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Russian Nikita Zadorov finally reports to Avalanche camp
Nikita Zadorov is going through physicals today. Not practicing. #Avs pic.twitter.com/hotFx3nCED — Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) September 21, 2017 Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov finally reported to training camp Thursday morning, nearly a week after signing a contract extension. The 22-year-old Russian was held up in Ottawa, Ontario, because of issues with his immigration papers. “It usually takes a few days to get it,” Zadorov said from the Pepsi Center, where some of his teammates had participated in a morning skate in preparation for Thursday’s preseason game against the Dallas Stars. “With the situation with Russia and America right now, it’s kind of tough. But it’s nice to get it done.” Zadorov had a physical and off-ice testing, before watching the Avs score three times in the first 5:09 of the game and gonwent on to beat Dallas 5-1. He will practice with the team Friday in split-squad sessions at Family Sports Center. Related ArticlesSeptember 20, 2017 David Warsofsky eyeing spot on Avalanche’s blue line September 20, 2017 Lunch Special: Colorado Avalanche live chat with Mike Chambers September 19, 2017 Alexander Kerfoot gets call to play with MacKinnon, Rantanen in Avs’ preseason opener September 18, 2017 Matt Duchene breaks silence, says his career with Avalanche is “day-by-day” September 15, 2017 Colorado Avalanche covets NCAA captains Colorado visits the Minnesota Wild on Saturday to begin a four-game stretch in six days to wrap up the exhibition season. “I have a few preseason games left, right? So I’m going to play some of them and hopefully get my level back right away,” said Zadorov, who has been training in Ottawa. “But I’ve been skating great. … Let’s get the season going already. I’m ready.” Zadorov played down his opportunity to skip an NHL season to play for a Moscow-based team in the Kontinental Hockey League — a scenario that would have made him eligible to represent Russia at the Olympics in February. Zadorov tentatively had an agreement to play for CSKA Moscow. “I told (Avs general manager) Joe (Sakic) in July we’re not planning to go to KHL, it’s not what I want, I want to play in the best league in the world,” Zadorov said. “I’m still 22 years old, so I got a few Olympics to go, right? If I miss this one it’s not a big deal. But I’ll always respect my country. I love my country. I’m totally Russian and for sure anytime they call me I’m ready to go. “But in this situation my hands are tied. It’s not my decision not to go to Olympics. This is my league, that’s my team, that’s where I’m playing. If players from NHL can’t go to Olympics, it is what it is.” Zadorov, a left-handed shot, is pegged to serve in Colorado’s top pairing with right-handed Erik Johnson. “We’re excited. He’s been texting me every day. He wants me to be here and was happy I came today,” Zadorov said. “I’m real excited to play with him. He’s great player and we had great chemistry last year.” No. 9 will make his preseason debut tonight. Zadorov is at AM skate as spectator #Avs pic.twitter.com/UfcyfPuNHU — Mike Chambers (@MikeChambers) September 21, 2017 Footnotes. Center Matt Duchene, who is unhappy with team management and expecting to be traded, made his preseason debut against the Stars and wore an “A” as alternate captain. Duchene shared an “A” with Nathan MacKinnon last season. Duchene, who scored to give the Avs a 5-0 lead against the Stars, politely declined to answer questions after the morning skate. … David Warsofsky, Sven Andrighetto and Sergei Boikov scored at 2:11, 4:03 and 5:09 into Thursday’s game. Alex Kerfoot made it 4-0 in the second period when he redirected a a Warsofsky shot. Goalie Semyon Varlamov played the entire game for the Avs. … Rookie forward Tyson Jost remains out with a groin injury. He did not practice with Thursday’s scratches after the morning skate at the Pepsi Center. Defenseman Tyson Barrie, however, is back with the team after missing some time with a slight shoulder injury. … Colorado had a more veteran lineup than what it had Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to the visiting Vegas Golden Knights. Duchene centered Kerfoot and Nail Yakupov. The second line had rookie J.T. Compher between Gabe Landeskog and Andrighetto. … Four defensemen fighting for opening-night roster spots — Chris Bigras, Warsofsky, Anton Lindholm and Andrei Mironov — were in the lineup. [...]
