DENVER (AP) Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth set career highs this season in goals Youth Jamie McGinn Jersey , games and perhaps even grudges.See what a little chip on the shoulder can do?Waived by Dallas in October, he was claimed by Colorado soon after and has played an integral role in helping the Avalanche return to the postseason. He’s not alone: These playoffs are filled with castoffs who were put on waivers, only to find a revamped role with a new team.It’s not personal. It’s just business. Players realize this. But still, being waived goodbye is hard to swallow.”Of course you want to prove them wrong,” said Nemeth, whose team trails 3-1 heading to Nashville for Game 5 on Friday night. ”You want to prove you can play and that they were wrong. That’s always going to be in the back of your head – at least for me.”When Avs defenseman Mark Barberio was cut by Montreal last year, so many thoughts swirled through his head: What went wrong? Next stop, the minors? Is there still even a role for him in the league?It was a whirlwind 24 hours – the amount of time teams have to make a claim – before the Avs picked him up.”Colorado saw something in me and decided to give me a chance,” Barberio said. ”I’ve gotten a chance to play regular minutes, and a coaching staff I feel believes in me. I’m trying to repay that faith every time I play.”That sort of feeling is shared by center Ryan Carpenter, who was claimed by Vegas from Anaheim on Dec. 13. He’s now heading to the second round with the expansion Golden Knights. Carpenter had a key assist in a Game 3 win over Los Angeles.”It’s amazing … how things can change in pro hockey Womens Jared McCann Jersey ,” Carpenter said on the team’s website. ”I feel like a little kid right now playing in playoffs. It’s exciting and we want to keep this thing going. It’s nice when you feel like you’re contributing. I never would’ve though in the middle of December I’d be playing right now.”Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser was in a similar boat. He was claimed after St. Louis put him on waivers in late November, returning the nine-year NHL veteran to his home-state team for another stint. The Wild previously claimed Prosser off waivers from St. Louis on Oct. 2, 2014, after he had signed with the Blues that summer but was let go just before the season.A reliable defenseman, he has taken on added responsibility after an injury to Ryan Suter.”It puts the onus on the rest of us to amp up our game a little bit,” Prosser said. ”Just different parts of the game we’ve got to make sure we’re honing in on.”Then there’s Stefan Noesen , who’s had quite a path to wind up with the New Jersey Devils. Drafted by Ottawa in the first round in 2011 and traded to Anaheim in ’13, he was claimed by the Devils on Jan. 25, 2017. He had his first playoff goal in Game 3 against Tampa Bay.”Just because you get put on waivers doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t play,” Nemeth said. ”Sometimes the situation is the way it is and you need a new opportunity.”That was the case for Nemeth, a second-round pick by Dallas in 2010. He played in a career-high 68 games for Colorado Jonathan Huberdeau Jersey , with three goals, 12 assists and a plus-27 rating, which was the highest by an Avalanche defenseman since Adam Foote in 2002-03 – the benefits of a change in scenery.”It could be different scenarios,” Nemeth said of factors leading to being placed on waivers. ”Sometimes, it’s just too many guys. Sometimes, your coach might not like you or might not appreciate what you bring to the table. It’s just different, depending on what situation you’re in. For me personally, it was good.”Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens went through the experience last fall – with his own team. He was reassigned to San Antonio in the American Hockey League before spending the last seven weeks with Colorado. He made his playoff debut in the Predators series.”This is such a competitive league,” said Siemens, a first-round pick by Colorado in 2011. ”There are so many good hockey players out there. Your first chance could be your last chance. Anytime you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it because you don’t know if you’re going to get another one.”—AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed to this report.