By Rory CarrollLOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) – Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said he “tasted death” during the mental health crisis that brought him to the brink of suicide but is back and on a mission to help others.The British fighter shocked the world in 2015 when he defeated long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko to capture the IBF, WBA and WBO belts.But he was stripped of those belts the next year after alcohol and drug use rendered him unable to compete.He ballooned in weight and few, including Fury himself, thought he’d ever see the inside of a ring again. But he rediscovered his love of boxing and the sport he walked away from proved to be his salvation.“I’ve been to hell and back and I’ve been given a second chance at life,” he told Reuters.“I turned my life around from 420 pounds and suicidal thoughts on a daily basis to getting back to the top of the heavyweight division,” he said. “To almost taste death and to come back to this level has definitely been a blessing.”Fury said he is passionate about helping others who struggle with mental health issues and has embarked on speaking tours in the UK and Europe to spread the word to those suffering that they can get better.“On the second return journey, I’m doing as much as I can to help others in needy positions and as much as I can to spread the word on mental health and smash the stigma because everybody deserves a second chance.” The response has been overwhelming. “People are flying in from all over to say thank you. You’ve saved my brother, my uncle, my cousin, my wife. One guy flew in from Malaysia to thank me personally and give me a hug.“So it means the world, it means so much to get the recognition for the help,” he said.Fury credits his own turnaround to the purifying effects of exercise, something he recommends but only up to a point.“Anyone in the midst of a mental health crisis should immediately contact a doctor,” he said.“I believe that if you do suffer from mental health, and I know a lot of people out there do, having a little training programme really works,” he said.“I don’t mean like a high-performance athlete, I mean just on a regular, day to day basis. What you can manage as an individual.“Whether it is a little 10-minute walk or a jog, whatever you can manage. And if you can maintain it like a daily thing, I think it really does help.”FEELING ‘FANTASTIC’ AHEAD OF UPCOMING BOUTSFury said he feels “fantastic” ahead of his September 14 bout with Otto Wallin and his highly-anticipated February 22 rematch with Deontay Wilder but said mental health struggles always lurk in the background.“There’s a great song the Eagles wrote called ‘Hotel California,’” Fury said while, appropriately, speaking to Reuters in a hotel room in downtown Los Angeles. “You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave,” he said.“I believe that’s mental health because you can get well – you can check out any time you want – but you can never leave it because you’re born with it.Fury, who in February signed a reported $100 million contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions to have his fights broadcast on ESPN, said he is now content to live in the moment. “I don’t have long-term goals, I only live day to day,” he said.“My long-term goal is to be happy and well and healthy. And anything after that is a real bonus. Nothing is guaranteed in life and nothing is promised.“We’re not even promised tomorrow morning so we’ve got to live and enjoy the moments we have in time, and that’s all we have – moments in time,” he said. “I’m making the best of every moment in time I have as of late.”