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Broncos can answer big questions against the Cowboys
Are the Cowboys a litmus test for the Denver Broncos? After the Dallas Cowboys dismantled the New York Giants, Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro discussed whether or not they are a good measuring stick for the Denver Broncos. The Cowboys were 13-3 last year, and are off to a fast start in 2017. The Broncos are coming off a week one win that saw them hanging on for dear life at the end. Now, Denver will face a big test in the Cowboys. Dallas is one of the elite teams in the NFC, and a favorite to make the Super Bowl. The Broncos are not on that list in the AFC, and most experts don’t see them making a deep run in the playoffs. The Broncos defense is still considered to be one of the best in the league. Dallas may see the Broncos defense as a test. Can they put up points on a stingy defense? If the Broncos are going to come away with a win, the defense will have to step up and stop the run. This is a week two matchup that will likely answer a lot of questions for both teams. Can the Broncos compete with the elite teams in the NFL? Can the Cowboys put up points on an elite defense. The scales may be tipped in Dallas’s favor, but Denver can make a big statement early in the season if they can overcome the odds and get a win. Bonus Listen: Eric and Les discuss the improvements the defense needs to make with Will Parks. [...]
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Philip Rivers not panicking over Chargers 0-2 start
The Los Angeles Chargers may be 0-2 but quarterback Philip Rivers isn’t panicking about the early hole the team finds themselves in this season. Coming off close losses to the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins, Rivers is completely confident in his team’s ability to be a factor this season. “We have 14 games left, and I just know the years we have been on runs,” Rivers said, via Dan Greenspan of the Associated Press. [...]
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[MLS: Colorado Rapids] – Join us at the 2017 A Burgundy Affair awards gala | October 17, 2017
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Nuggets Re-Sign Mason Plumlee
The Denver Nuggets have re-signed center Mason Plumlee to a multi-year contract, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announce [...]
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Nuggets 2017-18 Player Preview: Torrey Craig
Last season: Torrey Craig stood out as one of the best players in the Australian NBL, playing for the Brisbane Bullets. [...]
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Broncos Injury Report: Bennie Fowler, Garett Bolles, Bradley Roby among those sidelined Wednesday
Devontae Booker also saw a full workload as he continues to work his way back from a fractured wrist. [...]
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Bills' front seven to pose 'true challenge' for Broncos, Trevor Siemian
The Broncos won't have to worry about looking past this defensive unit. [...]
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Rockies’ offense a no-show again in loss to Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — The somber visitors clubhouse at AT&T Park was full of mixed messages Wednesday after the Rockies were blanked 4-0 by the Giants. Veterans silently pulled on Denver Broncos T-shirts, while rookies, such as pitcher German Marquez, were forced to don full Broncos uniforms, complete with shoulder pads, helmets and padded football pants. Rookie hazing is a baseball tradition that accompanies the last road trip of the season — in this case, Colorado’s flight to San Diego for the final four road games of the season. And if ever a team needed some levity, it’s the Rockies, who have now lost three straight, including this two-game sweep by the Giants, and who have seen their once-comfortable lead for the National League’s second wild card evaporate to remain just one game over Milwaukee. The Brewers, winners of nine of their previous 11 games, lost 6-4 later Wednesday at Pittsburgh against the Pirates to remain one back. “It’s natural for young players and guys who have not been here before to press when we get close to crunchtime,” veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “Guys are pressing a little bit, so we are going to take a step back and have some fun on the flight with the football team we have. “Hopefully that loosens some guys up and then we get back at it against the Padres. All we can control is our effort and our work. Everything else is kind of up to baseball.” Colorado’s offense has been two-faced much of the season, and the ugly mug showed up again when the Rockies managed just six hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. That 0-for-RISP has become symbolic of the Rockies’ all-to-frequent struggles at the plate in the second half of the season. “We couldn’t get the big hit,” manager Bud Black said. “We had some baserunners, but we couldn’t get the big hit, like we have talked about over the course of the few games that we have lost lately.” Unlike Lucroy, however, Black discounted the idea that his team is pressing as it enters the final 10 games of its season and seeks its first postseason berth since 2009. “It’s crunchtime all year. (That question) was asked two weeks ago, and you saw what happened,” Black said, referring to a stretch when the Rockies won eight of nine games when their offense started producing big numbers, such as an 8-1 victory against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Sept. 10 to complete a four-game sweep. “I think the guys want to get hits, there is no doubt about that,” Black continued, “but whether they are pressing, I don’t think so. We just have to go back to the plate and on the mound and get it done.” Giants left-handed starter Matt Moore entered the game carrying a 5-14 record and a 5.59 ERA, among the worst marks for a full-time big-league starter. He had allowed six runs over his last 11 innings and the Giants were just 9-20 in his starts this season. In six career starts vs. the Rockies, he was 1-3 with a 9.64 ERA and he seemed like the perfect anecdote to what’s been ailing Colorado’s offense. Instead, he morphed into a quasi-ace, pitching six-plus innings, allowing no runs on six hits with six strikeouts. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s Joe Panik continued his assault on Colorado pitchers, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. The only thing missing from a Panik cycle was a home run. He’s batting .455 since Sept. 1, the highest average in the majors. His torrid stretch includes a franchise-record 12 hits in a three-game series from Sept. 4-6 at Coors Field. In 19 games against Colorado this season, Panik hit .436 (34-for-78). His 34 hits are the most ever in a season by a Colorado opponent. “He’s been a Rockie killer for sure,” Black said. “We just can’t seem to solve him. We are trying all sorts of different things to get him out, but the mistakes that we have made, he’s not missing.” Panik ambushed starter Tyler Chatwood in the first inning with Panik crushing a ball to right-center for a one-out triple and then scoring on Denard Span’s sacrifice fly. Related ArticlesSeptember 20, 2017 Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon not ready to ponder 200-hit milestone or MVP talk September 20, 2017 Tracking the Colorado Rockies and the race for the National League wild card September 20, 2017 Coors Field will get a massive new video board and a sound system, Rockies announce September 19, 2017 Rockies’ walk-off loss to Giants cuts wild-card lead to one game September 19, 2017 Greg Holland pitching for Rockies’ playoff spot and his next contract The Giants took a 3-0 lead in the third, combining Panik’s leadoff double, a groundout by Span and a sacrifice fly by Buster [...]
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Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon not ready to ponder 200-hit milestone or MVP talk
SAN FRANCISCO — When the season is over, Rockies all-star center fielder, leadoff man extraordinaire and National League MVP candidate Charlie Blackmon will sit back, ponder all that he’s accomplished and, maybe, give himself a little pat on the back. But there is no time for that now as the Rockies try to hold onto a wild-card playoff berth. “I’ll do it when the season is over,” Blackmon said Wednesday before Colorado’s 4-0 loss to San Francisco. “I go back every year and I will look at it and basically compare how I did, year after year. I’ll look at how I got better and why I didn’t get better, and how I could get better the next year.” Blackmon reached the 200-hit milestone Tuesday, making him the first major-league player to accomplish that this season and the eighth different player in Rockies history to do it. He didn’t know what he had accomplished until fellow outfielder Gerardo Parra gave him a heads up Tuesday night. “He said, ‘Congratulations, Papi,’ ” Blackmon said. “I said, ‘Why?’ He goes, ‘You just got 200 hits.’ I was like, ‘Really? Wow. That’s pretty good.’ That’s what he said.” That last Rockies player to get 200 hits in a season was Matt Holliday, who had 216 in the Rockies’ 2007 World Series season. “It’s good to get a lot of hits,” Blackmon deadpanned. “For that reason, it means you’ve been able to play a lot baseball and be an effective player. Matt Holliday was certainly a good player. It’s good to be in that conversation.” As for talk about his chances of being voted MVP, Blackmon said he can’t afford to pay attention to it. But he did offer this: “That means I’m doing something right, and if you are not a good player, you don’t have that problem.” Related ArticlesSeptember 20, 2017 Rockies’ offense a no-show again in loss to Giants September 20, 2017 Tracking the Colorado Rockies and the race for the National League wild card September 20, 2017 Coors Field will get a massive new video board and a sound system, Rockies announce September 19, 2017 Rockies’ walk-off loss to Giants cuts wild-card lead to one game September 19, 2017 Greg Holland pitching for Rockies’ playoff spot and his next contract Bettis on tap. Right-hander Chad Bettis has been struggling lately, as his 1-3 record and 6.23 ERA demonstrate, but manager Bud Black will start Bettis on Saturday at San Diego. “The couple bullpen sessions he’s had have been good in regards to some simple mechanical adjustments he’s made,” Black said. “He’s working to keep that fastball a little more direct to where he’s intending to throw the ball. I think four extra days of rest will be beneficial for him.” Bettis’ last start was short and ugly. He gave up five runs in one-third of an inning last Thursday at Arizona, but Black expressed confidence that Bettis will rebound. “I think we know what we’re going to get from Chad,” Black said. “We’re going to get strikes. We’re going to get the ball down and get a good changeup to keep hitters off balance. That’s our expectation. I think if he does those things, fundamentally speaking, he will pitch well.” Plus, there is this fact: Bettis owns a 3.00 career ERA in seven starts against the Padres. Golden endorsement. Shortstop Trevor Story has been turning in a lot of highlight-reel plays of late. That led Black to dole out some hefty praise for the second-year player. “He should get consideration for a Gold Glove,” Black said. “I really think so. There’s going to be a few guys ahead of him just because they’ve done it before. He should really get strong consideration.” Looking ahead Matthew Stockman, Getty ImagesStarting pitcher Tyler Anderson #44 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field on May 30, 2017 in Denver.David Zalubowski, The Associated PressColorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson delivers a pitch to Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock in the first inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 6, 2017, in Denver.Hunter Martin, Getty ImagesStarting pitcher Tyler Anderson of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on May 25, 2017 in Philadelphia.Chris Coduto, Getty ImagesTyler Anderson of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Feb. 23, 2017 in Scottsdale, Ariz.John Leyba, The Denver PostColorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson (44) delivers a pitch against th [...]
