Sharks to get tough road test in Calgary

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Sharks to get tough road test in Calgary

Feb. 25, 2011

SHARKS (35-21-6) vs.
CALGARY (31-23-8)

Coverage begins at 5:30pm P.M. at Comcast SportsNet California and CSN PLUS

CALGARY (AP) -- Although there are six teams within two points of them in the crowded Western Conference, the Calgary Flames are setting their sights on a team much higher in the standings.

The Flames will try to bounce back from their first regulation loss in 10 home games Friday night when they host the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks, who have won five straight.

Calgary (31-23-8), part of a large group of teams fighting for the final four playoff spots in the West, was riding a 7-0-2 run at home before Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Boston.

San Jose (35-21-6), meanwhile, has used its win streak to move atop the Pacific with 76 points. Calgary still believes it can catch the Sharks or Phoenix (75 points) for the conference's No. 4 spot.
RELATED: NHL standings
"Friday it's a four-point game, and a must four-point game," Flames winger Alex Tanguay said. "We wanna get that, and we wanna finish as high as possible in the standings. That means getting into the playoffs but not only getting into the playoffs, but if we can finish fourth or fifth, maybe get home ice."

A victory over the Sharks probably won't come easily. San Jose has won 10 of 12 this month, including seven of nine on the road, and is trying to complete a perfect three-game trip after Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win at Pittsburgh.

"I think it comes from just being confident that we are able to do it and we trust each other," goalie Antti Niemi said. "We've been playing really well lately, and we've got to keep it up."

Niemi has started every game since Jan. 15, going 13-2-1 with a 1.85 goals-against average. He's 3-1-0 with a 2.55 GAA in four career starts against the Flames.

The Sharks and Flames have split two meetings. Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves in Calgary's 4-0 home victory Oct. 24 while four different San Jose players scored in a 4-3 win Nov. 13.

Tanguay had two assists in each of those games while Jarome Iginla totaled two goals and one assist.

Kiprusoff is 8-4-0 with a 2.34 GAA in 12 career home starts against the Sharks, the team with which he spent his first three seasons. He's given up two goals or fewer in 10 of his last 13 starts overall.

Calgary totaled 17 goals in a three-game win streak prior to Tuesday's loss. Curtis Glencross scored, giving him 12 points in an eight-game run.

"We can't dwell on this. We've had a good stretch here, and we've got to just keep taking the positives and keep it going," Glencross said.

Patrick Marleau's winner was his second goal of the game Wednesday as the Sharks prevailed after allowing the Penguins to tie it with 50 seconds left in regulation.

REWIND: Marleau's late OT goal gives Sharks fifth straight win

"It's just a sign of our perseverance," Marleau said. "You don't want to see that happen, but when it does happen, you want to see guys forget about it right away."

San Jose is 4 for 13 on the power play in its last four games and has one of the best marks in the league at 22.8 percent. The Sharks, though, are 1 for 7 against the Flames.

Calgary is 14 for 36 (38.9 percent) with the man advantage in its last 10 home games while its opponents are 2 for 26.

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

NEW YORK -- For everyone who thinks spring training is too long, help is on the way - a little, anyway.

Spring training will be shortened by two days starting in 2018, when new restrictions in Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement take effect on game times for regular-season getaway days.

The voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players will be 43 days before the major league opener instead of 45, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press. For other players, the date will be 38 days ahead instead of 40.

The change was tied to spreading each team's 162 regular-season games over 187 days, up from 183.

Players' association Assistant General Counsel Matt Nussbaum said the union's goal was to create more days off during the season "in a way that doesn't just chew up offseason days."

"We have heard for years and I'm sure we will continue to hear that spring training is too long, that guys are really ready to go well before opening day, but I think what the commissioner's office would tell you is that there are big challenges for the clubs in substantially shortening spring training because they have various commitments to put on a certain number of games," he said Monday.

Late arrival times ahead of regular-season series openers also were addressed.

Starting in 2018, the latest possible start time on getaway days when either team is traveling to a game in another city the next day or a home off day will be calculated by subtracting the time of the flight over 2½ hours from 7 p.m.

There are cutouts for Sunday night games broadcast by ESPN and games after June 1 at Texas' current home ballpark - where the Rangers avoid afternoons for much of the season because of the heat.

Another new rule for 2018 says no game in the original schedule may be set for before 5 p.m. when a team played the previous night in another city starting 7 p.m. or later. There are exceptions involving flights of 90 minutes or less for home openers and holiday weekends. Current cutouts are carried over for up to six exceptions each season at Chicago's Wrigley Field and rescheduled games involving flights of 90 minutes or less.

"We fully recognize that our players play a very demanding schedule, and we're always looking for ways to ease the burden on players while at the same time scheduling games at a convenient time for our fans to watch them," MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said.

Sunday night games on holiday weekends followed by afternoon games still seem likely to occur.

"We have contracts with various national broadcast partners that limit our ability to schedule day games in certain instances," Halem said.

Nussbaum said if the players had their way, there would be "a flat rule that says all getaway games are day games" but understand why that would cause difficulty for teams.

"There's still going to be some challenges in the schedule," he said, "but we think what we've done with these two prongs is pare back the most egregious of the travel."

As part of the agreement, one game in the major leagues may be scheduled each year on the Thursday after the All-Star Game starting in 2018.

Ownership of Jazz transferred to Legacy Trust to keep team in Utah

Ownership of Jazz transferred to Legacy Trust to keep team in Utah

Since Larry Miller died back in 2009, there have been some around the league that thought the Jazz might eventually be sold out of the family, most likely to an owner looking to move them out of Utah. The Miller family has denied that vehemently, and there has been not even a step that direction, but it’s easier to kill Freddy Krueger than an NBA rumor.

Monday, the Miller family killed that rumor for good, taking an unprecedented step that will keep the Jazz in Utah for a long, long, time.

Gail Miller has transferred ownership of the Utah Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena into a Legacy Trust that will keep the Jazz in Utah for what she said would be “generations.”

“As a family, we have always considered the Utah Jazz a community asset and it has been our privilege to serve as stewards of this team for more than 30 years,” Miller said. “There have been many opportunities to sell and move the franchise, but from the day Larry and I purchased the Jazz our goal was to keep the team in Utah. The Legacy Trust will help to ensure this commitment is kept for generations to come.”

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