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Miami Hurricanes DC Kevin Steele in 2022 National Spotlight

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Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele yells from the sideline at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Florida defeated Auburn 24-13. Jc Auburnflorida 77

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele yells from the sideline at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Florida defeated Auburn 24-13. Jc Auburnflorida 77

New Miami Hurricanes co-defensive coordinator Kevin Steele brings over 40 years as a college coach to his new position. Steele was the head coach at Baylor from 1999 through 2002 and has 11 years of experience as a DC. Upgrading the play at linebacker will be the biggest priority for Steele and CO-DC Charlie Strong.

Strong is also the Miami LB coach. Steele was out of football in 2021. Mario Cristobal has received a lot of praise nationally for the staff he has hired. Miami has signed 11 transfers entering the 2022 season. Seven of the transfers are on defense. Five defensive line transfers have joined the Miami football program.

The Miami defense needs major improvement over 2021. Miami was 84th allowing 28.4 points per game and 75th allowing 389.6 yards per game. Early in the tenure of the previous coaching staff, Miami had one of the best defenses in the country. The addition of the seven transfers on defense should provide a major boost.

Miami has a good foundation returning defensively. Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, defensive tackles Jared Harrison-Hunte and Leonard Taylor and safeties Kamren Kinchen, Avantae Williams and James Williams all showed promise for the Miami Hurricanes in 2021. Mike Huguenin of On3.Com profiled Steele.

Kevin Steele, Miami DC

The new coach: Mario Cristobal

The skinny: Steele, a longtime coach who was out of football last season, was set to become coordinator at Maryland. Instead, the contract never got signed and he ended up at Miami. The Hurricanes’ defense the past two seasons was not good.

UM’s secondary had trouble against teams that made it a priority to throw; UM’s front seven had trouble against teams that made it a priority to run. A lack of talent certainly was an issue, and that is something that Cristobal figures to solve. But that is going to take at least one more recruiting cycle.

This season, Steele’s top priority is meshing a bunch of key transfers (among them, UCLA E Mitchell Agude, UCLA LB Caleb Johnson, West Virginia T Ahkeem Mesidor and Maryland T Darrell Jackson) with a handful of talented holdovers.

The Hurricanes have finished in the top four in total defense in the ACC just three times in the past 10 seasons. That has to change.

Huguenin listed Steele as one of 10 “These coordinators on new staffs already in spotlight.” Also included is new Notre Dame DC and former Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden. Agude, Johnson, Mesidor and his former West Virginia teammate, CB Darryl Porter Jr. are likely to start for Miami in 2022.

Jackson had 22 tackles as a true freshman in 2021. Miami begins the season against FCS Bethune-Cookman and hosts Southern Mississippi before traveling to Texas A&M week three. Steele and Strong are high-profile names who will be in the spotlight from the beginning of the season.

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Game 3 — Panthers at Lightning: Lineups, Betting Odds, How to Watch

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TAMPA — The Florida Panthers will make some lineup changes going into Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday afternoon.

After playing rookie Anton Lundell for just over four minutes on Thursday night, he will be out with Eetu Luostarinen moving up to center Maxim Mamin and Sam Reinhart on the third line.

Noel Acciari centers the fourth line with Ryan Lomberg and Patric Hornqvist.

Florida is also making a change to the top power play, with Hornqvist going up front.

Lundell has seen his time drop the past few games, going from 13-14 minutes early in the Washington series to 7:31 in Game 6. In the opener against Tampa Bay, he played over 14 minutes — with almost five of that killing penalties.

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The 12th overall pick of the 2020 draft, Lundell had an excellent rookie season but Andrew Brunette said if Lundell was going to be scratched, it is only for his benefit.

Sunday morning, he confirmed Lundell would be out.

”It’s hard because he has been such an important player for us this year,” Brunette said on Saturday, adding he either would or already had spoken to Lundell about his declining minutes in the postseason.

“He has been running that third line and doing all those things. He kind of had his injury and hasn’t gotten up to the speed he had played at. This is hard hockey. I have lost him in a few games and that’s partially my fault. I think he probably lost a little confidence in between.

“If he comes out (Sunday), it’s good for a young kid to come out, take a look at it. He needs to be a little harder, a little better in certain areas. He needs to really dig in. This is hard hockey and he needs to find that. Again, he is a really young player and I don’t put too much stock in it. He is a really intelligent player who knows how to play. Sometimes it is healthy to come out and look at it from the outside.”

Florida also is making some changes to its much-maligned power play.

Claude Giroux was replaced on the top unit by Hornqvist, a player who is not afraid to get in front of the net and, as Brunette said, “creates some chaos, he’s a chaotic guy and sometimes you need that.’’

”We’re obviously going to be trying a whole bunch of different things,” Aaron Ekblad said, “trying to catch lightning in a bottle. It’s obviously been tough for us and that’s part of the reason we are in this. At the end of the day, it’s simple: Get pucks to the net, throw a number at the net. That’s something we’re going to try and do.”

