 games for Houston in the regular season after he returned.
With his childhood hero and fellow Alvin, Texas, native Nolan Ryan sitting behind the plate, Eovaldi turned in another solid start. He allowed six hits and two runs with four strikeouts in six innings for the win in the second playoff start of his career.
“For him, I know it’s a special one,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Bregman had shared a video Monday on Instagram of Houston hitting back-to-back-to-back home runs off Eovaldi in his previous outing against the Astros in June. Eovaldi downplayed the post when asked about it Monday.Bregman did much of the damage against Eovaldi, getting two hits, an RBI and a walk in three plate appearances. Bregman has reached base safely in 20 of 28 plate appearances this postseason.
“Eovaldi did a great job,” Bregman said. “He had really five pitches working for him. He’s tough. We knew that coming into the game.”
Bradley hit a three-run double during Boston’s Game 2 victory, giving him three RBIs in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Moments after his slam, fans at TD Garden in Boston began chanting “JBJ!” during the Celtics season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bradley had caught the ire of many Red Sox fans while batting .210 during the first half of the season.
“It’s a credit to him, because at this level, when you’re hitting .180 after two months or I think it was three months, it is hard,” Cora said. “And he kept showing up. He kept working. He kept working his craft. Now you see the results.”
Boston jumped on Dallas Keuchel for two runs in the first, but the Astros cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning and tied it on an RBI double by Bregman in the fifth.
The Astros went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position in the first home game of the series, which was played in front of a sellout crowd of 43,102 and included Astros Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and Houston Rockets stars James Harden, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony. Bregman’s double was the only extra-base hit for a team which entered the game having hit at least one homer in a record 14 straight playoff games.
Jose Altuve, at designated hitter on Tuesday because of a bruised knee, walked with two outs in the fifth and scored from first on the double by Bregman, which bounced past third baseman Rafael Devers and into the corner of left field to tie it at 2-2. Altuve also bunted for a single in the seventh.
Eduardo Nunez started at third base for Boston after Cora benched him in favor of Devers in Game 2. Devers took over at third in the bottom of the fourth after pinch-hitting for Nunez in the top of the inning.
WHAT A CATCH
Pearce nearly delivered an extra-base hit with two on in the third, but 5-foot-6 left fielder Tony Kemp jumped at the wall and came up with Pearce’s towering fly.
“That’s a completely different inning if he hits that ball a foot further or if Tony can’t get up on the wall and make that catch,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said.
Replays showed the ball may have clanked off the wall just before falling into Kemp’s mitt, but umpires upheld the decision when Boston challenged.
“It did hit the wall, but it was actually in my glove at the time,” Kemp said.
Morton will make his 2018 postseason debut. Morton, who spent time on the disabled list late in the season with shoulder discomfort, hasn’t pitched since Houston’s regular-season finale on Sept. 30. Porcello was scheduled to start Tuesday but was pushed back a game after he pitched in relief in Game 2.
___Report: Ecuador tells Assange to curb speech, look after cat Alaska lieutenant governor resigns over comments
The post Red Sox Beat Astros 8-2 in ALCS. Boston With 2-1 ALCS Lead appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
Unified middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez and the streaming service DAZN have agreed to a five-year, 11-fight deal that will pay the boxer at least $365 million -- the highest-paying athlete contract in history. DAZN became the broadcast home of boxing in the United States after HBO announced in September that it is getting out of the fight business. Alvarez's first fight under the contract will coincide with his move to super middleweight.
The Orlando Magic kick off their 30th season tonight and all eyes will be on their recent first round picks in rookie Mo Bamba and 2nd year man Jonathan Isaac. The duo along with Aaron Gordon are considered the future of the franchise. Along with their young core Orlando features a number of veteran players like Nikola Vucevic and D.J. Augustin. They key will be getting the team to mesh right out of the gates if the Magic are going to compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With the said, there are many questions heading into the season. Let’s take a look now at three pressing issues for this year’s squad that will need to be answered sooner than later.
First, how long will it take before we see some of the newcomers crack the starting lineup. Whether it’s Mo Bamba in for Vucevic or Jerian Grant replacing D.J. Augustin at the point. At some time or another this season there will be a changing of the guard with the trio of former 1st round picks (Isaac, Bamba, and Grant) becoming starters. Most likely this will happen around the holidays if not by the NBA Trade Deadline in February. There is just too much potential for the Magic to keep their youngsters coming off of the bench.
