American Idol Live

American Idol Live Comes to the Jackson County Fair

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — After a monumental return to television in 2018, American Idol announced that it is taking the show on the road with the American Idol Live! 2018 tour, spanning three months this summer. The tour will hit Central Point for the Jackson County Fair on Thursday, July 12.

The shows will feature this season’s talented Top 7 finalists: Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Catie Turner, Gabby Barrett, Jurnee, Maddie Poppe and Michael J. Woodard with special guest, Season 8 American Idolwinner, Kris Allen.

The 40+ city tour will kick off on Wednesday, July 11 in Redding, CA and wrap on Sunday, September 16 in Washington, DC. Full list of tour dates below. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, May 11 at 10a.m. local time at

Joining the tour on select dates is In Real Life, winner of ABC’s 2017 summer reality competition show Boy Band. In Real Life has released three singles: “Eyes Closed,” their current top 40 hit, “Tattoo (How ‘Bout You)” and “How Badly,” marking their first foray into singing in Spanish.

VIP packages will be available through giving fans the chance to purchase prime seats and meet and greets with the cast.

Produced by Faculty Productions in conjunction with CORE Media Group, American Idol Live! gives fans the unique opportunity to be up close and personal with this season’s Top 7 finalists, including this year’s newly crowned Idol, and brings your favorite television competition directly to you in performances you can’t miss.

American Idol: Live! 2018 is represented and booked by United Talent Agency.

American Idol Live! 2018 Dates
July 11: Redding, CA – Redding Civic Auditorium
July 12: Central Point, OR – Jackson Co. Fair
July 13: Napa, CA – Uptown Theater
July 16: Denver, CO – Paramount Theater
July 19: Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theater at Grand Prairie
July 20: San Antonio, TX – The Tobin Center for Performing Arts
July 21: McAllen, TX – McAllen Performing Arts Center
July 23: Tucson, AZ – Fox Tuscon
July 24: Mesa, AZ – Ikeda Theater
July 26: San Diego, CA – Copley Hall
July 27: Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
July 29: Las Vegas, NV – Orleans Arena
July 30: Modesto, CA – Gallo Center for the Arts
July 31: Livermore, CA – Wente Vineyards
August 1: San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theatre
August 3: Thousand Oaks, CA – Bank of America Performing Arts Center
August 4: Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre
August 5: Riverside, CA – Fox Performing Arts Center
August 8: Tulsa, OK – Club Brady
August 9: Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater
August 10: St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre
August 12: Baltimore, MD – The Lyric
August 13: Albany, NY – The Palace Theatre
August 14: Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theater
August 16: Westbury, NY – The Space at Westbury
August 17: Morristown, NJ – Mayo Performing Arts Center
August 18: Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center
August 19: Lynn, MA – Lynn Auditorium
August 21: Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre
August 22: Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
August 23: Omaha, NE – Orpheum Theatre
August 24: Sioux Falls, SD – Washington Pavilion
August 27: Salem, OR – Oregon State Fair
August 28: Monroe, WA – Evergreen State Fair
August 30: Billings, MT – Alberta Bair Theater
August 31: Kamas, UT – DeJoria Center
September 2: Deadwood, SD – Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino
September 5: Minneapolis, MN – State Theatre
September 6: Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
September 7: Rosemont, IL – Rosemont Theatre
September 9: Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
September 10: Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center
September 12: York, PA – York Fair
September 13: Munhall, PA – Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
September 14: Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie
September 15: New Bedford, MA – Zeiterion Performing Arts Center
September 16: Washington, DC – Warner Theater

Demian Maia vs Kamaru Usman Live Stream

UFC Fight Night 129 weigh-in results: Demian Maia (171), Kamaru Usman (170) official

SANTIAGO, Chile – MMAjunkie was on scene and reporting live from today’s early and official UFC Fight Night 129 fighter weigh-ins, where all fighters on Saturday’s card hit their marks.

In the main event, Demian Maia (25-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) meets Kamaru Usman (12-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) at welterweight. Maia, a former welterweight and middleweight title challenger, took the fight on short notice as a fill-in for Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Maia weighed in first and came in at 171 pounds. Usman was 170 on the nose. Usman is more than a 7-1 favorite at some online sports books.

