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Maple Leafs depart Florida with a great deal to smile about despite decline

Sunrise, Fla. Outcome apart, the Toronto Maple Leafs had lots to smile about on their way from BB&T Center. You could see it in Mike Babcock’s demeanour when he came upon Roberto Luongo and enthusiastically chided him by saying: “What are you doing? You’re still good!” this, after Luongo’s Florida Panthers handed the Leafs a 2-1 shootout lo s on Wednesday night. A team with as much offensive firepower as Toronto knows that it’s likely to come out on the right side of the ledger when generating 44 shots on goal and holding a 56-49 edge in attempts at even strength. “Yeah,” said winger James van Riemsdyk. “Forty shots. I think that says it all.” The most interesting subplot of the night saw Babcock to s all four of his forward lines into the blender. He was concerned about a potential mismatch against Aleksander Barkov’s dominant unit and wanted to make sure he didn’t get caught with Panthers coach Bob Boughner holding last change. It prompted him to move Patrick Marleau back to the middle to create a deeper centre lineup with Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak. Toronto Maple Leafs on Sportsnet NOWWant to livestream 56 Leafs games this season? See how you can stream this + over 300 regular season NHL games with Sportsnet NOW.LEARN MORE Barkov wound up playing a little more than nine minutes head-to-head against Matthews at even strength and was out-attempted 11-6 in the proce s. Bozak managed to hold serve during his three minutes against Roberto Luongo Jersey the big Finn, who enjoyed more succe s in limited time against Kadri and Marleau but was kept off the scoresheet. This experiment could be labelled a succe s. “I was just trying to make sure that [Barkov] was playing against the right people,” said Babcock. “They get to jump you on the road a little bit and we were trying to figure out what would make it go. We knew we were going to adjust as soon as we saw what they were going to do and go from there. “We had lots of good things tonight.” Other than a slow start, there wasn’t much to nitpick in the performance. Auston Matthews hit a cro sbar to go with his eight shots on goal. Morgan Rielly rang two off the iron, including one late in regulation. The only puck that got behind Frederik Andersen before the shootout caromed off defenceman Connor Carrick’s right skate and found its way between his legs. He called it “one of those situations where you’ve got to expect the unexpected.” That’s similar to the logic behind Babcock’s constant line shuffling this season. His roster of forwards is as deep as any in the league and allows him to tailor his units for the situation, while keeping the opposing coach gue sing. “We have lots of depth and we have different guys that can slot into different areas,” said van Riemsdyk. “We’re Paul Thompson Jersey getting a look at obviously quite a bit of those different options that we may have as a team. It was different here the last couple years. I think that was pretty unique how it was the last couple years, where the lines were pretty much static for the whole time. “You see these different combinations and see how different things work. Once you get towards the end of the year, you have different things that you find work and some that you find didn’t. I think when you can be more versatile and find out some different combinations that may work, I think you always have some different things you can try to maybe spark things up.” Here’s a closer look at how everything shook out against the Panthers, with the most common wingers for each centre listed by even-strength time on ice spent together: Matthews Mitch Marner (15:40) and Zach Hyman (14:16). Bozak William Nylander (13:04) and van Riemsdyk (13:01). Kadri Leo Komarov (9:25), Nikita Soshnikov (4:25), Matt Martin (3:22) and Marleau (2:39). Marleau Connor Brown (9:18), Soshnikov (3:48) and Martin (2:13). The reason those bottom two lines ended up as a mish-mash is because Martin was nailed to the bench for the entire third period while the Leafs pushed for the tying goal. Komarov and Soshnikov saw their minutes curtailed as well. That strategy paid off when Marleau won a puck battle in the neutral zone and got it up to Brown, who fed Kadri for a goal with six minutes to play in regulation. It allowed the Leafs to bank another point. Babcock was quick to mention that he may unveil another new look when his team plays in Carolina on Friday night. It’ll all depend on what challenges the Hurricanes pose. On the road, especially, he certainly seems to enjoy the tinkering. “What we found and we did it in Montreal [on Derek MacKenzie Jersey Saturday] and no one really noticed what we did in Montreal is when they were jumping one of our lines we didn’t let them jump it anymore just because we had too many centres and they couldn’t jump it,” he explained. “We can run their bench instead of them running ours and us being in a full panic mode and spending lots of time in the D-zone.” That’s a winning strategy even if it doesn’t always result in a win.

