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TORONTO – It was in the raw minutes after Game 80 of the 2013-14 campaign and the Maple Leafs had just been eliminated from the playoffs for the eighth time in nine seasons, this sentence amongst the equally bitter in recent memory. Drew Storen Jersey . Clad in a crisp, white shirt and dark, silver tie still knotted tightly at the top, Randy Carlyle, the Maple Leafs beleaguered head coach, gazed upward, as if in search of the right words to describe the stinging range of emotions he felt at that moment – each wound still so very fresh. Numb, fit the description, he said. Shallow. Embarrassed. Extremely disappointed. He was without answers for how or why the house of cards collapsed so viciously. Whether he holds those answers now will, indeed, be the overarching question surrounding the Leafs at training camp and throughout the early stages of the regular season. Can Carlyle adapt to save a job that hangs delicately on the line? Can he instigate and incorporate the kind of change – defensively, stylistically and with personnel – he failed to reap from the group last year? Will changes to the front office, coaching staff and personnel aid in any such improvement? How long does he have to right the ship? Fronted by new president Brendan Shanahan, Toronto management levied a harsh and disapproving message of their bench boss in early May when they fired three of his assistant coaches – including longtime No. 2, Dave Farrish. The stunning move (which also included a two-year extension for Carlyle) signified just how thin the ice was for the one-time Stanley Cup winner. Nobody with the Leafs is under more scrutiny or facing more questions than the 58-year-old head coach. "Coaching in the NHL, youre under a microscope," Carlyle said, training camp getting underway with physicals on Thursday morning. "This market might be a bigger microscope. But the issue is, we have to win more hockey games than we did last year for sure. And youre always going to be challenged on whether youre able to sell your product or what youre selling your players, theyre buying. And thats the issue." Can he get that message through this time around? A refrain that often began and ended with "playing to a higher level" did little to shake the beliefs of a stubborn group that continued to win in spite of its glaringly weak foundations. Can he convince this collection of players, some new, some not, to buy into the "product" hes selling? That will indeed be the question. Only three teams since 1987 allowed more shots than the version of the Maple Leafs Carlyle helmed last year: 2,945 or 856 more than the New Jersey Devils, who were the leagues stingiest. Torontos nightly shot differential – minus-8 – was equaled only by the leagues worst team in Buffalo. How does that improve? Puck possession, amongst the worst in the NHL a year ago, would be a start. "Weve got to get the puck and hold onto it," Joffrey Lupul said of spending less time in the defensive zone, chuckling at the simplicity of the thought. "Im sure were going to work on some different things system-wise in the defensive zone, but truly, I believe it was more of a case of having the puck and not making the proper play with it. Its a possession game and when you get that puck, you cant throw it away." "Well, I think we have to change," Carlyle conceded. "We begged, borrowed, stole, tried to convince that we had to play more of a puck possession game early in the season. We did that from middle of November on. The teams that are having success in the NHL right now are puck-possession teams. They play an up-tempo, in-your-face, strong forechecking [game], but as far as the offensive zone [is concerned], they control the puck for more extended periods than what we do. And thats a challenge for us." Because they spent so little time with the puck a year ago, the Leafs ended up playing shift upon wearisome and confusing shift in the defensive zone, the strain on the goaltending combo of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer almost too burdensome to fathom some nights. Carlyle also grew frustrated with his teams insistence on generating much of its offence off the rush, the roster an ill-fit for the heavy, Western attack he hoped to inspire. But in spite of that all he saw wrong – even from the earliest days of the season – Carlyle was never able to affect change. "Its a nervous time in the coaches office because of the shot differential and the quality of chances that were giving up," he said warily in mid-October last fall. Something was obviously wrong. Can Carlyle fix it? Will that message get through in Year 3 of a reign that hangs in the balance? Changes in personnel – many of whom boast strong possession numbers and greater experience – should certainly help. Leafs management dug for bargain buys in free agency this past summer – refraining from their usual high-priced spending spree – replacing the likes of Jay McClement, Mason Raymond, Nik Kulemin and Dave Bolland with a collection that includes Daniel Winnik, David Booth, Mike Santorelli, Leo Komarov and former Blackhawks draft pick, Petri Kontiola. These low-risk additions have the potential to offer improved support to a first line that was overly burdened last season while also eliminating no-value fourth lines (almost forcing more skill to Carlyles nightly lineup). Management, in a move of some symbolism, didnt even engage in contract discussions with Jay McClement, simply yanking from the mix a player Carlyle relied upon to degrees that stretched the effectiveness of the now Carolina Hurricanes centre. The defence was also reassembled with newcomers, Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak, offering a harder, veteran presence and the potential for improved balance as compared with the mish-mash group of last season. It remains to be seen how effective Robidas is at age 37 and coming off a significant leg injury and whether Polak can be a better fit than the player he replaced in Carl Gunnarsson. "Were trying to give him some more pieces that will help him and his staff," Maple Leafs general manager, Dave Nonis, said. "I dont think that Randy necessarily has to change the way he coaches." But something will obviously have to change. Pushing the same message, system, and approach – despite the influx of new personnel – is unlikely to alter the results of a group that crumbled mightily down the stretch last season. Outside of the roster upheaval were major changes to the coaching staff, with only Carlyle and assistant Chris Dennis remaining in the fold. Will the fresh eyes and input of long-time Barry Trotz assistant, Peter Horachek, and former Marlies bench boss Steve Spott aid in the reformation of the group this year? Will Carlyle be receptive to different ideas and approaches, not to mention the input of a recently hired analytics team? "This notion that Randy Carlyle and his staff arent open to change or new ideas is ridiculous," Nonis said. "Its just not true." Simply flipping the personnel wont mean much without some change in the manner in which that personnel is employed. Will Carlyle distribute minutes more evenly amongst his four forward combinations or continue to lean hardest on his top weapons (eventually wearing them down)? Will he find some use for a fourth line that was ultimately a wasteland last season? Will he continue to overload Dion Phaneuf and the teams top pair in the defensive zone or spread that burden around? Can he help the young trio of Jake Gardiner, Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly ascend to new heights? So many questions surround the head coach. "Its just another year as far as Im concerned," he said. "I have a job to do. I have an opportunity to change this group, to earn the respect back for this hockey club." "How the team plays is always a reflection of your coach," Nonis concluded. "At some point, you look at how the team plays and you say is the coach having the impact thats needed? We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that hes going to get the most out of this group." The microscope is certainly in focus. Brandon Finnegan Reds Jersey . Gonzalez participated in his final game on Sunday, Atlantas 21-20 defeat at the hands of the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers, having posted four catches for 46 yards. Reggie Sanders Jersey . Two weeks after suffering a concussion, Foles will start in place of Michael Vick, who is out for the second time this season with a hamstring injury. . It was the start of one nice night for the goalie and the Minnesota Wild. Backstrom made 33 saves in his first win of the season and the Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Saturday in a rematch of their first-round playoff series.Kris Russell could be sticking around in Calgary. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted that its believed the Flames are working towards a new contract with the defenceman. The deal isnt complete yet but McKenzie said it is heading iin that direction. Cincinnati Reds Hoodie. Russell, a pending unrestricted free agent, has four goals and 19 points in 41 games with the Flames this season. In eight seasons the former third-round pick has 27 goals and 114 points. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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