In the co-feature, Alexa Grasso (10-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) takes on Tatiana Suarez (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a women’s strawweight fight. Both fighters came in at 115 pounds on the button.

The early weigh-ins took place at the UFC host hotel in Santiago, Chile, and preceded the ceremonial weigh-ins for the fans, which take place at 6 p.m. ET at Movistar Arena in Santiago. The same venue hosts Saturday’s event, which has a main card on FS1 following prelims on FS2 and UFC Fight Pass.

The full UFC Fight Night 129 weigh-in results included:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

Demian Maia (171) vs. Kamaru Usman (170)
Alexa Grasso (115) vs. Tatiana Suarez (115)
Jared Cannonier (205) vs. Dominick Reyes (205)
Guido Cannetti (136) vs. Diego Rivas (136)
Andrea Lee (125) vs. Veronica Macedo (126)
Chad Laprise (171) vs. Vicente Luque (170)


Zak Cummings (170) vs. Michel Prazeres (170)
Brandon Moreno (125) vs. Alexandre Pantoja (125)
Poliana Botelho (115) vs. Syuri Kondo (116)
Humberto Bandenay (145) vs. Gabriel Benitez (145)

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)

Enrique Barzola (145) vs. Brandon Davis (146)
Henry Briones (136) vs. Frankie Saenz (136)
Claudio Puelles (154) vs. Felipe Silva (156)

For more on UFC Fight Night 129, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Here is everything you need to know about UFC Chile, featuring a welterweight bout between Kamaru Usman vs. Demian Maia, and how you can watch it online.

The UFC makes its debut in Chile on Saturday night with UFC Fight Night 129 taking place in Santiago. Originally, the card was going to be headlined by a fight between Kamaru Usman and Santiago Ponzinibbio. However, an injury forced Ponzinibbio to withdraw from the card on April 21. The Argentine fighter was replaced on the card by former title challenge Demian Maia. Usman enters the fight on an 11 fight winning streak and a win over Maia could lead to the Nigerian Nightmare getting the next title fight. Maia has lost his last two fights but holds a career record of 25-8, with 12 submission finishes.

The UFC Chile card features 13 fights. Three of the 13 fights will be contested at welterweight. While two fights will be at bantamweight, featherweight and in the women’s strawweight division. In the co-main event, Alexa Grasso faces Tatiana Suarez in one of the two women’s strawweight fights on the card. Grasso, the ninth-ranked fighter in the division enters the fight with a 10-1 record. Suarez is the 12th ranked strawweight with a 6-0 record. However, Suarez has only fought once in the last 18 months.

UFC Fight Pass Live Stream

UFC Chile Post-Fight Press Conference Live Tonight (May 19)

Once the UFC Chile event has wrapped up, you can view a live stream of the post-fight press conference.

The event is taking place inside the Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile. In the main event, welterweights Demian Maia and Kamaru Usman will collide. Maia is looking to avoid his third straight loss, while Usman is in search of a win that’ll catapult him to title contention.

The co-main event will see strawweights Alexa Grasso and Tatiana Suarez do battle. Also featured on the card is light heavyweight prospect Dominick Reyes. He will share the Octagon with Jared Cannonier.

That’s not all as bantamweights Diego Rivas and Guido Cannetti are also set to throw down. Andrea Lee will make her UFC debut when she meets Veronica Macedo. Getting the main card started will be a welterweight clash between Chad Laprise and Vicente Luque.

In addition to the main card bouts mentioned, there will be seven preliminary match-ups. Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja is expected to produce fireworks. Moreno was originally scheduled to compete against Ray Borg, but Borg had to pull out due to a family emergency.

Preliminary action begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass. The action then transitions to FOX Sports 2 at 8 p.m. ET. Over on FOX Sports 1, you will see the main card live at 10 p.m. ET. will be providing live coverage of the event.
UFC Chile Presser Time

You can peep the live stream of the UFC Chile post-fight press conference above. Maia, Usman, and any standout fighters may attend the presser. It is expected to begin at 1:15 a.m. ET.

Fight fans, feel free to use the comment section below to discuss UFC Chile. Who were the top performers and who do you think will have the worst post-fight hangover?

