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Alberta

“…That’s why these series are seven games…”

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Several valuable lessons for fans and other followers of the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in the most recent doubleheader televised as part of the NHL’s revamped, and surprisingly attractive, playoff package.

The New York Islanders gave the Philadelphia Flyers a lesson in the early-evening effort and the Dallas Stars followed with an impressive victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

In the Islanders triumph, the lesson was the value of discipline and patience.

In the later test, believe it or not, the lesson was the value of discipline and patience.

Both Calgary and Edmonton showed a distinct lack of those virtues as they were ushered out of the playoffs. Calgary blew a chance to take a stranglehold on its series with Dallas by failing to hold a lead for all of 12 seconds; Edmonto frittered away leads in all four of their losses to Chicago in a previous round.

Edmonton’s flaws were much more obvious, largely because they showed more often. Had they seen a preview of New York’s winning effort Monday night, they would not have chased scoring opportunities so rashly when they had a lead to protect. Coach Barry Trotz’s disciplined team scored the only first-period goal and then spent incredible energy barricading every attempt by the talented Flyers until Jean-Gabriel Pageau stretched the margin late in the second period.

Afterwards in what became a 4-0 shutout, there was no real threat that Philadelphia could come back, or even could end Semyon Varlamov’s shutout.

There was some brief temptation to criticize Sherwood Park product Carter Hart’s performance in goal for the Flyers. He was deep in the net on Andy Greene’s goal in the first period and on his knees when Pageau clinched the decision. But the young Alberta kid was brilliant at other times. He did not lose the game; the Flyers lost it as a team that lacked the discipline and patience of its conquerors.

The Dallas victory was marked by Colorado’s lack of those vital qualities, but the Avalanche added a flaw that may have been even more devastating: they showed an immense lack of confidence as soon as their sound 2-0 lead disappeared on a pair of shocking 5-on-3 Stars power-plays.

Granted, Dallas got some good breaks — one on Esa LIndell’s goalmouth shove at a loose puck that was not clearly shown to be over the line, the other on an Alex Radulov tally that deflected twice before hopping over the head of goaltender Pavel Francouz.

The Lindell goal was the ultimate winner. If it did not steal all of the Colorado confidence, it certainly came close — and the fluke that bounced off Radulov grabbed the rest.

Philadelphia’s win came in the best-of-seven series opener, leaving the Flyers some time to develop a scheme that might humanize the machine-like Islanders.

Avalanche veteran Gabriel Landeskog downplayed his team’s shaky position after its second consecutive shaky performance.

“We’ll be all right,” he told a post-game questioner. “That’s why these series are seven games.”

https://www.todayville.com/edmonton/cfl-faces-very-difficult-future/

Alberta

Veteran CFL quarterback Dakota Prukop among 16 players released by Calgary Stampeders

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CALGARY — Veteran CFL quarterback Dakota Prukop was among 16 players released Thursday by the Calgary Stampeders.

Prukop, an American, signed with Calgary in January. He spent his first three CFL seasons with Toronto (2017-19), completing 18-of-30 passes for 284 yards with three TDs and two interceptions.

He was a member of Toronto’s Grey Cup-winning team in 2017.

Also released were offensive linemen Kwabena Asare and Jay Gutherie, receiver Malcolm Thompson, linebacker/long-snapper Benjamin Whiting, defensive back Michael Asibuo and linebacker Shaydon Philip. All are Canadians.

The Stampeders also let go defensive backs Corrion Ballard, Greg Ducre, Trae Elston and Javien Hamilton, linebacker Cory James, receivers Shawn Bane, Fred Trevillion and Aaren Vaughns as well as running back Trey Williams. All are Americans.

The club also announced that American defensive lineman Cassanova McKinzy has retired.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Veteran defensive lineman Shawn Lemon among 16 players released by the Edmonton Elks

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EDMONTON — Veteran CFL players Shawn Lemon, Thaddeus Coleman, Vontae Diggs and Kenny Shaw were among the Edmonton Elks’ final cuts Thursday.

Edmonton made its final roster decisions ahead of the CFL’s deadline of 10 p.m. ET on Friday.

The final roster moves come after receiver Kenny Stafford and linebacker Kevin Brown II, also CFL veterans, were let go earlier.

Lemon signed a one-year contract with Edmonton in February. The six-foot-two, 248-pound defensive lineman has played nine CFL seasons, registering 70 career sacks and 22 forced fumbles over 107 regular-season games.

Lemon is a two-time Grey Cup champion with Calgary (2014) and Toronto (2017).

The six-foot-two, 230-pound Diggs, a linebacker, was Edmonton’s outstanding rookie nominee in 2019 after recording 73 tackles, 11 special-teams tackles, one interception and two sacks.

The six-foot-seven, 320-pound Coleman was in his second stint with Edmonton. The towering offensive lineman had played for the franchise from 2013-16 before joining the Saskatchewan Roughriders (2016-19).

Shaw had spent time with Toronto (2015-16), Ottawa (2017) and Saskatchewan (2018). The receiver registered 94 catches for 1,223 yards and five TDs in 25 career CFL regular-season games.

Edmonton opens the 2021 CFL season hosting the Ottawa Redblacks on Aug. 7

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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