Loose defence proves costly as Leafs lose to Sharks in overtime

He is at his most effective when he coolly slides into position as the play moves around him. He was the best player on the ice for more than 50 minutes, serving as the backbone of the Leafs’ defensive game as they were outshot 43-34 in regulation and overtime by the Stanley Cup finalists.However, as usual, the third period brought out the worst in the Leafs. Defenceman Morgan Rielly and forward Mitch Marner came the closest, getting stopped in the crease by Sharks goaltender Martin Jones.Before the collapse, the Leafs saw the benefits of their recent stretch of all-round play as they took a 2-0 lead into the third period against the Sharks. He was digging for pucks all night and could have had more than the two assists he registered on the first two goals. A video review upheld the call.“I’m assuming he thought I touched the goaltender,” Kadri said of the referee’s call. His best play came when he hounded Braun along the boards in the San Jose zone, eventually stripped him of the puck and got off a shot.The Leafs could have taken a three-goal lead into the third period but for a border-line penalty call early in the second. Rookies Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and Nikita Shoshnikov were all stopped on their shootout attempts by Sharks goaltender Martin Jones while Logan Couture scored for the visitors to leave the Leafs winless in four shootouts this season and one of the worst teams in the NHL at the competition.“Obviously, shootouts haven’t been too kind to us,” Leafs centre Nazem Kadri said. It’s just a learning curve, another experience for us.”That third-period learning curve is getting rather steep for the Leafs. It also spoiled Andersen’s bid for his first shutout as a Leaf.Then Leafs defenceman Matt Hunwick took an interference penalty, and what was a two-goal lead after two periods was gone in about two minutes. “I was pleased with our effort but the best way to play with a lead is [play] as if you are tied.“We took too many penalties, that was the bottom line.”The Leafs perked up in overtime, holding a big edge in the best scoring chances during a thrilling five minutes. Andersen will maintain Tuesday’s standard of play if the team is to keep treading water. Every time the Sharks thought they had moved the puck enough for an open shot, he was there, filling the net.On the offensive side, the Leafs’ best line was the trio of Matthews and wingers William Nylander and Zach Hyman. A decision the other way would have given the Leafs a better cushion in the third period, perhaps enough to hold off the Sharks.“It’s tough to have a call like that decide the outcome,” Kadri said. Sharks centre Joe Pavelski scored his ninth of the season on the power play at 14:50 to tie the game.“I think part of it is not continuing to play with your foot on the gas as much,” Babcock said when asked about the third-period woes. Rielly ripped a shot to the top corner of the Sharks net, but centre Nazem Kadri, who skated through the crease and brushed Jones as the shot came in, was called for goaltender interference. It was as if there was a string tied between him and the puck. They outplayed the Sharks by a wide margin in the first two periods, despite being outshot 26-20, but their inability to stay out of the penalty box cost them in the third.First, loose defensive coverage allowed Sharks defenceman Justin Braun to get into the slot and score his first of the season on a quick backhand to the top corner at 12:43 to cut Toronto’s lead to 2-1. The Toronto Maple Leafs might be able to argue they deserved a better result than a 3-2 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks.Might.“I thought we did a lot of real good things tonight,” Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said after the Leafs extended their home losing streak to three games at the Air Canada Centre thanks to yet another third-period letdown. Jones’ best save came midway through the second period when he flicked out his right pad to stop winger Zach Hyman on a shorthanded breakaway.Granted, as the third period showed, the Leafs still need to work on their defensive game. One Leaf who certainly deserved a better result was goaltender Frederik Andersen. They accounted for both goals in the first two periods with Hyman deflecting a Matthews shot for the first goal and Matthews scoring from a wide angle on a second-period power play. He was sensational through the first two periods, although not in the traditional sense of the word.Andersen is a goaltender who has the fundamentals all figured out. “At the end of the day, we just have to take the positives. Hyman was also strong defensively, blocking shots including one that hit him on the knee and sent him to the dressing room briefly.“One of the best skills in hockey is competitiveness,” Babcock said of Hyman and his linemates. And it seems the shootout does as well despite the presence of all those creative young players on the team. They used their speed to full effect in the first 40 minutes, forcing Jones to make several good saves, even though San Jose outshot them 26-20 during that period. “I was shocked they called [the goal] off.”Babcock issued a coach’s challenge on the play but a video review upheld the call. “They came to play.”Nylander seemed especially driven Tuesday night.

