Argos head coach Marc Trestman unveils 2017 coaching staff

Toronto’s offensive coaching staff will consist of Mitch Browning (offensive line), Tommy Condell (receivers), Josh Moore (running backs) and Steve Walsh (senior assistant coach).Condell originally joined the Argos as special advisor in February. “Our players will enjoy being coached and mentored by them during the upcoming season.“Now that we have our entire staff assembled, I look forward to building our three phases of football.”Earlier this month, Trestman announced the appointment of Chamblin and Marcus Brady as offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach. He follows in the footsteps of Mike O’Shea, the former standout linebacker who served as the Argos special-teams coach from 2010-13 before being hired as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach.“These are men of high character as well as great teachers in the science of football,” Trestman said in a statement. Wendell Avery will serve as Toronto’s assistant special-team coach. Eiben, a former linebacker who spent 11 of his 12 CFL seasons with Toronto, will handle the Argos special-teams. Toronto Argonauts coach Marc Trestman unveiled the remainder of his staff Wednesday and it includes former CFL players Tyron Brackenridge and Kevin Eiben.Brackenridge, a former Saskatchewan Roughrider safety, will serve as an assistant defensive backs coach to Corey Chamblin, the Argos’ defensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach who’ll also be in charge of coaching the secondary. Condell was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive co-ordinator and receivers coach from 2013-15.The other members of Chamblin’s defensive staff include Mike Archer (linebackers), Kerry Locklin (defensive line) and Gavin Lake (quality control).

Canadian rookie Lance Stroll set to make his Formula One debut

In a sport that
is increasingly getting younger, turning to drivers who are groomed from a young
age to be sophisticated tacticians by the time they hit their late teens,
Verstappen surprised critics of the youth movement when he won the 2016 Spanish
Grand Prix.Stroll
comes into this season with a lot to prove, and must hush the naysayers who have
questioned him throughout his career, saying he is only afforded opportunity in
racing because his father, Lawrence, is a billionaire.It’s
a challenge he knows he must address at every level, and one that can only be
answered with strong performances on the track. You don’t have the
results he had in Formula 3 last year without being a special
will be tuning in Sunday to see how the talent he spotted at a young age can
handle the sport’s biggest stage. For the
most part, though, Stroll shrugged it off as something that comes with the
territory – all part of having to make a debut under a spotlight. For father
and son, there is no prerace routine.“I
let him do his own thing. It’s not a perfect proxy for what he’ll experience on
Sunday, but it has helped the initiation process.“For
me especially, being a rookie, there’s so much to learn and to understand behind
the wheel,” Stroll said. I just
want to come in, do my job, and we’ll see where we end up,” Stroll
first training run at Williams got off to a bumpy start a few weeks ago when he
missed a turn and went off the track, damaging his car in the process. “Things are coming at you quicker, so braking distance
is shorter, and the corner is coming at you quicker.”But
with the new car specifications, Stroll adds, “It’s challenging for
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who made his debut last season still six months
shy of his 18th birthday, can claim an earlier F1 introduction. Meanwhile,
his climb up the ranks into F3, and ultimately into a spot at Williams, is
estimated to carry a price tag in the tens of millions.But
the Ferrari talent scout who discovered Lance as a boy and helped recruit him to
the program said Stroll’s results on the track show he is an unusual
drivers are good drivers, and special drivers are special drivers,” said Eric
Jensen, a racing veteran who is now a consultant for Ferrari, and is based in
Toronto. Every corner you’re risking your life, because if you make a small mistake
you can crash at 150 miles per hour, and then you’re on God’s goodwill if you’re
fine or not. The reality of racing, though,
is that it is a sport that requires huge sums of money, and there are virtually
no drivers in F1 who don’t come with significant financial backing.Lawrence
Stroll, who made his money bankrolling the likes of Tommy Hilfiger and Michael
Kors in the fashion world, is estimated to be worth billions. It’s amazing, Formula One. The gruelling races in F1 will be Stroll’s
toughest challenge, he says.“He’s
going to be pretty tired, so can he handle that? I’m his dad, he has enough professionals, his
engineers, etc., giving him all the advice he needs,” Lawrence said. But it’s exciting,” Stroll said from Melbourne this week,
where he was walking the track, as drivers often do a few days before
competition to get the lay of the land. “I don’t want to think results, I don’t want to think positions. Meanwhile, the cars hit top speeds of more than 360 kilometres an hour, nearly
100 km/h faster than the cars in F3. These guys do it at a consistently high
level for two hours without making mistakes.”When
Stroll jumped to Williams last year, it was because the team was offering a
faster route into F1 than Ferrari could. Changes to the cars this year, including
wider tires, have made them faster still, increasing the G-forces that will pull
at drivers and make the latter stages of a race even more tiring.To
prepare, Stroll has spent the past several months training on F1 tracks using
the Williams 2014 car. When he’s alone on the starting grid at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend,
Lance Stroll will divert from his usual routine.For most of his career, the 18-year-old from Montreal, who is making his
Formula One debut at the Australian Grand Prix, has followed the same prerace
ritual.With his helmet on and the motor rumbling, Stroll usually takes a second to
breathe deeply and say a few words to himself: I know I’m ready. I know I’m
fast. His first
season in F3 began under a similar cloud when he was involved in two crashes,
including one that flipped his car, and earned a one-race penalty, along with
the ire of more experienced drivers. “Lance has shown signs that he’s a special driver. “And the general public doesn’t understand how on-the-limit you
are. When Lance was
recruited at 11 to race with the Ferrari Driver Academy, which develops young
talent, his entry into that program is said to have cost millions. That’s because he is treating his first race, and
perhaps his entire debut season, as a learning exercise.“I try and always find a couple of key words, like a couple of ‘I know this,
or I know that’ sentences,” he says. Last year’s Australian GP was won by
31-year-old Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg in just more than 1 hour 48 minutes,
making it three times longer than most F3 races Stroll competed in last year. Even though he won 14 of
his 30 races in claiming the F3 championship last year, Stroll knows that counts
for little in F1.“It’s
a fresh start now. How success will be defined for Stroll
this season is an open question though. Stroll called it “probably the worst
possible point of my career.”But
the learning experiences of the first season gave way to the F3 championship in
his second season. What ends up happening driving
a race car is as your body gets tired, then your mind starts making mistakes,”
Jensen says. Williams dominated the circuit in the
1980s and 90s but is now a mid-ranking team, finishing fifth last
winning a race, as Verstappen did, would be ideal, Stroll’s job at Williams will
be to accumulate as many points for the team as he can, even if he never sees
the podium, since prize money in F1 dictates the budget for the following
season. “It’s new, and I’ve got to build up to
it again.”There
will be much to get used to: The races are longer, the cars are faster and the
talent is more experienced and aggressive. “The last
thing he needs is more advice from me.” “But the reality is, it’s my first race in
F1, and there’s not much that I know.”As learning experiences go, Stroll’s entry into the sport’s most glamorous
echelon will be among the most pressure-filled imaginable.Fresh
off his F3 title last year, he was unveiled in November as the new hope for
British-based Williams Racing, just a few days after his 18th
less than five months to prepare, and only a few days allowed under F1
regulations to get to know the car he will be driving in Melbourne, Stroll’s
preparation for this season has been a race of its own. Canadian Lance Stroll says F1 debut prep has been ‘hectic’ (The Canadian Press)

