When you come to the provincial capital of Manitoba for the playoffs to face the Winnipeg Jets Terrell Owens Jersey
, you know two things for sure: it’s going to be white, and it’s going to be loud. The fans inside MTS Centre wear white to playoff games — a tradition started three decades ago during the team’s first incarnation in Winnipeg. And they’re noisy. Really, really noisy
Bruce Boudreau will bring the Minnesota Wild to Winnipeg on Wednesday for Game 1 one of their first-round playoff series. Since the NHL returned to Winnipeg in 2011, Boudreau is in fact the only opposing coach to experience that atmosphere first-hand.
In 2015, Boudreau coached the Anaheim Ducks to a four-game sweep of the Jets in round one, including a pair of wins in Winnipeg. So, he’s not expecting to be intimidated by conditions inside the arena.
“They have a rabid fan base, but every team in the NHL has a rabid fan base at this stage of the game,” Boudreau said Tuesday, before the Wild boarded a northbound plane. “Noise isn’t going to bother you.”
If the Wild are going to get bothered Richard Sherman Jersey
, it will be on the rink, as they face a Jets team that has shown few weak spots in finishing second in the Central Division and earning home ice for the series.
“You have less room for error because they’re always coming at you. You can’t have a 10-minute break so to speak and play normal. You always have to be on your toes playing the right way because one line’s as good as the next line,” Boudreau said of the Jets. “It’s not a question that they’re overly deep, it’s just you’ve got to play the same way to defend player A as player X on their team.”
What the Jets lack in playoff experience, with one of the youngest and perhaps hungriest rosters in the NHL, they make up for in enthusiasm, as the roster and the city are excited — perhaps overly so — for the start of the playoffs. This franchise, which started as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999, has never won a playoff game, and the opportunity to do that for the first time is the talk of the town.
“Game day is going to be really exciting for us Y.A. Tittle Jersey
, but the hockey doesn’t change,” said Jets coach Paul Maurice, who coached the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002. “It’s going to get faster and all the details are pushed harder by both teams, but the game that we want to play is what we’ve been working on for 82.”
The Wild lineup might look different, at least on the blue line, then in recent games when the puck drops Wednesday. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon has been out since last month with a groin injury but has been practicing and is hopeful to return. It would be a big boost for Minnesota, which is reeling from the loss of defenseman Ryan Suter to a season-ending leg injury.
“He’s getting better,” Boudreau said of Spurgeon’s status. “Still a game-time decision (Wednesday).”
Even though it wasn’t much of a night to look at from a statistical standpoint, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said he was “very, very encouraged” about where he was in his comeback after last night’s game against the Ravens.
In fact Lyle Alzado Jersey
, one of the things he was happiest about was a thing most of the Colts organization was fearing.
Via Mike Wells of ESPN.com, Luck said he was “sort of happy” when Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs sacked him and pulled him down onto his surgically repaired right shoulder. He landed elbow-first, but popped up with no suggestion of pain and headed off the field.
“I told someone after the game, ‘I’m sort of happy to get sacked by Suggs, a legit sack,'” Luck said. “I landed on my right elbow sort of reminiscent of how I injured my shoulder a couple of years ago [in 2015 season]. I didn’t feel anything. Didn’t give it a second thought. That’s a big deal for me, being able to lose that thought bubble.”
Otherwise, his night was kind of a mess, as he was 6-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception, which led him to use the word “sloppy” a lot.
“We turned the ball over Jalyn Holmes Jersey
, [and] my experience tells me that protection at times was not great,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “We just didn’t find a rhythm for him. I felt maybe there were one or two throws that weren’t his best throws, but overall, it’s usually not as bad as you think or as good as you think. Still have a confidence in a direction we’re headed offensively.”
Luck will have another chance to polish himself up Saturday night against the 49ers, at which point the long, physical test of his rehab will truly begin. Womens Trent Brown Jersey