Meanwhile, in Clipper Nation, it’s the best of times and the worst of times, as well as the most recent of times that I copped a lead from “A Tale of Two Cities.” Yes, this is about the local NBA teams, both elite contenders at the same time for the first time. No, for once…Heisler: Clippers become an elite team, but it wasn’t easy — Daily News
The Boston Red Sox are depending on Nathan Eovaldi to keep rolling. The right-handed pitcher will start Boston’s spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday at JetBlue Park in Fort Meyers, Fla. Eovaldi has gone 1-0 with eight strikeouts and zero earned runs in five innings of work this spring, with his…Red Sox-Blue Jays Lineups For Saturday’s Spring Training Game On NESN — NESN.com
BOSTON RED SOX
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
J.D. Martinez, RF
Mitch Moreland, DH
Christian Vazquez, C
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Jonathan Arauz, 2B
Rusney Castillo, CF
Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Santiago Espinal, SS
Cavan Biggio, 2B
Vladmir Guerrero Jr., 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Brandon Drury, DH
Brandon McKinney, RF
Anthony Alford, CF
Derek Fisher, LF
Caleb Joseph, C
Trent Thornton, RHP
The Coronavirus has yet to make a major impact in United States sports, but if decisions have to be made, players might not want to be involved. The NBA has had preliminary discussions to prepare for the possibility of the Coronavirus outbreak affecting them, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Among these discussions has been…LeBron James Vows Not To Play If Fans Can’t Attend Due To Coronavirus Fears — NESN.com
Ducks goaltender John Gibson, right, stops a shot in front of the Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman during the first period of Friday’s game at Honda Center. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Anaheim Ducks’ Jani Hakanpaa, right, reaches for the puck next to Toronto Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman during the first period of an NHL hockey game…Ducks score early, late, get solid relief to beat Maple Leafs — Press Telegram
Lakers forward Anthony Davis is defended by Bucks center Brook Lopez during Friday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG) Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 brings the ball up the court at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Friday, Mar. 6, 2020. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG) Los Angeles Lakers…LeBron James, Lakers outmuscle Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks — Press Telegram
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On the need to attack the opposition’s net to generate more offence next week:
Obviously, when you look at the last couple games on this trip, we haven’t been able to generate much offensively. So that’s part of it. You look at a lot of the goals that we’ve scored here in recent games, a lot of it’s been happening around the net. We need to have more of a presence in there, but it’s an interesting road trip. You’d never think that our team would give up two goals in two games and only come away with one point, you’d probably think we were talking about a different team, but that’s the reality, that’s the way it was this week. The offence dried up for us, a lot of things that have been going in for us haven’t and didn’t on this trip and we don’t get results as a result.
On the challenge of keeping the team’s spirits up after the road trip:
Well, it’s difficult, but I think just the fact that our team takes a lot of heat for how we defend and what we give up and how many goals we give up and all those types of things and how wide-open games are. We’ve focused a lot on that as a team, in terms of slowing a lot of that stuff down. I think we’ve done that for quite a while here now — and now today wasn’t as good as yesterday in that regard, but we’ve got to find ways within that to generate offence. I think that the positives are that our guys will feel good about the fact that they’re playing in these tight games and feel good about the fact on the back-to-back at the end of the trip here that we have our best period in the third and have a pretty strong push throughout the period, but we’ll regroup and be ready on home ice.
On the power play drying up in recent games:
Yeah, it has gone dry. Really, what I’m seeing is a lot of the shots that had been going in for us aren’t going in, in recent games. So when that happens, we’ve got to really look at things and see what we can change and see what we can do a little differently to find some different looks and change things up a little bit. Now, we’ve scored at pretty much a ridiculous pace for quite some time here now and over time those things dry up a little bit and you’ve got to make adjustments.
JACK CAMPBELL (26 SAVES)
On the pressure on him to be perfect when the team is struggling to score goals:
I have belief — full belief — in this team as far as their goal-scoring ability. Obviously, we’re a little snake-bitten right now, but I think they played well enough to score a couple and I just take ownership of that second one. If I can see it, I expect myself to stop it every time and he just beat me clean so that one’s on me and we should have had at least a point.
On his save on Getzlaf while shorthanded to end the second period:
Yeah, it was battling. It was a strange play at the net, it kind of went off a shin pad or something, I made a right pad save and the game kind of slowed down a little bit and I kind of saw it play out. I just tried to get my glove up and luckily, he put it there. So I’ll take that one for sure.
MITCH MARNER (22:26 TOI)
On the level of frustration at the recent lack of scoring for the team:
I just think we know it’s going to come so there’s no need to rush or put pressure on ourselves. We’re a team that can score and this road trip we showed that we can play in low-scoring games, it’s just our scoring wasn’t there, but it’ll come.
On what the team needs to do to generate more greasy goals:
Yeah, I just think those second opportunities. It starts with all of us. From our D to our forwards, we all come up top, we all get those shots through and tonight and through this road trip forward-wise, when we come in as F3, we’re not getting those shots through. We’re making those turnovers happen and getting caught with our D down and I just think ruining a little bit of chemistry and stuff like that. So, like I said, we know it’s going to turn around, there’s no reason to feel like we should put pressure on ourselves and we’ve just got to stay calm with it.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (23:03 TOI)
On the team having the personnel to be able to push through this week’s slump:
We’re all in this together. You play through the good and the bad and the adversity and obviously, in the position that we’re in, there’s lots of critics and lots of stuff that comes with it. But I think in this room we’re headstrong, and it doesn’t matter what’s going to get thrown our way, we’re going to come out of it stronger. Obviously, not the road trip that that we really wanted. So, that’s on us and we’ve got to just build forward and put this aside, learn from it and be better.
On what has prevented the team from generating offence:
I think it’s no secret you come on this road trip, it’s not easy and I think the teams that we played they’re more — their strategy and kind of structure is more to just kind of defend and push you to the outside and let you make the mistakes first. I think for us, we didn’t really challenge the middle of the goalie, he didn’t really have too many tough saves to make. I think that’s a bit of an issue for us right now. I think it’s a little bit of our structure too. I think we’re kind of one foot in the door, one foot out as far as the way we want to play, and I think we just all need to be 100 percent in.
JOHN TAVARES (21:18 TOI)
On what has led to a lack of goals in recent games:
Well, it’s that time of year, things get tighter. You don’t have as much room as maybe you get at times throughout the season. We’ve just got to find a way to get second and third opportunities, get a couple ugly ones. I thought we pressed hard and stayed with it. Obviously, we just didn’t cash in.
On if the struggle to score has led to the team playing tight:
Yeah, maybe. At times, I guess it’s just, honestly, don’t even think about where you’re putting it, just get it on net. I think get bodies there, find a way to cause some confusion, make it tough on them to have to defend you around their net, make it tough on the goaltender. Just got to stay patient, got to keep working and staying with it. Obviously, we’ve got to find a way to put some in and get some results. There was a lot of good things. Just got to find a way to, like I said, get inside that tough part of the ice. That’s tough to get opportunities at this time of year.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (35-25-9 – 79 Points) vs.
ANAHEIM DUCKS (28-32-8 – 64 Points)
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2020
ON THE SCORESHEET
- William Nylander put the Maple Leafs on the board at 17:00 of the third period. Nylander has 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 35 games on the road this season. He has seven points (4-3-7) in seven career games against Anaheim. His third period goal is his 30th of the season, marking the first time in his NHL career he has reached the 30-goal mark. His goal marked the first 6-on-5 road goal by the Maple Leafs since December 29, 2017 at Colorado (James van Riemsdyk).
- Jack Campbell stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the loss.
SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)
|TORONTO||8 (5)||8 (7)||15 (8)||–||31 (20)|
|ANAHEIM||13 (13)||13 (9)||2 (2)||–||28 (24)|
SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)
|TORONTO||18 (12)||15 (13)||25 (14)||–||58 (39)|
|ANAHEIM||24 (24)||22 (16)||5 (5)||–||51 (45)|
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
|Record on the Road||18-16-2 (36 Games)|
|All-Time Record vs. Anaheim||28-12-5-1 (46 Games)|
|All-Time Record vs. Anaheim on the Road||11-9-1-0 (21 Games)|
|Record vs. Western Conference||16-10-3 (29 Games)|
|Record vs. Pacific Division||9-5-2 (16 Games)|
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
|Shots||5 (Nylander, Tavares)|
|Shot Attempts||8 (Matthews, Tavares)|
|Faceoff Wins||12 (Tavares)|
|Faceoff Win Percentage||67% (Spezza – 4 won, 2 lost)|
|Hits||3 (Dermott, Hyman, Malgin)|
|Blocked Shots||2 (Kerfoot, Matthews)|
|Takeaways||2 (Malgin, Matthews, Nylander)|
|Power Play TOI||4:19 (Barrie, Matthews)|
|Shorthanded TOI||2:43 (Ceci)|
|5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage||72.2% (Engvall – 13 for, 5 against)|
|Opponent scores first||12-20-7|
|Trail after 1||3-16-3|
|Trail after 2||3-17-4|
|Do not score a power play goal||15-16-5|
|Do not allow a power play goal||21-9-5|
- The Maple Leafs went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 0-for-3 on the power play tonight.
- Kyle Clifford, Frederik Gauthier and Jason Spezza were the lone Toronto skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.
- Tyson Barrie was on the ice for a team-high 24 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Barrie finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 55.8 percent (24 for, 19 against).
- John Tavares won 64 percent (9 won, 5 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs.
- Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Thursday, March 12, 7:00 p.m. vs. Nashville Predators (TSN4, TSN 1050)
- Saturday, March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Boston Bruins (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
- Tuesday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. vs. New Jersey Devils (TSN4, FAN 590)
- Thursday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. vs. New York Islanders (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2020
Syracuse: A. Barre-Boulet (27) PP (C. Gaunce, M. Joseph), T. Raddysh (18) PP (D. Yan, O. Somppi)
Goaltender: S. Wedgewood (23/27)
Toronto: K. Agostino (26) PP (J. Duszak, N. Petan), T. Gaudet (4) (M. Salomaki, M. Read). H. Elynuik (4) (M. Kapla, S. Pooley), K. Agostino (27) PP (M. Lorito, P. Aberg), H. Elynuik (5) EN (G. Wilson)
Goaltender: P. Gahagen (19/21)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Kenny Agostino opened the scoring at 13:09 of the first period and scored Toronto’s fourth goal at 6:26 of the third period, both on the power play. Agostino has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in his last six games. He set a career-high in power play goals (9) scored in one season. This is his fourth multi-goal game of the season.
- Tyler Gaudet scored Toronto’s second goal at 13:21 of the first period. Gaudet has 21 points (4 goals, 17 assists) in 56 games this season.
- Hudson Elynuik scored Toronto’s third goal at 17:37 of the second period and added an empty goal at 19:14 of the third period. This was his first career AHL multi-goal game. Elynuik has 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 51 games this season.
- Joseph Duszak recorded the primary assist on Agostino’s first period goal. This was his seventh power play assist. Duszak has five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in his last five games.
- Nic Petan registered the secondary assist on Agostino’s first period goal. Petan has five assists through three consecutive games.
- Miikka Salomaki had the primary assist on Gaudet’s first period goal. He has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) through six games with the Marlies this season.
- Matt Read picked up the secondary assist on Gaudet’s first period goal.
- Michael Kapla recorded the primary assist on Elynuik’s second period goal. Kapla has six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in 14 games this season.
- Scott Pooley registered the secondary assist on Elynuik’s second period goal. Pooley has 12 points (8 goals, 4 assists) in 28 games this season.
- Matt Lorito had the primary assist on Agostino’s third period power play goal. He has four assists in his last three games. Lorito has 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists) in 56 games this season.
- Pontus Aberg collected the secondary assist on Agostino’s third period power play goal.
- Parker Gahagen stopped 19 of 21 shots he faced. This was his first win for the Toronto Marlies. Gahagen is now 1-1-0-0 on the season with a .865 save percentage and a 3.65 goals against average.
- Kenny Agostino and Tyler Gaudet’s first period goals were Toronto’s fastest consecutive goals of the season at 12 seconds.
- Toronto was 4-for-6 on the penalty kill and 2-for-6 on the power play. Toronto last scored two power play goals in a 3-2 win against Texas on March 2.
