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jcy

The voices and footsteps from the stage echoed back into the wings, and the familiar nervous exhilaration prickled across Lainie’s skin, raising goosebumps on her bare forearms and rousing butterflies beneath the tight lacing of her gown. She had thoroughly enjoyed her television work this past year, but she’d missed the visceral, bone-deep thrill of theatre. There was nothing quite like performing live.

She inserted the tip of her little finger beneath a ribbon and pulled hard. The Jacobean corsetry, however, she could do without. Her 1920s costumes for Knightsbridge might be hellishly unflattering on anyone with hips, but they didn’t squeeze her internal organs.

A burst of laughter from the audience eased a fraction of the tension from her neck and back. When the crowd was having a good time, and was generous in showing it, the energy was infectious.

It was still surreal that she was standing here, surrounded by so much history that the walls seemed to resonate with words and nerves and ghosts.

She wasn’t kidding herself. She’d been offered this festival role so the public could pay to watch her publicly insult and snog her husband, not because the director had watched her jiggling through the Charleston on telly and been struck with the vision of his ideal Beatrice, but whatever. She hadn’t been about to turn down the most famous theatre in London. And Much Ado About Nothing was one of her favourite plays, so it checked off two career goals in one contract.

Although it might have been better if the production team had picked one of Shakespeare’s bloody, violent tragedies for the gala run. Pressing her palm against the wooden beam next to her, Lainie leaned her cheek against her hand and listened to the faint strains of the deep cadence of Richard’s voice. The butterfly wings beat harder.

He really was a brilliant actor.

Inspiring to every other performer on the stage.


jcy Feb 6
jcy

Her hair swayed in the breeze, tickling the back of her neck

She was lounging in the hammock, under the tall beach tree

I could only see her back from where I was standing, but by the curvature of her neck I guessed she was reading

It had been 175 days since I’d last seen my wife

And now I was frozen, unable to move

She looked so peaceful, so beautiful

So soft and distinctly different from the active war zone I’d just left

And she didn’t know I was home

-Layla-

I spent most of my evenings in the hammock, enjoying the late August sun

Today I was reading, but sometimes I’d knit, or draw, or just watch the birds

I was trying to take my mind off the fact that it was my second wedding anniversary today, and I had no wife to spend it with

But all of a sudden I head a sound behind me, and turned my head

“Jasmine!” I cried, all but falling out of the hammock

She gave me the biggest grin I’d ever seen as she ran to steady me

I threw my arms around her, burying my face in her neck

And I started to sob with relief


jcy Feb 6
jcy

The clock had long ago struck twelve, and Captain Damien Rathbourne, Earl of Coulter, had developed a ferocious itch in his left leg. As that leg had been amputated over a year ago, he had no choice but to suffer in discomfort. The itch, of course, was the least of his pains. Tonight, the small things festered: women fastidiously avoided his eyes; conversations politely fixed on the weather rather than his health.

Half-foxed and wholeheartedly tired, he longed to leave. And yet at this late hour, guests still arrived. The latest announcement — Countess Something-or-Other — was a disaster. Her orange hair was twisted into a careless bun from which strands were already escaping. Her gown was outmoded, and her figure leaned towards chubby. As she walked down the stairs into the ballroom, she slipped on a step, and crashed into a gentleman. A ghastly silence swept the ball; a woman tittered.

“Unbelievable,” Damien muttered to himself.

Lord Darby, who stood near him, cast him a shocked look. “Countess Fraser? She’s a goddess.”

Damien’s gaze flicked back to the Countess. She had picked herself off the floor and appeared to be apologizing, her hands gesturing animatedly. She didn’t seem to be a beauty. “If you think so, you shouldn’t have much competition for her.”

“Are you mad? Countess Fraser could have her pick of any man.”

“She’s an Incomparable?” Damien was dubious.

““Course not,” Darby remonstrated. “I can compare her to loads of girls. She just comes out on top, is all.”

“She’s an Original, then.”

Darby waved his hand in denial. “No. Originals are all alike — snooty girls who think that wit and insult are synonymous.”

“Well-dowered?”

“Penniless, if rumor holds true.”

“Blue-blooded?”

“Before she married the now-departed Count Fraser, her people were nobodies.”

“Connected to the grand dames of London society?”

“So far as I can see, the women all hate her.”

“She’s a goddess?” Damien frowned dubiously.

“A goddess.” Darby affirmed. “Not Aphrodite, of course. But a goddess of little things gone right. You can’t understand unless you meet her.”

