What Celtics Legend Dave Cowens Likes Most About ‘Unique’ Marcus Smart — NESN.com

[nesn_embed service=dailymotion src=”https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x7oaqeb” width=”480″ height=”270″] Marcus Smart must be doing something right to earn the admiration of a member of his team’s royal family. Boston Celtics legend Dave Cowens praised the aggression with which Smart plays Friday during his appearance on Sirius XM NBA Radio. Cowens believes Smart’s “edge” sets him apart from other NBA […]

What Celtics Legend Dave Cowens Likes Most About ‘Unique’ Marcus Smart — NESN.com

Danny Ainge: Celtics fans shouldn’t boo Kyrie Irving — High Velocity Sport

Danny Ainge: Celtics fans shouldn’t boo Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving, if he gets healthy, will return to Boston with the Nets on Wednesday. How will he be received? Celtics president Danny Ainge said he doesn’t handle game operations, but if it were up to him, Irving would get a tribute video. It was pointed out […]

Danny Ainge: Celtics fans shouldn’t boo Kyrie Irving — High Velocity Sport

New York Knicks: Overall Effort Level Shows That Fizdale Is a Beloved Coach — Empire Sports Media

The New York Knicks are still learning each other as the young season progresses. However, there’s no real identity and the lack of a penetrating point guard hasn’t helped the squad during certain moments. Dennis Smith Jr. is a penetrating point-guard and so is Elfrid Payton. However, Dennis Smith Jr is progressing and working himself […]

New York Knicks: Overall Effort Level Shows That Fizdale Is a Beloved Coach — Empire Sports Media

‘It was unreal’: Mother of injured Bronco Ryan Straschnitzki stunned by his progress after surgery — Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Doctors implanted an epidural stimulator in Ryan Straschnitzki’s spine earlier this month and a week later injected stem cells above and below the injury in the hope that will help reverse some of the damage.

‘It was unreal’: Mother of injured Bronco Ryan Straschnitzki stunned by his progress after surgery — Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Reggie Jackson Cannot Save These Pistons — Palace of Pistons

Excuses aside, the Detroit Pistons have been bad, really bad. The Pistons are 4-10. They have losses to the Hawks, Hornets, Pacers, and two to the Bulls. They are tied for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference and third-worst in the entire association, with just one more win than the Warriors and one less […]

Reggie Jackson Cannot Save These Pistons — Palace of Pistons

Antetokounmpo has triple-double, Bucks beat Trail Blazers — New Delhi Times

The Milwaukee crowd greeted Carmelo Anthony with a loud ovation when the 10-time All-Star was introduced before the game. It cheered louder after the Bucks extended their winning streak to six straight. Giannis Antetokounmpo had his second triple-double of the season and Milwaukee beat Anthony and the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers 137-129 on Thursday night. […]

Antetokounmpo has triple-double, Bucks beat Trail Blazers — New Delhi Times

Maple Leafs need to embrace coaching, system changes, GM says — NYDaily.nyc

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Toronto Maple Leafs will be making changes in their style and their system — and, they hope, their performance — now that they’ve fired coach Mike Babcock, general manager Kyle Dubas said Thursday.The changes won’t always be seamless and won’t necessarily yield immediate results, but Dubas is convinced the Maple Leafs…

Maple Leafs need to embrace coaching, system changes, GM says — NYDaily.nyc

LEAFS 3, COYOTES 1 POSTGAME QUOTES: “They gave me the puck after the game and I haven’t really thought about what to do with it, but it’s special, nonetheless. It has the Coyotes logo on it too, which is pretty meaningful for me and my family as well. It’s a special day in that sense, but one of the things I was really wanting to be mindful of was to not make today about me. I want to make it about the players and about the team. …” –SHELDON KEEFE.

HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE

On the play of the team tonight:

I think the guys just went out and played with confidence and felt like they could take control of the game. It takes some time to establish that and we had to find our way through the first period and I kind of felt out some things. I thought once we settled into the game, I thought we were full marks and the guys played well. More importantly than how we played I just thought we had good energy on the bench. I was really impressed. Obviously, it’s my first time being part of the group like that. The interactions with the players on the bench, the energy, the vibe, the reaction of the players on Barrie’s goal — you just see they really care for him as a teammate and really feel good for him. Those types of things are takeaways for me.

