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months ago, the Maple Leafs management team deemed that Randy Carlyle w
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TORONTO – Two months ago, the Maple Leafs management team deemed that Randy Carlyle was the “right person” to continue lead their team, but felt the need for change somewhere in light of another late season spiral. Markus Wheaton Jersey . Three assistant coaches were fired that day in early May – in a unique move that saw the head coach remain – replaced Friday by Marlies coach Steve Spott and longtime Predators assistant Peter Horachek in a bid to further alter the atmosphere of a team deemed to be requiring “culture change” by MLSE president Tim Leiweke. “Im not the big culture change kind of guy,” said general manager Dave Nonis, shortly after the announcement of the new two new assistants. “I think you cant flip a switch with two coaches and say that everythings going to be different. I think people bring things to the table that either help you achieve success or dont. These guys theyve shown in the past that they can do that.” Carlyle bellowed long and loudly for change last year, frustrated by his clubs inability to compete to a level he deemed appropriate. Weak foundations – poor defensive play, possession and penalty killing – were propped up by terrific goaltending, a mostly potent power-play and a dominant first line. He saw the flaws early, but ultimately was unable to affect much change as the year lingered on. “6-1 is only a stat,” he said in mid-October after his team won six of its first seven games. “Its a nervous time in the coaches office because of the shot differential and the quality of chances that were giving up.” Employment of personnel didnt help matters, particularly an overreliance on veterans like Jay McClement and an underuse of young players on a fourth line fronted by heavyweight Colton Orr. Somewhere along the way his message didnt stick or perhaps grew stale. In shaking up the assistants who surround Carlyle, management is hoping that will change. “Part of the changes that we are looking to make is in the atmosphere and thats not a knock on the other coaches because they had their strengths for sure,” said Nonis. “But relationships and developing relationships with the players is probably as big an issue now around the league as anything. Players have to want to play for you. I think these guys have had a pretty good track record in that regard.” Leaf players were surprised by the late spring firings of Dave Farrish, Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon, particularly Farrish whose fate was thought to be tied to Carlyle, his longtime associate. Farrish, who ran the defence and Torontos sixth-ranked power-play, was known as a lighter voice in the room – a stark contrast to the harder-edged Carlyle – capable of brightening the mood in dark times.? Cronin and Gordon, who led the Leafs once hopeful but ultimately disastrous penalty kill, appeared to be sounding boards, often locked into long conversations with players after practice (Gordon on multiple occasions with Phil Kessel). Management deemed that their replacements have previous head coaching experience – Farrish, Cronin and Gordon were all head coaches themselves prior to coming to Toronto – believing that to be valuable in support of Carlyle. Both new hirings will be expected to share in dealings with the media, a considerable change from recent years where assistants under both Carlyle and Ron Wilson were consistently unavailable to press. “I think if youve walked in those shoes before it makes it easier to help,” said Nonis of head coaching experience. It wasnt immediately clear how duties would be split between Spott and Horachek – one will likely run power-play, the other penalty kill as with most clubs – but Nonis indicated Carlyle playing a “big or bigger role than hes had in the past” in terms of special teams. Spott, who did a terrific job guiding the youthful Marlies to within one game of the Calder Cup final, will be relied upon for his experience in guiding Torontos young talent. Management viewed him as a candidate to join the NHL staff from the outset, waiting to make their interest clear until his team was quieted in a Western Conference final loss to the eventual champs from Texas. “It wasnt just veterans carrying the ball,” Nonis said of Spotts success as a first-year American League coach. “He used young players all the time. He put them in different situations. He allowed some of those players to grow despite some mistakes that they were making.” Formerly the bench boss in Kitchener and the Canadian World Jr. team (2013), Spott has coached prospective Leafs like Petter Granberg, Carter Ashton, Stuart Percy, and Peter Holland, not to mention current Leafs such as Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly and David Clarkson, the latter maintaining a close relationship with Spott. The Leafs appear to be trending younger, team president Brendan Shanahan speaking earlier in the week of his desire for “our young players…to have job opportunities”. “We need our young players to have an impact,” Nonis said. “The assistant coaches will have a major role in that.” The Leafs continue to view Spott as a future NHL head coach. Horachek, a native of Stoney Creek, Ontario, spent nine seasons as an assistant to Barry Trotz in Nashville before being fired in 2013. He resurfaced as a head coach with the AHLs San Antonio Rampage the following season before ascending to the top job with the Panthers when Kevin Dineen was let go. The 54-year-old boasts an IHL championship from his days as the lead man in Orlando (Carlyle was the head coach of the IHLs Manitoba Moose at the time). Boasting a mismatched roster in Florida with uneven goaltending last season, Horacheks Panthers had awful special teams – last in both power-play and penalty kill – but decent possession numbers