It’s a confidence exercise he adopted long ago under the tutelage of a sports
psychologist when Stroll, at age of 11, began working his way up the racing
ranks as a GoKart driver in Quebec.Dubbed a prodigy from an early age, and often racing against older drivers,
the words helped calm any last-minute nerves.After dominating Formula 3, one of racing’s top minor circuits, last year,
Stroll will become the first Canadian to race in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve in
2006 – not to mention the youngest driver in Sunday’s field.And even though the butterflies come far less frequently now that he’s
emerged as one of auto racing’s top prospects, Stroll says this time he’ll skip
those same verbal cues. It’s a development path he hopes to duplicate now, even if it
takes longer at the highest level.“There’s
so many things that need to come together to get good results and it’s better to
just focus on the process of getting there than just focusing on the result,”
Stroll said.Though
Lawrence Stroll is a fixture at the track when his son races, he said he’ll be
mostly trying to stay out of Lance’s way in advance of Sunday’s race.

Raptors’ Ibaka suspended one game for throwing punches in scuffle with Lopez

Lopez was to serve his suspension Wednesday when the Bulls hosted the Detroit Pistons. Words were exchanged before Lopez threw the first punch. Ibaka punched back before officials and players from both teams pulled the two apart.Ibaka will miss Toronto’s game against the Heat on Thursday in Miami. Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka has been suspended one game without pay for throwing punches in Tuesday’s altercation with Chicago centre Robin Lopez.Lopez was also suspended a game, the NBA announced Wednesday.Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire has been fined US$15,000 for pushing Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic and “acting as other than a peacemaker as part of the same altercation.”

Ibaka and Lopez were ejected from the game for the fracas, which occurred with 3:58 left in the third quarter of the Raptors’ 122-120 overtime win over the Bulls.The two were bumping under the basket before Lopez swatted the ball out of Ibaka’s hands.

