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#1 2016-08-02 01:32:11


down for 14, 15 straight innings like they have the past couple of day

TORONTO – David Clarkson paused to consider the query. "Its a tough question," he said before carefully choosing his words. Knowing the result of his actions, would the 29-year-old leap off the bench to defend a teammate if the situation were to arise once more? "Different situations call for different measures, right," said Clarkson delicately on Wednesday afternoon, never quite answering the question directly. "I think you learn from things. And like I said [previously], I made a decision with my heart, not with my head but I try to play with my heart on my sleeve and play that same way all the time." Shelved for his actions in defending Phil Kessel from Sabres tough guy John Scott on Sept. 22, Clarkson finally served the 10th and final game of his suspension Tuesday night and will make his much-anticipated Leafs debut in Columbus on Friday evening. After nearly a month of waiting to debut in the sweater he grew up wearing, a month of lingering as an extra forward at practice, a month as an outside ingredient to his teams early season success, Clarkson can finally prepare to play in his first regular season game with the Leafs. "It felt long," he said. "When the teams winning obviously it makes it shorter, but it felt like quite a while." The Leafs managed to reel off seven wins (7-3-0) in his absence – in addition to regulars Nik Kulemin, Mark Fraser and Frazer McLaren, all due back soon – plugging holes with youth amid an admittedly uneven start that featured sturdy netminding, terrific special teams, and inconsistent performance in the remaining underlying areas. Clarksons brash presence will be a welcome addition. He was the clubs marquee offseason acquisition – inked a massive seven-year deal worth $36.75 million – a player Dave Nonis described as "great mix of skill and character and grit". Once a 30-goal man, the Leafs are counting on Clarkson to offer an irritating physical presence in their top-9, leadership from a Stanley Cup Final appearance in New Jersey, and of course, something in the way of offence, though not necessarily 30 goals. But in spite of the simmering expectations of his debut, additionally stoked by his return home and the weight of that sizeable contract, Clarkson understands he cant run around and earn it back all at once. "Thats one thing I cant do," he said. "Its easy when youve been suspended to try to come back in the lineup and try to overdo things. Ive got to just come in and take it step-by-step, [do] what I was brought here to do; thats go around the net, put the puck in the net, be physical, [be] good in my own zone, do all those things, not try to do too much." Though nothing has been declared yet by head coach Randy Carlyle, Clarkson would seem to be a fit alongside Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul, the latter filling a roster void at right wing while Clarkson and Kulemin remained out. Wherever he ends up, Clarkson will be a definite upgrade over the inexperienced youth he is set to replace, a strong bet to trigger improvement defensively and in the dirty areas down-low in the offensive zone. To pass the time and remain fit during his first NHL suspension, Clarkson skated twice daily – both at practice and often with skating consultant Barb Underhill – also employing the services of strength coach Anthony Belza during off-ice workouts. That and extra time with family. "My wife is probably ready to get me out of the house and back at the rink," he grinned. Though he has not played since Sept. 27, Clarkson did not believe that rust would be a factor in his return to the Toronto lineup. Ultimately, the experience is not one hed like to endure again. "At the end of the day its different when youre in the National Hockey League and youre starting a new chapter of your career or your life and youre suspended," Clarkson concluded. "Luckily enough Ill be here for quite awhile and have a lot of home openers to play. But the big thing is the team was successful and Im just coming in now fresh and feel great on the ice. "Im excited here for Friday night." … ak-Jersey/ . Sixth-ranked Kvitova beat Roberta Vinci 6-3, 7-5 for an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the semifinals. The remaining doubles cant change the overall result. The Czechs face Germany in the final in November at home. … ez-Jersey/ . The Raptors head to Milwaukee Monday night and will try to win for just the third time in 10 games while facing a Bucks team that can add a reserve point guard to a list of sidelined players. … co-Jersey/ .J. -- Kevin Gilbride retired Thursday as offensive co-ordinator for the New York Giants. … bi-Jersey/ . -- Kevin Durant insists he and Russell Westbrook arent turning their first-round series into a two-man show, even if the NBA scoring champ says they may be shooting too much. … nn-Jersey/ .  