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r penalty and helped pave the way for a comebac

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Joined: Jun 09 2014
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18:17, Jul 15 2014

TORONTO – Ron Wilson halted the drill before it was complete, gathered his stable of defencemen and delivered a series of impassioned instructions. Moments later, Cody Franson sent Nazem Kadri flying to the ice with a thunderous hit. A fist-bump from the head coach awaited at centre-ice. Wilson has driven up the intensity with his club skidding to three consecutive losses – and dropping to 9th in the East with 49 points – with a Thursday matchup on deck with the reeling Minnesota Wild at the ACC. A series of lineup shuffling on Wednesday morning was followed by a heated practice at Mastercard Centre with the Leafs head coach anxious to spur an immediate turnaround. The most symbolic of all the moves – and least likely to last – saw Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul split for the first time all season. Its a decision that may not last longer than a period, but shocks the water of a struggling team. Matthew Lombardi will step up in the interim to play with Kessel and Tyler Bozak on the top line with Lupul sliding onto a unit with Tim Connolly and Kadri. "Weve got to keep more pucks out of our net," Wilson explained, "not make silly mistakes that result in a goal against and at the same time spread the scoring throughout our lineup. "Some lines have been getting scored on way too much against in the last 10 or 15 games. At least for a period well see if something like that helps us." Lupul hit the scoresheet on Tuesday – a 3-2 loss to Ottawa – with his 20th of the year on a feed from Kessel, snapping a three-game pointless skid for each player. Lying beneath the surface of the duos recent offensive struggles however – and perhaps a symptom of the nightly pressure to contribute – is the troubling assertiveness theyve shown in the defensive zone. For the third consecutive game the pair were on the ice for two goals against, an undercurrent which has certainly contributed to their stalling attack. "For sure," Wilson agreed. "If you spend most of your shift defending then youre not going to have the puck and youre not going to be as good offensively. We have to work harder to get pucks in our zone, come back harder to help the defence." "Obviously weve just got to bear down and be better in our own end," Bozak added. "Got to be smarter and keep our coverages clean." Wilson and the coaching staff harkened the importance of a better five-man effort in the defensive zone during a spirited practice which lasted upwards of an hour. The Leafs are actually one of the better teams in the NHL at even-strength this season – 10th best with a plus-6 differential – but over the course of this three-game losing streak have allowed nine such goals. Completely forgotten as a result is the perfect effort in January from a very recently beleaguered penalty kill (12-12). "Play more team defence competitively and smartly," Franson said. "Its just a matter of working better as a unit of five." Perhaps more significant than the shuffling up front was the tinkering Wilson made on the blueline. Dion Phaneuf and Luke Schenn were paired together for the first time – Phaneuf playing uncustomary on the left – with Mike Komisarek and Carl Gunnarsson reuniting, partners at points last season. Franson remained on a third pairing with Jake Gardiner with Keith Aulie appearing to be the initial odd man out. "We noticed it for sure," Franson said of the changes. Most intriguing of the lot is the Phaneuf-Schenn pairing, a duo whove yet to play together in Toronto. A left-shot defenceman, Phaneuf typically prefers to play the right side, but has played the left in the past, most recently at the 2011 World Championship. Schenns minutes have declined in January (14:53 per game), but would likely rise playing with Phaneuf in a front-line shutdown role. "Were trying to find the right pairs," Wilson said, "...balance between offence and defence as well." It was only a week ago that the Leafs were riding high with a four-game win streak, a stretch thats fallen quickly out of memory with the recent three-game skid, two losses by just a goal. By erasing a few simple mistakes the Leafs feel theyll get back on track in a crowded Eastern Conference playoff race. "Were trying to nip these last couple games in the bud here and keep moving forward with some wins," Franson concluded. "Its the wrong time of the year to be going on a slide." Javier Mascherano World Cup Jersey .05 million, one-year contract, a raise of $300,000. Texas acquired Soto in a trade from the Chicago Cubs in July 2012. Jose Maria Basanta World Cup Jersey . The two-hour TSN original production, which is also available live on TSN Mobile TV, features the first two rounds of the draft with CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon in the CFL ON TSN studio to announce each selection. http://www.argentinasoccerteamshop.com/world-cup-rodrigo-palacio-argentina-jersey/. In a 43-game stint, he batted .293 with nine homers and 25 runs batted in with a .953 OPS. He played spectacular defence and seemed to have a skill for pumping up his teammates and electrifying the crowd. Enzo Perez Argentina Jersey . The As rallied for their two runs in the eighth inning, chasing Romero from the game, and Brian Fuentes worked around a two-out single in the ninth to get the save. An All-Star last season, Cahill (1-0) allowed just one run on three hits, striking out seven batters without a walk. Martin Demichelis World Cup Jersey . But that changed when he committed a five-minute major penalty and helped pave the way for a comeback by the Philadelphia Flyers. Vincent Lecavalier scored at 2:45 of overtime and the Flyers rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 5-4 victory on Sunday.NEW YORK, N.Y. - Nelson Mandela will be honoured by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park. The team said Monday the plaque will be dedicated during Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies before a game against the Chicago Cubs next April 15. The former South African president, who died last week, gave an address at old Yankee Stadium on June 21, 1990, four months after the end of a 27-year imprisonment. He put on a Yankees cap and jacket and told the crowd: "You know who I am.dddddddddddd I am a Yankee." Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner says Mandelas visit "was a transcendent moment in the history of the original Yankee Stadium." Steinbrenner says "we want this plaque to be an everlasting tribute to his indomitable spirit and unfailing dignity." ' ' '

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23:42, Sep 24 2014

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03:55, Mar 13 2018

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