LONDON, ONT – With speckles of stubble now dotting his 19-year-old face, Morgan Rielly has little interest in minimizing expecta
LONDON, ONT – With speckles of stubble now dotting his 19-year-old face, Morgan Rielly has little interest in minimizing expectain Enter the Beast
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LONDON, ONT – With speckles of stubble now dotting his 19-year-old face, Morgan Rielly has little interest in minimizing expectations for his second season as a prospect in the Maple Leafs organization. "Pretty high ones," he said with some degree of certainty. "Obviously, my goal is to make the Leafs this year." Rielly is one among 25 prospects in London, Ontario this weekend for the organizations annual rookie tournament, an early springboard into NHL training camp next week. "Hes obviously a very gifted defenceman," said Steve Spott, the newly named head coach of the Marlies and frontman for the assembled group in London, "but at the same time, its a process and one thing I think the organization is cognizant of is making sure we develop the players the right way." The Leafs have two simple and yet very distinct choices as it pertains to the immediate future of the fifth overall pick from the 2012 draft. The organization can opt to keep him with the NHL club in Toronto – with a nine-game tryout window – or send him back to Moose Jaw for another year of junior hockey with the Warriors (he is not eligible to play in the AHL). Ultimately, Leafs general manager Dave Nonis, his management team and the coaching staff, led by Randy Carlyle, will have to determine which course of action is best for the long-term development of their number one prospect. "Morgans play is going to dictate where he ends up," said Spott. "You cant teach the ability and the skill that he has, but ultimately, his play will dictate where he ends up." Carlyle will be among the Toronto brass in attendance for the four-team tournament, which also includes the Penguins, Blackhawks and Senators, the head coach getting a first look at Riellys progress ahead of camp. Regardless of his potential and performance this weekend and in the NHL exhibition schedule to follow, the Leafs have to be wary of any decision that includes keeping their promising defender. In doing so beyond the threshold of nine regular season games, they would initiate the clock on his entry-level contract, a friend in todays cap-conscious world, and in some ways jump-start his development curve. Thus, its usually wise to opt for caution and patience, even if all signs point to readiness right away. Case in point, what went wrong in Buffalo last season. Despite the hasty schedule that lay ahead post-lockout, the Sabres chose to stick with 18-year-old Mikhail Grigorenko beyond the requisite threshold of NHL action (five games in the 48-game schedule) only to determine after 25 games and spotty ice-time that he was not quite ready for the pros. They promptly delivered him back to junior with the Quebec Ramparts, burning a year of his entry-level deal with little to show for it. Luke Schenn offers a more complex case locally. Like Rielly, Schenn was picked fifth overall in 2008 and had played three years of junior with the Kelowna Rockets. Then an 18-year-old, he arrived at training camp that fall with an obvious NHL frame and bravado that suggested he was ready to play right away. The brass, led at that time by Cliff Fletcher and his head coach Ron Wilson, opted to keep the rugged defender, who actually thrived with a solid rookie year. What followed though were three years of inconsistent development, capped by a trade to Philadelphia in the summer of 2012. Conversely, the organization exercised the highest degrees of patience and caution with Nazem Kadri, rewarded when he broke out with 44 points in 48 games last season. Rielly is the most prized and promising of the Toronto prospects, offering an elegant stride and unique penchant for making something out of nothing on the back-end, offensively. Hell compete for a spot on a busy Leafs defence, one that should include nine defenders with NHL experience (the unsigned Cody Franson likely to be among them). At a brief training camp following the lockout last January, the Leafs chose prudence with Rielly and sent him back to junior for his third season in Moose Jaw, where he went on to post 12 goals and 54 points in 60 games before joining the Marlies for 22 games (eight in the playoffs) thereafter. Having coached him twice prior – at the Under-18 tournament and World Juniors last December – Spott sees a bright future for the young defender. "Hes definitely matured as a young man and ultimately now, I think he realizes whats available for him," said Spott, who replaced Dallas Eakins in early July. "I think he takes it very seriously; I think this camp for him, this week for him, is going to be real important." Despite the caution, the organization may eventually opt to employ with him and Rielly will do his part in the coming days to make that choice all the more difficult. The rookie tournament is just the start. "Hes intelligent, hes sharp, hell be able to handle himself in this city," Spott concluded, "and I think ultimately is going to be a special defenceman for the organization for a long time." <a href="http://www.patriotsfanaticstores.com/authentic-deatrich-wise-jr-patriots-jersey/">Deatrich Wise Jr. Womens Jersey</a>.C. Now hes squarely in the U.S. capital and helping the Washington Wizards playoff drive. John Wall scored 33 points, Gooden got 11 of his 21 in the final quarter and the Wizards overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 101-94 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. <a href="http://www.patriotsfanaticstores.com/authentic-derek-rivers-patriots-jersey/">Derek Rivers Jersey</a>. 