Next, can new head coach Steve Clifford break his players of any of the bad habits they have acquired in recent years? For Clifford this season is not only a fresh slate for him but his players as well. Orlando desperately needs to instill a winning culture and it appears Clifford is just the man to finally turn things around. For Clifford it starts with making the adjustments on a daily basis and continuing to build as the season progresses. For the Magic to be firing on all cylinders under Clifford they will need to be able to control their pace of play, ability to move the ball, and take advantage of an inside-out game. If Orlando can manage these three components they will set up for early season success.
Finally, who will be the team’s leading scorer? With so many viable options on the offense this will likely be someone different just about every game. Last year, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Vucevic all averaged around 17 points a game. If you mix in Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac, five different players have the potential to be the team’s leading scorer each night. That’s not even counting night’s when others get hot like D.J. Augustin, Jonathan Simmons, or Terrance Ross. Simply said, Orlando has plenty of firepower and will likely see Fournier or Gordon leading the way at least during the first half of the season before the starting lineup receives a shakeup.
Despite all the questions that have left to be answered Magic fans should expect and improved product in this 30th year for Orlando. Whether that is enough snap their 6th year playoff drought remains to be seen. But either way there will be plenty to watch as the Magic’s young core begins to take the next steps.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — By the time Manny Machado rounded third base, the Los Angeles Dodgers had already started streaming out of the dugout.
After more than five hours of tension-filled baseball, they were certainly eager to celebrate.
Cody Bellinger singled home the winning run with two outs in the 13th inning Tuesday night to give Los Angeles a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers that tied the NL Championship Series at two games apiece.
The slumping Bellinger, who began the night 1 for 21 in these playoffs, was chased all the way into left field by teammates. Even manager Dave Roberts ran out to congratulate his outfielder, who got soaked with a Gatorade shower.
“I think we gave each other a big hug,” Bellinger said. “I think it was the first time I ever got mobbed out in the outfield.”
Bellinger laced a full-count pitch from Junior Guerra into right field to score Machado, who was nearly picked off second base moments earlier. Instead, he slid home and touched the plate with his left hand to beat Christian Yelich’s throw and finally end an October nail-biter that took 5 hours, 15 minutes.
“One of the crazier games, where there’s really no margin on either side,” Roberts said. “The bullpen, what they did tonight against a very good offensive club, my hat’s off to these guys.”
It was the fourth extra-inning postseason game in Dodger Stadium history, and the home team’s first such win since beating Philadelphia in Game 4 of the 1978 NLCS.
“It was a great baseball game, it really was,” Yelich said. “Both sides had opportunities and they were just able to cash one in there at the end.”
After a quick turnaround, Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is Wednesday afternoon, with Wade Miley pitching for the Brewers on three days’ rest against fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw.
The teams return to Milwaukee for Game 6 on Friday.
“We lock it in, win one tomorrow, and we feel a lot better heading home,” Yelich said.
With one out in the 13th, Machado hit a broken-bat single to left field and went to second on Guerra’s wild pitch. With first base open and a struggling Yasmani Grandal on deck followed by the pitcher’s spot, the Brewers chose to pitch to Bellinger — and it cost them.
“Honestly, I didn’t think he was going to throw me a strike,” Bellinger said. “And then once I noticed he was attacking me, I just tried to put the ball in play and hopefully find a hole this time.”
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said: “I thought it was worth the risk of trying to expand to Bellinger, and if the at-bat goes to Grandal, we walk Grandal.”
Bellinger, who entered as a pinch hitter in the sixth, also made a diving catch on his belly of a ball hit by Lorenzo Cain leading off the 10th, spreading his arms out and sliding like a snow angel in right field.
“I played right field in the minor leagues a lot before I started playing center field. I haven’t been there much lately,” Bellinger said. “But it’s kind of like riding a bike. I saw it hanging up there, and ran as fast as I could and dove for it.”
Both teams used all their position players and wasted numerous chances. Los Angeles went through its entire bullpen.
The Dodgers struck out 17 times — all against Milwaukee relievers — and have whiffed 49 times in the series. The Brewers fanned 15 times.
“Exhausting,” Los Angeles outfielder Chris Taylor said. “Just a mental and physical grind all the way to the end.”
Dodgers starter Rich Hill allowed one run and three hits in five innings.
The Brewers tied it 1-all in the fifth on pinch-hitter Domingo Santana’s RBI double that took one hop against the right-field wall with Yasiel Puig scrambling in pursuit.
The Dodgers led 1-0 on Brian Dozier’s RBI single in the first off Gio Gonzalez, who left after twisting his ankle while trying to field an infield single by Puig in the second.
