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Bruins’ Bruce Cassidy calls Islanders ‘New York Saints’ over lack of penalty calls

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Bruins' Bruce Cassidy calls Islanders 'New York Saints' over lack of penalty calls

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy isn’t happy with how many penalties his team has been assessed in the Islanders series.

After the Bruins lost to New York 5-4 on Monday, Cassidy said during his postgame news conference that his counterparts have sold a narrative that they are “more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders,” according to a video shared by NBC Boston.

MORE: Updated bracket, dates, times, TV channels for every Round 2 series

“They play hard and they play the right way, but I feel like we’re the same way and the calls, the exact calls that are getting called on us do not get called on them and I do not know why. These are very good officials. They’re at this point in the season for a reason,” Cassidy said. “They play hard. Hard brand of hockey. Love the way they play. But they commit as many infractions as we do, trust me. So it’s just a matter of calling them.”

Cassidy said during the conference that several high stick penalties have been called against the Bruins, and at a significantly higher rate than the Islanders.

When asked about Cassidy’s comment, Islanders coach Barry Trotz responded, “You’ll have to ask him about that. Just look where we wound up during the year, we were the least penalized team during the whole year so I don’t know what that’s about,” (according to New York Post reporter Mollie Walker).

Does Cassidy have a point? Well, on Monday, the Islanders were called for two penalties to Boston’s four. The Bruins have been flagged for fewer penalties only once in the series: in Game 4, a 4-1 Islanders win. Overall, Boston has been called for 19 penalties to New York’s 15.

But the disparity in penalties shouldn’t be surprising, given how the two teams played during the regular season. Trotz’s Islanders were called for just 136 penalties — 130 minor and six major — during the regular season, the fewest in the league. Boston was called for 209 — 194 minor and 15 major. That’s good for the second-most in the NHL, behind only the Lightning’s 214.

The Bruins have dropped two straight to the Islanders to fall behind 3-2 in the series. They will head to New York on Wednesday for a potentially decisive Game 6. Should Cassidy’s team win, the Game 7 matchup will return to Boston on Friday.

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USA Olympic swimming trials results: Tracking the 2021 U.S. team for every men’s, women’s event

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USA Olympic swimming trials results: Tracking the 2021 U.S. team for every men's, women's event

The U.S. Olympic swimming team is starting to take shape. 

This week, Wave 2 of the Olympic swimming trials is taking place in Omaha, Nebraska, with the top American talents all converging on the CHI Health Center Arena trying to post the best time possible. 

Familiar names like Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Ryan Lochte and Caeleb Dressel are competing with dozens of swimmers hoping for a shot at gold in the 2021 Summer Olympics — held now a year later than planned.

Each day, there will be finals in different events held in the evening and shown on NBC, while prelims will be done during the day leading up to the final day of qualifications, Sunday, June 20, when there will only be an evening round of finals. 

Sporting News is tracking all the Olympic qualifiers throughout the week. Here’s what you need to know. 

MORE: Full TV schedule for USA Olympic swimming trials

How to qualify for the 2021 Olympics in swimming

The top two swimmers in each event will most likely earn spots on the Olympic team. For both the 100 free and the 200 free, the top six finishers will earn spots to swim on the Olympic relay units. 

However, each of the top two finishers will still need to hit the Olympic qualifying time during the events in order to make it on the team. If there is only one qualifier, another swimmer can still qualify for the team if they swim the necessary time in a FINA-approved time trial or swim meet before June 27. 

Already, that will be put to the test as in the men’s 400 freestyle, only Kieran Smith swam under the Olympic qualifying time of 3:46.78 during Wave 2. According to a report from NBC Sports, Zane Groth is the only American male swimmer to post a time under that threshold since 2019 and he could put himself on the team despite finishing 11th in the prelims if one of the other top 10 finishers in the 400 free don’t reach that time first. Jake Mitchell, who placed second in the event, has a time of 3:48.17 and could still make a push for that second spot. 

Olympic swimming trials results 2021

Below is the complete list of swimmers who will compete in Tokyo on the U.S. Olympic team.

The results will be updated below as the U.S. swimming trial events are complete. You can see the full results for each event via USA Swimming.

