Blackhawks’ hot streak has been nothing short of ‘amazing’

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news

      

Memo to Edmonton Oilers: What say you approach a home game like you intend to win it?

Game 59: Coyotes at Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers headed off on a three-game road trip to the tough Metropolitan Division last week with their head coach, Ken Hitchcock, bravely proclaiming the club’s plan to make the playoffs was to take four points from every three-game segment the rest of the way.

Three games and zero points later, that plan has already come off the rails. In fairness to the Oilers, they busted their tails in all three games, outshooting each opponent by a combined 116-85, but firing blanks and getting outscored 11 goals to 4.

Now they return home for another three-game set with the schedule seemingly stacked in their favour. They’ll host Arizona Coyotes, a rematch against the New York Islanders, then the Anaheim Ducks. The first and last of those teams are in Edmonton’s immediate neighbourhood in the nether regions of the Pacific Division standings, while all three opponents will be playing the second of a back-to-back after playing in Calgary the day before.

One small problem in this formula, however. Simply put, the Oilers stink on home ice.

That’s a strong word, but so too has been the smell emanating from Rogers Place this season, especially in recent times. Overall, the Oilers’ .446 Points% (12-15-1) in their home barn is tied with tonight’s visitors, the Coyotes, for the worst in the league. Compare that .446 to the league mean for the other 30 teams, which is exactly .600; had the Oilers been able to perform at that level they’d have 9 more points and sitting in the second wild card position. Instead, they are 7 points back and in 14th place in the 15-team Western Conference. Home ice woes — they’re a thing.

Funny part was the club started out fine if their own barn, posting a 10-4-1 mark (.700) through their first 15 contests into mid-December. Since then? Ugh. Just 1 clear win in 13 games, 1 regulation tie that was won in the shootout, and 11 regulation losses.

Two wins in two months. Is it any wonder the natives are restless? Especially the Tier One types who are paying the heavy premiums to watch these games in person. They’ve seen their team lose by 3+ goals in 7 of their last 13 in the “friendly confines”, give up the first goal in 9 of them, get outshot in 11 of them. They’ve watched their club get outscored by a combined 59-37, including …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports

      

AP source: Manny Machado, Padres agrees to $300M, 10-year deal

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that All-Star infielder Manny Machado has agreed to a $300 million, 10-year deal with the rebuilding San Diego Padres, the biggest contract ever for a free agent.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the agreement was subject to a successful physical and had not been announced. Machado can opt out after five years and become a free agent again, the person said.

Machado’s deal, if completed, would be the second-largest in baseball history behind Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million, 13-year deal signed with the Miami Marlins ahead of the 2015 season.

Speaking at spring training in Peoria, Arizona, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said: “We do not have a deal with any free agent player. We are continuing discussions, and that’s all we have to say.”

Teams draw a distinction between an agreement subject to a physical and a finalized deal.

San Diego is making a stunning move early in spring training for the second straight year after reaching a $144 million, seven-year contract last February with first baseman Eric Hosmer. The Padres, who have been rebuilding with prospects, have not had a winning season since 2010, and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006 and have never won the World Series.

Machado is expected to fill the team’s gaping need at third base. He began last year with Baltimore, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers after the All-Star break and struck out to end the World Series loss to Boston.

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AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News