Golf’s four major champions share their major moments of the season

Just really hard.”British OpenAsk Henrik Stenson for one shot and he can’t help but mention six of them. OpenFour months after his U.S. Johnson was leading by three, though he said he stopped looking at leaderboards after the USGA told him he might be penalized one shot after the round.“The wind was off the left. I hit the shot I wanted. From 190 yards, he was going at the flag. I wanted to hit a cut to the middle of the green and let it drift to the flag,” he said. I knew when I hit it close I was going to win.”He was more excited about the short par-four 17th, where he hit his tee shot into the right bunker. That’s when he turned to caddie Andy Sanders.“I said: ‘This is it. “I stood up there and hit a five-yard draw and got it down there, and it left us a 5-iron in.”He still could have made birdie even if he had driven in the trees. There were signature shots from each and a shot that held particular significance to each winner. Even so, he was conscious of it and hit some loose shots being overly protective.That changed at No. The battle at Royal Troon with Phil Mickelson was that good. It was quality golf after that.” On a day that until then had been mostly about Spieth, that was his signature moment.But there was another shot that stood out to Willett. But he won’t forget two shots.The highlight was a 6-iron from 190 yards from the 18th fairway that settled five feet away for birdie. I looked at the hole during my practice strokes and said, ‘It doesn’t matter how it feels, just commit to whatever length of stroke you’re making.’ It felt like a bit of a slap shot when I hit it. Coming off the 15th green, he saw the large leaderboard that showed him leading the Masters after Jordan Spieth put two in the water on the 12th hole and made triple bogey.“People were cheering, shouting, ‘Look, you’re leading the Masters.’ It probably was good timing for a bathroom break,” Willett said. This year brought a collapse at the Masters, chaos over a ruling at the U.S. 10 in the third round.Mickelson had a one-shot lead when Stenson got in trouble off the tee and had 35 feet left for par. Get over it. 6.“I said: ‘Dude, it’s not hurting. It was a really hard shot. Open win, Dustin Johnson still doesn’t know the final margin and still doesn’t think he should have been penalized for his ball moving on the fifth green at Oakmont. During his warmup for a marathon final day, he felt pain from the right side of his neck when he turned in that direction, though it didn’t affect his swing. Let’s go play,’” Walker said. “I was ecstatic when it was on the green. 1 player in the world. Walker was still two shots clear of the No. “I locked the door and at least got a minute to myself.”What followed were the winning shots – an 8-iron to seven feet and the putt for birdie. He nearly went hole-by-hole for the entire weekend until settling on No. That’s where he wanted to be, though he knew the bunker shot would be his toughest. On Sunday, he was five shots behind and running out of holes, so he opted for driver.“Because I don’t draw it, that’s a tough tee shot for me,” Willett said. I birdie this and it’s over, we win. Walker held on to win by one, ending a 36-hole Sunday caused by rain delays.He found the confidence to win earlier Sunday during the third round with what looked like an ordinary shot into the sixth green.Walker said he had been horsing around with his two sons the night before and tweaked his neck. From 20 feet away, Dustin Johnson was just trying to hit the green. “The greens are fairly slow at links, and sometimes on a long putt you’re taking it back and think, ‘This is too much,’ and I decelerated on the putt and came up six feet short and ended up three-putting. “That one kept me in the ball game.”PGA ChampionshipJimmy Walker was walking toward his third shot on the par-five 17th in the final round at Baltusrol when he saw that Jason Day failed to make birdie in the group ahead of him. And that was the shot that started to right the ship. Open, a duel at the British Open and a marathon at the PGA Championship. “I hit a great 7-iron to five feet and made it. Let’s do it now as opposed to doing it on the last hole.’ That was the goal, to birdie right there,” he said.He made birdie from eight feet, but only after he backed off twice upon hearing the cheers of Day’s approach to the par-five 18th that set up eagle. Anything too strong and the ball would go into another bunker. It dropped over the edge at perfect pace.”As for that one shot of special significance? He holed it to stay one behind, and after a pair of two-shot swings on the par-threes on the back nine, the Swede had a one-shot lead going into Sunday.“That one kept the momentum,” Stenson said of his par putt. He had hit 3-wood toward the pine trees on the par-five 13th in the previous rounds. Henrik Stenson made a 50-foot putt across the 15th green at Royal Troon and found as much value in the putt he made from four feet on the next hole.The long and short of every golf season is defined by major championships. But pulling off that shot did wonders for his confidence.“It was one of the real good ones of the week,” he said.U.S. Interviews with the four major champions revealed both.The MastersDanny Willett was in dire need of a bathroom break for more than obvious reasons. Anything short and it would roll back into the one he was in.It just cleared the lip and was 20 feet short of the hole and set up the par he needed.“It was not an easy bunker shot,” he said. “I knew if I hit it straight, I’d be fine. Stenson tied a major record by closing with a 63, and his 264 was the lowest 72-hole score in major championship history.The biggest shot was his 50-foot birdie putt across the 15th green for a two-shot lead.“I had a long putt on 11,” he said. He still needed help from Spieth.

Montreal Impact, Toronto FC lose players in MLS expansion draft

Under the draft rules, none of the existing teams could lose more than one player.Toia made 17 appearances for the Impact this season with 15 starts. Midfielder Collen Warner, a former Toronto and Montreal player most recently with Houston, went to Minnesota.Atlanta and Minnesota open play in 2017. Atlanta United took fullback Donny Toia from Montreal and goalkeeper Clint Irwin from Toronto FC in Tuesday’s MLS expansion draft.Atlanta and Minnesota United each took five players. Irwin was Toronto’s No. 1 ‘keeper, reclaiming his job after an injury layoff in mid-season.

Bobsled, skeleton officials moving world championships out of Russia

Instead, the international federation said moving worlds was the only way “to allow athletes and coaches from all nations to participate in a competition that focuses on sport rather than accusations and discussions – whether justified or not.”Some of the world’s best sliders – including reigning Olympic medalists Steven Holcomb, Matt Antoine and Meyers Taylor of the U.S., Martins Dukurs of Latvia and Lizzy Yarnold of Britain – urged the IBSF for weeks to take the action. A new site – Germany and the United States are potential hosts – will likely be announced in the coming days. women’s bobsled pilot Elana Meyers Taylor said. He got word about the venue change while he and other athletes were driving Tuesday from the track at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y. “It might not have come as quickly as many would have liked, but it received the careful attention it deserved.”McLaren’s report showed that some Russian gold medalists from the Sochi Games were tainted by the state-sponsored doping program. Latvia’s national skeleton team said on Sunday that it would boycott if worlds were held in Russia. But it’s the reality of the situation. The move by the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation comes less than a week after the latest scathing report from World Anti-Doping Association investigator Richard McLaren showed the depth of doping and test-tampering by Russia during the 2012 and 2014 Olympic cycles.“That’s a monumental decision by the IBSF and the right move to protect clean athletes and to tell the world that state-sponsored doping is unacceptable,” U.S. “I am ecstatic about the decision.”Worlds were scheduled to happen over the last two weeks of February in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on the track used for the 2014 Sochi Games.The office of Russian President Vladimir Putin said the move was based on unfounded statements, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling it a “politicized decision.” But the Russian bobsled federation said it accepted the move in the spirit of co-operation and asked for understanding from other sliding teams.“There are no good decisions in these circumstances and our colleagues have had to choose the lesser evil,” the Russian federation said. Austria and South Korea were also considering such a move.Put simply, the primary athlete concern about going to Russia for world championships was the integrity of the doping process – with some even voicing worry that the hosts could tamper with food and drink supplies and create a situation where athletes would unknowingly ingest a banned substance. The process probably isn’t going to be clean or pretty, but this needs to be fixed.”The Associated Press If caught in such a scenario, the athlete would have received a ban long enough to keep him or her from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.“It’s a huge risk to take,” Holcomb said late last week.It won’t be an issue now. Russia won gold medals in two-man bobsled, four-man bobsled and men’s skeleton at those Olympics, though none of the athletes who got those victories has been implicated by any known positive or tampered-with tests.Antoine said he was ready to announce that he was not going to worlds. – the site of this weekend’s World Cup stop – after a training session.“It’s the right decision and I’m happy to see they took the proper steps,” Antoine said. Russia’s bobsled federation said it understood the rationale, even after government officials there decried the move. The Russians may seek compensation, but there’s no basis for appeal.“This was a serious decision and one the IBSF did not take lightly,” USA Bobsled and Skeleton chief executive Darrin Steele said. Avoiding what would have almost certainly been a widely boycotted world championships, international officials pulled this season’s biggest bobsled and skeleton competition out of Russia on Tuesday after a number of sliders said they would not compete in a nation so enveloped in a doping scandal.The decision was immediately praised by sliders. “I’m sure there’s some people who are happy and some people who aren’t too happy about it. It’s an unfortunate dark cloud that’s over our sport right now. “We understand that in a situation of mutual distrust, which is not of our creation, it is still possible to host a competition but it’s not possible to host a festival, and the world championship should really be a festival which people look forward to with pleasure.”The IBSF worded its decision very cautiously, not implicating the Russian Bobsled Federation in any way.