Damien shifted his weight from one crutch to the other. After Vitoria, it was as if his human interactions had been amputated along with his leg. His cohort stopped speaking to him of sport and war, and gradually withdrew from him altogether. Damien was suddenly furious with the purported goddess. He had everything but his leg, and yet could find no one. This mysterious woman had nothing and yet charmed everyone. He suddenly wanted to prove that she was like every other girl at the ball. She would be wretched. Conniving. And above all, she would be unable to meet his eyes.

“Well,” he said, striving to hide his anger. “Why don’t you introduce me then?”

Damien felt every eye in the ballroom carefully choose to look in another direction as he crutched his way across the ballroom. He could move at a reasonable clip; Darby barely had to slow his pace. The little things, however, irritated. Young maidens magically waved to friends across the room as they registered his direction; they dashed away lest he should corner them. Men fixed their gaze on some far away point. Damien gritted his teeth and clumped along.


jcy Feb 6
jcy

This is the story that changed my life. The best way to explain it is from the begining.

I was 15. I had an anxiety attack. I was growing up and was home schooled due to some previous issues with traditional schools. My mom and my late uncle (I miss you, uncle Bob) took me to the hospital. I remember ripping my ID bracelet off more than a couple times because I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t know it at the time but I needed help. This is the story of the rest of my life.

I spent 11 days in a children’s mental ward named P78. I met quite a few friends there and during my home schooling that helped shape my story. Little did they know at the time how much they would affect me.

I need to backtrack a little bit for this to make sense. The friends I met during home school would always talk to me about this girl they knew that nicknamed “dictionary” because she was so smart. They always tried to get us to meet but it never worked out. We were both a bit annoyed at their attempts so eventually they tried to trick us into meeting. I was brought to her house a few times but she was “never home”. In reality she was antisocial and just didn’t want to meet with people. They called her on the phone and had me speak with her a few times. Again, we were a bit annoyed at their attempts. Shortly after this is when I was admitted to the hospital.

A doctor at the ward recommended a school, Eleanor Gerson high school. It’s a school for troubled teens. It’s for kids who have mental issues that may give them trouble in normal schools. My first year went off normally. I made friends, got good grades, and was generally happy. In my second year I met her.

Flash forward to Freshman orientation of what ended up as my junior year. We were going through meeting the new kids with everyone introducing themselves and giving a bit of history of who they are. I saw her there. She had long black hair and was dressed in what at the time was the latest gear from Hot Topic. My buddy (who will not be named just like most others in this story won’t be) recognized her. He had me mention a mutual friend of him and the girl to help break the ice.

A couple days later on the bus ride home from school, I asked her what she thought of her first few days. I got a cold response along the lines of “I just got here, how can I have an opinion?” She tried to push me away but it was too late, I was already smitten. A couple months later she came with me to get myself a new pair of glasses. I was feeling bold and told her flat out “you’re my girlfriend now”.

Over the next couple of years we had a few ups and downs but stayed together for the most part. That is until she wrote me a letter. Her own past and insecurities were getting in the way of us being a “normal” couple. She needed to break it off to clear her mind.

I was devistated, but I had to move on. I was taking college prep classes and eventually had enough credits to only be coming to school a couple days a week. We saw each other less and less.


jcy Feb 6
jcy

Butter

Sugar

Flour

A pinch of cinnamon

“It looks delicious baby”

I turned around to see my husband behind me

“What are you making today?”

I smiled and pointed to the recipe on the counter

“Cinnamon bread? You spoil me”

I smiled again, and he placed a kiss on my bare shoulder

“How much longer do you have on these?”

I glanced at the clock, doing the math in my head

I held up 10 fingers

“Alright, I suppose I can wait”

I cocked my head at him, raising an eyebrow

“No, no, I’ll wait till you’re done. Finish your bread.”

I shook my head at him fondly, pouring the batter into the tin

“Hey”

I looked back at him

“You’re pretty”

I rolled my eyes, sprinkling the crumb topping over the batter

As soon as I placed the tin in the oven, I felt his arms wrapping around me


jcy Feb 6
jcy

Subscribe on iTunes!MIC LISTEN TO THE PODCAST:Audio Player00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

Here’s a piece of advice: Don’t read this story if you have just had a fight with your spouse or a co-worker. You will probably ignore it, despite its grounding in solid academic research. At least that’s what Maurice Schweitzer, a Wharton professor of operations and information management, would most likely suggest. In a recent paper written with Francesca Gino of Carnegie Mellon University, he shows that emotions not only influence people’s receptiveness to advice but they do so even when the emotions have no link to the advice or the adviser.

