A linesman orders Sean Couturier out of the faceoff

19 2019 .
circle and Claude Giroux shrugs before stepping in and winning the draw.Two centers on the ice at once is a nice luxury for the Philadelphia Flyers to have.Hes one of the best in the league at faceoffs [url=http://www.officialsabres.com/authentic-adidas-patrik-berglund-jersey]Patrik Berglund Jersey Womens[/url] , Couturier said of Giroux, who ranks third in the NHL. When you start with the puck, its a huge part of the game.Beyond just controlling faceoffs, having depth at center is a growing factor for success in the NHL. Contenders like the Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins all boast depth down the middle and are spreading centers all over the lineup.The flexibility gives teams potentially game-altering matchups with the playoffs coming up in a month.You can never have enough center-ice men on your team for lots of reasons, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.Crucial faceoffs, injuries and defensive-zone coverage are many of the reasons to load up on centers who can almost always shift to wing and not miss a beat. Philadelphia has long followed the model of drafting and acquiring centers and moving them around, and now has nine natural centers on its roster.The Penguins won the 2009 Stanley Cup going with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin [url=http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-nikolaj-ehlers-jersey]http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-nikolaj-ehlers-jersey[/url] , Jordan Staal and Max Talbot down the middle and captured it the past two years with Crosby, Malkin, Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen. The free agent departures of Bonino and Cullen left a void that Pittsburgh filled by trading for Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan to again look like a championship contender.To have the depth that we have at this point at the center-ice position is I think an important aspect of our overall game, Sullivan said. We didnt have that coming into training camp. I think our general manager, Jim (Rutherford), has worked extremely hard at making sure that he gave us what has become now I think a strength of our team.Its also a strength of the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning, who are overflowing with center options beyond Steven Stamkos, Alex Killorn and trade-deadline pickup J.T. Miller. The Toronto Maple Leafs also roll deep with forwards who play center or have in the past, including Patrick Marleau and recent acquisition Tomas Plekanec.I can get a cant-miss matchup, Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. Youre not scared of any matchup as time goes on.Its all about the matchups in the arms race that is the absurd Central Division. It wasnt good enough that the Central-leading Predators had Ryan Johansen, signed Bonino last summer and traded for Kyle Turris in November; they welcomed center Mike Fisher back fr om retirement and still have Colton Sissons and Craig Smith.The Jets acquired center Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues to add to an already forward-heavy roster. It paid immediate dividends with Patrik Laine extending his point streak to 13 games and Winnipeg cruising along after Mark Scheifele went down with an injury.Well be putting two centers out there for D-zone draws and whatnot [url=http://www.officialhockeyjetsshop.com/authentic-adidas-patrik-laine-jersey]Patrik Laine Jersey[/url] , said Andrew Copp, who thinks Winnipegs center depth stacks up with the best in the league. Thats really important, and then just depth with injuries. Now weve got six, seven, eight guys that we can really lean on.Its an increasingly popular strategy. The Flyers are vying for the league lead in faceoffs, handling the early-season crackdown on faceoff violations and compensating for a young, mostly unproven defense with versatile forwards.Being strong up the middle is important, coach Dave Hakstol said. Thats the backbone of every line, so to have guys that are comfortable in that spot I think is important. Playing down low in your zone theres so much switching and interchanging that goes on from the wing to that down-low position in coverage, having somebody thats comfortable being down there I think is a benefit, as well.Two centers are better than one not just for faceoffs but because the extra responsibilities of the position allow for better awareness in the defensive zone [url=http://www.officialsabres.com/authentic-adidas-vladimir-sobotka-jersey]Vladimir Sobotka Jersey Womens[/url] , wh ere wingers typically are only tasked with defending their respective opposing winger in man-to-man schemes. Giroux shifted to wing on the top line with Couturier after spending the past eight-plus years at center and is approaching his career high in points and playing some of the best hockey of his career.We get a read off each other, said Couturier, a leading candidate for the Selke Trophy as the NHLs best defensive forward. Its about chemistry and trying to trust each other out there. Guys can fill in different roles and its nice and it helps the team. Thats what you kind of want from having so many centermen is you want to fill in each others roles.Having extra centers is a substantial benefit if they can handle the position change. Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler made a rapid adjustment from wing to center amid injuries, but just about everyone agrees its much easier to go the other way.Theres a real quick adjustment to going from center to the wing: figure out how to work the walls and find your point men, Jets coach Paul Maurice said. Thats a very difficult change. BOSTON (AP) The Toronto Maple Leafs opened another 4-1 lead in Boston, and this time they held on.Just barely.Five years after blowing a three-goal lead in a playoff elimination game against the Bruins, Toronto killed off a 5-on-3 and three more penalties to beat the Bruins 4-3 in Game 5 on Saturday night and force the series to a sixth game.That was a little bit nerve-wracking, said Toronto forward Nazem Kadri, who returned from a three-game suspension and had an assist. But we were able to weather the storm. Playoff games on the road, sometimes you just have to survive.Connor Brown and Andreas Johnsson each scored his first career playoff goal in the first period, and Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored 1:19 apart in the second to make it 4-1 and chase Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.Boston cut the deficit to one goal [url=http://www.floridapanthersteamshops.com/authentic-aaron-ekblad-jersey]Aaron Ekblad Jersey[/url] , but the Leafs survived despite a parade of penalties that left four men in the box at one point.When youre down a man six times and it was six times its ridiculous, Toronto coach Mike Babcock said.Frederik Andersen stopped 42 shots for Toronto, which returns home for Game 6 on Monday. Game 7 would be back in Boston on Wednesday, if necessary.When the teams last met in the playoffs in 2013, Toronto twice won to stave off elimination and force the series to a seventh game. Once there, the Maple Leafs took a 4-1 into the third period before the Bruins won in overtime en route to their second Stanley Cup final berth in two years.Thats in the past, Kadri said. I think its time we turn the page on that one.Jake DeBrusk and Sean Kuraly scored for the Bruins. After missing one game with an undisclosed injury, Selke Trophy finalist Patrice Bergeron returned to the ice but not to the scoresheet; his line, which had 20 points in the first two games, was held without a goal or assist.He made it through todays game healthy, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. We always want to see how they are in the morning. I dont anticipate there being any issues going into Game 6.Rask was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots before skipping off to the locker room when he was pulled with 8:05 left in the second.Probably could have stopped more pucks with my eyes closed [url=http://www.floridapanthersteamshops.com/authentic-aleksander-barkov-jersey]http://www.floridapanthersteamshops.com/authentic-aleksander-barkov-jersey[/url] , he said. Its on me, but moving on to the next one and try to finish it off in Toronto.Anton Khudobin, making his first career playoff appearance, stopped all eight shots he saw the rest of the way.I didnt think he (Rask) had it tonight. So we went with Anton, whos been very good for us, Cassidy said. And then theres always that part that gets the rest of the teams attention.Toronto lost the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Boston by a combined score of 12-4, then won the third game at home before dropping the fourth to fall to the brink of elimination.Leading 4-1 midway through second on Saturday, the Maple Leafs gave Boston four straight power plays but killed each one off. Kuraly made it a two-goal game with about three minutes left in the second and Noel Acciari made it 4-3 six minutes into the third.Notes: Bergerons absence from Game 4 was a surprise, and his upper body injury remains a mystery. He skated on the off-day Friday and again on Saturday morning and was then cleared to play. Grzelcyk had his first playoff point, and Acciari recorded his first playoff assist. Khudobin made his NHL debut in 2010 but has been a backup since then and never saw the ice in a playoff game. The game ended with fisticuffs in the corner. Bozak and Bostons David Backes were in the middle.
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