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[Mile High Sports] – Pablo Mastroeni out as head coach of Colorado Rapids | Mile High Sports
... ar season record in MLS. However, this season has seen the Rapids revert to the team of old, and fans have been vocally dissatisfied with Mast ... [...]
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Nuggets 2017-18 Player Preview: Kenneth Faried
Last season: Production-wise, Kenneth Faried made the most of his minutes with averages of 9.6 points and 7.6 rebounds i [...]
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A Day of Rest Topped the Nuggets Priority List Prior to Gearing Up for Regular Season
And now, the calm before the regular season storm. [...]
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Broncos welcome Luke Kellerman for a special day a year after he inspired 'Fight Like A Bronco'
Two years ago, Luke Kellerman was diagnosed with cancer. A year later, his efforts resulted in the Broncos' "Fight Like A Bronco" campaign, and on Friday he came to practice for a special day. [...]
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Cubs come back on Max Scherzer to beat Nationals in NLDS Game 5
WASHINGTON — The Chicago Cubs win whenever they need to, with whatever it takes, even a seven-out save by Wade Davis to preserve a shrinking lead and a “Did that really happen?” four-run inning against Washington’s Max Scherzer in a thriller of a Game 5. That wild, bat-around fifth inning Thursday night for Chicago included Addison Russell’s go-ahead, two-run double, a bases-loaded hit by pitch, and a disputed dropped third strike followed by a throwing error, helping the defending World Series champion Cubs come back — and then hold on — to edge the Nationals 9-8. And for the third year in a row, Chicago reached the NL Championship Series. “Give the boys credit,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s one of the most incredible victories I’ve ever been part of. I know a lot of people are probably saying the same thing, but under the circumstances, in the other team’s ballpark, after a tough loss at home, to come back and do that, give our guys all the credit in the world.” Russell drove in four runs and Davis, Chicago’s seventh pitcher, turned in his longest appearance since 2012. “I’ve always known he’s got a lot of mettle in his soul,” Ben Zobrist, who scored two runs for Chicago, said about Davis. “The guy just shows up. He’s got ice in his veins.” The same could be said for all of the Cubs. They trailed 4-1, then led 8-4 and 9-6, in a game that lasted more than 4½ hours and ended after midnight on Friday. “It was ‘Bizarro World,’ there’s no question about it,” Maddon said. “But it happens. It happens this time of the year.” Catcher Willson Contreras picked off Jose Lobaton at first base to quash a Washington threat in the eighth and Davis fanned a swinging Bryce Harper for the final out. “Just trying to stay focused and confident in the end,” Davis said. Chicago, which surpassed its total of eight runs from the first four games of the NL Division Series, advanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will start ace Clayton Kershaw at home in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night. For Maddon and the Cubs, this was their fourth consecutive victory in a win-or-be-eliminated postseason game. That includes three straight to end the 2016 World Series, when Chicago trailed the Cleveland Indians 3-1 before forcing a Game 7 won by the Cubs in 10 innings. The Nationals, meanwhile, went one-and-done yet again: This is the fourth time in the past six years that the club won the NL East and immediately lost its opening playoff series. And this is the third time in that span that Washington bowed out with a Game 5 NLDS loss at home; that also happened in 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals and last year against the Dodgers. This one was played exactly five years to the day after the decider against the Cardinals, which the Nationals lost 9-7 in Washington. Just like that night, the Nationals started Gio Gonzalez. Just like that night, Washington raced out to an early lead (6-0 back then). And just like that night, Gonzalez had control problems and started giving back some of the edge. “It was a series of bad events,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “It really hurts, you know, to lose like that, especially after what we went through all year long, and that was tough.” Homers by Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor — whose grand slam off Davis backed Stephen Strasburg’s 12-strikeout masterpiece in Washington’s 5-0 victory in Game 4 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday — gave the hosts a 4-1 lead in the second against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. But Gonzalez gave back two of those runs, so it was 4-3 as two-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer entered for the fifth. He started Game 3 of this series, pushed back because of an injured right hamstring, and hadn’t come out of the bullpen since 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. “Huge. You look out there and you see Scherzer up there and you think, ‘One of the best, if not the best, pitcher out there on the mound,” Russell said. “You kind of have to change your game plan, your approach.” Related Articles Chicago Cubs plane diverted to Albuquerque for medical issue Dallas Keuchel looks to continue success against Yankees in ALCS Gio Gonzalez named Nationals starter for Game 5 of NLDS vs. Cubs Yankees complete comeback, beat Indians in Game 5 of ALDS Stephen Strasburg, Nationals beat Cubs, force NLDS to Game 5 By the time Scherzer’s one inning was over, the Cubs had taken a 7-4 lead, and Russell had delivered the biggest hit. Chicago scored two earned runs and two unearned runs, on the strength of three hits, one hit by pitch, one intentional walk, a catcher’s interference, [...]
