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Islanders’ miracle sequence is all a blur to Barry Trotz

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Islanders' miracle sequence is all a blur to Barry Trotz

Forgive Barry Trotz if he can’t describe exactly how the Islanders were able to kill off a four-minute penalty, at the end of regulation and the start of the first overtime, with their season on the line Tuesday night.

“I’m blanking on it because I almost had a heart attack when we took a four-minute penalty at that time of the game,” Trotz said Wednesday. “But a lot of it was a lot of commitment.”

Trotz could smile about it a day later, after the Islanders had pulled out a 2-1 win in double overtime of Game 5 against the Lightning. But it was no laughing matter Tuesday night when Anthony Beauvillier went to the box for a high-sticking penalty with 1:23 left in the third period.

The Islanders were able to kill it off, though, allowing just two shots on goal during the four-minute penalty.

“It was just real good reads, the penalty killers being prepared and then huge sacrifice when we needed it,” said Trotz, who credited associate coach Lane Lambert with making a slight adjustment on the kill. “We took away a couple of their options. They still got some almost looks that could have been very dangerous. It’s just the preparation that went into it, the commitment that went into it, and you’re going to need a save or two and all that happened.

“You talk about pressure moments, big moments where you could be out of a series, guys rallied around that penalty, around Beau, because Beau is a big part of what we do, and got it done.”


Brayden Point’s status for Game 6 remains up in the air. The dangerous Lightning center missed Games 3 and 5 — both Islanders wins — with an injury, but coach Jon Cooper said his availability would not be determined by the status of the series.

“In this situation … I’m hoping it’s not the last time we’re going to see Pointer, and we might be able to see him as early as [Thursday] night,” Cooper said. “I don’t have the answer for that. We put the player first, and then we just go from there.”

Point has tallied three goals and four assists in three games this series.


Semyon Varlamov turned into a popular GIF on Tuesday night when he belly-flopped into the Islanders’ celebration, but Trotz said the goalie’s show of emotion was not uncharacteristic.

“He’s a guy that loves to have fun,” Trotz said. “He’s a guy that takes his craft very seriously. It’s not out of character, that’s a man showing emotion.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Masahiro Tanaka’s Yankees legacy is clear even with uncertain future

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Masahiro Tanaka's Yankees legacy is clear even with uncertain future

Masahiro Tanaka was pitching like the ace he was imported to be when he suffered an injury that led to, of all things, defining his time as a Yankee as durable and dependable.

Is that time nearing an end?

Tanaka is scheduled to start Wednesday night in Game 2 against the Indians in the playoffs’ first round. Any start this season could be Tanaka’s last as a Yankee. He is a free agent after the season and he conceded when he made his final regular-season start in Buffalo that it entered his mind that it could be at least the last non-playoff start as a Yankee.

“I just thought to myself it has been seven years and it has been a quick seven years,” Tanaka said Tuesday before Game 1. “It is kind of an end to a chapter in a way, just that thought of being there for a good seven years that is what came to my mind in Buffalo.”

It was better than good. Tanaka cost $175 million between salary and posting fee and the Yankees believed they were purchasing a No. 1 starter. That evaporated when his elbow began aching in his 2014 rookie campaign. But what emerged was worth every penny to the organization — a cross between Andy Pettitte’s reliability and Orlando Hernandez’s big-game sturdiness.

It is why the Yankees will almost certainly want to retain him in tandem with Gerrit Cole to steady a rotation that is breaking in youngsters such as Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt and Jordan Montgomery and reintroducing Luis Severino. And Tanaka has always seemed to love being a Yankee, embracing with joy and accountability the intensity and frequent big games.

So the money is going to be on a reunion. But how money is spent this offseason will be a relentless major league storyline. Teams took in less revenue in this COVID-19-impacted season. Already most have seen that season-ticket renewals for 2021 fall any place between down and a disaster. And there are no certainties even of crowds next year. So who knows who will spend and how much?

Masahiro Tanaka
Masahiro TanakaCorey Sipkin

Aaron Boone said he hopes Tanaka is back, citing him as a “great example for any player watching to want to latch onto … he is super prepared. Takes great care of himself. Obviously, he is completely dedicated and great at his craft. It is fun watching how precise he is and how precise he expects himself to be. Coupled with, if you get to know Masa, he is completely beloved by his teammates. He really has a great sense of humor. I have had a joy getting to know him and manage him. He’s just somebody who carries a tremendous amount of respect in the room and is still a great pitcher. He’s been a very consistent Yankee performer in all his years here.”

Constancy became the hallmark once dominance faded.

Through 18 starts of his first Yankee season in 2014, Tanaka was leading the AL in ERA (2.51), striking out better than a batter an inning and was on the way to being rookie of the year and perhaps a Cy Young winner. Then word came he had a small tear in his elbow. What followed was belief that maybe the dominance was gone and Tommy John surgery would be needed.

He was never a No. 1 starter again. But this is where Tanaka became Pettitte. He was a trustworthy No. 2 or 3 starter who like a metronome kept taking the ball. He never needed Tommy John surgery. His 153 starts from 2015-20 are 18th in the majors. He has a 114 ERA-plus as a Yankee — Pettitte was 115.

And, like Pettitte, you could put him in a playoff game without fear he would blink. But in that arena, he was even more like El Duque because of a combination of guile and tenacity. He could remake himself on the mound, depending on what he had that game — heck, last season he abandoned his previous key pitch splitter because it wasn’t obeying and succeeded behind his slider.

