Washington’s list of Stanley Cup shortcomings runs long and is a common narrative when the calendar turns to April.

The Capitals were eliminated in the second round last year by the rival Penguins, who went on to win the Cup. They infamously haven’t advanced to a conference final since the 1997-98 season, despite boasting one of the most potent lineups in the NHL routinely through the last decade.

Drew Bledsoe Authentic Jersey It’s not just the Caps. Only eight of the 30 Presidents’ Trophy winners 28 percent have gone on to win a Stanley Cup.

Five teams failed to win a postseason series. The Capitals had a whopping 121 points in 2009-10 when the Canadiens knocked them out of the first round.

We don’t want to be known as regular season champions, said defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who was acquired in a trade deadline blockbuster in the Capitals’ attempt to mount a deep playoff run once and for all. No one remembers the team that won a Presidents’ Trophy.

If some guys going to say they don’t care, they’re lying, forward Evgeny Kuznetsov said. It’s always nice to win something.
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The details of the illness that reportedly kept him in a neurosurgical intensive care unit still are not disclosed.

Earlier Friday, The Associated Press reported that he was showing signs of improvement, citing an unidentified person with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Sabres forward, 28, had been undergoing extensive tests in recent days and has been in a the neurosurgical intensive care unit of a Buffalo hospital since Sunday.

The Yu Darvish trade is exactly what the Dodgers have needed for years

Shortly after the trade deadline ended, I was busy sorting teams into arbitrary columns of winners and losers. The Dodgers, having acquired nothing but a pair of left-handed relievers, were losers. Getting Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani was the kind of tinkering that a team does when it’s overly satisfied with itself and its chances in the postseason.

Sure, the Dodgers are on pace to blow past 110 wins, and they didn’t need to make a deal to win their division, but they won’t get to take those 110 wins into the postseason with them. They needed to bully the rest of the National League in the postseason with the scariest roster they could build.

While I was busy moving them into the loser column, the Dodgers were busy trading for Yu Darvish.
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Youth Ja’Wuan James Jersey According to Ireland, they decided to keep the mural at first but now the house is being renovated, his son is older, and his wife wants to remove it. Which is tricky, seeing as this year the Dodgers look to have a great chance of winning the World Series for the first time since 1988 and fan superstitions could be more important than ever before.

To find out more about where this downright majestic piece of art came from (that’s meant entirely sincerely — this mural is awesome) we reached out to Steve Sax himself and got to the bottom of things.

Sax played for the Dodgers from 1981-1988 before leaving for the Yankees in free agency following LA’s World Series win in the fall of 88. He played for the A’s and White Sox as well before retiring and is now a motivational speaker, author, and analyst for MLB Network on Sirius Radio.

Aaron Judge hit a ball to the roof in his incredible 1st round at the Home Run Derby

In case you were worried Aaron Judge wasn’t really the slugger everyone says he is, look no further than his first round at the Home Run Derby. Specifically, the part where ONE OF HIS HITS CRASHED INTO THE ROOF.

Those expectations didn’t appear to impact him negatively at all, as Judge hit 23 homers in his first round to eliminate Justin Bour, who had been the leader of the Derby to that point with 22. Judge then finished round two early, sending Cody Bellinger packing in a battle of Rookie of the Year candidates with 13 longballs with about a minute left on the clock.

But now, Seattle is only one game back from the Royals for the second wild card spot in the American League. So while there’s no way the M’s are leaping over the Astros in their division, the postseason isn’t out of the question.
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Authentic Kids Joe Schobert Jersey With Hernandez out, it makes those chances a little less realistic.

Felix isn’t the only one heading to the DL for the Mariners, either, as deadline acquisition David Phelps will also be out for 2-3 weeks with an impingement in his elbow, limiting the Mariners’ relief options as well.

While the team could weather both of these injuries and leapfrog the teams necessary to secure a wild card slot, it’s got to be slightly disheartening for yet another extended period without Felix to arise during one of the most important stretches of their season.

Jordan Matthews suffers chip fracture in first practice with Bills

Newly acquired wide receiver Jordan Matthews is considered “week-to-week” after suffering a chest injury in his first practice with the Bills.

Multiple reports say Matthews suffered a chip fracture in his sternum on Sunday.

The Bills traded for Matthews last week after jettisoning Sammy Watkins to the Rams. Ironically, Buffalo travels to Philadelphia on Thursday for a preseason game.

There are no immediate details on how Matthews sustained the injury.

The Bills sent cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles for Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick.

Who put the Packers, Ravens and Steelers on the Browns’ December schedule? That’s brutal, and normally around this time of year, Cleveland is out of the hunt. The Browns are 21-63 since 1999 in December, a winning percentage of .250. That includes one December win in each of the last four seasons.