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Colorado Prep Football Preview: Top Week 4 games to watch
Denver Post preps editor Kyle Newman breaks down the biggest games to watch in Week 4 of the 2017 Colorado high school football season. Valor Christian (3-0) at Pomona (3-0), Friday 7:30 p.m., NAAC: The No. 1 Eagles battle the No. 2 Panthers in a rematch of the past two Class 5A championship games, both won by Valor Christian. But Pomona, which has won the regular season matchup over Valor Christian each of the past two seasons, has the firepower necessary to make it three victories in a row thanks to Washington State commit Max Borghi. He has six rushing touchdowns in two games this year and will play opposite of Valor Christian star Luke McCaffrey, who will see time at quarterback, wideout, running back and returner. Related ArticlesSeptember 19, 2017 Valor Christian and Pomona battle in Class 5A football rivalry that could (again) be a championship prelude September 19, 2017 Study shows playing football before age 12 can lead to mood and behavior issues September 18, 2017 Prep Power Rankings: Week of Friday, Sept. 22 September 18, 2017 Listen: Denver South vs. Heritage in Class 4A football on the Post Preps Radio Game of the Week September 18, 2017 Watch: No. 1 Valor Christian vs. No. 2 Pomona in Class 5A football on the Post Preps TV Game of the Week Chatfield (2-1) at Columbine (3-0), Friday 7:30 p.m., Jeffco Stadium: After an out-of-state loss in Week 0, 4A No. 3 Chatfield reeled off consecutive blowout wins thanks to scoring 50-plus points in each and a defense that’s allowed just one touchdown over the past eight quarters. Senior running back Ben Frenette is key against the 5A No. 7 Rebels, who have gotten solid quarterbacking from junior Logan Dearment in addition to having a capable running back corps highlighted by sophomore Tanner Hollens and senior Ted Mullin. Grandview (2-1) at Cherry Creek (2-1), Friday 7:30 p.m. Stutler Bowl: The showdown between the longtime Centennial League rivals gives each team a chance to gain momentum heading into the finale of nonconference action next week. Coach John Schultz’s Wolves look to their array of playmakers, such as senior wideout/defensive back Julius Carter Jr., to earn a bounce-back win after losing to No. 3 Eaglecrest. Meanwhile, coach Dave Logan’s Bruins will likely ride a talented rushing duo in sophomore Jayle Stacks and junior Alec Pell, along with a defense led by junior free safety Carson Brantley. Rampart (3-1) at Ponderosa (3-0), Friday 7 p.m., Echo Park: In a top-tier 4A clash, the No. 9 Rams travel to Parker to take on the No. 2 Mustangs. Rampart is led by senior running backs Chris Yoo and Keion Cross, plus a hard-nosed defense defined by senior linebacker Chris Schockey and senior free safety Jared Behm. But early title favorite Ponderosa has an overwhelming arsenal to match, with senior quarterback Sterling Ostdahl and senior wideout Kade Ongna highlighting an offense that can rack up 50-plus points on any given Friday. Regis Jesuit (2-1) at Highlands Ranch (3-0), Saturday 6 p.m., Shea Stadium: The 5A Top 10 battle between the No. 4 Raiders and the No. 6 Falcons pits two hard-nosed lines against each other. Regis Jesuit senior Sean Dunnington heads up the Raiders’ big men who have proven they can control the trenches on both sides of the ball, while juniors Drake Nugent and Austin Johnson provide size and experience up front for Highlands Ranch. The quarterback battle is also key, with Raiders seasoned senior Justin Lamb mirroring Highlands Ranch senior Kyle Weston. [...]
