NHL scores 2017: Bruins¡¯ loss complicates Atlantic Division playoff push

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The Bruins have to play just one more game to be done with half of their season. Much like the Blackhawks, the Bruins are leading the NHL in games played after just a few days into 2017.

Unlike the Blackhawks ¡ª who are leading the Central Division ¡ª the Bruins are in a precarious situation in the Eastern Conference. Tied with the Senators at 44 points with the Lightning right on their heels just two points behind, any lost points have the potential to bite them.

The A¡¯s are never as fun as when they¡¯re building a young team of scrappy rookies, and that¡¯s the direction 2017 is currently headed. I couldn¡¯t be happier.

Limited Womens Mika Zibanejad Jersey From that second paragraph, I¡¯m talking about, in order of reference: Cotton, Mengden, Alcantara, Overton, Montas, Maxwell, Healy, Olson, Nunez, Wendle, Pinder, Brugman, Wahl, Chapman, Barreto. Of that group, Chapman isn¡¯t on the 40-man yet, but that¡¯ll just be a formality.

Our LF hit 42 homers last year. Our SS hit 27. Our catcher has double-digit pop. Our young 3B was on pace for 30 over a full season, and the guy behind him in line nearly hit 40 in the upper minors. The new free agent bat is good for double-digits, and those unproven prospects themselves bring enough power to the table that they should run into a few regardless of their overall effectiveness on the diamond. Even in the worst-case scenario, the A¡¯s should do their share of bashing in 2017.

Lions clinch playoff berth with Washington loss

The Detroit Lions are in the postseason, regardless of the team’s result in a Sunday night matchup against the Green Bay Packers. The Lions enter Week 17 with losses in the last two week, but earned a spot after Washington lost to the New York Giants earlier Sunday.

After starting the season at 1-3, Detroit won eight out of its next nine games and rallied to the division lead. But things went south for the Lions when Matthew Stafford suffered an injury in December.

Washington is a 7-point favorite at FedExField at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Since going 0-5 SU and ATS in their previous five games against the Giants, Washington is 2-0 SU and ATS in the last two games in this head-to-head series.

Washington took care of business last Saturday on the road against the Chicago Bears and got the help they needed from around the league to re-take control of their own destiny. The 41-21 win brought Washington’s record to 8-4-1 SU and 10-3 ATS over the team’s last 13 games. Washington’s defense has been suspect all season, but it came up big with five interceptions in last week’s blowout win.

In a Week 14 victory against the Chicago Bears, Stafford dislocated the middle finger on his throwing hand and has to play with a glove for the rest of the season. He wasn’t his usual self the following week; the veteran quarterback failed to lead his team into the end zone in a 17-6 loss to the Giants.

Matthew Stafford spent most of the year on the fringes of the MVP conversation, but he’s thrown two interceptions and no touchdowns during this two-game losing streak. The Lions need him more than ever, but the finger injury on his throwing hand is still bothering him.

I proved it several times I can set an edge

Lack of continuity and identity played a part in why the Colts never had anything longer than a two-game winning streak and were never above .500 at any point in the season. But there were four games prior to the Oakland game that summed up Indianapolis’ season and why its vacation starts after exit interviews on Jan. 2. It was those four losses that had owner Jim Irsay talking about how their record would be different if the ball had bounced their way.

Dontari Poe Authentic Jersey Week 1 vs. Detroit: Thirty-seven seconds. That¡¯s all the remained on the clock for the Colts to open the season with a victory. They just had to make sure Matthew Stafford couldn¡¯t lead Detroit¡¯s offense down the field to get into field goal range. Stafford only needed three plays — all passes — to go 50 yards to get into range for kicker Matt Prater to make the game-winning 43-yard field goal in Detroit’s 39-35 victory.
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¡°I proved it several times I can set an edge,¡¯¡¯ Addison said. ¡°I¡¯m not a man that just comes in and pass rushes. But it¡¯s hard, man. In the NFL, if you¡¯ve got a job, you want to keep it.

¡°I¡¯m just glad I¡¯m on the inside, because when you¡¯re on the outside looking in, it¡¯s hard to get back in.¡¯¡¯

Addison, 29, is far from the outside. He¡¯s in position to be one of Carolina¡¯s top free-agent priorities, if not the top.

He¡¯s not in the financial class of 2015 Pro Bowl selection Kawann Short, who despite having a subpar season is primed to be one of the top paid defensive tackles in the NFL.

But the Panthers can use the franchise tag to retain Short and justify it. That¡¯s not an option for Addison, scheduled to be more of a mid-range free agent once the season ends.

Still, Addison has set himself up for a big pay raise with a team-high and career-high 8.5 sacks that ranks 18th in the NFL and seventh among ends.

The lights of the gathering cameras were blinding, but quarterback Matt McGloin did not blink

After the gloom had settled over Oakland Coliseum and the Raiders’ locker room late Sunday afternoon, there stood one hopeful beacon at his stall.

The lights of the gathering cameras were blinding, but quarterback Matt McGloin did not blink. At least not outwardly. Because with Derek Carr lost indefinitely with a broken fibula in his right leg, Raider Nation turns its lonely eyes to McGloin as Oakland preps for its first playoff appearance since 2002.