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Raonic, the mens No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., needed more than three hours to overcome Frenchman Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 and become the first Canadian man into the fourth round at Roland Garros.Andrew Luck was always going to be compared to Peyton Manning; young phenoms are likened to established stars in sports all the time. The comparisons then, naturally, increased tenfold when Luck was drafted first overall by Manning’s Indianapolis Colts, trading away their best player ever to make room for the stud rookie. Three years into Luck’s career with the Colts –and Manning’s time with the Denver Broncos – the question now becomes when will Luck pass Manning on the list of top NFL quarterbacks? An argument could be made that Luck has already done so – he passed for 34 more yards and one more touchdown in the regular season – but until he does it in the postseason, Manning will still pull rank. Luck of course, has just that opportunity Sunday, and the timing may be right. Luck is entering his prime just as Manning’s window appears to be closing. Luck enters the game with a receiving corps that could rival any of Manning’s pass-catching groups from his Colts days. The group is led by Reggie Wayne, who has transcended the Manning and Luck eras. The 36-year-old finished second on the team with 779 receiving yards, behind only TY Hilton who finished with 1,345 receiving yards – sixth in the league – and seven touchdowns. Other players that contributed to the team’s league-leading pass offence included tight ends Coby Fleener (774 receiving yards) and Dwayne Allen (395 receiving yards) who each had a team-high eight receiving touchdowns, and backup receivers Hakeem Nicks (405 receiving yards) and Donte Moncrief (444 receiving yards). Luck and the receivers will have to step up because not much can be expected from the run game. Indy finished ranked 22nd in the run game at just more than 100 yards per game on average. Ahmad Bradshaw’s season-ending leg injury was a big blow to the Colts’ rushing attack, but taking a look back at Bradshaw’s injury history, Indy probably should have known this was going to happen at some point. Trent Richardson simply isn’t a good running back, and proved that once again this season, which is partly why Dan Herron and Zurlon Tipton split carries in the team’s Wild Card win over Cincinnati. Richardson was battling an illness but was declared active before not getting any touches.dddddddddddd Regardless who leads the rushing attack against Denver Sunday, the Broncos’ second-ranked rush defence (79.8) likely won’t be too worried they’ll be getting beaten on the ground. Of course the Broncos pass defence is pretty good too, ninth in the league averaging 225.4 yards against per game, but they’re up against a much stiffer test. Indy’s defence is a little closer to the middle of the pack. They finished 11th against the pass, giving up just 229.3 yards per game on average, but their run defence finished just 18th in the league at 113.4 yards per game on average. The team’s current stars are on offence and the old household names on the Colts’ defence are now retired or elsewhere, but there are solid players that will need to have big games against Manning and the Broncos’ offence for Indy to have a chance Sunday. It’s a poorly kept secret the best strategy against Manning is to pressure him. Linebackers Jonathan Newsome, Erik Walden, Bjoern Werner, and D’Qwell Jackson – and more importantly their 20 combined sacks – must be busy chasing Manning around this weekend because if the 38-year-old Hall of Famer is given time in the pocket, he’ll make it a long day for the entire Colts’ defensive unit. One other Indy defender to keep an eye on is corner Vontae Davis. Manning has nothing but weapons at his disposal but if Davis can eliminate one of them, or even better add to his four interceptions on the season, the rest of the Colts’ secondary will have an easier time keeping the Broncos in check. Former Bronco Mike Adams would surely love to have a big game against his former teammates. The storyline is easy and while many think Manning still has at least one trump card to play over Luck left in his hand – the Broncos are currently seven-point favourites in Las Vegas – if Luck is really one of the great ones, he may be able to orchestrate a big-game upset even before he’s fully ripe. 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