Pierre-Edouard Bellemare didn’t know what to do as he browsed in the grocery store. Fans were admiring the native Frenchman and center for the Vegas Golden Knights [url=http://www.minnesotatwinsteamshop.com/authentic-robbie-grossman-jersey]Robbie Grossman Minnesota Twins Jersey[/url] , but he had become star-struck himself.
”I’m pretty sure I saw Steffi Graf,” Bellemare said. ”I was on the phone with my mom, and I was like (gasps for air). I walked right behind her. I didn’t say anything, too shy.”
Just your random day away from the bright lights of Vegas in Summerlin, roughly 20 minutes from The Strip. And Bellemare loves his new surroundings.
”Going to your grocery shop, everything is kind of convenient,” Bellemare said. ”You get a habit of getting your routine done simple. Right now, with the newborn, the weather and the pool has been something we’ve been enjoying quite a lot.”
Many members of the Golden Knights had no idea what living in Las Vegas would entail when they were selected in the expansion draft for the fledgling team. In less than a year, however, they’ve found their new home is much more than casinos and glitzy shows.
Jonathan Marchessault said he enjoys a night out with his wife, either attending a show or having dinner at one of the many resorts on The Strip [url=http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-josh-rosen-jersey]http://www.cardinalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-josh-rosen-jersey[/url] , but he also enjoys taking his kids to the team’s practice facility to skate, or to swimming lessons when time permits. The team, after all, has made a historic run to the Stanley Cup Final, with Game 1 at home coming up Monday night against the Washington Capitals.
”Like everybody what they think, you think of The Strip, you think of all the nightlife and everything but there’s a lot more,” Marchessault said. ”There’s actually a lot of people living here and the community where we live, it’s unbelievable. The people are nice and respectful. I’ve been in a few cities in my career and this is definitely one of the classiest places.”
David Perron, who admitted he too was surprised that life existed away from Las Vegas Boulevard, said he recently enjoyed showing his visiting parents Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
”You grow up and all you hear about Vegas is The Strip and just think that’s what it is, there’s nothing else to see [url=http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jeremy-kerley-jersey]http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jeremy-kerley-jersey[/url] ,” Perron said. ”It’s pretty eye-opening to see outside of it.”
Coach Gerard Gallant reiterated his players’ sentiments, having become a local celebrity right along with them.
”I told the people the other day if I keep coming here and you’re gonna pay for my breakfast I’m not coming back,” Gallant said with a laugh. ”They’re great people and they’re a lot of fun. Everybody recognizes you and I didn’t really expect that. Myself and my wife, we love Vegas, it’s been awesome. We go to The Strip anytime you want to go there, you go down there for dinner, but besides that we’re out here in Summerlin and we love it.”
Some of the younger players, like roommates Shea Theodore and Alex Tuch, don’t mind taking advantage of the spectacles and endless events that Sin City has to offer.
”The shows are unbelievable,” Tuch said. ”I’ve met a couple of the cast (members), I met Criss Angel, there’s deejays and artists coming in and out of the city [url=http://www.torontomapleleafsteamshop.com/authentic-john-tavares-jersey]John Tavares Maple Leafs Jersey[/url] , so I’ve met a lot of cool people like that. The food is fantastic around here. And if you get away from the city you can play on some really nice golf courses too, which I like to do.”
Said Theodore: ”I think my favorite part about Vegas is the different kinds of food you can get. We’ve been very lucky to have some good connections with a lot of restaurants in town. Rooming with Tuchy, he’s got some good connections.”
General manager George McPhee said he’s come to appreciate the maturity of the players as they adapted to living in Las Vegas, with all the temptations and distractions.
”It’s a high-character group,” McPhee said. ”We don’t want a bunch of clones, we’ve never wanted a bunch of clones, either in the front office or anywhere else in the organization. They’re all different, they have different lifestyles at home. There’s something for everyone to do in Vegas, so they do what they do. But when we come to the rink that’s where they become one.”
More Stanley Cup coverage: In the two-week run-up to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will face plenty of questions about two things critical to the team’s success: Tom Brady’s right hand and Rob Gronkowski’s head.
Brady answered most of the concerns about whether the hand injury would hinder him with a strong performance in New England’s AFC championship game victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Gronkowski, meanwhile, will likely spend at least part of this week going through the concussion protocol. He suffered the injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville safety Barry Church.
The game-changing tight end is Brady’s favorite target [url=http://www.washingtoncapitalsteamshop.com/authentic-kody-clark-jersey]Kody Clark Capitals Jersey[/url] , and he missed last season’s Super Bowl run after undergoing season-ending back surgery.
There was no update from the Patriots on Gronk’s status Monday, but he was at the facility for team meetings.
”He was in pretty good spirits today when I spoke to him,” special teams captain Matt Slater said.
Recently, New England has fared well when Gronkowski has been sidelined. But that hasn’t always been the case.
The Patriots had plenty of time to adjust to his absence in 2016, when he played just eight games before the surgery. They also had Martellus Bennett to pick up the slack.
Since the start of last season, New England is 12-1 without Gronk. In those games, the Patriots’ points per game actually increased from 28.6 to 28.8, although their yards per play declined from 8.1 to 7.6.
The offense was also better without him on third down and in the red zone. Over the past two seasons it converted on 49.3 percent of its chances on third down and scored touchdowns on 66 percent of its red zone trips without him, compared to 45 percent on third down and scoring touchdowns on 62.6 percent of red zone trips when he played.
From his rookie season in 2010 through 2015, his absence had a much greater impact.
The Patriots were 12-7 without Gronkowski over that span, averaging 31.5 points per game with him and 26.3 without him. The offense’s average yards per pass attempt also fell from 7.8 with him to 6.6 without him.
Before he was injured, Gronkowski passed Dallas Clark to become the NFL’s career leader for postseason yards at the position. And if the concussion were to sideline him for the Super Bowl [url=http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com/cheap-bo-scarbrough-jersey]Bo Scarbrough Color Rush Jersey[/url] , there’s not much depth behind him. The only tight ends on New England’s roster are Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister.
Allen has 10 receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown this season. Hollister has four catches for 42 yards and was inactive against Jacksonville.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said there is always a plan to adapt to injuries.
”You have to make some adjustments. We always go into the game with a certain idea of how we want to try to play it,” he said. ”It certainly doesn’t always play out the way that you wanted it to or that you had hoped to or designed it to, but that happens in every game.
”So, everybody understands that that’s part of the game and when that happens, you just have to embrace whatever role you need to take on to help the team win.”
Brady still has stitches in his right thumb. He hopes to have them removed sometime this week, and he doesn’t expect the injury to be an issue once Super Bowl week arrives.
”And then I can just get out there and get normal treatment like I always do and be ready to go,” Brady said.
”This was a little injury at the end of the day. … I mean, I’ve had a lot worse injuries than this. If this was on my left hand, I could care less, but just based on where it was, we had to deal with it.”
|Free forum by Nabble||Edit this page|