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Chicago Cubs plane diverted to Albuquerque for medical issue
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A flight carrying the Chicago Cubs to Los Angeles was diverted to New Mexico early Friday due to a medical issue on board. The plane was on its way to California again within a few hours. Albuquerque International Sunport spokesman Daniel Jiron said the plane landed in Albuquerque around 5:30 a.m. Friday. Jiron says the person with the medical issue was transported to a hospital, but he did not know if it was a player. Jiron says the crew flying the plane “timed out” and didn’t have any more flying time left, so a second crew had to be brought in to take the flight to Los Angeles. He says the plane left Albuquerque around 10:30 a.m. The Cubs are set to play the Dodgers on Saturday in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series. Related Articles Cubs come back on Max Scherzer to beat Nationals in NLDS Game 5 Dallas Keuchel looks to continue success against Yankees in ALCS Gio Gonzalez named Nationals starter for Game 5 of NLDS vs. Cubs Yankees complete comeback, beat Indians in Game 5 of ALDS Stephen Strasburg, Nationals beat Cubs, force NLDS to Game 5 [...]
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Newman: Three first-year Class 4A volleyball coaches have skipped the normal learning curve
The first year on any job usually comes with a steep learning curve. At high schools, new head coaches are often tasked with rebuilding a program or, in a best-case scenario, implementing an adjustment period in order to install their philosophies and systems. But there has been no such learning curve for three powerhouse Class 4A volleyball teams, where first-year coaches at each school — Wade Baxter for No. 1 Lewis-Palmer, Daisha Agho for No. 5 Niwot and Amber Cook for No. 9 D’Evelyn — have their teams on track to make serious noise at the state tournament Nov. 10-11 at the Denver Coliseum. For starters, Baxter has made his inaugural season look like a walk in the park. Granted, he did inherit a defending state championship team that was ripe with elite talent following longtime coach Susan Odenbaugh’s retirement, but the Rangers (17-0, 5-0 Pikes Peak) haven’t missed a beat under his leadership. And despite an undefeated record and just three dropped sets all season, the former Rangers junior varsity coach emphasized there’s still plenty of room for growth if his team is going to win the program’s seventh state title. “We need to make sure we maintain our consistency throughout the match,” Baxter said. “We’ve had a tendency throughout the season, at times, to come out really strong, win a first set handily, and then relax. The second set will then be a lot closer, or in a couple cases, we’ve lost a set that we felt we really shouldn’t have.” Beyond the Goliath that is Lewis-Palmer, Daisha Agho has Niwot (14-2, 11-1 Northern) on track toward another state tournament appearance, and the former Berthoud head coach noted her new team is motivated to make up for last season’s first-round exit at the state tournament. “We’re a state-caliber team, and we’re hoping to make it past where they got last year,” Agho said. “I was at state last year and watched their loss against Holy Family, and I’ve been able to bring that (scene) back to them again and again, just to keep their sights set on our goal of getting to that championship match.” Niwot boasts one of the best players in the state in senior hitter and Stanford commit Mackenzie Fidelak (148 kills, .424 kill percentage) on a team with a relaxed, family atmosphere. “I’m not going to sit there and take a kid off the court if she makes one or two errors,” Agho said of her approach. “I’m going to give them the chance to fix it, because I trust who I put on the court, and the entire team has faith in one another.” At D’Evelyn, the Jaguars tapped a longtime assistant to lead the program, which has never made it to state. Cook has the Jaguars (13-1, 5-1 Jeffco) on track to do so, largely thanks to an emphasis on upbeat vibes. “I think having those types of thoughts definitely impact the way you perform, and so we put a lot of emphasis on positive talk and positive vocabulary,” Cook said. “So far, it’s really paying off.” So will Baxter lead the Rangers to a repeat? Will Agho get her team to the championship match, and will Cook get her squad deep into the tournament? Nothing’s guaranteed in the often unpredictable prep universe. But what is for certain is these first-year coaches will have their teams ready to play down the stretch, with all three having a shot at winning state.   [...]
