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Nov 5, 2012 8:34pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

TORONTO – Randy Carlyle hockey is sure to demand something grittier of the Leafs
next fall. Von Miller Nike Jersey .  And while the
upcoming free agent frenzy does not yield the first-class pivot the organization
desires nor the sure-thing in goal, the class of 2012 does boast a selection of
potential upgrades, namely to a bottom six lacking in both toughness and
size. Carlyle made it clear when he joined the club in early March that his
brand of hockey would be different. The swift offensive attack of Ron Wilson
would be dimmed to something approaching a grind while defensively, the strategy
would tighten considerably. Much like his boss, Carlyle hockey would also be
brash, bold and belligerent. But as became clear in their second half collapse,
the Leafs were not that group or more precisely, lacked the necessary elements
to consistently offer such a style. Beyond Mike Brown (and Jay Rosehill in
limited action), the lineup lacked thump, was not challenging for the most part
to play against and swayed heavily toward skill rather than Caryles accustomed
edge. If the free agent class is missing something in excitement – high-end
talents are being locked up to long-term deals with increasing frequency – it
does offer a variety of bottom six options, some of whom could stand to make the
Leafs a more difficult group to oppose, driving the club closer to a Carlyle
brand of hockey. Bottom-Six A terrific faceoff man with a knack for killing
penalties, Paul Gaustad leads the group down the middle, joined by 29-year-old
Jay McClement, Colorados leading penalty killer last season, former Leaf
Dominic Moore, veteran Jason Arnott, and Ryan Carter, Devils playoff hero and a
member of Burkes Stanley Cup champion Ducks in 2007. Grinders who might fit the
bill along the wall include John Tortorella favourite Brandon Prust,
Arron Asham, American and Stanley Cup champion Jamie Langenbrunner, long-time
Nashville agitator Jordin Tootoo, Adam Burish, Daniel Winnik and Joey Crabb, who
earned a quick fan in Carlyle with his performance down the stretch. A member of
the Ducks for six seasons, George Parros is also available if the Leafs aspire
to fill the tough-guy role as are scrappers such as the aforementioned Prust,
Zenon Konopka and Guelph native Krys Barch. Top-Six With the acquisition of
James Van Riemsdyk from Philadelphia – the big, scoring winger they long desired
– the Leafs have at the very least four firm fits in their top six with
Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, and Mikhail Grabovski joining the 23-year-old New
Jersey native. Any additional upgrades to this group – which also may include
Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin (restricted free agent), Tim Connolly,
Tyler Bozak, Matt Frattin (restricted free agent) and Nazem Kadri – almost
certainly lie in the trade market with few high-end options that fill a need
(top centre) available in free agency. Defence The Leafs probably wouldnt mind
upgrading their blueline if the right options arose, but again the class on
defence is rather thin. Dealing Luke Schenn to the Flyers in the Van Riemsdyk
swap leaves a possible hole on defence with Cody Franson (restricted free
agent), Mike Komisarek and Korbinian Holzer among the internal options. Beyond
Suter, the underrated Matt Carle and ever-popular Justin Schultz are available
joined by a group comprised mostly of depth and veteran experience.
Jason Garrison, Bryan Allen, Bryce Salvador, Adrian Aucoin, Sami Salo,
Scott Hannan and Greg Zanon are among the options, none of which scream of an
obvious fit, but could provide some much-needed stability to a club that
struggled defensively last season.  Goaltenders An already thin goalie market
has shrunken to almost nothing on the dawn of free agency. Martin Brodeur spiced
the class up immeasurably with his addition to the pool late this week, but
after the future Hall of Famer the group is comprised of back-ups with former
Leaf Scott Clemmensen tops in that respect. Andre Caldwell Jersey . Lasorda has been
resting at home since flying back to California after being released from the
hospital last Thursday, three days after he fell ill while representing the Los
Angeles Dodgers at the Major League Baseball draft. Karl Mecklenburg Jersey . Foster had 180
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. Napoli progresses to the final 3-2 on aggregate and will meet Juventus on May
20 after the Turin outfit beat Milan on Tuesday. Napoli took the lead in the
10th minute when, under pressure from Cavani, Siena captain Simone Vergassola
fired into his own net. Matt Prater Jersey . Amare Stoudemire led six
Suns players in the double digits on the way to a 96-79 victory over the
defending champions on Wednesday night. “Any time you come here its a good win,”
Steve Nash said. Brian Dawkins Jersey . —Cody Eakin had a
goal and two assists and Nathan Lieuwen made 25 saves to earn the shutout as the
Kootenay Ice blanked the Medicine Hat Tigers 3-0 on Saturday night.SAN FRANCISCO
—Ryan Vogelsong had all of the answers except for what actually hit him during
the San Francisco Giants key rally. Vogelsong allowed one hit in seven scoreless
innings and drew a disputed hit by pitch in San Franciscos four-run seventh as
the Giants beat the Oakland Athletics for the 11th straight time at home, 4-0 on
Saturday. Vogelsong (2-2) retired the first 13 batters he faced and allowed only
a soft single to right-centre by Seth Smith with one out in the fifth. But he
was still locked in a scoreless duel with Tyson Ross before the Giants broke
through in the seventh after the umpire ruled a ball hit Vogelsong despite
claims from the As that it hit the bat instead. “I wasnt acting. Something hit
me in the chest, whether it was my bat or the ball, something made contact with
me,” Vogelsong said. “I didnt know what it was. I thought I got hit.”