Eugenie Bouchard loses in first round at Miami Open

Barty, a 20-year-old Australian, was off the tour for about 1 1/2 years, including a stint playing cricket. But Bouchard fended off those chances, then took that set by breaking in the last game.At 3-all, Barty broke with a forehand winner. Barty converted on the second when Bouchard sent a forehand long.Next up for Barty is an all-Australian match against 2011 U.S. 5 in 2014, the year she was the runner-up at Wimbledon and reached the semifinals at two other Grand Slam tournaments.Barty could have ended this match much sooner, because three times she was a point from serving for it in the second set. Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard a fourth consecutive loss, losing 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to Ashleigh Barty in the first round of the Miami Open on Wednesday.Barty claimed the last three games of the match between two past junior Wimbledon champions whose careers have both been filled with ups and downs. She has now won eight straight matches.Bouchard, a 23-year-old from Westmount, Que., has exited in the first round of each of her past three tournaments and is now ranked 56th after reaching No. But she is back and better than ever now, ranked a career-high 91st after winning her first WTA title as a qualifier at Kuala Lumpur. She then saved a pair of break points to go up 5-3, and broke again when Bouchard double-faulted twice in a row to set up three match points. Open champion Sam Stosur, who is seeded 14th.In other first-round action Wednesday at the hard-court tournament, American wild-card entry Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in nearly 2 1/2 hours, American qualifier Madison Brengle got past Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, Yaroslava Shvedova saved a match point to edge Jelena Jankovic 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3), and qualifier Jana Cepelova eased past Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4.In men’s matches, 108th-ranked American qualifier Ernesto Escobedo beat Britain’s 43rd-ranked Dan Evans 7-5, 0-6, 6-3, Donald Young advanced when Dustin Brown double-faulted on the final point of the American’s 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 win, and Fabio Fognini defeated Ryan Harrison 6-4, 7-5.

USA Hockey postpones women’s training camp amid wage dispute

The U.S. is the defending champion and has won six of the past eight world championship gold medals. USA Hockey has postponed the start of the women’s national team’s world championship training camp amid an ongoing wage dispute.USA Hockey said the camp originally scheduled to begin Wednesday in Traverse City, Michigan, won’t happen.The organization “anticipates” a training camp in Plymouth, Michigan, site of the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship. USA Hockey says it sincerely regrets cancelling camp in Traverse City.The tournament begins March 31. Without a deal, there’s no clarity on when a potential training camp might begin or how long it would run.The camp was supposed to go from Wednesday through March 28 and include an exhibition game Saturday against Finland that also won’t take place. Players announced last week that they’d boycott the tournament unless they made significant progress with USA Hockey in negotiations on a labour deal. The sides met for 10-plus hours Monday, and John Langel, a lawyer for the players, tells The Associated Press that the next meeting will be by phone but hasn’t been scheduled yet.USA Hockey and players called Monday’s talks “productive,” and star forward Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said the team was “hopeful” about reaching an agreement.

Bertrand Charest doesn’t deny having had sex with some ski students: lawyer

Charest and certain of the (alleged) victims,” Antonio Cabral said outside the courtroom after calling his third and final witness at the former ski coach’s sex assault trial. Bertrand Charest doesn’t deny having had sex with some of his teenage ski students but disagrees with his portrayal by the Crown and his alleged victims, one of his lawyers said Wednesday.“There were sexual relationships between Mr. Charest wasn’t ready to admit was that this was a generalized behaviour and that it was generalized with 12 (alleged) victims as is reported in the charges.”Charest, now 51, is on trial on 57 charges, including sexual assault and breach of trust, in connection with 12 alleged victims between the ages of 12 and 19 during the 1990s.They claim Charest abused them when he was their coach, before and during his stint with Alpine Canada’s women’s development team between 1996 and ‘98.Several of the alleged victims testified they had sexual relationships with Charest, with many saying he was controlling and manipulative toward the athletes whose careers he managed.Some of them said they felt they were in love with Charest at the time but eventually came to believe they had been manipulated.On Wednesday, Cabral said his client disagreed with the way he was portrayed by the alleged victims, especially when it came to their level of consent.Cabral said Charest believes the sex he had with the young skiers was consensual.Earlier, a former assistant ski coach testified that Charest had an “intense” relationship with his students and sometimes made comments about their bodies.Alexandre Lussier said hearing the comments made him uncomfortable but none of Charest’s students ever came to him to complain while he travelled with them during the ‘95-’96 ski season.Lussier, like the two previous defence witnesses, said he never witnessed any sexual behaviour between Charest and his students, and only heard rumours of inappropriate conduct when Charest was removed from the national development team in 1998.Charest’s sister and a director of a regional ski association testified earlier this week for the defence.Speaking outside the courtroom, Cabral said he believes the defence presented a different perspective on Charest’s behaviour by showing he acted largely the same with everyone he dealt with in the ski world.“He’s someone who maybe lacked judgment in certain situations but who wasn’t looking for sexual gratification through his behaviour,” he said.Cabral said Charest did not testify because he saw no reason to add to what he told police in a 2015 deposition.In that video, which was shown earlier in the trial, Charest told police he was in love with two of his alleged victims and added, “I never did anything with anyone against their will. “What Mr. When there is no consent, for me, it’s rape.”The trial continues Thursday as the Crown and the defence seek to clarify the location of a ski competition described in earlier testimony.The judge is expected to indicate whether closing arguments will be delivered in the courtroom or by writing.

