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Jerry Kill has seizure after loss to Northwestern

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Jerry Kill has seizure after loss to Northwestern

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill's seizure problems returned Saturday, hospitalizing the coach shortly after he gave his postgame press conference following a 21-13 loss to Northwestern.

Kill met with the media and answered questions for about 10 minutes after the game, looking healthy and strong. But moments after returning to the locker room, school officials said he had another seizure.

Team medical staff attended to him immediately, and an ambulance arrived at TCF Bank Stadium quickly after the seizure. Kill was taken to a hospital, where he was alert and resting comfortably, according to a news release issued by the school about two hours after the game.

University officials ``do not anticipate further information on coach Kill's condition being available Saturday night, but are hopeful about being able to provide an update on Sunday,'' the release said.

It was still too early to tell if Kill would be available to coach next week at Wisconsin, but the hard-nosed coach has taken pride in not letting his condition keep him off the sideline in the past.

It's latest in a long line of problems with seizures for Kill. He suffered several of them last season in his first year at Minnesota, most notably on the sideline during a loss to New Mexico State in September. Kill returned in time to coach the next game and Gophers doctors said they would concentrate on keeping him hydrated and monitoring his medications to keep a handle on the issue.

During a one-week period later in September last year, Kill estimated he had 10 to 20 more and went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to seek treatment. Doctors were able to get him on a program that had been successful at keeping the seizures at bay.

Kill also had seizures on game day in 2001 and 2005, the latter occurring afterward in his office, while he was coaching Southern Illinois and had another while taping a show in 2006 and beat kidney cancer earlier in his coaching career.

``When you have a situation where you go down and go unconscious, there's not a whole lot you can do about it,'' Kill said last year, ``until you come conscious, then you get up and go to practice.''

He didn't miss any games for the Gophers because of seizures last season and appeared to be doing just fine through the first six games this year until Saturday.

``The reality of this disorder is this is a common problem,'' Dr. Pat Smith said, the university's physician, said last year. ``People live normal lifestyles with this.''

Of course, being a college football coach in the Big Ten is hardly a normal lifestyle. The long hours, high stress and poor diet that can be associated with the job may be contributing to Kill's problem, doctors have said.

That hasn't stopped Kill in the past from getting right back out there.

``What the hell am I supposed to do? Stop? I mean, sit in the chair and wait for the next dang seizure to come along?'' Kill said last year.

It's the latest bit of adversity for the Gophers, who started the season 4-0 to generate optimism among the program's long-suffering fans that a bowl game could be had. But they were thumped 31-13 at Iowa in the Big Ten opener, then delivered a sloppy and mistake-filled performance in the loss to the Wildcats on Saturday to fall to 0-2 in the conference.

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter:http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

Stanley Cup Final 2018: X-factors that could swing the series

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights have met only twice in their history. Neither team was expected to get to this point so you can go ahead and throw away the stats, the matchups, the data and the history. A new story will be written in the Stanley Cup FInal.

Who will ultimately win the Cup? Here are four factors that could ultaimtely swing the series.

1. Goaltending

The Caps have faced elimination only twice in the playoffs and Braden Holtby did not allow a single goal in either game. He enters the Stanley Cup Final having not allowed a single goal in 159:27. Andrei Vasilevskiy began to take over the series with his performance in Game 3, Game 4 and Game 5, but Holtby outplayed him to finish off the series in Washington’s favor.

Marc-Andre Fleury, meanwhile, has been the best player in the playoffs. Not the best goalie, the best player.

Through 15 games, Fleury has a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. As good as Vegas has been this postseason, Fleury has stolen several games for the Golden Knights.

Both of these goalies are certainly capable of stealing away a series for their respective teams. Which one will outplay the other?

2. Time off

Rust is a real thing in hockey. Just any team when they come off a bye week. When the Caps and Golden Knights take the ice on Monday, May 28, it will be the first game for Vegas since May 20. That’s over a week off.

Yes, getting rest at this time of the year is important, but too much rest leads to rust and that should be a major concern for Vegas, especially for a team that was playing so well and has so much momentum.

In the Eastern Conference Final, the Caps stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning by winning both Game 1 and Game 2 in Tampa. Could they do it again with a rusty Vegas team? Will the long layoff cost the Golden Knights one or even two home games to start the series?

3. The McPhee factor

Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was the Caps’ general manager for 17 years starting with the 1997-98 season. He was fired in 2014, but was ultimately responsible for building the core of the Washington team that is now headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

But that also means he knows those players very, very well.

Nicklas Backstrom, Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Christian Djoos, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Tom Wilson, Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer and of course, Alex Ovechkin were all drafted by McPhee. Jay Beagle was also signed by as an undrafted free agent.

A general manager does not sign or draft anyone without knowing a good deal about the kind of player they are. Does that give McPhee a bit of an edge when it comes to facing the Caps?

4. Speed

The Golden Knights are fast. When the expansion draft was all said and done it was clear McPhee had targeted two things specifically: defensemen and speed. The result is an exceptionally fast Golden Knights team that no one has been able to keep up with so far.

Vegas' speed mixed with the goaltending of Fleury has proven to be a lethal combination. Their mobility makes it hard to get the puck from them or even keep it in the offensive zone. Once they get it, it’s going down the ice very quickly and you better keep up with them or it's going to end up in the back of the net. Once they build a lead, it is very difficult for teams to dig their way out as evidenced by their 10-1 record this postseason when scoring first.

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh were both fast teams as well and the Capitals were able to combat that with strong play in the neutral zone. The 1-3-1 trap has given opponents fits and generated a lot of odd-man breaks for the Caps. Will it be as effective against a speedy Vegas team?

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