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Old 02-12-2008, 07:22 AM   #1
Jesse Joe
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Default Maple Leafs take their practice outside.


The Canadian Press

Toronto Maple Leafs' Wade Belak wears a balaclava to stay warm as he takes part in an outdoor team practice in Toronto yesterday.


Maple Leafs take their practice outside

Toronto's spirits improve after recent wins, team remains seven points out of eighth and final playoff qualifying spot


THE CANADIAN PRESS Published Tuesday February 12th, 2008


TORONTO - The Toronto Maple Leafs, clinging to the notion they can still make the NHL playoffs, are entering a six-game segment of their schedule that will probably determine their fate.

The Leafs play in Buffalo tomorrow and then are home for five in a row, and they hope to ride the momentum gained from wins over Montreal and Detroit in their last two games to make a move up in the standings.
"Obviously we have to win a lot of games and we probably need to get help from some other teams to struggle down the stretch," says captain Mats Sundin. "You know, if we can play the way we did the last couple of games ... we'll have a chance."
It's a big IF.
Toronto has 25 games left and is seven points out of the eighth and final playoff qualifying position in the Eastern Conference. The odds are against the Leafs, and their inconsistency has already cost GM John Ferguson his job, but they haven't given up.
"It's nice to come to the rink and see the guys joking around with each other a little bit," head coach Paul Maurice said after the team's annual outdoor practice yesterday.
It was, brrrrr, minus-10 as the players scrimmaged on a sheet of gleaming ice just east of downtown to promote the club's participation with The Home Depot in refurbishing outdoor rinks in the city. Bundled-up school children sprung from classes so they could get a close-up look at their hockey heros waved Leafs flags and cheered every pass and shot on goal.
"It was a good time," said Matt Stajan. "Our toes and fingers were a little cold but it's great for the kids and it brings back memories.
"We get treated really nice nowadays with all the arenas we play in and this brings you back to where you started. It's a lot of fun."
Most of the players wore balaclavas -- Wade Belak sported one that was florescent orange -- under their helmets to protect their necks from the cold.
"Whether you're Canadian or Swedish, we all were on outdoor rinks growing up," said Sundin. "The sun was out and it was amazing to see all the kids out there.
"We were more worried about them than ourselves."
About an hour after taking to the ice, the players lobbed pucks to spectators before slipping off the skates in a change room, pulling on running shoes, and walking up a path to a bus that took them back to Air Canada Centre. Kids squealed for autographs and Sundin and his teammates obliged as papers and pens were thrust towards them over a snow fence.
The recent wins have the players feeling good about themselves for a change.
"(The wins) should breed some confidence into our group knowing that we beat two really good hockey clubs the last week," said Sundin. "Hopefully we can keep it going."
Buoying their confidence is the return of injured regulars.
Defenceman Bryan McCabe has been back in the lineup for two games now after a broken left hand healed, Alex Steen returned Saturday after rehabbing a separated shoulder, and Alexei Ponikarovsky (dislocated shoulder) and Chad Kilger (personal reasons) hope to be back in action Wednesday.
"We're moving closer and closer to getting our room back and there's been a little bit of a good feeling in the locker-room that hasn't grown out of control," said Maurice.

Last edited by Jesse Joe; 02-13-2008 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:38 AM   #2
charlene
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Wade looks like he's off to rob a bank..
One of the coldest days of the year and they're outside..good grief..minus 10C AND a wind chill - more like 4 Fahrenheit. BRRRRRR..
but as Gord says " Ya gotta love the Leafs"..
and I do..
Go Leafs Go
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Maybe the cold will give them a boost, they so much need. Meanwhile The Jays are headed to Florida. Im really going to follow them this year. I think they should be alright. Go Matt Stairs Go...

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Old 02-12-2008, 11:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.




