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Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth set career highs this season in goals [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-adolphus-washington-jersey]Adolphus Washington Jersey[/url] , games and perhaps even grudges.
See what a little chip on the shoulder can do?
Waived by Dallas in October, he was claimed by Colorado soon after and has played an integral role in helping the Avalanche return to the postseason. He’s not alone: These playoffs are filled with castoffs who were put on waivers, only to find a revamped role with a new team.
It’s not personal. It’s just business. Players realize this. But still, being waived goodbye is hard to swallow.
”Of course you want to prove them wrong,” said Nemeth, whose team trails 3-1 heading to Nashville for Game 5 on Friday night. ”You want to prove you can play and that they were wrong. That’s always going to be in the back of your head – at least for me.”
When Avs defenseman Mark Barberio was cut by Montreal last year, so many thoughts swirled through his head: What went wrong? Next stop, the minors? Is there still even a role for him in the league?
It was a whirlwind 24 hours – the amount of time teams have to make a claim – before the Avs picked him up.
”Colorado saw something in me and decided to give me a chance,” Barberio said. ”I’ve gotten a chance to play regular minutes, and a coaching staff I feel believes in me. I’m trying to repay that faith every time I play.”
That sort of feeling is shared by center Ryan Carpenter, who was claimed by Vegas from Anaheim on Dec. 13. He’s now heading to the second round with the expansion Golden Knights. Carpenter had a key assist in a Game 3 win over Los Angeles.
”It’s amazing … how things can change in pro hockey,” Carpenter said on the team’s website. ”I feel like a little kid right now playing in playoffs. It’s exciting and we want to keep this thing going. It’s nice when you feel like you’re contributing. I never would’ve though in the middle of December I’d be playing right now.”
Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser was in a similar boat. He was claimed after St. Louis put him on waivers in late November, returning the nine-year NHL veteran to his home-state team for another stint. The Wild previously claimed Prosser off waivers from St. Louis on Oct. 2, 2014, after he had signed with the Blues that summer but was let go just before the season.
A reliable defenseman [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-cam-robinson-jersey]Cam Robinson Jersey[/url] , he has taken on added responsibility after an injury to Ryan Suter.
”It puts the onus on the rest of us to amp up our game a little bit,” Prosser said. ”Just different parts of the game we’ve got to make sure we’re honing in on.”
Then there’s Stefan Noesen , who’s had quite a path to wind up with the New Jersey Devils. Drafted by Ottawa in the first round in 2011 and traded to Anaheim in ’13, he was claimed by the Devils on Jan. 25, 2017. He had his first playoff goal in Game 3 against Tampa Bay.
”Just because you get put on waivers doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t play,” Nemeth said. ”Sometimes the situation is the way it is and you need a new opportunity.”
That was the case for Nemeth, a second-round pick by Dallas in 2010. He played in a career-high 68 games for Colorado, with three goals, 12 assists and a plus-27 rating, which was the highest by an Avalanche defenseman since Adam Foote in 2002-03 – the benefits of a change in scenery.
”It could be different scenarios,” Nemeth said of factors leading to being placed on waivers. ”Sometimes, it’s just too many guys. Sometimes, your coach might not like you or might not appreciate what you bring to the table. It’s just different, depending on what situation you’re in. For me personally, it was good.”
Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens went through the experience last fall – with his own team. He was reassigned to San Antonio in the American Hockey League before spending the last seven weeks with Colorado. He made his playoff debut in the Predators series.
”This is such a competitive league [url=http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-josh-lambo-jersey]Josh Lambo Jersey[/url] ,” said Siemens, a first-round pick by Colorado in 2011. ”There are so many good hockey players out there. Your first chance could be your last chance. Anytime you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it because you don’t know if you’re going to get another one.”
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed to this report.
The unthinkable has happened before.
Conference semifinals, 2010, Boston vs. Philadelphia: Boston wins the first two games at home, then goes into Philadelphia to capture Game 3 and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Undeterred, Philadelphia won in seven games to reach the Eastern Conference finals.
One small detail to note: That was in hockey.
If there’s one piece of solace for the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors right now, it’s likely this – comebacks from 3-0 deficits are not completely unheard of in major sports. There’s been four of them in the NHL. Another happened in baseball, the Boston Red Sox rallying to oust the New York Yankees in the 2004 AL Championship Series. And even Cleveland has blown a 3-0 lead, albeit again in hockey, and that was of the minor league variety in 1960.