Women’s

Event Olympic Qualifiers
50 Freestyle
100 Freestyle
200 Freestyle
400 Freestyle
800 Freestyle
1500 Freestyle
100 Backstroke
200 Backstroke
100 Breaststroke
200 Breaststroke
100 Butterfly
200 Butterfly
200 Individual Medley
400 Individual Medley Emma Weyant (4:33.81), Hali Flickinger (4:33.96)

Men’s

Event Olympic Qualifiers
50 Freestyle
100 Freestyle
200 Freestyle
400 Freestyle Kieran Smith (3:44.86)
800 Freestyle
1500 Freestyle
100 Backstroke
200 Backstroke
100 Breaststroke
200 Breaststroke
100 Butterfly
200 Butterfly
200 Individual Medley
400 Individual Medley Chase Kalisz (4:09.09), Jay Litherland (4:10.33)

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How long is Kyrie Irving out? Nets guard ruled out of Game 5; no timeline for return vs. Bucks

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How long is Kyrie Irving out? Nets guard ruled out of Game 5; no timeline for return vs. Bucks

Kyrie Irving’s return to the court is up in the air.

The Nets lost James Harden to a hamstring injury earlier in the series, and now Brooklyn may be without Irving for some time, with the star guard out for at least Tuesday’s Game 5 and perhaps beyond.

In the second quarter of Sunday’s Game 4, Irving landed awkwardly on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot, and he would remain on the floor for the next possession. Irving would walk off gingerly, but under his own power after the injury.

MORE: NBA playoff schedule 2021: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels

The Nets would lose Irving for the remainder of the game — and they would lose the game itself, with the series vs. the Bucks evening at 2-2.

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols reported that Irving was spotted with crutches and a walking boot after the game.

Here’s what we know about Irving’s timeline to return to the court.

How long is Kyrie Irving out?

Further testing on Monday led to the Nets guard being ruled out for Tuesday’s Game 5 vs. the Bucks. Nets coach Steve Nash says he has “no idea” whether Irving will be able to return in the series.

After Game 4, Nets coach Steve Nash shared some positive news regarding the ankle injury: The x-rays on Irving’s ankle came back negative, meaning it’s likely some degree of sprain.

Depending on the severity of the sprain, Irving may miss the remainder of the series and beyond. Ankle sprains for NBA players tend to linger and can take two weeks or longer to fully heal.

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USWNT legend Carli Lloyd defying Father Time in quest for soccer Olympics gold at age 39

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USWNT legend Carli Lloyd defying Father Time in quest for soccer Olympics gold at age 39

Had the Tokyo Olympics been contested in 2020, as scheduled, Carli Lloyd would have been a whole year younger. She’d have turned 38 immediately in advance of the Games, rather than 39 – which, to be frank, still is uncommonly old for a professional soccer player. So maybe those extra 12 months really don’t mean so much.

Or maybe they’ve made Lloyd even better at the sport in which she already is a legend.

“I actually feel better,” she told Sporting News, after the U.S. Women’s National team completed a 4-0 friendly victory Sunday night over Jamaica. “And I don’t think that, if it was played in 2020, a number of different things wouldn’t have happened.

“My family wouldn’t have been a part of it. I wouldn’t have had knee surgery. I changed up my strength program, started working with a guy back home. I have a new trainer that I do ball work with. So I feel like I went from thinking that I’m continuing to get better to just like a whole ‘nother level. I’ve never been this fit, fast, explosive.”

Getty Images

If it seems unlikely there could be another level beyond excellence for an athlete encountering middle age, you have not been paying attention to the sporting world in 2021. Tom Brady, already the owner of six Super Bowl rings, won his seventh as a 43-year-old quarterback. Golfer Phil Mickelson earned a sixth major title with a PGA Championship triumph at age 50. Helio Castroneves, essentially discarded by his race team as he entered his mid-40s, won a fourth Indianapolis 500 at age 46.

Lloyd may not appear to belong in this age group at first glance, but understand the nature of the sport and the constant, year-round grind tends to age soccer players more rapidly. Mia Hamm played her last game for the USWNT at 32. Abby Wambach was done at 35. Landon Donovan, the greatest USMNT player, was cut from the 2014 World Cup team at age 32. Zinedine Zidane ended his career with a World Cup triumph shortly after turning 34.

