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BeitragVerfasst: 14.08.2018, 10:42 
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Sidney Crosby saw Jakub Voracek’s glove on the ice and wasn’t going to let his opponent pick it up easily.

Crosby pushed the glove away with his stick and reignited a melee in a good Jimmy Garoppolo Youth Jersey , old-fashioned Pittsburgh-Philadelphia playoff game that featured three fights, way more scrums and 158 penalty minutes. When Crosby was asked afterward why he did it, the Penguins captain responded: ”I don’t like them. I don’t like any guy on their team.”

Those were the days.

”It was awesome,” then-Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. ”If you look at it, it was wild. It really was. You had villains on both sides and people that hated each other.”

That was six years ago. Is a rivalry still a rivalry in a league that has made a concerted effort against over-the-top hits and where fighting is truly a rare sight?

NHL executive Colin Campbell once famously said the league sells hate, and at no time is hate more widely bought, sold, distributed and celebrated than during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The NHL’s divisional playoff format was brought back specifically to ignite old rivalries and create new ones, which has been a successful venture even if hate looks different than it did in the days of the ”Broad Street Bullies.” Playoff rivalries are no longer about dropping the gloves or laying out bone-crushing hits.

Teams now play fewer regular-season games against each other and are made up of more skilled players and fewer enforcers. Still, thanks to how tight the league is and the volcanic snowball effect of what a playoff series does to hockey players and coaches Josh Jackson Jersey , rivalries might have a different look but they have plenty of smoldering intensity.

”Playing against teams with high stakes when there’s a lot on the line – win or go home – that’s how you have rivalries,” veteran New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle said. ”When it’s us or it’s them, that’s how you find those rivalries. The same guys for two weeks, I think that’s how you build them.”

The first round in the Eastern Conference this year already has two old-school rivalries with the Penguins and Flyers meeting in the playoffs for the first time since their epic 2012 showdown, and Boston facing Toronto for the first time since 2013. In the West, Minnesota faces Winnipeg in the first playoff series between the two division rivals, which could heat up fast.

”The best thing about most of them are is the proximity to where they live, the close ones, but I think it needs a good playoff (series) against that individual team to create the rivalry full hand,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”Until you play seven games in 14 nights where you learn to hate the opposition.”

Playoff series in back-to-back years made the Penguins and Washington dislike each other plenty James Washington Jersey , and they’d meet again in the second round if they advance this year. Nashville and Anaheim developed a nontraditional rivalry with intense series the past two playoffs, making that a potentially combustible Western Conference final.

When Predators players think about those Ducks series and other tense ones over the past several years, they know there haven’t been a lot of fights – and they’re not alone. The past four playoffs have included a total of 39 fights. There were 46 fights in the 1978 postseason alone and an incredible 85 in the 1988 playoffs.

”You get the odd scrum that turns into a fight and stuff like that, but there’s not too much fighting left,” Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis said. ”You probably see the amount of blocked shots go up in the playoffs, the amount of hits – the little things that may not be on the stat sheet is kind of what I guess gets your team through the playoffs. It’s just little things like that that really is the playoff intensity.”

Boyle, who has blocked 113 shots in 106 career playoff games, has seen more fights in blowout games deep into a series than at other times because there’s too much at stake to take a retaliatory penalty.

”A lot of times you see a lot of other guys turn the other cheek in a playoff series,” Boyle said. ”You don’t want something like that to make a difference in a series.”

Making a difference is more about scoring a big goal than leveling a big hit or punching someone in the face. Look at the Penguins’ and Flyers’ rosters now and the likes of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin Bradley Chubb Broncos Jersey , Phil Kessel, Voracek and Claude Giroux are far more likely to beat someone with a slick shot than their fists.

”I think the game has changed in how it’s being played out there,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. ”I think personnel has changed. But I think rivalries are rivalries. There’s always a heightened emotion associated with the games.”

So much so that retired player and former Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said of Penguins-Flyers, ”It only takes one player, one comment from somebody, where all bets are off and that gasoline tank will be ignited fairly quickly.” Crosby recalls more fights between the teams in the past – he was involved in two six years ago in the game he swatted Voracek’s glove away – but doesn’t want to downplay the intensity of this rivalry.

”You never know what can happen,” Crosby said. ”I feel like both teams are always kind of at their best, and there’s always a little bit extra in those games.”

Capitals defenseman John Carlson said he thinks playoff rivalries have gotten worse more because of what players can get away with, the physical toll ga The Arizona Diamondbacks hoped to have A.J. Pollock back before the All-Star break. The center fielder’s thumb was in good shape, but he wanted to get his legs under him before returning.

Pollock came back earlier than expected Sean Lee Jersey Elite , coming off the 10-day disabled list on Monday and putting a key bat back in Arizona’s lineup as it tries to hold onto the NL West lead.

Pollock was slated to hit fourth against St. Louis in his first game back since breaking his left thumb while diving for a ball in the outfield against Milwaukee on May 14.

”I’m thankful that the guys here trusted me and allowed me to play a couple games and get back,” Pollock said.

Pollock got off to a strong start this season, hitting.293 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 40 games before the injury. Arizona’s division lead, once at six games with Pollock in the lineup, was down to 2 1/2 over the Los Angeles Dodgers after a three-game sweep by the San Francisco Giants over the weekend.

”Swing feels good, everything feels good,” Pollock said.

Arizona also purchased the contract of right-hander Joey Krehbiel from Triple-A Reno and released right-hander Troy Scribner. Right-hander Silvino Bracho and utilityman Christian Walker were optioned to Reno.

The 25-year-old Krehbiel went 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 29 games with the Aces. He is looking for his big league debut.

Bracho went 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA in five stints with the Diamondbacks this season.

Walker hit .208 with a homer and two RBIs over four stints with Arizona.

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