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pitch.Just hit a bad drive

  • 31 Jan
    TORONTO – Fighting rising adversity and stalled growth, the Leafs will get a little help on the back-end in the coming days. [b]Cheap Nike Air Max 97 Online All Pink[/b] . Mark Fraser is ready to return from a left knee injury and hopes to play against the Devils, his former team, on Friday. The 27-year-old has been sidelined for all but two games this season with a grade-2 MCL tear. "I think I can say today was my best day yet," said Fraser, following an hour-plus practice on Wednesday morning. "There really wasnt any concerns today in practice. I think thats a pretty good green light indication for myself." Randy Carlyle wasnt ready to say if Fraser would immediately rejoin the lineup, but did at least concede to the looming possibility of change on a defence thats had trouble this season. Guardedness from the coach aside, Fraser figures to find a place upon his return from injury. He was among the teams top-6 defenders when the season began in Montreal – he played with Paul Ranger that night – and offers the kind of meat-and-potatoes defensive game his team has lacked early this season. Where he fits and who exits the lineup in the interim is more the question and one Carlyle and the coaching staff have surely been pondering. "We have decisions to make," Carlyle said, revealing little in the way of plans. The odd man out when the season opened on Oct. 1, Morgan Rielly played a season-low 14 minutes in Vancouver on Saturday. The 19-year-old has had the predictable ups and downs of a rookie defender, averaging nearly 18 minutes alongside Cody Franson in the slot Fraser occupied last season. Like Rielly, Jake Gardiner and Paul Ranger have also been inconsistent options to date. Theyve offered limited patches of good on a third pairing, but nothing sustainable. Their troubles with the puck and in the defensive zone have been an obvious concern. Much like last season, the Leafs have struggled to find consistency beyond their top pair of Dion Phaneuf and Carl Gunnarsson. Carlyle has typically employed Franson and Rielly against second-tier offensive options (often subbing the rookie with Phaneuf), but theyve proven uneven in the role, both players more refined offensively than defensively. Carlyle found success teaming the 6-foot-4 Fraser with the 6-foot-5 Franson last season; though the pair had difficulty at times with greater competition as the year wore on. Because of Riellys inexperience and the inconsistency of Gardiner and Ranger, this may be the best option for the Leafs at the moment – with any one of the aforementioned three exiting the lineup initially, likely on a rotating basis. Ultimately, Carlyle will have to determine where Fraser fits best in helping to stabilize the defence. "Youre going to make the decision that you feel is best for your hockey club, whats going to give you the best chance to win," said Carlyle. Frasers return, needed as it is, highlights the instability of a Toronto defence that received no external upgrades in the offseason. Leaf management had limited options via free agency and ultimately stood pat on the trade market, adding only Ranger from the Marlies. It was and remains a hope for the club that Gardiner rounds into playoff form, that Ranger continues to improve after a four-year NHL absence and that Rielly continues to show growth. The results remain inconclusive to this point. Fraser exuded a workmanlike effort in snatching a spot with the Leafs last season; he led the defence in both blocked shots and hits. Though the pain and discomfort in his left knee have subsided, he will be required to wear a brace upon returning from long-term injured reserve, one that hell likely keep for the remainder of the season as a precaution. "Finding some sort of comfort in it," he said of the adjustment. "It just feels like a very restrictive piece of equipment that seldom stays in the same spot so its just getting beyond that. Like anything it just takes some getting used to." More constrictive than the brace is the medical tape he must wear, stretching from the thigh to below the knee. The protective equipment, he said, wont affect his skating stride nor does it restrict him from any typical movements. Though he figures to help a club that has had difficulty defending – 37 shots against per game – his addition is just one small piece to a group that has yet to play anywhere near its best hockey (10-5-0). In what was likely their worst performance of the season on Saturday, the Leafs allowed 40-plus shots for the third straight game, shut out for the first time all year in a 4-0 loss to the Canucks. "I think we need physical," said Carlyle, asked if Frasers physical presence was needed. "I think we need puck-moving. I think we need to quit the turnovers. I think weve got to get back to more a workman-like game versus the cute game I think weve been trying to play." Theyll be challenged to do so without two of their top centres. Tyler Bozak (hamstring) is out for the foreseeable future (Nov. 21, his earliest return date) and Dave Bolland (ankle) has hit injured reserve for a period that remains unknown and figures to be longer rather than shorter. Hoping to plug the holes and survive in the meantime, the club signed 34-year-old Jerred Smithson for the remainder of the season, also bumping James van Riemsdyk to centre. Previously with the Marlies on a pro tryout, Smithson spent last season split between Florida and Edmonton. "We look at our team to play a tighter brand of hockey and to continue to show some growth," said Carlyle. "We think the growth has stalled for our team. We dont think that weve played to the template that weve created and some of the things that were struggling with are things that we have to overcome or were not going to give ourselves the best chance for success."