Quotes and notes from Canucks manager Trevor Linden’s press convention

The Vancouver Canucks president of hockey functions, Trevor Linden, met with media currently within a rather impromptu pre ser Ryan Kesler Jersey in the hallway at Rogers Centre given that the midway mark in the NHL season approaches.Linden explained the performances to this point have been frustrating for himself, also to enthusiasts. Devoid of staying fully forthcoming, the previous Canucks captain answered a spread of queries including contract negotiations with GM Jim Benning, optimism for long run youth progre s and the growth of Brock Boeser, the trade potential customers for Erik Gudbranson, as well as the health and fitne s of wounded skaters Bo Horvat,Sven Baertschiand Brandon Sutter.Here are several of your highlights:Impre sions of the first forty gamesThe Canucks are 16-19-5 right after 40 video games and sit second-last inside the Western Meeting, 19 details powering the table-topping Vegas Golden Knights. Horvat is out using a broken foot, Baertschi that has a fractured jaw and Chris Tanev returned to motion yesterday in time for just a 5-0 lo s on the Anaheim Ducks. Overall, I am encouraged. I search within the positives. obviously Travis has occur in, and it has designed a program which is truly conducive to our team. The way our group played was enjoyment to view and the effects were fairly very good. Viewing Brock, the best way he has appear in and just tailored to your profe sional recreation has been quite amazing. It’s been pleasurable to observe for me and i know it has long been for our fans. December 5th begun a tricky extend for us with Bo taking place and Sven the next evening and Brandon [Sutter] was by now hurt and Chris going down. So it’s been some troubles for that final little bit but we could get balanced and have back to exactly where we had been. I do think we’re capable of it. But you will find definitely been some troubles her lately. Vancouver Canucks on Sportsnet NOWWant to livestream all 82 Canucks online games this time? See the way you can stream this + over 300 standard season NHL video games with Sportsnet NOW.Study MOREGoaltending struggles with out a very clear No. 1Jacob Markstrom has allowed 2.seventy nine ambitions a game and has a nine.02 conserve percentage. Above 29 game titles, it’s hardly sterling. By the use of very little distinction over fourteen online games,Anders Nil son has permit in 3.53 objectives a match and has a .900 preserve proportion.On the other hand, that does not mean 22-year-old Thatcher Demko is remaining termed up for any shot Absolutely not, mentioned Linden. I think it’s a mixture of items. Losing many of individuals drivers of offence from our team, primarily down the center, has impacted our zone engage in a bit. There have already been nights when our defence has struggled a bit and there have been evenings exactly where, pretty honestly, our goaltenders have not been pretty much as good as they have been or are already. Both equally are effective at currently being much better. They equally played really perfectly occasionally and gained games for us. So, for a group, we sense comfy they can get back to in which they have to be, and our crew goes to a sistance them in that. Thatcher has taken a ma sive move this year from where by he was very last yr to becoming superior every single evening. Thatcher has long been relied on over a nightly basis and played definitely properly and that is the place he needs to be. I am aware Clouts [Canucks goaltending mentor Dan Cloutier] is admittedly amazed with exactly where he’s at, but not for below.As #Canucks prepare to strike midway point of marketing campaign, they’ve permitted eight ambitions from the opening 60 seconds of the time period this year. Previous evening was 1st time it transpired at @RogersArena (after in 1st interval & after while in the 3rd). Joey Kenward (@kenwardskorner) January three, 2018Po sibility of making a trade to fight for just a wild-card spot When you talk deadline plans, a lot can happen. There is a lot of hockey left between now and then. As always, we constantly talk being a group about in which we are at and exactly where we require to become. We understand that our eyes are focused on the potential and we are excited about a few of the young players that have taken steps below but also a few of the players that have got a great opportunity Chatfield, Brisbois, McEwen, Demko in Utica and just the prospective clients, some of them are at the world junior some of them in college, some in Europe. So, if there is an opportunity to make that crew improved, we are going to do that. It will be with our eye firmly focused on the foreseeable future.Meeting the mandate to develop youthRegardle s of your standings, they are investing in prospective customers and developing youth as intended. There is some positivity around the group. Naturally it’s been challenging the final bit. The outcomes have been frustrating for me, the fans and certainly or people who follow the crew, and i imagine we can easily be much better. But you will find some positives based on what has occurred below and around our organization. We just have to stick to it. it is been a challenging time but we are capable of getting some guys wholesome and getting our sport back again on track.The word he chooses to keep using is positivity. I consider it’s a big part of some of the positivity around the team. With the end on the day, our lovers can see the building blocks and whether Elias or Jonas played perfectly. Even in Utica with individuals kids who are taking another move, all all those kids are going to turn pro, so subsequent summer heading into camp will be a new crop. Kole Lind has had an outstanding 12 months as nicely. I are actually actually impre sed with exactly where he’s got his sport to in Kelowna. There are some superior points happening. It is been a long time since this organization has actually been able to say that about the depth of potential clients. It’s likely to take some time yet, but I believe our lovers and people around the staff can see that is definitely a positive.Boeser will be pre sed to replicate his initial 40 game titles of his rookie year. But let’s just wait and see, shall we? From the longer-term, will they have to manage their salary cap based on what they want to offer him and other prospective customers like Elias Petter son? Moving forward from a cap standpoint and knowing where by the cap goes, we’re not heading to have cap i sues. Of course Brock has had a very positive 40 video games. It is likely to get tougher for him while in the second half. He’s going for being a marked man. He’s such a smart player, he has the ability to create time and space with his brain, which not many players can do. As far as moving forward with him, we will search at that in the end with the year and see what our options are. It is something to a sume about, with several of