Blue Jays head for Florida

Toronto looks to new faces for success in 2008


THE CANADIAN PRESS Published Tuesday February 12th, 2008


The Toronto Blue Jays begin gathering in Dunedin, Fla., for spring training this week, hopeful the arrival of new faces like Scott Rolen, David Eckstein, Rod Barajas and Marco Scutaro can help push them to a more fruitful 2008.
The core of the 2007 team that finished third in the American League East at 83-79 in a year of injuries and underperformance is predominantly back for another crack at things, seeking to contend for the franchise's first post-season berth since 1993.
Much of that will depend on a full return to health for stars like Vernon Wells, B.J. Ryan and Lyle Overbay, the ability of young pitchers like Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Jeremy Accardo and Casey Janssen to continue to progress and whether the team can finally produce strong efforts at the plate and on the mound at the same time.
"This is the strongest club -- and we've put together some good clubs here -- with less question marks than we've had," manager John Gibbons said in a recent interview. "Barring injuries, we should be able to combine it all."
The Blue Jays head into their six long weeks under the Florida sun with only a handful of questions to answer. Their main orders of business will be determining if Ryan will be ready when they open the season March 31 in New York, who will be the team's fifth starter and how the batting order shapes up.
Ryan's recovery from ligament-replacement surgery on his left elbow will be watched closely as his status affects both how the bullpen lines up and the battle for the final rotation spot. Janssen, outstanding in a set-up role last season, will battle rookie Jesse Litsch and lefty Gustavo Chacin for that job but will be returned to the bullpen if Ryan is not ready.
Although some in the organization badly want Janssen in the rotation, Ryan won't be rushed. With Accardo stepping into the closer's role so effectively last year, the Blue Jays can afford to be extra careful with the big lefty.
"You want to make sure when everything is a go there's no looking back, no setbacks," said Gibbons. "That means if you've got to take a little bit more time to make sure he's good and ready, then that's what you do. All that is going to revolve around B.J."
The first official workout for pitchers and catchers is Saturday, with the first full-squad workout set for Feb. 21. The Blue Jays play their Grapefruit League opener Feb. 28 at Lakeland versus the Detroit Tigers.

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Old 02-12-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.




http://images.google.ca/imgres?imgur...%3Den%26sa%3DN
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
charlene
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

20 pics:
http://www.torontosun.com/
and article:
By BILL LANKHOF, TORONTO SUN

The weather outside was frightful. In Toronto, global warming has disappeared under a snow bank.

The wind chill read -25C, a day not fit to be outside for either man or beast.

But, dogs yipped and tumbled in the snow, kids frolicked on banks of the stuff, and Wade Belak stepped from the playground change room wearing a flourescent-orange balaclava. Teeth chattered. Eyes watered. Music blared: "Leafs are the best; Better than all the rest."

Well, maybe not in the standings but in the hearts of the 250 kids who watched yesterday's Maple Leafs' outdoor practice at Withrow Park rink they're right up there .

"Where I grew up in Sweden you don't get many days this cold," Mats Sundin said. "I was a little worried it would be too cold. I hope all the kids are all right."

The kids, from Pape and Leslieville public schools, were more than all right. "Oh, no, they were going," said teacher and trip organizer Christine Andreopoulos, about suggestions the event be cancelled. "They were cold but forgot about that when they saw the guys on the ice."

Pape school principal Mary Patrick couldn't go. She gave her boots to a student so the student could go. For some of her students, she said, it will be as close as they ever get to seeing the Maple Leafs in person.

"Even though it was blazing cold, when I went up to speak to the students today it was really paramount to them that they be able to go. So they were very attentive ... more than willing to brave the cold because for many it will be their only chance to ever have contact with a Leafs player. Some of our children play hockey, but a very small number.

"It was a great community spirit builder," Patrick said. "Many of our kids would never have the funds to be able to go and see the Leafs. This was a phenomenal opportunity. And when it's in our back yard, it's special."

Yesterday's event was part of a Leafs' initiative, along with a national building products firm, to refurbish local rinks. Withrow Park is one of five in Riverdale to be improved this year. "I haven't seen ice this good since I was a kid in the Sault," Leafs coach Paul Maurice said.