Also as you watch the conference, feel free to talk about whose words stand out to you the most. Is there a saving grace for the losers and where do the winners go from here? There are tons of things to talk about, so get to it!

Tour of California Live Stream

Amgen Tour of California promotes Lake Tahoe across the globe

When Tour of California cyclists crest Kingsbury Grade from Carson Valley and speed down into Stateline and South Lake Tahoe, live images will be broadcast around the world — exposure that local race organizers say is priceless.

The Amgen Tour of California is America’s biggest and most prestigious professional cycling race according to Kristin Klein, Tour of California president and executive vice president of AEG Sports. The multi-stage race last year was viewed by 16.6 million viewers in 200 countries, including 6.88 million on Snapchat, 677,000 per day on Facebook, 244,000 per day on Twitter and 2.4 million over 10 days on Instagram.

Altogether, the reach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram combined was up nearly 200 percent from the 2016 race.

“It’s the second largest race in the world,” Klein said in an email. “It is the only U.S. race on the UCI World Tour calendar, which also houses the Tour de France.”

Klein says the estimated economic impact of being a host city is around $100 million, with the hundreds of people who travel with the race entourage as well as the thousands of fans who use local hotels, restaurants and businesses.

Calculating the actual financial impact from being a host city here on South Shore is easier said than done, Lake Tahoe Visitor Authority President Carol Chaplin noted.
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“There is no way we have a way to confirm what kind of lodging has been specifically driven from the Tour,” Chaplin said. “We can’t quantify the economic impact, it’s too gray an area for us to hang our hats on. But once the riders cross the globe, and once the images of Lake Tahoe are broadcast around the world, that’s where we see the value.”

LTVA makes a significant monetary investment in hosting the race and local business benefit from their partnerships depending on the race configuration, whether the city hosts a stage finish or kickoffs a stage, according to Chaplin. LTVA pays for law enforcement, all the signs that have been posted regarding road closures and athlete’s meals and rooms, among other things.

But this year, Chaplin said the athletes and their entourages will finish Stage 6 in South Lake Tahoe and then travel back the same day to the Sacramento area to spend the night and prepare for the final stage in the state’s capital.

“There is some benefit to our partners, when we purchase rooms and catering, particularly in the slow time of year,” Chaplin said. “But it’s those beautiful shots of Lake Tahoe … I think it’s going to be spectacular watching them coming down Kingsbury Grade.”

Cities likely get involved for a couple of reasons, including the public relations “pop” they get and branding alignment, stated Carl Ribaudo, president of SMG Consulting, a tourism and recreation strategic consulting firm. In order to be more competitive, South Shore is moving to a more serious all-season outdoor recreation and entertainment destination and not just skiing heaven.

“The Amgen is an extension of what many of our locals love to do,” Ribaudo said. “It’s a really good fit. The men and women are so athletic, it just fits the Tahoe lifestyle.”

Maybe the race’s most famous rider, Peter Sagan, of Slovakia, who has a race-record 16 stage wins, promotes the area and wishes he could spend more time here. Sagan hosted a race, the Sagan Fondo, May 5 in Truckee and chose that area over other locations for its people and scenery, among other things.

“I love California and am never there long enough. My time in the Tour of California is some of the best of my racing season,” Sagan said in a statement. “I try to come here as often as I can. Not only does California provide some of the best roads and most beautiful scenery in the world, the warmth and friendliness of its people are second to none. I really feel at home whenever I’m there.”

There are some issues with hosting the event, mainly road closures. But LTVA posted signs well in advance of what roads will be closed and when. The visitors authority is even going door-to-door with local businesses on Kingsbury Grade and other places that will be impacted to make sure they are informed.

Chaplin said she’s had few complaints over the past few years.

“I think the community receives it really well even if there are road closures and some hassles,” Ribaudo said. “LTVA does a good job of informing everybody and the local support is critical.”

Since the city started hosting stages, road biking popularity has risen around the lake, Chaplin noted. The South Shore also is trying to become the destination for elite athletes to get high-altitude, elite training.

