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PITTSBURGH — No matter how many times many different Rangers have insisted that this series against the Penguins isn’t all about Sidney Crosby, the focus of the first five games was, in fact, primarily on Sidney Crosby.
But if the Blueshirts doth protest too much, it was understandable. For Crosby and linemates Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust spent the first four-plus matches of this first-round playoff matchup chewing up and spitting out the Rangers’ power matchup unit, centered by Mika Zibanejad.
Until, that is, Crosby absorbed that hit from Jacob Trouba midway through the second period of Game 5 that both forced him out of the remainder of that contest and keeps him sidelined Friday night for the potential elimination Game 6 for the Blueshirts.
Crosby, of course, has a history of concussions, so it is unclear whether the Pittsburgh captain — who had been playing some of the most compelling, dominating playoff hockey of his career — would be in the position to pull a Willis Reed if the Rangers were able to send the series back to the Garden for a Game 7 on Sunday.
But first things first. The Blueshirts need to take advantage of Crosby’s absence Friday just as they did Wednesday, when they immediately struck for three goals within 3:36 after No. 87 left the ice to overcome a 2-0 deficit before extending the series with a 5-3 victory.
In theory, Crosby’s absence should have freed Zibanejad and linemates Chris Kreider and Frank Vatrano to play with more of an attack-oriented mindset after spending so much energy and focus on stopping Crosby and company.
“I think we haven’t created offense maybe enough and have maybe been a little too worried about the line we’re playing against and stopping them,” said Zibanejad, who had yet to score a goal through the first five games. “I think I said after Game 1 or 2 that the best way to stop their offense is to create some of your own.
“But I think overall we’re going to try and work through it, it’s not easy, it’s not an easy opponent. Just try and play our game and really just enjoy the challenge and enjoy the intensity of the playoffs.”
It is not as if a Nate Bowman-type support player was going to fill Crosby’s spot the way that the Knicks’ backup center filled in for Reed in Los Angeles for Game 6 of that memorialized 1970 NBA Finals in which Wilt Chamberlain scored 45 points in the Lakers’ victory.
Rather it was Evgeni Malkin, one of the NHL’s Greatest 100, even if inexplicably snubbed by the panel selecting the all-century club, filling the slot between Guentzel and Rust. By the way? It was that line that produced the 3-3 goal at the Garden in Game 5, with Guentzel burying a rebound for his seventh of the series after a mishap between Zibanejad and Igor Shesterkin.
That came 13 seconds after the Blueshirts had tied the score. It also dropped the Zibanejad line to minus-four for the series, on for only two goals for, but six against. Crosby or not, Game 6 was still going to represent a significant challenge.
“I always talk to our guys about when he is on the ice, it’s not just about Sidney Crosby, but that all five guys have to be aware,” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said. “But I still want us to play our game.
“I never once told them, ‘Let’s be in a defensive shell and make sure they don’t get chances.’ They’re going to get chances any way you look at it, they spend a lot of time in the offensive zone, they’re a great line, a talented line, but we’ve still got to play our game.”
Crosby’s absence, of course, changes the dynamic of Game 6. But the Rangers still need to play their game. They need Shesterkin to be at the top of his game. The Blueshirts have not played well enough for a consistent amount of times in this series to take anything for granted.
The Rangers need more from their top six. They need Artemi Panarin to be dangerous. They need the Zibanejad line to assert itself.
“We still need to play our game and do the things we did all year,” No. 93 said. “The focus is really on us. At times maybe we had too much focus on other things and the opposing team rather than us, but I try to keep reminding myself to focus on what I have to do, play my game and have them worry about what we can do.”
In Game 6, at least, Zibanejad and his mates do not have to worry about Crosby.
By: Ny Post
Naomi Campbell supports Kate Moss after Johnny Depp testimony
Naomi Campbell will always have Kate Moss’ back.
The model took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday to praise her pal for taking the witness stand on behalf of Johnny Depp and his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
“YES WAGON TELL IT !! @ katemossagency,” Campbell, 52, wrote, using the nickname she has used for Moss, 48, for years.
Campbell’s words were accompanied by a screengrab of an article recapping Moss’ statements in court, in which the model denied Heard’s claim that Depp pushed her down a flight of stairs during their ’90s romance.
As previously reported, Moss was called as a rebuttal witness for Depp, 58, in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, 36. The trial is now in its sixth and final week in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
“He never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs,” Moss said over video from Gloucester, England.
Moss told jurors that she fell down a flight of stairs and injured herself during a rainy night in Jamaica at the GoldenEye Resort.
“Johnny had left the room before I did, and there had been a rainstorm. And as I left the room, I slid down the stairs and hurt my back,” she testified.
“I screamed because I didn’t know what happened to me and I was in pain. And [Depp] came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”
Depp’s attorney Ben Chew then asked Moss, “Did Mr. Depp push you in any way down the stairs?”
She asserted, “No.”
Moss was 20 and Depp was 31 when they dated from 1994 until 1997. Following their split, the actor moved on with now-ex Vanessa Paradis. Depp and Paradis, 49, share kids Lily-Rose, 22, and Jack, 20.
Though Moss once described her breakup with Depp as a “nightmare,” she has remained resolutely supportive of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
“There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me,” Moss told Vanity Fair in 2012. “Johnny did for a bit.”
By: Ny Post
Ari Emanuel to marry Sarah Staudinger in St. Tropez this weekend
Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel will seal his latest deal this weekend.
Sources confirmed to Page Six that Emanuel — the hard-charging inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on the HBO hit “Entourage” — will tie the knot with designer Sarah Staudinger in a star-studded ceremony in St. Tropez, France.
Conveniently, the nuptials will coincide with the end of the nearby Cannes Film Festival.
Insiders told Page Six that guests are already headed to the wedding location for the upcoming festivities.
While the guest list currently remains under wraps, Emanuel is known to rep A-list names including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Christian Bale, Whoopi Goldberg, Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Larry David and Joaquin Phoenix. He also previously represented Donald Trump in his “Apprentice” days.
On the family side, his brothers are former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel.
Meanwhile, Staudinger’s fashion line, Staud, has celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner, Lizzo, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie.
Page Six exclusively revealed last May that Emanuel and Staudinger got engaged. They started dating in 2018, after he and his first wife, Sarah Addington, filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage. They reportedly separated in 2014, and have three kids together.
Emanuel, 61, and Staudinger, 33, broke up in 2020, then reconciled around the start of 2021. He popped the question after his company, Endeavor, debuted on the stock market, a source told us at the time.
The Brentwood, Calif., home he shared with Addington went on the market last year for $25.9 million, while he bought a 2-acre Beverly Hills estate for $27.5 million in October 2020.
A rep did not comment.
The Wrap was first to report on the Emanuel wedding.
By: Ny Post
Heat trapped by greenhouse gases reached highest level yet in 2021, scientists say
Greenhouse gases emitted by human activities trapped much more heat in 2021 than they did three decades ago, according to scientists.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an update to its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index on Monday. The index is used to provide a measurement of the amount of heating greenhouse gases are causing.
In 2021, the index reached a value of 1.49, which is 49% more than 1 value that is assigned to 1990 – the year of the Kyoto Protocol, one of the earliest binding climate change agreements signed by 192 countries. The value of 0 is assigned to the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1750.
Carbon dioxide levels
According to scientists, carbon dioxide is the most abundant of the green greenhouse gases and grew by 2.6 parts per million last year. The level has risen by 61 ppm since 1990, and accounts for 80% of the increased heat shown in the AGGI.
“CO2 is the main player because it stays in the atmosphere and oceans for thousands of years and it is by far the largest contributor to global warming,” said Pieter Tans, senior scientist at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory.
Methane sources still not clear
Methane, or CH4, is another greenhouse gas that drives climate change, but scientists are still trying to understand what is causing its increase.
Scientists said CH4 levels grew by 16.9 parts per billion in 2021 – the fastest observed increase since the early 1980s.
The nature of its increase is important to understand because it warms the earth 30 to 90 times more than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. However, it stays in the atmosphere a much shorter amount of time than CO2 – decades compared to millennia.
According to scientists, the increased methane may be coming less from fossil fuels and more from wetlands, agriculture and landfills.
“We should absolutely target man-made methane emissions — especially those from fossil fuel — because it is technologically feasible to control them,” said Xin Lan, a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “If wetlands are giving off more methane because of warming and changes in global precipitation caused by rising CO2 levels, that’s something we can’t control directly, and that would be very concerning.”
Other gases being monitored
There are a total of 19 greenhouse gases that are monitored by scientists. While carbon dioxide and methane make up the bulk of these gases in the atmosphere, another one called nitrous oxide, or N2O, comes in third.
According to scientists, N2O levels are primarily the result of the use of fertilizer for agriculture.
“We can find alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels, but cutting emissions associated with producing food is a very difficult task,” said Stephen Montzka, the GML scientist who leads the AGGI report each year.
The remaining 16 greenhouse gases make up about 4% of heat that has been trapped since 1750, according to scientists.
By: Ny Post
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