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. -- The Atlanta Falcons have announced they will be featured on HBO Sports documentary series Hard Knocks this summer. The five-part weekly series debuts Aug. 5 and concludes Sept. 2. The annual show gives fans an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at the daily lives and routines of players and coaches as they prepare for the upcoming NFL season. Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank says the team is "excited about the opportunity to give our fans a behind the scenes look at what it takes to prepare an NFL team for the rigours of a 16-game regular season and beyond." Hard Knocks is now its ninth season. Other teams previously featured on the award-winning reality series include the Ravens, Chiefs, Jets and Dolphins. The Cowboys and Bengals have each been featured twice. Peja Stojakovic Jersey
. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane wanted to stay in Chicago and the Blackhawks wanted to keep the high-scoring forwards in the only NHL uniform they have ever known. Willie Cauley-Stein Jersey
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. The Toronto Argonauts (11-7) look for an opportunity to repeat as CFL champions when they host the surging Hamilton Tiger-Cats (10-8) on Sunday.Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Its no surprise people wondered how Barry Trotz would get along with Alex Ovechkin. To say Ovechkin is at the center of the storm for the Washington Capitals would be putting it too lightly. The superstar winger has become so utterly synonymous with the only NHL franchise hes ever known that everything the Caps do is quickly related back to Ovechkin. So when Trotz was hired last spring as Washingtons new head coach, the talk of the town was how would the defensive-minded bench boss mesh with the uber- talented but undisciplined Ovechkin. While there have been growing pains for both Ovechkin and the Caps as a whole under Trotz, Thursdays thrilling Winter Classic victory over the Chicago Blackhawks may have been Washingtons coming out party for the hockey world at large. With nearly 43,000 fans in attendance at Nationals Park, the Caps recorded a 3-2 win over the visiting Blackhawks thanks to Troy Brouwers game-winning power-play goal with 12.9 seconds left in regulation. Ovechkin was awarded an assist on Brouwers big goal and also scored earlier in the game. The two-point performance gives Ovechkin 18 goals and 14 assists in 37 games under Trotz. That level of production is not quite up to the standards set by the three-time Hart Trophy winner, but more importantly, Ovi and his team are trending upward in terms of wins and losses. Washington got off to a mediocre 10-10-4 start under Trotz, but the club has really gained traction over the last several weeks. The New Years Day win over Chicago gives the Caps a 9-1-3 mark over their last 13 games, and the latest victory allowed Washington to leap over the New York Rangers for the third and final automatic playoff berth in the Metropolitan Division. While previous Capitals coaches like Bruce Boudreau, Dale Hunter and Adam Oates would at times publicly call Ovechkin out for his lack of discipline, Trotz is seemingly adheres to the old saying if you cant find anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. The former longtime Nashville Predators coach instead has been singing the praises of Ovechkin to anyone who will listen, and for good reason. Although Ovi is not producing at his normal point-per-game pace, his overall game has seemed to thrive under Trotz. Last season, Ovi had a dreadful minus-35 rating in 78 games. This season he is sporting a plus-eight through 37 tilts. Even if you think plus/minus is a useless stat (which most of the times it is) that kind of turnaround simply cant be dismissed or ignored. After the victory over the Blackhawks on the outdoor stage, Trotz offered a full-throated endorsement of his star player and seemed to say the criticism of Ovi over the years has not been fair. Justin Jackson Jersey
. A lot of people want to tear him apart, but how many superstars have scored as many goals, how many superstars put people in the seats, how many superstars play as physical as Alex Ovechkin? Theres not very many, Trotz said. And thats what makes him unique. Of course, people will continue to knock Ovechkin until he leads a team to a Stanley Cup title. But at the moment, with Trotz as his biggest fan, things are certainly looking up in D.C. CLASSIC TV RATINGS HIT ALL-TIME LOW On paper, it seemed like this years Winter Classic was a marquee matchup. On one side you had a household name like Ovechkin, and on the other was the Chicago Blackhawks, a team with several recognizable faces thanks to a pair of recent Stanley Cups championships. However, early reports of the television ratings for the NBC broadcast tell a different story as Thursdays game was the lowest-rated Winter Classic since the New Years tradition began at Buffalos Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2008. The Blackhawks-Caps pulled an overnight rating of 2.3, well below the 2.9 rating that last seasons clash between Detroit and Toronto at Michigan Stadium. The previous low was a 2.4 rating for the 2012 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, but that matchup at Citizens Bank Park in Philly may have been hurt by the fact that it was played on Jan. 2 instead of New Years Day. Perhaps, the location hurt the Classic, as Nationals Park is a newer stadium without the cache of places like The Big House, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Also, this was the first time the Winter Classic didnt have the documentary series 24/7 on HBO to build up excitement over the weeks leading into the game. There was a similar program called Road To The Winter Classic that aired on EPIX, a channel that simply cant compete with the high profile offered by a place on HBOs airwaves. The NHL should hope that either of those two reasons led to the low ratings this time because the alternative may be the outdoor game is simply losing its luster. That would hardly be a surprise considering the 2013-14 season saturated the market with six outdoor games. There will be another opportunity to gauge the interest in outdoor games on Feb. 21 when the San Jose Sharks welcome the Los Angeles Kings to Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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