Joined: 04 Jul 2018
|Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:56:50 am Post subject: Jets: CB Rashard Robinson
|Thomas Vanek learned early in his career how tough it is to win in the playoffs.
When Vanek and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Philadelphia Flyers in six games in 2006 to advance Tuukka Rask Jersey , the rookie winger looked across the locker room at 37-year-old Teppo Numminen, who was on the verge of tears. Numminen had never made it out of the first round in his previous 16 NHL seasons and was overjoyed.
”It hit me right there and then, `Man this is hard,”’ Vanek said.
Vanek is now on the other side. In the playoffs for the seventh time, he is the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ oldest player at 34. Just like Rick Nash in Boston, postseason struggles and inconsistencies have followed Vanek his entire career. Based on his play down the stretch and in Game 1 against Washington, he looks poised for some playoff redemption.
”A very consistent scorer throughout his year and has a lot to prove and wants to win the Stanley Cup,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Friday. ”That’s why he’s excited to be here. He wants to prove people wrong, if they think that he can’t do it in the playoffs. He wants to show that he can, and he had a good start.”
Vanek had a goal and an assist to help the Blue Jackets take a 1-0 series lead on the Capitals, and young teammate Artemi Panarin scored the game-winner to finish with three points – two more than he had in Chicago’s first-round sweep at the hands of the Predators a year ago. Kekalainen pointed out Panarin was a point-a-game player for the Blackhawks in the playoffs two years ago, so hold up on the reputation rehab there.
The same goes for Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has been up and down in the playoffs. The 25-year-old from the same town in Russia as Panarin already has more goals in one game this year than he did in the 2016 playoffs, when Washington lost in the second round.
Vanek and Nash know they’re running out of time to win the Cup and make a difference on that journey.
Nash, who drew two penalties and played over 17 minutes in his return from injury in the Bruins’ Game 1 blowout of the Maple Leafs, has seen his goal production drop by half from the regular season to the playoffs over the course of his career. The 33-year-old trade-deadline pickup should get plenty of chances to show he can still be a playoff performer.
”He’s an important player for us Jake Allen Jersey ,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”That deal was made for a reason. He’s an elite player … makes us more of a threat (as) a team. He’s just a proven player in this league that can finish, that can win pucks and get to the net.”
Getting to the net has never been a problem for Vanek, whose power-play goal in Game 1 came from crashing the crease. But he hasn’t always found it easy to score in the playoffs and has struggled with a minus-16 rating in six previous appearances with the Sabres, Canadiens and Wild.
Vanek didn’t know how he would fit in with Columbus, though the reviews from coach John Tortorella are positive – and honest. Vanek’s propensity for defensive miscues and mistakes with the puck, and his sometimes frustrating inconsistencies, have given Tortorella and others grey hairs.
”I think he really is thriving and is excited about the role he has, that he was and we were in a playoff hunt and now he’s in the playoffs,” Tortorella said. ”I can see why he gives coaches nightmares in some of the things he does. I get that. But I think sometimes you need to ignore some of that and allow him to play and not get in his way. I think he’s been terrific.”
Several times leading up to the start of the playoffs and even after his goal, Vanek was asked about making an important contribution in the playoffs. Each time he changed the subject to the need for someone, anyone, on the team to have success.
”You can tell how excited everyone is,” Vanek said. ”It doesn’t matter if you score or not.”
Scoring or not, making a long run a reality would be Vanek’s real redemption.
Sam Darnold spent a few minutes chatting with Joe Namath and only wished he had more time.
At this rate, though, the youngster will have plenty more opportunities down the line.
Darnold led the Jets on two touchdown drives Womens DeSean Jackson Jersey , moving closer to securing the starting quarterback job in a 22-16 loss to the New York Giants on Friday night.
That came after Darnold and the Jets' other quarterbacks met briefly on the field with the man who has led the team to its only Super Bowl win 鈥?50 seasons ago.
"It was cool to meet 'Broadway Joe,'" a smiling Darnold said. "And to know the history that he has with this franchise, it was awesome to get to meet him."
Jets fans are hoping Darnold might be able to someday have the same impact.
Small steps first, of course. The No. 3 overall draft pick made his second consecutive start, finishing 8 of 16 for 86 yards 鈥?including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Terrelle Pryor.