Buster Posey hit an RBI double and Angel Pagan added a two-run single in the big
inning to help the Giants win for the sixth time in eight games. They also
extended their home dominance over the As, who have not won in San Francisco
since 2008. Emmanuel Burriss led off the seventh with an infield single between
third base and shortstop. Giants manager Bruce Bochy then called back
pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff from the on-deck circle to have Vogelsong try to lay
down a bunt. Tyson Ross (2-4) threw high and tight and home plate umpire James
Hoye ruled Vogelsong was hit by the pitch. The As argued that the ball hit
Vogelsongs bat. “I knew he was bunting. I tried to elevate a fastball to try and
induce a popup or maybe get a double play. It kind of got away from me a little
bit,” Ross said. “I saw it hit the bat but the umpire saw it differently. That
was a big spot in the game. Unfortunately he was awarded the base and you know
what happened after that.” Grant Balfour came in and walked Gregor Blanco on
four pitches before striking out Brandon Crawford for the first out.
Melky Cabrera followed with a sacrifice fly. Posey extended the lead with a
ground-rule double and Pagans single made it 4-0. “You have to capitalize on
it,” Posey said. “We were able to do that.” Oakland manager Bob Melvin got
ejected after arguing again with Hoye on his way to take out Balfour after
Pagans hit. Melvin was also ejected Thursday in Texxas after another argument,
although plate umpire Laz Diaz later apologized to Melvin after acknowledging he
missed the call. Wesley Woodyard Jersey. . The As rallied to
beat the Rangers in 10 innings in that game, but couldnt overcome a disputed
call this time to extend their longest losing streak in one stadium since
dropping 12 in a row at Milwaukee from 1992-95. “At some point you have to move
on and continue to play and try to shut it down,” Melvin said. “We tried to.
They just ended up scoring some runs right there.” The game was scoreless after
six innings even though the Giants put 10 runners on base to just two for the
Athletics. Ross escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first by getting
Pagan to pop up and striking out Brandon Belt to end a 31-pitch inning. He
stranded two more runners in the second when he struck out Crawford. He then
induced inning-ending double plays in the fifth and sixth from Cabrera and
Joaquin Arias after putting runners on first and second. Vogelsong was helped
early when Cabrera made a shoestring, backhand catch in left-centre to rob
Jemile Weeks of a hit to lead off the game. That was the closest the As came to
a baserunner before Smiths single. Josh Donaldson, who had five RBIs on Friday
night, followed by hitting into an inning-ending double play as Vogelsong faced
the minimum 15 batters through five innings. Vogelsong pitched around a leadoff
walk to Daric Barton in the sixth, the only other baserunner he allowed. He has
allowed just three earned runs in 28 1-3 innings over his last four starts,
lowering his ERA to 2.27, as he has picked up from his breakthrough All-Star
season last year. “I think I need to do it for the whole season,” Vogelsong
said. “Thats a big goal of mine for this season, to have another solid year and
kind of put that beside me going forward. I still feel like I have a lot to
prove.” NOTES: The only longer regular-season win streak over an opponent for
the Giants at this ballpark came when they beat the Mets 12 straight times from
2000-03. But New York split two playoff games here in 2000. ...... Vogelsong
walked in the second inning, giving Giants pitchers three walks in two games
after having just two in the first 38. ... Tim Lincecum, who is 5-1 with a 1.38
ERA in seven starts against Oakland, pitches the series finale against
Bartolo Colon. ’ ’ ’ 

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