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – Alarm bells continued to ring for West Indies ahead of their campaign in the ICC Under-19 World Cup next month when they slumped to their fourth defeat in five matches in the Tri-Nations Series here yesterday.Asked to chase their highest total of the tournament, after Sri Lanka posted 234 for nine off their 50 overs, West Indies Under-19s folded meekly for 104 inside the 35th over, to go down by 130 runs at Coolidge Cricket Ground.The hosts have now not won a game since their opener against England nine days ago at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.Once again, they owed their heavy defeat to their listless batting which had previously yielded totals of 164, 140, 137 and 116.Kevlon Anderson top-scored with 25 while openers Mbeki Joseph and Kimani Melius both scored 20 but the remainder of the batting struggled against leg-spinner Kavindu Nadeeshan who snatched four for 17 and left-arm spinner Dilum Sudheera who claimed three for 10.Middle-order batsman Nipun Dananjaya had earlier missed out on three figures when he was dismissed for 91, as Sri Lanka flourished following an uncertain start.Ravindu Rasantha chipped in with 43 and Sudheera got 27, efforts which helped the tourists to recover from 95 for six in the 27th over.Fast bowler Matthew Forde was the Windies’ best bowler with four for 31 while off-spinner Avinash Mahabirsingh supported with two for 42.Sri Lanka were tottering on 16 for two in the ninth over before Rasantha, who struck four fours and a six off 59 balls, rebuilt the innings in a 62-run, third-wicket partnership with Ahan Wickramasinghe (14).When Rasantha was bowled by Forde in the 19th over, Sri Lanka had lost four wickets for 17 runs before captain Dananjaya came to their aid in a knock that required 98 balls and included two fours and half-dozen sixes.Importantly, he added 67 for the seventh wicket with Sudeera and a further 31 for the ninth with Nadeeshan (11).In reply, Joseph and captain Melius put on 39 for the first wicket before the rot set in, with West Indies losing nine wickets for 65 runs with Ramon Simmons unable to bat.Melius played across one and was lbw to Sudeera in the 15th over and off the very next delivery, left-hander Leonardo Julien played back and was trapped lbw on the crease.When Joseph was deceived by a slower ball from seamer Kavishka Gamage and also fell lbw in the 18th over, West Indies were slumping quickly at 50 for three but Anderson arrived to inspire a 30-run fourth-wicket stand with Kirk McKenzie (15).Anderson struck two fours in a 41-ball knock but once he lost McKenzie in the 27th over, bowled missing a tentative drive at a full-length googly from Nadeeshan, the innings fell away again.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Former Syracuse forward Heather Schwarz has signed with the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League, per a press release from SU Athletics.Schwarz joins fellow Orange alumnae Jessica Sibley and Jacquie Greco in the NWHL. Schwarz and Sibley played their entire SU careers together before graduating last spring.“Not only do I get to continue playing hockey as a professional,” Schwarz said in a press release, “but being in a city like Boston is very exciting.”By the end of her SU career, Schwarz tallied 22 goals and 29 assists in 141 games for the Orange. She is tied seventh all-time in most appearances. Schwarz scored 11 goals and had 10 assists her senior season.The Connecticut native has played in Boston before, with the Boston Shamrocks of the Junior Women’s Hockey League.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Pride are one of four teams in the NWHL and opens the season against the New York Riveters on Oct. 28. Comments Published on September 5, 2017 at 7:56 pm Contact Andrew: email@example.com | @A_E_Graham
Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe first public sign that James, an MVP candidate so far, would miss Sunday’s game at Staples Center was on Saturday afternoon, when the Lakers said he had missed practice and would be doubtful for the home contest.Vogel said James had collided with a Pacers player in Indianapolis on Tuesday, but played through the injury in the Milwaukee game on Thursday. James had averaged a triple-double in the two games, and while he told reporters in Indiana that he thought he might be coming down with a cold, he didn’t mention any other discomfort.The Lakers started Rajon Rondo in response to James’ absence. Vogel has often talked about Rondo as the other “quarterback” of his offense alongside James. While Rondo’s per-game average for assists has dropped this year (5.6 apg), Vogel said he thought Rondo’s improved 3-point percentage (42.9 percent) had helped set up his playmaking.Related Articles Vogel acknowledged that Kuzma has been behind the eight-ball since summer, when a foot injury caused him to miss all of training camp. He called it “impossible for him to be comfortable since he’s missed nine games so far this season with various ailments.“Now we start the process again of getting him back involved and getting him comfortable,” he said. “He’s a young player with a whole new cast of teammates and a new coaching staff, a new system. So with younger guys, you know, it takes a little time sometimes, but he’s gonna be a huge, huge factor for us this year.”Lakers lit a fire under JokicSince an underwhelming close to last year’s second round of the postseason, there’s been a few question marks about Nikola Jokic, a top-five finisher in MVP balloting last season. A sluggish start to the year only added to the cloud over his head.After a Dec. 4 loss to the Lakers, Jokic told local media, “I’m struggling.”But for the last eight games, Jokic has turned things around. He’s averaging 22.