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in Wakeboard - Wasserski 20.01.2020 08:37
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Rory McIlroy closed out the week with a 2-under 70 in Sundays final round and the No. 1 player in the world coasted to a 3-shot victory over Alex Noren at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. McIlroy picked up his 10th career victory on the European Tour as he finished at 22-under-par 266, tying the tournament record set by Thomas Bjorn in 2001 and Stephen Gallacher in 2013. McIlroy also won this event back in 2009, which was his first win as a professional. The victory is McIlroys first since rattling off three straight wins last season at the British Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship. Prior to this week, McIlroy had finished in second place in each of his last four events. Noren shot up the leaderboard and put pressure on the leader with a 7-under 65, but it was not quite enough as he finished three shots back in the runner- up position at 19-under 269. Two-time defending champion Gallacher fired a 3-under 69, which was good enough to put him in sole possession of third place at 16-under 272. Two weeks after his collapse at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Martin Kaymer carded an 8-under 64 to vault into a tie for fourth place with Gary Stal (68), first-round leader Bernd Wiesberger (70), Andy Sullivan (70) and Morten Orum Madsen (70) at minus-15. MORE TO FOLLOW. Roy Oswalt Jersey . Granato was an assistant for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last five seasons, and he was also part of Team USAs staff at the 2014 Olympics. Alex Bregman Jersey . Petersburg of the KHL. Belov was a free agent last summer when he signed a one-year contract with the Oilers. In 57 games this season he had one goal and six assists with 34 penalty minutes in Edmonton. http://www.customastrosjersey.com/custom...large-996y.html. There will be no Down Under four-peat for Djokovic, as the eighth-seeded Swiss slugger Wawrinka outlasted the second seed 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 at Melbourne Parks Rod Laver Arena in yet another five-set thriller in their burgeoning rivalry. Wholesale Custom Astros Shirts . Detroits powerful offence made that unnecessary. Scherzer allowed two hits and struck out seven, and the Tigers backed their star right-hander with three early homers in an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night. Josh Reddick Jersey . Future Hall of Famer Ricky Ray is in his prime and back for a third season in double blue. The 34-year old was magnificent in 2013, throwing for just under 2,900 yards despite missing eight games, tossing an impressive 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions, completing 66 per cent of his passes in the process.Come playoff time, the road through the Western Conference to the Stanley Cup final goes through Los Angeles or Chicago. The defending-champion Kings and still-in-their-prime Blackhawks remain the standard.The regular season? Thats a different story.Remember, last season, it wasnt even the St. Louis Blues who won the Central Division but the upstart Colorado Avalanche. In the Pacific, the Kings and San Jose Sharks had the memorable first-round series, but the Anaheim Ducks get the division champions banner.Those teams beginning with the Ducks, Blues and Avalanche and continuing down to the Dallas Stars are already focused on making that next step to competing against the Kings and Blackhawks.Over the grind of an 82-game season, its a daunting task for any team outside last years playoff field to crack the top eight.It is tough and its getting tougher, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said. It seems like over the summer every team in the West adds more pieces that make them deeper.Theres no doubt the West is deep, and even with 14 teams there will be at least one or two out in the cold come April who could make a run in the East.Heres a look at the Western Conference in the predicted order of finish by division (asterisk indicates wild-card playoff teams):CENTRAL DIVISION1. St. Louis BluesLast season: 52-23-7, 111 points, second in Central, lost in division semifinals to ChicagoWhos gone: G Ryan Miller, LW Brenden Morrow, D Roman PolakWhos new: C Paul Stastny, D Carl Gunnarsson, D Chris ButlerOutlook: After trading Jaroslav Halak and counting on Miller down the stretch and in the playoffs backfired, the Blues go into this season with Brian Elliott and Jake Allen. Unlike Miller, theyre used to coach Ken Hitchcocks system and how few shots St. Louis likes to give up. Up front, Stastny and captain David Backes combine for a nice one-two punch down the middle