Is this the end for Devils' Martin Brodeur?

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Is this the end for Devils' Martin Brodeur?

From Comcast SportsNet
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The New Jersey Devils' dreams of a historic comeback were all but dashed less than 11 minutes into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. Just 10:10 in, Steve Bernier drilled Los Angeles defenseman Rob Scuderi from behind into the end boards and essentially took his club out of the game. Bernier was given a major penalty and was ejected from the game. "He turned back," Bernier said of Scuderi. "I feel very bad, but it's a fast game out there, and it ends up being a bad play. You certainly don't want to get five minutes for it. I wish I could take that play back." The Kings took full advantage of the 5-minute power play and scored three times in a span of 3:58 en route to a 6-1 victory that clinched Los Angeles' first Stanley Cup championship in the franchise's 45-year history. "It was just an unfortunate situation with a player who plays the game really hard, and he's going to have to live with that," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "I don't think it's a fair thing, but that's what happens when one person has the fate of a hockey game in their hands. I talked to him and told him it's not his fault. I can't say if it was a good call or not." New Jersey trailed 3-0 after the first period and 4-1 through 40 minutes. The Devils had little left for the third period, when the Kings went into lock-down mode and added two late insurance markers. "I didn't want to hurt my team, I wanted to help them," Bernier said. "This is extremely hard. It's been a long playoff run for us. To finish on that note, it's not fun for sure. But there's nothing I can do now." The Devils were trying to become just the third team to force a Game 7 in the finals after trailing 3-0. Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs came all the way back to win the Cup, and New Jersey was thoroughly thwarted by the Kings in Los Angeles' third shot at the title. While it is of little consolation, New Jersey became the first team in 67 years to even get to a sixth game in the finals after falling behind 3-0. "You don't give yourself a lot of room for error," captain Zach Parise said. "We found ourselves in a pretty deep hole before we even realized that the finals started. But we didn't quit. We really felt that we could get back in it and force a Game 7." But Bernier never gave them a chance to take the series back to New Jersey. "Everybody feels bad, but he shouldn't. He's done a lot of good things for this team," right wing David Clarkson said. "There's no fingers being pointed -- at refs or anywhere else. He threw a bodycheck. I didn't think it was that bad of a play. But we dug ourselves a bit of a hole there and couldn't come out of it. It's tough to swallow." Bernier slammed Scuderi behind the Los Angeles net, driving him headfirst against the boards. The hit left Scuderi dazed and bloodied before he left the ice under his own power and headed to the dressing room. Scuderi returned to the bench, but Bernier was done for the night -- and the season. "That's what he's been doing the whole playoffs. He's been doing a great job of getting in on the forecheck and finishing checks," Parise said. "That's why he's here. That's what you want from him. "It's just unfortunate that it happened. It's not his fault." Kings captain Dustin Brown scored first at 11:03, and Jeff Carter made it 2-0 at 12:45. Just 16 seconds later, Trevor Lewis poked the puck past the 40-year-old Brodeur's glove after Dwight King's centering pass squirted through the crease. "I don't know if we were salivating when we got that power play, but we were just determined to capitalize on that opportunity," Doughty said. "We knew that this was our chance to put that team away and we did just that." Adding to the Devils' frustration was a one-timer by New Jersey's Patrik Elias that rang off the right post just 38 seconds before the first period ended. Carter made it 4-0 just 1 minutes into the second period, beating Brodeur with a wrist shot from the slot. By then, all that was left to determine was the final score. Adam Henrique cut the deficit to 4-1 with 1:15 left in the second period, but the Devils couldn't get any closer. The Devils also lost Ryan Carter and Clarkson to 10-minute misconducts that forced New Jersey to play with a diminished corps of forwards for large chunks of the game. Defenseman Bryce Salvador also served a 4-minute high-sticking penalty in the second period that didn't produce a goal, but milked important minutes off the clock. New Jersey was outdone by the Western Conference champions this time, and scored only eight goals in the six games. The Devils dropped a pair of 2-1 overtime decisions at home in the first two games, and fought uphill the rest of the way. The Devils were whistled for nine penalties that totaled 47 minutes in Game 6, after coming in with an average of just 8.7 in the playoffs -- the second-fewest in this postseason. New Jersey recorded only 18 shots on goalie Jonathan Quick, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Brodeur, who backstopped New Jersey to Cup titles in 1995, 2000 and 2003, made 19 saves in the clincher. "They started to play really hard in Game 5, and they had a lot of momentum tonight," Brodeur said. "The major power play came at a time when the crowd was going crazy, and they were really feeling good. Those are situations where before we'd fight through it. Tonight, we didn't." For the second straight season, the Devils will be facing major offseason questions. A year ago, New Jersey was left to figure out how the club missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Now the Devils will have to face the possibility they will have to replace Brodeur and Parise, who could be on the move as one of the most attractive unrestricted free agents on July 1. The 27-year-old left wing, who has spent his first seven NHL seasons with the Devils, is coming off a 31-goal season. Brodeur, the winningest goalie in NHL history, has hinted that he would like to return next season at age 41. "This season and this playoff run answered a lot of questions about where my game's at, and I'm really happy to hopefully continue," Brodeur said. If Brodeur and Parise return, the Devils could be poised for another deep playoff run despite playing in the tough Atlantic Division that produced four 100-point teams this season -- the last being New Jersey, which was the No. 6 seed in the East. "We took down our two biggest rivals, the Flyers and the Rangers, and we took this series to six games," Brodeur said. "It's disappointing, but it's been a great season. We came a long way to challenge for the Stanley Cup from not making the playoffs last year. "There's only one team that can win. It's not us this time, but we're proud of what we've done."

