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in Steckbrief 07.05.2019 02:29
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OTTAWA - The Ottawa Redblacks woke up Monday morning to find themselves in first place in the CFL East Division standings without even lining up for a snap. They would love to stay there for a while longer. The Redblacks have yet to suit up for a regular-season game in the short life of the franchise, but because everyone else in the East lost in Week 1 Ottawa sits first in the division by default. "Were developing a new strategy as to not play so then you get first place," said head coach Rick Campbell with a laugh. "Well take 18 bye weeks if that happens." Campbell doesnt put much stock in the fact that the remaining teams in the East struggled in the opening week, but he would still love to see his team break the trend. The Redblacks open their inaugural season Thursday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and know they have a tough task at hand. The Bombers defeated the Toronto Argonauts 45-21 last week. "(Winnipeg) was a hungry team that played fast," Campbell said. "They came to play football and it showed and it also shows that if youre not completely ready to play or youre making too many mistakes youre going to get into trouble early." While the game will be significant for everyone who has been awaiting the return of football to Ottawa, it will be even more meaningful for Jovon Johnson who spent the past six years with the Bombers. Johnson, a defensive back and kick returner, signed with the Redblacks as a free agent during the off-season. In 2011 Johnson was named the leagues outstanding defensive player. "I think I had this date circled on my calendar since I left there, but even more so after I made the team," Johnson said. "Im looking forward to this opportunity." Johnson said the Redblacks will need to keep things simple in order to be successful. Emotions will likely be running high and he says maintaining focus will be the key. "We need to know our assignments and just do our job," he said. "We cant try to do too much. I think Toronto overthought some things and they made some penalties and left a couple guys open on defence." This being the Redblacks first game, mistakes are likely to be made, but Johnson believes that if the team can make corrections on the fly they should fare well. Johnson laughed when reminded that the team sits in first place and said it would mean a lot more when they accomplish it on their own. "We still have to go out and prove ourselves and we dont want anything handed to us," he said. "Everyone looks to us as an expansion team and a lot of people pick us to finish last so weve got a lot of things to prove and show the world what we can do." By all accounts the Redblacks see no reason why they cant compete with the rest of the East Division and believe the playoffs are a legitimate goal. "Were a confident group," said Ottawa native Justin Phillips. "We have lots of guys on this team who have been there and done that and had success in the playoffs, won Grey Cups so we have guys who know how to get the job done. Honestly theres no one here who lacks confidence." When asked what would consist of a successful season, veteran quarterback Henry Burris said, "playoffs, at minimum." While the health of the 39-year-old quarterback will be integral to any chance of success, Burris says with the veteran talent acquired through the dispersal draft and free agent signings theres no reason why this team shouldnt compete for a playoff spot. "We know its not how you start its how you finish," Burris said. "If you can get out to an early start and win games early on it definitely helps you out down the backstretch. "All we have to do is stay healthy and as quickly as we can gel together as a team and get on the same page. We want to make sure we peak at the right time which is going into that backstretch and into the playoffs because we all know anything can happen." While Phillips would love nothing more than to see the Redblacks advance to the post season he says hes first looking forward to getting the first game underway. "Weve been talking and talking about it and thinking about it that now its fun to finally get this thing going," he said. "Once we get into a routine its going to be like any other week, but it will be nice to get that first one out of the way." Notes: Campbell said the final roster for Thursdays game will be decided following Tuesdays practice as the coaching staff wants to ensure everyone gets through the practice unscathed before making a final decision. Thomas Steen Jersey . Nine-year veteran Danny Granger did not make his debut with the Clippers because of a technicality on the teams active list, which is signed by coach Doc Rivers before every game and relayed to the officials. Grangers name was printed by hand by a member of the public relations staff under the heading: "Updated Roster Additions," but the number on the sheet was not circled along with the other active players by the required deadline of 6:30 p. Darcy Kuemper Jersey . - The Baltimore Ravens and tight end Dennis Pitta reached agreement on a five-year contract Friday. http://www.officialcoyotesfanstore.com/a...coyotes-jersey/. - Kobe Bryant and LeBron James traded hugs, big shots and verbal jabs all night with warmth and humour. Brendan Perlini Jersey . -- The Chiefs have signed seven players to reserve/future contracts, including running back Joe McKnight, a former fourth-round pick of the New York Jets. Niklas Hjalmarsson Jersey . It was just time for him to make a big play. Nicolas Batum had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 18 points, and the Trail Blazers overcame poor-shooting nights by two of their best players in a 94-90 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - In his first NHL start not far from his hometown, Louis Domingue shook off a poor start to help the Arizona Coyotes top the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2, on Sunday. After allowing two goals in the first five minutes, Domingue, a native of Quebec, finished with 18 saves as Arizona improved to 2-3-2 on its ongoing eight-game road trip. I was told last night Id be playing getting into the hotel, said Domingue. I had at least 30 people here, and others were watching on television. Im really lucky to play my first game here in Montreal. Lauri Korpikoski scored two goals, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson also lit the lamp for the Coyotes. Montreal had its five-game winning streak snapped, the last two of which were shutouts from starting goalie Carey Price, who had the day off. Dustin Tokarski allowed three goals on 32 shots. Both Canadiens goals came courtesy of Alex Galchenyuk. With less than two minutes to play in the second period, Arizona finally broke through on the power play. Martin Erats shot was deflected out of midair by Korpikoski in front of the net, and video review confirmed it was a legal deflection below the crossbar. Arizona only needed 32 seconds in the third period to tie the game. Ekman- Larssons shot from a bad angle along the boards found its way pastt Tokarski for the equalizer.dddddddddddd Tokarski was good for part of the game, said Canadiens coach Michel Therrien. Im sure hed like to see the second goal again. Korpikoski was credited with his second power-play goal of the game three minutes later when his attempted cross-ice pass to Ekman-Larsson was kicked into the net by Alexei Emelin. The Canadiens were limited to five shots in both the second and third periods. A day after allowing seven goals to Ottawa, Arizona got off to another poor start. Just 75 seconds into the game, Galchenyuk carried the puck from the boards to the slot and wristed a shot by Domingue for the quick 1-0 lead. A few minutes later, Galchenyuk struck again for his 15th goal of the season right after the Coyotes killed a penalty. Montreal continued cycling the puck down low before David Desharnais found Galchenyuk in the slot to redirect the puck into the net. Game Notes Arizona had not won in Montreal since Oct. 28, 1996, its first season after relocating from Winnipeg ... Montreals Max Pacioretty and Arizonas Sam Gagner lost two-game goal streaks ... The Coyotes are now 1-19-2 when trailing after two periods with both wins coming on the current road trip ... The Canadiens were 20-1-1 when scoring the first goal. 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