“We focus on incidental emotions, emotions triggered by a prior experience that is irrelevant to the current situation,” the two scholars note in their paper, titled “Blinded by Anger or Feeling the Love: How Emotions Influence Advice Taking.” “We find that people who feel incidental gratitude are more trusting and more receptive to advice than are people in a neutral emotional state, and that people in a neutral state are more trusting and more receptive to advice than are people who feel incidental anger.”

Schweitzer and Gino’s research has implications for all kinds of business dealings. Although not always discussed in these terms, relationships with lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, consultants and outside sales representatives all entail taking advice. Even internal corporate communications often boil down to giving and taking advice. When a task force prepares a report with recommendations for the CEO, the members of the group are giving him or her advice. When an internal auditor makes a suggestion to the CFO about how to depreciate an item of inventory, that’s advice as well.

At one level, Schweitzer and Gino’s conclusion seems obvious. Of course, people’s moods affect their frame of mind. Most people have felt stress or gloom seep into their thinking from time to time, coloring their overall outlook. When a friend or family member dies, for example, the world — at work, at home and at play — inevitably looks like a bleaker place.

Even so, until recently, economic analysis has taken as its premise the idea that, when it comes to dollars and cents, people can wall off their emotions. “Classical economics is predicated on this rational-man idea and also on the idea that mistakes will get extinguished by the market,” Schweitzer says.

One investment manager may be angry about losing a big bet on a ballgame and thus may underestimate the value of a stock recommended by an analyst. Another may be elated about the birth of a child and overestimate it. Orthodoxy says that a rational actor is out there to cancel out these mistakes and leave an efficient market behind.

But Schweitzer and Gino’s research suggests that emotions can systematically distort people’s receptiveness to advice and thus their rationality. And if everyone errs in similar ways, that could skew the classicists’ perfect calculus. “My intuition was that we often base complicated decisions on how we feel,” Schweitzer says. “If I ask you something complicated like, ‘Should we hire this person or should we buy this house?’ you have to consider a lot of attributes and compare a lot of complex things. So we often use a simple summary statistic, which is how we feel about the job candidate or the house. When we do that, we open ourselves up to the possibility of making a mistake based on emotion.”

KNOWLEDGE@WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL

Assessing Body Weight

That makes sense, but how do you prove it? Schweitzer and Gino designed experiments in which they — as difficult as it sounds — manipulated their subjects’ emotions, gave them advice and measured the effects. In their first experiment, they recruited college students and asked them to make a judgment about something they were sure they could not know for certain. In this case, they showed each subject a photograph of another person and asked them to estimate the body weight of the person in the photo. They then induced an emotion by having each subject watch a short movie clip. Some subjects saw an anger-inducing bit from The Bodyguard in which a man gets treated unfairly. Others viewed a gratitude-inducing clip from Awakenings in which another man receives an unexpected favor from his co-workers. And the rest saw a neutral outtake from a National Geographic documentary about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

In a separate study, the two scholars assessed how the videos induced different emotions. Because the students had no real connection to the scenes, the researchers could classify their reactions as incidental as opposed to integral. If you watch The Sopranos and then get angry with your spouse, that’s incidental emotion. If your spouse slaps you and you get angry with your spouse, that’s integral.

After watching the clips, the students reflected in writing on what they had seen and how it had made them feel, and then had a chance to re-estimate the weights of the people in the pictures. This time, they also received estimates that the researchers told them had been done by another participant. Though the subjects didn’t know it, everyone received the same set of second estimates. These estimates — the advice — were helpful, not misleading. “The emotion manipulations significantly influenced the accuracy of participants’ final estimates,” the two scholars state.

Participants “who experienced incidental gratitude weighed advice more heavily than did participants in a neutral state,” they write. “Participants who experienced incidental anger weighed advice less heavily than did participants in a neutral state. Even though the emotions induced in this study were unrelated to the judgment task, we find that these emotions significantly changed the extent to which participants relied upon advice.”

Schweitzer and Gino also wanted to gauge the role that trust has in the interplay of emotion and advice. They thus designed a second experiment that mostly repeated the first. But this time, before asking the students to do the second estimate, they asked them how much they trusted the anonymous adviser, who was simply described as a previous study participant.