The tournament includes a total of 109 Canadian players. There are 35 players from Ontario, 35 from British Columbia, 18 from Alberta and seven each from Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. BOSTON -- David Ortizs line drive sailed just beyond Torii Hunters reach and into the Boston bullpen, sending the Tigers right fielder flopping headfirst over the wall after it. With one swing, the Red Sox slugger turned everything upside-down. Ortizs grand slam erased an eighth-inning deficit and ended Detroits unprecedented run of pitching dominance, and Jonny Gomes scampered around the bases with the game-winning run in the ninth Sunday night to give Boston a 6-5 victory over Detroit and knot the AL championship series at one game apiece. "Thats what he does. Hes an amazing hitter," said Max Scherzer, who took a no-hitter and a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning but could only watch as the Detroit relievers blew it. "Hes an amazing post-season hitter. Hes clutch. Any given moment, a swing of the bat he can always take you deep." One night after Anibal Sanchez and four relievers came within two outs of the first combined post-season no-hitter in baseball history, Scherzer struck out 13 and held Boston hitless for 5 2-3 innings. But the Red Sox loaded the bases against three relievers in the eighth and then closer Joaquin Benoit came in to face Ortiz. The Red Sox designated hitter lined the first pitch into the glove of the Red Sox bullpen catcher. Hunter went down hard and came out only after his teammates had waved for the Detroit medical staff to come out and help him. "I jumped up. I thought I had a beat on it," said Hunter, who came up in the Minnesota Twins organization with Ortiz and remains friends with the Red Sox slugger. "Next thing, I know Im falling over the fence." The fans waited until the trainers verified that Hunter was OK to start chanting, "Papi!" and call Ortiz out of the dugout for a curtain call. It was the first career post-season grand slam for a star of the 2004 playoff run that ended in Bostons first World Series title in 86 years. "The guys an actor at work," Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino said. "Its fun to watch. Its great to see. Hes always upbeat and always positive. He always likes to go up and swing the bat. Thats what he always wants to do." Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth for the win. Rick Porcello gave up a leadoff infield single that left Gomes at second when shortstop Jose Iglesias threw the ball into the Boston dugout. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a foul popup that glanced off first baseman Prince Fielders glove when he got tangled up with a fan. Gomes moved to third on a wild pitch, and then Saltalamacchia hit one through the drawn-in infield to drive in the game-winner. "Its playoff baseball," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Looked like we had one in hand and we let one get away, theres no question about that. But there have been two great games." Bostons comebacck came a few hours after Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to complete the New England Patriots comeback over the New Orleans Saints.dddddddddddd The score was greeted with cheers by Red Sox fans waiting for the baseball game to start. Game 3 of the ALCS is in Detroit 3 on Tuesday, when Justin Verlander will face Bostons John Lackey. "We need it, man. We need start some momentum going on," Ortiz said. "The whole regular season, you havent seen a team shutting us down for 14, 15 straight innings like they have the past couple of days. If you look at the way theyve been pitching, (its) unbelievable. Its up to us make an adjustment." Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered off Clay Buchholz as Detroit scored four in the sixth inning to open a 5-0 lead. The Red Sox got one in the bottom half but were four outs from falling behind 0-2 in the series when Ortiz tied it. Scherzer, who led the majors with 21 wins, did not allow a hit until Victorino singled to left with two outs in the sixth. It was an unprecedented third consecutive playoff game in which a Tigers starter took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning. That had never been done even twice in a row before this years Detroit staff, which boasts the AL ERA leader, the major league leader in wins and the 2011 AL Cy Young winner and MVP. "Scherzer was terrific. He was spent," Leyland said. "Last night our bullpen was flawless, and tonight it just wasnt quite as good." In his first career ALCS start, Buchholz allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings while striking out six. One night after Jon Lester absorbed a 1-0 loss, Buchholz kept the Red Sox in the game despite allowing three straight hits in the second and spotting Detroit to a 1-0 lead. But Cabrera hit a solo shot off the light tower above the Green Monster in the sixth, then Fielder lined a double off the left-field wall. Victor Martinez followed with an RBI double to right-centre and Avila hit a two-run shot over the Tigers bullpen to make it 5-0. Scherzer continued to coast, striking out at least one batter in every inning. The favourite for the AL Cy Young Award after going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA in the regular season, Scherzer allowed one run on two hits and two walks before leaving after seven innings with a 5-1 lead. NOTES: Dave Roberts, whose stolen base sparked Bostons comeback in the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... Ortizs 63rd post-season game tied Jason Varitek for the Red Sox franchise record. ... Buchholz had a 1.20 ERA against the Tigers in four career starts at Fenway Park. ... Victorinos nine career hit by pitches in the post-season tie him with Alex Rodriguez for the major league record. .. Scherzer lost 2-1 at Fenway Park on Sept. 9 when going for his 20th win. Cheap China Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China China NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China ' ' '



2016-08-02 01:32:11



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