She points to Barton Memorial Hospital and its sports performance center. Three-time American Olympian road bicycle racing gold medalist Kristin Armstrong will be at Barton on Thursday, May 17, to check out and learn about the facilities.

“The race has been called a ‘Postcard of California,'” Chaplin said. “We’re getting the impressions, the exposure, and the message out there that this destination is unsurpassable for outdoor recreation.”

Cavaliers vs Celtics Live Stream

Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James out of answers in half-court offense

The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to get out in transition more in tonight’s game after the Boston Celtics have stymied their half-court offense in Game 1 and 2

Tyronn Lue said in practice on Friday that he wants the Cleveland Cavaliers to play faster in Game 3.

Usually if both teams are playing fast, this benefits the team that doesn’t have LeBron James. LeBron is one of the most dominant half-court offensive forces in the history of basketball.

However, the Celtics have found a way to win the half court game due to their excellent defense. They have slowed LeBron down in a few ways.
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Boston’s success on defense has stemmed from having multiple players who can compete physically with LeBron. Marcus Morris has gotten the most attention, partially because of his comments leading up to the series.

Morris has been excellent on defense this series, but so have Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and Al Horford. None of them can contain LeBron, but all have done a decent job keeping him on the perimeter.

The Celtics have turned this series, and every series they’ve played in, into a slow-it-down mismatch hunt on both ends. Other than the occasional Kevin Love post-up, LeBron has been the only one on Cleveland who can hunt and exploit these mismatches.

Love was hailed earlier in his career with the Cavs as a guy who can get a bucket or to the line when a smaller guy is on him. He has not been consistent in the post this series, and can’t move the likes of Brown and Smart they way he could C.J. Miles. He cannot create separation on the perimeter on Horford and Aron Baynes.
LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers Nike Women’s Swingman Jersey Wine – Icon Edition
LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers Nike Women’s Swingman Jersey Wine – Icon Edition

Horford went stride for stride with a driving George Hill and blocked his layup in Game 2. Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood are not killing the Celtics, but rather their own team. J.R. Smith forgot how to shoot.

The Cavs offense has centered around getting one of Celtics’ plodding bigs or Terry Rozier onto LeBron. Instead of letting this happen, the Celtics have prevented LeBron from finding mismatches with ease.
Team Defense

Baynes cannot hang with LeBron on the perimeter. This is when Boston’s defensive cohesion comes into play.

Horford went stride for stride with a driving George Hill and blocked his layup in Game 2. Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood are not killing the Celtics, but rather their own team. J.R. Smith forgot how to shoot.

The Cavs offense has centered around getting one of Celtics’ plodding bigs or Terry Rozier onto LeBron. Instead of letting this happen, the Celtics have prevented LeBron from finding mismatches with ease.
Team Defense

Baynes cannot hang with LeBron on the perimeter. This is when Boston’s defensive cohesion comes into play.

This left Boston vulnerable to a LeBron off the dribble three, but the Celtics are willing to live with that. LeBron made them pay from deep in the first quarter of Game 2, but Boston was able to come back.

This strategy cannot work if Baynes has to account for Love popping out to the 3-point line after screening LeBron’s man, but Brad Stevens prioritized playing Horford at center when Love plays center.

The Cavs have tried to punish Baynes’ drop coverage by having Thompson set the screen at the elbow. They did this once, and it led to a successful LeBron James pull-up elbow jumper. This is another shot Boston is fine with LeBron taking.

When LeBron got a deep post catch, or a switch on Rozier and posts him up, the Celtics sent a weakside defender over to help on LeBron, and had two defenders guard three weakside shooters.

Smart made a snap decision to cover Love instead of switching onto Jeff Green. Horford recognized this and makde the snap decision to get into LeBron’s passing lane. Game over.

Despite Boston’s mechanically precise defense, the Cavs have found wrinkles to get an easy bucket every now and then.

When Baynes and Horford played together, the Cavs had Love screen James’ man forcing Horford to switch on LeBron. Thompson then screened LeBron, involving Horford and Baynes in a pick and roll.

Horford doesn’t have the same mobility to get back onto LeBron as Morris or Brown, but he also does not play much with Baynes. The Cavs can’t rely on torching this.