On his first game behind an NHL bench:

I thought it went well. It felt like a hockey game. I was a little behind on a couple of my line changes, I’d like to speed that up a little bit, but the players took care of me well there, I appreciated that. All in all, it did feel like a hockey game to me. I didn’t know how it was going to be. The whole day felt very comfortable, obviously I’m very happy about that and the credit for that goes to the support staff for the help they’ve provided, the assistant coaches and training staff for this transition. The players, they’ve been open-minded and welcoming and engaged. They just want to be coached and they allowed me to do that today and I appreciated that. We asked a lot of them on a game day, a lot of new things coming at them, tried to keep it as simple as possible, but, still, it’s new things coming at them and they have to mix up the routine and all those things. To come up with a pretty good effort, right until the very end of course, we had a mishap and we owe Freddie [Andersen] one, for sure. I’m just very happy.

On starting Barrie alongside Rielly:

We just talked about the fact we were probably going to mix and match our D pairings in different situations throughout the game. Offensive faceoffs, just at times when we think we can get them on the ice together and it’ll really help us offensively. We wanted to have a good first shift, we wanted to establish a good game and get the Matthews line going and thought it was a good chance to do that. Obviously, specific to Tyson, he’s a guy we’re trying to mix things up a little bit with here and get him going. Today obviously the goal is a big weight off his shoulders. We’re going to continue to try to do those things.

On what the group did best today:

I thought what we did best was they held on to the puck and I thought, through the neutral zone especially, got organized and used the skill and speed we’ve talked about. I thought that really established some really good play for us in the offensive zone and really, at times, allowed us to control the play. That was the thing I was most impressed with. I thought that might be the easiest thing for them given the ability of the players and that’s what I saw.

On seeing Pierre Engvall score his first career NHL goal:

Any time you see a guy score his first NHL goal it’s a big deal. I was happy it came on the penalty kill. That’s an area of Pierre’s game that wasn’t there before he came to the Marlies and he was given that responsibility and he has really learned to the point where I trusted him here in an NHL game to do it. I thought, not just the goal, he was good in other areas of the penalty kill as well. I used him and Andreas Johnsson today on the penalty kill as two new guys with lots of speed and tenacity on the puck.

On the team showing him enthusiasm after the win:

It makes you feel good, for sure. As I was saying, the biggest takeaway for me today is that we’ve got really good people here, good energy and it was really noticeable for me when that first goal went in, most of the guys are happy to score but it was different, it was a different feeling on the bench just because you can tell they care for one another and to see Barrie score that goal, it was a good moment. It really speaks to the character of the group and they’ve been really welcoming for me, they’ve been really engaged and listening. I couldn’t have asked for a better first day.

On what he’ll remember most about the day:

Oh man, I don’t think I’ve slept in a few days so I’m not sure I’ll remember any of this when I get up in the morning. The thing I’ll take away is just that the players made it so comfortable to coach them today. That’s what I’ll really take away. Just having my family here, my wife and kids, my mother-in-law is here — my in-laws and my wife are from here in Arizona — my parents have been able to make the trip. All of that, just having them be a part of this is probably the biggest thing.

On if he’ll keep any mementos from tonight:

They gave me the puck after the game and I haven’t really thought about what to do with it, but it’s special, nonetheless. It has the Coyotes logo on it too, which is pretty meaningful for me and my family as well. It’s a special day in that sense, but one of the things I was really wanting to be mindful of was to not make today about me. I want to make it about the players and about the team and I’m happy that it worked out good for everybody.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (30 SAVES)

On tonight’s win:

I thought we played with pretty good confidence, pretty good pressure, but also at times when we needed to take it easy, I thought we were good at that too. It was a good step for us. I thought we really played well in the offensive zone as well. Guys were skating a lot and making room for each other and moving around. It was great to see.

On what stands out about new head coach Sheldon Keefe:

It’s too early to say. I don’t want to start talking too much, but I thought we came out and answered really good today and it’s going to be a testing time now to keep moving, keep moving forward after this and building on it.

On the importance of his first period glove save:

I thought it was nice to be rewarded off us having a good period and being up 1-0. Obviously, a huge goal by [Barrie] but, obviously, that felt good to make that save and keep it at zeros. Like I said, good to be rewarded for a good period and I thought we continued that throughout the game.

TYSON BARRIE (FIRST GOAL AS A MAPLE LEAF)

On scoring his first goal of the year:

I’m not going to lie, that feels good. Especially going into Denver tonight. I didn’t want to go in with no goals so it feels a little better.