Darnold is competing with Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown for the Jets' starting job, but the rookie is being given every chance to be under center when New York opens the regular season at Detroit on Sept. 10.
"So far, I think I've been really consistent," Darnold said. "At the same time, obviously there's little things I can always get better at."
Bridgewater came in on the Jets' second offensive possession of the second half, while McCown never played. Bridgewater was 11 of 15 for 104 yards.
Darnold got off to a solid start, leading an 11-play, 75-yard drive on the Jets' opening series that was capped by Bilal Powell's 10-yard touchdown run.
Darnold converted two third-and-long plays during the possession, first with a 13-yard completion to Neal Sterling. On third-and-13 from the Giants 35, Darnold showed off his scrambling ability by scooting to his left and zipping upfield for 14 yards.
"It's kind of what I've done my whole life, just play football," Darnold said. "When something's not there and I see a lane http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/corey-bojorquez-jersey , take it. But also continue to secure the ball and not turn the ball over. And, if I can do those things and just continue to play football at the same time, I think I'll be all right."
After Darnold's 11-yard completion to Robby Anderson, Powell ran untouched into the end zone to give the Jets (1-2) an early 7-0 lead.
"Any time you go down the field on your first drive and score a touchdown against a good defense, that's a good thing," coach Todd Bowles said. "For the most part, he did his job."
Darnold's second series went nowhere, hurt in large part by a false start penalty on tight end Eric Tomlinson.
Hunter Sharp took Lachlan Edwards' punt from 55 yards out and zig-zagged a bit on his way to the end zone to tie it at 7 with 3:52 left in the opening quarter.
"The punt return was just the spark we needed," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. "It was a terrific run, well blocked."
JUST FOR KICKS
Aldrick Rosas kicked field goals of 48, 40, 27 and 21 yards to give the Giants a 19-13 lead into halftime.
The third field goal came after Trenton Cannon fumbled a kickoff when he was hit by Ray-Ray Armstrong, and Jerell Adams recovered for the Giants (2-1).
The Giants' starters played just the first two quarters, with Eli Manning going 17 of 23 for 188 yards in what was likely his final tuneup before the regular season. Sterling Shepard had seven catches for 78 yards.
"I thought we did a couple of good things," Manning said. "Obviously, we'd like to score more when we get into the red zone down there. I thought there were a lot of good things and we moved the ball pretty well."
The backups opened the second half to face the Jets Nick Perry Jersey , who left their starters on both sides of the ball in for much of the third quarter.
Manning connected with Cody Latimer on a 54-yard pass on first down late in the first quarter to put the Giants at the Jets 6.
Jonathan Stewart took the handoff on the next play and was met by Avery Williamson, who ripped the ball out of the running back's hands. Leonard Williams scooped up the fumble and returned it 39 yards to the Giants 47.
Four plays later, Darnold completed a 16-yard pass to Quincy Enunwa on third-and-6 from the 28. Darnold then found Pryor to give the Jets the lead 56 seconds into the second quarter.
Taylor Bertolet made the extra point, but it was negated by Jonotthan Harrison's false start 鈥?and Bertolet missed the re-kick.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley, taken a spot ahead of Darnold, returned to practice this week on a limited basis for the first time since suffering a mild hamstring strain nine days earlier but sat out.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was a full participant in practice, but also didn't play as he continues to work his way back after breaking his ankle last October.
There were no displays of protest by either the Jets or Giants, with both teams standing on the sideline for the anthem.
The Jets were called for 13 penalties, costing them 108 yards. The Giants were called for six for 50.
"It felt like more than that," Bowles said. "We can't have that going into opening day."
Giants: Starting TE Evan Engram left with 5:21 left in the second quarter with a concussion. He was sandwiched by Williamson and Darron Lee after catching a 6-yard pass at the Jets 24. The ball came loose at the end of the play and was ruled a fumble, but the call was overturned after a video review. ... Backup TE Rhett Ellison left in the second quarter with an eye injury.
Jets: CB Rashard Robinson left early in the fourth quarter with a hip injury. ... WR Jermaine Kearse was held out with a sore abdomen.
Giants: home vs. New England next Thursday night.
Jets: at Philadelphia next Thursday night.