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Tom Brady, Bill Belichick donate to J.J. Watt’s hurricane relief fund
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has donated $100,000 to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund started by Texans pass-rusher J.J. Watt, and New England coach Bill Belichick has pitched in $50,000. Watt called the donations “incredibly kind gestures (that) … show what type of people they are.” Harvey slammed South Texas with torrential rain that flooded parts of Houston and nearby cities, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. Watt initially hoped to raise $100,000 but blew through that goal on his way to $37 million. Brady says he has a lot of friends in Houston. “I think everybody was pretty touched by what happened,” he said. The Patriots play the Texans on Sunday in New England. [...]
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NHL hoping to make inroads in China with preseason games
By Justin Bergman, The Associated Press SHANGHAI — As the Vancouver Canucks held their first practice in Shanghai before their exhibition game with the Los Angeles Kings, a dense fog settled over the ice. The humidity in the arena was high and the players could barely see the puck. Large dehumidifiers were rolled in and the mist eventually cleared, but the NHL has perhaps a bigger visibility problem in China — a country with little tradition of winter sports, hockey included. The league is hoping to turn that around with a major push in the country, beginning with its first two preseason games between the Canucks and Kings in Shanghai and Beijing this week. The timing couldn’t be better for the NHL. With Beijing set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the government is putting a massive emphasis on developing winter sports. Hockey training programs and youth leagues are expanding across China, and the nation’s first professional team, the Kunlan Red Star, plays in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. With interest on the rise, the NHL believes it now has an opportunity to crack a market that has traditionally been more fixated on basketball and soccer. “You don’t quite know what to expect the first time the game is coming here, but I’ve always believed that hockey is a game you need to see live,” Los Angeles Kings coach John Stevens said after Wednesday’s practice. “And once you see it live, you become hooked as a fan.” A glance at the numbers shows just how far the NHL has to go. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, China has just 1,101 registered players, compared with nearly 556,000 in the U.S. and more than 631,000 in Canada. And the fan base in a nation of more than 1.2 billion people is still in its infancy. On Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, the NHL has just 47,000 followers, some of whom are obviously new to the sport. (One posted a question about the temperature of the arena and what was suitable to wear to the game.) The NBA, which hosted its first preseason exhibition games in China in 2004, boasts more than 33 million followers on Weibo. “We’re learning a lot about how to market here and we’re learning a lot about how tickets are sold,” says David Proper, the NHL’s executive vice president of media and international strategy. “We’re just viewing this as Year 1 of a multi-year project and in Year 1 we may not knock it out of the park . but we can still build over time.” Media exposure certainly helps. State broadcaster CCTV now televises five games per week to Chinese audiences and the Internet giant Tencent streams 14 games per week on its digital platforms, including the Stanley Cup playoffs. The NHL also has an influential partner on the ground in Zhou Yunjie, the billionaire founder of a Chinese drinks packaging company who has devoted significant time and resources to building the game he fell in love with as a youth in Beijing. Zhou’s company, ORG Packaging, is the presenting partner for this week’s exhibition games. “Hockey was actually quite common in northern China back in the ’60s and ’70s, so there is a foundation among the kids in those areas,” Zhou told The Associated Press at his company’s newly opened hockey training base in a Beijing suburb, which includes a fully stocked gym, physical therapy room and a hotel for players attending training camps. Zhou said China’s hockey revival should focus on both universities and a professional league, using the North American, northern European and Russian systems as models. “It will take time before ice hockey really becomes like a religion with young people as it is in the West,” he said. “But ice hockey will definitely catch on with lots of kids.” One thing that will certainly help is developing a home-grown star similar to Yao Ming in basketball and Li Na in tennis. There are promising signs on this front, too. Song Andong became the first China-born player to be drafted in the NHL two years ago, selected by the New York Islanders. The 20-year-old Song has committed to play at Cornell this season. On Monday, the Vancouver Canucks signed 21-year-old Sun Zehao to an amateur tryout contract to serve as the team’s third goaltender for the China preseason games. “He’s working with our goalie coach,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “He liked how quick (Sun) was, how competitive he was. . I just think it’s a great experience for him.” The NHL should also get a boost in China as excitement builds for the 2022 Olympics. The league angered its players by deciding not to interrupt its season to allow them to take part in the 2018 Games in South Korea in February. That stance may change for 2022 in the much larger Chinese market. To some, skipping the Pyeongchang Olympics is a missed oppor [...]
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