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13.08.2019 10:42
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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. Larry Allen Jersey . -- The frustration was etched on the faces of the Toronto Argonauts on Monday, the pain of missing out on a chance to defend their Grey Cup title still gnawing away at them a day later. A rather glum Scott Milanovich was the first to appear at a season-ending media availability on a grey, windy afternoon at the teams practice facility west of Toronto. Quarterback Ricky Ray and linebacker Marcus Ball soon followed their head coach, the dreary weather echoing their moods. Disappointment was a word uttered repeatedly. The failure to win the East Division final had sunk in but the 36-24 loss to Hamilton still stung a day later. "I wish we had one more drive, one more quarter, whatever -- one more game," said linebacker Marcus Ball. "We definitely expected to have one more game. We just fell a little short." The Argonauts started strong in front of over 35,000 fans at Rogers Centre on Sunday. The Tiger-Cats, buoyed by a significant number of Hamilton fans in the crowd, took the momentum in the second half and got the win. Torontos solid 11-7 regular-season record and first-place finish were quickly forgotten. Milanovich took his share of the blame for the result. "Im disappointed I didnt coach better," he said. "Were disappointed we didnt play better and didnt take advantage of the opportunity we earned by getting the bye and playing at home." Expectations were high after a Grey Cup victory last year on their home turf. The Argonauts were a confident bunch and looked like they were on their way back to the championship game after a strong first half. Ray was dynamite over the first two quarters but Hamilton quarterback Henry Burris stepped up his game in the second half. The Argonauts went quiet and the Tiger-Cats took advantage. "The buck stops at the head coach and we didnt get it done," Milanovich said. "Its my responsibility to find ways in which I could have done better or put our guys in better position to have gotten the job done. "And Ill do that and Ill be better a year from now." Toronto clearly missed the presence of injured running back Chad Kackert, who won the Grey Cup MVP award last year. The Argonauts rushed for only 13 yards against the Tiger-Cats and instead relied on Rays impressive arm. When the Ticats made adjustments at the half, Toronto was stifled and never recovered. "Its tough," Ray said. "This one is going to hang around for a little while." The Argonauts had their chances in the fourth quarter, with Ray leading the team on a late drive before turning the ball over on downs with less than a minute to play. "You can beat yourself up pretty good about it," Ray said of the missed opportunities. "But what youve got to realize is you cant win them all." Hamilton will represent the East in the Grey Cup game next Sunday in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who dumped the Calgary Stampeders 35-13 in the West Division final. Milanovich said he was proud of his team and feels there is a strong nucleus in place. He anticipates a busy off-season, adding he thinks the franchise can be a title contender "each and every year." "We were so close," he said. "We had the game in the first half where we felt like we wanted it and we werent able to close the deal. The older you get, the more you realize you only have so many opportunities to be a champion. "We let one slip through our hands and Hamilton took advantage of that and you have to give them credit for it. But any time you dont win it all, I think its going to be (remembered) as a disappointing season." Taco Charlton Youth Jersey . At 11:06 of the first period, Neal struck Marchand with his knee when Marchand was down on the ice. Marchand remained in the game. Neal was assessed a kneeing penalty for his hit on Marchand. Troy Aikman Cowboys Jersey .Stanton suffered fractures in his face and other injuries when he was hit by a pitch Sept. 11. The Marlins are confident hell fully recover and be ready for spring training, and they hope to reach a long-term agreement with him. http://www.shoptheofficialcowboys.com/Elite-Tony-Pollard-Cowboys-Jersey/ . -- Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has been suspended two games for his hit from behind on Kevan Miller of the Bruins.TORONTO – It would seem that Nazem Kadri has been around a lot longer than his 191 career games suggest. But truth be told, Kadri just turned 24 and is only three seasons removed from spending half a year in the American Hockey League with the Marlies. He continues to experience the growing pains typical of most young players in the NHL - impactful and impressive some nights, quiet and ineffective on others. Inconsistency, thus, remains the defining point of consistency for the seventh-overall pick from 2009. How then to be consistent? “That’s a great question,” Kadri said quizzically ahead of a Saturday clash with the Rangers. “That’s something any young player looks for. Just talking to team