Monahan, Johnson join Gaudreau in sparking Flames’ recovery

Johnny Gaudreau’s return from injury has helped propel the Calgary Flames up the NHL standings, but there’s more to the team’s revival.Goaltender Chad Johnson stealing a 1-0 shutout win from the Minnesota Wild the same night Gaudreau broke his finger Nov. For the Flames to play with more authority in front of him, the 30-year-old Calgarian knew he had to exude poise in addition to making saves he shouldn’t.“You want the organization, your teammates especially, fans, everybody to feel like you’re giving them confidence,” Johnson said.Calgary’s special teams have gone from the worst in the NHL to a more respectable 15.5 per cent power play (21st) and 78.8 per cent penalty kill (25th). “The position I’m in, I had to be better. That goal in Brooklyn there, you could maybe pinpoint.”Johnson has effectively wrested the starting job away from Brian Elliott with a 10-2 record, a 1.75 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage since that 27-save performance against the Wild.“The game in Minnesota, he was spectacular,” Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan said. 15 was a life preserver to the flailing 5-10-1 team. Calgary’s goal differential shrunk from a league-worst minus-20 to minus-six.The Flames have poured 16 pucks past opposing goaltenders in the four games since Gaudreau’s return.“Having him back gives our team a bunch of energy,” Monahan said. When things aren’t going your way, you’ve got to find a way to work harder. Sean Monahan scoring just his second goal of the month Nov. It gave the guys confidence in him, too.”Johnson has been a backup more than he’s been a starter in his career. Johnson is the key figure in the improved penalty kill. “We shouldn’t have won that game. 28 in an overtime loss to the New York Islanders indicated Calgary’s top centre was finding a way out of his slump.Johnson’s stinginess and Monahan’s output since those dates are significant to Calgary’s turnaround, as are Gaudreau’s two goals and six assists in four games since he sat out 10.Winners of 11 of their past 15 and a season-high six straight, Calgary (16-13-2) was one point back of the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers tied atop the Pacific Division heading into Tuesday’s games.The Flames, who are at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, were six points ahead of their pace a year ago when they were 13-14-2 on Dec. The 22-year-old leads the Flames in goals with nine.“I didn’t have a great start to the season. “I think his game just carried from there. Sometimes you’re just not feeling it. 13.“We have confidence now we can play with any team in any rink and feel confident we can win,” Johnson said Tuesday following practice at Scotiabank Saddledome.Monahan is riding a career-high seven-game point streak – four goals and five assists – starting with that goal against the Islanders. Chad was just calm and solid in that game to get that shutout. It’s a pretty common saying. Once one thing happens, sometimes you kind of get going. Obviously everyone knows that,” Monahan said Tuesday.