We’re willing to take a glass-half-full approach with the Browns. Cleveland won either four or five games over six straight seasons from 2008-13. That stretch in late October to early November against the Titans, Vikings, Lions and Jaguars will be a chance to increase that win total and show progress in Jackson’s second season.

Book-ending the schedule on both sides with the Steelers wasn’t exactly a nice touch. Of course, we’re taking a disclaimer considering we’re still not 100 percent sure who Cleveland’s quarterback will be in 2017.

There wasn’t a hunka hunka burning love for Grbac in Baltimore after the 2000 Super Bowl champions splurged to sign the Chiefs Pro Bowler at a then-rich five years for $30 million. He went an OK 8-6, but that was more because of their defense. He only gave the offense 3,033 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was released right after the season and retired soon afterward at age 31.dolphins_081

Beltre said he had no idea his kids would be the ones to unveil the graphic on the outfield wall.

First, there’s been a noticeable uptick in votes for players the past few years. The four years Killebrew appeared on the writers’ ballot, the BBWAA selected an average of two players each year. Over the past four years, it’s selected an average of three players a year. Perhaps if Killebrew were eligible today, he’d sail into Cooperstown.
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Thome also might be a better Hall of Fame candidate than Killebrew, with roughly 20 percent more WAR and a lifetime batting average 20 points higher, .276 for Thome to .256 for Killebrew — though Killebrew played in a far tougher era for hitters, with he and Thome are roughly equal at the plate when adjusting for their ballparks and years they played.

Thome isn’t an automatic selection by any means. He might fall short. But with his stats and a long, controversy-free career, the thought here is that he clears the necessary 75 percent of the vote.

Womens Hugh Thornton Jersey Vladimir Guerrero, with 79 percent of the vote in his second year of eligibility: Guerrero debuted at 71.7 percent of the vote from the writers last year and looks to have the best chances of any holdover candidate.

The Orioles held a 4-0 lead at the time and went onto a 10-6 victory, but Sunday’s loss did not exactly spoil the celebration for both Pudge and Beltre.

Beltre said he had no idea his kids would be the ones to unveil the graphic on the outfield wall.

What happened today after the hit has been the best moment in my life. I didn’t know how to feel, because I had no idea what was going on, Beltre told reporters. I feel proud of them. I saw the joy in their faces, and a lot of things you do in your career you do for your kids and your family. My kids and my wife have been so supportive over the years, that this moment was for them. When I saw that, I felt like I was on a cloud, because I really saw the joy in their faces. It was a nice moment to enjoy with them — my family, my wife.

Pirates GM: Jung Ho Kang may never return to team

The Pirates have been without infielder Jung Ho Kang all season, as the South Korean player was denied a work visa to return to the U.S. after being charged with his third DUI since 2009.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington seems increasingly resigned to the fact the hard-hitting Kang may never again play for the Pirates.

That’s been an unfortunate reality from the outset that he may never get a visa again, Huntington told reporters Sunday, via MLB.com. We worked the process, worked the process again and have not gotten a different result. We’ll attack it in different ways again the next time through and hope there is a different outcome. We do need to begin to prepare as if he’s not coming back.
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It all flows together for the SABRcast, which MLB Network will likely produce again next year. The merger gives fans another way to ingest a game. It’s tough to say at this juncture whether MLB Network will start a trend of enhanced baseball programming, but one thing is certain: The effort shows Major League Baseball isn’t the relic or dinosaur that some believe it to be.
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As for the future of MLB telecasts? There’s at least a chance for change, Kenny said.

There’s a lot to be said for a guy who’s very spare in his call, gives you balls and strikes, lets you hear the murmur of the crowd, he said, but there’s also something to be said for, ‘Hey, let’s really scrutinize this, let’s really talk strategy, let’s talk team-building, let’s talk roster utilization.’

Peyton Manning makes himself the butt of 3 Patriots jokes at the 2017 ESPY awards

Former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning hosted the ESPYs and he made jokes at both the expense of himself and of others. Manning has always been one of the more comedic NFL players, including his iconic SNL skits that involve beaning kids with footballs (although I actually think Eli Manning is funny, too).

At the ESPYs, Manning and his once-rival New England Patriots had a little back-and-forth, with one great sketch of Manning watching the Patriots face the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
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Jason Taylor Authentic Jersey Manning says that he doesn’t have a rooting interest in this game before unzipping his sweatshirt to show an Atlanta Falcons t-shirt. He goes on to count out Touchdown Tom, before threatening to change the channel and unplug the television during the game. Watch it now because it’s great.

There’s a second sketch featuring Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as Manning enjoys the retired life.

It’s NFL Hype Week here at SB Nation. The network’s 32 NFL team sites and the staff at SB Nation dot com are all contributing to a little offseason excitement with training camp right around the corner with a closer look at the players we’re most excited about this year. Check it out!

