Update on the latest in sports:
Vegas gets another shot at the Stanley Cup champs
UNDATED (AP) – The defending champion Washington Capitals host their Stanley Cup Final opponent, the Vegas Golden Knights, tonight.
After losing just two of their first 10 games last season as an expansion team, the Golden Knights have already lost twice in their first three games. For a Vegas team that didn’t face much adversity in a charmed inaugural season, it’s a chance for coach Gerard Gallant to emphasize some fundamentals with a tough road schedule early. “I thought we played loose and were not concentrating enough and were making mental mistakes,” Gallant said. “So, it’s just about getting focused and getting ready to play every game.”
The Caps scored 13 goals in their first two games. They opened their season a week ago with a 7-0 whitewash of the Boston Bruins, then fell 7-6 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins the next night. Since then, they’ve been waiting for Vegas to arrive.
Elsewhere in the NHL tonight, the Ottawa Senators are home against Philadelphia. The Flyers got blown out, 8-2, by the Sharks last night in their home opener.
Out West, the Arizona Coyotes will be looking for their first win of the season when they travel to Anaheim. The Ducks have opened the season with three wins.
Baseball catches its breath as Red Sox move on
UNDATED (AP) – After a full week of baseball, some days noon until night, the four remaining playoff teams get a couple days to regroup.
The National League Championship Series gets going first, with the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles beat Milwaukee 4-3 in the season series. Both teams won division titles with one-game playoff victories the day after the regular season.
The Red Sox are set for a postseason rematch with the World Series champion Astros. Boston eliminated the Yankees with a dramatic 4-3 victory last night in Game 4 of their AL Division Series, and now rookie manager Alex Cora and his club will wait until Saturday night to open the AL Championship Series against Houston at Fenway Park.
Ace lefty Chris Sale figures to get the ball for the Sox after making an impressive turn in a setup role for the eighth inning last night. It’ll also mark a reunion for Cora and the Astros – he was the bench coach during their championship run last season. “I’ve been talking about them the whole season, so now we go,” Cora said. “Best of seven. They know me. I know them. It should be fun.”
– The Yankees have lost four straight postseason home games to the Red Sox, and now they’ll watch on TV as Boston chases a fourth World Series title in 15 years – New York has just one pennant and championship during that span (2009).
The Yankees begin an offseason that’s sure to bring a few changes. CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner, David Robertson and J.A. Happ can become free agents, and New York could be major a player in an anticipated free agent market that will likely include Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel and possibly even Clayton Kershaw.
– Braves manager Brian Snitker expects to find out this week whether general manager Alex Anthopolous will bring him back. Snitker is not yet under contract for 2019, though there’s nothing to indicate he won’t return for his third full year at the helm – especially after a season that makes him one of the leading candidates for NL manager of the year. Still, Anthopolous met with Snitker and the coaching staff yesterday and didn’t make any promises. “Until something gets done … I understand that you’re never guaranteed tomorrow,” said Snitker, who turns 63 next week. “I don’t know. I know I’d like to (return). I enjoyed it. I love that group in there.”
– San Diego is hunting for a new hitting coach a day after firing Matt Stairs. The rebuilding Padres continued to rank at or near the bottom of the majors in key offensive stats in their first year under Stairs. His replacement will be the Padres’ 10th hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004. While saying he felt Stairs did a good job with mostly younger players, general manager A.J. Preller said he and manager Andy Green decided that the team needed a different approach. The team is expected to promote someone from within the organization.
GOLF-HALL OF FAME
Goosen, Stephenson among 5 selected for golf Hall of Fame
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) – Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen and three-time major champion Jan Stephenson are among five people selected for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
A 16-member panel of mostly golf administrators also selected retired Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, LPGA charter member and renowned teacher Peggy Kirk Bell and Dennis Walters, who has been inspiring golfers through clinics despite being paralyzed from the chest down since he was 24.
Goosen recovered from a lightning strike to win 33 times worldwide, including U.S. Opens at Southern Hills and Shinnecock Hills. Stephenson won the LPGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open and du Maurier Classic among her 16 titles on the LPGA Tour.
The induction will be June 10, the Monday of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.