therapists and people who know the body and the mind a little bit better, they say that a male brain doesn’t even fully develop until they’re 26. It obviously takes a bit of time.” Kadri boasts some of the best possession numbers on the Leafs, but had little to show for it production-wise before Saturday, posting just five points in the first 13 games. He also entered the night winning just 45 per cent of his faceoffs, about even with the lowly mark of last season. Mostly, he’s been inconsistent. (And his minutes have dipped slightly as a result – down to just over 16 per game.) In wins over Columbus and Chicago late last week, Kadri had two goals, three points, and six shots, only to march quietly through a two-game road swing with no points and just a single shot in losses to Arizona and Colorado. He was impactful and noticeable again versus New York, finding the score-sheet twice alongside new linemates, David Clarkson and Richard Panik, also winning 68 per cent of his faceoffs and drawing a penalty. Consistency is the benchmark by which Maple Leafs brass is measuring their fifth-year centre, due to be an intriguing restricted free agent next summer. “Naz has to be prepared to compete for 82 games,” said Leafs general manager, Dave Nonis on the first day of training camp, “and if he is then he’s going to have a very good year.” Underlying numbers aside, there have been nights this season, like in Glendale and again in Denver, when he’s hardly been noticeable on the ice. Carlyle, who gave Kadri a pep talk at Saturday’s morning skate, said Kadri needs to focus on moving his feet and engaging in the game physically “because that seems to follow success with Nazzie”. He did that more often on Saturday, setting up the fourth Leafs goal with a burst of speed up ice, adding another assist and three hits in more than 15 minutes. “We’re looking for him to continue to show growth,” Carlyle said of Kadri. “At times, he takes steps forward and other times he seems to be in neutral. But that’s not any different from any young player.” Kadri, who finished third in team scoring last season, had been paired with Phil Kessel for the better part of the past five games in Carlyle’s hopes for greater balance. He thus drew the challenging competition typical of Toronto’s best player. That changed Saturday in a likely attempt from the head coach to ease the strain on his struggling centre. There was probably some degree of unluckiness to Kadri’s early struggles to produce offence, though his PDO was just a touch under 100 before the game against the Rangers, signaling some unluckiness, but only barely. More likely it’s inconsistency from a player still learning the ropes of the NHL, experiencing the ups and downs in the front row of one of hockey’s brightest fishbowls. “Obviously, you want to learn as quick as you can,” Kadri said, “but you’re not going to be great every single night, we understand that, but just most nights you’ve got to be.” Five Points 1. Big Night Maybe it’s the gloves. Leo Komarov matched his career-high for points in just the 14th game of the year Saturday, adding his eighth and ninth of the year in the 5-4 win over New York. Komarov, who had nine points in 42 games as a rookie, has actually been wearing the gloves of Phil Kessel through the first couple months this fall. “Because mine havent arrived yet,” Komarov explained. “I play all this season with them because mine havent come yet. Theyre coming.” He scored his first goal of the year and the eventual game-winner late in the final frame, depositing a Jake Gardiner feed before breaking into a mile-wide grin. “I’m not the best goal-scorer in this league,” the 27-year-old said afterward, “but I think I needed that one, it feels great.” Komarov signed a four-year deal worth nearly $12 million to return to Toronto in the summer, Leafs brass noting their desire to re-inject the feisty presence he offered in the lockout-shortened 2013. “His on-ice play is one of a player that refuses to stop working,” Carlyle said glowingly of Komarov after the win against New York, which snapped a two-game winless skid. “It’s a display every day. He enjoys coming to the rink and playing and he only knows one way; he gives 100 per cent in practice and the games and any of the events that you participate in he seems to be the guy that always has a smile on his face.” Beyond the surprising offence – he ranks fourth in team scoring – has been an added presence for the Leafs on what was an awful penalty kill a year ago – now up to 84.3 per cent. As for the points, Komarov would say only this, “I’m just trying to do my best for the team, I don’t really care about the points.” 