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 8.3 assists as the Nuggets have won five in a row entering Sunday’s game. Coach Mike Malone said pregame that Jokic has put a lot of outside doubts behind him.“He’s an MVP candidate for a reason,” he said. “We’re more than having fun, we’re just getting back to the way we’ve played for five years.”How much did that have to do with the Lakers? In that last match-up, Jokic was just 2 for 7 in the final quarter, as Anthony Davis stood tall on defense. It might’ve been the catalyst for the Serbian center to play back to his All-NBA level.Malone felt at the least, Jokic was more aggressive in the end of that game than he had been to start the season.“His aggression, that’s what Iiked in that game,” he said. “It carried over to that road trip where it kinda kicked off his recent surge in his play.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs “When he’s knocking down threes, the defense is chasing over and they’re staying with him on the perimeter and it opens things up,” Vogel said. “But when they chase over his pick and rolls or his pin downs or whatever action he’s in, he gets going downhill. He’ll pick defences apart.”The Lakers were glad to welcome back Kyle Kuzma, who scored his first basket toward the end of the first quarter, which was his first points since Dec. 8 against Minnesota. Kuzma had missed five straight games entering Sunday night. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years LOS ANGELES — He was in his usual seat, at the end of the Lakers’ bench to the right of DeMarcus Cousins. But he was not in his usual attire: a black hoodie and a black blazer, wearing a number of rings and wristbands.LeBron James (thoracic muscle strain) did not play on Sunday afternoon against the Nuggets, the first time he has missed game this season.The Lakers had anticipated this might happen, so Frank Vogel didn’t carry any sense of panic as he talked pregame about playing without his star. But the moment did feel a little grim.“The medical team just told me he’s day to day,” he said. “We’ll literally take each step one day at a time.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
SEASONNO. OF EPISODESEPISODE LENGTHSTOTAL TIME11321 minutes each4 hours, 33 minutes21321 minutes each4 hours, 33 minutes31321 minutes each4 hours, 33 minutes41321-25 minutes each4 hours, 43 minutes51421 minutes each4 hours, 55 minutes613 (plus finale)30 minutes each*6 hours, 30 minutes* Each episode time based on a half-hour production, including commercials; time may fluctuate in on-demand.When is the ‘Schitt’s Creek’ series finale?You may be wondering: What happens now that “things are certainly racing at a dangerously rapid velocity”?Tune in to the finale, of course. The show will come to a close on Tuesday, April 7, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. It can be seen on CBC in Canada and Pop TV, Comedy Central and Logo in the United States. Before you “plan on popping a pill, crying a bit and falling asleep” after the finale, there will be a behind-the-scenes hourlong documentary special (in the United States, it will only be on Pop TV). Top 15 sports movies to watch on Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ in Canada”Schitt’s Creek,” the brainchild of the father-son team of Eugene and Dan Levy (who play Johnny and David Rose), is a Canadian comedy about the uber-rich Rose family’s fall from — and, possibly by the end, rise to — grace. Now, before you say, “That doesn’t sound even remotely correct,” why, yes, ’tis possible to binge watch “Schitt’s Creek” before the series finale.Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know to watch “with the vigour of a wartime radio operator.” Oh, and for good measure, “I am 87 percent behind you.”What exactly is the premise of ‘Schitt’s Creek’?The Rose family — video store magnate Johnny, washed-up soap actress Moira and their two adult children, Alexis and David — end up in Schitt’s Creek (located somewhere in the United States) after they lose all their money and are forced to move to the town Johnny bought as a joke for David years ago. With no money, they stay in a small, rundown motel. Over the course of six seasons, the show takes us through the ups and downs of the Roses as they make their way through their new lives.Where does one watch ‘Schitt’s Creek’ before the finale?Pull up a chair, pop some jampagne and start on Netflix in both the U.S. and Canada for the first five seasons. To watch Episodes 1-13 of Season 6, flip the switch and head over to on-demand.The homes for this Emmy-nominated and Canadian Screen Award-winning comedy are CBC in Canada and Pop TV in the United States.How long will it take to view all 80 episodes of ‘Schitt’s Creek’?Now, I know what you’re thinking: 80 episodes. I cannot accomplish this feat, “I’m positively bedeviled with meetings, et cetera.”Well, you’ll have 72-plus hours to watch approximately 30 hours of television. Below is a quick breakdown of how long it’ll take to watch each episode and season. So buckle up and remember, “One must champion oneself and say, ‘I am ready for this.'” “I’m feeling this, like, deep aching sense of dread.” Why? Because on Tuesday evening, we, sadly, will bid adieu to the Roses. If you don’t know who David, Alexis, Moira and Johnny Rose are, well: Shame. On. You.
