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TORONTO a Just about everyone had cleared off the ice from practice on Monday morning, but there just outside the crease of the goal with a batch of pucks was the player few could have expected to be here. John Konchar Jersey . He was the smallest player on hand at Maple Leafs training camp a generously listed at 5-foot-8 and nearly 170 pounds a but by the time the annual two-week exercise was through, nobody in Toronto may have made a bigger name for himself than Brandon Kozun, the plucky, smallish 24-year-old from southern California. Kozun is ultimately a symbol of the competitive environment Torontos coaching staff and management team hoped to create this fall and then again for the coming season, one where merit looms largest. A deeper batch of forwards means (or so the club hopes) a constant battle for ice-time and opportunity, a reality the team rarely had last year or in seasons past. Hes made it very difficult for us to not have him here by the way hes played, said Leafs general manager, Dave Nonis, of Kozun, stressing that he had much to prove in the days ahead. But that is the type of competition that we need. Theres going to be somebody not playing on Wednesday [in the season-opener] that probably expected to and thats fine. We made statements that there was going to be opportunities afforded to people who came in and earned them, added head coach, Randy Carlyle, and we feel that some people have stepped to the front of the line and showed us that theyre worthy of at least starting with our hockey club. Kozun, a Kings sixth round pick in 2009, stood out more and more as the exhibition season rolled along, his combination of speed, disruptiveness and offensive potential proving attractive to team brass. He tallied five points in six games, including two assists and a rewind-and-replay caliber of goal in the finale against Detroit on Friday night. Its exciting to get a chance after playing a couple years in the minors, he said, the reality of the moment yet to set in before Wednesdays opener against Montreal. Its pretty exciting for myself, but on the other hand, theres a lot of work to be done. Im not going to try and get comfortable, Im going to try and keep working hard and see where it goes. The Leafs have to hope that such an attitude infects their dressing room, one that sees teammates pushing one another for opportunity. They didnt have it much last year. Depth forwards like Jerred Smithson, Troy Bodie, Colton Orr, and Frazer McLaren were ill-equipped to capably play higher in the lineup if the need arose and the team suffered because of it. There are a number of players in this group who have the potential to play up and down the lineup in a variety of positions a Daniel Winnik, Mike Santorelli, and Leo Komarov can all play both wing and centre a a luxury that offers Carlyle increased flexibility. I think our third and fourth lines are going to look different than they have in the past, said Nonis. Those third and fourth lines will be interchangeable many nights. Peter Holland could be the third line centre one night and fall behind Mike Santorelli a night or two later if his performance dips. The Leafs hope that pushes a young player like Holland, who offered hints of potential in 39 games last year, to work harder, train longer, and perform more consistently. And if hes not up to task, someone like the 28-year-old Santorelli will be there to scoop up the extra opportunity. You have options, Carlyle said. If we feel that somebody is not giving us what theyre capable of, then theres an option of somebody else going in and taking their minutes. Its cruel, but were here to win hockey games and thats what weve got to do. Winnik is amongst the new crop of depth forwards the Leafs brought in during a busy offseason. Skating in Anaheim the past two seasons, hes well-versed in the type of competitive environment Toronto is trying to create. There was no better example of that last year than the now-retired Teemu Selanne, benched at points with the Ducks during what proved to be the end of a legendary career. Guys a legend, definitely a Hall of Fame player, and he got healthy scratched as well so no one was really safe in Anaheim, Winnik said. It just pushes guys to be better every night. If you have a spell of bad games or if it goes further than that, a spell of a bad month, you know youre not going to be in the lineup. It keeps everyone honest, thats for sure. More depth (or the vision of it at least) also means less strain on the Leafs top line, which shouldered a heavy burden last season. James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, and Phil Kessel all finished amongst the leagues most utilized forwards in 2013-14 and perhaps not coincidentally tapered off in the final weeks of the season. Carlyle has the employ to spread minutes around more evenly a on the penalty kill, additionally in the case of Bozak and perhaps, van Riemsdyk a and thus gather contributions from areas of the lineup which offered almost nothing tangible last season. That will aid in improving the teams possession at even-strength and drive the speedier brand of hockey Carlyle has talked about implementing this season. I