approach, hit offspeed well."Gr

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approach, hit offspeed well."Gr

Postby lw789 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:36 am

TORONTO - Stephane Robidas remembers what it was like to be a healthy scratch more than 20 times early in his NHL career.You cant take anything for granted, the veteran defenceman said. Theres always people that are coming in and they want to steal your job, they want your spot, they want to be in the lineup.Early in the season for Toronto Maple Leafs, Stuart Percy has been that job-stealer. The first defenceman in franchise history to put up a point in each of his first three games in the league, Percy has at least temporarily taken Jake Gardiners spot in the lineup.Its just how it goes, said Gardiner, who was a healthy scratch for a second straight game Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Its a business. If someones playing really well or youre not playing your game, youre not going to play.In the process, Percy has given the coaching staff a good problem to have with seven defencemen vying for six spots. In his fourth career game, the 21-year-old was second on the Leafs in ice time with a steady 23:34.Weve said right from the beginning that were going to create competition for positions, coach Randy Carlyle said. If they compete for the position and they earn it, its a novel concept.Percy was a first-round pick in 2011, so his growth into an NHL player shouldnt be a surprise. But he entered training camp staring at three veteran left-handed defencemen firmly ahead of him and Henrik Tallinder with the Leafs on a tryout as the favourite to make it as the No. 7.A shoulder injury to Tallinder and a knee injury to righty Cody Franson opened the gate for Percy to show what he could do. So far, so good.The poise that he has with the puck, the decision-making, he always seems to make that good decision, hold onto the puck when its time, move when its time, Robidas said. Hes very reliable defensively, very good stick, always in good position. Hes been very effective on the power play, as well, and played against some really good players.Carlyle praised Percy for reading where the forecheck is coming from, exiting the zone with one pass and making the right pass in all zones on a consistent basis.Percy, a native of nearby Oakville, Ont., said he takes pride in playing a 200-foot game. His offensive skills were never a question, according to Carlyle, just Percys ability to adapt to this level after one full season in the American Hockey League.Percy showed a flash of being ready in Torontos season opener, when he assisted on a Tyler Bozak power-play goal with a perfect setup from below the goal-line.Maybe I didnt expect (to adapt this quickly), but I definitely strived for it, Percy said. Im just playing my usual game. Its how Ive played most of my career. Just sticking to it, keep things simple, be assertive out there and always have your head moving.Carlyle, who enjoyed a 17-year career as a defenceman, knows that the position comes with a steep learning curve. Playing more games with less practice time and at a quicker pace can go against young players, he said.With that in mind, Percy is taking to heart some advice he got from another former NHL defenceman, Steve Staios, whos now in player development for the Leafs.For me just to keep my foot on the gas and dont let up, Percy said. Just to keep playing hard and practising hard every day and working as hard as I can to stay here every day.Percys ability to stick beyond a game or two came at the expense of Gardiner, who hasnt played since Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Well removed from his shuttling back and forth between the Leafs and AHLs Toronto Marlies, Gardiner signed a US$20.25-million, five-year contract in the off-season, but that didnt keep him from sitting in the press box two games in a row.This happens, Gardiner said Tuesday morning. Its happened to me a few times before and it happens to everybody. You cant play great all the time. Just rebound the next time I get an opportunity.Gardiner said he has watched a couple of video clips and believes he has to tighten some things up defensively.Carlyle said Gardiner simply needs to play better.We feel that we have a quality hockey player that can play to a higher level, and he agrees with that, Carlyle said.Meanwhile, Percy is playing at perhaps as high a level as can be expected for someone with three games of NHL experience. But with what Carlyle called a comfort zone as far as on-ice instincts, Percy has shown evidence he can stick around for some time.We understand theres going to be valleys and theres going to be hiccups along the way, Carlyle said. But I dont think thats any different than any of our other young defencemen.Percy has simply been better than the Leafs other young defencemen, Gardiner and second-year player Morgan Rielly. All three are lefties, and with captain Dion Phaneuf on that side now there isnt room for all of them at once.We have a healthy, I guess, competition to stay in the lineup and thats always good for the team knowing that the teams going to get everybodys best efforts, Percy said.