¡°I¡¯m ready to go,¡± McGloin said, matter of factly. ¡°I feel great, and it has been great working with Derek Carr the past few years and working together and seeing what he has done on the field trying to learn from that. I¡¯m ready to go.

Carr has a much stronger arm than McGloin, who’s generously listed at 6-foot-1, two inches shorter than Carr.

Then the Chiefs scored on their first possession, a seven-play, 77-yard drive that quarterback Alex Smith finished off with a 10-yard touchdown run. The Chiefs scored another touchdown, a 70-yard run by Tyreek Hill, on their 11th play of the game. They added a third touchdown on their 16th play of the quarter when tight end Travis Kelce caught a screen pass and took it 80 yards.

“My thought is this: I told the players, 2016 is obviously a big disappointment,” Kubiak said. “…I told them on the plane ride home, get it all out of their system, next week is all about next year.”
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Limited Youth Quinton Spain Jersey “To me, Matt’s the MVP,” star wide receiver Julio Jones said. “People are going to say what they want to say about who is the MVP. I don’t watch Tom Brady. And I don’t even know what all the MVP talk is about. But in my eyes, Matt Ryan’s the MVP right now.”

The Bears have to do better at the league¡¯s most important position.

Don’t count on it, according to Dombrowski.

Game Mens Tyson Barrie Jersey As the Chicago Cubs celebrated winning the World Series last month, much of the attention centered on the contributions of young, homegrown players such as National League MVP Kris Bryant and third-place Cy Young finisher Kyle Hendricks.

But under the guidance of general manager Theo Epstein, the Cubs also loaded up on external talent ¡ª and salaries ¡ª in preparation for their title run. Even after adjusting for MLB-wide increases in the cost of a win,1 Chicago boosted their payroll by 169 percent between 2014 and 2016 ¡ª a record two-season increase among World Series winners.2

Don’t count on it, according to Dombrowski.

“We really don’t have a major drive right now that we’re looking to fill,” Dombrowski said. “I think we’ll continue to keep our ear to the ground in the sense you can never tell what ends up happening, if somebody comes available that you never would have anticipated at a certain time period. [But] if we started spring training right now, we would be content where we are.”

After Tuesday, that means more payroll flexibility and less pitching depth.

Miss Buchholz yet? At some point, the Red Sox will.

Limited Kids Darren Daulton Jersey Encarnacion might be worth $20 million in 2017 and 2018, but would you rather pay him $20 million in 2019, when he¡¯ll be 36, or have that money free for a younger, better star? Today¡¯s front offices try to balance the present without mortgaging the future.

The Jets play Saturday night and both receivers are active

AJ Green is Limited Mens Sean Weatherspoon Jersey listed as doubtful, so this pretty much goes without saying, but I was just told he will not play…

Since he is coming off a partial tear to his hamstring, Green benefits from additional pre-competition practice. It appears he will be on track to return next week.

Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills, foot, (Q): Now that Watkins has resumed a significant playing workload without setbacks, the questions are less about his status and more about how productive he will be on the field.

Stafford himself has said this is not as bad as when he broke the index finger on his throwing hand several years ago (quarterbacks will say the index is far more important to their control when throwing than the middle finger).

“I’ll be good — a little Game Mens T.J. Lang Jersey sore, but I’ll be fine,” Petty said. He was replaced by former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Petty’s injury came on a weird play. The ball was snapped earlier than the rest of the offensive line anticipated. Four of the five linemen barely got out of their stance. Suh and Wake were unblocked, with a free path to Petty.

Bryce Petty leaves the field under his own power in the fourth quarter. Petty took a blow to the chest when he got sandwiched by Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh.

Quarterback Eli Manning hasn’t topped 200 yards passing in any of the team’s past three games

LG Justin Pugh. He has missed the past five games with a knee injury and could really help the struggling offense. Quarterback Eli Manning hasn’t topped 200 yards passing in any of the team’s past three games.

That is where Pugh really comes in handy. He has allowed nine pressures and no sacks in eight games this season, according to Pro Football Focus. He can also provide support for struggling left tackle Ereck Flowers. The Giants offense is looking for anything that can get them on track. Pugh and running back Shane Vereen (concussion) are their best chances.

Their defense dominates again. It’s hard to move the ball against them and even harder to convert yards into points. The Giants have the league’s top red-zone defense. They’ve also come through consistently late in the games this season, and that is where the Lions and quarterback Matthew Stafford have made their living.

Yet it’s an enormous investment of time and money. He estimates it’s an $8,000-$9,000 bill each trip to Cleveland. And for what? This isn’t the Patriots; it’s the Browns. Is it worth it?

“Yes, it’s worth it 100 percent, because this is the thing that has united us as a family,” Serrano said.

Added Edna: “It’s not only to attend the game, but it’s the time to share with family, doing things together, talk. Every time I go there, I like to think we are celebrating life.”

Edna, who once was so surprised to have learned she’d married an NFL fan, said she’s now a “partner in crime” to her husband’s Browns addiction.