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Denver Nuggets aim to fix rebounding woes before start of regular season
Nuggets coach Michael Malone approached Gary Harris and Jamal Murray Thursday with a challenge. Malone told Harris, the Nuggets’ starting shooting guard, that he must average more than the 1.8 rebounds he corralled during the preseason. The coach told Murray, a 6-foot-5 starting point guard contender, that he needed to crash the glass in games like he did during training camp in Boulder two weeks ago. That was Malone reminding his players that the Nuggets need rebounding from all five positions in order to stay near the top of the NBA in that category this season. Denver took a surprising and significant dip during the preseason, suddenly making it an area that requires a fix before Wednesday’s opener at Utah. “By no means am I sitting there panicking,” Malone said. “I’ve made note of it … hopefully, when we start the real games, rebounding won’t be an issue, because it hasn’t been the last two years I’ve been here.” The Nuggets ranked 25th in the league in rebounding percentage (47.3) and 19th in in total rebounds (42.2 per game) during the preseason, after finishing second in the latter category during last year’s regular season (46.4 per game). Denver also ranked 29th in the preseason in defensive rebounding percentage (76.9), which calculates how many rebounds a team actually controls out of the potential opportunities. Though the Nuggets lost Danilo Gallinari’s career average of 4.7 rebounds per game via an offseason sign-and-trade, they added Paul Millsap’s career average of 7.5 in free agency. Malone attributes part of the rebounding struggles to the nature of the preseason, when the coach experimented with a variety of lineups and Denver’s starters did not play their full dose of minutes. The coach said primary big men Millsap (6.5 rebounds per game during the preseason), Nikola Jokic (6.5) and Mason Plumlee (7.6) are doing a “pretty good” job on the boards. Rebounding is also a longtime strength of Kenneth Faried, who is competing for backup power forward minutes. But Malone expects starting small forward Wilson Chandler to average seven rebounds per game, Harris to average at least four, and Murray to be a legitimate threat from the perimeter. “We play really good defense, the shot goes up and we all ‘ball watch’ as (the opponent is) crashing the glass,” Malone said. Related ArticlesOctober 12, 2017 Kiszla: When push comes to shove, will Nuggets be tough enough to make the NBA playoffs? October 12, 2017 Gary Harris signs 4-year, $84M contract extension with Denver Nuggets October 11, 2017 Denver Nuggets get extended break before season opener October 11, 2017 6 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ preseason loss to Oklahoma City Thunder October 11, 2017 Lunch Special: Denver Nuggets live chat with Gina Mizell During practice drills in which the Nuggets keep score, a lineup loses a point if it surrenders an offensive rebound. That area has been prioritized during film study. Plumlee stresses better rebounding will naturally assist the Nuggets’ defense, which allowed an average of 47.2 points in the paint per game during the preseason. But Millsap believes the trick to fixing the Nuggets’ rebounding woes is simple. “Just do it,” he said. Footnotes. The Nuggets cut Josh Childress from their training camp roster prior to Thursday’s practice. That reduces their roster to 17 players, including “two-way” signees Monte Morris and Torrey Craig, who will spend 45 days with the Nuggets in 2017-18 and the rest of the season in the G-League. … After a day off Wednesday, Malone called Thursday’s practice “average, at best,” irked by the low energy. … Malone did not give an update on the ongoing starting point guard battle, joking “I didn’t think at all” about it during the Nuggets’ off day. [...]