The results resembled the first set. The angry people showed the least trust, while the people experiencing gratitude, the most.

In the real world, as opposed to a behavioral lab, these findings play out in all sorts of ways. Co-workers, for example, often annoy each other, sometimes for legitimate reasons, like missed deadlines, and sometimes for silly ones, like how stupid someone’s laugh sounds. And sometimes, a person will get ticked off and fail to heed another’s good counsel just because of a bad mood.

“If I’m angry at my wife and therefore trust you less and am less receptive to your advice, then that’s clearly irrational,” Schweitzer says. “The fact that my wife crashed my car has nothing to do with you. But maybe I’m angry because you cancelled our last meeting and now we’re interacting again. Maybe there’s some real information about your reliability in the fact that you cancelled our meeting. It takes a controlled, clean experiment to disentangle rational reasons from biased ones. What we haven’t shown [with this study] but I’m confident would work is that, if you do something that makes me angry, then I trust your advice differently.”

A Wing and a Prayer

Schweitzer says that people with what he calls “high emotional intelligence” are probably already putting his and Gino’s insights into action without even knowing it. “Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions and understand how they operate and also the ability to manipulate or change them. If I have emotional intelligence, I know what the right time to talk to my boss is. I know that my new partners had a terrible flight and lost their luggage and aren’t going to be receptive to what I’m saying, so I shouldn’t make my pitch right now. Or I know that, if I take them to this particular restaurant or I buy tickets to this Indy car race, I can shift their emotional state to feeling more gratitude toward me and listening to me.”

Skilled negotiators tend to have high levels of this kind of aptitude, and they apply it in small, subtle ways when they are doing their work. They might, for example, apologize for a perceived wrong, even when no apology was expected or required. Or they might, during a particularly tense time, call for a break, go get a soda and also bring something back for the people on the other side of the table.

“Anything that causes someone to feel some gratitude could help them,” Schweitzer says. “Some people might start off a meeting with a prayer.” If the participants are religious, that can put them in a gracious frame of mind. Of course, if they aren’t, it can annoy them. All of these tactics demand subtlety and sensitivity, notes Schweitzer, who teaches negotiations. “Warren Buffett sometimes starts off his speeches by talking about how blessed we are to be living in this time and in this great country. That gratitude spills over and can influence what his listeners think about what he has to say.”

Schweitzer sees what he and Gino observed operating in all sorts of business interactions. When a sales person takes a client to a ball game, for example, he’s not just cozying up in the obvious way. He’s also creating a sense of gratitude. When a drug rep brings lunch to a doctor’s office, she’s doing the same thing. “Can this backfire?” he asks. “Yes. If it doesn’t seem genuine, people aren’t going to believe it. Suppose that I try to induce gratitude and I go over the top. That’s the sales rep who’s giving too many gifts.” Push it too far, in other words, and you could end up making someone angry.

jcy
Learning to Love Your Negative Emotions

As a child, I remember instinctively licking my wounds without anybody having taught me how to. Later on, I was able to overcome psychological pain by following my inner child’s guidance. I strongly believe that we as humans have an amazing intrinsic ability to heal ourselves, both physically and emotionally.

Long before I heard about emotional intelligence, when I was going through some challenging times, I remember my friend asking: “How do you manage to stay so calm all the time?”

“I just know why I feel the way I feel,” I replied. “That makes it easy to manage the feeling.”  

In reality I was like a bulletproof glass that seemed unbreakable — but if you hit it with sufficient force in a specific spot, it would shatter into pieces. In order to hold myself together, I was telling myself things like, “It’s not the circumstances, it’s our attitude that defines us,” and “This too shall pass.” I was repeating positive affirmations, unintentionally. I also followed my burning desire to create and rekindled my old passion for painting. Unknowingly, I picked myself up emotionally

Now, when I have better educated myself and learned about emotional health and emotional intelligence, it became much easier to manage my inner world and to connect with others in a healthier way as well

If we aim to be absolutely positive, we must cultivate a favorable attitude towards our negative emotions as well. Instead of bashing and avoiding them at all cost, we should accept them and welcome the messages and lessons that they carry for us.

Negative emotions are natural, and have some great benefits that are often overlooked.

Negative emotions add spice to our life

Although we may not like it spicy, everyone will face some negative situations in their life. It is just inevitable. The longer you live, the more discomfort you will feel, the more loss you will face, the more frustrated you may get. What if instead of getting bitter, we looked at negative circumstances as our lessons and celebrated our ability to feel? If we can feel it, we are still alive.