Kelly: Penny Oleksiak’s magic is that she’s just like us

On Tuesday, she was named winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete as voted by a panel of journalists.What have you done this year?These days, there isn’t much we don’t see coming from a long way off. She stood out not just because of the number and height of her podiums, but because we hadn’t spent years obsessing about her doing it. She swims and lifts weights again. Oleksiak is a glorious exception. We’re all guessing.So when you say, ‘Best Athlete of the Year,’ what you really mean is ‘Best Story of the Year.’Oleksiak wins that race by some distance. Depending on if I’m tired. That’s her magic.On Tuesday, she kept tabs on Twitter to see if she’d won the Lou Marsh while sitting in law class at Toronto’s Monarch Park Collegiate.“The first thing I told my teacher was that I would be on my phone during class. Or not.”How was she going to celebrate becoming the first female swimmer to be named the country’s top athlete in a half-century?“I don’t have many plans to celebrate,” she said glumly. It reminded the rest of us that we could feel that way as well.Without ever once bragging, Oleksiak – a 16-year-old kid – squared the circle of Canada’s Olympic inferiority complex.“I really don’t have expectations of myself,” Oleksiak said, speaking of her goals.Maybe we should all try that. It’d be nice if something didn’t seem so big for once, at least not in the lead-up.Oleksiak was the cure for that problem. And what sort of jumper is he? It’s something more like an impenetrable cloak of normalcy.We would like to believe that most top athletes are quite normal. Like, today,” she said.Ten days later, Oleksiak carried the flag. How often does he run? It seems to work. Just one national news outlet was prescient enough to include Penny Oleksiak in a long list of Canadians to watch in Rio. A couple of hours earlier, she’d qualified for the final in butterfly. But how much can he bench press? Against whom?Everyone has an opinion about this stuff, but no one knows. She called me out a few times to search something on Google.”The 16-year-old took her win in stride. Oleksiak’s co-gold medalist, American Simone Manuel, was asked about her at the champions’ news conference. “I didn’t expect that,” Oleksiak said, speaking for country.She won silver on Sunday. Sports! “I just met Penny. Once she managed it, she was effortlessly cool about the whole thing. But – swimming like a porpoise aside – Oleksiak was and is like the rest of us. A month later, she started Grade 11. She appeared at the centre of our national conversation as if she’d been teleported there. Apparently, Mr. But a reminder that we could be good at this thing – the event that is the great rallying point of our common culture – when it isn’t played on ice.Along with a few others, Oleksiak did that. On Thursday, she won gold in the sport’s marquee event, the 100-metre freestyle.She set an Olympic record that night, both for performance and stunned looks of disbelief. She arrived with no expectations (the rare sporting instance in which that term is used literally rather than metaphorically).Once she’d gotten big, she managed to stay small. Once finished with that, she lost interest. If I’m lucky, I’ll have some cake at dinner.”There was some furious whispering out of earshot on the conference line.“I’m trying to convince my mom as we speak.”Every year, we get the athletes we deserve. She didn’t know and made clear that she doesn’t care.She gets up in the morning, swims and lifts weights. Another bronze on Tuesday. No matter how good a thing is, it begins to seem tired after a while. Sidney Crosby may have had the most accomplished calendar year in professional hockey history, but his long run of excellence tends to weigh against him. Oleksiak spent most of the medal ceremony in a fog of gawky teenage bewilderment – she didn’t know when to get up on the podium, or who to hug, or that you’re supposed to bite down on gold as they take your photo.How out-of-nowhere was all of this? She was asked if she had any sponsorship deals in play. Crosby, a two-time winner of the Lou Marsh, finished second this time around.(In victory, Oleksiak had some gracious words for the man she’d bested: “I remember at book fairs I used to buy posters of him … because he’s super-cool.”)Some people will consider that one-two result unjust and go on about competitive depths of field, the daily grind of pro sport versus amateur or the general pressure, but at the most basic level, comparing athletes between sports is a mug’s game.Most people would probably agree that Usain Bolt is the greatest athlete alive. McAlpine (whoever that is) from across the hall did not.“He was freaking out,” Oleksiak said.Asked again and again to sum up her year, she showed no interest in talking up it or herself. Most of them are incredibly abnormal, usually in ways that make normal people feel terrible about themselves. It isn’t quite bashfulness. Most non-obsessives are a little run down by the constant deluge of Big! Sometimes a few less, sometimes more. Things! Every bit as much as her performance – the finest ever by a Canadian at a Summer Games – that’s what separated her from the pack.Brooke Henderson had a great season. They aren’t. So did Milos Raonic and Andre De Grasse. Like, up onto a kitchen table or up onto a bookshelf? But we don’t always get the athletes we need.Going into Rio, Canada needed a win. “I have a test tomorrow. And then she goes home.“I do homework sometimes. Not a bunch of golds, necessarily. She goes to school. They ran her bio next to a picture of a different swimmer.She won her first medal late on a Saturday evening – a team bronze in freestyle relay. You could hear papers shuffling as she went through her thank-you list.