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Ezekiel Elliott to miss Cowboys’ next six games after court reinstates suspension
The NFL’s six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott stemming from domestic violence allegations has been reinstated by a federal appeals court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted the league’s request for an emergency stay of the injunction that was issued by a federal judge to keep Elliott’s suspension on hold while his case proceeds in court. The ruling by the appeals court cleared the way for the NFL to enforce Elliott’s suspension immediately, barring further legal intervention. The Cowboys, who have a record of 2-3, are on their bye week. They next play Oct. 22 at San Francisco. “Earlier today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the preliminary injunction that prohibited the league from imposing the six-game suspension issued to Ezekiel Elliott for a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy,” the NFL said in a statement. “The Court also directed the district court to dismiss the union’s lawsuit which was filed on Elliott’s behalf. As a result, Elliott’s suspension will begin effective immediately. Elliott is eligible to return to the team on Friday, November 24 following the Cowboys’ Thursday, November 23 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.” Elliott will miss games against the 49ers, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers if the suspension, which is without pay, stands. He will be eligible to return for Dallas’s Nov. 30 game against the rival Redskins. The Cowboys declined to comment “at this time” through a spokesman. The ruling came after oral arguments were conducted last week in New Orleans before a three-judge panel of the court. The league concluded after a lengthy investigation that Elliott was guilty of violence in a series of incidents last year involving his former girlfriend. Authorities in Columbus, Ohio, did not charge Elliott with a crime. League-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson rejected the NFL Players Association’s appeal on Elliott’s behalf and upheld the suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell under the sport’s personal conduct policy. Related ArticlesOctober 12, 2017 Carson Wentz throws 3 TD passes, Eagles beat Panthers 28-23 October 12, 2017 The NFL could mandate players stand for the anthem. Players, Broncos included, are divided in their opinions. October 12, 2017 John Kelly pushes back against perception of White House chaos October 12, 2017 Carter: Martin Luther King Jr.’s lesson for NFL protesters October 12, 2017 Diddy’s solution to the NFL’s anthem controversy? He’ll buy the league. The whole league. The NFLPA took its challenge to federal court in Texas. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant granted the NFLPA’s request for a preliminary injunction. Mazzant ruled that Elliott did not receive a fair appeal hearing before Henderson, in large part because Elliott’s accuser and Goodell did not testify. The NFL, maintaining that it adhered properly to the sport’s disciplinary procedures, quickly sought the intervention of the New Orleans-based appeals court. The NFL previously prevailed at the appellate level in cases involving Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady in which the NFLPA challenged disciplinary measures and scored victories at the district court level. In Brady’s case, his four-game suspension for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal was enforced at the outset of last season after he played the entire 2015 season based on a ruling by a federal judge. Elliott, the league’s leading rusher last season as a rookie, has totaled 393 rushing yards in five games this season. [...]
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Broncos rule out WR Cody Latimer, Giants rule out seven players
Broncos receiver Cody Latimer will miss his second consecutive game because of a knee injury. Head coach Vance Joseph said Friday that Latimer, as well as quarterback Paxton Lynch, are ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Latimer has been dealing with patellar tendinitis since the preseason and aggravated the injury in the Broncos’ Week 3 loss at Buffalo. During the bye week, he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy, according to 9News, and is hopeful of returning for the Broncos’ Oct. 22 game against the Chargers in Los Angeles. Lynch has been nursing a right shoulder sprain and has not practiced since the start of the season. This week he resumed throwing, but still has no timetable for a return. “Again, it’s a right shoulder injury and it’s his throwing shoulder,” Joseph said. “We want to be careful with that and make sure he’s right before he comes back.” Giants depleted. The Giants lost three receivers — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris — to season-ending injuries this past Sunday. But New York will arrive in Denver with an even more depleted roster. Defensive end Olivier Vernon, receiver