[b]Cheap Nike Air Max 97 Online Grey[/b] . Lowry and the Raptors officially announced a four-year US$48 million dollar deal Thursday. The deal was reported last week but couldnt be made official until Thursday, when the moratorium on signings was lifted. "They were real factors. I did my homework. [b]Cheap Nike Air Max 97 Online All Black[/b] . The team reported the signing on its website Thursday, but said Friday the deal was off in "a mutual parting of the ways that had to do with the language of the contract.SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Bernhard Langer robbed the Charles Schwab Cup Championship of some of its usual drama when he wrapped up the points title a week before the Champions Tour finale.Tom Pernice Jr. and Jay Haas made up for it Sunday at Desert Mountain.Two holes after slashing out backward from a rocky wash channel in the desert, Pernice finally finished off Haas with a birdie on the fourth extra hole. The 55-year-old Pernice got up-and-down from the left bunker to end it on the par-5 18th, holing a 6-foot birdie putt after Haas made a 12-footer for par.I just said, Hes going to make it, so you need to be prepared to play it on the right edge. And it rolled right in, Pernice said. It was pretty scrappy. I hung in there. Short game is part of it as well and my short game held up and carried me through.Pernice closed with a 3-under 67 — also making a 6-foot birdie putt on 18 — to match Haas at 11-under 269 on the Cochise Course. The 60-year-old Haas had a 66.Jay and I have become good friends, Pernice said. Ive gone back and played in his charity event in Greenville. I hate for anybody to lose.Pernice earned $440,000 in the event limited to the top 30 on the money list. He also won a playoff in Iowa in June and has four career victories on the 50-and-over tour after winning twice on the PGA Tour.I was just thinking last night, its such a privilege to be able to be out here, first and foremost, to be out here playing with Freddie Couples and Jay Haas and Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer and Hale Irwin and Tom Watson, Pernice said. To be able to do that and compete and do what we do at our age is pretty amazing that this is here for us.Langer closed with a 65 to tie for fourth at 9 under. The 57-year-old German star won his second Charles Schwab Cup points title last week to earn a $1 million annuity and made $158,000 on Sunday to break Hale Irwins tour record with $3,074,189. Irwin earned $3,082,304 in 2002.Langer topped the money list for the sixth time in seven years. He led the tour with five victories, two of them majors, and had 12 top-three finishes in 20 starts. He also won the season points title in 2010.Its still mind-boggling just to reflect on my year, Langer said. When you think about itt, you play golf from January until now, its 10 months, and to have played as consistently well as Ive done in 20 tournaments is hard to believe really. [b]Cheap Nike Air Max 97 Online Yellow[/b]. Haas had birdie chances to win on the second and third playoff holes, but missed both to the right.It was a long day, longer for the team that loses in extra innings, Haas said. Toms such a beautiful bunker player and pitcher of the ball and everything. I knew I was going to have to make a birdie to beat him.On the par-3 17th on the third extra hole, Haas missed a 15-foot birdie putt. Pernice made a 6-footer after missing the green to the left and hitting a flop shot.On 18 on the second playoff hole, Haas 8-foot birdie also slid right, and Pernice made a 4-footer for a scrambling par. He drove right into a narrow wash channel in the desert, gouged the ball backward to the fairway, hit his 246-yard approach to the right of the green and set up the par putt with a long pitch.Just hit a bad drive, Pernice said. I had been aiming down the left side and kind of cutting with the wind and came up and out of it and blocked it and so the wind got it. .... Luckily, I had a shot, but I had to go backwards quite a ways because I was going in the direction of the washout.Haas made a 6-foot birdie putt on 18 to stay alive on the first extra hole after Pernice two-putted for birdie.In regulation on 18, Haas holed a 35-foot birdie putt from the fringe to take the lead at 11 under. Pernice — playing a group behind — forced the playoff with his 6-foot birdie putt.Haas opened with rounds of 66 and 62 to take a four-stroke lead and break the tour record for consecutive rounds of par or better at 38, then shot 75 on Saturday to fall a stroke behind Pernice and Perry.Haas won two weeks ago in North Carolina to become the 18th player to win a Champions Tour event at 60 or older. He has 17 Champions Tour victories after winning nine PGA Tour titles.Its been a wonderful year and, you know, just a shot here or there, Haas said. Yesterday just was pretty awful, but today came back on a pretty tough day to have a chance there.Perry eagled the final hole for a 68 to finish a stroke back.Colin Montgomerie had a 67 to match Montgomerie at 9 under. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Hockey Jerseys China Nike Baseball Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys China Cheap Football Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys Canada Wholesale Nike MLB Jerseys Canada Cheap NBA Jerseys Authentic Canada Stitched Soccer Jerseys Canada Cheap Jerseys Canada NFL ' ' '