Conventional NHL wisdom states that the Stanley Cup playoffs are a trial by fire, a test only the most grizzled veteran is prepared to face. But last season, it was Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon, an 18-year-old rookie phenom, who brought the heat.
In the Avalanche's first-round series against the Minnesota Wild, MacKinnon posted 10 points (two goals, eight assists) over seven games. The real story, though, is inside the numbers. In the series opener, MacKinnon set up the tying goal with only 14 seconds left in regulation, then set up the winner in overtime. In Game 2's 4–2 Avalanche win, he figured in on all four Avalanche goals, assisting on three and scoring one himself. And in Game 5, he netted the overtime winner to give Colorado a 3–2 series lead.
Ultimately, the Wild kept MacKinnon off the scoresheet in Games 6 and 7 and eliminated the Avs. Still, the series was a showcase for MacKinnon and the skills that made him such a closely watched prospect for most of his life: explosive speed, great hands, and a wicked shot.
Though the hopes of an undefeated season have been squashed for every team, playoff hopes remain alive and well. Not so well? A whole lot of players. Week Five solidified that injuries will play a key role in the rest of the season. For some teams, backups have responded well, but things can go downhill quickly when a backup gets injured, too. Keep your fingers crossed that your team stays on the field and away from the sideline in Week Six.
Something you learn growing up is that it can be hard asking someone out on a date. How do you do it? In person? Do you call them? Send a text? What if the person you want to go out with says no? It could be really embarrassing!
Now imagine how nerve wracking it would be to ask out a professional athlete — especially a superstar like Washington Capitals’ captain Alexander Ovechkin. Sounds impossible, right? Not for a 10-year-old die-hard Caps fan named Ann.
After six teams took their byes in Week 4, Week 5 presented another challenge to fantasy owners in the form of injuries suffered by some major fantasy players. That means, for the second time in three weeks, there will be some hot competition on the waiver wire.
Three preseason top-25 running backs -- Montee Ball (groin), Reggie Bush (ankle) and Rashad Jennings (ankle) -- suffered injuries in Week 5 and could be sidelined this weekend, and the status of an elite wide receiver and the game's best tight end has fantasy owners even more worried. Calvin Johnson (ankle) and Jimmy Graham (shoulder) are first-round picks in jeopardy of missing time after getting banged up on Sunday.
The Dolphins and Raiders are coming off of bye weeks after their trip to London, and once again only two teams are off in Week 6, as the Chiefs and Saints take a breather. This gives Graham an extra week to get healthy, and coupled with Travis Kelce's week off, the tight end position is light on starting options.
It was the third day of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California. Thousands gathered that July afternoon to watch the pro surfers compete, but arguably the day's most talented athletes, pound for pound, had shown off their skills hours before spectators crowded the shoreline. They were over at the custom-painted professional skate bowl a short walk from the ocean.
One by one, four pint-sized skateboarders dropped into the nine-foot bowl, their ponytails and braids sticking out of their pink helmets. It was their own private session, a chance to skate the surface that the pros they emulate would take on later that day.
Meet seven-year-old Bella Kenworthy, Sierra Kerr, and Rella (Relz) Murphy, plus six-year-old Ryann Cannon. They like tutus, glitter nail polish, the color pink — and shredding at skate parks. The members of the quartet, nicknamed the Pink Helmet Posse, are doing what they love every time they strap on their pads and hop onto their boards. But they're also helping to change the male-dominated sport with every jump, scrape, and flip.
From east to west, this has been a wild postseason. In the American League, the Orioles swept the Tigers and the Royals swept the Angels to set up an unexpected American League Championship Series. In losing to Kansas City, the Angeles made history: They are the first team to enter the playoffs as the best team in baseball and then get swept in a divisional series. History was made in the National League, too, when the Giants defeated the Nationals Sunday in 18 innings — the longest postseason game in MLB history — to take a 2-0 series lead.
But in the other NL series, the Cardinals and Dodgers are tied 1-1. On Friday and Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, the boys in blue faced the birds in red, splitting the first two games in the NLDS.
Yesterday, the Denver Broncos routed the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals, 41-20. It was a good win for a Denver team looking to maintain its dominance in the AFC. But it was an historic day for Peyton Manning.
The 38-year-old Broncos QB threw four touchdowns, which is about right. His second one, though, was historic: It was Manning’s 500th NFL TD, making him only the second quarterback to reach that milestone.