2. Komarov II Cody Franson offered a revealing observation off Komarov off the ice. Tony Dorsett Youth Jersey. “He’s still the world’s most interesting man,” Franson said. “He’s a great piece in our room. He’s a guy that everybody likes being around. He keeps the mood light when he’s not even trying to. He’s a great fit for our team all the way around.” Added Carlyle, “He has a little bit of a different sense of humour being that he speaks five different languages and he mumbles in all of them. He’s just a funny guy and a good guy to be around and he plays hard for his teammates.” Komarov also had eight hits and won all six faceoffs versus New York. 3. Rielly Return Scratched earlier in the week, Morgan Rielly was back in the Toronto lineup Saturday, totaling exactly 18 minutes against New York. “That’s what happens sometimes,” he said of the situation pre-game, visibly and admittedly displeased with the decision. “Obviously, you don’t want to be a healthy scratch, you want to always be able to play the game and help your team, but sometimes that happens and you just have to deal with it and try to bounce back from it.” Carlyle stressed that the 20-year-old needed to exploit his skating ability more often. “That’s one of the things in today’s hockey with the freedom and the ability that these players have nowadays, skating is so much more important,” Carlyle said. “Position and getting body position through skating and not being non-active in that area is an area in which young players have to figure out and understand. It’s as simple as taking two strides to provide some form of screen or body position so your partner has another half-a-second to retrieve a puck. It’s stuff like that that we’re asking of these guys to grasp and young players don’t normally look at it that way.” Rielly was scratched nine times as a rookie, but not once after December 8. “I know that I’m able to play better,” the sophomore said, “and he (Carlyle) knows I am too.” 4. Shooting More One target for improvement for the Maple Leafs youngest player was shooting the puck more often than he had as a rookie. And so far, Rielly has done just that. On pace for more than 200 shots – a threshold only five NHL defenders eclipsed last season – he is first among Leaf defencemen in that category and fourth overall. “I think I’ve just been trying to get the puck on net a bit more, trying to create rebounds and scrambles at the net,’ Rielly said. “I think I knew that I could shoot more this year and try to create more opportunities and that’s what I’ve been trying to do. I’ve gotten a lot more chances to do that, I think, this year than last year, but it’s just a matter of trying to keep doing it and just try to get your point shots through to the net.” Rielly, who has one goal and three assists to date, had only 96 shots in 73 games last season, scoring twice. 5. More Youth and Young D In poor position to receive a pass from Stephane Robidas late in the second period, Jake Gardiner had the puck bounce off his skate and right to former Leaf Dominic Moore, who promptly found Carl Hagelin for the Rangers game-tying third goal. The 24-year-old later pinched in the offensive zone, setting up Komarov for the game-winner “Tonight’s game is another prime example of a young player,” Carlyle said with a chuckle. “One positive, one negative … He made a difference in the end and when it counted.” Gardiner, who was forced to leave Thursday’s game in Colorado with a bruised left knee, returned to play just under 17 minutes against New York. Bonus Point Sidelined Joining David Booth, Brandon Kozun and Joffrey Lupul on the injured shelf was Daniel Winnik, sidelined Saturday following a thunderous collision in Denver on Thursday that appeared to knock him briefly unconscious. Carlyle, who said Winnik was “100 per cent fine” after the 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche, wouldn’t specify whether the 29-year-old was suffering from any concussion symptoms, but did say that the team was following the league’s concussion protocol. “It looked like he was [unconscious] for a bit,” Carlyle said, “so that’s all part of the process, that they do the evaluation and they create a time-frame before he’s able to come and join our hockey club.” TSN’s Darren Dreger later reported that Winnik passed all of the protocol associated with suspected concussions, but was held out Saturday as a precaution. Under league protocol, Winnik would’ve been tested while at rest and, if he showed no concussion symptoms there, then again after some form of exertion. His test results would be compared with the results of testing done during training camp to determine if he was ready to play. It’s unclear if he will indeed play Sunday in Ottawa. Stats-Pack 6-games – Point streak for Phil Kessel, who has four goals and 11 points in that span. 33 – Shots for Morgan Rielly this season, fourth most on the Leafs. 6-20 – Toronto power-play in the past six games. 8 – Hits for Leo Komarov against the Rangers. 13-19 – Faceoff mark for Nazem Kadri against the Rangers. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-2 Season: 21.6% PK: 2-2 Season: 84.3% Quote of the Night “He has a little bit of a different sense of humour being that he speaks five different languages and he mumbles in all of them.” -Randy Carlyle, on Leo Komarov. Up Next The Leafs play the Senators in Ottawa on Sunday at 6pm, making up the game earlier this month that was postponed because of tragedy in the nation’s capital. ' ' '

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