think were deeper, Nonis said. We didnt have the depth up front that we have this year. As for Kozun, whom the Leafs acquired from the Kings in a January trade, Nonis didnt envision a standout camp of this kind. He imagined the Los Angeles native pushing for a job and proving his worth as a depth player, but hes performed at a different level than we anticipated. This is no finish line though for Kozun, or so he (and the club) hopes. Its been a long couple years, he said, so Im not going to take anything for granted. Mike Conley Jersey .Y. -- The Montreal Canadiens have had few reasons to celebrate this season as they have been mired near the basement of the Eastern Conference. Tyus Jones Jersey ." Also, defencemen "were found to be at a higher risk of suffering a concussion than other players, perhaps due to turning their back to retrieve pucks along the boards, which leaves them vulnerable. https://www.cheapgrizzlies.com/954p-yuta-watanabe-jersey-grizzlies.html .com) - Its fair to call Mike McCarthy one of the best coaches in the NFL but its also more than objective to point out that the veteran mentor bookended the Green Bay Packers season with two, truly awful game plans in Seattle.MONTREAL -- The Edmonton Oilers taught Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller a tough lesson. Eller said the Oilers were a "junior team" that was "all over the place" before Edmontons 4-3 victory over Montreal on Tuesday night, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins took offence to Ellers comments and used it to motivate his youthful team. "When youve got some young player whos trying to get his feet wet calling an organization a junior team, people take notice," said Eakins. "I knew it was going to turn. It makes for great banter in our dressing room. "That is a total hockey god thing. Im sure that young man has learnt his lesson, and I highly doubt youll see anything like that out of his mouth again." Eller, Montreals leading goal-scorer, had only one shot on net and didnt earn any points in the loss. "Hes a young player," said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien of Eller. "I think hell learn from that. He made inappropriate comments." Ales Hemsky and Ladislav Smid both scored in the second period for Edmonton (3-6-1) to tie the game 2-2. Jeff Petry and Ryan Jones then had back-to-back goals in the third to give the Oilers a 4-2 lead. Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher struck in the first period to give Montreal (5-4-0) the lead and Brian Gionta scored with three seconds left to play. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was at the heart of Edmontons turnaround with two assists. "I got a huge momentum boost from (Eakins) talk between periods," said Nugent-Hopkins. "That was big for us. I thought we responded well. "Its what we needed at that point. We were losing battles, we werent playing with the passion that we need to win games in that situation." With the win, the Oilers ended a six-game road trip on a high. They went 2-3-1 on that stretch, and sit in last place in the Pacific Division. Plekanec put the Canadiens on the board first when he scored a power-play goal at 16:36 of the firrst period. Memphis Grizzlies Gear. Andrei Markov started the play, showing great vision with a diagonal cross-ice pass from the blue-line. Plekanec made no mistake slotting home his fourth goal of the season between Devan Dubnyks legs. Rookie Michael Bournival got an assist on the play. Gallagher increased Montreals lead less than two minutes later. Gallagher intercepted a poor clearance by the Oilers Jones and beat Dubnyk glove-side with a quick wrist shot. Edmonton answered with two goals of its own in quick succession. Hemsky scored the first at 12:50 of the second period, getting around Alex Galchenyuk with ease and beating Price above the shoulder. Smid then tied the game 2-2 with his first of the year, when he put the rebound of a Nugent-Hopkins shot into a gaping net at 15:37. Edmonton completed the comeback when Petry scored at 7:59 of the third. Nugent-Hopkins pretended to shoot on a 2-on-1, but instead dished the puck to Petry who made no mistake from close range. Jones put the game out of reach, scoring the eventual game-winner at 9:57. Brian Gionta scored a late consolation goal for the Canadiens with three seconds remaining. "We cant expect to play one period and win," said Gionta. "We had a great start, we did what we wanted to, we stuck to our game plan for the first period, and we didnt adjust after that. "We have to do a better job of finding a way to play 60 minutes." The injury-plagued Canadiens were without the services of Max Pacioretty, Brandon Prust and Daniel Briere. All three forwards sustained injuries last week. Edmonton was missing star forward Taylor Hall and veteran Ryan Smyth. Hall, who injured his knee on Saturday in the Oilers win over Ottawa, is expected to be out four weeks. Rookie defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, who was sent down to Hamilton on the weekend, was recalled by the Canadiens and played in place of Jarred Tinordi. Beaulieu finished the game with three blocked shots and 11:26 of ice time. ' ' '

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