Raiders

Sharks earn division points in battle with Stars

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Sharks earn division points in battle with Stars

March 15, 2011

BOX SCORE SHARKS VIDEONHL PAGE NHL SCOREBOARD
DALLAS (AP) Coach Todd McClellan got the response he was seeking from the San Jose Sharks.Joe Pavelski had four assists, Ryane Clowe scored the tiebreaker in the opening two minutes of the final period, and the Sharks rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.The Stars were 3-0-1 in the first four meetings with the Sharks this season, and all four games were one-goal games.This time, Dany Heatley and Joe Thornton had two goals each, including empty-netters in the final 1:08, as the Sharks improved to 10-2-2 in their last 14 games.Torrey Mitchell added an insurance goal 1:40 after Clowe's tally, and the Sharks recovered from Monday night's 6-3 loss at Chicago."Yeah, these were the results we were looking for," McClellan said. "We challenged them after the effort that we had last night. We haven't had to do that much lately. We being coaches, we were disappointed, but you could see it in the players' eyes that they were even more disappointed. To come back, fall behind and then battle back in the game is pretty rewarding, especially against a team that plays that hard."
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Jamie Benn had a power play goal and two assists, Toby Petersen netted a short-handed goal, and Mike Ribeiro scored at even strength for Dallas.With the score even at 2, Pavelski stole the puck from Dallas defenseman Jeff Woywitka and passed to Clowe, who was speeding up the middle and beat Kari Lehtonen at 1:51.Mitchell made it 4-2 at 3:31 off Pavelski's setup."We capitalized on their mistakes," Pavelski said. "We just have a lot of confidence now and momentum's a little bit more on our side. It's kind of what happened to us last night in Chicago. We were going right and make a mistake or two and it ends up in our net."Benn's backhander at 8:11 of the third pulled Dallas within a goal.The Stars went on the power play twice in the final 4:06 but were unable to beat Antti Niemi, who stopped 34 shots in his 26th consecutive start. Niemi allowed four goals on 18 shots against his former Blackhawk teammates before he was replaced by Antero Niittymaki in the second period."It was important for us to show that we believed in (Niemi) after pulling him in his old arena and in front of those fans," McClellan said. "We also thought it'd be a pretty good motivating factor tonight to use him. We didn't think that his mates would hang him out to dry again like they did yesterday and it worked."Dallas has lost two straight after a 6-0-2 streak.Ribeiro put the Stars in front at 3:28 of the second period on an outstanding individual effort. Ribeiro skated from behind the net and into the slot, sending a wrister past Niemi.Less than a minute later, Stars winger Loui Eriksson, the team's No. 3 scorer with 23 goals, went to the locker room with an upper-body injury from an open-ice hit by San Jose's Douglas Murray and did not return.Steve Ott of the Stars fought Murray 20 seconds after Eriksson's injury, and Ott received instigator and misconduct penalties in addition to a matching fighting penalty with Murray.Dallas coach Marc Crawford felt the Murray hit was borderline."I think that's one that (the league) will review and I'm sure that they will," Crawford said. "We're hopeful that Loui's going to be all right. He's not feeling very good right now and we'll see where he's at tomorrow. It's always the next day that you got to look to. The league has said that you want to take those hits out of the game, but it ends up being something we can't control and it's out of our hands now."Murray said he didn't intend to hurt Eriksson."Well, when it comes to Eriksson, it's a 50-50 puck," Murray said. "If he pokes it by me, he's getting a breakaway, so as far as I remember the situation, I went to play the puck in the body at the same time and I hit him. You never try to hurt a guy but it's unfortunate."Petersen notched his second short-handed goal of the season at 5:08 off Benn's centering pass for a 2-0 lead.Thornton got the Sharks on the board with a deflection at 6:23 of the second, and Heatley cashed in on a rebound at 12:40 while the Sharks skated 5 on 3 to tie it at 2.Notes: Dallas forward Adam Burish (lower body) missed his second straight game. ... Lehtonen started his 11th consecutive game and played in his 57th game this season. Lehtonen was able to play in only 58 games over the previous two seasons due to injuries. ... C Scott Nichol (upper body) and D Kent Huskins (upper body) are out for the Sharks, and D Niclas Wallin left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury. ... Dallas has 10 short-handed goals this season.

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

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USATSI

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

ALAMEDA – John Pagano can’t implement his scheme in a week. He can’t import his plays and preferences cultivated during five seasons as Chargers defensive coordinator. Full offseason programs and training camps are required for that.

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was fired on Tuesday. Pagano will call his first Raiders game five days later against Denver at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders’ assistant head coach – defense believes he can impact how the Silver and Black does business.

“There’s always room for change and there’s always room for doing things better,” Pagano said Thursday. “Without telling you our game plan, it’s about how we go out and execute the call, bottom line.”

Head coach Jack Del Rio said the Raiders weren’t playing fast enough. They weren’t creating enough turnovers, weren’t doing well enough on third down and weren’t regularly affecting the quarterback due to a lack of both rush and coverage.

That’s why Norton had to go.

Pagano’s first objective, which must get accomplished in a few days, is getting the Raiders to play with confidence. Then he can add some design wrinkles with some of his personality.

“You have to have that ability of going out there, knowing your assignment and playing faster,” Pagano said. “It’s not to say that there have been times where we’ve simplified things, but taking the thinking out of the game and making them react is, I think, most important. Going out there and playing fast and that’s doing the little extra things, the attention to details of studying and getting those things processed. See ball, go get ball.”

That last sentence sums up how Pagano wants his guys to play. He’s a quality play caller and creative blitzer with a knack making simple plays look complex. He can find and exploit opposing weak links. His defenses have always been good creating pressure and turnovers alike. The Raiders need more of both.

To do that Pagano wants to relieve a player’s mental burden and keep them focused on using talent well.

“The one thing I’ve always stressed and always been about is technique, fundamentals and unbelievable effort,” Pagano said. “I think those three things can get you home.”

The Raiders haven’t been home much as a defense. They’re tied for last with 14 sacks. They’re dead last with six turnovers. They’ve gone 10 games without an interception, the longest single-season drought in NFL history.

A lack of big defensive plays has killed the Raiders this season. It obviously increases points allowed. Good field position has been hard to come by. The offense has to earn everything the hard way. That’s a recipe for losing football, a maddening turn after the Raiders finished second with 30 takeaways last year.

Pagano has a chart listing “MOPs,” short for missed opportunities. There have been many, especially in a secondary he oversaw before this week.

“I talked to these guys this week about we need to do simple better,” Pagano said. “What is simple? It’s fundamentals of covering. It’s tackling. It’s communicating. It’s catching the ball when it comes. We’ve had opportunities. It’s not like we’re out there struggling and straining to dive and layout for the thing. It’s hit us in the hands where we’ve had many, many opportunities.”

Missed opportunities have also plagued a pass rush featuring reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack. Pagano brought up a moment early in Sunday’s lost to New England, when Treyvon Hester forced a fumble near three teammates that the Patriots somehow recovered.

Pagano’s goal is to improve performance. Players must buy in to do that. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin headline a large group close to Norton, one with enough pride and professionalism to get behind a new playcaller in Pagano, who could be here long term.

“There is a human element to this,” Pagano said. “We are family. It’s sad any time a member of your family gets dismissed or something. At the end of the day, we have the Broncos coming in here on Sunday and we have to get our minds right to go play this game. That’s something that they’ve done a great job with this week, truly focusing in on what we need to do.”

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season.