Cleveland has tried to counteract strong help defense on LeBron drives by dragging rim protection away from the hoop. On this play, LeBron was able to get to the rim after beating Morris, because the Cavs forced Brown to switch onto Thompson.

Canada vs Switzerland Live Stream

Canada vs. Switzerland: Live score, updates from IIHF World Championship semifinal

Switzerland stands between Canada and a shot at the gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

It’s an unlikely scenario, and the Canadians would be wise not to overlook the Swiss despite the relative standing in the hockey world between the two nations.

Switzerland earned its way into Saturday’s semifinal by way of a surprising quarterfinal victory over Finland earlier this week. The Finns had been cruising throughout the tournament, including a 5-1 rout of Canada in the group stage, and were considered heavy favourites to challenge for the title thanks to a talented roster and attractive style of play.

The Swiss had other plans however, stifling the high-powered Finnish attack en route to victory, and now the unfancied group has another opportunity to take down a hockey giant in Canada.

MORE: Canada prepares for unlikely semifinal vs. Switzerland

The Canadians will be without St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz, who was ruled out of for the remainder of the tournament with an upper-body injury, but should otherwise be healthy heading into Saturday’s contest.

Sporting News will provide live updates throughout the semifinal.

All times Eastern.

Villarreal vs Real Madrid Live stream

Villarreal vs. Real Madrid: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Real Madrid complete their La Liga campaign on Saturday with a trip to the Estadio de la Ceramica to take on Villarreal.

Zinedine Zidane’s side will want to avoid any injuries ahead of their UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool on May 26, while fifth-place Villarreal have already qualified for the UEFA Europa League.

Date: Saturday, May 19

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET

Live Stream: beIN Sports CONNECT (U.S.), fuboTV (U.S.)

TV Info: beIN Sports HD3 (U.S.)

Team News

Villarreal are still without long-term injury victim Bruno Soriano but otherwise have a full squad available, per Transfermarkt.

Real Madrid’s injury problems are easing, as both Cristiano Ronaldo and Dani Carvajal have returned to training, the club revealed via Twitter.

Zidane has a full squad available but may be cautious with his lineup with the Champions League final on the horizon.

Gareth Bale has had a difficult season but heads towards the end of the campaign with four goals in his past four games, including two last time out against Celta Vigo.

The Wales international has 18 in all competitions for Real Madrid this term, which is a great return considering he has once again seen his season interrupted by injury.

La Liga writer Andrew Gaffney showed how his record compares to those of team-mates Isco and Marco Asensio:

Despite his fine form, he still faces a battle to make Zidane’s starting lineup against Liverpool. The Real Madrid boss has given little away about his team:

Zidane has some tough decisions to make for the final, but another strong performance from Bale against Villarreal could seal his place in the team against Liverpool.

Villarreal head into the game on the back of a 4-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna and know the lowest they can finish is sixth.

They will fancy their chances against Real Madrid, having already beaten Atletico Madrid and Valencia at home in La Liga in 2018.

Villarreal also won 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu the last time these two sides met, so they have little to fear.

Pablo Fornals was the match-winner in that game and has enjoyed a productive season, as La Liga demonstrated:

Cavaliers vs Celtics Live stream

BLOGTABLE: What to watch as Cavaliers-Celtics shifts to Cleveland

Steve Aschburner: I’ll be watching the Celtics to see how much stock we should put in their 1-4 road record this postseason, as well as the conventional playoff wisdom about role players and young guys faring better at home than

in road games. This is their series to lose now, and while they theoretically could just take care of business at TD Garden, the Celtics’ best shot at closing out “The King” is to stay in front of him and the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s role players probably will play better at Quicken Loans Arena (some of them can’t possibly play worse), and the longer this series goes, the closer it gets, the more vulnerable Boston comes to being beaten by an unfortunate mistake, a shaky call or a stint of superheroism by LeBron James.

Shaun Powell: I’ll be watching for any signs of surrender from LeBron James. Not necessary in terms of giving up in this series, but giving up on Cleveland. Because let’s face it, his decision this summer is more interesting than the Cavs’ chances of getting beyond the Celtics or winning another title this year. I don’t care about whether J.R. Smith shows up, or if Kevin Love can somehow outplay Al Horford or if Jaylen Brown and/or Jayson Tatum can take another leap in their development. Give me LeBron and a hint (body language, cryptic message, etc.) of what’s coming in July. That’s what we all live for, right?