and theres plenty of talent on the wings. On defence, Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester lead a group thats at least five strong.2. Chicago BlackhawksLast season: 46-21-15, 107 points, third in Central, lost in conference final to Los AngelesWhos gone: C Michal Handzus, F Brandon Bollig, D Sheldon BrookbankWhos new: C Brad Richards, D Trevor van RiemsdykOutlook: This might be the best top six in the NHL with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Bryan Bickell and Richards. And thats still a crazy-deep defence, led by Norris Trophy-winner Duncan Keith. Injuries contributed to last years third-place finish, but this is a group that knows to turn it on when it matters. Chicago is a Stanley Cup favourite even if it doesnt win the Central or even finish second.3. Dallas StarsLast season: 40-31-11, 91 points, fifth in Central, lost in division semifinals to AnaheimWhos gone: G Tim Thomas, RW Alex Chiasson, D Aaron RomeWhos new: C Jason Spezza, RW Ales Hemsky, G Anders Lindback, F Patrick EavesOutlook: Jim Nill won the off-season by getting Spezza from the Ottawa Senators for Chiasson, two prospects and a second-round pick and signing Hemsky. Dallas, as a result, is a chic pick to be one of the most improved teams in the NHL and ready to play with the big boys in the West. Much of that depends on the health of goaltender Kari Lehtonen and the play of a virtually anonymous defence led by Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley. Second-year winger Valeri Nichushkin could also make a substantial leap.4. Minnesota Wild*Last season: 43-27-12, 98 points, fourth in Central, lost in division final to ChicagoWhos gone: G Ilya Bryzgalov, LW Matt Moulson, LW Dany Heatley, D Nate Prosser, D Clayton StonerWhos new: LW Thomas VanekOutlook: Goaltending was a huge part of why the Wild made the playoffs last year, and depth in the form of Darcy Kuemper helped them get to the second round and give the Blackhawks a small scare. With Josh Harding injured, Minnesota is counting on Niklas Backstrom staying healthy or Kuemper filling in. Young talent keeps piling up, like centre Mikael Granlund and defenceman Jonas Brodin, and the addition of Vanek should give Mike Yeos team a bit more of an offensive punch.5. Colorado AvalancheLast season: 52-22-8, 112 points, first in Central, lost in division semifinals to MinnesotaWhos gone: C Paul Stastny, RW P-A Parenteau, D Andre Benoit, G Jean-Sebastien GiguereWhos new: RW Jarome Iginla, D Brad Stuart, C Daniel Briere, F Jesse WinchesterOutlook: Captain Gabriel Landeskog and Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon in separate interviews within an hour said the Avalanche may not get 112 points this year, but they expect the team to be better. Itll be hard to match last seasons out-of-nowhere success, unless goaltender Semyon Varlamov keeps up a superhuman pace and stays healthy. More likely, Colorado is fighting until the final days for one of the final playoff spots in the West.6. Nashville PredatorsLast season: 38-32-12, 88 points, sixth in CentralWhos gone: F Patric Hornqvist, F Nick Spaling, D Michael Del Zotto, F Patrick EavesWhos new: RW James Neal, C Olli Jokinen, C Derek Roy, C Mike Ribeiro, D Anton VolchenkovOutlook: Under new coach Peter Laviolette, the Predators will play a much different, more up-tempo style and have some more weapons with which to do so. Goalie Pekka Rinne being healthy makes a big difference, and Seth Jones should be a year improved learning from Shea Weber. Problem is, this is still the Western Conference, and Nashville is in the toughest, deepest division there is. The Predators will contend, but they have to prove theyre better than Minnesota or Colorado.7. Winnipeg JetsLasst season: 37-35-10, 84 points, seventh in CentralWhos gone: C Olli Jokinen, RW Devin Setoguchi, G Al MontoyaWhos new: C Mathieu Perreault, F T.ddddddddddddJ. Galiardi, D Keaton EllerbyOutlook: Meet the new Jets, same as the old Jets. Blake Wheeler said coach Paul Maurice instituted a more professional atmosphere around the team when he took over last year, but the necessary talent to be a playoff contender is still lacking. It would take monster jumps from centre Mark Scheifele and/or defenceman Jacob Trouba and a strong year from goaltender Ondrej Pavelec to make that even a possibility. Pavelec might even need to play more with rookie Michael Hutchinson as his backup.PACIFIC DIVISION1. Los Angeles KingsLast season: 46-28-8, 100 points, third in Pacific, won Stanley CupWhos gone: D Willie Mitchell, C Colin FraserWhos new: F Andy Andreoff, D Brayden McNabbOutlook: The dreaded Stanley Cup hangover could hurt the Kings, who seem to find their best down the stretch and in the playoffs. The