In eight playoff games, Tanaka has a 1.76 ERA, never having pitched fewer than five innings, never giving up more than three earned runs and five times having given up zero or one. Most famously, with the Yankees down 2-0 in a best-of-five Division Series, he shut out the Indians for seven innings in Game 3 in 2017 to ignite the Yanks to rally to win the series. It was reminiscent of Hernandez’s seven shutout innings in Game 4 of the 1998 ALCS when the Indians led two-games-to-one and the Yanks were teetering on wasting a 114-win season.

“The most important thing about pitching in a big game like this is to try to be yourself,” Tanaka said.

Who Tanaka has been as a Yankee has changed over time — from ace to dependable, big-game stalwart. Even with the downgrade, he was worth every cent.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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‘Foresight’ in ‘Warzone’: What it does, why people think it will unfairly ‘feed the rats’

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'Foresight' in 'Warzone': What it does, why people think it will unfairly 'feed the rats'

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” unexpectedly added a new killstreak in “Warzone” on Tuesday that is being criticized on social media by fans of the game mode.

The “Foresight” streak, which can be picked up from the ground in bunkers following the Season 6 update, allows players to see every circle location for the remainder of a match. People who get the streak, then, have a massive tactical advantage over everyone else.

Campers in particular could use “Foresight” to set up where the safety zone shrinks to and pick off targets as they are pushed into the area.

MORE: NFL hits COVID-19 snag; Titans game in jeopardy

Season 6 also brought an underground subway system to the Verdansk map, though that introduction is less controversial than the “Foresight” streak.

Here are some of the Twitter fan reactions to the “Warzone” killstreak change:

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Giants ruining Daniel Jones in way young Eli Manning never experienced

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Giants ruining Daniel Jones in way young Eli Manning never experienced

It needs to be a fair fight. An honest appraisal. It needs to be a comparison worth making.

Daniel Jones in year No. 2 vs. Eli Manning in year No. 2 is about as revealing as Superman’s X-ray vision through lead.

Manning went 11-5 in his first full season as an NFL starting quarterback, setting the foundation for his legacy. The only way Jones gets to 11 wins in his first full season as the starter is if he has a Fantasy Football team and those wins are also counted (assuming he did not select any of his teammates for his squad).

There was nothing entirely special about Eli Manning, circa 2005. He completed an unsightly 52.8 percent of his passes, he fumbled nine times and his quarterback rating was 75.9. The best thing he did was hand the ball to Tiki Barber. Manning was pulling into the station and had a team around him capable of taking him on that winning ride.

Three games into his second season, all of a sudden Daniel Jones is garbage and the Giants need to be in the 2021 draft market for a replacement? Where is this coming from? He is a developing player coming off a promising rookie year and thus far the Giants have given him a tattered umbrella and told him to weather a monsoon.

Four Giants running backs this season carried the ball a total of 40 times and “gained” 72 yards. Traffic under the apartments funneling into the George Washington Bridge off the Cross Bronx Expressway moves with more alacrity. Take that average of 1.8 yards per attempt and compare it with the 4.7 yards the Giants’ running game averaged in 2005. You think Jones could work a little something-something if one of his play-action fakes actually, you know, faked out the defense in any discernible way? Sure, the loss of Saquon Barkley is a mighty blow. But Barkley’s first six quarters were awful and, despite his great gifts, was he really headed for brilliance with this group paving (more like cluttering) the way in front of him?

Daniel Jones
Daniel JonesCharles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Jones does not look good. He does not sound good, either. Hangdog expressions via Zoom interviews do not portray an entire picture but there is little doubt losing 11 of his last 12 starts, including all three for the Joe Judge coaching regime, inspires only gloom. This is more about what is around him, though, just as Manning’s demise late in his career was mostly about the roster deterioration he was forced to endure.

Now, like then, the Giants as an organization is doing an injustice to its quarterback. Then, it compromised and ruined the latter seasons of Manning’s 16-year stay. Now, it threatens to send so many negative shock-waves into Jones’ psyche that the byproduct is a stigma, if not indelible, certainly difficult to scrape away.

There is no need for a history tutorial. A few gentle reminders are all it takes. Manning in 2005 had Barber (career-high 1,860 yards) to hand it to and Amani Toomer, Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey to throw it to. Manning had four-fifths (Kareem McKenzie, Chris Snee, Shaun O’Hara and David Diehl) of the offensive line that protected him in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. Is it any wonder the Giants were the third-best rushing team in the league? These Giants through three games are dead last.

Give Jones the No. 3 ground game and watch how indecision and hesitancy evaporate from his performance and how the turnovers melt away.

Manning was sacked 28 times in 2005. Jones is on pace this season to get dropped 48 times. He is far more athletic than Manning and is just as willing to stand in and take a hit. Sometimes he simply has no chance against a defense coming at him with complete distain for getting beat by his running backs. This is no way to play quarterback and every reason to believe this is why Jones looks the way he looks.

Jones was not taken No. 6 in the 2018 draft to be an elite talent and annual Pro Bowler. His marching orders: Be smart and solid and poised and direct his team into a winning situation. Yes, he needs to be better. Perhaps his instincts are lacking and that special quality never surfaces, or never was there in the first place.

The operation surrounding the young Manning nurtured him into becoming a winner. The slop foisted on the young Jones is threatening to stain him as a loser.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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