Jakob Silfverberg Jersey the player we have coming, whether that be Brock or Elias. But I do think we are in very good shape overall. When you see a player that is definitely that smart and has that sort of skill level and is able to shoot the puck like that, it is just enjoyable to watch. They are special players. For Vancouver supporters, they can probably count on one hand the first time or the first few online games they saw their favourite player or special players throughout the years and he’s one of people guys. I think we’re watching something pretty special from a young player right now. It’s because of his ability to create time and space. It’s not done by speed, it is done by deception. It is been entertaining for everyone, which include myself.Vancouver Canucks RadioTrevor Linden on Benning, Horvat, Boeser and a ‘frustrating’ run for CanucksJanuary 03 2018 Your browser does not a sistance the audio element.Contributions and increased minutes with the SedinsHenrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin were being averaging under 10 minutes to start the season but have stepped up once again in their long careers by increasing their contributions given the many injuries into the top line. They have reported it themselves that they welcome the day when they are maybe not our best offensive options. Early during the year, before Bo went down, we on the nightly foundation thought that they weren’t. They had a excellent initially 30 online games. It’s a good problem to have. They are great pros, they handle the ups and down from the period extremely perfectly, just like they always have. They are great leaders for our group, and nights like the final couple are difficult. Two real excellent teams and big, heavy physcial teams, and we weren’t able to generate a lot of offence but that is not on them, which is on our team.The performance of their occasional linesman, Loui Erik son, has waned. Loui had such a excellent month in November and was a big part of our succe s there. December is challenging for him, not question, and our group has kind of gone the same direction. As a bunch, we struggle to score right now, and so he has long been part of that. I do think his overall match is one that benefits our group He is versatile with the same time we will need contributions from people like that at this time.Ability to let a player leave for nothing like a UFASince they regularly have to sit a defenceman, is it time to permit loose an unrestricted free agent? We will do what is right to the organization. We’ve done that while in the past we will continue to do that as we march through the following seven or eight weeks. We’ve got some excellent upcoming pieces in our organization and we will continue to keep our eye on that. We’ve finally gotten wholesome on the back-end and it is created a little bit of the log jam right now. Of course the participate in of Derrick Pouliot has long been fantastic and even Alex Biega has appear in and pushed hard at a spot, so it is created some challenges there, but those people are great problems to have. We’re not in any rush to do anything. If something that comes our way makes sense that we experience makes us far better, we will certainly seem at it, but we are not looking to move anyone out. We understand that situation can change on this road trip rather quickly.And will Gudbranson be moved or signed any time soon? We haven’t seriously had discu sion on re-signing him yet. And certainly we are in contact with his agent throughout the 12 months. And we within a situation right now where we will see how these up coming six or eight weeks unfold.Awaiting the return of Horvat He is going for any scan these days, which will give us a superior indication from the healing proce s and see the place that gets to. If it comes again positive, he’ll probably get back again on the ice. I’m sure he’s eager to get there. He’s probably trending in or around the all-star break. We will understand a lot more nowadays and hopefully it is excellent news and gets him making his way back again into the lineup. The two guys down the middle have created, both equally those people guys, Bo and Brandon, remaining out have impacted Travis’ ability to match and give him versatility. Bo, especially, is such a driver for us. He is a catalyst offensively. If there was any doubt as to his importance, we’ve seen it within the very last month. He plays in each and every situation and we’ve definitely mi sed his contributions. But it’s part of the activity and teams go through it. You have to find your way around it.The President with the Vancouver Canucks, Trevor Linden, says he’s inspired. Are you? Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) January three, 2018What the long term holds for Jim Benning I’m not definitely heading to get too into that at this position. I don’t a sume it serves anyone in purpose. We are focused on having a very good 2nd half here. I do know Jim is focused on that. He came into a challenging situation, and that i believe we’re trending inside the right direction. I like the job Jim has done, but beyond that we are focused on another couple months into deadline and then finishing and having a fantastic period. And if he does not have a contract at the trade deadline?Jim has always been on the mind that, at heart, he’s a guy that provides a team-building mindset and he’s going to have is eye on the long run and that will be no different as we head into deadline.Addre sing fan anxietyAfter the past 12 games and a dropping record, can he understand why there continues to be fear over yet another cycle toward the bottom? The fist forty games listed here, there have been some positive factors. Followers have enjoyed the style of perform that Travis has instilled. The emergence of Brock and Jake has performed very nicely from time to time. Goldy has done some points and continues to build his match. That has been a real positive. Even just after previous night, I can’t fault the way we competed. We got on the wrong side of it and we couldn’t score. We have to find way to score regardle s of who is from the lineup.The first-time head mentor is drawn to a particular kind of player, and it is one who works hard. Travis has claimed it himself. It’s a style of participate in, whether you are five-foot-nine or six-foot-five, it is how competitive you are and how you battle and compete. That speaks towards the type of drafting you do. I don’t think you add one guy that brings toughne s and all of the sudden you become a more competitive crew. Competitivene s is within your players. Our make up right now is one that evenings like final night are challenging. We want to get greater in that area and we need to draft players and find players that have that characteristic. It doesn’t happen above night.The Canucks set off with a seven-game road trip Carter Rowney Jersey beginning Saturday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.