Wayne Smith: CFL all-star defied the odds with pro football career

Hayes recommended him to the Montreal Alouettes management. He didn’t consider football until he was 18 years old. “But now I realize that I’ll never win a Schenley as long as I’m in Ottawa, because I just seem to be taken for granted here. “His retirement was somewhat forced,” his cousin Craig Smith said. Foley said. I’d use my imagination to play all kinds of positions and I think it helped me. His brother Rick played and got him interested. Mr. Lions. Smith, who died in his sleep at his Halifax home on Nov. Smith was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1984.Mr. It was his rookie season.Having little football experience, he caught on quickly – mostly, he said, “because I can’t stand being pushed around.” He also did a lot of homework to improve his game.“I used to watch games on TV and imagine myself as, say, Vic Washington, and how I’d run in his place, what moves I’d make and that kind of thing. Smith was predeceased by his son, Aaron and his sister, Carmen. With lots of extended family nearby, Mr. Rapp described as insubordination.In June, 1977, Mr. We could go swimming in the ocean and fishing off the wharf. Having never played high school or college football, Wayne Smith defied the odds and went on to become a CFL defensive all-star during his 12-year career in professional football.In 1969, at the age of 19, Mr. Smith joined the Ottawa Rough Riders with little more than ambition and raw athletic talent. Smith often found himself pitted against players who were older than himself.Bob Hayes, a former coach and athletic director at Halifax’s Saint Mary’s University, saw him play and was impressed. He was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1979 and finished his 12-year professional career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Smith said in the 1975 Gazette interview.By 1972, Mr. Smith was part of the Ottawa Rough Riders’ rugged five-man defensive line widely known as the “capital punishment.”“The defence was punishing,” Mr. Smith, who married and divorced a couple of times, remained in Toronto for several years before eventually returning to Halifax. He lost to John Helton of the Calgary Stampeders.“His athletic ability was amazing,” said Bill Robinson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, who played with the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1975 to 1978. I still watch all the good defensive ends in the CFL and the NFL, hoping that I can pick up a move here, a move there, and use it myself,” Mr. Mr. Smith was working in Oland Brewery when he started playing with a team called the Halifax Buccaneers. The amateur club would play exhibition games against universities and other local competition such as the military. 24, 1950, in Halifax, Wayne Dennis Smith was the middle of three children to Jahalia and Gerald Smith. “No one from our immediate black community had gone on to professional sports. His body just couldn’t take it anymore.”After his professional football career, Mr. Smith and his Ottawa Rough Riders teammates went again to the Grey Cup.On Nov. But in 1975 he started to publicly express feelings of discontent. His only experience was playing briefly for a small football team in his hometown of Halifax. Having broken his arm during the season, he played the Grey Cup game with the injured arm encased in a hinged cast protected by layers of sponge and rubber. Smith played his first seven years in the CFL in Ottawa. Smith had in life was declining an offer to head south of the border to play with the NFL Green Bay Packers, Craig Smith said. “He had all the right instincts. Mr. Smith. Smith was traded to Toronto, where he spent two-and-a-half years with the Argonauts. He was reported to have run into trouble with Lions’ coach Vic Rapp for what Mr. Smith was a runner-up for the Schenley Award for the CFL’s top defensive player. Wilkinson suffered a rib injury, though he returned to the field later in the game.In 1974, Mr. He was fast, he was quick, but he was also strong.”At 6 foot 4 and about 230 pounds, Mr. But Mr. Mr. At the time, Mr. He declined the offer so that he could stay closer to home.“He taught me that anything is possible,” said his cousin Mark Smith, director of coaching for Sport Nova Scotia and a former professional, champion softball pitcher. Smith said. Smith won his second Grey Cup.It was quite a memorable game for Mr. “He probably could have outrun any quarterback.”Mr. I had an ideal boyhood,” he told the Montreal Gazette in 1975.To keep fit during his teens, he would often run around the Halifax Common, a park in downtown Halifax. The father of nine children, he also enjoyed time with his large family and continued to follow football, especially the Toronto Argonauts.His son Wayne, a national offensive lineman, started his fifth season with the Argonauts this year.The one regret the elder Mr. Smith leaves his partner, Joan Skinner; daughters Jamie, Mia, Judith and Orian; sons Wayne Smith, Wade, Jesse, Wayne Skinner; brother, Richard; 16 grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. His father was a merchant seaman and later worked for Canada Post, and his mother cleaned homes. Smith was offered a tryout, but the Ottawa Rough Riders signed him first. While holding various jobs, including as a labourer, he always maintained a fitness regime until his diabetes forced him to stop.A self-described loner, he didn’t take part in football reunions or keep in touch with his former teammates. Instead he preferred spending time outdoors with his dog, playing basketball, biking or ice-fishing. “The defence is what carried us in the Grey Cup in ’73.”Born on Jan. “He had a knee problem. He said he felt that his talents were being kept secret in the capital.“I found that out last year when I went out to Vancouver for the Schenley Awards,” he told the Montreal Gazette. In front of a crowd of more than 36,600, Mr. Mr. In high school, he preferred basketball, playing at the local YMCA. Mr. 25, 1973, the Rough Riders defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 22-18 in Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition Stadium. The following year, Mr. “Everywhere I went people were saying, ‘Who’s Wayne Smith?’”“I really thought I should have won,” Mr. Smith tackled Edmonton’s starting quarterback, Tom Wilkinson, pushing him out of bounds at a key moment near the end of the first quarter. I’d certainly like to be in either Toronto or Montreal because I know I’d get a lot more recognition in those cities …”Following his time in Ottawa, Mr. He was a bit of a forerunner for us.”Mr. “He was something special,” said Jim Foley, an award-winning slotback who played with the Ottawa Rough Riders in the 1970s. He was 19 and would go onto to win the Grey Cup with the team in 1969. 27 at the age of 66, after suffering complications due to diabetes, would quickly establish himself as a quick, ambitious force within the league, playing for five teams and winning two Grey Cups. Smith went on to play one season with the B.C. Smith was a stand-out player, gaining all-star status on the Eastern Division and All-Canadian teams. Smith described his childhood, in Halifax’s North End community, as idyllic.“There were lots of fields to play on, the Y was close by, we had bantam and midget hockey and ball.

Senators’ poor play on the road has coach Guy Boucher steaming

“You can make some mistakes. Not only did Boucher stop drills if he didn’t like what he saw, he pointed fingers at those making the mistakes.Asked if he was worried about players taking exception to the criticism, he said if anyone takes issue with being singled out then the team has much bigger problems.“If we’re that fragile, we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs,” said Boucher. At this point it doesn’t appear Craig Anderson, whose wife is undergoing treatment for throat cancer in New York, will be re-joining the team before the Christmas break as Boucher said he expects Anderson to be gone “for a while.”Chris Wideman, who took a puck to the nose Sunday afternoon, will be a game-time decision. It’s nothing personal and I think we need to realize that.”Practice focused mainly on battle and compete drills as Boucher was frustrated by his team’s effort in a 5-1 loss to Anaheim on Sunday.“Our compete level wasn’t good enough and that’s just unacceptable,” said Boucher. “That’s all he’s trying to do is make us a better team, better players. “I believe we’re a team that can acquire a much better work ethic than we had last game because we had it before.”The Senators (16-11-2) host the San Jose Sharks (16-11-1) Wednesday and Boucher knows his team can’t afford to let things slide, which was one of the reasons he was so frustrated by mistakes during practice.Players expected a tough practice considering the result of the road trip and, as for Boucher’s outburst, most saw no issue with it.“You make mistakes and you need to be professional to take that criticism and get better,” said veteran Chris Kelly. Neil is just the third player in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Chris Phillips (1,179) and Daniel Alfredsson (1,178). When you see it slip away you’ve got to get back in practice and do it and when you do it in practice, you do it in games.”With 15 games in November and 13 in December, practice time has been difficult to come by as Boucher tries to find the balance between rest and work for his players.“It’s a more difficult gauge than usual to be honest with you,” said Boucher. There is another team that’s playing well and wants to win, it’s the NHL, you’re not alone on the ice, but when our compete level isn’t there and we’re not first on puck on purpose that’s something we can’t accept of ourselves.“We’re a much harder team to play against than we showed the last game and the last four periods and that’s not something you just ask for. “We have to figure it out because we don’t want our team to drift and (Tuesday) we were in big need of practising some specifics.”Mike Condon will get the start Wednesday with Andrew Hammond as his backup. Guy Boucher says he doesn’t mind bruising a few egos if it stops the bad habits that have been creeping into the Ottawa Senators’ play lately.Practising for the first time since a disappointing four-game road trip that saw them win just once, the Senators head coach was critical of every error and had no problem voicing his displeasure. Wideman practised Tuesday wearing a full visor. Should Wideman not play, Andreas Englund will replace him.Wednesday night the Senators will honour Chris Neil, who played his 1,000th NHL game last Saturday.

