Providence Bruins fall to Worcester Sharks in shootout, 3-2

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Providence Bruins fall to Worcester Sharks in shootout, 3-2

PROVIDENCE The Providence Bruins didnt get the twopoints on Sunday afternoon, but they probably should have.

The P-Bruins outshot the Worcester Sharks by a 53-32 marginand dominated long stretches of the contest, but ended up falling to the Sharksin the shootout by a 3-2 score at the Dunkin Donuts Center. For the weekend,however, Providence took five out of six points continuing to place themselvesin an improving position within the Eastern Conference.

Were disappointed but were not discouraged, saidP-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. We wanted that additional point today, but wetook five out of six points. Thats been our best weekend so far, so well takeit.

James Sheppard scored as the first Sharks shooter in theextra session shootout and five Providence players were kept off the board tohand Worcester the extra point. Sharks goalie Harri Sateri went into thecontest featuring an ugly 3.64 goals against average and a weak .867 savepercentage, but he turned away nearly everything the P-Bruins threw at himwhile making 51 saves.

That helped tip the scales for a Worcester team thats beenlooking for some good goaltending.

Christian Hanson scored his second goal in as many gameswhen he pushes a shot past Sateri in the first period, and Providence appearedin complete control while outshooting the Sharks by a 25-8 margin. But theP-Bruins had a skater fall down during a power play at the end of first thatopened the door for a Yann Gourde shorthanded strike that tied things up with20 seconds to go in the first.

That killed Providences momentum and set up another evenperiod where Justin Florek and Tyler Kennedy traded goals. Floreks score washis first AHL goal of the season in 16 games while Kennedy sniped a top shelfbomb past Niklas Svedberg. Both sides battled to an even third period beforeProvidence dominated the overtime, but it took the always-exciting shootout toeventually decide things.

GOLD STAR: Hanson had two points and a first period goal that attempted to set the tone for the P-Bruins, and he had three shots on net. That the big-bodied center was able to do it after losing linemate Lane MacDermid to a first-period injury and adjusting to the introduction of Justin Florek to their line makes it all the more impressive. Even better Hanson was one of the players instrumental in getting Philadelphia Flyers scoutYou Can Play Executive Director Patrick Burke into the dressing room following the game to talk about ending homophobic slurs in the hockey locker room. All of that adds up to a massive impact on and off the ice on Sunday. Clearly, Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri was the player of the gamewith 51 saves in a stand-on-your-head type effort.

BLACK EYE: Jordan Caron and Ryan Spooner are two of the biggest offensive talents on the P-Bruins roster, but both were resoundingly silent Sunday. They both finished with one shot on goal apiece, and its amazing to think they barely had any offensive impact on a day when Providence had 50 plus shots on net. While Spooner has clearly done his offensive duty as the second-leading scorer on Providence this season, Caron could stand to pick up some offensive steam with five goals and seven points in 19 AHL games.

TURNING POINT: Providence could have put Worcester away by burying a few more of their first period chances while they were ringing up 25 shots on net, and MacDermid was smacking his only scoring chance of the game off the post before going down with an upper body injury. But instead the P-Bruins surrendered a short-handed goal in the closing seconds of the first period that tied things up, and all of their potential momentum was gone. Its been a common malady for Providence this year: outshooting opponents but having little to show for it at the end of the offensive outburst. It really speaks to needing more finishers on offense.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 the number of shots on net for defenseman Zach Trotman, who has shown a tremendous ability early in his career to snake points shots through traffic all around the net. Thats something any NHL defensemen corps can use more of.

QUOTE TO NOTE: If you watched our games this weekend, I think our team is really coming together. Were starting to play the type of game thats going to make us effective: getting pucks deep, banging bodies and getting pucks to the net. Its simple hockey that I think the Bruins play top to bottom. Christian Hanson, who put together back-to-back multiple point games on Saturday and Sunday.

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.