follow that lead and take a little off the fastba

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Dan Boyles impressive NHL career is an interesting tale of both where the game has been and gone. He loves the game. He wants it to thrive. He wants fans to enjoy it. And because of that, the defenseman worries for it again today almost just as much as he did when he entered the league, undrafted, in the late 1990s during the heyday of the clutch and grab.When I started, you wanted the big defenseman that could hold up and chip the puck out, Boyle, who announced his retirement last Wednesday, told ESPN.com. There was no room for the smaller guy because it was too physical of a game. Then they take out the red line and everyone is going to fly, everyone is going to wheel.Those post-2005 lockout years were fun for a while, as rule changes -- such as no longer using the red line to prevent teams from making two-line passes -- helped open the game.But obviously coaches evolve, and the game evolves, said Boyle, a puck-moving magician during his 17 years in the NHL. And now, in todays game, youve got guys -- top guys included -- all blocking shots, breaking hands, breaking ankles. Youve got coaches wanting everyone to flip the puck in, dump the puck in.And the play that I hated the most in the post-red line era is when teams set up behind their own net and fire these long bombs to the forward at the opposite blueline, who just puts his blade out and then the puck is in the other zone. And nothing happens. I hated that. If theres a red line there, it forces the D-man to make a play. I am one of those guys who would love to see the red line back.It just so happens this is exactly what hockeys greatest defenseman believes too. For a few years now, including in his 2013 autobiography, Bobby Orr has espoused the belief that the red line needs to be reinstated, not just for the reasons Boyle brought up, but also because of safety concerns. Orr points to the fact that the game is faster than ever and feels its become dangerous because of it due to the the speed through the neutral zone and the kind of hits players are taking at that velocity.Putting the red line back in, perhaps, would not only force defensemen to make higher-end passing plays again (and maybe create turnovers in the process), but also slow the game down a bit. In fact, Orr feels the red-line should be restored at the youth hockey level so that defensemen develop the ability to make passing plays through the neutral zone.Theres no question that the game is faster than ever, and the players arguably more skilled then ever. But are they being allowed to use most of that skill?Right now, where the game is, is get the puck out of your zone as soon as possible and get it in the other zone as soon as possible. Dont make plays, dont go across ice, just get it in, said Boyle. There are so many skilled players in the league today, but the game at times now is robotic. The neutral zone has been eliminated.Somewhere between the start of his career during the dead puck era and todays game, there were years in which Boyle says the sport was more fun to watch for fans.There was a very good game somewhere in between the clutch-and-grab when I started and the new era now, said the 40-year-old Ottawa native. The most exciting five minutes of hockey Ive ever seen as the overtime between Sweden and Team North America (at the World Cup last month). Now coaches dont want to play that way because its breakaway after breakaway. Im not saying we should go Globetrotter-hockey and go crazy. Im just saying from talking to teammates and ex-teammates, guys want to make plays.Boyle then paused. As always, his passion for the game comes through. Hes grateful for everything it has given him. He feels so privileged to have played in the NHL. But hes coming at this from the angle of a guy who just wants the game to be as entertaining as possible for fans.Theres just so many good, young hockey players out there now, Boyle said. I just wish more of them could be allowed to make plays.Dont get him wrong: Boyle strongly believes in situational play, that its important to understand whos on the ice and who youre playing against. There are times, such as when youre protecting a lead late in a period or a game, when its the right call to chip it in off the glass and get it deep in a safe area. He just feels the entire 60 minutes shouldnt be played that way.And again, he stressed that hes coming at this from a fans perspective -- which, for all intents and purposes, he is now that hes retired.It seems to me that the NHL could use his experience and his mind for the game. But for now, Boyle is going to lay low as he builds a home in the San Jose area and enjoys life with his wife and two daughters.I dont see myself doing anything (in hockey) for a while. How long is a while? I dont know. Im not going to jump right back into it, said Boyle. I dont have any plans. I love the game, I think Ill be associated with it somehow down the road, I dont know where and how.A Stanley Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist, Boyle reflects on something that makes him smile.Kris Letang, when he was younger, and Drew Doughty, they each came up to me and said I was the guy that they emulated, said Boyle. Just like I would have told Brian Leetch, had I met him when I was young. But that means the world to me, that I would have left that impression on two of the best defensemen in the game today.Now, if only they could be allowed to make more plays, right? Wholesale MLB Jerseys . The Americans, skipped by John Shuster, seized the advantage in the eighth end by scoring five points for a 7-3 lead. The Czechs pulled two back in the ninth, but Shusters team of third Jeff Isaacson, second Jared Zezel and lead John Landsteiner ended with another point to secure the last Olympic berth on offer. MLB Jerseys China . -- Kyrie Irvings last-minute 3-pointer helped seal another victory for Cleveland -- and the Cavaliers longest winning streak since LeBron James left. http://www.cheapmlbjerseysusa.com/ . "It doesnt get any better than that," Giambi said. "Im speechless." The Indians are roaring toward October. Giambi belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a shocking 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, keeping the Indians up with the lead pack in the AL wild-card race. Wholesale Baseball Jerseys Online . -- Timbers coach Caleb Porter didnt stray from his business-like approach to the season even after Portland downed the two-time defending league champion Los Angeles Galaxy to gain crucial playoff position. Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys . 10 Texas Rangers jersey for one last time. Young formally announced his retirement Friday after returning to Rangers Ballpark, his baseball home for all but the last of his 13 major league seasons. NEW YORK -- Hes still gliding through major draws in his 13th professional season, which means Jo-Wilfried Tsonga still knows what time it is.Time, in this particular instance, to discard the screaming fuchsia baseball cap after dropping Sundays third set to American Jack Sock and replace it with a jauntier, aerodynamically efficient headband. A necessary -- and successful -- change in karma.Tsonga, 31, and the No. 9 seed here, is into the quarterfinals of the US Open for the second year in a row after defeating the No. 26-seeded Sock 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-2.Tsonga, meanwhile, was one of three Frenchmen into the fourth round and is joined in the quarters by No. 10 Gael Monfils and, possibly, No. 24 Lucas Pouille, who was playing well against Rafael Nadal. He has been to the semifinals of the three other majors, but never here.Tsonga likely will have to get through No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who played unseeded Kyle Edmund in the night match, to do it.For me, its to always play the right shot, dont give him too much free point, Tsonga said of playing Djokovic. I will play my game. I will be aggressive, as always.For sure Andy [Murray] and Novak won a lot before, so they are I think the favorite. But we are all outsiders, and we all want a Grand Slam.Sock, 23, was looking to become first American man in the US Open quarterfinals in five years, following John Isner and Andy Roddick. Sock, the third-ranked U.S. man behind Isner (21) and Steve Johnson (22), knocked off 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the third round.While Tsonga mastered the breezy conditions, subtly altering his approach depending on which way the wind was blowing, Sock played a little too fast and loose, spraying forehands all over jam-packed Louis Armstrong Stadium.His best stroke was a trick shot: a marvelous behind-the-back, between-the-legs drop shot on the half-volley that clipped the net cord for a winner in the third set. But in the fourth set, as the match was careening away from him, Sock lost his composure when he got into it with the people calling the lines.Open your eyes, seriously, he said with disdain at one point.For Sock, who fought off a match point in the third-set tiebreaker, this result should be an eye-opening experience.What does he need to do to break through and advance to a major quarterfinal?I mean, piece a few more things together on the court, Sock said later. As you guys can see, Im right there. My last match was a straight-set win over a past champion here. Today, hold a few more times in the first two sets, you never know. I felt obviously right there with him. Had chances to make it a different match.Six years ago, Sock was the junior boys champion here and, by and large, he has evolved admirably.dddddddddddd He has worked hard to clean up his service return and fortify his backhand. The next step is developing the mental toughness to hang with the very best professionals in the biggest moments.These matches later in these tournaments, against higher-ranked guys, it comes down to a few points, Sock continued. The experience obviously helps. Hes been around for a while. Been in those positions. Each of these matches I played help me more in the next one.This was his second journey to the fourth round of a major, the first coming a year ago at Roland Garros, when he lost to Nadal. In Rio de Janeiro, Sock was the most decorated American tennis player, winning a gold medal with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in mixed doubles and a bronze with Steve Johnson in mens doubles.As always, the enormous, self-serving aspect of Tsongas game is what creates separation from most of his peers.Tsonga is not a towering presence, like Isner or Ivo Karlovic, but hes typically hovering among the ATP World Tours best servers in most categories. When he needs a big one, as he did numerous times against Sock, Tsonga usually delivers -- again and again.In the end, Sock could break Tsonga only once. Tsonga won 83 percent of his first serves, significantly better than Socks 68 percent, and lost only 12 points on his first serve.According to Hawk-Eye data, Socks average forehand traveled 79 mph, five faster than Tsongas, and his average net clearance was 63 centimeters, eight fewer than Tsongas. Sock, who had 39 unforced errors, might do well to follow that lead and take a little off the fastball and give himself a greater margin for error.And so, its been 52 majors (12 years and 362 days, but whos counting?) since an American man, Roddick, won a Grand Slam singles title. That was 2003, the same year Roger Federer won his first major.Sock is the oldest of a group of young Americans with a chance to do some serious damage going forward. Taylor Fritz, 18, lost to Sock in the first round. Jared Donaldson, 19, got to the third round. Frances Tiafoe, 18, forced Isner to a fifth-set tiebreaker in the first round. And 6-foot-11?Reilly Opelka, 19, has promise, too.I think the future looks good, Sock said. Promising players coming up playing very good tennis. I take pride in being the last one here. Obviously wanted to go out there and keep it going for not only myself but for the U.S. as a whole. Unfortunately, couldnt do that today.Hopefully in the future I can keep playing these second weeks, representing the best I can. ' ' '

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