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miaowang123 Jun 12 '18
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Cam Atkinson believes the Columbus Blue Jackets are getting better. Ousmane Dembele Jersey . But hes also realizes just how far they have to go. "We got a little taste of what we wanted in making the playoffs," the 24-year-old winger said the day after the Blue Jackets were eliminated in Game 6 of their wild first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We just won two games. Its a stepping stone." For years an NHL doormat, the Blue Jackets are both inspired and also realistic after the best season in the franchises mostly rocky 13 seasons. "I heard on the radio the other day that Game 4 is one of the great sports moments in this city," forward Mark Letestu said, referring to a three-goal comeback at home that was capped by a last-minute tying goal in regulation and Nick Folignos overtime winner. "I think theres a lot more that we can give. We can give series victories and further cement the Blue Jackets in the hearts of people here. Thats whats on guys minds right now." It was a season of firsts for the Blue Jackets, who have spent much of their existence toward the bottom of the NHL standings. They set club records with 43 regular-season wins, 21 road victories, 93 points and 231 goals. They had made the playoffs just once previously and their stay lasted only four games, all losses. But one of the leagues youngest teams overcame a 5-10-0 start with a strong finish to clinch a playoff spot. Then, they won Games 2 and 4 against the Penguins with stirring comebacks. In Monday nights Game 6, they were outclassed early and trailed 4-0 heading into the final period before scoring three goals in a 4:52 span to energize a crowd of 19,189 that stood and roared throughout the final minutes. The 4-3 defeat left them disappointed, but most will likely only remember the Jackets scrambling at the finish for a possible tying goal while the Penguins struggled to hold them off. "The building was rocking," defenceman Jack Johnson said. "But theres going to be a lot more and better times ahead." Beyond everything else they accomplished, they gave their patient followers some hope. Over their past 111 games, the Blue Jackets are 62-37-12 -- far and away the best such span in the franchises history, and exceeded by only seven other teams in the league. "Its been great to see where we came from halfway through last season to where we are now and how excited the city gets," said fourth-line centre Derek MacKenzie, an unrestricted free agent this summer. "Weve already talked about that. What would it be like if we could have a great start? Is that arena going to be like that all season long? We sure hope so." The Blue Jackets poor history has become, well, old news. "Everybody hears about the past," said rookie defenceman Ryan Murray, taken No. 2 in the 2012 draft. "It hasnt been very good. Everybody thats here now just wants to change that, to change the culture and bring in more fans and change the city into a hockey town." Judging from the capacity crowds down the stretch and in the playoffs, and the excitement generated around this city of 787,000. For the past few weeks, the Blue Jackets have been the talk of the town, pulling off a rare coup by bumping Ohio State football off the front page of the local newspaper. Now that the Blue Jackets have stamped themselves as a good team, the hard part is getting better. "I dont think were going to catch anybody by surprise anymore," defenceman James Wisniewski said. "Everybody realizes the identity that weve created here, that its going to be a hard-fought game and that theyre going to have to bring their A game or were going to run them out of the building." Many of the Blue Jackets had already shaved off their playoff beards before meetings with the coaching staff on Tuesday morning. Several of the younger players were barely able to grow one. So now a team that didnt know what it was missing when it didnt make the playoffs is disappointed that it has been eliminated. "Ill be watching (the playoffs) for sure," Atkinson said. "What else is there to do now? You wish you could be playing." Zinedine Zidane Jersey . His team rose to the occasion Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Sweden in the bronze-medal game. "The sting from yesterday is not something we hid from or pretend didnt happen," Dineen said. Paul Pogba Jersey . An in-person hearing allows for Garbutt to be suspended for five games or longer as per the leagues Collective Bargaining Agreement. Garbutt delivered a high hit to Penner in the second period of Sundays game.SYDNEY - The Asian Cup final between Australia and South Korea presents the familiar conundrum of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.Australia, the tournaments highest-scoring team with 12 goals in five games, takes on a South Korean lineup that is yet to concede a goal in five games, including one that went to extra time — so 480 minutes of football.That is the contrast between the teams ahead of Saturdays final, but what they share is a desire to add a major cup to less-than-overwhelming trophy cabinets.South Korea has not won the Asian Cup since 1960, having lost in the final three times since. Australia has a vast array of regional titles from its time in the Oceania confederation, but none since switching to the Asia in 2006. The Socceroos lost the 2011 Asian Cup final to Japan.All those kind of things again become a little bit irrelevant when youre talking about a one-off game on such a big occasion, Australia coach Ange Postecoglou told a news conference on the eve of the championship match. Previous records go out the window because every moment is so crucial in a big game.Home-ground advantage, at the 83,000-capacity former Olympic stadium in Sydney, plus the absence of a couple of key South Korea players, should give Australia a slight advantage despite a 1-0 loss to the South Koreans in the group stage — a game where key attacking players Tim Cahill, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie all started from the bench as Postecoglou sought to keep his squad fresh ahead of the knockout stages.Well just do what we have been doing, Postecoglou said. Its proven to be successful so far and there wont be any secrets about how we go about it tomorrow.Well take the game to the opposition as we have every game. Well put pressure on them and its up to them to try and stop us from creating opportunities and scoring goals.Two-time champiion South Korea defeated Iraq 2-0 to qualify for its first Asian Cup final since 1988 and captain Ki Sung Yueng sees it as an opportunity for the Taeguk Warriors to reassert itself in the Asian region in a way not seen since its run to the 2002 World Cup semifinals. Thomas Lemar Jersey. We always say that Korean football is one of the best in Asia, because we always went to World Cups, we went to a semifinal and qualified for the group stages, Ki said. However, on the other hand, we never (recently) won the Asian Cup, which Japan and Saudi (Arabia) have won more than us.So, its a little bit of shame for ourselves that we never proved that we are the biggest team in Asia. This is a great opportunity to show people that we can be champions.After joining the Asian confederation from Oceania in 2006, Australia has quickly become a force at the continental championship, making the quarterfinals in its inaugural attempt in 2007, before losing the final to Japan 1-0 after extra time in Qatar four years later.Postecoglou believes Australias successful hosting of the Asian Cup, with more than 600,000 fans attending the 32 matches, has been a major boost to the game in the country, regardless of the outcome of the final.My pride comes from the fact that the game in this country has got a real big kick in this last month, Postecoglou said. Every game has been well supported and people have understood what joy and drama football can bring.As a kid growing up in this country nothing makes me happier than people talking about football.One concern for Australia is the fitness of right back Ivan Franjic, who jarred his hip in the second half of Tuesdays semifinal win over the United Arab Emirates.Franjic will train today and if he gets through training, hes available to play, Postecoglou said.___AP Sports Writer Chris Lines contributed to this report. Cheap Jerseys 2020 Discount Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys ' ' '