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Islanders’ special team problems cost them in the end

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TAMPA — There’s a sort of irony in the fact a shorthanded goal ended the Islanders’ season.

When the joke of the season was that the NHL should implement a new rule that allows teams to decline power plays because the Islanders would surely take advantage of it, a power-play breakdown costing them a win in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals was almost too perfect.

After the Islanders started off strong in their second-period power play Friday night, Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh gained possession of the puck and killed some time before finding Blake Coleman at center ice. Anthony Cirelli then carried the puck into the corner of the Islanders’ zone, drawing Nick Leddy, Kyle Palmieri and Josh Bailey with him.

While the three Islanders were preoccupied with Cirelli, Yanni Gourde came off Tampa Bay’s bench. He skated in unnoticed before one-timing a feed from Cirelli past goalie Semyon Varlamov at 1:49 of the middle frame.

“I don’t know if it’s more frustrating,” head coach Barry Trotz said after the season-ending loss. “It’s disappointing because it was an opportunity for us to hopefully do something against them. Just a little bit of awareness. Gourde came off the bench real quick, they made a play, we sort of weren’t paying enough attention and it ended up in the back of the net.”

Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring the only goal in the Islanders' 1-0 season-ending Game 7 loss the Lightning.
Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring the only goal in the Islanders’ 1-0 season-ending Game 7 loss the Lightning.
NHLI via Getty Images

Through 19 games this postseason, the Islanders went 10-for-49 on the power play, a 20.4 percentage. Gourde’s goal was the second shorthanded tally the Islanders allowed in the playoffs, although the first was not nearly as deadly.

After the Islanders were the only team in the league to not allow a shorthanded goal during the regular season, they gave one up in Game 4 of the first-round series against the Penguins. Zach Aston-Reese ended goalie Ilya Sorokin’s bid for a shutout at 17:25 of the third period while killing a Jake Guentzel cross-checking penalty.

The Islanders ranked in the bottom 10 of the league in power-play goals during the regular season, going 27-for-144 (18.8 percent). There were plenty of times when the Islanders had the man advantage, but didn’t look as if they did. Friday night was certainly one of those times.

The Lightning owned one of the deadliest power plays in the regular season and playoffs, combining to go 60-for-233 (25.7 percent). On the other hand, the Islanders particularly struggled with the man-advantage in the semifinal series against Tampa Bay, going 1-for-17. The Islanders’ lone power play came from Brock Nelson in their 4-2 loss in Game 2.

So the Islanders’ special playoff run was ultimately cut short by one of their few weaknesses. That likely doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

“It hurts no matter what,” Josh Bailey said of the Gourde goal, his voice quivering. “That’s a situation we certainly would like to have back.”

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These fatty foods could be destroying your memory, say scientists

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Ready meals and fast food could be destroying your memory.

Scientists say highly processed foods, crisps, and deli meats containing preservatives were linked with abrupt memory loss in older brains.

Researchers warn the amygdala — the part of the brain which regulates fear — is also affected.

So a bad diet could mean some dangerous decisions.

But diets with extra omega-3 fatty acid DHA, found in fish such as salmon, could ward off problems. Rather than supplements, researchers advised improved diets.

Scientists at America’s Ohio State University Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research did tests on lab rats.

Dr. Ruth Barrientos called the results “alarming”, adding: “Consumption of a processed diet can produce significant and abrupt memory deficits.”

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Biden and Lightfoot know mask rules are idiotic — so why haven’t they changed?

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It happened again because of course it happened again. The latest example of COVID hypocrisy, if you have enough hard-drive space to keep track, is a viral video of President Biden traipsing through a ritzy DC eatery with no mask, in defiance of the city’s strict rules. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot was photographed at a basketball game, the only bare face in a sea of muzzled fans.

This kind of thing has been so common that it is hard to stay outraged, even though we should.

But there is another, deeper question at play here. Why won’t the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update its masking guidance as vaccinations increase, case numbers diminish and politicians, among pretty much everyone else, ignore it across the nation?

The CDC website says that “If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant, and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public, if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” A handy map shows the location of these areas — it’s basically the entirety of the United States. This guidance is vague, and not followed by massive swaths of the nation.