Being able to experience a wide range of emotions makes our life richer.

a full range of emotions makes our life richer

Negative emotions are essential for our survival

Negative emotions are built-in instincts that are necessary for our survival. They notify us about dangerous conditions outside. They send the signals to our body and brain when our well-being may be at risk, so that we can deal with those threats effectively.

They keep our bodies alive by preventing us from jumping off the cliff or walking on the highway.

They also let us know in a more subtle way when our surroundings are not good for our mental health. They will keep nagging you and pushing in the right direction if you happen to go astray. Your “gut feeling” will always tell you if there is something that’s not working and needs to change in your life, whether it is a draining relationship or job that makes you miserable.

The negative makes you appreciate the positive more

Through the darkest night comes the brightest light.

One of the greatest benefits of our negative emotions is that they can intensify our positive emotions later. Like in art, the shadows emphasize the light colors and make them appear brighter. As Rumi said so well:

Sorrow … shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.  

– Jalaluddin Rumi

Just think of how many times we take things for granted until we lose them, and how much joy we have when we gain them back.

Experiencing negative emotions makes you more empathetic towards others

Another great benefit of having negative emotions is developing the ability to empathize. They say that people who have suffered the most have the biggest hearts. As John Steinbeck wrote: 

You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.

– John Steinbeck

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

jcy

Some people like to say “everything happens for a reason.”

But I think that’s bullshit.

Was there a reason the love of my life died in a car crash at 23?

I didn’t think so. I told you. Bullshit.

Eric and I were the type of couple that beat all the odds.

We made it through long distance. We made it through moving cities. We made it through the death of his mom. Through all the change, our love was one constant I could rely on.

Our routine used to go like this;

I’d wake up at 6:45 in our shitty little bed in our shitty little apartment in NYC.

He’d already be up, of course. He’s an early bird.

I used to hate mornings.

I could hardly drag myself out of bed to the smell of the breakfast he was making me.

Now I stumble out of bed right away. There’s no use trying to stay longer in a cold, empty bed, all by myself.

I’d go to work, be home around 5:00.

Eric didn’t get home until 6:00, so I’d make dinner.

Lasagna was his favorite. I always complained about how much work it was and didn’t make it enough.

If he was still here I’d make lasagna every night.

After dinner, we’d watch TV, or play video games, or read our books. Always in the same room.

Sometimes we wouldn’t do anything, just sit and talk for hours. Eric was always great to talk to.


