American goalie named MVP of NHL playoffs

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American goalie named MVP of NHL playoffs

From Comcast SportsNet
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jonathan Quick and Martin Brodeur hugged and exchanged a few private words in the Stanley Cup finals handshake line. Brodeur was welcoming Quick to the club. The Los Angeles Kings' quiet goalie is an NHL champion and one of hockey's elite puck-stoppers after a postseason that even Brodeur never matched. Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP on Monday night after yielding just 29 goals in the Kings' 20 playoff games on the way to their first title. Quick allowed a mere seven goals in six games in the finals, capping a breakthrough season for the Vezina Trophy finalist who kept the Kings competitive while they were the NHL's lowest-scoring team for much of the regular season. "I congratulated him," Brodeur said. "I said he deserved the honor of winning the Stanley Cup and being the goalie to win the Stanley Cup. It's always kind of nice for young players to relate. I tried to tell him it was important to enjoy this, because you never know when you're going to get back. I'm 40, and I was able to get back there and not win it. But there's a big (summer) ahead of him, that's for sure." Quick is severely allergic to praise, and he directed everything back at the teammates who made him a champion. But his playoff performance has marked him as one of the world's best, and the Kings' fans will never forget it. "I think it's all about competing," Quick said. "You have to compete, always. That's something this organization preaches, and it makes us all feel so good to be on top now." Quick then thoroughly dominated the playoffs, posting three shutouts and leading the league in pretty much every statistical category among goalies who started at least four games. He was largely impenetrable in the finals, stopping 125 of 132 shots -- and two of New Jersey's seven goals against him deflected off Quick's teammate, Slava Voynov. Quick is the second straight goalie to win the award, but had better numbers than Boston's Tim Thomas last season. They might be the best in NHL history. With a 1.41 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage in the postseason, Quick even set NHL records for goalies who played at least 15 postseason games. Quick's stats slid under Chris Osgood's 1.51 GAA for Detroit in 2008 and Jean-Sebastien Giguere's .945 save percentage for Anaheim in 2003. "It's outstanding," Quick said. "I couldn't be more proud of this group. We had to fight for everything. Nothing was given to us." Brodeur allowed just one goal apiece in regulation in four of the six finals games, but couldn't match Quick's numbers. Quick is sometimes compared to the three-time champion, another star puck-stopper who doesn't adhere to one particular school or style. Quick also had plenty to say to Brodeur. "I told him the game won't be the same if he retires," Quick said. "It was an honor just playing against him at this stage." Brodeur could only smile. "He wanted to make sure I don't retire," he said. "I guess he likes beating me." The Conn Smythe is a fitting finish for the 26-year-old Quick, who had 35 wins, a 1.95 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and a franchise-record 10 shutouts despite playing for the NHL's second lowest-scoring team. Quick has been the Kings' best player and backbone all season, frequently carrying them through long stretches of mediocre skating and shooting. His stellar effort was the main reason the Kings were even close to playoff position in late February, when the lowest-scoring team at the time finally awoke its slumbering offense by trading for power forward Jeff Carter, who scored two goals in the finale. Quick earned his first All-Star berth for his steady excellence despite a stunning number of 1-0, 2-0 and 2-1 losses this season. With an offense generating consistent goals since March, he has been nearly unbeatable, going 28-8-2 since Feb. 25. While some will note the remarkably low scoring totals across the NHL playoffs when evaluating Quick's records, others will cite Quick as one of the main reasons for it. Quick has better numbers than any goalie in recent playoff history -- and Quick looks nothing like most of the NHL's best netminders. He disdains the butterfly for his own unique style, and he played it to perfection this spring. Most hockey minds' best comparison is Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk, whose low-to-the-ice style is the closest thing to Quick's agile, flexible puck-stopping strategy. He plays low and wide while his peers generally stand tall, using his aggression, anticipation and pure hustle to stop pucks. Quick's teammates know he's locked in when he's crouching nearly parallel to the ice to watch the puck through his opponents' legs. He calls it "less style, more compete," and he praises the technique adjustments of Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford, another Conn Smythe winner with Edmonton in 1990. Quick's success has been a product of determination, because nobody expected spectacular things out of the kid from Hamden, Conn., who grew up idolizing the Rangers' Mike Richter. One of his earliest hockey memories is being at home with friends in 1994 when Richter backstopped New York to its first title in 54 years.

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Several players injured in win over Bills

Several players injured in win over Bills

The Redskins had plenty of players leave their preseason game against the Bills early but it doesn’t appear that any of the injuries are too serious.

Two players will undergo MRI’s, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Ryan Kerrigan, who left with a groin strain, and RB Keith Marshall, who has an elbow strain, both will get MRI’s on Saturday.

According to Brian McNally of 106.7 The Fan, Kerrigan said that he came into the game with soreness in his groin, felt it tighten up in the early going, and decided to call it a night.

Also leaving the game early were OT Morgan Moses, who has a sprained ankle, and CB Quinton Dunbar, with a shin bruise. Gruden said both are day-to-day.

The injured players have plenty of time to heal up. Players at the lower end of the depth chart will play the fourth and final preseason game in Tampa Bay next Thursday. The front-line players will have until the Redskins open the regular season against the Steelers on September 12 to heal up.

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Gonzalez on earning career win No. 100 : 'I’m just happy it came'

Gonzalez on earning career win No. 100 : 'I’m just happy it came'

Gio Gonzalez isn’t the type to harp on his accomplishments. Even after great outings, he typically deflects praise to his Nationals teammates in postgame interviews when asked to describe his performances.

But as much as he downplays, it was clear earning career win No.100 Friday night against the Colorado Rockies meant something to him.