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco takes issue with BMO Field pitch

Three days after his team lost the MLS Cup final on penalties, Toronto FC star striker Sebastian Giovinco raised the issue of the playing surface at BMO Field.Giovinco, who had to be subbed off the last two home games, said the one difference between this season and 2015 was the MLS team sharing the ground with the CFL Argonauts. Saturday’s championship game was also the latest MLS Cup final in league history. The Italian made his comments to the media through an interpreter in the team’s end-of-season availability Tuesday.Team officials said Giovinco had raised the issue with them and that they were confident they could do things to improve the playing surface next season.BMO Field hosted the Grey Cup in late November.

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak wins Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete

Swimmer Penny Oleksiak is the winner of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.The Toronto Star award is selected annually by a panel of sports journalists from across the country.Oleksiak won four medals at the Rio Olympics last summer, including gold in the 100-metre freestyle.She added four more medals at the short-course world championship this month in Windsor. The 16-year-old Toronto swimmer edged Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby for the honour.Other finalists were sprinter Andre De Grasse, golfer Brooke Henderson, Paralympic swimmer Aurelie Rivard, tennis player Milos Raonic and high jumper Derek Drouin.The Lou Marsh Trophy is named after a former Toronto Star sports editor.

Brooke Henderson says she’s matured after remarkable season

In Rio, she left the golf course in tears after shooting 4-over on the final six holes of the third round, a collapse that included a four-putt on the 16th hole.“Golf is a very tough game and like anything in life there is going to be disappointments where you wish you had played a little bit better or made smarter decisions, but that’s just where you have to learn from it and move in,” said Henderson. But at the end of the day I’m just building a better me.”Henderson was the LPGA’s Ironwoman in 2016, playing a tour-high 31 events, peaking at No. Taiwan was Brooke Henderson’s favourite destination on the LPGA Tour this year. But she believes the gruelling schedule has prepared her for the future.“Where the tournaments were, what the courses were like, what the fans were like, the atmosphere, the communities around the tournaments, and the travelling – like how to get from one city to another and if it was easy or not – were all really important things to learn,” she said. I’m really looking forward to next year and hopefully the years after that too.”The LPGA Tour features two events in Canada in 2017 with the Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Ont., set for June 5-11 and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open scheduled for Aug. 2 on the world rankings before finishing eighth. “I’m happy to come home, and I remember where it all began with my family and friends. 21-27 in Ottawa.The CP Women’s Open is already circled on Henderson’s calendar as the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club is playing host. “There’s always little things that every caddy/player have to figure out, but for the most part I really feel we work great together. Playing in the Olympics, winning US$1.7 million in prize money and capturing her first major were pretty cool, too.The 19-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., packed more into one season than some golfers experience over an entire career. She added 15 top-10 finishes and was just two shots out of the bronze medal position at the Olympics.While many marvel at the teen’s poise and maturity, Henderson’s inexperience did come to the forefront on occasion. And short game. Back home this month for a well-deserved holiday break, Henderson told The Canadian Press she feels more mature as she reaches the end of her remarkable year.“This year especially gave me a lot of experiences that added a lot of value to who am I am as a person, and what I am on the LPGA Tour,” she said in a recent interview. That’s always been something I’ve worked on especially the last few years.”She will also continue to have her older sister Brittany, a professional golfer in her own right, as her caddy.“We really make a great team and we know each other really well, which helps us on and off the course,” she said. “Now that I’ve done it, I feel almost like a veteran, where next year is going to be a lot easier.”Henderson won two titles in 2016, including the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, her first career major. “Being a member of the Ottawa Hunt Club and having it so close to where I grew up, celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in the capital, it’s going to be really amazing.”After getting so close to the top in her first full LPGA season, Henderson admitted she’s more motivated than ever to get to No. Add to that the Rio Olympics and sponsor commitments and the young Canadian didn’t have much time for herself on her first full season on the women’s pro circuit. “When something really exciting happens – like having my major win or my other win this year – you really have to embrace them and celebrate because they’re hard to come by.”Henderson will remain involved with Golf Canada’s program next year, although she said she would work with Canadian head coach Tristan Mullally a “little bit” as her father Dave is her “number one guy.”“I definitely would like to get stronger and hit the ball a little further and work on my consistency overall,” she said of her off-season plans. “I think that’s the big one. 1.“I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead of me,” she said. “I’ll set smaller goals on my way to that, but I think that’s ultimately the end goal for any person playing on the LPGA Tour.” The course gave Henderson an honorary membership this year.“I’m already looking forward to that week of the season and hopefully I peak that week,” said Henderson.