Gonzalez has a high ankle sprain and will probably need to be replaced on the roster, Counsell said.
The sellout crowd of 53,764 was considerably noisier than on Monday, when Enrique Hernandez criticized Dodgers fans for being too quiet. Joc Pederson and Bellinger waved blue rally towels in the dugout.
But the Dodgers again struggled at the plate after going 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position during a 4-0 loss in Game 3.
Milwaukee put the potential go-ahead run on third in the seventh before Cain grounded out against Dylan Floro.
The Dodgers had runners at the corners in the eighth against hard-throwing Josh Hader, who pitched for the second consecutive day. Pinch-hitter Matt Kemp struck out to end the threat.
The Brewers had another chance in the ninth against closer Kenley Jansen. With fans on their feet, pinch-hitter Travis Shaw struck out with a runner on third to end the inning.
In the 10th, Ryan Braun singled with two outs and stole second against Jansen, who struck out Jesus Aguilar.
And when Bellinger finally ended it, the only NLCS game that had lasted longer was the New York Mets’ 15-inning victory over Atlanta in Game 5 in 1999, which took 5 hours, 46 minutes.
“Let’s get something to eat,” Dozier said afterward. “I’m starving.”
Machado allowed his left leg to clip the lower right leg of Aguilar at first base while getting thrown out on a routine play in the 10th. Aguilar appeared upset and the two exchanged words . Both benches and bullpens emptied, but no punches were thrown.
“It’s a dirty play by a dirty player,” Yelich said.
Aguilar, however, said the two talked it out after Machado singled in the 13th. Machado said they go back to their days in the minors.
“Everything that happens on the field stays on the field,” Machado said. “He’s a great guy.”
The Dodgers said tickets were still available for Game 5, which begins at 2:05 p.m. PDT.
Brewers: Miley makes his third postseason start in Game 5 on Wednesday. He threw 74 pitches over 5 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday in Game 2 of the NLCS, allowing two hits while striking out three and walking none. His other start came in Game 3 of the NLDS at Colorado. He didn’t factor in the decision either time.
Dodgers: Kershaw took the loss in Game 1 against the Brewers. Kershaw had the best postseason outing of his career in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Braves, allowing two hits over eight shutout innings.
More AP MLB: www.apnews.com/tag/MLB?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss and www.twitter.com/AP_Spor?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss
The post Dodgers Walk-off The Brewers 2-1 In 13 To Tie The NLCS appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
Tyler Bradley and Timothy Mallard bring you Tampa Bay Sports This Morning! Will we see a resurgence from the Bucs defense? The Florida Rankings are out on SportsTalkFlorida.com Tyler and Tim break them down for you! Who is at the top of the rankings?
Chris Perkins with The Athletic joins to discuss the Miami Dolphins huge OverTime win over the Chicago Bears. And looking ahead to the game against the Lions. Who will be the starting quarterback for Miami?
And Tim Williams Managing Editor of SportsTalkFlorida.com joins to discuss the Tampa Bay Lightning hosting the Carolina Hurricanes. What can Bolts fans expect from Tyler Johnson going forward?
All of that and much more on Tampa Bay Sports This Morning weekdays 7-9am Sports Talk 1040 The Team! Or stream the show on SportsTalkFlorida.com
The post Will the Defense Improve Under Duffner? – Tampa bay Sports This Morning – appeared first on Sports Talk Florida.
Jimmy Butler is a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, at least until the team finds a suitable trade partner. It seems the talks between the Wolves and the Miami Heat have gone dormant, and there isn’t an openly-interested party in sight. Meanwhile, Butler is attending practices and is expected to play in the first game of the year for Minnesota against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
After five seasons without reaching the playoffs, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping LeBron James' arrival can finally ensure a post-season return. The four-time MVP swapped his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for LA in July, instantly turning the Lakers from an afterthought into contenders. With the help of Opta, we take a look at how teams fared in the season before LeBron arrived, and how they performed in their first campaign with him on the roster.
On Tuesday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning got 38 saves from Louis Domingue in backup work and a hat trick from Tyler Johnson to win 4-2 over The Carolina Panthers.
Carolina came in Tuesday night with a 4-1-1 record in a busy first two weeks of the season, one of the early surprises of the NHL slate. Center Jordan Staal has really been making his presence known this season, coming into the game with four goals and a pair of assists on the young season.