Sterling Shepard, linebacker Jonathan Casillas, defensive end Romeo Okwara, running back Paul Perkins and center Weston Richburg have all been ruled out for Sunday’s game, along with cornerback Dominique Cromatie-Rodgers, who was suspended Wednesday. Safety Landon Collins is listed as questionable to play. Related ArticlesOctober 13, 2017 Broncos Q&A: Brandon Marshall opens up about NFL’s national anthem controversy October 13, 2017 Garett Bolles hasn’t been perfect. But he’s so far proven why the Broncos wanted him. October 13, 2017 Giants at Broncos: Who has the edge? October 12, 2017 The NFL could mandate players stand for the anthem. Players, Broncos included, are divided in their opinions. October 12, 2017 Broncos’ Von Miller: “You have to be desperate for a win or it’s not going to happen.” “I think it makes it more complicated because you’re kind of unsure of what they’re going to come out with,” Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said. “I think we’ll know in the first 15 plays what they want to do, but I imagine them trying to create mismatches. They have a tight end (Evan Engram) that ran a 4.4 (40-yard dash). They’re going to definitely try to get him the ball. They have a good receiver/running back in Shane Vareen. They’re going to try to get him the ball. I think the linebackers and the safeties just have to be on top of our game this week. Obviously everyone does. They’re going to try to establish the run because they have to run the ball, but we just got to be on our game.” Kicker evals. During the bye week, Broncos coaches and players did extensive self-scouting to evaluate their play through the first quarter of the season and look to improve for the remaining three quarters. The assessments extended to kicker Brandon McManus, too. McManus, who signed a new contract before the season opener, has made seven of his 10 field-goal attempts and all 11 of his extra-point attempts. “He’s not where he wants to be, he’s not where he needs to be, he ‘s not where we want him to be. He knows that,” Broncos special-teams coordinator Brock Olivo said. “He’s a great pro, he’s been working double on his tweaks there and making sure he’s right and seeing the target and following through. He’s had a really good past two weeks of practice. Brandon is a great pro and he’s going to fix it, no question.” [...]
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Broncos Q&A: Brandon Marshall opens up about NFL’s national anthem controversy
Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall kneeled during the national anthem for seven games last season to protest social inequalities in the United States. He followed the lead of former 49ers quarterback and his University of Nevada teammate, Colin Kaepernick, and faced the consequences that came with his actions. Marshall lost a pair of endorsements. He lost fans. He received multiple hate-filled messages and letters. He watched a man burn an orange T-shirt on the steps of the Broncos’ practice facility. But behind the scenes, Marshall also met with Denver Police Chief Robert White, spoke to local elementary school students in an effort to raise attendance and developed a program, the Williams-Marshall Cares Leadership Program, to expose teens in Las Vegas and Denver to leaders in both communities. Broncos players decided as a team they would stand following their Week 3 protest in Buffalo. But the anthem controversy has ballooned into a national debate that was stoked by inflammatory comments from President Donald Trump and has led to meetings between league owners and players about how to temper the flames. Next week in New York City, owners will convene for their annual fall meeting and discussion of the anthem is slated to be atop their agenda. Ahead of the meeting, and ahead of the Broncos’ Week 6 game against the New York Giants, Marshall spoke to The Denver Post and other local media Friday about the latest developments. Q: As the broader conversation of the anthem continues, do you find yourself more empowered or more exhausted by it? A: “I’m not exhausted by any means. I kind of feel like the narrative has shifted a little bit to Trump and his comments. I would say I’m empowered by it more than I’m exhausted.” Q: (Owners) will meet next week and discuss the anthem. If they force you guys to stand, do you have an opinion? A: “No, I don’t think Mr. Ellis (Broncos CEO Joe Ellis) or Vance (Joseph) would force us to stand. I think they’re all for players doing whatever they believe is right, which I respect from them. I heard what (Titans receiver) Rishard Matthews said — that’s my friend, I went to college with him — that he’d quit. I’m not sure how true that is because he ended up deleting the tweet. But you never know, he might. “It’s just a money thing. They don’t want lose sponsorships, potentially lose money from TV ads, I don’t know, the military, all of that. That’s really what it is. They’re trying to protect their business, which is one thing I do understand.” Q: Where would the players’ platform move? Is