DeRozan, Ross lead Raptors over Bucks in high-scoring affair

First up is Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia against the 76ers. He hit a floating jumper, a flashy driving layup and a three-pointer, while also nabbing some rebounds. The young Milwaukee squad, who may challenge for a playoff spot this season, chipped away at a lead that had ballooned to 26 points. Suddenly it was a 10-point game going into the final quarter.The Raptors seemed to return in the fourth. The 19-year-old played seven minutes on Monday and registered three points and three rebounds.The Bucks lost their third in a row and now hold an 11-12 record, good for ninth in the Eastern Conference.The Raptors, who still sit second in the East, are fourth in the league in average points a game with 111, behind only Golden State, Houston and Cleveland.“I’ll take the offensive explosion that we’re having right now and the good shooting, ball movement or whatever it is,” said Toronto coach Dwane Casey. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that ties with the 21-4 Warriors for the best offensive efficiency of any National Basketball Association team since the three-point line was introduced in 1979.The Raptors jumped ahead quickly, leading 33-23 after the first quarter behind a parade of three-pointers and a nine-point quarter for DeRozan, with another eight from DeMarre Carroll, including a pair of threes.Carroll began the game defending Antetokounmpo, and the Milwaukee star was held to just a single field goal on three attempts in the opening frame.Ross exploded for 12 points in the second quarter. The Raptors were one point shy of their highest-scoring half of the season, when they took a 69-49 lead into the locker room, in large part thanks to 8-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc.In the third quarter, however, the Bucks came charging back. [Patrick Patterson’s] start dropping, T-Ross’s start dropping, [Norman Powell’s] start dropping, [Carroll] too.”After playing the NBA’s second-toughest schedule to this point – according to Basketball Reference – the Raptors’ next three games are against teams with .500 records or worse. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the burgeoning 22-year-old superstar small forward known as the Greek Freak, registered 30 points and eight rebounds, besting his performance against Toronto when the two teams met on Nov. Behind big efforts from Antetokounmpo and Parker, combined with a cooling of Toronto’s shooting, the Bucks outscored the Raps 33-23 in the third. Jonas Valanciunas had 11 points and 13 boards, while Carroll contributed 13 points and seven rebounds.It was the first career NBA game in Toronto for Thon Maker, the Sudanese-born Australian who played two seasons at Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ont., before the Bucks drafted him 10th over all back in June. “I think somebody asked this morning, them seeing the ball going through for Kyle, is it contagious? It’s true, and the Raptors rolled to another high-scoring win on Monday,122-100 over the athletic, young Milwaukee Bucks.Led by 30 points from DeMar DeRozan and 25 from Terrence Ross, the Raptors cruised to their third-straight victory on Monday and ninth in their past 10 games, improving to a 17-7 record. 25. It may seem like a surprising fact: The Toronto Raptors are currently tied with the Golden StateWarriors for the best offensive efficiency in the NBA. The 7-foot-1 power forward has played very sporadically for the Bucks in his rookie season – appearing in just eight games. The energy may have gotten the best of him though as he manufactured a steal and drove to the hoop but flubbed a monster dunk.Kyle Lowry, coming off a season-high 34-points on 18 field-goal attempts against Boston, had 18 points and seven assists on Monday. Jabari Parker also caused Toronto some problems while rolling for 27 points.Heading into Monday’s game, the hot-scoring Raptors were averaging 114.2 points for every 100 possessions. Ross once again erupted offensively in the final quarter to help build Toronto another comfortable lead.

Spooner lifts Bruins to overtime win over Canadiens

Ryan Spooner scored in overtime as the visiting Boston Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Monday night.Austin Czarnik scored for the Bruins (16-12-2) in regulation time. After a scramble in front of Rask’s net, the Bruins goalie lost track of the puck as Byron backhanded home his 10th of the campaign. Nathan Beaulieu was the lone defenceman back, but his sliding effort just missed Czarnik’s shot.Rask kept his shutout bid alive until 16:48 of the third period when Byron scored on Montreal’s 29th shot on goal. There was no penalty on Krug on the play.Brendan Gallagher took matters into his own hands, dropping the gloves with Krug with five minutes remaining in the first.The second period saw fewer dust-ups, and was more about Price and Rask repeatedly frustrating their opponents.Price denied Czarnik on a partial break early in the frame. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for the win as Boston handed Montreal a rare home loss.Paul Byron scored late in the third period to salvage a point for Montreal (19-6-4). The Habs winger went straight to the dressing room but was back for the start of the second period. The 24-year-old beat Price for his third goal of the season as he fired a shot between Price’s pad and blocker while on a 2-on-1. David Krejci looked to have given the Bruins the victory the victory 59 seconds into overtime but referees determined David Pastrnak had interfered with Price, preventing him from making the save.Spooner made it official with 1:40 remaining in overtime, beating Price on a partial breakaway. The Canadiens netminder then made a big pad save on Patrice Bergeron later on in the period.Rask’s biggest stop in the second was when he went down and stacked the pads on Tomas Plekanec, just seconds after Pastrnak hit the post at the other end of the rink.Czarnik broke the deadlock with 1:05 remaining in the middle frame. The Canadiens challenged the goal, claiming Spooner was offside on the play, but the goal stood.The loss was only Montreal’s third at the Bell Centre this year (14-1-2).The Canadiens and Bruins have a stormy history and it didn’t take long for the bad blood to spill over between two of hockey’s greatest rivals.Alexei Emelin set the tone for the encounter 13 minutes in with a big shoulder-to-shoulder bodycheck along the boards on young Bruins phenom Pastrnak.Torey Krug answered seconds later with an elbow to the head on Andrew Shaw in open ice in the neutral zone. Carey Price stopped 26-of-28 shots in defeat, just his fifth loss of the season.

