Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez seems confident the club is entering the 2020 season with a different mindset than the one they had last spring training, fresh off a World Series title. Martinez spoke to reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. on Monday and said he thinks it’s due to the players having a bitter taste…J.D. Martinez Says Red Sox 2019 Season Was A Reality Check For Upcoming Year — NESN.com
PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby’s determination helps set him apart from the majority of players in the National Hockey League, never mind his skills and instincts. Read MoreCrosby a symbol of the challenges Penguins pose for Leafs — Toronto Sun
It’s a master class in distorting the issue that will, in all likelihood, make no one happy.John Henry tries to justify the Red Sox’ trade of Mookie Betts — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
On Friday, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, announced that they will once again become the New Hampshire Primaries, one of the originally proposed names for the team in 2003.Fisher Cats set to become Primaries once again this year — Manchester Ink Link
Manchester, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) have announced that they will play as the New Hampshire Primaries for one night only on Thursday, July 9.The Primaries experience will celebrate New Hampshire’s proud history of initiating the presidential….
BUFFALO — Trouble is mounting for the Maple Leafs and they might not want to peer at what’s looming on the horizon. Read MoreLeafs’ effort is poor in loss to Sabres — Toronto Sun
CHICAGO — Like playground rules, it was next basket wins at the revamped NBA all-star game. Read MoreTeam LeBron tops Giannis and Raptors in thrilling NBA all-star game — Toronto Sun
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s game:
Well, obviously, for the first 10 minutes the first period, I thought we were fine. Not a lot happening really either way, but I thought we were fine to start the game. It got away on us in the second half of the first and then all through the second period, for the most part we weren’t really even in the building. We regrouped, had a really strong surge to start the third period, put ourselves in the position to tie the game. I thought we had some chances even to take a lead and then got off-kilter there with a penalty call against us and that goes in on us on the penalty kill. We obviously didn’t recover or respond well after that.
On his level of concern with the team handling tonight’s momentum swings:
To me it was pretty apparent from about the 10-minute mark of the first period on that we didn’t have it today. So, I was frankly I was a little stunned that we had the surge we did to start the third, just because we just didn’t seem to have it today. So I was impressed with our team and how we pushed and how we started in that third period. Like I said, we could have been ahead in that game. A penalty goes against us. We didn’t like the response there, but it seemed liked we played and defended tired for most of the game and just made life really easy for them.
On Andersen’s play in goal tonight:
Yeah, probably the one positive I’ll take from the game is Fred was able to get a lot of work today. Our goalies haven’t had a lot of work for quite some time in terms of the shots and chances against. So it’s a chance for Fred to get his confidence and get a lot of pucks, a lot of action and a lot of movement in the puck. Buffalo was really good today. We weren’t good at all, but I was impressed with Buffalo today. They moved with the puck with the skill they have, the depth, all four lines — they didn’t give you any shifts off — all six defence, their goaltender was very strong. We didn’t get a lot of action, but when we did get around the net, we had a lot of really good looks. He was excellent for them to not really let us get any sort of real momentum, but I was impressed by their team today. It was a lot of action for Fred.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (31 SAVES)
On how he felt in tonight’s game:
Yeah, I just tried to focus on what I had to do on my part and obviously, we didn’t come up with the win so disappointing.
On his teammates feeling like they left him out to dry:
I don’t know I think everyone’s going to go through ups and downs, so I didn’t really think about anything I just tried to do my part. That’s all I’ve got to say.
ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL)
On Buffalo’s three straight goals in the third and playing three games in four nights:
Everyone plays 82 games so 3-in-4 doesn’t matter. They got the momentum there on the power play and they scored two quick ones after that on two mistakes, one of them being mine and that’s it. That’s the game. It’s 5-2 and it’s hard to come back from that.
On what allowed the team to push early in the third:
Well, I think Freddie gave us a chance to win the game and I think we were in the game, down 2-1 going into the third. We were lucky to be down 2-1 going into the third. We came out and started the third strong and then that power play. After that there was a three-minute stretch there where they got three and then the game was over.
JASON SPEZZA (1 ASSIST)
On the momentum swings in the third period:
Yeah, we did a good job to make the push in the third and then they get the power play goal and we give them two more. At that point of the game we’ve got to find a way to drag points out of this. Fred played phenomenal for us and gave us a chance to be in the game and we probably didn’t deserve to be after two periods. These are games you’d like to see us drag points out of.
On the team’s ability to put together a full 60-minute effort:
It’s a tough time of year. Teams are going to take momentum; I don’t think you’re going to get 60 minutes of dominant hockey. You’re going to have to understand that you’ve got to control the momentum swings a little better than we did. You can’t give up three, the other team gets momentum and, for us, it’s being able to halt their momentum and get it back coming our way. It’s a tough time of year, you’ve got to drag points out of games, it’s a lot of hockey in a short period of time. We have to find a way to be better to get more points.
JOHN TAVARES (18:04 TOI)
On tonight’s third period after tying the game:
Yeah, we got ourselves back in it in a game that we probably didn’t deserve to be in. We stuck with it and found a way; Freddie gave us a great chance and then we just make mistakes. Obviously, a great opportunity to grab some points, find a way to get a win and let it get away from us.
More on the third period:
We didn’t execute and they came hard and played hard and we just didn’t match them.