Vegas Golden Knights merchandise is flying off the shelves Vincent Trocheck Jersey , with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s jersey leading the way.
Specific numbers weren’t immediately available Tuesday, but the NHL says the team’s overall North American sales have been very strong.
”The Vegas Golden Knights are in the top five in merch sales all season,” Nirva Milord, the NHL’s senior director of corporate communications, wrote in an email to The Canadian Press. ”Marc-Andre Fleury is tops among players in playoffs merch sales.”
Last month, the NHL reported that Fleury was fourth in jersey sales behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.
Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion in Pittsburgh, was not protected by the Penguins in last year’s expansion draft. He has helped anchor the Golden Knights and gave them immediate star power.
This random mix of journeymen, up-and-comers and castoffs will host the Jets in Game 3 of the Western Conference final Wednesday after teams split the first two games in Winnipeg.
Cash registers have been ringing with sales of hats, hoodies, sweatshirts, T-shirts and jerseys adorned with the knight helmet symbol and the team’s steel grey, black, gold and red colors.
Marvin Ryder, a marketing professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, points to a couple of reasons for strong sales: a lack of competition from other top sports leagues in Las Vegas; the readiness of hockey fans and youngsters to flock to new gear.
But where the franchise really delivered, Ryder said, was with its powerful logo coupled with an attractive color scheme.
”Whatever graphic identity team they hired, they knocked it right out of the park http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/jaire-alexander-jersey ,” Ryder told The Canadian Press.
It helps to have a winning team, too.
”Ultimately it’s how the fans embrace it,” Ryder said. ”In this case, I’m going to say it’s more about lucky. You had all the pieces, but they got them right the very first day. That’s the unusual part of the story.
”Normally it takes longer for the teams to find that combination of performance and the right-looking logo that people are proud to wear. They got it right from Day One.”The Jacksonville Jaguars heard the chatter, read the tweets and Instagram posts. And they got a little confused.
Why were the Pittsburgh Steelers talking about the New England Patriots? Didn’t they have to face the Jaguars first before reaching a rematch with the Super Bowl champions?
”I don’t know if they misread the schedule or didn’t play us this week, but they didn’t acknowledge us at all,” Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack said. ”And we didn’t take that too kindly.”
Not at all. That shouldn’t be a problem going forward.
The Jaguars, yes the Jaguars, have the NFL’s full attention now. A trip to Foxborough on the horizon, too.
Dominant at the start and resilient at the finish, Jacksonville stunned the Steelers 45-42 on Sunday to advance to the AFC title game for the third time in franchise history and maybe, finally, earn a bit of respect.
Leonard Fournette ran for 109 yards and three scores . Embattled quarterback Blake Bortles added 214 yards passing and a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown as the third-seeded Jaguars (12-6) beat the second-seeded Steelers (13-4) at Heinz Field for the second time in three months.
The victory in October served notice Jacksonville was ready to put a decade of losing firmly behind. This one sent an even bigger message: overlook the Jaguars at your own peril, something Pittsburgh appeared to do in the run-up. Coach Mike Tomlin hinted at facing the Patriots twice back in December. Running back Le’Veon Bell posted on Twitter about the pair of “round 2s” the Steelers will face in coming weeks.
Turns out, one rematch is all the Steelers will get.
”We knew we had this team’s number,” Jacksonville safety Barry Church said. ”All we did was feed on the fuel that everybody was providing, the media, everybody was talking about how they’re going to run through us, it’s not going to be like last . Blake Bortles this. Blake Bortles that. all he did was dominate their defense.”
A week removed from an ugly performance in a wild-card round win over Buffalo in which he passed for 87 yards and struggled with the easiest of throws, Bortles went 14 of 26 for a touchdown without an interception. He ran for 35 more and wasn’t sacked by a defense that led the NFL and set a franchise record with 55 during the season. Jacksonville’s 45 points tied the most ever allowed by the Steelers in the playoffs.
Not bad for an offense that at times simply appeared along for the ride as the NFL’s top defense carried the load.
”Blake Bortles has always been criticized Youth Michael Gallup Jersey ,” Fournette said. ”It is different now. He has guys that have his back, especially me.”
Certainly looked it as Fournette scored two first-quarter touchdowns. The Jaguars built a 21-point lead and responded whenever the Steelers rallied to get within one score.
”The guys played with confidence all day long,” Bortles said. ”Obviously, what they have on their side of the ball, it’s a good team. We know they got a good offense. We knew we were going to have to be efficient, hold on to the ball for a little bit, so we did it.”
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and set a franchise record with five touchdown passes, but was also intercepted once and had a fumble returned for a score. All-Pro Antonio Brown caught seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in his return from a left calf injury. Bell had 155 yards of total offense and two scores.
But Pittsburgh’s vaunted ”Killer Bs” couldn’t keep pace with Jacksonville, one of four NFL franchises to never make the Super Bowl.
”It’s disheartening,” Brown said. ”I thought we had the right group of guys.”
The Jaguars dominated the Steelers on Oct. 8, winning by three touchdowns in a performance so overwhelming Roethlisberger only half-jokingly wondered aloud whether he still had ”it’ after throwing a career-high five picks.
Roethlisberger and his teammates left little doubt they hoped for a rematch, though Jacksonville cornerback A.J. Bouye cautioned Pittsburgh to be careful what it wished for. The Jaguars hardly appeared intimidated by the 18-degree chill or trying to earn their first road playoff win in a decade.
”I’m sure there will still be tons of people that are going to disapprove and talk negative or hate or do whatever they want,” Bortles said. ”But we get to keep playing and we get an opportunity to play in Foxborough next week for another week. Just honored to be able to do this especially with this group of guys.”
”It’s been an awesome year. Just want to keep it going.”
FOURTH AND WOE
Pittsburgh rolled up 545 yards of offense, but it’s 2 yards the Steelers didn’t get that helped send them into an offseason filled with questions.
Twice Pittsburgh had fourth-and-1 in Jacksonville territory. Twice the Steelers did something other than have the 6-foot-5 Roethlisberger sneak. Pittsburgh ran wide in the first quarter and Bell was stuffed for a 4-yard loss. The Jaguars responded immediately by going 75 yards in 11 plays, the final one a 4-yard sprint by T.J. Yeldon that put them up 21-0.
The Steelers were down a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and had fourth-and-inches at the Jacksonville 39. Roethlisberger checked at the line of scrimmage, faked a handoff to Bell and instead threw incomplete to diving rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster .
”It’s been a while since I’ve run a quarterback sneak, I’m for it,” said Roethlisberger, who added he wi