Ottawa Senators make the Hart trophy case for Erik Karlsson

“It’s not just going out there and fronting it, he’s realizing when the proper time is to block the shot and get the play going.”And it all fits with Boucher’s “extremely defensive” style of play, which has the club leading the NHL in blocked shots while leaping from one of the worst defensive outfits to top-10 status.More blocked shots mean less time with the puck though, so the Senators are actually giving up more shot attempts with Karlsson on the ice this year. The captain’s puck-possession numbers, relative to teammates, have also gotten slightly worse as he adapts to fit the team’s system.Absorbing the NHL’s heaviest workload last season – almost 29 minutes a game – Karlsson has seen his ice-time scaled back. “Right now it’s absolutely sublime, it really is.”

Karlsson is having the most well-rounded campaign of a career that already includes two Norris trophies. He unexpectedly led the league with 196 entering Wednesday’s games and already has more than last year, when he finished 11th.He said the improvement has been “helping me defensively to get pucks out easier and not having to battle the big guys in front of the net.”“The blocks are so well thought out,” veteran Senators centre Chris Kelly said. Guy Boucher might be biased, but the Ottawa Senators head coach is sounds certain that Erik Karlsson deserves consideration for the Hart trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.“With what he’s done this year, the way he’s done it, I can’t imagine better,” Boucher said. “It’s the price of the ticket right there for sure.” Some say he was robbed of a third Norris as voters sought to rectify Drew Doughty’s lack of hardware.Having nearly caught Brent Burns for control of the points lead among defencemen this season, while starring for an unexpected Atlantic Division contender, Karlsson is increasingly looking like the favourite for the award once more.Perhaps no better judge of his long-term evolution exists than Kelly, a teammate during Karlsson’s first two NHL seasons who then played in Boston for six years before returning to the club last summer.The 36-year-old sees a more confident and physically mature Karlsson, someone who’s rounded into a “special player.”It was all the little plays that made him great, Kelly said, how he helped Ottawa easily exit the defensive zone, how crafty he was in creating scoring opportunities, how well he skated, how he ran a power play and how underrated he was as a defender “because the highlights don’t show that.”“You see the highlights of him going end to end or making a nice move and making a great pass, but the game-to-game plays to help our team have success that’s what I’ve got a truer appreciation for,” Kelly said.Given all he does and does exceptionally well for Ottawa – including elite-level power play production – Karlsson is owed not just Norris love but MVP consideration as Boucher suggests.“Every effort he’s put in, his approach to the team this season, this year, was all about leadership and winning and the collective and it’s easy to say, but he’s done it,” Boucher said. But his improvements have actually been subtle, magnified by the Senators’ excellent play this season.In other words, he was already pretty good.Even Karlsson wonders if he’s actually at his best, noting no improvements in his skill or skating “or anything like that.”His defensive improvement this season is primarily tied to blocked shots. He’s is actually garnering almost five shifts more per-game than last year (31.7, second-most in the NHL), but they’re cut down by 13 seconds on average.Maybe most interesting and effective for Ottawa is an increase in Karlsson’s penalty-killing duties; his work has helped the unit leap from 29th last year to top-15 over all.“There’s always going to be nights when you think you can do more and you want to do more, but you don’t get the chance to do it and at the end of the day that might be a good thing,” Karlsson said.Karlsson’s per-minute scoring numbers are about on par with last year when he became the first defenceman to post 82 points in a season since Brian Leetch and Ray Bourque in 1995-96.

Estrada solid, Optiz hits winning three-run homer as Blue Jays top Tigers

Biagini picked up the win despite the blown save, while Angel Nesbitt took the loss.Toronto got five solid innings from starter Marco Estrada, who gave up just two hits and one earned run while striking out five and walking none. Shortstop Shane Opitz hit a three-run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays edged the Detroit Tigers 5-4 in Grapefruit League baseball action on Wednesday.Opitz’s first homer of spring training cashed in Jon Berti and Mike Ohlman as Toronto improved to 8-14.Dominic Ficociello gave Detroit (11-14) a brief lead when he hit a three-run homer off Joe Biagini in the top of the ninth.