— PHILADELPHIA (AP) Claude Giroux carried the Philadelphia Flyers into the playoffs.The Hart Trophy candidate might be the reason they get knocked out in the first round if he can’t become the force the Flyers need to have a chance against the Pittsburgh Penguins.Only six years ago http://www.floridapanthersteamshops.com/authentic-keith-yandle-jersey , Giroux was dubbed ”best in the world” by former coach Peter Laviolette after he posted six goals and eight assists in six games and a rare playoff series win over the Penguins. Playing in a major market, Giroux was on his way toward NHL superstardom.Six years later, the Penguins have won two Stanley Cups, the Flyers haven’t advanced out of the first round and Giroux’s standing as one of the NHL’s best has wildly fluctuated: The 30-year-old followed two mediocre seasons with a career year this season, reaching personal highs in goals (34), assists (68) and points (102). He added a hat trick on the final day.His production has again vanished in the playoffs.The Flyers captain has no goals and one assist in three games – the Penguins hold a 2-1 series lead headed into Game 4 (7 p.m. EDT Wednesday, NBCSN) – in a postseason slump that dates to 2014. He again had no goals and one assist in six games against Washington in 2016 and scored two goals in seven games in 2014 against the New York Rangers. Giroux’s last playoff goal came on April 29, 2014.In the Game 3 loss to Pittsburgh, Giroux took four shots on goal and led the Flyers with 10 shot attempts – four on goal, one that was blocked and five that missed.”There’s a lot of hockey left to play here,” Giroux said. ”I have no doubt that we’re going to come out strong in Game 4.”Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds (who dropped from 31 goals in 2017 to 24 this season) are also scoreless for the Flyers.”Our team’s got to elevate our play overall Womens Authentic Nick Bjugstad Jersey ,” coach Dave Hakstol said. ”There’s nothing drastic that needs to be done.”That didn’t stop Hakstol from mixing up his lines at practice Tuesday, when Sean Couturier was injured. There was no immediate word on his status.The Flyers have hit these rough patches before, losing 10 straight games over November and December before bouncing back to land in the postseason.”Our guys have been through similar situations,” Hakstol said. ”This one’s just a little bit more elevated.”The Penguins will play Game 4 without Patric Hornqvist, who has a goal and two assists in the series and is out with an undisclosed injury. He was on the top line with Sidney Crosby in Game 3 and was third in the league in power-play goals this season. Hornqvist was checked from behind into the boards by Philadelphia’s Andrew MacDonald in Game 3.CLOSE IT OUTOnly four NHL teams have taken a 3-0 series lead like San Jose has over Anaheim and lost a best-of-seven series. The Sharks just happen to be one of them, having collapsed against the Los Angeles Kings four years ago in the first round. That’s one reason why the Sharks head into Game 4 at home against the Ducks (10:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Golf Channel) with a sense of urgency to close out this series.”Enough has happened in this room where I think we understand the challenges that still lie ahead of us,” captain Joe Pavelski said. ”We want a good start, we want to come out and put it on the line. We’re going to have to earn this next game for sure.”The Sharks have controlled the series, outscoring Anaheim 14-3 following an 8-1 victory in Game 3. Anaheim allowed four power-play goals as the Ducks lost their composure as well as the game.”I mean, we got to win a game Roberto Luongo Jersey ,” captain Ryan Getzlaf said. ”Our focus has got to be to win that Game 4 and that’s all we can do.”SPIRITED PRACTICENashville turned up the intensity in practice Tuesday, complete with some light hitting and vigorous battles for the puck in front of goaltender Pekka Rinne.This is a reason for the stepped-up pace: Being outscored by a 5-0 margin by Colorado in the first period of the series.”Today was a perfect practice for that. It wasn’t about easing into practice,” said Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis, whose team leads the Avalanche 2-1 heading into Game 4 (10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, NBCSN). ”It was about going full speed into practice right away. We need that to translate into the game.”Colorado went through an optional practice and had defenseman Samuel Girard on the ice wearing a non-contact sweater. He has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury.TRUST THE … PROGRESS?Tampa Bay holds a 2-1 series lead over New Jersey headed into Game 4 (7:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Golf Channel). But New Jersey’s 5-2 win over the Lightning on Monday was at least a sign that the Devils should trust the … progress?The Devils are owned by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the same company that also owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. Team owner Josh Harris attended the 76ers’ Game 2 loss in Philadelphia on Monday.Under Harris’ watch, his teams can orchestrate a turnaround. The 76ers, accompanied by the now-familiar ”Trust The Process” slogan, went from 10 wins two seasons ago to 53 and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference this year while the Devils made a stunning run from the worst team in the East to the postseason in a year.All the Devils need is a catchphrase.