As Mariota enters his third professional season, the sky is the limit. I’m an Oregon alum, so I’ve been following Marcus since he first stepped onto the field in the Oregon green and yellow (or gray, black, orange, white or whatever other color Oregon chooses on a Saturday). I knew Mariota was talented. He’s intelligent, a great leader, has a strong arm, and can move fluidly.

Still, I was skeptical he would succeed in the NFL.

We asked you what 2017 NFL game you would attend. Here’s what you said.

Football season is almost here! I mean, we still have to ease into it with the preseason and a few players are still holding out to get paid, but the regular season will be here before we know it.

“I think so, but again I haven’t seen him,” head coach Mike Zimmer told the Pioneer Press when asked whether Bridgewater would be placed on the PUP to start camp. That came true Wednesday with the team announcing the quarterback is the latest addition to the team’s PUP list.

Bridgewater’s recovery from a torn ACL and dislocated knee has provided several moments of optimism, but he’s not ready to take the field just yet. Minnesota can still rely on Sam Bradford, who put together one of his finest seasons as a pro last fall after being traded north from Philadelphia. Bradford is signed through the end of 2017, and Bridgewater’s rehab will play a significant role as to whether or not he reaches a contract extension with the team before the season begins.

On Monday, the club placed a pair of players on the PUP list, but not their young QB.

While Luck is in line to return by September, the jury is still out on Bridgewater’s return. Bridgewater’s ability to throw without a brace is a step in the right direction, but he’ll have to prove he can regain the mobility that allowed him to buy time in the pocket and find open windows downfield. The Vikings have kept flexible in the face of his unfortunate injury, declining the fifth-year option of his rookie contract while keeping Bradford in the fold. However, with the season just six weeks away, Minnesota will have to make some tough decisions soon.patriots_322-180x180

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame announces five inductees

The United States Hockey Hall of Fame announced on Monday its five newest members.
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Womens Riley Reiff Jersey A Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and Colorado Avalanche in ’96, Young retired in 2006 with 757 points (342 goals, 415 assists) in 1,181 NHL games with seven teams over his 17-year career.

He also played for the United States in three Winter Olympics and won a gold medal with the United States at the World Cup of Hockey in 1996.

I like my body. There’s nothing great about it, but I’m stuck with it and I don’t mind it, Thornton said. I never remember being self-conscious about my body. That just comes from being in a locker room for so long. I’ve always felt natural being naked. Never a big deal to me at all. My dad wears his underwear out to go get the mail in the morning, so that’s probably where I get it.

You never know what to expect with something like this, Burns said. They were like, 鈥楤oom, let’s go!’ We both just dropped our robes and looked up into each other’s eyes and laughed: We’re both naked right now doing a faceoff, so this is kind of interesting.
There are even more behind-the-scenes photos over at Yahoo Sports’ Puck Daddy.

Thornton, a pending unrestricted free agent, may soon see an end to his 12 years in San Jose. At least now he and Burns have a keepsake should they part ways.

He is young and hungry enough to push Grubauer and Raanta, creating a competitive environment in the Vegas net. Should Pickard excel, Raanta could be traded to a needy contender.

Of course, the Avalanche could decide to protect Pickard and expose the 29-year-old Varlamov and his $5.9 million cap hit through 2019, which would scuttle this neat little plan.

Of the veterans, Fleury and Ward make the most sense for Vegas, though would the Golden Knights pass up a young, affordable defenseman like Brian Dumoulin, who likely will be made available by the Penguins, in order to select Fleury?

Predators hopeful Mike Fisher can return for Game 1

The Predators could get one of their key players back in time for the Stanley Cup Final.
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Nashville general manager David Poile on Wednesday said he is hopeful captain Mike Fisher can participate in practice Thursday morning and there’s a real good chance he could return in Game 1 of the championship series.

Schultz, who has two goals and six assists in 14 playoff games, hasn’t played since the team’s Game 2 loss on May 15 when he was injured on a hit by Senators left wing Mike Hoffman in the first period. Although he participated in warmups prior to Pittsburgh’s Game 5 win on Sunday, he didn’t make it onto the ice and remained sidelined for the team’s Game 6 loss on Tuesday.

Hornqvist, who has four goals and three assists in 13 playoff games, has been out since leaving during warmups for Game 2. He did not travel with the team to Ottawa earlier this week but has been skating on his own.

While the Penguins and Senators prepare for their last Eastern Conference finals matchup, the Predators have already locked up their first trip to the Finals after eliminating the Ducks in Game 6 on Monday.
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He is the most polarizing player in the sport, hated by many as intensely as he is loved in Pittsburgh, but Crosby has grown into one of the game’s great leaders, both in action and spoken word. The confidence and swagger the Penguins play with? It all starts with Crosby.