NL East: Mets vet Wright says Harvey should have spoken to media

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NL East: Mets vet Wright says Harvey should have spoken to media

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey didn't only duck the media on Tuesday night after his start, he also avoided them on Wednesday morning before the team's series finale at Nationals Park. Reporters approached him, but he declined. At some point he'll talk, of course, but he has essentially been delaying the inevitable.

The backlash for Harvey in New York for not talking was strong. One Mets columnist even said the move speaks to Harvey's entitlement and went into detail about how he's been enabled by the Mets. 

Nationals manager Dusty Baker admitted on Wednesday that it may have made things easier for Harvey if he had addressed the media. And now Mets teammate David Wright has said about the same. 

"Accountability is big and I think [Harvey] just had a bit of a lapse in judgement," Wright told the New York Post. "I think the consensus is we should all be accountable for what we do on the baseball field."

Wright has been with the Mets for 13 years and has a strong voice in their clubhouse. It wouldn't be surprising at all if he is speaking for a large number of Harvey's teammates with those words.

Whether Mets fans actually care may be another story, but we now know how at least one of his teammates feels.

Five Ravens worth watching at OTA's open to media

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Five Ravens worth watching at OTA's open to media

The Ravens began OTA’s on Tuesday, but will hold their first workout open to the media on Thursday. While some key players are still rehabbing from injuries, here are five players expected to be on the field worth paying close attention to:

Dennis Pitta, TE – As he continues his comeback from a second serious hip injury, Pitta could cause a pleasant problem for the Ravens, who are well-stocked at tight end. If Pitta makes it back, how will playing time be divided among Pitta, Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, and Ben Watson? That doesn’t even include Nick Boyle, who will start the season serving a 10-game suspension for his second PED violation. Figuring out who stays, and who plays, could be difficult.

Breshad Perriman, WR – He didn’t play a snap as a rookie, making Perriman’s 2015 knee injury one of the most disappointing developments of 2015. Perriman’s blow-by speed was impressive during OTA’s last year, before his injury on the first day of training camp. The Ravens need Perriman to trust his knee, and to stay healthy throughout the summer into Week 1.

Will Davis, CB – The Ravens traded for him last season, but he promptly tore his ACL in October. The starting spot at corner opposite Jimmy Smith is wide open, with Shareece Wright and Jerraud Powers among those vying for it. But if Davis is healthy again, don’t sleep on his potential to help the Ravens’ secondary.

Lardarius Webb, S – Making the full-time position switch from corner to safety presents a new challenge for Webb, entering his eighth NFL season. The Ravens are confident Webb has the ball skills and experience to make a smooth transition. But getting more reps under his belt this offseason is probably more important for Webb than in previous years.

Matt Elam, S – The Ravens declined to pick up the fifth-year option for Elam, a first-round pick in 2013. Making the roster is no guarantee for Elam, who missed the entire 2015 season with a torn triceps. If Webb is ever going to be a consistent contributor for the Ravens, it needs to happen quickly.

Trimble, Turgeon comment on guard's decision to return to Maryland

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Trimble, Turgeon comment on guard's decision to return to Maryland

Maryland guard Melo Trimble has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to College Park for his junior season, the program confirmed officially after reports from CSN and others late Wednesday night.

After partaking in the NBA Combine in Chicago earlier this month, Trimble went through a series of workouts with teams but retained the opportunity to return to Maryland because he had not signed with an agent. 

“I am really excited to return for my junior season at Maryland,” Trimble said in a release from the school. “It’s truly special that I get to continue to play in front of my family, friends and our amazing fans. I’m looking forward to working out with my teammates this summer and I am excited for what we can accomplish.

"I learned a great deal through this experience and I am committed to working hard in getting better each day. I’m appreciative of all the support that I have received from Coach Turgeon, my family and my teammates throughout this process. I look forward to continuing my education and building upon the success that we have had at Maryland.”

MORE TERPS: FUTURE MARYLAND GUARD GETS INVITE TO TEAM USA CAMP

Trimble will be the lone returning starter from last season's Terrapins team that made the program's first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003. Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman have both exhausted their eligibility. Robert Carter, Jr. and Diamond Stone both chose to forgo their remaining seasons of college eligibility and sign with agents prior to the NBA Draft.

With Trimble back, Maryland will shift from a team centered around big men to a guard-heavy team next season. Freshman point guard Anthony Cowan gives the team an opportunity to run lineups with multiple ball handlers on the floor at the same time -- which head coach Mark Turgeon has said in the past is an idea he likes. 

In addition, guard Dion Wiley returns from knee surgery, wing Jared Nickens is back, plus Jaylen Brantley and freshman Kevin Huerter. 

Turgeon commented on Trimble's return in a release Wednesday night.

“Melo informed me tonight that he has decided to return to Maryland for his junior season,” Turgeon said. “After gathering information throughout this process, I agree that this is the best decision for him.

"Melo is a very special person. He is a winner and his impact on our program has been immeasurable. Melo has an extremely bright future ahead of him both on and off the basketball court. We are excited that he will continue to pursue his degree and build upon his legacy in College Park.”