ISE CITY, Japan -- President Barack Obama said today that world leaders have been surprised by Donald Trump’s emergence as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and remain uncertain “how seriously to take some of his pronouncements.”...
Donald Trump says a lot of crazy stuff that should have eliminated him as a candidate a long time ago. But this is America, where even a reality TV star who spews nutty conspiracy theories can win the GOP nomination. Yay.
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For five of the six games in the Eastern Conference final, the Lightning has dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen.
Most teams only use this unusual alignment in the event of something along the lines of an injury or other player unavailability. The Penguins used 11 forwards and seven defensemen in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Rangers due to injures to forwards Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust.
For the Lightning, it's just business as usual. Tampa Bay used the alignment in four of its five games in the second round against the Islanders and used it repeatedly during its run to the Stanley Cup final last season.
"[Head coach Jon Cooper] obviously likes it," said defenseman Slater Koekoek (right). "And I'm thankful for it because it means I get in the games."
Cooper said he has used the alignment throughout his coaching career.
"I've done this before," Cooper said. "It's not new. I did it in the minors all the time. I just -- there's so many different reasons why it can be a matchup problem. Sometimes it's maybe you can use your seventh defenseman more than your 12th forward."
Koekkoek occasionally has served as the team's seventh defensemen in games. Not having a regular defensive partner or shift can offer challenges.
"It's different because you don't know who you're going to go with or when it might be," Koekkoek said. "Usually when I see their fourth [line] come over the boards, that means I might be going soon. That's kind of when I get prepared for it.”
For a top-four defenseman such as Braydon Coburn, any differences are minimal for him.
“I think there's probably a little bit more managing probably from the [defensive assistant] coach [Rick Bowness] just trying to make sure everybody's in the game," said Coburn. "Trying to make sure you keep the pairs straight. I think it's a little bit more juggling on their part than our part. We just kind of wait until we're called then you jump out there and do your job.”
Playing against seven defensemen doesn't appear to be a concern for the Penguins.
"I don't think it's nothing you think about," said left winger Carl Hagelin. "Their seventh [defenseman] gets a shift here or there but other than that, there's nothing."
Regardless of how the Penguins may or may not react to it, it's clearly a roster decision the Lightning has had success with.
"Our guys are comfortable with it," Cooper said. "Sometimes you have an ability to get some of your better players out there more in those cases, and I just like having the extra defenseman at the disposal, especially in the day and age of the TV time-outs and how many breaks there are in between with all those built-in mini rests in there, and having a certain arsenal -- or a lot of times it's been 11 and 7, and for the most part, it's worked out pretty well for us."
(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Penguins - Lightning
-The Post-Gazette's recap from last night's game. “They made a push. We bent, but we didn’t break.” - Right winger Phil Kessel.
-The Associated Press' recap. "They had a certain mindset going into this tonight: 'We're going to leave it all out there and do everything we can to bring this back to Pittsburgh.' And, certainly that's what they did." - head coach Mike Sullivan on his players.
-The Tampa Bay Times' recap. "It wasn't our best game. You've got to be better. We have to step up." - Lightning left winger Ondrej Palat.
-Mike Lange's goal calls.
-Goaltender Matt Murray reached back for this puck:
-Vasilevskiy was all over this puck:
-Happy times for Lightning center Brian Boyle and company:
-A hockey night in Tampa:
-“That’s a huge break for us. If they get 1-0, it’s a whole different ballgame." - Right winger Patric Hornqvist on the Lightning having a would-be goal nullified by a coach's challenge from the Penguins.
-Goaltender Matt Murray was back in net for Game 6.
-Forwards John McCarron and Cody Wydo each had a goal and two assists for the Wheeling Nailers in a series-clinching 5-2 win against the South Carolina Stingrays in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final of the Kelly Cup playoffs. Forward Ty Loney had a goal and an assist for Wheeling while goaltender Brian Foster made 28 saves.
-The Nailers advanced to the Kelly Cup final for the first time since 1993 when they were known as the Wheeling Thunderbirds. They will play the Allen (Texas) Americans.
Game 1 – May 28, 9:05 p.m. at Allen.
