EAST RUTHERFORD, N. Brian Elliott Flyers Jersey .J. - Two wins do not make a playoff contender, unless youre in the NFC East. Despite opening the season with six straight losses, the New York Giants (2-6) remarkably are still in the playoff hunt heading into their bye week. The Giants won their second straight game Sunday with a 15-7 decision over the Eagles in Philadelphia. Things only got better after the game when Detroit staged a furious last-minute rally to knock off the division-leading Dallas Cowboys (4-4). The math is simple: New York is two games behind with eight to play. Its not the best position and the chances that the Giants will make the playoffs are not good unless they run the table. "We won our last couple of games, which is a great thing. Are we back?" safety Antrel Rolle asked Monday, and then answered, "Well be back once we reach that post-season. Thats when Ill say that were back. Right now were grinding. Were grinding, were fighting extremely hard and, you know, being 0-6, like I said several times before, can do a lot of things to you. Ive had to dig extremely deep, had to be so mentally tough to overcome it because Ive never been in that stage in my life either. "Right now, as a team, were grinding. Were grinding and were pushing ahead and more importantly were staying together." The Giants still have a chance because they have corrected some of the errors that led to their worst start since coming out of the gate with a franchise-worst nine straight losses in 1976. In the past two games, Eli Manning and the offence have not turned over the ball. The defence, which has improved since getting middle linebacker Jon Beason in a trade with Carolina, has not allowed a point. The only major mistakes have been by special teams that gave up a punt return for a touchdown against Minnesota — the third one this season — and handed the Eagles a recovery for a TD late in the fourth quarter with a bad snap on a punt. The only turnover in the past two games was a lost fumble on a punt return. If they can avoid the turnovers, get the offence a little more in gear and continue to play good defence, the Giants will be competitive. The problem is the Giants have not been a good team in the second half of the season in recent years, and the schedule is tough even with five home games, including three straight out of the bye — Oakland (3-4), Green Bay (5-2) and Dallas. They also have games with the Chargers (4-3), Lions (5-3), Seahawks (6-1 heading into Monday night) and two with Robert Griffin III and the Redskins (2-5). "We havent done nothing yet," said cornerback Terrell Thomas, who made his biggest stride returning from two ACL surgeries by playing every down against Philadelphia. "Were 2-6. It feels great to have two wins. There are smiles around here and everyone is confident. This team has a makeup to make a run. Weve been in this position before and we are better when our backs are against the wall." Coach Tom Coughlin plans to self-scout his team over the bye week and he expects running back Andre Brown, who broke a leg in the preseason, to be ready to return from injured reserve after the bye. "I think theres some excitement," said Coughlin, who did an outstanding job keeping his team together after the horrible start. "Were certainly not blind to the issues that we do have, but by the same token were excited about having an opportunity to improve on those areas and excited about the second half of the year." Defensive end Justin Tuck said the key for the second half will be to continue doing what they have done the past two weeks. "Its really that simple," Tuck said. "We cant allow ourselves to think about the past or future, all we can think about is whats next. Thats the day-to-day life of a football player. We have to make sure once we get back in the swing of things that the only thing were thinking about is Oakland. Not thinking about what Dallas did or Philly or Washington or whoever else. We can control what we can control and thats how we play." While its a long shot, the players still maintain the hope they can be the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium. The title game at Met Life Stadium, the home of the Giants and Jets, is Feb. 2. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org Custom Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys .200. His solution to his hitting woes was business in the front and a party in the back."That would be a mullet," Norris says. Carter Hart Jersey . The Senators will put the busy off-season and training camp behind them when they open their regular season on the road. They kick things off Friday against the Buffalo Sabres and then head to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday.EDMONTON -- There was plenty of post-Olympic rust to go around, but none seemed to stick to Darcy Kuemper in the Minnesota Wilds net. Kuemper made 21 saves to earn his second career shutout as Minnesota returned from the Olympic break on a winning note, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Thursday night. "We did a real good job, we were aware of the situation and everyone was focused tonight," Kuemper said. "It was just a solid team game tonight. We had seven days of practice. You just use the first two practices to get the fundamentals back and then you worry about the next game. I stuck to my game and obviously the team played great in front of me." Mikael Granlund, Stephane Veilleux and Dany Heatley scored for the Wild (32-21-7) who won their third game in a row. "I think thats our biggest strength, to have a good defensive game," Granlund said. "I thought we played good defensively and Kemps had a good game in net. We didnt give them too much." Wild head coach Mike Yeo said his team played far from perfect, but they will take the win anyway. "I dont think that we played this game at the level that we headed into the break at and I think thats normal," he said. "I was impressed with the detail and the structure in a lot of areas, but I think our puck work can get a little better in some areas too." The Oilers (20-34-7) have lost two in a row after winning five of their previous six. "It was pretty embarrassing," said Edmonton forward David Perron. "Nothing was going right for us. We couldnt generate any offence and our defence wasnt good. It was an awful game." It was the fifth time this season that the Oilers have been shutout at home and eighth time this season they have failed to score in a game. "Thats not how we wanted to come back from the break at all. It seemed like there was a lot of rust on our team," said Oilers forward Taylor Hall. "Whether that was the break or whatever, it doesnt really matter. They had the same break that we did and we just didnt play well." Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins thought neither team really looked that good on their return to action following the long break. "That was an ugly hockey game, I thought for both teams," he said. "It was quite amazing watching this game the number of players falling down with nothing going on around them and passes going behind players. It was firmly two teamss coming off of a long break. Oskar Lindblom Flyers Jersey. ." The game started with a bang as Oilers forward Matt Hendricks checked Wild defenceman Nate Prosser in to the boards in the first minute of play. Prosser was helped to the dressing room and did not return until the second period. Minnesota got revenge for the hit by taking a 1-0 lead a minute later as Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens was caught out of position as Zach Parise fed the puck in front to Granlund who had an empty net to put his teams first shot of the game into. Each team only accounted for six first period shots apiece, with Edmontons best chance coming late in the period when a high bounce flipped off of Kuempers back and landed in the crease before being sent to safety by Jared Spurgeon. Kuemper made a big save of his own seven minutes into the second as he was quick to come across and rob Jordan Eberle at the side of the net on the tail end of an Oiler power play. Minnesota made it 2-0 midway through the second period as Erik Huala fought off Oiler Anton Belov behind the net to send a backhand to a primed and ready Veilleux who blasted a one-timer from the top of the circle past Scrivens for just his second goal of the season. The Wild took a three-goal lead midway through the third as Charlie Coyle made a nice play to swing out from behind the net and find Heatley in front, who lifted his 12th of the season over a sprawling Scrivens. Notes: Both teams saw some success before the pause in the NHL schedule as the Oilers were 5-1-1 in their previous seven games, while the Wild were 4-1-2 in their last seven. Edmonton only allowed 12 goals during that seven-game stretcha The Wild have had a great deal of success against Edmonton in recent years, coming into the game having won five of six and 14 of its last 17 versus the Oilers, including seven of their last eight appearances in Edmontona Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu is reportedly close to returning but remained out with an ankle injury for Thursdays gamea Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom returned from an abdominal injury dating back to Jan. 30, but served as the backup to Kuempera It was Edmontons only home game in all of February. The Oilers last home date was on Jan. 29 when Scrivens set an NHL record for most saves in a shutout with 59 in a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Sharksa Oiler forward Nail Yakupov took a shot to the right ankle from teammate Justin Schultz in the third and did not return. ' ' '
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