considering the talent. “Hes a firm guy,” Nonis said of Horachek, consulting with longtime Predators general manager David Poile prior to the hiring. “I think hes kind of a no-nonsense coach, but hes very well groomed. Hes got a players background and again a very long and I think impressive coaching background. “When it came down to it he was the guy that really fit the type of coach we needed and we feel that Randy needs as well.” In reconstructing their roster this summer the organization went hard after players with solid leadership and character credentials – Stephane Robidas, Dan Boyle and Josh Gorges among the targets – seemingly concerned by the mix that fell hard out of the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. In adding Spott and Horachek, it appears they are trying to do the same with a coaching staff that missed a step a year ago – albeit with the same head man leading the charge. Consistent in managements view of both hires was their ability to build strong relationships with players, communication not known to be a strong suit of an old-school type like Carlyle. Whether that leads to a more consistent and successful product on the ice remains to be seen. Dallas Goedert Jersey . Thats how the Ravens won when Ryan was their defensive co-ordinator from 2005-08, and that is precisely the formula Baltimore used to beat Ryans New York Jets on Sunday. Custom Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys . Maximilian Arnold put Wolfsburg ahead in the eighth minute, when the stationary Fallou Diagne allowed him to guide Patrick Ochs cross beyond the helpless Freiburg goalkeeper, and Ivica Olic doubled the lead three minutes later after Luiz Gustavo did well to set him up. http://www.eaglesfansproshop.com/ . Watch the action live on TSN and listen on TSN 1050 Radio beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt. The Raptors maintained their spot atop the Atlantic Friday after defeating the Wizards, 96-88, for their second win in a row.DETROIT -- Don Mattingly wouldnt mind a rematch. The Los Angeles manager knows full well that if his Dodgers face the Detroit Tigers again this year, it can only happen in the World Series, so despite Wednesdays 4-1 loss in Motown, Mattingly would be happy to return. "Well take that right now, and Im sure the Tigers would, too," Mattingly said. "Wed love to be here again." The Dodgers split two games against the Tigers in Los Angeles in April, and Detroit swept the two-game series this week. Max Scherzer pitched seven impressive innings Wednesday, outdueling Zack Greinke and lifting the shorthanded Tigers. Detroit was without sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, but the AL Central-leading Tigers scored two runs in the first inning against Greinke, and Scherzer (11-3) made the lead hold up. The All-Star right-hander allowed a run and four hits. He struck out seven and walked two. "Hes a great pitcher, and he showed why again today," Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon said. "You dont get many chances against him, and when you do, hes got so many pitches that hes able to throw that you cant just sit on something." Joba Chamberlain struck out two in the eighth, and Joe Nathan fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 23 chances. Greinke (11-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out eight without a walk. "You look at their lineup today, and you think you are getting a break with Cabrera and Victor being out," Greinke said. "But they were putting up great at-bats all day. I was throwing good pitches." Miguel Rojas of the Dodgers hit his first career homer in the fifth. Cabrera was given a day off by Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, and Martinez is dealing with a lingering back issue. The Tigers won without them. Scherzer escaped a first-inning jam thanks to some impressive fielding behind him. Yasiel Puig hit a one-out triple, butt with the infield in, Hanley Ramirez hit a sharp grounder to Eugenio Suarez, and Detroits rookie shortstop threw quickly to third to catch Puig off the base. Mike Wallace Jersey. "That was a great play," Scherzer said. "He just made an instinct play -- saw Puig was off the base, and made a quick little snap throw. That just helped keep the game where it was." Rajai Davis made a sliding catch in left field for the third out. Austin Jackson opened the bottom of the inning with a triple of his own and scored on Ian Kinslers single. Kinsler advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out single by Don Kelly. Greinke was sharp after that. Detroit scored again in the fourth on an RBI single by Nick Castellanos, but the Los Angeles right-hander retired the last nine hitters he faced, striking out the final four. But the Dodgers couldnt overcome Scherzer. They put men on first and second in the third, but Puig hit into a double play. In the sixth, Puig hit a leadoff double, but the next three batters couldnt hit the ball out of the infield. Matt Kemp went hitless with three strikeouts. Hes now 0 for 21 against Scherzer. Torii Hunters sacrifice fly in the eighth gave Detroit another run. NOTES: Mattingly says he doesnt plan any major changes to the lineup when OF Carl Crawford returns from a sprained left ankle. There could be a logjam with OFs Kemp, Puig and Andre Ethier also in the fold. "Were playing pretty well," Mattingly said. "Well just talk about it with (Crawford) -- let him know where everything is." ... Kelly drew the second intentional walk of his career in the eighth inning. ... Detroit faces Kansas City on Thursday night. The Tigers send LHP Drew Smyly (4-8) to the mound against RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-7). ... The Dodgers return home to take on San Diego. Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw (10-2) faces RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (2-0) of the Padres. 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