It is what it is.

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It is what it is.
« le: 21 février 2019, 05:35:23 »
TORONTO, Ontario - Skating as part of a regular line since the Maple Leafs reconvened for practice last Wednesday, it was a different look for David Bolland this morning, adorning a “non-contact” maroon jersey and participating only in selected drills as an extra player. “We felt Bolland took a step back yesterday, we felt it would be best suited that he didnt participate on a line today,” said head coach Randy Carlyle. “Its not a positive but its not a huge negative, dont read into it that its something we cant deal with.” “Hes unlikely for tomorrow; he had a little bit of a tweak there yesterday,” added GM Dave Nonis on “Leafs Lunch” on TSN 1050. “Hes had this before and its kind of a step program where he has this and it plateaus for a day or two and then he gets right back at it.” Bolland stumbled near the end of Tuesdays practice after a minor collision during a drill and appeared to grimace. He continued to participate in the few remaining drills but went straight to the locker room instead of joining the teams group discussion on the ice once practice has concluded. “We were playing a game mode situation there and I just had a little bit of a fall there but thats whats going to happen in a game so thats what I have to get ready for,” Bolland explained on Wednesday. While he will travel with the Leafs to New York and intends to take the morning skate, as Carlyle and Nonis indicated, Bolland will likely miss his 46th consecutive game on Thursday. Nikolai Kulemin between Mason Raymond and Troy Bodie formed the third line at Wednesdays practice. “Right now its just day to day. Its just getting it stronger,” Bolland said. “You have to be 100 per cent getting back in the line-up. Dont want to be a liability out there.” But when he gets back in isnt the only decision facing Leafs brass faces when it comes to Bolland. An unrestricted free agent on July 1, he is said to be seeking a longer term contract in the $5-plus million per year range as reported by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger. Anything over $5.25 million – the cap hits for both Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson – would make Bolland the Leafs second-highest paid forward, behind only Phil Kessels $8 million cap hit which kicks in next season. Best suited as a third line centre, can the Leafs afford to have Bolland that high on their pay scale? GM Dave Nonis indicated he doesnt necessarily feel compelled to make a decision before the Mar. 5 trade deadline. “If youve got a player thats unrestricted it doesnt mean he wont sign if you dont sign him before the (July 1) deadline,” Nonis explained on TSN 1050. “Look at our situation last year with Tyler Bozak. We didnt reach an agreement (before the trade deadline), he felt we needed to have him in order to get into the post-season and at the end of the season, he was a player who wanted to be here and we wanted to sign him and we found a way to reach an agreement. I dont believe you have to have a player signed, Im perfectly content of letting the UFAs play it out and see where we are.” And that might be the wisest course of action. Once healthy, Bolland would certainly help the Leafs down the stretch and into the playoffs. Given that the Leafs have built a seven point cushion on a playoff spot without him for most of the season, his return can be viewed almost as if its a deadline acquisition, and a good one at that, without giving anything up. With a resume that speaks for itself – two Stanley Cups, a Cup-winning goal, a proven savvy playoff performer and a good leader – its not unreasonable for Bolland to look in the range of $5 million per season. If he doesnt get it from the Leafs, there will be other suitors more than content to offer that type of deal. But with Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson slated for restricted free agency at the end of the season, Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Bernier at the end of the 2015 campaign and Morgan Rielly the year after that, all of whom will be due raises, how much value can the Leafs place on intangibles? “I think a little,” Nonis said on TSN 1050. “You still want to make sure the player is a good fit, that he can contribute on the ice. Therere very few guys that are making an NHL living just on being good guys in the locker room. They need to be able to go out and perform on the ice but there are some things that dont show up on the score sheet that you look at.” Theres no debate as to whether Bolland makes any team he plays on better but, at this point, he could be a luxury the Leafs just cant afford. 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Cameron Meredith Saints Jersey .James scored 29 points, including 16 in the first quarter, and the Cleveland Cavaliers broke a four-game losing streak with a 106-74 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night.SEATTLE -- Brad Ausmus watches the intensity and concentration of Detroits Victor Martinez at the plate and is continually impressed. The only time Detroits first-year manager has noticed a difference is when opponents decide to pitch around Miguel Cabrera and take their chances with the leading hitter in the American League. "The only time I see his concentration go up even higher is when someone gets walked in front of him," Ausmus said. Martinez broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run homer in the fifth inning capping a 10-pitch at-bat, Justin Verlander threw 7 2-3 strong innings and the Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 on Friday night. Martinez watched as Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma issued a two-out intentional walk to Cabrera in the fifth. It was probably the right move after Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Iwakuma in the third inning to give Detroit the lead. Martinez then made Iwakuma work, fouling off pitch after pitch and extending the at-bat. On the 10th pitch, Iwakuma left a slider hanging chest-high and Martinez lifted his 13th homer of the season out to right field. "I thought I did pretty well until that last pitch," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. Martinez finished with two hits raising his AL-leading average to .347. Hes come to understand hitting behind Cabrera there will be times that hes considered the better option to face. "Early in my career, I used to get mad ... when they were walking people in front of me. Id get mad at the plate and be swinging at anything," Martinez said. "Now I understand. Hey, if Im a manager, Id do the same thing. It is what it is. (Cabrera) the best hitter in the game, and you cant let the best hitter in the game beat you. I understand it." Cabreras homer in the third came on the first pitch from Iwakuma. Both home runs Iwakuma allowed came with two outs and led to his shortest outing of the season. Iwakuma (3-2) lasted just six innings andd took his second straight loss.dddddddddddd Rajai Davis added a solo shot on the first pitch from reliever Charlie Furbush in the seventh, his fourth homer of the season. The homers provided plenty of support for Verlander (6-4), who had lost three of his previous four starts and gave up 11 hits in each of his last two outings. He allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked one. Verlander was on the cusp of getting through the eighth for just the second time this season, but James Jones two-out single forced a change. Verlander threw a season-high 120 pitches. The outing was more what the Tigers have come to expect from Verlander. "I think my rhythm was much better, my consistency was much better and my stuff was a lot better," Verlander said. "Thats a good sign in and of itself." Verlanders only troubles came with Seattles Kyle Seager, who doubled in his first at-bat and hit a two-run homer in the fourth to pull the Mariners even. Seager was thrown out at home trying to score on an infield groundball in the second, but made up for it with his eighth homer of the season in the fourth. The Mariners had a chance in the fifth after Endy Chavezs two-out double, but second baseman Ian Kinsler swallowed Jones hard one-hopper and threw him out to save a run. Joba Chamberlain pitched the ninth for his second save. Seattle played without second baseman Robinson Cano for the second straight night, sitting out with a minor contusion on his hand. Cano was a late scratch from Thursdays lineup, but said before Fridays game that he was feeling better. He has played at least 159 games in each of the past seven seasons. NOTES: It was the first time for Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon facing the Tigers. 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