John Schuhmann: If LeBron James can get to the basket. Through the first two playoff rounds, James was averaging a postseason-high 14.4 points per game in the restricted area. But he has totaled just 18 points in the restricted area through the first two games against Boston, with the Celtics doing a great job of getting back in transition and staying in front of him in the half court. Even when he scored 21 points in the first quarter of Game 2, five of his eight buckets came from outside the paint. The Celtics are happy if most of his offense is coming from 3-point range (where he’s shooting 29 percent in the playoffs) and on turnaround 18-footers out of the post. If the Cavs can find a way to get him to the basket more often (get him moving off the ball?), they’ll get the Boston defense scrambling and other things will open up. The Cleveland defense is never going to be good, but the offense that destroyed Toronto has scored less than a point per possession (and made just one corner three) through the first two games of the conference finals.

Sekou Smith: Body language on the Cavaliers. We already know the Celtics are connected in the ways needed for a team to scrap its way into The Finals. The Celtics might not show up to the arena in matching suits (as the Cavs do). But the core players have been through so much adversity the past two seasons they’ve been forced to band together to survive it all. The Cavaliers have looked like the disjointed bunch that they are in the first two games of this series. That magical word that NBA types always throw around — “trust” — I don’t know if the Cavaliers have it in each other or in their coach. That worries me and makes me wonder just what has gone on behind the scenes this season without former GM David Griffin around to perform his front-office magic. The way the Cavaliers perform in Games 3 and 4 will speak volumes about who and what they are these days.

New York Knicks NBA basketball team new head coach David Fizdale smiles during an introductory news conference, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in New York. The Knicks announced the hiring Monday after agreeing to terms with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach last week. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) blogtable

Six NBA teams have hired new coaches so far this offseason. Did any of them nail it?

* * *

Steve Aschburner: I’m eager to see what J.B. Bickerstaff does now that he finally has his own parking space, proper office and a full offseason and preseason to ramp up as the Memphis Grizzlies’ coach. I suspect we’ll get a better feel for his coaching chops than two interim gigs have shown. To me, the roster in Milwaukee is too flawed for Mike Budenholzer to achieve instant respect. So, David Fizdale to New York is the one where I expect noticeable progress and improvement from Day 1. Fizdale not only has logged the time to bring proper experience to the Knicks position, he no doubt learned plenty — good and bad — from his Grizzlies’ run. There is urgency, there are resources, there are a few players to build around in New York. I think Fizdale is a swell fit.

Shaun Powell: The correct answer is: Who knows? All of these coach hirings sound and look good in May. And even in the case of the Knicks getting David Fizdale, whom I believe has much of the tools needed to deal with the modern-day player (Marc Gasol exempted), he doesn’t have much talent to work with — same with James Borrego in Charlotte — so again, who knows if the Knicks nailed it? Love to see what Igor Kokoskov does in Phoenix, especially with the No. 1 pick. Maybe the Suns nailed this one. He’s definitely the most intriguing hire until someone offers Becky Hammon.

John Schuhmann: At this point, all six look like good hires, but time will tell. With a few of these teams (Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns), it’s more critical for the organization to be patient than for the coach to make an immediate impact. The Detroit Pistons (yet to hire a coach), Toronto Raptors (yet to hire a coach) and Milwaukee Bucks are the teams with win-now rosters where we’ll really need to see an impact next season. Mike Budenholzer had a top-10 defense in three of his five seasons in Atlanta and his Hawks ranked higher in both ball and player movement than the Bucks, so there’s promise that he’ll add some creativity to that offense and do better with the Bucks’ length on the other end of the floor.