Much of the action could be summed up in three words: Tuesday Night Hockey. Something about the second night of the workweek seems to bring out the sloppiness in hockey players, and on both sides passes were missed and opportunities vanished along with them. Long passes for the Bolts turned into icing calls, while the Hurricanes struggled in the neutral zone. Those struggles cost them odd man rushes in the process.
It was sloppy defense on the part of the Lightning that allowed Micheal Ferland in alone on Louis Domingue, faking to the goalie’s right before shooting to his left to make the score 1-0.
From there, it was Tyler Johnson’s turn to take over the game at Amalie Arena. The Lightning skater scored a shorthanded goal in the first period to tie the score, then broke that tie in the second period when he got in through two Carolina defenders to get in alone on goalie Petr Mrazek to give Tampa Bay the lead. Carolina tied the game back up later in the second on Matin Necas’ first career NHL goal. Necas was part of a 3-on-1 opportunity that led to a one-timer that Domingue had almost no chance of getting to for the goal.
The 2-2 tie was broken in the third by, again the Triplets line of Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Yanni Gourde. This time it was Gourde lightning the lamp on the power play, Tampa Bay’s first of the night, on a textbook centering pass from Palat. Johnson added an empty-netter in the third, following a blocked shot and a great save by Domingue, to seal the game. The Lightning move to 3-1-0 on the season.
Lightning reserve goaltender Louis Domingue made his first start of the season for Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. The Lightning have big plans for Domingue, intending to feature him as many as 25 times this season in an effort to get more rest for Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the busiest netminders in the 2017-18 season.
It was a tough night to be a backup goaltender. Carolina controlled a fair amount of the action and took a lot of shots, no small thing from a team that has proven as good at scoring as the Hurricanes have. Domingue was up to the task, racking up over thirty saves on the night.
Domingue surrendered a goal on Carolina’s fifth shot of the night, but it was not an easy play for a goalie. With Ferland in alone, it was nearly a penalty shot situation. That would be the only goal Carolina would score in the first period, on 12 shots. It was a heavy workload on Tuesday night for the Bolts’ second netminder.
Domingue’s second surrendered goal is also hard to fault him for. When a team gets in on the goaltender with numbers, it makes the goalie’s life harder than it needs to be, and on that play the Tampa Bay defense put their goalie in a near-impossible position.
In all, Tampa Bay’s second goaltender performed admirably against a stronger than average workload. He made a couple of big saves on the penalty kill in particular, the kind of saves that instill confidence in a team and allow them to worry less about suppressing shots and more about minimizing the quality of looks.
Penalty Kill watch
Tampa Bay’s penalty kill has been their biggest strength this early season after being their biggest weakness the last. After an Adam Erne tripping penalty, down 1-0, the Lightning turned the tide of the game. They allowed zero shots on the kill, and took two of their own. One of those two, taken by Tyler Johnson, got past goalie Petr Mrazek to even the game. It was the Lightning’s second shorthanded goal of the season, and watching it shows hockey fans just how they’re doing it.
One of the Lightning’s big advantages over opponents is their ability to outskate just about any team in the league. They have fast skaters on every single line, and can wear an opponent out that way. Skating can kill time on a penalty, and create shorthanded opportunities in the process. The Lightning have done both in good measure in their season-opening homestand.
In the end, Tampa Bay faced five penalties and killed every one of them. They have now burned off seventeen consecutive penalties to open the season, a remarkable feat in and of itself. Few teams on any level of hockey can say they have a positive goal differential while shorthanded, but the Lightning are such a team in the early going.
What’s next for Bolts
Tampa Bay’s season-opening homestand concludes on Thursday night at 7:30, with the Detroit Red Wings in town to visit. It has been a rough start for Detroit, and many hockey prognosticators see the season being a long one in the place they call Hockeytown.
Detroit has lost its last two games by a combined total of 15-5. They have surrendered 29 goals already on the season, allowing more than five per game. The Lightning, already a high powered offensive force, should be looking to score perhaps even more than usual on Thursday night.
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A tie is all that separates the Bears from the rest of the NFC North division. Chicago's Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins dropped the team to 3-2, which just barely leaves them in first place. Because the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings tied in Week 2, they sit just behind the Bears at 3-2-1 in the division.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was ruled out for the Tuesday night opener at the Golden State Warriors as he continues to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Westbrook underwent the procedure on Sept. 12 and was slated to be re-evaluated in four weeks, which was last Wednesday, but coach Billy Donovan told reporters Tuesday the seven-time All-Star would miss the opener. Meanwhile, big man Steven Adams also could miss the opener due to lower back stiffness, which kept him out of practice Monday.