MASON CITY — A Davenport man has pleaded not guilty to charges dealing with a high speed pursuit near Mason City back in January.The Iowa State Patrol says shortly after 4:00 AM on the morning of January 27th a trooper attempted to stop 38-year-old Travis Coleman for speeding on the Avenue of the Saints south of Mason City. During the pursuit, the vehicle reached a high speed of 130 miles per hour.Coleman exited at the Mallard Avenue exit, made a bad pass on the shoulder, crossed the road and a struck a DOT barrier. Coleman attempted to keep driving but the trooper intentionally struck the vehicle to stop the pursuit. A bag or marijuana was allegedly found in the front passenger seat.Coleman was charged with eluding, possession of a controlled substance, driving while suspended and passing on the right shoulder. Coleman pleaded not guilty to the charges this week in Cerro Gordo County District Court. His trial is scheduled to start on April 2nd.
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Defending champions Uganda Cubs are out of the on-going CECAFA U-17 Championship in Burundi.The Cubs suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Somalia at the Gitega Stadium in one of the semi final matches played on Wednesday.Uganda Cubs who won the trophy when the Championship was last held in 2009 failed to match the Somalia team that reportedly played a highly passing game.Ahmed Farhaman scored the lone goal for Somalia early in the first half, while Uganda Cubs had Sula Mpuga miss a penalty in the second half. Before the semi final Uganda Cubs drew 1-1 with Tanzania in the opening group B game before defeating Sudan 3-0. “It is disappointing that we created several scoring chances, but failed to win the game,” Uganda’s coach Peter Onen said after the game.Tanzania joined Somalia in the final after they humbled Kenya 2-1 in the second semi final game also played the same day. Somalia started the tournament with a 3-0 loss to Zanzibar, but were awarded the points and three goals after Zanzibar was thrown out of the tournament when they were discovered to have 12 over age players in the tournament.The Somalia team handled by Salad Farah Hassan went on to defeat Kenya 1-0 in another group game and also drew goalless against the hosts Burundi.The tournament that attracted Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia and hosts Burundi is fully sponsored by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA).***URNShare on: WhatsApp
Leigh Ramsden lives in Vancouver and is an avid Canucks fan, having been a partial season ticket holder for over 10 years. He’s old enough to have witnessed all three Stanley Cup losses, as such, his prime goal is to remove those scars by seeing a Cup brought to Vancouver. Leigh is Fighting For Stanley’s (www.fightingforstanley.ca/vancouver) west coast correspondent, and will also blog after all Canuck games for The Nelson Daily. After the events of last Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks found out they drew the plucky Los Angeles Kings in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup tournament. Vancouver won 8 of its last 9 games to finish first in the tight Western Conference. On the other hand, the Kings limped into the postseason, losing three of their last four in either overtime or a shootout, including two in a row to end the season against the San Jose Sharks. Those losses relegated the Kings to eighth spot and their solidified their date with the Presidents’ Trophy winners.We know the Canucks have been a high-scoring, high-flying team in recent years, but took a bit of a right turn in 2012 and started to play much more sound defensive hockey, at the expense of some of their offense. The Kings, on the other hand, have played most of the year in a defensive shell, netminder Jonathan Quick recording an impressive 10 shutouts. L.A. has had trouble scoring all year as well, and made a coaching change back in December when they fired Terry Murray and brought Calgary Flames destructor Daryl Sutter (and his horrible, 70’s-inspired suits) aboard. The Kings continued on the same trajectory after Sutter was hired, however, after the trade-deadline acquisition of sniper Jeff Carter, the Kings have been scoring at higher rate.How do these teams stack up against each other? Let’s take a deeper look. SEASON RECORD AND SEASON SERIESThe Canucks secured the league-wide title with a record 51-22-9, while the Kings finished 16 points in arrears with a record of 40-27-15. When looking into the quality of each team’s record, the Canucks record was 36-22 (.621 winning percentage) in regulation time, 7-2 (.778) in games decided in overtime, and 8-7 (.533) in the less relevant games decided in a shootout. On the other hand, the Kings were 31-27 (.534) in regulation, 3-6 in overtime (.333), and 6-9 (.400) in the shootout. If you ignore the games decided in the skills competition, the Canucks were 19 games above .500 at 43-24 (.642), while the Kings were much more pedestrian, finishing only one game above .500 at 34-33 (.507). Give the Canucks the edge in this area.Part of the difference here will be the fact that the Kings play in much tougher division than do the Canucks – none of the other Northwest Division teams finished above the playoff bar, whereas the Pacific Division delivered not only the Kings, but also the Coyotes and Sharks. The Canucks beat up on their divisional foes finishing with a record of 18-5-1, whereas the Kings were a much more pedestrian 8-8-4 against their Pacific Division rivals. It was this difference that separated the two teams in the standings. Consider this: the Canucks record outside the Northwest and Pacific divisions was 22-12-4, and the Kings were 19-15-4. From looking at the non-divisional records, it appears the two teams are relatively equal, but give the Canucks a slight edge due to their marginally better record.The Canucks won the season series 2-1-1, with one of the wins coming by way of a shootout. Overall, the four games were played relatively evenly and the Kings looked the better team through large stretches of all of them. That said, the Canucks were good enough to win two games in regulation (each one a one-goal game) and lose another in shootout. The only game that they lost in regulation was 4-1 Kings, in a game where the Canucks didn’t put their best effort on the ice. These games were a microcosm of each team’s season – the Kings played things close to the vest and couldn’t outscore their opponents while not allowing much, while on the other hand, the Canucks struggled to score, but did “just” enough to win, nothing more, and nothing less. Based on the team’s head to head record, you’d have to again give the edge to Vancouver. GOALTENDINGLos Angeles boasts one of the league’s best netminders in Quick, who is sure to receive a Vezina trophy nomination for his stellar body of work this year. Quick is the biggest reason the Kings were able to scrape into the playoffs. Quick played in 69 games for the Kings, fourth in the NHL behind Pekka Rinne, Jonas Hiller, and Miikka Kiprusoff. He finished second in the NHL with a 1.95 GAA, and was fifth in the NHL with a save percentage of .929. His 10 shutouts led the NHL. Clearly, Quick was L.A.’s most valuable player.The Canucks on the other hand boast not one, but two of the league’s best goaltenders. Number one goalie Roberto Luongo played in 55 games, recording a GAA of 2.41 (15th in the league) and a save percentage of .919, good for 12th in the league. Backup Cory Schneider played 33 games, and had an excellent GAA of 1.96 with a save percentage of .937, third and second in the league respectively. This season wasn’t Luongo’s best statistically, but he has played a number of tremendous games for the Canucks this season. Together, the two goalies combined for 8 shutouts this year.Quick is inexperienced, having only 12 career playoff games, compared to Luongo who has 59 career contests. Of course, Luongo has run into problems in each of the Canucks’ last three playoff years, struggling at times against Chicago and in last year’s finals against Boston. However, in Schneider, the Canucks have a legitimate go-to number 1(b), as he’s shown his ability to step in and play in big games, all season long. Quick’s had an incredible season, there’s no doubt, and although fatigue may be a factor given his workload this year, if he was pitted against only Luongo you’d have to give the Kings the edge. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, the Canucks have a fail safe in Schneider, and for that reason give the nod to the Canucks between the pipes. DEFENSEThe Kings finished with 170 goals against, good for second in the NHL. The Canucks were fourth at 191 goals allowed.The Kings’ defensive corps boasts one of the league’s best young defensemen, Drew Doughty. He is typically paired with Cup-winning veteran, Rob Scuderi. The Kings’ other two pairings are typically ex-Canuck Willie Mitchell alongside young Russian Slava Voynov, and Matt Green playing with Rafael Diaz. With the exception of Doughty, none of these blueliners are spectacular, however, together they form a very solid and efficient six-man unit. Scuderi and Greene provide the most physicality.The Canucks look to start the series with the pairings of Bieksa-Edler, Hamhuis-Tanev, and Salo-Rome. The defense has been playing very well of late and while none of these guys boast the kind of offensive flair of a Doughty, four of the six are legitimate threats offensively. In addition, this group does a tremendous job of moving the puck out of the zone with efficiency, getting