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Adidas Sergei Bobrovsky Jersey
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The hockey world championships have been overshadowed by the Olympic tournament since the 1998 Nagano Games Sebastian Janikowski Jersey , the first to feature NHL players.

Not this year.

The NHL’s decision to skip the Pyeongchang Olympics had an impact. Amid tepid interest in South Korea, the games were often played in half-empty arenas. It will be a different story in Denmark.

The organizers say ticket sales have reached their planned target of 300,000 even before the tournament opens in Copenhagen and Herning on Friday. And there’s no need to worry about a lack of stars. Although Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are busy with their bid for a Stanley Cup three-peat, some of the sport’s biggest names will be on the ice in Denmark.

Canada will be led by NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid after his Edmonton Oilers didn’t make the playoffs, teammate Leon Draisaitl has joined Germany, and the United States will be captained by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.

Here’s a look at the annual tournament that will be played in Denmark for the first time:



THE TOURNAMENT

The event has 16 nations playing in two groups of eight, with the top four in each group advancing to the playoffs.

Olympic champion Russia, defending champion Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, Slovakia, France and Austria are in Group A. Matches will be played at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen.

Canada, Finland, the United States, Germany, Norway, Latvia Jimmy Graham Jersey , Denmark and South Korea are in Group B. They will play at the Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning.

In Friday’s opening games, Canada will take on the United States while Russia faces France.

The final is scheduled for May 20.



THE FAVORITES

Captained by McDavid, who just clinched his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer with 108 points, Canada is the team to beat at the worlds.

McDavid and Wayne Gretzky are the only two players in NHL history to win the scoring race more than once at 22 years of age or younger.

McDavid will be joined by veteran Buffalo forward Ryan O’Reilly. Both were on the team that won the world title in Russia two years ago.

New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal, who is among the finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy for the NHL’s rookie of the year, was also named in the squad.

”We have a mix of youth, experience and strong leadership qualities among these players as they have represented Canada on the international stage previously from the world juniors up to last year’s championship,” Canada co-general manager Sean Burke said. ”Their previous success and experience can only help us in our ultimate goal of bringing home a gold medal.”

The Canadians, who will again be led by Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters, won the title in 2015 and 2016 after finishing second last year.



RUSSIAN COACH SWAP

In a surprise move less than a month before the worlds, Oleg Znarok stepped down as coach of Russia’s hockey team after leading the country to the Olympic title – its first in 26 years.

Playing as ”Olympic Athletes from Russia” because of the country’s punishment for doping, Znarok’s team beat Germany 4-3 in overtime in the final.

Znarok became coach in March 2014, taking over a team that lost in the quarterfinals on home ice at the Sochi Olympics. The Russians went on to win the world championship gold that year.

He was replaced by Ilya Vorobyov, one of his assistant coaches, but will still work with the team as a consultant.

Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin, who is in a tight Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, won’t be available. But Vorobyov can rely on a mixture of NHL-based players and the home talents from the Russia-based KHL, widely considered the strongest league outside the NHL.

Florida Panthers right winger Evgenii Dadonov and SKA St. Petersburg veteran Pavel Datsyuk are among those to make sure Russia remains a contender for gold Shaq Lawson Jersey , even though a lack of the NHL-experienced defensemen and goaltenders could harm the team’s ambitions.



OTHERS TO WATCH

The United States hopes to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish and has a team strong enough to make it happen.

Kane’s presence will no doubt improve the quality of play. He last played at the world championships in 2008, his first season in the NHL and the last time the Blackhawks missed the playoffs, and was in the U.S. team at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

Buffalo Sabres rookie and world junior MVP Casey Mittelstadt was prevented from playing by a groin injury, but some others will be there, including a trio who claimed bronze at the 2015 worlds in the Czech Republic. They include Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin, New York Islanders forward Anders Lee and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Connor Murphy.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans running back Dion Lewis has been so focused on football with his new team that he didn’t realize until a few days into training camp just how special the benches on each sideline really are.

Now he takes a couple of minutes whenever possible during practice to sit and cool off.

Literally.

“It’s great,” said Lewis, who spent the past three years with New England. “It’s real hot … so whenever you use anything to make you cool down a little bit, I think it’s a great tool. It’s been here for the whole time, but I just realized it like probably last week. So definitely take advantage of that whenever I get a chance.”

Keeping football players cool during the sweltering days of training camp is critical, especially in the wake of the heat-related death of Minnesota offensive tackle Korey Stringer in August 2001 and the June death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair . An attorney for the McNair family says a preliminary death certificate indicates the cause of death was heatstroke.

Old-fashioned tubs filled with water and bags of ice await NFL players, even for teams staying at their headquarters this time of year. A few minutes provides a quick, but very wet, recovery once practice is over.

The Titans and New Orleans Saints both decided to give players a chance to cool off during practice, improving both safety and the workouts.

With a new coach in Mike Vrabel, the Titans put a bench on each side of their three practice fields, giving players a chance to recover when the temperature during morning practices can feel like 90 degrees.

“I don’t think our players have done a good enough job of taking advantage of it Linval Joseph Jersey , but, we’re trying it out,” Vrabel said.

“Going to Miami and Jacksonville in the early games here, if there’s anything we can do to keep our guys as fresh as possible on the sideline, we’re going to try.”

In hot and humid Jacksonville, the Jaguars have had such cooling benches for years in the shade and near huge fans to use during breaks.

The New Orleans Saints have used a cooling tent for years, even when holding training camp at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. With the tent kept off to the side of the football fields, it wound up too far away for the Saints to slip over during practices.

This August, an 18-wheeler dropped off what looks like a massive storage trailer. Inside, it’s actually a chilly 25 degrees featuring dim lighting and black padded folding chairs.

The Saints can walk in for a quick refresher or sit down to drop the body temperature. If needed, coach Sean Payton can put a whole position group inside at once, especially effective for big men such as offensive or defensive linemen.

“As bodies go in there, it goes to 28,” Payton said. “But it’s almost three times colder than a tent.”

Payton said colleges such as LSU and Alabama are among those already using the cooling trailer. Being in muggy Louisiana, the Saints didn’t have to go far to find a company that could help them out.

Payton said when the temperatures soar, teams can’t cool players down enough. The trailer allows New Orleans to keep the Saints refreshed enough to practice, not just survive until the final horn signals a blissful end.

“You want to not just be running plays Duke Dawson Jersey , and then you also have an answer if someone is going through a second-level heat illness or God forbid something more serious,” Payton said.

“But, the first thing we want to be able to do is cool the core temperatures down. We’ve always taken a lot of breaks, so we’ve handled the heat well. We’ve had to. But if you went back to Millsaps even, we had a cool tent. This is just much colder.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t use cooling benches. For the first time, they are making good use of an indoor practice facility — complete with air conditioning — that was completed earlier this year.

Despite playing in Florida, the Buccaneers had never had an indoor practice field before now, and coach Dirk Koetter has used it liberally.

He’s started several practices outdoors before going inside where the Bucs even installed bleachers for fans attending open sessions. Koetter also keeps the Bucs inside for walkthroughs to avoid the heat.

Just standing near the cooling bench is comfortable enough to watch an entire practice without even needing to sit on the chilled aluminum seats. Titans running back Derrick Henry tested the cooling bench last weekend and liked what he found. A big man at 6-foot-3, Henry says he won’t use it too much to avoid stiffening up.

Walking by to cool off?

“It feels good, especially because it’s hot out here,” Henry said. “It’s camp, and we got to put it to use. It’s a good tool for us to cool our body off, so we’re ready when we go back out there.”

Adidas Sergei Bobrovsky Jersey
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