Sekou Smith: There have been several excellent hires, based on the profile of the coaches and the openings they filled. The Knicks knocked it out of the park with the David Fizdale hire. Right coach at the right time for a team that desperately needs a fresh set of eyes on their problems. Lloyd Pierce seems like an ideal fit with the Atlanta Hawks given his experience with “The Process” in Philadelphia as an assistant coach. The Hawks seem to be in the opening stages of their own rebuild of that nature. Former Hawks boss Mike Budenholzer is a nice get for the Milwaukee Bucks. There are few coaches in the league with the track record of improving the overall performance of his team without superstar additions to aid the process. I’ll take a wait-and-see position on the other openings that have already been filled. And I’m curious where the Toronto Raptors will turn now that they have moved on from Dwane Casey. Talk about a critical hire for a franchise at a crossroad moment. They can’t miss on this one.

Lightning vs Capitals Live Stream

How to Watch Capitals vs. Lightning Game 4: Live Stream, TV Channel

Down 3-1 in their series against the somehow-always-surprising Vegas Golden Knights, can you really blame the Winnipeg Jets for being frustrated?

By just about every available metric, the Jets have dominated the Golden Knights for long stretches, especially in Games 3 and 4 (both wins for Vegas in Vegas). You really have to stretch things by hammering faceoffs or maybe stretching to criticize Connor Hellebuyck. While Hellebuyck’s endured some moments he likely regrets, his biggest sin is probably “not being Marc-Andre Fleury.”

Winnipeg generated more shots on goal than Vegas for five consecutive periods, sometimes to an extreme, but Fleury continues to stop just about everything. It’s all-too-fitting that even the Jets didn’t realize that Game 4’s 2-2 goal was a goal.

During a three-game winning streak, Fleury’s made 30 saves or more, often in spectacular fashion

The Jets aired frustrations right after Friday’s Game 4 loss, generally expressing the belief that they should be winning these contests.

“We win that game nine times out of 10. Tonight was the one,” Blake Wheeler said, via Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “[We] had some looks where their goalie made some extraordinary saves. You’ve got to sometimes take your hat off to a good player stealing a game.”

[PHT’s Three Stars for Game 4]

Wheeler was discussing Fleury, perhaps omitting his name because of the whole … wet willy thing from Game 3.

Myers was in the thick of things during Game 4, too. Along with scoring the 2-2 goal that briefly tied the contest, he also was quite unhappy about a penalty he took, which opened the door for William Karlsson to open the scoring with a power-play goal. Myers echoed Wheeler’s thoughts after this painful defeat.

“For the last five periods, we’ve been the better team,” Myers said, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

There’s little denying Winnipeg’s point, much like it’s easy to understand the Washington Capitals’ frustration in being tied 2-2 with the Tampa Bay Lightning despite carrying long stretches of play. About the only team-wide things the Bolts and Golden Knights can hang their hats on is winning recent games and drawing certain high-danger chances even.

As the Capitals can attest with bleary eyes and bad memories, sometimes that’s how the cookie crumbles in the postseason, at least in the NHL.

The Golden Knights boast a goalie on one of the all-time great runs when you combine Fleury’s regular-season work and his nearly flawless 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs run. The top line of Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault just keep getting the job done. Remarkably, the Golden Knights always seem to answer back potential “momentum-turning” goals by the Jets with spirit-crushers in response.

Consider this: Vegas can at least muster an argument that they’re adept at “flipping the switch” when needed.

Either by design via Gerard Gallant or because the Jets turn it up to 11 when down (most likely both), Vegas has seemingly been occasionally guilty of sitting on leads. There haven’t been many 0-0 stretches lately, as Jonathan Marchessault scored about 30 seconds into Game 3 while Karlsson’s Game 4 1-0 tally came about two-and-a-half minutes in. The differences in aggression have been especially stark during the third periods of the past two contests, as Winnipeg’s generated a 28-15 shots on goal edge while rarely breaking through.

Are the Jets generating more chances and hogging the puck? Absolutely, and there’s only so much rationalizing that can be made about playing to the score.

Moral victories mean very little when you need to win three consecutive games while on the brink of elimination.

The Jets have shown that they boast a lot of the elements to put together such a run, but pulling that off against Fleury and the Golden Knights looks like no small feat. Winnipeg can’t let up if the Jets want to get back into the 2018 Western Conference Final, so it’s promising that they believe in themselves. An angry, frustrated reaction is probably more productive than a downtrodden, hopeless feeling.