Game 2 – May 29, 5:05 p.m. at Allen
Game 3 – June 1, 7:05 p.m. at Wheeling
Game 4 – June 3, 7:35 p.m. at Wheeling
Game 5 – June 4, 7:35 p.m. at Wheeling-*
Game 6 – June 9, 8:05 p.m. at Allen-*
Game 7 – June 11 , 8:05 p.m. at Allen-*
All times listed are EDT.
Blues - Sharks
-The Blues will dress goaltender Brian Elliott in Game 6 after dressing goaltender Jake Allen in Game 5.
-"What happens with goal-scorers when they get frustrated is they look to hit home runs. We need him to just act like a worker. I know that’s a funny thing to say, but he’s looking for the home run. The guy he’s playing against [Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic], did the same thing to [Kings forward Tyler Toffoli] and did the same thing to [Predators forward Filip Fosberg]. You can’t look for home runs. They’re not there. You’ve just got to stay in program, stay with a little bit longer, and trust your work.” - Blues coach Ken Hitchcock on forward Vladimir Tarasenko being held without a point this series.
-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins re-signed captain/right winger Tom Kostopoulos to a one-year American League contract. Kostopoulos will play in his 18th professional season.
-Happy 55th birthday to former Penguins left winger and picnic jug enthusiast (below) Pat Graham. A sixth-round pick in 1980, Graham spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 1981-82, he appeared in 42 games and recorded 14 points. The following season, he was limited to 20 games and six points. In the 1983 offseason, he was traded to the Maple Leafs along with goaltender Nick Ricci in exchange for center Rocky Saganiuk and goaltender Vincent Tremblay.
-Happy 22nd birthday to current Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. A third round pick in 2012, Murray is in his first NHL season. After setting several goaltending records in the AHL in 2014-15, Murray debuted in the NHL this season by appearing in 13 regular season games and going 9-2-1 with a 2.00 goals against average, a .930 save percentage and one shutout. This postseason, Murray has played in 14 games and has a 10-4 record with a 2.30 goals against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout.
-Panthers forward and former Penguins captain Jaromir Jagr will not play for the Czech Republic in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
-The Bruins signed defenseman Kevan Miller, a pending unrestricted free agent, to a four-year contract extension worth a total of $10 million. Coming off a contract with a salary cap hit of $800,000, Miller's new deal will have a cap hit of $2.5 million. Miller, 28, appeared in 73 games this past season and scored 18 points (five goals, 13 assists).
-EN Says: This is a fair contract for a player in Miller's role. He's a sturdy bottom-four defender who plays a physical game and will occasionally drop the gloves. Giving a four-year contract to a player with shoulder issues is a fair concern but if Miller can stay healthy, this is a fair contract.
-The Bruins re-signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Seth Griffith to a one-year, two-way contract.
-The Bruins named Bruce Cassidy and Jay Pandolfo as assistant coaches. Assistant coach Doug Jarvis was not retained.
-The Senators signed former Lightning forward Tom Pyatt to a one-year two-way contract.
-The Blackhawks signed undrafted goaltender Lars Johansson, defenseman Michal Kempny and forward Martin Lundberg to one-year contracts. Johnsson, 28, signed a one-way deal worth $575,000. In 51 games with Frolunda of Sweden's SHL last seaosn, Johansson had a 27-6-0 record with a 1.74 goals against average, .927 save percentage and seven shutouts. Kempny and Lundberg each signed signed two-way contracts.
-The Wild signed forward Chase Lang, a sixth-round pick in 2014, to a three-year entry-level contract.
-The Avalanche signed defenseman Anton Lindholm, a fifth-round pick in 2014, to a three-year entry-level contract.
-Former Oilers/Flyers/Ducks/Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defenseman Danny Syvret has joined the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of Germany's DEL.
-Former Oilers/Islanders/Thrashers/Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Rob Schremp has joined the SCL Tigers of Germany's DEL.
(Photos: Jason Behnken/Getty Images, Mike Carlson/Getty Images, Peter Diana/Post-Gazette and Chris O'Meara/Associated Press)
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In one of the presidential campaign year’s more violent demonstrations, Tuesday night protesters in New Mexico opposing Donald Trump’s candidacy threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers trying to contain them, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades....