Sports

Leafs try to restore power play

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When the Leafs inevitably flip their offence again on, it can doubtless circulation out of the facility play faucet.

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Each models acquired loads of consideration Thursday in preparation for back-to-back video games in opposition to San Jose and Pittsburgh.

Earlier than formal follow, on one in every of three rinks they utilized at their follow facility, assistant coach Spencer Carbury labored solely with the No. 1 group. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and level man Morgan Rielly have been unopposed in opposition to a visitor back-up goalie, 22-year-old Brendan Bonello, previously with Saginaw and Kingston of the OHL.

Then the quintet obtained into actual drills in opposition to the penalty killers.
A change within the second group noticed Pierre Engvall transfer to the left aspect, changing Ondrej Kase with Jason Spezza, Wayne Simmonds, Michael Bunting, internet presence Nick Ritchie and level man Rasmus Sandin.

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Up to now, each teams are a mixed 3-for-14, although Matthews solely rejoined the staff for its final recreation.

RALPH REACHES 2,000

Jim Ralph has delivered one million one liners, born of two,000 video games within the Leafs’ radio sales space, a milestone he reaches Friday as tracked by play-by-play companion Joe Bowen.

The 59-year-old Ralph, who moved from nomadic minor league goalie to banquet comic, TV reporter after which the wi-fi, has been working the Leafs 20 years, together with time with Dennis Beyak earlier than Corridor of Famer Bowen returned full-time from TV.

“First off, Jim’s very educated,” mentioned Bowen as the 2 kibitzed earlier than Monday’s match in opposition to the Rangers.

“Secondly, he sees the sport from a distinct perspective as a goalie. However the different factor is that he’s simply so humorous, so self-effacing, the Bob Uecker of hockey. We now have the identical sense of humour, we perceive what’s going to come back out earlier than it does.

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“He’s additionally an important good friend. And he’s by no means missed a recreation, whereas I’ve a bunch. We additionally journey collectively, which is half the enjoyable.”

Proper on cue, Ralph joked in regards to the accuracy of Bowen’s math in computing his 2,000th gig, however was appreciative of the popularity.

“I can simply think about my ceremony at centre ice,” Ralph cracked, “I’ve my speech prepared, however I don’t know in the event that they’ll convey the brand new automotive out or not.

“However often these occasions occur as a result of one man cares sufficient about (protecting depend) and that’s Joe.”

STAGE, SCREEN AND SKATE
Uke, the hockey film The Solar previewed earlier this yr, is now accessible on Apple TV. It marks the Ukrainian contribution to professional hockey, together with the greater than 50 gamers with ties to that nation who’ve gained Stanley Cups.

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Kiev-based filmmaker Volodymyr Mula spoke to NHL stars equivalent to Wayne Gretzky and Johnny Bucyk and the clips embody among the final interviews with the just lately handed Walter Gretzky and Eddie Shack. Additionally lined is Leafs’ 1967 Cup successful goaltender Terry Sawchuk, who proudly carried ‘Uke’ as his nickname.

Additionally look ahead to The Cannons, about an all-black youth staff from Southeast Washington D.C., coached by an 81-year-old Neal Henderson, who tries to search out sufficient opponents, cash and volunteers to information his gamers by way of a white dominated sport to higher futures.

It debuts on the New York Metropolis documentary competition Nov. 14 earlier than going surfing.

LOOSE LEAFS
Friday’s recreation in opposition to the Sharks has an uncommon begin time of 6 p.m., an hour early. It was not a request from TV, reasonably it helps the Leafs of their journey turnaround to complete the sport and get to Pittsburgh at a extra cheap time for Saturday evening’s match … Media relations boss Steve Keogh felt he ought to re-introduce TJ Brodie earlier than questions on Thursday as most couldn’t acknowledge the defenceman with out his beard. Brodie shaved all of it at his spouse’s suggestion to higher arrange his Halloween costume as famed chef Man Fieri … Justin Holl has 10 shot blocks, tied for seventh within the league as of Thursday.

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