Mickelson says he won’t be called as witness at insider trading trial

While his name has been mentioned as a pivotal figure in a federal insider trading criminal trial, Phil Mickelson shrugged off any hint that will be hanging over him this week or in the run up to The Masters next month – both with his play and his comments.“I’m not a part of that,” Mickelson said after easily winning his first-round match Wednesday at the Dell Technologies Match Play. Early mistakes doomed Kim, who followed a double bogey on the second hole with another bogey on No. “I love competing against the best guys in the world and this is another opportunity for me.” He didn’t make the knockout stage last year despite winning two of his three matches in group play.“I think that first match is the most important, because if you’re going to have a chance to get through without winning all your matches you really need to win the first. 3.Kim’s last chance to stay in the match came with a birdie on the windy 11th green on the banks of the Colorado River that pulled him within three. Prosecutors say Walters encouraged friends, including Mickelson, to buy stock in Dean Foods Co., a Dallas-based company that is one of the nation’s largest processors of milk for retailers.Far away from the court proceedings and deep in the heart of Texas, Mickelson looked relaxed as he quickly dispatched Si Woo Kim, 5 and 3, as the Korean conceded on the 15th green.The 46-year-old Mickelson was inconsistent on the undulating course on the edge of Texas hill country in 2016. Kim, 22, won the 2016 Wyndham Championship but was the last one into the field, joining after Rickie Fowler announced last week he wouldn’t play in Austin.Mickelson, who has deep experience in match play, made quick work of Kim, winning four of the first seven holes. “I don’t think I’m going to say any more.”Mickelson does not face criminal charges but he previously agreed to return nearly $1-million he earned in 2012 after Walters suggested a stock trade. “It’s not even a thought.”

But prosecutors and defence attorneys for gambler William “Billy” Walters have said Mickelson would be a key figure in the trial in New York, and the judge hinted to jurors last week the five-time major champion could be called to testify.Mickelson said that won’t happen.“I’m out. Berger injured his arm when his club struck a rock on a downswing and he withdrew from the tournament the next day.Berger beat J.B Holmes 7 and 5 on Wednesday.“I feel good,” Berger said. 14 seed. Then there might be a chance that you can square up in the head to head and get through. I won’t be called,” Mickelson said, without saying how he knows that.“I haven’t even thought about it,” he said. The first match is critical.“Last year I won the first two and ended up getting knocked out,” Mickelson said.Mickelson hasn’t won since the 2013 British Open, but has two top-10 finishes this year and made this field of 64 as the No. But Mickelson closed him out with two birdies over next four holes.Mickelson plays Thursday against Daniel Berger, who battled Mickelson in a seesaw match here last year, only to concede near the 18th green.

Jose Bautista’s back and ‘feeling great,’ leading list of Jays returning to health

Just take a day off.”Bautista is hopeful that his strong start, hitting .563 with two homers and six RBIs in six games before leaving for the WBC, will continue.“I’m seeing the ball well and feeling good at the plate,” Bautista said. Hopefully this season get a little deeper into the playoffs than we have the last two.”The 36-year-old Bautista was slowed by injuries last season and hit .234 with 22 home runs and 69 RBIs. “Just excited to be back in the swing of things with the guys, and looking forward to getting ready for the season.”Aside from trying to reach the postseason for a third-consecutive year, the Blue Jays hope to improve upon merely reaching the AL Championship Series.“I think we’re comfortable with the group that we have,” Bautista said. “We just have to stay healthy, play hard and play together. “I talked to the staff and it makes no sense to just kind of crank it up. His status for the start of the regular season has not been determined.“We’ve got to be smart,” Gibbons said. House is taking part in a throwing program at the Blue Jays’ minor-league complex two weeks after being hit in the head by batted ball.“I think he’s going to be in game action real soon,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.House was taken off the field in an ambulance March 10 after getting struck during the ninth inning of a game.Second baseman Devon Travis (right knee) is set to play in his first big-league exhibition game Friday. will probably be out a few days due to shoulder soreness. It’s a different pride element, a patriotic pride.”Meanwhile, reliever T.J. “If it costs us a couple extra weeks, so be it.”Third baseman Josh Donaldson (right calf) played defence for the first time after making his debut as the designated hitter Monday.Outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. He had been an all-star for six successive seasons before his drop-off.Bautista said he would like to play in the WBC again.“It’s a great time,” Bautista said. He then became a free agent before returning to Toronto on a one-year deal. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista says the lower-back stiffness that prevented him from playing for the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic last weekend is no longer an issue.Bautista was in the original lineup for Wednesday’s spring-training game against Detroit, but with an off-day Thursday, it was determined he should hold off playing until Friday. “We love playing for our teams. “I’m feeling great,” Bautista said.

Maple Leafs in thick of playoff hunt with win over Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets stayed in third place in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind leader Washington and one behind Pittsburgh. … David Savard and Brandon Saad scored for Columbus, which lost for the first time in the last five games. Columbus C Alexander Wennberg returned the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a stiff neck. Savard buried a slap shot from the right dot off a sweet pass from Brandon Dubinsky from behind the goal line. They play the Capitals in Washington on Thursday night.The Blue Jackets fought back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to tie the game in the second, but were held scoreless in the final period, despite playing with a man advantage for nearly seven minutes because Toronto had failed to put a player in the box to serve a penalty.Toronto struck first with 8:55 left in the opening period when the Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski turned the puck over deep in the defensive zone. The Blue Jackets tied it 6:58 into the period when Saad deflected in a Werenski shot from the left point.Toronto answered 6:37 left in the period, making 3-2 on a goal by another of its sensational rookies. But the Blue Jackets couldn’t capitalize.Kadri swept in an insurance goal off a rebound with 4:14 left in the game, and Zaitsev had the empty-netter with 2:47 left.NOTES: Nylander has three goals and six assists in a career-high nine-game point streak. Bjorkstrand crumpled to the ice and looked as if he may have been unconscious briefly before being helped off.The Leafs failed to send a player to the box to serve the penalty so ended up playing a man down for close to seven minutes. Blue Jackets F Scott Hartnell was a healthy scratch.UP NEXT:Toronto: Home against New Jersey on Thursday.Columbus: At Washington on Thursday to finish the 17th of a league-high 19 back-to-backs. … All would have been restricted free agents this summer. William Nylander and Leo Komarov each had a goal and an assist and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Wednesday night.Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri also scored, and Frederik Andersen had 32 saves as Toronto stayed in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Atlantic Division. Nazem Kadr collected it and chipped to Komarov, who beat Korpisalo from the doorstep.The Maple Leafs took a 2-0 lead less than two minutes later on a power play when 19-year-old rookie Matthews, in the right place at the right time for a rebound, tucked in his team-leading 33rd goal of the season.Columbus closed it to 2-1 just 43 seconds into the second period. … Nikita Zaitsev scored an empty-net goal after the Blue Jackets pulled their goalie for a sixth skater near the end. William Nylander, after being levelled by Savard and recovering, caught up with Tyler Bozak pass, found himself on a breakaway and wristed a shot in off the top bar.A hard-hitting game was punctuated by Toronto’s Roman Polak, who unloaded a hit that plastered Oliver Bjorkstrand face first hit into the glass, earning the big defenceman a five-minute major penalty. Columbus signed forwards Markus Hannikainen and Lukas Sedlak, and D Scott Harrington to two-year contract extensions this week. Backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo stopped 26 shots.

Ducks top Oilers, ending goalie Talbot’s night early

“It’s a lot easier to come in here and regroup when you’re not down two. Edmonton was to recover and break the other way where Leon Draisaitl buried his 25th goal 5:58 into the first.After failing to react in time to Manson’s score over his right shoulder that put the Ducks ahead 3-2, Talbot was beaten over his left glove side by Rakell during 4-on-4 play and prompting Oilers coach Todd McLellan to finally give Laurent Brossoit just his fifth appearance in net this season.Brossoit made 16 saves in relief, playing for the first time since a loss at Tampa Bay on Feb. Edmonton succeeded early on in drawing Anaheim into a wide-open game, turning speed and skill into a 15-6 advantage in shots.But Cam Talbot gave up a howler on Eaves’ long shot to tie the game at 1, offering an early hint of his struggles to come, and the Oilers couldn’t capitalize on their initial control of the game.“We were lucky enough to sneak out a tie game,” Getzlaf said. “We came out a little bit weak in the second and they took advantage.”Talbot gave up four goals on 18 shots before being pulled midway through the second as the Oilers’ four-game winning streak ended.The Ducks figured out early on that Talbot was not at his best despite coming off consecutive shutouts. If the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers were looking to send a message to one another ahead of a possible matchup in the playoffs, it didn’t take.Instead, the Ducks were left relieved that a first period no-show didn’t end up costing them the win – and the Oilers hoping the two points lost taught them a valuable lesson. Rickard Rakell scored the go-ahead goal, Hampus Lindholm had a goal and two assists, and the Ducks defeated the Oilers 4-3 on Wednesday night.“We weren’t very happy with our first period, but the team responded like we wanted to,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who had three assists. “We kept pushing.”Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves, and Josh Manson and Patrick Eaves also scored as Anaheim passed Edmonton for second place in the Pacific Division with nine games remaining for both teams.The Ducks took the lead 1:33 into the second after being rather fortunate to head into the locker room tied at 2 when Lindholm scored with 30.2 seconds left. Starting his 13th game in a row, Talbot seemed a step slow from the start, even on the sequence that opened the scoring.Ryan Kesler’s shot got past Talbot but was sent into the post by his right skate and tantalizingly trickled parallel to the open goal. The team responded the way we wanted to and kept pushing.”Lindholm’s late strike energized the Ducks, turning the flow and allowing them to impose their forecheck on the Oilers after the first intermission.“Those goals are tough to swallow, especially on the road up 2-1 in a tough building,” said Connor McDavid, who had a goal and an assist. 21.“The first one, I’m sure he would be willing to take back,” McLellan said. “The last guy I’m going to complain about is Cam Talbot.”McDavid used a slick backhand to score his 26th, reaching around Cam Fowler and cutting back to his right to beat Bernier 1:03 after Eaves scored.Mark Letestu added a 6-on-3 power-play goal with 6.7 seconds remaining, giving both sides something to worry about.“We’re going to have to play a stiffer brand of hockey going forward,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.

U.S. celebrates first World Baseball Classic title

Stroman was sensational, throwing six no-hit innings after yielding six hits in a row in a four-run first inning to Puerto Rico in a 6-5 second-round loss.After the gold medal ceremony on the field, the 25-year-old Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.“I want to thank every single guy on this team. The United States broke through to win their first World Baseball Classic title with an emphatic 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico in Los Angeles on Wednesday behind the stellar pitching of Marcus Stroman and a 13-hit attack.Puerto Rico came in with a spotless 7-0 record in the 16-team tournament but the Americans (6-2) were not to be denied and the losers finished runners-up for the second straight WBC. It’s an All-Star lineup, one through nine.”Stroman faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings with Carlos Beltran the only man to reach, after a walk leading off the second inning. Tip of our caps to Puerto Rico and everybody else in the tournament, but we did something special.” “That’s a great team over there (Puerto Rico). manager.The U.S. “We brought it home for the United States. Beltran was erased when Yadier Molina bounced into a double play.Stroman, who struck out three, had his no-hitter snapped in the seventh when Angel Pagan led off with an opposite field double, and the right-hander exited to a standing ovation from a crowd exceeding 51,000.“I got a chance to manage for our country, coaches got a chance to coach for our country, the players got to play for our country,” said an emotional Jim Leyland, the U.S. It’s been a real special experience,” said Stroman. team jumped to a 2-0 lead off starter Seth Lugo in the third inning when Ian Kinsler crushed a two-run homer to left-center.The Americans doubled their advantage in the fifth on run-scoring singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.They tacked on three more runs in the seventh, on a two-run single by Brandon Crawford and an RBI-single by Giancarlo Stanton, and McCutchen drove home the last with an infield single in the eighth.The United States had advanced to their first WBC title game with a 2-1 semi-finals victory over Japan, winners of the first two tournaments.“I could not be prouder,” said outfielder Adam Jones.

Canada completes perfect round robin at women’s curling worlds

“We still have two or potentially three tough teams to play. We stayed focused and never compromised to win.”Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg (8-3) will play Scotland’s Eve Muirhead (7-4) in the Page playoff 3-4 game on Saturday afternoon.The 3-4 winner will advance to the semifinal while the loser will play for bronze Sunday against the semifinal loser. Our next goal is to make the semifinal and onwards from there.”Nina Roth of the United States just missed the playoffs at 6-5. The semifinal winner plays the 1-2 game winner for gold.Muirhead locked up the fourth seed with a 7-6 win over Anna Kubeskova of the Czech Republic.“We were at the stage that win, win, win was what we had to do,” Muirhead said. South Korea’s Eun Jung Kim, Switzerland’s Alina Paetz and Germany’s Daniela Jentsch joined the Czech Republic at 5-6.Italy was in 10th place at 3-8, followed by China at 2-9 and Denmark at 1-10.Homan is the third skip in tournament history to go unbeaten in round-robin play.Canada’s Colleen Jones did it in 2003 in Winnipeg and Sweden’s Anette Norberg did it in 2005 in Paisley, Scotland. The 1-2 winner will advance to Sunday’s gold-medal game and the loser will fall into Saturday’s semifinal. “It’s sports, so when it comes down to it anything can happen. “Our first goal was to make the playoffs and we’ve ticked that box. Jones went on to win silver while Norberg took the gold.“We’ve put everything we have into our preparation,” Homan said. Canada, Great Britain (qualified as Scotland), Japan, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States will join host South Korea at the Feb. 2-10 event in Ottawa. We’re just trying to stay patient out there, not get caught up in anything and just play our game.”Homan had already secured the first seed entering her morning game against Italy’s Diana Gaspari at the Capital Gymnasium. We are improving every year. Canada scored three in the fourth end and a deuce in the eighth for an 8-5 victory.In the afternoon matchup, Denmark’s Lene Nielsen had a 4-3 lead after seven ends but Homan moved ahead with an open hit for three points in the eighth. As the top seed, the Ottawa-based team will open with hammer in the Page playoff 1-2 game against Russia’s Anna Sidorova on Friday night. 9-25 competition.The Czech Republic, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia and Norway are eligible to compete for the final two berths at the Dec. “We have never played (the) 1-2 Page before. Canada skip Rachel Homan tuned up for the playoffs in style Thursday by beating Italy and Denmark to remain unbeaten at the world women’s curling championship.Homan and her team of third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle closed out round-robin play with a perfect 11-0 record. 5-10 Olympic qualifier in Pilsen, Czech Republic.Canada’s Jennifer Jones won Olympic gold at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.The winner of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings — the Canadian Curling Trials — will represent Canada next year in Pyeongchang.Jones and Homan have already secured berths in the Dec. But we really want to get ourselves to the final, whether we go through the 1-2 game or through the semifinal.“We’ve gone both routes and we’re ready for either one.”With round-robin play completed, all but two spots in the 2018 Winter Games women’s curling field have been finalized. She iced the 8-4 victory with a steal of two in the ninth.Homan is making her third career appearance at this event. Canada is trying to win gold for the first time since 2008.“You can go undefeated in the round-robin and not win a medal, so it’s not like it’s in the bag,” said Miskew. We were there in Saint John too, and now it’s great that it’s our third time here and we’re used to this playoff scenario.“We have two lives in the playoffs and we’re really grateful for that.”Sidorova (8-3) wrapped up the second seed with a 6-4 victory over China’s Bingyu Wang.“We felt it was a tough week for us, but it was our main goal to get this chance,” Sidorova said. She won bronze in 2013 in Riga and took silver the next year in Saint John, N.B.“I mean we’ve been in this position before and that’s great,” Miskew said. “In Latvia it was very overwhelming going into the playoffs because it was our first world championship (at this level). We’re prepared to have to play the semi, but it would be great to come out tomorrow and have a good game to get to the final.“But it’s all business for us.

