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Old 21-08-18, 02:13
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CALGARY Adidas Taylor Hall Jersey , Alberta — The Vegas Golden Knights bring their astonishing, record-breaking inaugural regular season to a close Saturday in Calgary.

The host Flames, meanwhile, drag themselves to the finish line of a disappointing 82-game schedule that likely will bring some changes to the organization in the offseason.

The Knights (51-23-7) look to get back on track against the Flames (36-35-10) at the Saddledome after seeing their three-game winning streak end in a 4-3 loss to Edmonton on Thursday.

“We’ve been pretty good as of late,” Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb told reporters in Edmonton. “We’ve had a couple of stretches where we’ve had breakdowns, but that’s hockey. It happened Broncos Courtland Sutton Jersey , we have to keep building. We have one more left and we’ll keep building for Game 1 of the playoffs.”

It was against the Flames back on Feb. 21 that the Golden Knights established an NHL record for most points by an expansion team with 84.

Now with the regular season coming to an end the Golden Knights find themselves reveling in a Pacific Division title in their first year with 109 points heading into Saturday. They await the end of the weekend to find out which team they will host in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Flames have won just four of their past 18 games and one of their past 10 to fall out of playoff contention, and as of Sunday morning talk will not be of the playoffs but of the future of second-year coach Glen Gulutzan and others. General manager Brad Treviling wouldn’t discuss whether Saturday’s game will be Gulutzan’s last behind the bench when questioned earlier this week by Postmedia. He is expected to face the media on Monday.

“I’m not getting into any of that,” he said. “That’s an easy thing in sports to do — the first thing is to look at the coach. I think we’ve got a good coach.

“We’ve got some good players, but we’re all subject to scrutiny when a season goes like this.”

The elimination from contention means the Flames have been getting some NHL playing time to some youngsters, including U.S. college grad Spencer Woo, who had 20 goals in the American Hockey League in his rookie professional season. He tallied his first NHL goal in Thursday’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets and has impressed observers with his play.

“You never really know how it’s going to go until you get up here Cheap Uchenna Nwosu Jersey ,” Foo told Postmedia. “But once you settle into a game and you realize that you can play here, you can still make plays and still find ways to get scoring chances; that feels pretty good.”

The Golden Knights will rest some of their regulars Saturday in a meaningless tilt. Head coach Gerard Gallant gave starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury the night off in Edmonton on Thursday, and Malcolm Subban started in goal instead.

“We’re making sure Fleury’s ready to go; he’s our No. 1 guy,” Gallant told reporters in Edmonton.

The Golden Knights gave defenseman Zach Whitecloud of Brandon, Manitoba, his NHL debut in Edmonton Cheap Jason McCourty Jersey , and he’ll likely play again Saturday. He signed after finishing the season with Bemidji State on March 8.

“You can’t be out of character (when you get to the NHL). That’s the biggest thing is be someone you’re not and I’m not going to do that,” he told reporters. “I’m going to do my best to be responsible and help the team win.”

The San Francisco 49ers are easing linebacker Reuben Foster back into the system after he missed the start of the offseason program while dealing with a domestic violence case that was eventually dropped.

Foster was not allowed to participate in the offseason program until a judge ruled last week that he wouldn't have to stand trial on domestic violence charges. The judge determined there was no evidence that Foster ever hit his ex-girlfriend.

Foster rejoined the Niners last Thursday but has been held out of team drills as he gets back into form after missing more than five weeks of the offseason program while waiting for his case to be resolved.

He took part in individual drills during organized team activities but spent the time during team drills doing conditioning or watching teammates.

"Getting him up to speed won't take as long," defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. "I can promise you that when he gets out there, he'll be like a fireball. It will be cool to see."

Foster had a trying offseason following an arrest in February on charges of beating up his girlfriend. He was charged in April with felony domestic violence, forcefully attempting to dissuade a witness and felony possession of an assault weapon.

That led to the decision by the 49ers to keep him away from the offseason program and general manager John Lynch said Foster would be cut if it was proven he hit his girlfriend.

But the case quickly fell apart. The accuser, Elissa Ennis Fred Warner Jersey Elite , recanted her accusations two days after telling police she was hit in the head eight to 10 times by Foster. She testified at a preliminary hearing earlier this month that the injuries were caused by a fight with another woman and she gave prosecutors video of that fight. She said she lied initially because she wanted retribution after Foster tried to end their relationship.

Judge Nona Klippen said recantations aren't uncommon in domestic violence cases but said there was no supporting evidence in this case that Foster had attacked Ennis and dropped the domestic violence charges. Foster still faces a misdemeanor weapons charge for having a Sig Sauer 516 short-barreled rifle in his home that was legally registered in Alabama.

Foster also had a misdemeanor marijuana case dismissed in Alabama this month when he completed a pretrial diversion program.

"Reuben is in a good spot right now," 49ers defensive assistant Johnny Holland said. "He's been through a lot in the offseason. Going through court cases you never know what's going to happen. He still has a long road to go but he's excited to be back out here. He's family. We wanted to keep him encouraged while he was away and we welcomed him back."

The 49ers drafted Foster 31st overall last year after questions about his health and character caused him to drop from being a possible top 10 pick.

Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles despite being limited to 10 games as a rookie because of injuries. He is being counted on now to be a key part of San Francisco's defensive future.

"For the 10 games he played in, I thought he was outstanding," Holland said. "His ceiling is very high. He's going to be better this year. We're excited to have him back and hopefully he can come back at full speed and his health is not a factor and he can be an outstanding football player."

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