the puck to the forwards.Generally, I get nervous come playoff time when the Canucks have to face a Norris-calibre defenseman. Doughty was nominated for the award in his breakout 2009-2010 campaign, but has failed to live up to the hype since then, reporting late to camp last fall after a contract dispute. In addition, in the games against the Canucks this season, they have been able to get Doughty off his game mentally, causing him to take a number of unnecessary penalties.The Canucks also boast much better depth. I’m not sure who the Kings have in reserve, but trading Jack Johnson away at the deadline hurt their depth badly. The Canucks have at least three NHL-calibre defensemen in reserve (Keith Ballard, Andrew Alberts, Marc-Andre Gragnani), each of whom can slot into the sixth spot and give the team a much different look.For defense – give the edge to the Canucks, as their offensive abilities and depth should be enough to overcome Doughty’s top-end talent. FORWARDSThe Kings’ top-six is extremely good on paper, boasting Anze Koptiar, Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown. The team has been scoring well of late, averaging three goals per game over their last 18 games, which roughly coincides with the acquisition of Carter at the trade deadline. Kopitar can be one of the league’s most dynamic players, however, in my mind he continues to fail to take that “next step” to elite superstar status. Justin Williams has had a bit of a down year, but he was the Kings’ best forward in their 4-1 victory over the Canucks back in December. Mike Richards has had a garish campaign (I should know as I have him in my fantasy league), and after returning from a concussion in late December, he hasn’t appeared to be the same player he was before. Carter is returning from a recent bone bruise injury and may not be as effective as he normally would be.The Kings’ bottom-six begins to thin out, and includes players such as Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner, Brad Richardson (out after an emergency appendectomy), Kyle Clifford, Matt Lewis, ex-Blackhawk Colin Fraser, and a collection of 12th/13th forwards to round out the lineup.While the Kings’ top end talent can compare to Vancouver’s, their depth up front is suspect and coach Alain Vigneault should be able to exploit favourable matchups. Given his line’s great two-way performance, Sammy Pahlsson will likely see a lot of ice against Kopitar, and if his line can neutralize the Kings’ first unit (possibly chipping in with the odd goal), things should look good for the Canucks. The addition of Pahlsson has been huge for this team, and has impacted it much more greatly than I expected when it was consummated at the deadline. It’s the single biggest reason the Canucks have been able to clamp down effectively on their opposition. When the Pahlsson line takes these tough minutes, it will enable AV to get the Kesler line out against the Kings’ third or fourth lines and that should result in some goals for the team in blue and green.The big question mark for the Canucks remains over Daniel Sedin’s status. If he is able to play it opens up a lot of possibilities for Vigneault as he can move Max Lapierre and Mason Raymond around the lineup as required. Although there was some drama around this situation today, expect the Canucks to have Sedin in the lineup as quickly as possible, currently looking like game 2 or 3 of the series assuming there are no setbacks.In another close competition, give the Canucks the edge here with two caveats: the Kings have enough talent to put the puck in the net and if their forwards raise their game they can compete; and if Daniel Sedin doesn’t play in the series, the scale may tip to the Kings in this area. COACHING/INTANGIBLESAll Canucks fans have seen Sutter’s act before and we should all know what to expect. Sutter will employ a physical, borderline dirty approach with his troops in order to try to get the Canucks off their game. The Kings have the horses to play this way, with Fraser, Clifford, Richardson (when healthy) and Greene all able to mix it up and agitate. This approach is one that’s used consistently against Vancouver and it has had success in the past. For this reason, the Canucks’ power play will have to produce to discourage the Kings from taking too many liberties, and if it doesn’t, expect a dirty series with many scrums, yapping, and confrontations.The Canucks’ team toughness has been questioned throughout the year but I believe they’ve answered the bell when required. They have some big, tough players at their disposal (Byron Bitz, Zack Kassian, Dale Weise, Alberts) and I believe at least one of these guys will be in the lineup at all times to keep the Kings honest. There are a number of other players on the team that won’t back