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06/11/2016

Span, who is on a 17-game hitting strea

MALMO, SWEDEN – Santa Claus paid a visit to Team Canadas Christmas Eve dinner on Tuesday evening at Örenäs Castle, about a 40-minute drive outside Malmo where this years World Junior Hockey Championship is being held. Chris Kaman Blazers Jersey . And the big guy in red came armed with gifts and scouting reports. He called up the players one at a time and offered a quick hockey-related message. "That was quite the shot you had last game," Santa bellowed when Connor McDavid was on his lap, "Shoot, shoot, shoot." WATCH: Behind the scenes at Team Canadas Christmas Eve dinner And the 16-year-old listened, putting the puck on net four times against Germany on Monday, matching Anthony Mantha and Bo Horvat for the team lead in the tournament opener, but came away empty-handed. McDavid did notch two assists in his world junior debut, but that first goal is proving elusive. "I missed a whole bunch of chances that Im pretty embarrassed about, but I thought I played an alright game," he said. WATCH: Bob McKenzie breaks down McDavids performance against Germany If theres one criticism McDavid has faced recently its that he sometimes passes up his own scoring chance to set up an even better one with a higher degree of difficulty for a teammate. Its something hes well aware of.   "I know one of the big criticisms from other people is that I dont shoot the puck enough and Im always looking for the fancy play and the pass so I try and listen to that and I do try and shoot the puck as much as I can," McDavid said. "I just try and make the right play." McDavid, more often than not, makes the right play. For example, he found his way behind the Swiss defence on Monday and scored on a breakaway in Canadas final pre-tournament game. That was the goal Santa was talking about.   "He sees the ice so well," said head coach Brent Sutter. "You look at that goal he got. After he scored, the guys were all looking at each other on the bench and asking, Where did he come from? He just knows how to play the game. Hes smart, intelligent and hes got great sense for the game, tremendous hockey sense and hes got the skill-set to go with it." "There was just a quick turnover," McDavid recalled, "and I saw Mantha had the puck there and everyone kind of jumped forward on their team so I just kind of took a step to the offensive side, which I shouldnt be doing too much, but it worked out, I guess." That hockey sense, that ability to know what moment to strike, thats a key reason why McDavid is seen as the slam-dunk choice to go first overall in the 2015 NHL draft. And thats why any critique of his game at this moment in time – when hes just become the sixth 16-year-old to ever make the Canadian world junior team – seems ridiculously nitpicky.  "Its probably nitpicky for sure," agreed Sam Reinhart, when asked if his linemate needs to shoot more. "Hes a great player. How does he have so many goals if he doesnt shoot? Thats my question." When he left for Canadas selection camp, McDavid was eighth in Ontario Hockey League scoring and third on the Erie Otters with 12 goals and 50 points in 31 games. He helped Canada win gold at the 2013 World Under-18 Championship, leading all scorers with eight goals and 14 points in just seven games. Reinhart and McDavid also played together at the under-18 level and formed instant chemistry. That chemistry has carried over to the under-20 level, even though McDavid has been shifted to left wing. Horvat has played between the two "youngsters" and its the one trio Sutter refused to tinker with when he juggled every other line coming off a disappointing loss to the Swedes in pre-tournament play Sunday.  "Theyve probably been our most consistent line since Day 1 so thats why I wanted to keep them together," the coach explained. "Its nice," said Reinhart. "We felt like we were playing well together. Its nice when he has that confidence to keep putting us out there together." It was also a sign of just how important that line and McDavid in particular will be to the teams success. Goals may be hard to come by later in the tournament and McDavid, who also gets time on the power play, will be expected to shoulder a big part of the load. Although he doesnt see it that way. "No, I dont feel that pressure," he argued. "We have 13 unbelievably gifted forwards here that can score at any time. If its my line or any other line, it really doesnt matter to me. I dont think offence is something that we need to worry about." Sometimes its easy to forget the phenom is just 16 years-old. He was taking his driving test on the day the Canadian selection camp roster was announced. And yet his maturity suggests his mental game is just as advanced as his physical gifts. The Newmarket, Ontario native is grateful for the opportunity, but not overcome by the moment. On Thursday, he officially joined Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza, Jay Boumeester and Sidney Crosby as 16-year-olds to wear the Maple Leaf at the world juniors.   "Its pretty special. Just to be named in the same breath as those guys is something to be pretty proud of," he said. "It was a dream come true. Its pretty special to be here, but now that were here, we know what we want to do and well take it day by day." WATCH: McDavid talks to Nabil Karim about his first ever world junior game So what will McDavid remember about his first world junior game? "Probably just the Canadian fans who made the trip. I was not expecting that at all. It was unbelievable to see. "I noticed them right away, I got chills skating out for the first little bit." Any nerves considering the stage? "Yeah, I was a little nervous," McDavid admits. "Any time you wear the Canadian jersey, there are nerves that come along with that." Brandon Roy Jersey . -- Running backs Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings were back at practice for the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday despite being hampered by hamstring injuries. Chris Kaman Blazers Jersey . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. http://www.theblazersteamshop.com/brandon-roy-blazers-jersey/ . Brett Kulak and Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants were each charged with assault causing bodily harm on Aug. 18, according to the B.C. court services. MIAMI -- In a rookie season filled with impressive outings, Jose Fernandez may have come up with his best. The 21-year old All-Star allowed one hit and struck out nine in seven innings to lead the Miami Marlins to a 7-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday night. "I think tonight was probably the best," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Watching the way he commands his pitches against a great lineup. He really was in complete control tonight. It seemed like he could do whatever he wanted to up there with his pitches." Fernandez (11-6) retired the first 14 batters before walking Adam LaRoche in the fifth. "It was the first time that it came through the mind actually that I had a chance to throw a perfect game or a no-hitter," Fernandez said. He didnt allow a hit until the sixth with one out when pinch-hitter Zach Walters hit a dribbler up the third-base line for a base hit in his first big league at-bat. "Its a tough way to lose it, but its fine," Fernandez said. "The funny thing is he came on as a pinch-hitter so I looked back to see how he was hitting and I saw all zeroes on the board so I said, Its this guys first time in the big leagues. This movie came to my mind, Perfect Game, when they send a pinch-hitter in. I was trying to make a good pitch, but what can you do about it?" Third baseman Placido Polanco didnt have a play on the slow roller that went about 70 feet and was hoping it would roll foul, but the ball stayed on the infield grass. "I had no idea where it was and everyone yelled, Run, Forrest, run," Walters said, referring to the movie "Forrest Gump." Fernandez acknowledged Walters after he reached safely. "He gave me a smile when I was at first," Walters said. "I tried not to smile back." The Nationals dugout also enjoyed the moment. "We all got a good laugh out of that, he breaks up a no-hitter with a big smash, his first hit was a swinging bunt," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "But hell take it." Fernandez, who lowered his ERA to 2.23, is expected to have one more start on Wednesday at home against Atlanta before he is shut down for the season. He has a 170-inning limit placed on him and he has thrown 165 2-3 innings. "Im thinking about being a bat boy after that," Fernandez said. &"Really I was going to ask if I can be a bat boy for some games because I dont imagine myself just sitting in the dugout, I need to do something. Authentic Damian Lillard Jersey. Im the guy thats always moving around and need to do something. I dont know, its going to be fun. Its going to be different and well see what happens." Giancarlo Stanton homered and drove in three runs for the Marlins, Logan Morrison hit an estimated 467-foot home run, which is the longest in Marlins Park history, and drove in two runs, and Chris Coghlan had three hits. "(Jose) brings so much excitement to the ballpark and this team and you can just tell the guys really feed off of that and I think you saw that in the offence," Redmond said. "It was fun to watch." Stanton hit a two-run single in the first inning and Polanco followed with a sacrifice fly to give Miami an early 3-0 lead against Dan Haren (8-13). Stanton walked in the third and scored on a two-run home run by Morrison to deep right-centre field for a 5-0 lead. "It felt like I hit a rubber ball, nice and easy," Morrison said. Haren lasted just three innings and allowed five runs and six hits. He was coming off another short outing as he pitched 2 2-3 innings and allowed seven runs in a loss to the New York Mets on Aug. 31. "Im at a loss for words," Haren said. "The way my season is going, two starts in a row where I cant get out of the fourth inning, I have no explanation for it. I feel terrible about it from a team standpoint and personally I dont feel good about it either." Stantons home run in the eighth completed the scoring. NOTES: Fernandez is 8-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 14 starts at home. ... Nationals CF Denard Span, who is on a 17-game hitting streak, was a late scratch to the lineup with tightness in his groin. "My groin tightened," Span said. "Its day-to-day for right now. Ill get some treatment on it the next couple days and see how it goes." ... The longest home run previously hit at the stadium was Stantons 462-foot blast on May 21, 2012 off Colorados Jamie Moyer. ... Nationals LHP Ross Detwiler will throw a bullpen session over the weekend with hopes of returning at some point this season. ... Washington RHP Tanner Roark (4-0, 1.19 ERA) will take the mound on Saturday and face Miami RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-5, 3.40 ERA). Wholesale Jerseys China ' ' '