But in the NBA, never.
NBA teams staring into the 0-3 abyss have never been saved: 129 have tried, 129 have failed. On Monday, the 76ers and the Raptors – both down 3-0 after down-to-the-wire defeats in their respective Game 3s of their Eastern Conference semifinal series – get their chance to be the ones who rewrite that ignominious piece of basketball history.
Philadelphia plays host to Boston and Toronto is at Cleveland, with the 76ers and Raptors both trying to find ways to extend their seasons.
”There’s a breaking point we all have [url=http://www.texanscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-jeff-allen-jersey]Jeff Allen Jersey[/url] ,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. ”And I believe that if we can maintain our spirit, why couldn’t we be the one? And I mean that. That’s my goal with us, is to fight. That’s all I know. I can’t see any other way to approach this that makes sense to me. So that’s what we’re going to do.”
The odds are obviously overwhelmingly in favor of the Celtics and Cavaliers, who seem destined to meet in the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive year.
That’s hard to believe, given where those clubs were a week or so ago. Both needed to survive Game 7s just to get out of the first round.
The narrative around the Celtics, with no Kyrie Irving for the postseason, was that they would be the East high seed ripe for a playoff upset.
Oops. They’ve been unflappable.
”I’ve never been around a group of guys, and I’ve been around some really special ones, that can just turn the page and they just play the next play the right way,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. ”It’s a really unique group in that regard.”
The narrative around the Cavaliers was that LeBron James was being asked to do too much and his supporting cast was capable of too little.
Oops, again. And now James is five wins from an eighth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.
”We’re getting better,” Cavs forward Jeff Green said. ”We’re getting better each game. Our defense is getting better. We’re playing together. Things are turning a corner for us at the right time.”
A look at Monday’s games:
CELTICS AT 76ERS
Celtics lead 3-0. Game 4, 6 p.m. EDT, TNT.
NEED TO KNOW: The Celtics are playing for a lot of rest. A win on Monday, and the Celtics wouldn’t play again until at least Sunday. And there’s nothing more valuable than days off to heal nagging things at this time of year.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Jayson Tatum. Boston’s young standout was brilliant in Game 3 with 24 points [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-chad-kelly-jersey]Chad Kelly Jersey[/url] , and the Celtics were plus-24 when he was on the floor. In the 11 1/2 minutes he was on the bench, Philadelphia outscored Boston 39-18.
STAT QUIRK: Philadelphia set an NBA record with a 16-game winning streak to end the regular season. The 76ers topped the 15-game end-of-season run by the 1950 Rochester Royals – who exited the playoffs in a sweep.
PRESSURE IS ON: Ben Simmons. The 76ers point guard made some atrocious decisions in the final moments of Game 3, like going back up with an offensive rebound late in regulation (instead of burning some clock with Philly leading) and the lazy-looking one-handed inbounds pass for a turnover in overtime that sealed Boston’s win.
RAPTORS AT CAVALIERS
Cavaliers lead 3-0. Game 4, 8:30 p.m. EDT, TNT
NEED TO KNOW: Pity the Raptors. After coming into these playoffs with title hopes, Toronto has again been unable to solve LeBron James. In the last 15 matchups where the Raptors have faced James, they’re 1-14 and are now on the brink of being ousted by the Cavs for the third straight season.
KEEP ANY EYE ON: Kevin Love’s resurgence. Cleveland’s other All-Star has been revived in this series, a development that bodes well for the Cavs going forward. Love finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds in Game 3, responding to urging from Cavs coach Tyronn Lue to play faster.
PRESSURE IS ON: Raptors coach Dwane Casey. His moves have been questioned throughout the first three games. Toronto ran a mind-boggling inbounds play in the final minute of Game 3 with guard Fred VanVleet hoisting and missing a 35-foot jumper before the shot clock expired. Casey also benched All-Star DeMar DeRozan for the entire fourth quarter, a bold decision given that he’s the club’s best offensive player.
PRODUCT PLACEMENT: James’ choice to wear a Seagram’s 7 whiskey cap to his postgame news conference was interesting. Some suspected he might be trolling the Raptors since Seagram’s was originally a Canadian company. The logo also includes a small crown, so there’s the royal angle. Whatever the case, he may want to start getting Samuel Adams hats ready for the East finals – if he wants to tweak Boston fans a bit more.
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