___Follow @SWhyno on Twitter Team USA Womens Soccer Jerseys . The 7-foot-1 Hawes, who is in the final year of his contract, is averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds, both career highs, and shoots 40 per cent from 3-point range. The 25-year-old Hawes is in his seventh NBA season. USWNT Jerseys . Thats what he did over the past 2 1/2 years with the Washington Wizards. Wittmans approach helped turn the Wizards from pushover to playoff winners. Goldeyes third baseman Ryan Pineda drove in three runs and the pitching staff didnt allow an earned run, as Winnipeg downed Kansas City 6-3 in American Association exhibition action at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas. Wholesale USWNT Jerseys . Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million contract as a free agent with Cleveland in March, reported symptoms on Monday morning, a team spokesman said. Cheap USWNT Jerseys . -- Athletics manager Bob Melvin is already starting to run out of superlatives to describe Scott Kazmir.TORONTO - Forgive Max Pentecost if his attentions divided this weekend. The Blue Jays second pick in the first round (11th overall) is competing in this weekends NCAA super regional for his school, Kennesaw State, against the Louisville Cardinals. All the while, he could be days or weeks away from signing a multi-million dollar contract to turn professional and enter Torontos organization. Pentecosts Owls were down a game in a best-of-three heading into action on Saturday night. Hes got business to take care of first but with a draft slot value at just under $2.9-million, the potential is there to strike it rich. Still, when you hear him speak in his southern drawl, its a reminder that the 21-year-old, like everyone his age, is in many ways still a kid. "I cant wait to get out there and go play," said Pentecost. "Theres going to be one day where Im going to have to clean out my locker and putter around home just because my parents had to move me out of my apartment while we were coming to the super regionals." Selected in the seventh round of the 2011 draft by the Texas Rangers, Pentecost chose not to sign when the Rangers included a 90-day clause in the contract offer, a shield against a recurring injury he suffered in high school. In Pentecosts sophomore year at Winder-Barrow High School near Atlanta, he suffered a stress fracture of his olecranon, which is the bony point of the elbow. He was prescribed rest and rehabilitation. It didnt work and the injury recurred during his junior year. Another season of rest and rehab didnt work and Pentecost suffered the injury a third time in his senior year. He had surgery, two screws were implanted, and there hasnt been an issue since. "I looked at it as I can go to college, work on a degree and if anything I can show them I can play three or four years without the injury recurring," said Pentecost. "I can play healthy and thankfully I was blessed enough to have a good career and improve my stock." His faith in himself has been rewarded. Pentecost has improved as a hitter in each of his thhree years at Kennesaw State, working a slash line of .dddddddddddd23/.483/.631 this season. "I feel that Im more of a hit for average, Im more of a gap to gap, line drive kind of guy," said Pentecost. "I have power but Im not known as a power hitter. You know, it just kind of happens. I feel like I have pretty decent speed for baserunning, for stealing bags. I usually have a pretty good approach, hit offspeed well."Growing up in Georgia, Pentecost admitted he doesnt know much about the city of Toronto. He joked about his time in the Cape Cod League, the collegiate summer circuit in Massachusetts, where he picked up French-language radio stations beaming out of Quebec. It was his time in "The Cape," as its known, when he hit .346/.424/.538 with seven home runs for the Bourne Braves, that Pentecost feels he made his name. "I think thats the only reason I am where I am today," said Pentecost. "Going up there, nobody really knew who I was or had never even heard of Kennesaw State. So going up there I felt like I was really going to have to prove myself and prove my game just to prove who I am. I made a lot of changes to my game, really played hard, enjoyed it. The overall experience was, I mean, it was just a blast." Pentecost cites Jason Kendall and, more recently, Buster Posey as players hes looked up to. He considers himself a versatile athlete; if the catching thing doesnt work out, he could play a corner infield position or in the outfield. First things first, Pentecosts got a game to win on Saturday night. Hell worry about becoming a millionaire later, although getting the draft out of the way will help him relax. "Its a huge weight off my shoulders," he said. SANTOS UPDATE Sergio Santos will throw a bullpen session in Toronto on Sunday. If all goes well, hell report to Single-A Dunedin on Monday. The plan, Santos says, is to throw an inning each on Tuesday and Thursday. Hes hopeful of being activated off the disabled list late next week and of meeting the team in Baltimore. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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