jcy Feb 6
jcy
It was just a quick-hit edition of the list two weeks ago in the Fantasy Forecaster when we mentioned Jonathan Marchessault, Alexander Radulov, Artem Anisimov, Zach Werenski and Cam Fowler as five players who werent anywhere close to universally owned in ESPN fantasy leagues, but should be. Cheap Packers Jerseys . Its good to see all five have climbed up in ownership percentage since then.We want to argue for another five players here. The reasons for trepidation are different for each, but fantasy owners need to let go of their fear and embrace these guys as contributors for the remainder of the season.Nazem Kadri, C, Toronto Maple Leafs: Even though hes getting ice time on what is arguably the Leafs third line, Kadri is operating as if he is the Leafs top forward. Currently on pace for a 60-point season, there is a strong likelihood his 20.6 shooting percentage regresses and brings down his goal-scoring pace. But he could also easily start playing more than the 15:21 he is currently averaging in ice time per game. All told, Kadri is stepping up in a big way in this young Leafs offense, and his 54.6 percent ownership in ESPN leagues is well below the threshold hes established -- even accounting for a slip in his goals and penalty minutes.Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Winnipeg Jets: No matter how the Jets shake out their lines going forward, Ehlers is near-golden for a prime spot. With Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine and Blake Wheeler all acting as superstar catalysts in the top six, Ehlers will almost assuredly remain tied to one or more of them. A recent run of 10 points in five games shows that he can be streaky, but thats OK. There are more streaks to come. If you are patient with Ehlers through the cold spells, hell provide more than adequate fantasy value in your lineup at the end of the season -- especially if the Jets power play ever finds its footing with some permanence. Owned in only 65.7 percent of ESPN leagues, Ehlers is there for the taking.Charlie Coyle, RW/LW, Minnesota Wild: While his numbers dont leap off the page like Kadri or Ehlers, Coyle is playing big minutes on the top line for a winning Wild team. With just shy of 18 minutes per game on the ice, Coyle is on a clear pace to eclipse his 21 goals and 21 assists from last season. Hes managed to keep up the pace with Zach Parise sidelined, and should elevate his pace once Eric Staal, Parise and Coyle get more than eight games to establish their rhythm. Owned in only 27.6 percent of ESPN leagues, Coyle should be a staple as your eighth or ninth forward.Damon Severson, D, New Jersey Devils: We werent sure if the Devils would try something different this season after getting underwhelming offensive contributions from the blue line in recent campaigns. Its not a wholesale changing of the guard, but Severson has been positioned as the clear power-play quarterback as opposed to the rotation the team had last season. With 11 points in 14 games, Seversons pace will come down to Earth in the near future, but maybe not as much as one might think. His current pace of 64 points is a little out of the realm of possibility, but there is no reason Severson cant get 50 points playing as the main offensive defenseman on a team with Taylor Hall powering the attack. Owned in just 55.6 percent of ESPN leagues, Severson is a freebie No. 2 fantasy defenseman for the taking.Craig Anderson, G, Ottawa Senators: Andersons ratios are in the unsustainable range right now, but there are some signs that he can at least somewhat keep up a strong pace this season. First and foremost is the evidence that the Senators quality defense is a team effort. Mike Condon has stepped in twice for Anderson in November and stopped 58 of 59 pucks thrown his way. That kind of play by a backup who came into the season without a clear job speaks volumes to the teams defensive play -- even if it was the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres facing Condon. Secondly, while Anderson has allowed four goals on three occasions this season, we are now 11 games into his campaign without a blowup of five or more goals allowed. Those are the games that have killed his value in the past. We arent saying its not going to happen, but getting about 20 percent of the way through his season without one is a very good sign. Finally, we have a nice improvement for far in the Senators penalty killing, which can go a long way to preserving a goaltenders ratios. The Sens were 29th last season on the kill, at 75.8 percent. So far this season, they are seventh in the NHL, at 86.4 percent. The difference is reflected in Andersons save percentage and can help keep his numbers in line with that of a No. 2 fantasy goaltender if the trend continues. Owned in 65.6 percent of ESPN leagues, Anderson needs to be on rosters in all formats.Forwards rising and fallingNick Foligno, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets (up 98 spots to No. 70): Yet another example of how we all had this Blue Jackets offense pegged wrong coming into this campaign. Leading the team with Zach Werenski and Alexander Wennberg, Foligno was the only one of the three to actually be drafted in some leagues coming into the season, but his 143.8 average draft position shows he was just a late flier. Now, a month and a half into season, Foligno, Werenski and Wennberg are fueling a 7-4-2 start by the Jackets. The best part about this for fantasy owners who jumped on board with Foligno already is that hes done this before. Sure, last season was a write off and had us believing that he couldnt be a fantasy contributor without Ryan Johansen. But we were wrong. The name didnt matter as much as Foligno simply playing with a quality center. Wennberg has filled that void, and helped Foligno to get closer to his pace from the 2014-15 season when he had 31 goals and 73 points. Hoping for a repeat of those totals