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VANCOUVER -- One of Mike Gilliss final acts as Canucks general manager was to end the Roberto Luongo saga once and for all in Va

in Out of Line 24.01.2018 09:27
von jokergreen0220 | 619 Beiträge

VANCOUVER -- One of Mike Gilliss final acts as Canucks general manager was to end the Roberto Luongo saga once and for all in Vancouver by trading the veteran goalie to the Florida Panthers last month. Alonzo Mourning Jersey . And while the recently fired Gillis wont be around to reap any potential benefit from deal, Vancouver got its first real glimpse this week at one of the key pieces that came back the other way. Jacob Markstrom, acquired along with forward Shawn Matthias as part of the deal that sent Luongo back to his former team, allowed three goals on 27 shots in a solid first start with the Canucks as Vancouver fell 4-2 to the red-hot Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. The American Hockey Leagues goalie of the month for February while he was still a member of the Panthers organization, Markstrom watched from the bench for 15 straight games as Vancouver rode fellow Swede Eddie Lack in a failed attempt to make a run at the playoffs. After the Canucks were eliminated from contention for the first time in six years, head coach John Tortorella indicated that youngsters would play in the teams final three games and that Markstrom would get his chance to spell Lack, who started 19 in a row following the Olympic break. "I thought (Markstrom), with the amount of work hes done and the lack of play ... I thought he was really good, as far as the technical part that were trying to work on with him," Tortorella said after Thursdays game. That work the Canucks have been doing with Markstrom has included having him play deeper in his crease, a style preached by goalie coach Rollie Melanson. "A lot of the stuff Ive been working with Rollie with felt pretty good out there," said Markstrom, whose only other game with Vancouver was mop-up duty in a 6-1 loss to Dallas. "Its all repetitions and weve been doing it for quite a bit here so it felt pretty natural. "I was happy that I was playing but too bad we couldnt win." Markstrom might be untested, but he is by no means new to the NHL. The 24-year-old played parts of four seasons with the Panthers, including 23 games during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. In 45 career outings, Markstrom has a less-than-inspiring 11-26-5 record to go along with an .897 save percentage and a 3.20 goals-against average. But its his potential and six-foot-six frame that the Canucks were drawn to in the Luongo deal, which happened quickly after Tortorella chose to start Lack in the Heritage Classic. "I like Jacob Markstrom, I think hes a really good young talent in goal," Gillis said after the trade. "When I look at the return, obviously you want to try and get the absolute best and most that you can get, but there are circumstances that do impact and play a role in these things. And we were impacted by things that were somewhat beyond our control." At the end of last season, Vancouver had both Luongo and Cory Schneider, who was dealt to the New Jersey Devils in June, on the roster. Now with Lack and Markstrom, what had been a position of strength for the organization is now a major question mark. Tortorella decided against starting Markstrom with the Canucks still in this years playoff chase, describing his talents as "raw." "Really the biggest thing Rollie is trying to do is get him deeper (in his crease)," Tortorella said in late March. "Hes a really athletic guy, hes a big man. Hes trying to get him to play deeper. Again, I dont spend too much time asking questions, but hes trying to change his game a little bit. "Hes a young guy. We are very intrigued about his athletic ability and the size that he is and I think Ive got one of the best goaltending coaches around in dealing with these guys and teaching them." Markstrom, who is expected to play Vancouvers final two games of the season, said before Thursdays start hes fine with the Canucks trying to alter his game if it gets results. "At the end of the day its all about feeling good and stopping the puck," he said. "Youve got to go out there with a good feeling and be confident in what youre going to do and I feel really confident right now. "Im just trying to improve my game as much as I can. Obviously its a couple different steps with Rollie, what he does and what he wants his goalies to do." Meanwhile, Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa confirmed after Thursdays game that he will represent Canada at the world championship next month in Belarus. "Its an honour. I talked to (Canadian general manager) Rob Blake and he asked me if I wanted to play," said Bieksa. "I havent had many opportunities to play for my country before and I dont plan on missing the playoffs too many more years so I thought Id take this chance." Larry Johnson Jersey . So true. It is one thing to create a winning football team, and another to keep it winning. Each and every week it changes. The NFL creates a unique interest of not who is "the best", but much more who is "the best this week". Dwight Howard Jersey . Woods said Friday that his charity event, which attracts a world-class field even without being part of any tour, will move in December 2014 to Isleworth, the course where he honed his professional game from 1996 until moving away to south Florida two years ago. http://www.basketballhornetsauthority.com/glen-rice-hornets-jersey-c-11/ . He was with the New York Jets in 2011 when the NFL locked out their players after they failed to agree on a new contract. Willy