The most fervent fan in the family, however, might be Juan Pablo. He admitted it can be frustrating to travel eight or more hours just to see his team lose, but he can’t get enough of being at FirstEnergy Stadium. He tries to get autographs and savor the atmosphere before, during and after games.

NFL playoff odds 2016: Seahawks, Chiefs among Wild Card Weekend favorites

The Seattle Seahawks crushed the Minnesota Vikings when those NFC teams met back in Week 13. The Seahawks will get a chance to beat the Vikings in Minnesota for a second time this season as a road betting favorite when the teams do battle on Wild Card Weekend.

The Seahawks opened as 5-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com against the Vikings for their Wild Card matchup, with Seattle having topped Minnesota 38-7 and easily covering the 3-point spread on the road when they met in early December. Seattle is also coming off a blowout victory, knocking off the Cardinals in Arizona by a 36-6 score to close out their regular season schedule on Sunday afternoon.

After Blair Walsh opened the scoring with a 39-yard field goal, Aaron Rodgers marched the Packers down the field on a 16-play drive that went 70 yards, but the Packers also had to settle for a field goal. Mason Crosby tied things up with a 28-yarder.

Things continued to be a low-scoring affair, with neither team’s defenses giving up much. Teddy Bridgewater set up another scoring opportunity by driving down in the red zone, but the drive stalled out at the 14-yard line and Walsh gave the Vikings the 6-3 lead with another field goal. That would be same lead Minnesota takes into halftime, with Green Bay unable to muster up much of any offense.

The Vikings finally scored the game’s first touchdown in the third quarter, thanks to the superhuman efforts of Adrian Peterson. After driving down to the 2-yard line, Bridgewater handed the ball off to Peterson, who barreled his way through the line and carried a couple of defenders into the end zone.

New York Giants: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
The Giants need an intimidating and effective force up front, and at 6’7, few seem more menacing on the field than Buckner. When you add in his 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this season, his production matches the expectations his size suggests. Buckner has a good first step for a player his size, and can obviously cover a lot of ground in a hurry.

The White Sox got the absolute maximum return possible in a Chris Sale deal

David Schoenfield’s take: Despite hitting 47 home runs in what could be a career season, Mark Trumbo was worth just 1.6 WAR in 2016, thanks to bad defense and a below-average OBP. The power is nice, but if the rumors of a $75 million contract prove accurate, this could end up being one of the biggest overpayments of the offseason.

The #Mariners continue to maintain a dialogue with Mike Napoli. He remains one of their first base options.

If Betances continues to excel the next three seasons, he will hit free agency after 2019 with Chapman having two years left on his deal. In theory, if Betances stays consistent, he would be due a contract at the same level as Chapman’s. However, it will be too much to pay both relievers. This is a minor point at the moment, but it demonstrates how overpaying in years and money can come back to hurt a team in the future.

The Twitterati doesn’t like this. The Mets won 87 games last season with a depleted team, they say. What would make you think they’ll be worse?

A bad shoulder seemed to be an issue for catcher Travis d’Arnaud, whose slugging percentage dropped from .485 to .323 and whose caught-stealing percentage dropped from 26 to 16 percent. Maybe he’ll heal and to get back to what he was. But on a scale of 1-10, how certain do you feel about that?

Astros: Houston is still shopping for top-of-the-rotation arms and trying to be imaginative. But it’s hard to envision the Astros giving up a package remotely comparable to what the Red Sox were willing to trade for Sale. Yet this team’s lineup is so good, it wouldn’t surprise anyone now if the Astros postponed their ace hunt until July.

Rockies: The Ian Desmond signing just doesn’t compute unless it leads to other moves. So the Rockies immediately let clubs know they’d like to deal Charlie Blackmon for rotation upgrades. And there has been some buzzing that they could still sign Mark Trumbo to play first base and shift Desmond back to the outfield. But clearly, there is more to come 5,000 feet above sea level. Has to be. Right?

Steve Smith and Andre Johnson hold annual Christmas shopping sprees for needy kids

Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith and former Houston Texans star Andre Johnson are still doing what they normally do around this time of year: buying Christmas gifts for children in need.

Smith recently hosted the Ravens’ 12th annual Holiday Helpers, an event where the veteran wide receiver and Ravens cheerleaders served as personal shoppers for underserved Baltimore-area children.

“He will be eligible to return to the Colts’ active roster on Monday, January 2 following the team’s January 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars,” the statement read.

Jackson leads the Colts defense with 78 tackles so far this season, and he also has one sack and two fumble recoveries.

The Colts are 6-6 and are just behind the 6-6 Houston Texans in the AFC South standings because the Texans hold the advantage in the head-to-head win percentage.

Indianapolis is coming off a big win over the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, which helped improve their postseason chances. The Colts, without Jackson, will face Houston this week in a matchup that could go a long way toward deciding the AFC South.

Through 12 games, Elliott leads all running backs with 1,285 rushing yards, and just trails New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount by one for rushing touchdowns with 12. Elliott also has caught 28 balls for 322 yards and one touchdown, which was a memorable one.

Prescott’s quarterback rating of 108.6 is high enough to rank him behind only Tom Brady (113.1) and Matt Ryan (112.3).