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15.08.2018 10:14
Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Kershaw. Antworten

The ink was barely dry on his contract when Ryan Donato played his first professional game.

Three days after his junior season at Harvard ended Kerryon Johnson Jersey , Donato joined the Boston Bruins‘ lineup in the middle of a playoff chase in a top-six role with a spot on the power play.

No pressure, kid.

”I definitely had to learn quickly,” Donato said. ”Every game is important, so it had to click right away. I really didn’t have a choice.”

Such is the task for Donato and a handful of other young prospects joining contenders in the eleventh hour of the NHL season. It has become common for teams with no postseason hopes to sign players out of school and play them late in the regular season like Vancouver did with Brock Boeser and Arizona with Clayton Keller a year ago.

This season, some top teams are taking the chance, too.

Just as the Bruins added Donato, Minnesota signed Jordan Greenway after his season at Boston University, Anaheim signed Troy Terry after the University of Denver was out of the NCAA Tournament and Nashville brought over Eeli Tolvanen from Europe after a full year in the Kontinental Hockey League – young talent added for the playoffs without the teams giving up anything, though coaches must now integrate a new player late in the season.

”It’s tough if the kids aren’t good,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”With our team right now in the midst of this race, every little defensive situation has got to be done right.”

Every shift is magnified this time of year, adding to the burden of trying to learn a team’s system. Donato, Greenway and Terry went right from college to the NHL Cole Beasley Jersey Elite , and Tolvanen had to adjust on the fly from the wider, European ice as Nashville tries to shore up home ice throughout the playoffs.

”It’s kind of tough to come in the middle of the season and just jump in and you don’t know all the guys,” Tolvanen said. ”You have to do it at some point, so I think it’s a pretty good spot that I came a couple games before the playoffs.”

Tolvanen benefited from two rounds of KHL playoffs with Jokerit and carried that intensity across the pond, while Terry and Greenway got a taste of playoff action in the NCAA Tournament. Donato’s season playing for his dad and former NHL forward Ted ended, and he suddenly had to ramp things up to carry a big load for Boston amid injuries to Rick Nash and others.

Donato knew he couldn’t take a shift or a game off and has stepped up with seven points in his first nine games. Coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t worried about getting the soon-to-be 22-year-old up to speed as much as seeing if Donato could handle the size, speed and pace of the NHL.

”Most of these kids that come in are offensive-minded guys, so are they going to be able to make their plays and handle a man’s game?” Cassidy said. ”And he’s shown he’s able to do that.”

Donato certainly had a body of work coming in, including leading the United States and tying for the tournament lead with five goals at the Olympics without NHL players. The other three young, late-season additions – all of whom also stood out at the Olympics – are being eased in.

”We didn’t really do anything at the trade deadline because we knew that we were going to get Jordan Greenway,” Boudreau said. ”He’s gone through the Olympics and the world juniors all in the last year, so he knows what a little bit of pressure is all about. Playing at BU, he’s always (on) one of the better teams playing in important games. We pretty well thought he could handle all this.”

Nashville is betting Tolvanen can handle it Cheap Brian O'Neill Jersey , too. The impressive Finnish winger set a KHL record with 36 points as an 18-year-old and looked increasingly more comfortable in his first three games for the Predators, who have their sights set on a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

”It’s important for him to see ice time before the playoffs,” coach Peter Laviolette said. ”The playoffs are a long haul. I think we learned that last year that you need a lot of people and a lot of parts and it’s important to get him involved in the game, with the team, in the systems.”

Predators general manager David Poile recalled making one trade too many at a previous deadline and messing with his team’s chemistry.

”You have to be careful on both sides because you don’t want to put a young player in a position to fail,” Poile said. ”You want to put him in a position to succeed. You also are very respectful of the players that have been with you all season long. It’s also OK to have depth but you don’t want to move everybody’s cheese too much.”

In Boston, it helps that Donato is filling a spot vacated by injuries and showing immediately he belongs. In Nashville, Tolvanen’s reputation preceded him for anyone who saw what he did as one of the leading scorers at the Olympics.

”It’s a special situation when somebody comes in this late and joins the team and under different circumstances, but it’s been great,” starting goaltender and fellow Finn Pekka Rinne said. ”Certainly it adds a new, special element to our team. I think it’s going to be beneficial down the road.”



Clayton Kershaw was encouraged by how he felt after a shaky, abbreviated return to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night.

Kershaw came off the disabled list and allowed two runs in three innings against the New York Mets. He threw 55 pitches, starting out strong before laboring through his final inning in an 8-3 win.

”Good to be back Cheap Kolton Miller Jersey ,” Kershaw said. ”Now I can focus on getting better.”

The lefty ace was scheduled to make a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City at Omaha, but Los Angeles decided Friday to have him pitch in New York because of precarious weather in Nebraska. Kershaw had been sidelined since June 1 with a lower back strain.

Kershaw was electric in the first inning. He froze leadoff man Brandon Nimmo on a curveball for a three-pitch strikeout, got Todd Frazier looking for a five-pitch K and induced a weak grounder to the mound from Asdrubal Cabrera.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner wasn’t as sharp after that. Michael Conforto and Jose Bautista lined consecutive doubles off him in the second inning to tie it at 1, and Kershaw threw 25 pitches in the third inning, including an RBI single by Wilmer Flores to put New York ahead 2-1.

Kershaw struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits before Chris Taylor hit for him in the fourth. Kershaw expected to be limited to about 60 pitches. He threw a simulated inning in the batting cage after begin replaced.

”The most important thing, he came out of it feeling good, feeling strong,” manager Dave Roberts said. ”Felt like he could go longer. As far as the stuff, I thought the slider got better. I thought the fastball coming out of his hand was good from the first pitch, and the curveball I thought was pretty good.”

Taylor lined a two-run double off Mets ace Jacob deGrom for a 3-2 lead. Rookie lefty Caleb Ferguson came on to pitch the bottom of the fourth – he was Saturday’s scheduled starter before LA canceled Kershaw’s rehab outing. Ferguson threw four scoreless innings for his first major league victory.

Kershaw pleaded with Roberts to throw in the majors instead of Triple-A and won out because of projected rain in Omaha. The weather held off in Nebraska, though, and Oklahoma City started on time Saturday night. Roberts laughed before the game when a reporter suggested he’d been duped.

”Pitching a rehab game is to make sure you’re healthy Jaire Alexander Jersey Elite , right? So I think tonight, same thing,” Kershaw said. ”Proved I’m healthy, now it’s just a matter of performance.”

Taylor was held out of the Dodgers’ lineup for the second straight day with a tight left hamstring but was available to hit. He may be ready for more Sunday, though he’ll likely be held out of the lineup then, too. He was pinch run for by Ross Stripling after his go-ahead double.

Rookie righty Walker Buehler (4-1, 2.63) is still dealing with soreness from a right rib microfracture. Buehler nixed a scheduled bullpen session Saturday, and Roberts said he may throw Sunday if there’s improvement.

Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A to make space for Kershaw.



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