might be a bit too optimistic, but not by too much. Hopefully you were quicker than we were to embrace Folignos resurgence with open arms.Evgeny Kuznetsov, C, Washington Capitals (down 15 spots to No. 48): Wed be a lot less worried about Kuznetsovs slow start if the Capitals didnt have Nicklas Backstrom around. But as it stands, the hill Kuznetsov will have to climb to get back into his plum position next to Alex Ovechkin becomes ever steeper. His seven points in 14 games to open the season has him squarely in the dog house, as Kuznetsov is now on the second line and second power-play unit after starting the season on the first for both. Backstrom isnt streaking by any means by comparison, but has picked up the pace since he and Kuznetsov swapped roles. We arent saying the third-year Russian is down for the count just yet, but hes certainly not looking like the third-round draft pick he was at the start of the season.Marian Hossa, RW, Chicago Blackhawks (up 27 spots to No. 101): A little respect for Hossa here, as hes stringing together a nice little bounce-back campaign. Settling in nicely as the winger with Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov, Hossa has eight goals in his past nine games. Hes not going to keep it up to quite this pace, as a 23.6 shooting percentage is close to double his career average, but staying healthy is going to go a long way to Hossa regaining his status as an elite winger this season. Just dont forget that he is scoring twice as often this season compared to last season and will turn 38 in January. Hes great to have on your team right now, but probably isnt a trade target for whom you want to pay market price.Defensemen rising and fallingCam Fowler, D, Anaheim Ducks (up 27 spots to No. 155): While its likely the Ducks are easing Hampus Lindholm back into the lineup, its also very promising that through three games since getting Lindholm back, Fowlers ice time remains sky high. Even if we are to believe the rumors that Fowler is on the block, this kind of usage could keep up as the team showcases his potential value. Fowler is leading the Ducks in both ice time per game and power-play ice time per game. Until that changes, we need to start looking at him as the fantasy darling hes been so far.Goaltenders rising and fallingMatt Murray, G, Pittsburgh Penguins (up 28 spots to No. 74): Weve seen enough to call this one in favor of Murray for the time being. Marc-Andre Fleury isnt out of the mix and will still play a ton of hockey, but Murray looks every bit the goaltender that took over the crease late last season and backstopped the Penguins to the Stanley Cup. Through four games, Murray has four wins, and has posted a .961 save percentage that makes Fleurys .910 look particularly underwhelming given that its the same team in front of them.Quick hitsThe Dallas Stars dont seem anywhere close to being over their injury woes, and Antoine Roussel continues to pile up enough offense that he may get some top-six consideration even after Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza and Jiri Hudler are back in the mix. Furthermore, Roussel has peripheral value as an annual leader in penalty minutes.The Anaheim Ducks are still playing Nick Ritchie on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. We still think that role is ultimately going to Rickard Rakell, but this continued presence of Ritchie certainly takes some of the shine off Rakell for now.Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastien Aho had their first relevant game (in fantasy terms) as Caroline Hurricanes on Saturday. Unfortunately for any potential momentum, they managed the feat with Jordan Staal playing center for them, and Staal is now day-to-day with a wrist injury.Anthony Mantha played 18:58 in his season debut with the Red Wings on Saturday, including a team-high 5:38 on the power play. Mantha finally looks like hes solved the pro hockey circuit this season, scoring eight goals and two assists in 10 AHL games to start the season. The Red Wings are starved to find some consistency on offense, and Mantha might offer them an opportunity to do just that.The latest Connor McDavid watch has Tyler Pitlick replacing Jordan Eberle on the top line. Even if its only temporary, take notice of Pitlicks potential for this coming week.And moving east, the latest Sidney Crosby watch has Connor Sheary replacing Carl Hagelin on the top line. Even if its only temporary, take notice of Shearys potential for this coming week.We declared Robby Fabbri dead to us last week, but coach Ken Hitchcock is pushing his buttons the right way. After making Fabbri a healthy scratch, Hitchcock brought him back into the lineup on Saturday in a top-line role with Vladimir Tarasenko. Fabbri responded with two goals. Stay tuned.With Drew Stafford, Mathieu Perreault and Bryan Little all on the shelf, Nic Petan is serving as the Winnipeg Jets final top-six forward. He has four assists in his past four games, and will continue subtle contributions so long as he can retain a role on a scoring line. Really, any warm body would in this Jets top six.Top 250 rankingsHere are the updated rest-of-season, top 250 rankings of forwards, defensemen and goalies, including position ranks.Note: Sean Allens top 250 players are ranked for their expected performance in ESPN standard leagues from this point on. ESPN standard stats include goals, assists, power-play points, shots on goal, plus/minus, penalty minutes and average time on ice for skaters, and wins, goals-against average and save percentage for goalies. Custom Packers Jersey China . Kozun faked to the forehand and beat Monsters starter, Calvin Pickard, pad side in the second round for the winner. Spencer Abbott also scored in the shootout for the Marlies (25-13-4). Cheap Custom Packers Jersey .C. -- Rodney Hood connected from all over the court while freshman Jabari Parker was busy swatting shots and scoring in transition. http://www.custompackersjersey.com/ . -- Yogi Ferrell orchestrates pretty much everything in Indianas offence.Usain Bolt recorded his third lowest career time on Saturday – but still managed to claim an easy victory in the 100 metres at the Cayman Invitational. Starting in lane four, the six-time Olympic gold medallist had a moderate start in his season-opening race before moving away from the field in the last 60 metres and cruising to the finishing line.Bolt, the current world 100 metres and 200 metres record holder, declared himself satisfied with his first test since last years World Championships in Beijing, despite posting a time of 10.05.  