Lloyd will reach her 39th birthday July 16, and it’ll be a full celebration if that occurs in Japan while preparing to open the Games five days later against nemesis Sweden. She has won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals. She has earned 303 caps, third in world soccer history, and scored 125 international goals, which ranks sixth. Against Jamaica, she became the oldest player ever to score for the USWNT, and she bagged that goal 23 seconds into the match, as though it were essential to get it done before time caught up with her (video below).

It still might. Had the COVID-19 pandemic not postponed the Olympics into this summer, making the U.S. squad might have been a slightly less brutal challenge. Veteran striker Alex Morgan would have been only two months past the birth of her daughter, Charlie, and Lloyd had excelled in the position while Morgan was absent. Lynn Williams had only just returned to the national team, although she performed well and scored the game-winner in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying final against Canada. Promising Midge Purce had barely a cap to her name.

Unlike the World Cup, which allows teams to bring 23 players to what can become a seven-game tournament for the winner and runner-up, the Olympics only accommodates 18 players per team for the six games required to claim a gold medal. For his first tournament as USWNT head coach, Vlatko Andonovski will have to make some excruciating decisions because of the abundance of talented players. He must balance any desire to get essential international tournament experience for younger players with the understanding the primary goal is to field the team most likely to claim the gold medal.

“It is extremely difficult, but at the same time, the closer we get, I think, the easier it gets,” Andonovski told Sporting News. “It gets clearer with the analysis we’re able to do, and the evaluation. If we had 23, it was going to be difficult to cut players number 24, 25 and 26. It is always difficult.

“We have a very deep roster … regardless of what the number is, it will always be difficult.”

Perhaps because there was not a national team schedule to consume her, Lloyd took the opportunity to make some massive changes in her life during 2020. She parted ways with her longtime trainer, James Galanis, who had become a sort of personal “guru” for the player who scored the winning goals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and won the 2015 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

The work with Galanis had been a factor in Lloyd’s enduring rift with her family, which lasted more than a decade. Upon ending that affiliation, Lloyd called her parents and began working to repair that relationship.

She now hopes to win one last gold medal, insisting her desire to experience life beyond professional sports – not her advancing age – will end her career. The only concession to competing in such proximity to her 40th birthday has been the transition to center forward, a position that typically does not require covering as much ground as midfielder.

As is typical of Lloyd, though, she has worked ferociously to master the position, including film study of the game’s best strikers to learn their tricks and techniques. She had made the transition in advance of the USWNT’s triumph at the 2019 World Cup, appearing in all seven games and scoring three goals for coach Jill Ellis, but the arrival of Andonovski meant relearning how to play as a center forward.

“The way the No. 9 position was played was a bit different with Jill,” Lloyd said. “We didn’t high press, we didn’t do certain things. I feel like the way that Vlatko wants our team to play kind of just fits me. I love high pressing. I love putting the defenders and opponents under pressure. From the time that Vlatko came on board to now, I’ve literally just been a sponge trying to continuously get better and evolve my game.”

Lloyd is famous for the personal slights she seized upon for motivation, starting with her benching in advance of the 2012 Olympics that ended with her scoring twice in the gold-medal match. Before the 2019 World Cup, she bristled at the suggestion she had embraced the role of “super-sub”, emphasizing to SN she still was fighting for a starting spot every day.

In the early hours Monday, Lloyd made sure to tell The Philadelphia Inquirer’s excellent soccer writer, Jonathan Tannenwald, she was bothered to have him predict she would not make the Olympic roster, and that she was particularly annoyed because the Inquirer was essentially a hometown paper for someone who grew up 14 miles away in Delran, N.J. Tannenwald, though, only had suggested Lloyd was “on the bubble”, as they say, for selection.

“I don’t think if I’ll be able to answer directly about any player, not just Carli, any player on this team until I really have to,” Andonovski told Tannenwald. “I will say that I was happy with her performance: comes in, scores the goal, sets the pace for the team and does well overall, not just in this game but in the previous games and in training. So I think she’s in a really good place.”

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