On if that was the type of goal he’s used to scoring:

Yeah, I think I’ve done a good job jumping in in the past and kind of choosing some holes so that was what I’m accustomed to. It was nice to get that for sure.

On if he tried to be more involved offensively tonight:

Yeah, I think our whole team was a little more aggressive and had a little bit more speed through the neutral zone. We had a lot of fun out there tonight and I think it showed.

PIERRE ENGVALL (FIRST NHL GOAL)

On what he’ll remember about his first NHL goal:

I mean, just the feeling to score was unbelievable. Just so happy for it.

On his post-goal celebration:

I don’t really know. I was just so happy and tried to do something special for the first celly. I think I did it.

On if his teammates gave him a hard time after falling during his celebration:

I did a lot. We watched it – it was a PK goal – so we watched it, like, five times on the break. So, yeah, I got it.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)

On which of the team’s three goals he liked the best:

I’d probably have to go with the first. Obviously, a great play by [Barrie], that’s a big monkey off the back for him. First goal for Pierre [Engvall]. A pretty special night for a lot of guys here and a big two points with everything that’s been going on the last couple of weeks and the last 36 hours.

On the emotions after tonight’s win:

I think a little bit of everything. I think we’re just excited we got back in the win column. We take a little pressure off ourselves and just continue to build on this. A new coach, obviously some stuff we need to work on, some stuff that’s going to change systematically. I thought tonight, with everything that he threw at us in a short period of time that he’d like to see, I thought we executed that for the most part. We’ll just try to build from there.

On what led to a more cohesive effort tonight:

I just think a little bit more freedom and we weren’t really just giving up the puck. I thought when something wasn’t there, we’d just kind of come back and hang on to it and we’d all come up and support each other. We didn’t have guys all over the place. That’s something that opens up stuff for us because we’ve got a lot of guys that can skate and are skilled with the puck and can skate through the neutral zone. Guys are using each other and when we support each other all over the ice we tend to have the puck on our tape for a majority of the game, which we did tonight.

MAPLE LEAFS 3, COYOTES 1 POSTGAME NOTES: Sheldon Keefe coached his first NHL game after being named head coach to replace Mike Babcock and gets a win.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (10-10-4 – 24 Points) vs.

ARIZONA COYOTES (13-8-2 – 28 Points)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019

 123OTFINAL
TORONTO1113
ARIZONA0011

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


ON THE SCORESHEET

  • Tyson Barrie opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs at 19:14 of the first period. Barrie’s first period goal was his first goal as a Maple Leaf. He has points (1-2-3) in three consecutive games. He has eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) in 24 games this season.
  • Pierre Engvall scored the second Toronto goal of the game while shorthanded at 16:49 of the second period. Engvall’s goal is his first career NHL goal and first career NHL point. He is the first Maple Leaf since Wally Boyer (Dec. 11, 1965 vs. Boston) to score his first career goal while shorthanded and the fourth player to do so in franchise history. 
  • Auston Matthews scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the night at 0:48 of the third period. Matthews has five points (4-1-5) in five games against Pacific Division opposition this season. He has 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 10 games during the month of November. He is tied for third in the NHL in even-strength goals (11).
  • Ilya Mikheyev registered the primary assist on Barrie’s first period goal and later had the secondary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Mikheyev has assists (3) in two consecutive games. He has five points (1-4-5) in five games against Pacific Division opponents this season. Tonight’s game is his first career multi-assist game. He has four multi-point games this season.
  • Jake Muzzin collected the secondary assist on Barrie’s first period goal. Muzzin has six points (2-4-6) in 10 road games this season. He has 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 30 career games against the Coyotes.
  • William Nylander recorded the primary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Nylander has three points (1-2-3) over his last five games. He has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in eight games against Western Conference opponents this season.
  • Frederik Andersen stopped 30 shots in the victory.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO11 (11)14 (13)7 (7)32 (31)
ARIZONA13 (13)10 (7)8 (5)31 (25)
      

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO28 (28)26 (25)17 (17)71 (70)
ARIZONA22 (22)16 (12)16 (12)54 (46)

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Record on the Road4-7-0 (11 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Arizona38-53-8-2 (101 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Arizona on the Road17-26-6-0 (49 Games)
Record vs. Western Conference5-3-0 (8 Games)
Record vs. Pacific Division4-1-0 (5 Games)