Im just glad I got out of that one injury-free, Its a season-opener so you never know what to expect, the 29-year-old said.  Bolt: Id play for Utd if LVG left Usain Bolt says he still dreams of playing for Man Utd, as long as Louis van Gaal is not the manager I havent run all season so I expected to be rusty, and just like last season, I need more races to get sharp.So Im not worried, just about working up to the top now.Now my coach (Glen Mills) can analyse the race, see what we need to do, see what wee need to work on and move from there. Packers Jerseys China. His time still proved too much for the rest of the field, with American Dentarius Locke finishing in second (10.12) and Jamaican compatriot Kemar Bailey-Cole in third (10.18). Gatlin impresses in Shanghai Justin Gatlin broke the 10-second mark for the first time this year at the mens 100m in Shanghai However, Bolt conceded he still had work to do before Jamaica hold their Olympic trials at the end of June ahead of the summer games in Rio. I wanted to run fast, I was feeling good in training. But you never know because running in training and running at a track meet is two different things, he added. Its all about race fitness, so like last year, I need to get a few more races under my belt and by trials time Ill be ready Im sure. Also See: Bolt: Id play for Utd if LVG left Gatlin impresses in Shanghai Conquering heights in the US Ennis-Hill may change Rio plans ' ' '
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Are the Thunder a top-four team in the Western Conference? What trades should they make?Our NBA Insiders preview Oklahoma Citys 2016-17 season. Rod Rutledge Jersey Retro . Randy Coffield Jersey Retro . James, who turned 29 on Monday, injured his groin Friday during the Heats overtime loss at Sacramento. He sat out the following game, a 108-107 win Saturday in Portland, before coming back to help send the Nuggets to their seventh consecutive loss. Shawne Merriman Jersey Retro . Duchene scored two goals and had an assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night to match the best 10-game start in team history. https://www.cheapjerseyslines.com/jordan-franks-jersey-retro/ . -- The Magic have their first victory of the new year. This story is part of ESPN The Magazines Oct. 31 NBA Preview Issue. Subscribe today!Seattle MarinersOverall: 78 Title track: 115 Ownership: 85 Coaching: 88 Players: 95 Fan relations: 73 Affordability: 86 Stadium experience: 14 Bang for the buck: 65 Change from last year: +26Another year, another October without a postseason for Mariners fans. But at least 2016, under new general manager Jerry Dipoto and new manager Scott Servais, provided a winning season with real playoff possibility into the final weekend. Of course, it looks like the fans who bumped the Mariners up 26 spots in the standings this year have short memories: The past three times Seattle just missed the postseason, it completely collapsed the next year.Whats goodSafeco Field is still one of the best parks in the game (14th in stadium experience), with Lookout Landing in particular providing some of the most picturesque views in the game. While Seattles promotional schedule is great -- this year included a beard hat, BBQ tongs and a moose bank -- the best souvenirs at Safeco come from the likes of Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano (the roster combined for 223 home runs this season, third in MLB). This year, hitting coach and beloved former Mariner Edgar Martinez provided a boost to the offense and helped the Mariners go from an average of fewer than 3.4 runs per game when he took over midway through 2015 to nearly five runs per game this year.Whats badThe Mariners have the dubious honor of holding MLBs longest active postseason drought, currently at 15 seeasons (which explains that title track ranking of 115th, second-worst in MLB). Donald Payne Jersey Retro. Although they came close to ending that frustrating streak this year, the challenge might not get any easier as their best players age. Cano and Cruz had great seasons in 2016, but they turn 34 and 36 years old, respectively, next season. Ace Felix Hernandez will be (relatively) younger, at 31, but his pitching has been in decline. Hernandez is still one of the best in the game, but having spent his entire career in Seattle, he has never been to the postseason. To end that drought -- and help improve a 95th-place ranking for the roster -- the King and his Court need to be in top form in 2017.Whats newA 20-point jump in ownership might seem odd since Nintendo, which bought the Mariners in 1992 and likely saved them from leaving the city, actually sold its majority ownership this summer. The buyers? Seventeen local owners, making them the first ownership group since 1981 that actually lives in Seattle. Thats important. While Nintendo did good things for the Mariners (such as signing team legend Ichiro Suzuki), the new local owners will care much more about winning -- because they will want to avoid taking considerable heat for losing. New CEO John Stanton, who recalls crying when the Seattle Pilots left in 1970, will be far superior to former CEO Howard Lincoln.Next: Cincinnati Reds?| Full rankings ' ' '
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