it working more visibly in the community? A: “It’ll be that, but how much an impact would it have attention-wise? The anthem has gotten everyone’s attention in the whole United States, if not the world maybe. Every time we do something in the community, you guys (media) might tweet it out, might say something, but it doesn’t get national attention. The anthem protest is very controversial. That’s what sells newspapers, the controversy and the drama. Which is why Kaepernick thought it was the perfect platform, which it was. “Because now, look, we’re all talking about it. It’s gone so far they might make us try to stand, the president is saying stuff about it. But some people say, ‘Go to the police stations in kneel,’ or ‘Go to the police stations and have conversations.’ I’ve had conversations. But protesting on our day off, it could work too. It’ll be tough, though.” Q: Has the league or NFL Players Association reached out to you to be a part of the discussions next week? A: “No. I might need to check my email, but nobody’s reached out to me about anything.” Q: Would you want to be a part of it? A: “Yeah, I would want to. But I don’t think they want the players to be a part of it. The NFLPA, they could probably bring us in, but I doubt the owners want the players’ opinions and say-so in that.” Q: Why do you think they don’t want your opinion? A: “Because we have a voice. We have a voice and sometimes it could be to the detriment of what they want to accomplish. So we get in there and we start speaking and start doing this and it’ll be too much riff or too many arguments. But our agenda is not what their agenda is. Their agenda is the business, continuing to making money. The NFL makes the most money of any sport — that’s their agenda. Our agenda is — we love to play. We love to play and we want to get paid, but at the same time if we have a platform, we have a voice and if we feel strongly about something, we want to use that. But they’ve been honest they don’t care about that.” Related ArticlesOctober 13, 2017 Broncos rule out WR Cody Latimer, Giants [...]
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Adam Foote joins Denver NHL player agency KO Sports Inc.
Former Avalanche defenseman, team captain and coaching consultant Adam Foote has joined Denver-based NHL player-agency KO Sports Inc. as director of player development. Foote, 46, has done a sensational job of developing his two teenage sons, and now looks to mentor others in how to prepare for the NHL and make the most out of a career. “For me, this is a great opportunity to stay in the game and get a great experience with a good group,” Foote said. “KO is well known, very professional and I wouldn’t jump in this if I didn’t love the situation.” KO Sports is located in Cherry Creek and it represents more than 25 NHL players, including the Avalanche’s Blake Comeau, J.T. Compher and Anton Lindholm. Company CEO and founder Kurt Overhardt said Foote will primarily work with defensemen, such as Pittsburgh’s Ian Cole, Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin, Minnesota’s Gustav Olofsson and Mattias Ekholm of Nashville, but he’ll also make time to visits with forwards. “Adam will work with our top prospects and help develop them, and he’s also going to mentor our professionals,” Overhardt said. “It’s pretty all-encompassing as far as helping the players in our group to become better players and also learn a lot of things on and off the ice. So we’re really proud to have the relationship with Adam and have him join our group.” Related ArticlesOctober 12, 2017 Nathan MacKinnon doing everything but scoring goals for Avalanche October 11, 2017 Avalanche hang on to beat Bruins in home opener at Pepsi Center October 11, 2017 Nail Yakupov glad to be in Colorado with Avalanche October 10, 2017 Colorado Avalanche announce new AHL affiliate in Colorado Eagles October 9, 2017 Semyon Varlamov blanks Boston, Avalanche erase special team woes in road win Foote will split his time living in Denver and Kelowna, British Columbia, where his two sons play for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. Defenseman Cal Foote, 18, was selected 14th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2017 NHL draft and forward Nolan Foote, 16, could be a first-round pick in the 2019 draft. But Foote will often travel to meet with KO Sports’ clients. “You got to see these players play,” he said. “You can’t just watch them on video. You have to get there, you still have to see them live.” Foote said he doesn’t plan on becoming a player agent, for now. “When I played, I always had some people I leaned on away from the rink. They were my mentors,” Foote said. “There’s so many things on the ice that happens, but off the ice, too. You’re always dealing with ups and downs. You always hear, ‘One day you’re in the penthouse, one day you’re in the doghouse.’ You can’t get on that emotional roller-coaster. You have to stay even-keeled. I can help these guys understand. I just want to be a support system, someone these guys can lean on.” [...]