health of Jonathan Quick is important after off-season wrist surgery, but backup Martin Jones isnt a bad fail safe. Marian Gaborik is back for the long term, so this group is even better than the one that started last season. Young forwards Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson and defenceman Jake Muzzin keep improving and make Los Angeles the team to beat.2. Anaheim DucksLast season: 54-20-8, 116 points, first in Pacific, lost in division final to Los AngelesWhos gone: G Jonas Hiller, D Stephane Robidas, C Nick Bonino, RW Teemu Selanne, LW Daniel Winnik, D Luca Sbisa, C Mathieu PerreaultWhos new: C Ryan Kesler, LW Dany Heatley, F Nate Thompson, D Clayton StonerOutlook: By adding Kesler to Ryan Getzlaf down the middle, the Ducks are trying to match the Kings one-two punch of Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. Thats a move that is geared toward a potential playoff series. In the 82 games before that, coach Bruce Boudreaus bunch is already made to succeed in the regular season. One variable there is rookie John Gibson (and Frederik Andersen) replacing Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth. If theyre as good or better, another division title is within reach.3. San Jose SharksLast season: 51-22-9, 111 points, second in PacificWhos gone: D Dan Boyle, RW Martin HavlatWhos new: F John Scott, F Tye McGinnOutlook: On paper, the Sharks are still one of the best teams in the NHL. But the roster doesnt indicate the state of upheaval theyre in. Joe Thornton has been stripped of the C and Patrick Marleau an A, but each veteran still has a no-trade clause on his new contract that kicks in this season. Wilson talked up a rebuild and made Scott his biggest off-season addition, but San Jose could be the most dysfunctional team to make the playoffs.4. Vancouver Canucks*Last season: 36-35-11, 83 points, fifth in PacificWhos gone: C Ryan Kesler, D Jason Garrison, LW David Booth, C Mike SantorelliWhos new: G Ryan Miller, RW Radim Vrbata, C Nick Bonino, D Luca Sbisa, C Linden Vey, LW Derek DorsettOutlook: Call 2013-14 the worst of times for the Canucks. Injuries hit, John Tortorella lost his mind and tried to storm the Calgary Flames locker-room and the season went to hell. Roberto Luongo got traded, Mike Gillis and Tortorella got fired and a new regime took over. With president Trevor Linden, GM Jim Benning and coach Willie Desjardins in place, things should be more stable. Miller will be better facing more shots than he did in St. Louis, and Vey and Sbisa should replace Kesler just fine.5. Arizona CoyotesLast season: 37-30-15, 89 points, fourth in PacificWhos gone: C Mike Ribeiro, RW Radim Vrabata, G Thomas GreissWhos new: C Sam Gagner, G Devan Dubnyk, C Joe Vitale, F B.J. CrombeenOutlook: Dave Tippett is going to have to work some magic after the Coyotes moved Ribeiro, bought out because of what GM Don Maloney called behavioural issues. Gagner who cost almost nothing in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning after the Edmonton Oilers jettisoned him will be counted on to do a lot. Mike Smith might be a system goaltender, but with Tippetts disciplined team in front of him, he can get the job done.6. Edmonton OilersLast season: 29-44-9, 67 points, seventh in PacificWhos gone: C Sam Gagner, F Ryan Smyth, F Ryan JonesWhos new: D Nikita Nikitin, LW Benoit Pouliot, D Mark Fayne, C Leon DraisaitlOutlook: It seems like every year the young Oilers look ready to make that next step. Edmontons identity has become the potential of winning, but the results have been filled with losing. Pouliot and Fayne were smart signings, and goaltending should be at least a little better with Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth. But until the core of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Justin Schultz show evidence they can make the Oilers contenders, theyre still tomorrows team, not todays.7. Calgary FlamesLast season: 35-40-7, 77 points, sixth in PacificWhos gone: F Michael Cammalleri, D Shane OBrien, D Chris Butler, G Joey MacDonaldWhos new: G Jonas Hiller, LW Mason Raymond, RW Devin Setoguchi, D Deryk Engelland, F Brandon BolligOutlook: Bob Hartleys team works hard, but somebodys got to be last. Hiller is an upgrade over last seasons goaltending, and there are pieces in place at various ages. Sean Monahan is growing, Johnny Gaudreau will be fun to watch, and, if Sam Bennett makes the team, the future will get a test drive. But its still rebuilding time in Calgary under president of hockey operations Brian Burke and new GM Brad Treliving. Flames fans will have their patience tested but wont be ashamed of this group.---Follow @SWhyno on Twitter ' ' '

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