- Toronto had a 28-21 edge in shots in all situations. Matt Lorito led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 16-17-3-1 against North Division opponents and 1-1-1-0 against the Syracuse Crunch.
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
- Goals: K. Agostino (27)
- Assists: J. Bracco (30)
- Points: K. Agostino (49)
- PPG: K. Agostino (9)
- Shots: P. Aberg (140)
- +/-: M. Salomaki (+12)
- PIMS: G. Wilson (77)
- Toronto is 20-7-2-2 when scoring first.
- The Marlies are 13-2-2-2 when leading after the first period and 18-1-1-0 when leading after the second period.
- Toronto is 11-9-2-0 when outshooting their opponent.
- The Marlies are 7-6-0-0 in Friday games and are 2-1-0-0 in March.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
- Kenny Agostino has points (3-2-5) in three consecutive games.
- Hudson Elynuik has points (2-1-3) in consecutive games.
- Michael Kapla has assists (2) in consecutive games.
- Matt Lorito has assists (4) in three consecutive games.
- Scott Pooley has points (1-2-3) in three consecutive games.
- Matt Read has points (1-1-2) in consecutive games.
- Miikka Salomaki has points (1-1-2) in consecutive games.
- Adam Brooks (concussion) did not dress for tonight’s game against Syracuse. He left Toronto’s game against Belleville on February 15 and did not return.
- Kasimir Kaskisuo (hand) did not dress for tonight’s game against Syracuse.
- Kalle Kossila (migraines) did not dress for tonight’s game against Syracuse.
- March 6: Returned defenceman Timothy Liljegren on loan from Toronto (NHL).
- March 6: Signed defenceman Garrett Johnston to PTO.
- March 5: Returned forward Giorgio Estephan on loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
HEAD COACH GREG MOORE
On if he’s satisfied with the team’s performance tonight:
Really satisfied. The team was bought into the whole sixty minutes. Thought our up-ice pressure took away a lot of their time and space and our D did a great job holding the middle of the rink and having good gaps. We played really fast today, countered fast, and it was a lot of executing the things we’ve been talking about as of late. The guys knew this was an important two points and it was good to see them show up.
On getting contributions from the entire lineup:
This time of year things are tight, every line can play. I mean every coach has been working with their team to iron out details and be responsible defensively all season so there’s not as many mistakes out on the ice right now. Any team that’s going to go deep and do anything special needs depth scoring.
On goaltender Parker Gahagen’s first win as a Marlie:
He was great. He always has a big smile on his face, he competes so hard. Great kid, all the guys like him in the locker room. The team was really happy to get this one for him.
On Kenny Agostino (2 goals):
Kenny has been our best player for the last two months. He showed up again tonight. He can absolutely wire a puck. It was good to see him show up on the scoresheet because he’s been doing a lot of good stuff and at times when the team’s not really rolling he’s the guy even going out, finishing a couple checks and bringing some energy as a leader for this group.
PARKER GAHAGEN (19 SAVES)
On his first win as a Marlie:
It’s a great feeling, just to be able to contribute to the team. I mean, it’s a critical time of the year having to be on the outside looking in with the playoff picture and I’m just happy we could get away with two points here.
March 7 vs Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 11 at Bridgeport – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 13 at Hershey – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 14 at Lehigh Valley – 7:05 p.m. ET
March 17 vs Rochester – 1:30 p.m. ET (Scotiabank Arena)
SAN FRANCISCO — What a fun era this We the North period has been. As I noted on Twitter: Read MoreWOZ BLOG: We’re living in an excellent era for the Raptors — Toronto Sun
SAN FRANCISCO — What a fun era this We the North period has been. As I noted on Twitter:
Toronto Raptors past seven seasons: Seven playoff appearances, 1 title, 2 conference finals. Eight series wins.
Toronto Raptors first 18 seasons: Five playoff appearances, one series win (a best-of-five).
It’s amazing, when you think about just how brutal things were for so long, how everything has changed. Now the Raptors are one of the most respected, successful and profit-making franchises in the entire NBA.
SAN FRANCISCO — Norman Powell’s outstanding play has simply not been talked about enough. Read MoreWOLSTAT: Raptors’ Powell keeps on impressing — Toronto Sun