went undrafted but was given a look by four NFL teams before heading north.PHILADELPHIA – Restructuring the Toronto defence was primary in the objectives of Maple Leafs management as they strode into the busiest stage of a lengthy offseason. And on the final day of draft weekend, they took the first step toward doing just that. Carl Gunnarsson, selected with the 194th overall pick at the draft in Columbus seven years earlier, was dealt to St. Louis on Saturday morning for thick Czech defenceman and longtime Blue, Roman Polak. He is the first addition to a roster that promised to change following another late season meltdown. Adjustment to a mismatched and ineffective back-end was a must for the Leafs, who finished near the league basement defensively last season – yielding more shots against than any other club. Polak, while not an upgrade to the steady, but increasingly over-taxed Gunnarsson, does offer a different kind of presence to the Toronto defence, something brawnier and edgier for head coach Randy Carlyle, if not quite better. Gunnarsson, it was ultimately deemed, could be replaced on the top pairing with something similar internally. "We like our defence individually," general manager Dave Nonis said after the final round of the draft was completed on Saturday afternoon, "[but] we didnt necessarily like how they fit together last year. We wanted to move some pieces and change the look, rebuild it a little bit. I wouldnt say its a major overhaul by doing something like this, but it does give us a different element and its a player we didnt really have." Maybe more significant is how the trade promises to open up further opportunity for the clubs two top guns on defence: Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner. By removing Gunnarsson – who teamed with Dion Phaneuf on left side of the top pair – and adding the right-handed Polak, the Leafs opened up room for Rielly and Gardiner to become more prominent members of the defence. Rielly should move from a place on the bottom pair to something more substantial in the top-four. Gardiner, who led the team in even-strength ice-time, might be the one to replace Gunnarsson on the top pair. "Those guys are going to have to take steps forward," Nonis said of the promising duo. "It might be a lot to ask for Morgan a little bit in his second year, but he made some pretty big strides last year and we would expect that hell take some more next [year]. And I think Jake is a good possibility [of doing the same] as well." Left-handed shots, Rielly and Gardiner were both forced to play the right side often last season – nearly the entire season for the rookie – due to the rarity of right-handed defenders on the Toronto defence (Gardiner, specifically, struggled with the change and eventually had to move back to the left). The addition of the 6-foot-1, 227-pound Poolak will ease that glut and allow more options for Carlyle. Frank Kaminsky Jersey. The Blues, who ranked third in the league defensively a year ago, employed Polak in shutdown capacities as well as on their second-ranked penalty kill. He was known in St. Louis as a fierce, physical competitor willing to play through injury. The 28-year-old, who has two years remaining on a five-year contract ($2.75 million cap hit), led the Blues defence in hits and finished second in blocked shots. "Hes a tough guy to play against," Nonis said of Polak, picked in the sixth round of 2004 Draft. "If you look at the minutes he plays he often plays against teams top players. He is very physical, hes very strong. I think theres a perception that because hes so big hes not mobile, I dont think thats true at all. We think that one of his strengths is his skating ability. Hes going to provide a little bit of edge." The fifth overall pick in 2012, Rielly had a fine first season in Toronto, demonstrating improvement with each passing month. He finished with 27 points in nearly 18 minutes of nightly work, emerging as one of the Leafs top possession players in 73 games. It remains to be seen whether he can climb another rung as a sophomore next season though the organization is certainly hopeful based on all that they saw a year ago. "We are hoping that he improves next year," said Nonis. "He may not. He might go through a year where hes not quite ready to go up the lineup, but were comfortable that hes going to get there and hes going to be an impact player and were going to give him an opportunity to do that." Gardiner, meanwhile, finished a rollercoaster third season on a high. He was easily the teams best defenceman down the stretch of another alarming late season collapse, totaling five goals and 14 points in the final 21 games. "Jakes going to have times where [the media] sitting below me in the press-box will hear me smacking on the wall, but the fact is hes got God-given ability that you just cant teach," Nonis said of the 23-year-old. "I think hes getting the other part of his game under control. The last half of the season the turnovers and some of the mistakes he was making earlier were decreasing … He did come a long way." Nonis expects the Leafs to be active at the outset of free agency on July 1st. He was inclined to add another defenceman to the mix, while stating his acceptance to the status quo if furthers upgrades were unavailable. Gunnarsson had mixed feelings after a five-year stay in Toronto. He received word of the trade shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday morning and was "kind of shocked". "I didnt expect it," he told TSN.ca, still piecing together the emotions of his first trade in the NHL. "Sucks leaving Toronto…its been great." 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