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots4 (Tavares)
Shot Attempts(Matthews)
Faceoff Wins13 (Tavares)
Faceoff Win Percentage75% (Kerfoot, Spezza)
Hits4 (Barrie)
Blocked Shots(Kerfoot)
Takeaways(Barrie, Spezza)
TOI22:54 (Ceci)
Power Play TOIN/A
Shorthanded TOI4:14 (Ceci)
Shifts28 (Holl)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage77.8% (Tavares – 28 for, 8 against)
  

RECORD WHEN…

Scoring first4-1-1
Lead after 13-1-1
Lead after 26-0-2
Do not score on the power play6-6-2
Do not allow a power play goal6-2-0
Score a shorthanded goal1-1-1
Outshoot opponent5-2-1
Thursday2-1-0

OF NOTE…

  • The Maple Leafs went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and did not have a power play opportunity tonight.
  • Sheldon Keefe coached his first NHL game and first game as head coach of the Maple Leafs. Tonight’s win is his first as an NHL head coach.
  • Justin Holl and Jake Muzzin were on the ice for a team-high 34 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 tonight. Holl finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 70.8 percent (34 for, 14 against), while Muzzin finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 68 percent (34 for, 16 against).
  • Auston Matthews was 5-for-8 (63%) when taking offensive zone faceoffs.
  • John Tavares won 89 percent (8 won, 1 lost) of his offensive zone draws.

UPCOMING GAMES:

  • Saturday, November 23, 7:00 p.m. at Colorado Avalanche (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
  • Wednesday, November 27, 7:00 p.m. at Detroit Red Wings (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
  • Friday, November 29, 4:00 p.m. at Buffalo Sabres (TSN4, FAN 590)
  • Saturday, November 30, 7:00 p.m. vs. Buffalo Sabres (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
  • Tuesday, December 3, 7:00 p.m. at Philadelphia Flyers (TSN4, TSN 1050)

TORONTO FC HAS AT LEAST 23 PLAYERS RETURNING

TORONTO FC ANNOUNCES OFF-SEASON ROSTER MOVES
23 players currently set to return next season

Toronto FC announced today the following roster moves:

Toronto FC has exercised the contract options on defenders Auro Jr., Julian Dunn, Richie Laryea, Chris Mavinga and Justin Morrow. Midfielders Marky Delgado, Liam Fraser, Tsubasa Endoh and forward and Patrick Mullins.

Toronto FC has not exercised options on goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, defender Ashtone Morgan, midfielders Aidan Daniels, Ryan Telfer and forward Jon Bakero.

Defender Drew Moor will be out of contract at the end of the year. In addition, the loan deal for forward Nicolas Benezet will expire at the end of the year.

            Captain and midfielder Michael Bradley’s contract will expire at the end of the year, however, the club is in discussions with Bradley and his representation regarding a potential new contract for 2020 and beyond.

Fourteen players are contractually guaranteed for the 2020 season: goalkeepers Alex Bono and Quentin Westberg; defenders Laurent Ciman, Omar Gonzalez, Eriq Zavaleta; midfielders Nick DeLeon, Griffin Dorsey, Erickson Gallardo, Noble Okello, Jonathan Osorio, Alejandro Pozuelo, Jacob Shaffelburg and forwards Ayo Akinola and Jozy Altidore.

“We’re excited to have consistency and bring back most of the team that helped us win the Eastern Conference Championship,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “While we have had positive discussions with Michael and his representation, we also remain in contact with Nico and Ashtone regarding a potential return to the team for 2020. We have a strong group, and we hope to improve upon our 2019 campaign.”

Toronto FC’s 2020 roster as it currently stands:

Goalkeepers (2): Alex Bono, Quentin Westberg

Defenders (8): Auro Jr., Laurent Ciman, Julian Dunn, Omar Gonzalez, Richie Laryea, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow, Eriq Zavaleta

Midfielders (10): Nick DeLeon, Marky Delgado, Griffin Dorsey, Tsubasa Endoh, Liam Fraser, Erickson Gallardo, Noble Okello, Jonathan Osorio, Alejandro Pozuelo, Jacob Shaffelburg

Forwards (3): Ayo Akinola, Jozy Altidore, Patrick Mullins

-TORONTO FOOTBALL CLUB-