Could NBA practice of resting star players eventually reach NHL?

“But you never know with those guys (in the NBA) and their knees and their ankles, shoulders, whatever the case may be.”Some NHL teams have introduced sports science divisions in recent years, including the Penguins and Leafs, the latter hiring Jeremy Bettle, formerly of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and USA Basketball program. During a recent Saturday night meeting between the league’s two top teams, the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, every star-calibre player sat – including Warriors two-time MVP Steph Curry and former NBA finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.That first-place overall in the Western Conference was on the line didn’t matter, nor did the fact that the game was nationally televised.One week later, during another national broadcast, the Cleveland Cavaliers sat LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love for a showdown with the Los Angeles Clippers.So alarmed is the NBA that commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo this week to the league’s board of governors describing the issue as “extremely significant” with decisions to rest players “damag(ing) the perception of our game.”The NHL has seen nothing of the kind to this point, though deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an email that “of course it would be a concern” if it began to happen as frequently as in the NBA.“You know basketball’s a tricky one because they rely so much on an individual,” Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said. Imagine the Chicago Blackhawks resting Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith all at once on the same night. Players in Toronto, under his watch, now sport wearable technology at practice, which helps the club track their physical condition while guarding against injury.That’s led to players nursing injuries a little while longer than their coach might like and sitting out the odd practice or skate.Might that translate eventually into games?If there ever was a year to try it, it was this one in the NHL, with the World Cup of Hockey and newly-implemented bye week further compressing an already tough schedule.The NBA has yet to come up with an answer to preventing the practice and even Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said his approach, in light of Silver’s note of caution, would remain the same. “Maybe if you had first locked into place by a mile and it was the last game of the year on the road or something – maybe you sit a guy out. Never,” said Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri when asked about the subject before adding a slight caveat. “Never. “LeBron can play the whole game sometimes and he takes an almost last-place team to a championship team, so I mean it’s a completely different sport in that sense where his rest is so much more valuable than in any other sport.”“I just think hockey’s a different kind of animal where I don’t think guys would want to do it,” Pacioretty added. “But it would be interesting to see if teams do it and how people would react if it happens.” “In basketball, sometimes you can take out your best player and still probably beat them.”“I think the NHL’s more physical too, just in terms of bump-and-grind,” added Kadri, a big NBA fan. “Guys are stubborn enough to probably fight it if they were asked and that’s how I would see that going down.”Pacioretty said he would try to refuse if the Canadiens ever asked him to opt out for rest. It’s worth noting (if not entirely related) that the NHL suspended players, including Toews and Alex Ovechkin, who opted to skip past all-star festivities for what was largely perceived as rest.“I never thought about it,” Pacioretty said. Some in the NBA concur, including Houston Rockets MVP candidate James Harden who said this week: “I just want to hoop. If a healthy player is healthy he’s playing.”Not so in the NBA, where head coaches are increasingly resting their stars as they carefully manage the grind of an 82-game season that many feel is too long and cumbersome. Or the Pittsburgh Penguins doing the same with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel.If the NBA’s troubling recent phenomenon of resting stars reaches the NHL it might just happen. Every point has such significance on playoffs matchups and seeding, unlike the NBA where such stuff matters little for elite contenders like the Warriors, Spurs and Cavs.Sitting Crosby, for instance, and lowering their chances at a win, might mean a more difficult opponent for the Penguins and greater chance for a first-round exit.“It’s so even that you want every advantage you can have,” Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen said. I’ll rest when I’m done.”NBA coaches, including Steve Kerr of the Warriors, have aggressively defended the practice as a long-term play on a taxing schedule.Greater parity in the NHL could prevent the concept from taking hold.Even clubs at the top, like Pittsburgh or Chicago, are unlikely to cut down their odds at two points by resting a top player, even if it means helping that star over the long haul. But never for multiple games …