down from anything as well, including Bieksa, Lapierre, and Ballard if he’s in the lineup.Vigneault is one of the league’s best coaches and his ability to tinker with his lineup to find combinations that are effective is constantly impressive. He’s also handled the goaltending situation extremely well throughout the year and has set himself up to have both netminders at his disposal without the team missing a beat. Sutter is an old-school coach with limited understanding of the intricacies of the current-day game, but, his best success in the NHL was as coach of the Calgary Flames, leading them to an improbable Stanley Cup appearance, so he knows what it takes from that perspective.The Canucks are fresh off their Stanley Cup appearance last season and return virtually the same group, so one would think they hold a distinct advantage here. Bear in mind that two of the Kings’ leaders, Richards and Carter, both went to the Cup final two seasons ago when they were with Philadelphia. Mostly because of Vigneault’s ability to adapt, give the edge again to the Canucks. SUMMARY AND PREDICTIONIn my opinion, the Canucks hold a slight edge in all the categories mentioned above. That said, the difference between the two clubs is very small and Vancouver will not be able to roll over the Kings. The Kings’ top-notch goaltending can win them a series on its own and given the fact they have been scoring more of late, they will present a formidable opponent.The key to the series may boil down to special teams. I expect the Kings to employ the typical Canuck-killer strategy, which is after-whistle shenanigans, dirty hits, running the goaltender, and other marginal plays. I expect they will cross the line and the Canucks will be given their chances on the PP. If it can convert, expect a similar series to last year’s Sharks series with the Canucks winning in 5.If the Canucks can’t convert on the PP, it will bolster the Kings’ approach and this is where it can get dicey for Vancouver. They will have to control their emotions and stay out of the penalty box, and if they have to withdraw into lock-down mode, they will do so.Luckily, the Canucks have shown that they can employ this style of game effectively, perhaps the most relevant example being their 1-0 shutout of this Kings team 7 games before the end of the regular season on March 26. If this route is taken, the series will stretch longer.At the end of the day, the Canucks are marginally better than the Kings all over the ice, and this will result in a number of close games, but games where they should be able to get over the top.Canucks in seven.
-UNPOL, EU Reps AlarmThe US$14.2M out of the US$16.3M allotted to the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the 2017/18 fiscal budget for compensation to include salaries for civilian and paramilitary personnel overshadowed the release of a report on the Security Actions for Everyone (SAFE) Project yesterday.An honorarium and special and general allowances were also captured in the US$14.2 million, with US$3.1 million accounting for “non-financial assets.”The US$3.1 million, the police said, was intended for support and operations during the 2017 presidential and legislative elections.The report, released in Monrovia, covered police facilities and operations in four of the 15 counties, including Bong, Lofa, Montserrado, and Nimba, as well as police-community engagement.It was jointly conducted by International Alert, Liberia National Law Enforcement Agency (LNLEA), and the Center for Justice and Peace Studies (CIPS) with funding from the European Union (EU).It comes in the midst of the reported deplorable condition of prison facilities and other logistical situations experienced by the police.Yesterday’s forum was attended by representatives of the EU, United Nations Police in Liberia (UNPOL), and authorities of the LNP, among others.Meanwhile, participants agreed for the establishment of a Policing Trust Fund to provide support for needed police operations that are not reflected in the national budget.In separate remarks, European Union representative Agniesille Napierala and UNPOL’s Tabitha Mbugua said they believe that the allotment was unfair and unbalanced to make the country a safer place.“The Government of Liberia needs to improve on the budget to settle the imbalance and unfair distribution in it,” Mbugua, who proxy for the UNPOL commander, noted.“Such an imbalance in the budget would make it very difficult to have a strong partnership with the community in terms of support,” she said.Napierala also said the budget, that is hugely dominated by salaries, does not ensure accountability and transparency in the operation of the police.