Mask mandate hypocrite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a basketball game where everyone except her was wearing a mask.
Mask mandate hypocrite Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot attended a basketball game where everyone except her was wearing a mask.
Twitter

Why is it being ignored? Because much of its application is nonsensical on its face, so to speak. What possible health benefit is there for wearing a mask from door to the table then taking it off to eat and drink and talk all night? Every one of us knows that 10 seconds of following the hostess to your table is not a potential superspreader event. It’s such performative idiocy.

Meanwhile, CDC guidelines still say if you take a kid across state lines, say on vacation, you have to quarantine for 10 days. Is any parent in the country actually doing this? We should hope not, because it’s insane. Even Fauci the Merciful, who has relented and has now pronounced we can have holiday gatherings, isn’t mentioning this. Because he knows he would look like a fool.

President Joe Biden leaves Washington DC restaurant Fiola Mare without wearing a face mask.
President Joe Biden leaves Washington DC restaurant Fiola Mare without wearing a face mask.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden went to Fiola Mare on October 16, 2021 for a date night.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden went to Fiola Mare on October 16, 2021 for a date night.
REUTERS/Tom Brenner

So why do these absurd rules, that most people don’t follow anyway, and seem to be based on about as much science as Tarot cards, still exist at all? And more importantly, what metrics do we need to hit for them to go away? That’s one query the exultant and high experts will never answer. When it comes to imposing restrictions the science is strict, settled, and exact, when it comes to easing restrictions it’s all a rich tapestry of who really knows.

Enough. When mask mandates made their first appearance in the Spring of 2020 many feared we would wind up wearing them forever. Those people were mocked as alarmists. Well, it’s almost 2022, what gives? Everyone over 12 can get a vaccine that we are promised gives fantastic protection, and young kids continue to only very rarely have significant illness.

People can decide for themselves whether they want to keep wearing masks, if they are high risk or nervous. As for the rest of us, what are we waiting for? We have long passed common sense. We need some answers about how and when these rules will end. And we need them now.

David Marcus is the author of “Charade: The COVID Lies That Crushed A Nation.”

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Cops face questions after missing Alabama woman’s body found in police van

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A missing Alabama woman’s body has been found in an unoccupied police van — prompting questions about her death and how she could go undetected as authorities were searching for her.

Christina Nance, 29, was discovered dead in a prisoner transport van Oct. 7, five days after she was reported missing, Deputy Police Chief DeWayne McCarver said.

The vehicle was parked at a public safety complex in Huntsville.

“The officer noticed shoes next to the van and approached, discovering Ms. Nance’s body inside. Windows on the van were observed to be opened and on this type of van they popped outward,” McCarver said on Friday at a press conference, CNN reported.

No cause of death has been determined, but preliminary autopsy results didn’t indicate that there was any foul play or bodily trauma.

“The official cause of death will be ruled by the state medical examiner once additional studies, including toxicology, are complete,” police said.

Police released surveillance footage of a woman believed to be Nance wandering through the parking lot on Sept. 25, then appearing to enter the van.

But her family — who reported her missing on Oct. 2 — said they have their doubts about the footage.

“The video was not clear enough to indicate that that was our sister Christina Nance,” Nance’s sister Whitney Nance told news station WAFF.

Police vehicles.
Police released surveillance footage of a woman believed to be Christina Nance wandering through the parking lot on Sept. 25.
Huntsville Police Dept. Facebook

“It was just very heartbreaking to know that we didn’t get the clarification that we really needed, that we wanted.”

Police have said it’s protocol for the vans to be kept locked.

“It is an accountability issue on our part,” McCarver said. “That should not have happened. And now we have to look at that, and we have to make sure that we have things in place so that does not happen again.”

It’s unclear how Nance went undetected in the busy police parking lot.

“Cars go by, people walk nearby the van. We just wish that she would have hollered out to someone or something, because there were plenty of … what we see as potential opportunities for this to not be a tragedy. And unfortunately, no one was able to realize she was in that van and that was the outcome,” McCarver said.

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