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Cup threat in recent years.
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TORONTO a€“ The disappointment was evident all over his face. Patrick Kerney Jersey . Attempting a re-launch of his NHL career this fall, Petri Kontiola, the former Blackhawks draft pick, was plainly dejected after his second exhibition game with the Leafs on Wednesday night. Kontiola, a 29-year-old who spent the past five seasons in the KHL, knew that what hed offered so far probably wasnt good enough. a€?Im not doing that well right now and I know it,a€? he said gloomily. a€?Thats about it.a€? Kontiolas biggest challenge in making the leap back to the NHL, as per Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, was his ability to keep up with the pace of the game. And thats been precisely the struggle for the Finnish forward. His long, choppy stride appears just a step too slow for the high speeds of the NHL game, evident even at this early stage of the exhibition season. He teamed uncomfortably with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk on a de facto top line against Ottawa, finishing without a shot on goal in about 13 minutes. a€?We try to use these games as assessment periods and sometimes people play themselves into situations and play them out of situations,a€? Carlyle said, not mentioning Kontiola specifically. a€?We tried to put people in situations where they can have the best possible chance for success and then thats when the evaluation process starts.a€? The evident fact of Kontiolas struggle, early as it may be in training camp, has made Torontos once uncertain centre dynamic become pretty clear pretty quick. With Kontiola seemingly out of the mix a€“ hes not getting faster overnight a€“ the final two centre spots would appear safely in the hands of Peter Holland and Mike Santorelli, an unproven duo in different regards. Given Carlyles stated intention of three a€?scoringa€? lines, Holland would seem the probable choice for third line centre duties beyond Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri. Just 23, the former first round pick has offered hints of promise in 68 NHL games a€“ albeit inconsistently a€“ including five goals and 10 points in 39 games with the Leafs last season. Making clear that he was just a rung above the American League in the spring, he went on to thrive with the Marlies in the playoffs, boasting 15 points in 11 games. But can he fulfill his potential with the increased NHL opportunity likely to come his way? That will indeed be the question. Santorelli could certainly push him for some of those offensive minutes, but appears better suited (of the two) to absorb the difficult minutes left by Jay McClement, a Carlyle favourite whom the organization let walk in the offseason. Under the direction of since-deposed Vancouver head coach John Tortorella, Santorelli was utilized in challenging defensive situations, also killing penalties along the way. And he fared okay, posting positive Corsi numbers at even-strength. If Carlyle can find in him a player to handle those difficult assignments in the coming year he could alleviate some of the burden carried by Bozak and the teams top trio, which was often overloaded against top lines a year ago. a€?Hes going to get opportunities,a€? Carlyle said of Santorelli. a€?We brought the player in feeling that he could make a contribution.a€? Unlike McClement, who scored just four goals in 81 games, Santorelli also offers some offensive potential. Averaging nearly 19 minutes, he scored 10 times in 49 games with his hometown Canucks, adding a 20-goal campaign to the resume in Florida a few years earlier. a€?I think as a player you want to come in and help with the team any way you can and thats all Im looking to do here,a€? said Santorelli, who also won 51 per cent of his faceoffs. As for Kontiola, his fight to remain in the race for a job with the Leafs hangs by an apparent thread. Though the transition to North American-sized rinks would seem a challenge, even for a player who spent two seasons over here, he refused to touch it after Wednesdays game, brushing it off as an excuse. a€?No, a good player can play wherever,a€? he said. The team wasnt quite as dismissive. a€?Were watching him very closely,a€? Peter Horachek, the Leafs assistant coach, said before the game, a€?as we are with a couple of the other centremen and seeing where they stand because theres some questions to be answered for our team coming through training camp.a€? One at least appears increasingly closer to a solution. Shaun Alexander Jersey . With his father watching from the stands, Harrison homered, doubled, single and drove in a career-high five runs to lead the Pirates to a 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. Barkevious Mingo Jersey . Off-Season Game Plan looks at the Capitals possible summer plans, with the understanding that its tough to plot a direction without a general manager or head coach around which to set those expectations. http://www.cheapseahawksjerseyssale.com/?tag=frank-clark-jersey-sale . New York then missed its next six shots and scored only two points the rest of the night. The Los Angeles Clippers defence and the Knicks general ineptitude both played a role in the unsurprising finish to a meeting of two teams headed in opposite directions.Canada will have home-court advantage in its bid to stay among the worlds best tennis countries. Canada will host Colombia in a Sept. 12-14 tie, with the winner starting Davis Cup play in the World Group next year. The location of the best-of-five competition has yet to be announced, but hosting the tie is a definite advantage for Canada, says the team captain. "The number one thing I think we were hoping for was to play at home," Martin Larendeau said Tuesday on a conference call. "Weve seen over the last few years when we play at home, our odds increase dramatically." Canada beat both Spain and Italy indoors in Vancouver last year to reach the semifinals for the first time in history before bowing out to Serbia. The Davis Cup, founded in 1900, is the touted as the largest annual international team competition in sport with 122 countries participating in 2014. A tie consists of two singles matches on the first day, a doubles match on Day 2 and concludes with a pair of singles matches on the third day. The ascension of Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., and Vasek Pospisil of Vancouver in mens singles, as well as the work of tireless and decorated doubles veteran Daniel Nestor of Toronto, turned Canada into a consistent Davis Cup threat in recent years. Canada started this years Davis Cup in the World Group for a third straight year. Beset by injuries, however, Canada lost 4-1 to Japan in Tokyo in February. Raonic and Pospisil didnt play at all and Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., retired in the second set of a singles match on the final day because of a stomach injury. So Japan advanced to the quarter-finals, while Canada must win the playoff versus Colombia to start 2015 in the World Group again. Canada fell 4-1 to Colombia in Bogota the last time the two countries met in 2010. Because that tie was played on the road, its Canadas turn to host the South Americans. The Canadians need to leverage a friendly, familiar venue into a victory, lest they drop into Americas Group 1 qualifying matches next year. "I dont think anybody wants to go back to Grooup 1, where we would have to face a lot of South Americans teams and away ties and stuff," Larendeau said. Brett Hundley Jersey. "We have to make the most of this window to play a South American team at home. Everyone is keen on us staying in the World Group. "Our reference for us is going to be the matches last February and last April when we played at home. I think its going to bring a lot of good feelings back to play at home and hopefully that will put the guys in a productive frame of mind." Tennis Canada will announce the location at a later date. Larendeau says he and the athletes will have some input into the location, but not the final say. "The good thing about playing in September is we have options to play indoors or outdoors. Its something we dont have when we play in February or even April," the Laurendeau said. "We need the players feedback to see how they think theyre going to match up in altitude, sea level, indoors, outdoors. The players and myself have a bit of a say on where wed like to play, but it doesnt come down to that. "Theres executive decisions and theres also a marketplace, theres also promoting the game in cities or in areas that are not able to see a lot of tennis. Theres a lot of factors that go in, but our job is to come up to the board of directors and president and say these are the conditions wed like to play in and lets work on the venue now." Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal are previous Canadian host cities of World Group ties. Canada is seeded No. 8, while Colombia is ranked No. 26 in Davis Cup. Raonic is currently No. 11 in ATP mens singles and Pospisil is 28th. Colombia doesnt have a singles player in the worlds top 50, but the doubles team of Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah is formidable. That duo lost the final of last months Sony Open to world No. 1 Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S. "I think Colombia is a very tough team," Larendeau said. "They have a lot of depth, they have an excellent doubles team and they have a lot of experience in singles play." 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Message Cup threat in recent years.

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