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The Panthers have gone scoreless in 25 power play chances this postseason and is 0-7 against the Lightning.

”We’re moving some different things, I don’t know exactly,” Brunette said. “Obviously we’re in a funk and have to try something different here. We had a couple different combinations going, we’ll see tomorrow. It could all be different ones, who knows? We have a lot of good players here. We just need to find something that clicks.”

Brunette said every player will get the “opportunity the longer we play” when asked about veteran forward Joe Thornton not being in the lineup yet this postseason.

“He’s been a great soldier and has been really good for our group,” Brunette said. “He brings such enthusiasm and you talk about a guy who has seen everything, he has been through everything. He is a really good asset for us to lean on.”

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS 

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING (TB leads 2-0)

  • Game 3: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa 
  • TV/Streaming: TNT
  • Postgame: Bally Sports Florida
  • Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM 
  • Odds — Tampa Favored: Money Line (-110/-110); Puck line (-1.5, +200); Over/Under 6.5 (+100/120); Series (-360)
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

Coach: Andrew Brunette

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov //  28 Claude Giroux

11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 8 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair

98 Maxim Mamin // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 13 Sam Reinhart

94 Ryan Lomberg // 55 Noel Acciari // 70 Patric Hornqvist

8 Ben Chiarot // 5 Aaron Ekblad

42 Gus Forsling // 52 MacKenzie Weegar

7 Radko Gudas // 62 Brandon Montour

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

30 Spencer Knight

PP1: Reinhart – Barkov – Hornqvist – Huberdeau – Ekblad

PP2: Giroux – Bennett – Duclair – Verhaeghe – Montour

Scratched: Lucas Carlsson, Petteri Lindbohm, Joe Thornton, Robert Hagg, Jonas Johansson, Anton Lundell

Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR), Mason Marchment (LBI, d2d)

PROJECTED TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING LINEUP

Coach: Jon Cooper

91 Steven Stamkos // 71 Anthony Cirelli // 86 Nikita Kucherov

18 Ondrej Palat // 20 Nick Paul // 17 Alex Killorn

45 Cole Koepke // 79 Ross Colton // 10 Corey Perry

14 Pat Maroon // 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare // 16 Riley Nash

7 Victor Hedman // 81 Erik Cernak

27 Ryan McDonagh // 24 Zach Bogosian

98 Mikhail Sergachev // 52 Cal Foote

88 Andrei Vasilevskiy

1 Brian Elliott

PP1: Killorn – Stamkos – Perry – Hedman – Kucherov

PP2: Paul – Colton – Cirelli – Palat – Sergachev

Injured: Brayden Point (LBI, d2d)

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FHN Today: Florida Panthers hope ‘Comeback Cats’ still a thing

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TAMPA — The Florida Panthers have been making comebacks all season long. They are desperately in need of another.

Down 2-0 in their series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Panthers may just be in their comfort zone.

Even if it really does not feel that way.

“We realize the opportunity in front of us to get it to 2-1 and if we do, then it’s ‘go-time’,” Aaron Ekblad said on Saturday. “We are a resilient group, have been down in games and know how to battle back, how to keep it light and find a way to breathe positivity in that room to give us a chance. …

“You saw New York come back from down 3-1 and that’s even more nerve-wracking so it’s 2-0 and we’re facing adversity. We’re confident we can come out and play a good, strong game. … The fact that we’re resilient is awesome. You love to see it. We’re comfortable because we can be down 2-0 and come into practice today and put our work hats on and go to work.”

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The Panthers are now in a position where, to move on to the Eastern Conference final, they need to win four of the final five games in this series.

Three of those games being in Tampa certainly does not make this hill any easier to climb.

Florida is just going the old one-game-at-a-time route.

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”It’s playoff hockey and every game is going to be hard whether it is at home or on the road,” Sam Bennett said. “It’s short-term memory. It stung in the moment, but you move on and just look to the next game. That’s really all we can do. We’re a dynamic team and have gone through quite a bit of adversity. It’s just another challenge for us.”

PANTHERLAND

Are the Florida Panthers out of this series? Not by a long shot. Here are some things they need to do to get right back into it.

— The Panthers practiced in a foggy rink on Saturday following a heavy round of rainstorms the night before. After losing Thursday night, the mood seemed to fit.

— Old pals the Checkers and Thunderbirds meet in Round 3 which starts today. The Panthers are obviously familiar with Springfield since it used to be their affiliate until the two split in 2020. This is Florida’s deepest AHL playoff run in as long as I can remember.

— Florida’s Stanley Cup hopes are hanging by a thread.

— Carter Verhaeghe making the most of his opportunities with the Panthers.

— Thursday night’s postgame media sessions are up on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel — if you want to hear from Eetu Luostarinen, Sergei Bobrovsky and Brunette, check it out.

