Karlsson posed such a unique problem for the Penguins (and every other team

Despite looking exhausted and overmatched at times in the Stanley Cup Final, the Penguins have persevered and made the big play time and again to grab a 3-2 series lead heading into Sunday’s Game 6.

One more win and they become the first team to capture consecutive Cups since the 1997 and 1998 Detroit Red Wings.

“I can’t say enough for this group of players,” said Sullivan. “I’ve said on a number of occasions they are a privilege to coach, and I sincerely mean that. They understand that we haven’t accomplished anything to this point and that there’s one more game that we have to go out and earn, and I believe that this group has the will and the character to do so.”

None measure up individually to Karlsson, the two-time Norris Trophy winner who near single-handedly willed the Senators to within one win of a Final berth against a common opponent in the Penguins. But together there’s no unit in the NHL more formidable, allowing just 1.81 goals and 29.7 shots per game in the postseason.

Among the casualties: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews (two points apiece); Vladimir Tarasenko (three points); Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler (five points).

Karlsson posed such a unique problem for the Penguins (and every other team, for that matter) because of his skating prowess and ability to change a game.

To Malkin’s point, that’s the greatest strength of the Predators’ stingy, relentless quartet — and a most pressing issue for a Penguins team that’s been reliant on its impressive scoring ability, averaging Knock Off Cheap Jerseys a league-best 3.05 goals per game in the playoffs. The four have been horses, deployed generously by Lebron James Cheap Jerseys coach Peter Laviolette. All are averaging more than 24 minutes per game — a strategy in stark comparison to Pittsburgh, which has resorted to defense by committee in the absence of injured minutes-eater Kris Letang.

The seven-goal deficit was the eighth-largest in NHL playoff history during a shutout.

Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel added to their mounting playoff goal totals (seven apiece) and so did Scott Wilson and Matt Cullen, who entered with four goals between them. Carter Rowney matched Evgeni Malkin’s three-assist performance, the former notching the first playoff points of his NHL career.

Between seven separate goal scorers, the Penguins chased Senators starter Craig Anderson before the first intermission. Anderson allowed four goals on the first 14 shots he faced and failed to finish a start for the first time this postseason. The Sens played the third period without top defensemen Erik Karlsson and Cody Ceci and forward Derick Brassard, who coach Guy Boucher said were resting and could have played if the game were closer.

Pittsburgh’s power play went 3-for-3, while Ottawa is mired in an 0-for-29 drought with the man advantage that extends over its last 10 games.

The seven-goal deficit was the eighth-largest in NHL playoff history during a shutout.

It all seems to add up to series over. Yet the Sens, against the odds, have defied all expectations so far and there’s no reason to think they can’t again Tuesday when the series shifts to Ottawa for Game 6.

The latest news on Ilya Kovalchuk is that there is no news. The once-feared Russian scorer is contemplating whether to rejoin the NHL and the Devils, who retain his rights, or remain in the KHL, where he’s spent the last five years. That decision could come sometime this week, according to Devils general manager Ray Shero.

Should Kovalchuk, who has 417 career NHL goals, opt to return, it’s up to agent Jay Grossman Fans Cheap Jerseys to gauge interested teams before Shero can negotiate a trade.

The expansion Golden Knights, Canadiens, who could use an Alexander Radulov replacement, and the Find Cheap Jerseys Online Blue Jackets, who have publicly stated their intention to pursue the 35-year-old winger, all could use an offensive boost and would make for sensible landing spots.

AWOL Derrick Rose’s future with Knicks just got even more fuzzy, report says

Derrick Rose’s future with the Knicks has become increasingly uncertain in the wake of his unexcused — and thus far unexplained — absence from Monday’s game against the Pelicans, Yahoo Sports reported, citing unidentified sources.

Via Yahoo: “Knicks officials didn’t hear from Rose that he was OK until after an embarrassing loss to New Orleans, a confirmation that sources said began the next conversation within the organization: What do they do with Rose now?”