Maurice admitted between the cold, the outdoors, screaming kids and the blaring public address announcer yelling: Go, Leafs, Go that it wasn't a particularly instructive practice. But it sure was a chuckle. Bryan McCabe played forward. Sort of. Line rushes turned into pond hockey. Maurice, for one day, thought it was perfect. "The guys just played, they hardly never, ever, ever get a chance to just have fun. Even in the summertime the conditioning, the training, they're trying to push the pace. Never in season do they get a chance to do things with the puck without me yelling."

For the kids it was a day to make memories; for the Leafs it was a day to stir memories.

Recalled Matt Stajan: "This brings me back to where it all started. Me and my buddies would go play. It was an outdoor rink in Etobicoke just off Brownsline and the best time to go would be on real cold days like this because there wouldn't be as many kids."

Maurice grew up an outdoor rink-rat. "We had a rink in the backyard. Almost everyone had one and there was one at the school where my dad was principal. So we'd play there."

Today most kids play in arenas, and wouldn't recognize hockey without the referees or uniforms. A few years ago a player with the Marlies mentioned that he had never skated outdoors, never experienced the essence of a game that comes with frosted toes and a couple of boots for goal posts.

"That just shows how much the game has changed," Maurice said. "I don't know what it is but hockey on an outdoor rink is just different. You feel the wind and the sun. I grew up on outdoor rinks in the Sault and there's just something special about the sounds on that hard ice, the sticks hitting the ice. That's hockey. That's real hockey."
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Baudette, Minnesota had their annual Hockey Classic this past Saturday outside on the ice of Baudette Bay - the wind was whipping down the river and chills were between minus 40 and minus 50. The kids played hard and received a big turnout of local support, despite the cold. Two different high school hockey games were played, morning and early afternoon, and then they held an open skate on the rink until after dark.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

http://mlsefans.com/viewmsg.cfm?n35167s1219c667699t1232 - stories/pics/videos
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Argonauts?, Blue Jays?....Raptor's maybe.... But the Maple Leafs??
What has happened to Toronto's professional sports teams????




Another Blue Jays


Justin Hayward & John Lodge - A "Duo Solo" album from the Guitarist and Bassist from the Moody Blues.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Sharron, -40 to -50 is this 82 deg F to 92 deg F BELOW freezing. I think that is a tad chilly.

I could ask what they were wearing but I won't.

Yuri if I could add a picture of my beloved Geelong Cats with the premiership cup at this point I would, but my technical expertees fail me. ( please imagine group of upside down footballers with a big cup!!! )

All the best Leafs ( Leaves ) hope you make it.


Keep Smiling
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catmanron View Post
Sharron, -40 to -50 is this 82 deg F to 92 deg F BELOW freezing. I think that is a tad chilly.

Ron.
Not sure what you're asking Ron, windchill was -40 F to -50 F; actual temp was around minus 23 F. It got colder the next morning, close to -40 actual temp, but the wind died down so it did not feel near as cold.

The hockey teams were wearing standard hockey uniforms. Many of the spectators were bundled up as much as possible - about all you could see were their eyes, lol.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Sorry Sharron, I have this picture of the spectators still being there frozen on the spot.

Since our Government took Fahrenheit away and gave us Celsius, I have trouble working this out ( unless I go to the supermarket and stand in their meat fridge for a couple of days I certainly cannot appreciate how cold this is, I probably have to take off my clothes as well... brrrrrrrrr ).

Freezing being 32deg F is -40 F actually 72 degrees below freezing, or is -40F actually 40 degrees below freezing, I hope you can understand my confusion Sharron, I'm much more familiar with 40deg C which is fairly warm. ( 104 F )

Confused
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

Okay Ron, now I understand your confusion. Fahrenheit and Celsius meet eachother at minus 40; meaning that 40 below F and 40 below C are the same. 50 below F is about 45 below C. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

David Newland (from the Trib shows) has video and a link to pics he took of the outdoor practise..
http://www.davidnewland.com/2008/02/...hbourhood.html

HAPPY 37th BIRTHDAY to Mats Sundin! Captain of The Toronto Maple Leafs and all 'round gentleman..
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: Maple Leafs take their practice outside.

I hear thee Charlene, one of the best... A great guy.








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