Will also have a special pregame from Tampa (if I can find a place to record) and postgame today.

If you like what you see on the YouTube channel, please subscribe!

THUNDERDOME

There isn’t much of a rivalry between Miami and Tampa. Yeah, we know.

— Anthony Cirelli is a teammate players want to be around.

— The Lightning are not changing much — and why should it?

AROUND THE NHL

Nazem Kadri collides with St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington who leaves the game — and then apparently chucks a water bottle at Kadri while he does his postgame on TNT. Fun night for the Colorado Avalanche.

Bryan Rust will be staying in Pittsburgh for the long haul.

— Is Bruins team president Cam Neely moving on from coach Bruce Cassidy?

— The coolest name in minor league hockey — the ECHL Savannah Ghost Pirates will be affiliated with the Vegas Golden Knights.

— The Oilers fell behind early but rallied to beat the Calgary Flames in Game 2.

— The Carolina Hurricanes are up 2-0 on the Rangers.

— After leading the Stars to the Cup Final in 2020, Rick Bowness stepped down and his staff was let go as well.

— The relationship between the stars of the Pittsburgh Penguins is pretty deep.

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS 

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING (TB leads 2-0)

  • Game 3: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa 
  • TV/Streaming: TNT
  • Postgame: Bally Sports Florida
  • Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM 
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE

PANTHERS V. LIGHTNING

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Marlins vs. Braves: Start time, how to watch and game thread—May 22, 2022

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Welcome to Sunday’s Marlins (17-22, +16 RD) vs. Braves (19-21, -10 RD) game thread. For what feels like the hundredth time in his career, Sandy Alcantara takes the mound tasked with preventing the Fish from getting swept in a series. Both teams are wearing camouflage hats in honor of Armed Forces Day.

Our free Marlins prop bets contest has returned…with a few tweaks.

Use this Fish Picks link prior to every Marlins series to submit your predictions. I have divided the Marlins schedule into nine separate “innings” and will be awarding a BreakingT t-shirt to each inning’s points leader. The second inning runs from May 20 through June 9.


Braves Starting Lineup

  1. DH Ronald Acuña Jr. (151, 141)
  2. 1B Matt Olson (132, 132)
  3. LF Marcell Ozuna (84, 114)
  4. C Travis d’Arnaud (112, 99)
  5. 3B Austin Riley (126, 116)
  6. 2B Ozzie Albies (93, 107)
  7. SS Dansby Swanson (98, 89)
  8. CF Adam Duvall (60, 95)
  9. RF Travis Demeritte (99, 72)

RHP Ian Anderson

Anderson’s 2022 pitch distribution and Statcast percentile rankings
Anderson’s 2022 pitch distribution and Statcast percentile rankings
Baseball Savant

Notes: William Contreras made the difference in Saturday’s game with two home runs. That’s more than all Marlins catchers have totaled this season…Kenley Jansen has allowed runs in back-to-back appearances after throwing up zeroes in 13 of his previous 14 games.

Marlins Starting Lineup

  1. 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr. (157 wRC+ this season, career 108 wRC+)
  2. 1B Jesús Aguilar (115, 113)
  3. DH Garrett Cooper (117, 118)
  4. RF Avisaíl García (60, 102)
  5. 3B Brian Anderson (127, 112)
  6. CF Jesús Sánchez (98, 101)
  7. LF Bryan De La Cruz (132, 119)
  8. SS Erik González (48, 63)
  9. C Jacob Stallings (60, 86)

RHP Sandy Alcantara

Alcantara’s 2022 pitch distribution and Statcast percentile rankings
Alcantara’s 2022 pitch distribution and Statcast percentile rankings
Baseball Savant

Lineup Changes from Previous Game: Aguilar, González and Stallings in, Payton Henry, Miguel Rojas and Jorge Soler out; Cooper switches from 1B to DH

Pregame Roster Moves: Joe Dunand recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville, Daniel Castano optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville; Richard Bleier sent on rehab assignment to Jacksonville

Additional Notes: Great news on Chisholm, who was visibly hurting in the final innings on Saturday, but might not miss any time after all. Dunand has been called up in case he re-aggravates his left knee issue, or if Rojas (left calf tightness) requires some time off.


How to Watch/Listen/Follow

First pitch is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. ET. Watch on Bally Sports Florida—Paul Severino and Tommy Hutton in the booth—or listen to the radio broadcast on Fox Sports 940 Miami (Kyle Sielaff and J.P. Arencibia). Out-of-market viewers can stream the game on MLB.TV.

Louis Addeo-Weiss and Kevin Barral are representing Fish Stripes at LoanDepot Park as credentialed reporters. Follow them on Twitter (@addeo_louis00 and @kevin_barral) for in-game updates. Louis will handle the game recap article.

Three of the four Marlins full-season minor league affiliates are also in action. Follow @FishProspects for notes and highlights.

DraftKings Odds

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