Winnipeg Jets feeling the squeeze of their crazy, busy schedule

29. The road-weary Jets were hanging in with the Edmonton Oilers until flashy rookie Patrik Laine did something he’s done a lot of this season, and conjured up another goal. “Maybe we’ve just got to get used to it.”The 2016-17 NHL season is unusual and covers 173 days altogether, once the Christmas and all-star breaks are subtracted, according to figures provided by the Elias Sports Bureau. For comparison purposes, that’s four days fewer than last year, six days fewer than the year before and seven days fewer than the year before that.But what’s new and unique to this season is that every team has been granted a bye week – Winnipeg’s falls between Feb. They know it just as well. I don’t have to say a lot to the older guys. Sadly, this one went directly into his own net; an own goal; and it left the Jets on the wrong side of a 3-2 score in their fourth consecutive defeat. He will tell you he’s never seen a season quite like this one, which started five days later than a year ago (because of the World Cup), but finishes on the exact same date in the spring, April 9.“I don’t know if it’s the new NHL, or it’s just an unusual season, or if it’s the geographic situation we’re in,” Maurice said. Little has played some with Drew Stafford and Blake Wheeler, and other times with Nikolaj Ehlers and Laine.“They’re two very different looks,” Little said. “Stafford and Wheeler are good players, but what they bring is a bit different than playing with the young kids. We’ve been really resilient and really consistent in our effort … Our fight’s been great.”Now, if they could just translate that fight into better results in the standings. Little has endured through the most luckless stretch of a career that’s now in its 10th season.After he missed the final 25 games of past season as a result of a fractured vertebrae, Little was then injured on his third shift of opening night in a collision with Carolina Hurricane Bryan Bickell and was out for 23 games.Without him, the Jets stayed barely competitive in a Central Division that doesn’t have the lustre of previous years, which may be the most important development of all because it has kept them in the playoff hunt.Now, with Little and emerging star Mark Scheifele in the lineup, they have an enviable one-two punch down the middle. The Winnipeg Jets’ lost weekend concluded in heartbreaking fashion Sunday night, if the 32nd game of any NHL season can actually be described as heartbreaking. It was the 28th game the Jets had played in 49 days, and the fact that coach Paul Maurice knew that exactly tells you something about their crazy, busy schedule.Maurice is not given to hyperbole and started coaching in the National Hockey League back in 1995. Columbus has played the fewest at 26, with nine other NHL teams at 27.That scheduling imbalance has taken its toll on the Jets of late and makes it difficult to assess exactly what they have – and what they might be capable of over the final 50 games, when their version of the compressed schedule lightens up.“I’d like to think that the teams we’ve played five or six more games than, are going to have the same thing coming down the pipe at some point,” Maurice said.“Not sure if that’s going to happen, but we’ve survived to this point – and then it will be up to us to make hay when the sun is shining.”If there’s one piece of good news for the Jets, it is how well centre Bryan Little has played since he returning to the lineup on Nov. 21 and 28 – for the first time in NHL history.In effect, it means teams need to fit 82 games into 168 possible playing days – leaving them with anywhere from nine to 12 fewer available days to do so compared with the past three seasons.Winnipeg has played the most games so far (32). For the younger guys, you’ve got to talk to them a lot – communicate with them, and try to figure out what they’re thinking on the ice.”The Jets have until Thursday to regroup, before starting a two-game homestand against the Florida Panthers, after which they travel to Vancouver to play back-to-back games against the Canucks before the Christmas break.Four days off will give them a chance to rest and practise and see what a mostly full lineup might look like when play resumes.“If you take the age of our group and consider 135 man-games lost, I think we’ve been very consistent,” Maurice said.“At one point, we lost five games in a row, so that’s not very good, but we only had one game in there that I didn’t think we gave what we had.

Metropolitan Division boasts the NHL’s strongest teams this season

Philadelphia has risen to fifth in the East behind 15 points from Jakub Voracek, a .930 save percentage from goaltender Steve Mason and a strong power play and penalty kill.Coach Dave Hakstol said the Flyers are finding different ways to win games, as evidenced by them beating the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 and then a few days later the Detroit Red Wings 1-0 in overtime.“I think we’re playing better defensively as a team,” said Voracek, who has 32 points and trails only Edmonton’s Connor McDavid in the NHL scoring race. “I would venture to say he’s probably the most fair coach as far as time off and days off and treating the players with respect and giving them their space and just allowing them to focus on one thing and one thing only, which is the 60 minutes ahead of them and the game. 3, Metro teams are an astounding 28-7-3, led by the Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, red-hot Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets and streaking Capitals. “The top eight in the East is going to be tough to get in this year. We plan to be at the top.”

Even for the Capitals, who ran away with the division, the top seed in the Eastern Conference and the Presidents’ Trophy last season, that’s easier said than done.They’re on pace for 112 points, which would leave them in third place because the Metropolitan is home to five of the top-eight teams in the NHL.Since Dec. “I think we’re finally getting to see what the Metropolitan is all about.”Asked if Washington getting tested by a tougher division could help come playoff time after running away with it last year, Williams simply shrugged and said, “Maybe.”His coach definitely thinks so, or at least that the Metropolitan being this good isn’t a bad thing for any team that makes the postseason.“I think competition makes you better,” Trotz said.“I think the quality in the Metro this year is terrific. 27. The Flyers have won a league-best nine in a row, the Blue Jackets six and the Penguins five so the Capitals’ four-game winning streak doesn’t have them moving up the standings.“Win them all if you can,” coach Barry Trotz said. “You have a bad day, you could fall like three or four spots. “When we’re making mistakes, Mason is playing unreal … I think as an overall game we got better not only over the winning streak but in the games before. It’s a good challenge, and I think it prepares you just to have some consistency in your game. That’ll make all the teams better, not only ours. “There’s no room. We’re in our playoff push.”No team has pushed toward the playoffs harder than the Flyers, who were 13th in the East before their run began on Nov. We lost the games when we should’ve won earlier in the year and now we’re winning them. If you don’t, then you’ll fall out.” It’s a good sign.”The Penguins have avoided the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover thanks to Sidney Crosby’s league-leading 20 goals in his first 22 games.As Henrik Lundqvist sits, Rangers backup goalie Antti Raanta has won three-consecutive starts with a 0.33 goals-against average and .984 save percentage.After losing four of its first six games, Columbus is rolling under coach John Tortorella. It’s a two-way street with him, and I think it’s allowed us to excel.”Meanwhile, the Capitals shrugged off some early-season malaise, and Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Braden Holtby said, “We’re realizing a little bit more who we are.” Three-time Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin snapped a seven-game goal drought Sunday, but Nicklas Backstrom and others are picking up the slack.Defenceman Karl Alzner isn’t surprised by the Metropolitan might.“We all knew that when the divisions got made that ours was going to be really hard and it wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been, I think, the last few years,” Alzner said. You could go from being a wild-card team to not being in the playoffs to being second in your division if you win.”The competition is so hot that the New York Islanders are still in last place despite winning six of their last 10 and the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes are five and seven points out of the last playoff spot in the East.At the top of the division, the Penguins, Rangers, Flyers, Blue Jackets and Capitals have combined to win their last 27 games.“Everyone’s playing at a high level,” Rangers centre Derek Stepan said. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is among the league leaders with a .932 save percentage and 1.98 GAA this season and forward Cam Atkinson has 27 points in 26 games.“Everybody’s bought in,” Columbus centre Brandon Dubinsky, who also played for Tortorella in New York. Justin Williams knows, from missing the playoffs twice with defending Stanley Cup champions, just how difficult it is to make it to the postseason, which is why the Metropolitan Division standings have his full attention.“I see our division, I see everyone winning,” the Washington Capitals right winger said.