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Nathan MacKinnon doing everything but scoring goals for Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon is a natural goal scorer, among other things he excels at in playing hockey. It just happens that the other things are dominating his game lately. Through four games, the Avalanche center is still looking for his first goal. But he has a team-high four assists, including two primary ones in Wednesday’s 6-3 victory over the visiting Boston Bruins. “I really liked his game (Wednesday) night,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said of MacKinnon after practice Thursday. “We need to produce, and produce through our lineup, and he’s helping that in a big way. His line is scoring right now. He just doesn’t happen to be the guy shooting it in the back of the net.” MacKinnon, who is centering a line with wingers Sven Andrighetto and Mikko Rantanen, used a back-hand saucer pass to set up Nail Yakupov’s big one-time slap shot that broke a 1-1 tie against the Bruins. And then on the power play, MacKinnon delivered the pass that immediately resulted in Andrighetto’s goal to make it 3-1. “The pass he makes to Yakupov broke the game open for us,” Bednar said. “I’m really happy with what he’s doing.” Related ArticlesOctober 12, 2017 Adam Foote joins Denver NHL player agency KO Sports Inc. October 11, 2017 Avalanche hang on to beat Bruins in home opener at Pepsi Center October 11, 2017 Nail Yakupov glad to be in Colorado with Avalanche October 10, 2017 Colorado Avalanche announce new AHL affiliate in Colorado Eagles October 9, 2017 Semyon Varlamov blanks Boston, Avalanche erase special team woes in road win MacKinnon, 22, played in all 82 games last season, but he produced just 16 goals. In four preseason games, he led Colorado with four goals. “I think the goals will come. I’ve had some good chances,” MacKinnon said Thursday. “I’ll start to get the bounces. Everyone else is getting those bounces right now and I’m just happy to be part of it. The game feels good. It’s all about the team winning and if the assists are going to get the job done, then I’m happy with that. At the end of the day, wins take care of everything.” Colorado took a 4-1 lead against Boston, which rallied to come within 4-3 in the final eight minutes of Wednesday’s game. MacKinnon said the Bruins’ comeback was a great test for the Avs. “Last year, we probably would have caved and blew the lead,” he said. “This year, even with the young group, there was no panic and we started dominating again. So that was nice. That’s a big step for us from where we were last year.” ANAHEIM AT COLORADO, 7 p.m. Friday, ALT, 950 AM Spotlight on: Francois Beauchemin. The veteran Ducks defenseman was bought out by the Avalanche in June and signed a one-year, $1 million free agent contract with the team he won the Stanley Cup with in 2007. Beauchemin, 37, will collect $1.5 million from Colorado this season and in 2018-19 under the buyout agreement, and his entire $4.5 million cap hit for this season counts as dead money against the Avs’ salary cap. Buying out Beauchemin didn’t appear to make sense at the time and his play with the Ducks is proving why. He is a serviceable blue-line leader who can mentor young defensemen in his final years in the league. Beauchemin has played in all four games for Anaheim and is averaging 18 minutes, 12 seconds in ice time. He is playing with Brandon Montour on the second pairing while the Ducks await the return of two of their best D-men. NOTEBOOK Ducks: They opened the season 2-1-1 in a four-game homestand and are coming off a 3-2 win Wednesday against the New York Islanders. … Coach Randy Carlyle earned his 412th career win Wednesday to come within one of matching Hall-of-Famer Jack Adams for 32nd-most all-time. … Defensemen Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm remain on the injured list and have yet to play. … Anaheim will play six of their first seven games at home; this is a single-game trip. Avalanche: Rookie forward Tyson Jost didn’t practice Thursday and is listed as questionable Friday. He injured his left knee in a collision against the boards Wednesday but returned to the game and scored an empty-net goal. However, coach Jared Bednar isn’t sure Jost will be available against the Ducks. … Jonathan Bernier will start in goal as Colorado prepares for its first consecutive-night stretch. The Avs visit the Dallas Stars on Saturday, and Semyon Varlamov will man the pipes in that game. … Rookie Alex Kerfoot admitted that his first career NHL goal Wednesday was scored off his leg, from Tyson Barrie’s shot from the point. Kerfoot is the fifth active player from Harvard playing in the NHL. [...]
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