Canada vs Switzerland Live Stream

Canada beats Switzerland in OT, advances to world semifinals

COPENHAGEN — Canada will compete for a medal at the world hockey championship for the fourth straight year thanks to another clutch goal from Ryan O’Reilly.

O’Reilly scored the game winner on a 4-on-3 power play with 4:57 into overtime Thursday as Canada beat Switzerland 5-4 and punched its ticket to the semifinals in Copenhagen.

Colton Parayko and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored power-play goals while Kyle Turris and Pierre-Luc Dubois added third-period markers.

“It was back and forth,” said O’Reilly, who also scored the game winner that eliminated Switzerland in the 2017 semifinal in Cologne, Germany. “We had the lead multiple times and going forward we have to solidify those leads and not give anything up. But we showed good resilience, we kept scoring. We kept taking the lead and hitting the one in overtime was huge.”

The Canadians will face Switzerland in the semifinals in Copenhagen on Saturday. The Swiss advanced with a 3-2 upset of Finland on Thursday.

Canada came into the quarterfinal as the lower seed after a somewhat lacklustre preliminary-round performance in small-town Herning. The change of scenery seemed to agree with the Canadians in their first period of action at Royal Arena in Copenhagen.

Canada controlled the play, outshooting Switzerland 12-4 in the opening frame and taking a 1-0 lead when Parayko fired a massive slapshot to the glove side of Igor Shestyorkin at 4:45.

The power-play goal snapped a 0-for-16 drought that had stretched over four preliminary-round games for Canada. It was the first of the tournament allowed by Shestyorkin, who had been perfect in seven periods of action against Slovakia, Belarus and Austria during preliminary-round play.

“We may not have been great through the group stage but we were dangerous tonight,” said Canada captain Connor McDavid, who picked up primary assists on all three power-play goals and now has 16 points in eight tournament games. “We did a lot of good things.”

The 22-year-old was a surprise starter in place of the more experienced Vasili Koshechkin, who held down the No. 1 job for the gold medal-winning Olympic Athletes from Switzerland team at the Pyeongchang Games in February.

Darcy Kuemper made his fifth start of the tournament for Canada.

The Switzerlandns started skating in the second period, building an 8-3 shot advantage before Nugent-Hopkins put Canada up 2-0 while Sergei Andronov was serving his second penalty of the game at 11:51 of the second period.

The Switzerlandns stormed back with a goal just 1:02 later when Ilya Mikheyev scored after an Artem Anisimov shot pulled Kuemper out of position. Alexander Barabanov evened the score with an extra attacker on the ice for a delayed penalty call with 2:28 left to play in a second period where Switzerland outshot Canada 15-9.

After a cautious start to the third, Turris put Canada up 3-2 at 7:11, beating a sprawling Shestyorkin between the pads from the slot after a pinpoint pass from Jaden Schwartz.

Andronov answered back for Switzerland just 1:33 later, deflecting a Nikita Zaitsev shot over Kuemper’s shoulder. Then, Dubois scored his third of the tournament off a rebound off a Tyson Jost shot with 7:24 left to play in the third before Anisimov forced overtime when beat Kuemper high from a bad angle.

The teams traded chances in overtime before Canada went to the power play after Kirill Kaprizov was whistled for slashing with 3:35 elapsed. Canadian coach Bill Peters called a time out, then sent out McDavid, O’Reilly, Aaron Ekblad and Parayko, with O’Reilly’s goal ending the game.

“I didn’t do too much on the play, I just stood there with my stick,” said O’Reilly. “I still don’t know how (McDavis) got it through on my tape like that.”

Final shots were 41-30 in favour of Canada.

Canada has now won its last three meetings with Switzerland at the worlds, storming back for a 4-2 come-from-behind win in the semifinal in Cologne, Germany in 2017 and earning gold with a 6-1 win over Switzerland in 2015.

The win also ends a four-year medal streak for the Switzerlandns at worlds, where they won gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2016 and 2017.

The other semifinal will feature the united States and Sweden. The Americans remained in the hunt for its first medal since 2015 after a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic in Herning, while the Swedes edged Latvia 3-2.