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Author Topic: justify the Islanders invest  (Read 11 times)
fangxu0220
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- Rafael Nadal is taking it easy at the Rio Open, nursing a back injury and hoping it gets better. No. 1-ranked Nadal defeated fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver in his first-round match on Tuesday night, his first in more than three weeks after losing the Australian Open final to Stanislaw Wawrinka. Nadal was an overwhelming favourite in Australia to win his 14th Grand Slam title, but he picked up the back strain warming up and was never the same. "When one comes back from an injury in a short period of time, you can always feel a need to be cautious," he said. "I felt it (the back) a bit. But I hope things continue to improve day by day. Little by little the back will be strong again. Ill get used to the competition and the back wont keep me from playing future tournaments." The Spaniards next test is on Thursday against countryman Albert Montanes. "I had a problem from Australia," Nadal said. "I tried to work on it at home and Im back playing again. At the beginning one is a bit afraid coming back from a problem. Ive worked hard to try to come back." Nadal was sidelined for much of the 2012 season with a left knee injury. He used the Latin American clay-court circuit as his testing ground for the knee early in 2013. It went OK. He won the French and US Open. Hes at it again early in 2014 with his back, reminding some that Nadals big swings and aggressive play may be taking a toll on his 27-year-old body. Nadal said after Tuesdays match -- his 800th -- that hed played better than hed practiced. "Of course there are aspects of the game I have to improve," he said. "Its been a long time since Ive played on the surface (clay), so Its normal to return without the best feeling." <a href="http://www.shopjerseysbrowns.com/Womens-Justin-Gilbert-Authentic-Jersey/">Justin Gilbert Womens Jersey</a>. 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Earlier Monday, Indy re-signed linebacker Justin Hickman and promoted quality control assistant Brad White to assistant linebackers coach. Moala was the Colts second-round pick in 2009 and matched a career high with 26 tackles last season. <a href="http://www.shopjerseysbrowns.com/Womens-Justin-Gilbert-Authentic-Jersey/">Justin Gilbert Browns Jersey</a>.   That also goes for each clubs closer in Detroits Joaquin Benoit and Koji Uehara of Boston.   Dig a little deeper into those bullpens, though, and you understand why both managers expect their stud starters Bostons Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Jake Peavy and Detroits Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Doug Fister to pitch deep into each game.The New York Islanders signed a goaltender to a long-term deal, signifying their expectation that they will be better next season. Numbers Game looks at the Islanders securing the services of Jaroslav Halak. The Islanders Get: G Jaroslav Halak. Halak, 29, was going to be one of the best free agent goaltenders available this summer when the Islanders made a pre-emptive move to acquire him from Washington. While there are ups-and-down in Halaks game from year to year, over the past five years, he has the third-best save percentage among goaltenders with at least 200 games played. Over the same time period, Halak has a .927 save percentage during 5-on-5 play, which puts him in pretty good company. As noted, there have been ups and downs in Halaks performance, with the worst of the downs his 2012-2013 season -- an injury-plagued season in which he finished with an .899 save percentage in 16 games. In every other season, since 2008-2009, Halaks save percentage has ranged from .910 to .926, so there is a good chance that he can provide above-average goaltending for the Islanders and that would represent a significant upgrade. Using Hockey References Goals Saved Above Average, for example, Halak has saved approximately 42 goals above average over the past five years and will effectively be replacing Evgeni Nabokov, who is 11.51 goals above average over those same five years (one of which was spent in Russia), so just on average over those seasons, Halak would provide a five-to-six goal difference and factoring in that Nabokov is 38 and Halak is 29, its clear that Halak is likely to have superior numbers over the next four seasons. Halak signed for four years and $18-million, which is entirely reasonable for a starting goaltender. His cap hit of $4.5-million ranks 15th among goaltenders already signed for next season. The decision to sign Halak and, on the same day, announce that they would be keeping this years first-round pick (meanning that the Islanders 2015 first-round pick goes to Buffalo) is a clear indication that the Islanders expect to rebound from this down season and, believe it or not, thats a perfectly reasonable decision.dddddddddddd They finished 19th in Fenwick Close (unblocked 5-on-5 shot attempts, within one goal in first two periods, tied in third), which is a good measure for puck possession and did so with several notable injuries and players departing via trade, so its fair to think that the Islanders can be a middle of the pack club, with goaltending offering the chance to be a bit above average or, if it goes wrong again, below average. Those expectations will put Halak in the spotlight, but his track record is strong enough to justify the Islanders investment. The Capitals Get: A fourth-round pick. While Halak played well for Washington, after coming over in trade from St. Louis, posting a .930 save percentage in a dozen games, its also not a surprise that Washington might not be inclined to keep him long-term. After all, the Capitals already have Braden Holtby, who has a .919 save percentage in 105 career games, as well as prospect Philip Grubauer (.924 SV% in 19 GP with Capitals) waiting in the wings, so there wasnt a lot of upside to spending on Halak. Of course, this decision cant entirely ignore the fact that the Capitals dont have a general manager since firing George McPhee. Brian MacLellan made out quite well in the interim, however, securing a fourth-round pick in exchange for negotiatiing rights to an asset that the Capitals apparently didnt intend to keep. There isnt a lot of value to a fourth-round pick, maybe a 15% chance that it turns into an NHL player, but for a player that could provide zero value to Washington next season, thats well-played. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ' ' '
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