In the short-term, he was fined and has rejoined the team, the Knicks announced Tuesday afternoon, adding that he is expected to be in uniform Wednesday when New York faces the 76ers in Philadelphia.

While James makes some good points (the Cavs do need more depth), it’s a little insulting to the rest of the guys on the team who aren’t Irving or Love. His comments are even a slap in the face to the front office for not going out and acquiring more talent, although he claims to have voiced his opinions to general manager David Griffin already.

Cleveland could use more players, especially when you look at The Big Three’s minutes. James (44 minutes), Irving (42) and Love (38) played most of Monday’s night’s game, and that doesn’t bode well for the future, because these guys will get tired by the NFL Cheap Jerseys time the postseason begins.

James is averaging a league-high 37.5 minutes per game, and NFL Jerseys Paypal Irving (35.1) isn’t too far behind.

Slumping champ Cavaliers talkin’ ‘bout practice?

The Cavaliers have lost three of their last five games and despite a new addition to the team in sharpshooter Kyle Korver, Cleveland hasn’t had enough time to get well acclimated with their new teammate, and it’s costing them.

A second loss in back-to-back games Tuesday in Portland marked two weeks since the Cavs’ last practice on Dec. 28. Unlike Allen Iverson, Cleveland players think a few days of practice can help them get back to their winning ways.

“Not only to get Kyle [Korver] integrated and comfortable, but Real Cheap Jerseys we just need a little touch up,” Kevin Love said, via ESPN.com. “Whether it’s some of our shots or some of our plays, getting out in transition, playing with pace. We’re always a better team when we do that. Practice time would be great for us, but it’s just hard to find right now.”

“Conveniently forget that most of this movie’s runtime is dedicated to Newman trying not to get fired.”

*cut to Wayne Knight* “Get your Hanes on, lace up your Nikes, grab your Oakland Raiders Cheap Jerseys Wheaties and your Gatorade, and we’ll pick up a Big Mac on the way to the ballpark.”
“… that in retrospect only exists to sell Looney Tunes toys and Air Jordans.”

First, Jordan, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing absolutely were not second-tier NBA stars. Larry Bird shows up, too. And Shawn Bradley, he wasn’t an NBA star on any tier. So yeah, Larry Johnson and Muggsy Bogues qualify, but let’s not act like they didn’t line up one hell of a squad for pickup games (which, by the way, were amazing on the set).

Second, this isn’t the best movie starring an NBA player because “He Got Game” exists.

Clippers’ cornerstone crumbles a little more with Chris Paul injury

Chris Paul knew right away Monday his thumb injury was bad. The team confirmed it Tuesday: Paul will miss six to eight weeks after he has surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament.

That makes five straight seasons of at least one of the Clippers’ cornerstone players, Paul and/or Blake Griffin, going down with an injury. At this rate, we’ll never know just how good LA’s collection of talent could have been.

You might not be surprised to hear the Spurs made this play famous in the NBA — as Half Court Hoops broke down here — albeit with a few differences. The idea was the same, but they had a center in Tim Duncan take over the role of James and a shooting guard in Manu Ginobili take over the role of Irving. They also relied on the cutter’s ability to lull the defense to sleep rather than the quick pass from the elbow.

While it doesn’t make one version better or more effective than the other, there’s no doubt the Cavaliers have made it more exciting.

However, that doesn’t mean the Cavaliers don’t have a few tricks up their sleeves when they need a basket. One play in particular they’ve fallen in love with lately is called “UCLA Seal,” and they tend to reserve it for when Irving and James are surrounded by three spot-up shooters in a close game.

The play begins with Irving dribbling the ball towards Love and James Top Cheap Jerseys on the right side of the court. Love is positioned behind the 3-point line on the wing and James sets himself up close to Love at the elbow. Meanwhile, Frye camps out on the opposite Super Cheap Jerseys wing with Iman Shumpert nearby in the corner.