“I’m just happy it came,” he said. “I finally showed up and I’m happy I did it here with this organization. Oakland gave me an opportunity and Washington helped me continue that opportunity and I couldn’t be happier to do it with these colors and represent the Washington Nationals.”

The feat came after two no-decisions in his previous two starts, so the third time proved to be the charm. After the game, he had a gathering of family and friends waiting outside the Nats’ clubhouse to congratulate him, some holding gold “100” balloons and others wearing hats featuring the oft-used Twitter emoji of the same number.

“I'm sure it was [on his mind],” manager Dusty Baker said. “…He didn’t want to come out of this game. He was going to get it eventually and we needed it.”

The 30-year-old left hander accomplished the milestone thanks to six innings of two-run ball on just 85 pitches against the hard-hitting Rockies. Gonzalez displayed a lot of what his skipper wanted to see from him: a low pitch count, avoiding the big inning and, as he did later in the game, deliver shutdown frames immediately after the Nats offense scores.

“He threw great tonight," added Bryce Harper. Kept a very good Rockies lineup off balance and did what he needed to do. Stuck with his approach and threw like Gio knows how. Huge for him, that hundredth win. Couldn't be happier for him and his family.”

Historic achievement aside, Gonzalez has quietly turned his season around after a rough patch. In his last nine outings, he’s 5-1 with a 3.20 ERA over 50 2/3 innings. His resurgence couldn’t have come at a better time, as he’s charged with stabilizing the back-end of a rotation that’s in flux due to injuries to Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross.

“That's the key to his success,” Baker said. “Not getting runners on base or not walking people and he had a very good game tonight, excellent game. His last couple games, few games have been good. I'm just glad we were able to get him his 100th victory.”

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Gallardo doesn't make it through 2 as Orioles lose 14-4

Gallardo doesn't make it through 2 as Orioles lose 14-4

NEW YORK—Yovani Gallardo allowed eight runs in the shortest start of his career. Adam Jones was no longer on the field by the time Gallardo departed with one out in the second inning. 

It was an all-around ugly night for the Orioles in the Bronx. 

Since the last time the Orioles were here, on July 21, the Yankees have made major changes to their team, and their new look guys overwhelmed the Orioles 14-4 before 38,423 at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. 

Jones left the game in the second inning with a strained left hamstring. He led off the game and didn’t beat out a grounder to third. 

“Didn’t get to first base in as ample time as I wanted. So, came out of the game,” Jones said. 

“Came out of the game, so something must have not felt great. Took me out of my element. I ain’t got my legs as a center fielder.” 

Manager Buck Showalter said that Jones felt fine during workouts prior to the game.

“I felt fine man. It’s just the first true test comes when you hit an infield ground ball and the first instinct is to try and beat it out. Probably not the smartest thing to do,” Jones said. 

Gallardo (4-6) has won just one of his last 11 starts, and this one was lost early when Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and six runs scored in the second. 

At one point, nine consecutive New York hitters reached. 

Gallardo got the first out of the second, and then allowed a single to Chase Headley and walked Aaron Judge. Ronald Torreyes’ fly ball to center was dropped by Nolan Reimold, playing in place of Jones. 

Brett Gardner singled to drive in two. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with an RBI single, and Gary Sanchez doubled for two more. After Vance Worley replaced Gallardo, Teixeira’s single gave New York (66-61) an 8-1 lead. 

Gallardo worked just 1 1/3 innings, allowing eight runs, seven earned on six hits. 
“It’s frustrating. I just wasn’t able to command the ball. I was just missing location, and the ball was up in the zone. It’s the total opposite from what it was last start. It’s definitely frustrating. I just tried to build off the last start that I had, and then something like that happens,” Gallardo said. 

His catcher, Francisco Pena said that Gallardo had a good bullpen, but then things went south. 

“Think he was leaving some pitches out and over the plate. After that, it was just one of those days that everything goes wrong. It wasn’t his day,” Pena said. 

Worley allowed two-run home runs to Chase Headley in the fourth and Sanchez in the fifth. 

For Showalter, it was difficult watching Gallardo, Worley and Mike Wright give up 14 runs, but especially Gallardo.

“Just up and wild in the strike zone and up. Never really got any sequences going. He had a chance to make a pitch in some counts, and couldn’t make it, and he paid the price. He wasn’t the only one. We didn’t pitch well tonight on a lot of fronts,” Showalter said. 

Sanchez, the hot rookie catcher who assumed the job from Brian McCann at the trading deadline, has reeled off 10 home runs in 22 career games. He’s the first Yankees rookie to hit 10 homers in a month. 

Manny Machado hit his 30th home run in the first off Luis Cessa (4-0). That home run gave the Orioles (70-58) three 30 home run hitters for the first time in team history. 

Machado added his 31st home run in the sixth, a two-run home run to cut New York’s lead to 12-3. 

Cessa allowed three runs on five hits in six innings. 

Wright allowed two runs in the seventh on a run-scoring double by Torreyes and an RBI single by Gardner. 

Jonathan Schoop’s RBI single in the ninth gave the Orioles their fourth run.

Jones felt awful about the injury.

“I feel like I let my team down. Put Nolan in a peculiar situation. Just put people in situations that they’re not familiar with. Let’s try and get this correct and make that big push. At this point in time in the season missing more than a few games would hurt this team,” Jones said.

He hopes not miss much time. Showalter indicated that Jones wasn’t a candidate for the disabled list. 

“I don’t know. You never know. Tomorrow, might feel great. I’m always optimistic,” Jones said.

NOTES: The 10-run margin of defeat equaled the largest of the season. The Orioles have allowed 10 or more runs in three of their past eight games. …  Dylan Bundy (7-4, 3.33) faces Chad Green (2-3, 3.66) on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.