“How will the police manage to support the Community Watch Forum that is providing security assistance in the country to ensure a safer Liberia with the allotment of US$14.2 million as salary payment to staff of the LNP?” Napierala wondered. “How will they improve on the deplorable condition of prison facilities throughout the country?”Police Deputy Inspector General for Manpower and Training, William Mulbah admitted the huge financial difficulty posed by the budgetary allotment.“With the over 5,000 police officers, to set aside US$14.2 million for salaries is unfair and demeaning, and we had to work on it,” Mulbah assured.Despite the huge salaries, Mulbah said, they have made significant efforts in improving the relationship between the police and the community to make the country peaceful and safe.“This is evidenced by our handling of the ongoing elections process and our engagement with the community in combating crimes and improving on civilian complaints against police officers,” he indicated.The report said some police stations in the four counties do not have the necessary logistics for effective operations.“Some do not even have typewriters or computers and printers, and they have to resort to using commercial typewriters for their office operations. Many officers do not have uniforms and accessories and so, they have resolved to wear t-shirts as uniforms,” the report indicated.Cecil B. Griffiths, the president of LNLEA who read the report, said: “Moreover, many police stations in the rural areas, such as Zorzor and Flumpa police stations in Lofa County are in very deplorable conditions and need urgent renovation while the Ganta Police Station in Nimba County is in need of expansion.”The report also frowned on civilians recruited to assist police to man checkpoints in the country.“Community members complained that some of the police aides are the ones creating problems for them and are even operating without the supervision of the commander of police,” the report noted.The report also recommended that the police budget should be re-framed to capture the need for police stations in the counties.“Community members recommended that each police station should at least have one vehicle or motorbike, a computer, printer, solar panel or generator with a regular supply of gasoline, stationery and supplies, one smartphone for internet connectivity and food for the upkeep of detainees and suspects,” the report said.“To provide information about police work, community members are recommending that every police station should provide monthly or quarterly statistics on crimes, arrests, prosecutions and information about complaint mechanisms,” it indicated.On police achievement, the report said: “The police authorities made strong effort to promote accountability by issuing a number of tags to officers for identification purposes. This is a highly commendable initiative and we hope that the LNP authority will follow-up to ensure that all officers will have their names on their tags. Regular meeting between the police and community members is ongoing in addition to the SAFE project community dialogue; they are also having a regular policing forum in the various communities.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Sixty-two-year-old Lionel Thomas, who set the house of his ex-wife on fire in an attempt to kill her, was on Tuesday morning discovered hanging from a dunks tree (also known as a dungs tree) at his farm at Rose Hall, Corentyne, Berbice.The now dead man, Lionel Thomas, and Owamawattie Alves in happier timesThe Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne, resident was taken to Ramoo’s Funeral Home where his body awaits a post-mortem examination. It is suspected the man committed suicide.On Wednesday last, Thomas attempted to kill his ex-wife using a knife, a piece of wood, and a broken glass, before allegedly setting fire to a $27 million house, reducing it to rubble.The victim, 47-year-old Owamawattie Alves, also called “Ann”, sustained injuries and was rushed to the Port Mourant Hospital where she was treated and admitted.The mother of four told Guyana Times that she walked away from the 28-year relationship two years ago, but the now dead man has been stalking her every move.According to Alves, the relationship was very abusive and she decided in 2016 to put an end to it after her husband was jailed for two years for abuse perpetrated against her. She said ever since his release from prison, he has been threatening to kill her.She related that on June 16, 2018, while she was at the Port Mourant Market, he approached her with a cutlass and threatened to end her life, but she was able to escape and reported the incident to the Police.There were several other instances where by she was attacked and terrorised by the now dead man. The woman lived with her 17-year-old daughter in the house that was reduced to rubble on June 20.