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"Its not a good feeling for me or for any ot
#1
TORONTO -- Morgan Rielly probably wont read this. Steven Wright Red Sox Jersey . Already wise beyond his years at the age of 20, the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie defenceman learned during training camp that he cant check Twitter as often as he used to. That lesson has served him well during a season-ruining losing streak, but its still almost impossible to avoid the chatter in a hockey-mad city. "When youre out eating at Earls or something, its on a TV and theres people talking about (us), whether its the skid were on, trade rumours or how weve been playing," Rielly said Tuesday. "Playing here in Toronto there are people that arent afraid to have a chat with you if youre at the mall or something. Youve just got to learn to deal with that and cant worry about it too much." Roommate Jake Gardiner tries to take his mind off things by seeing movies, like "Noah" on the teams most recent off day. Coach Randy Carlyle doesnt try to put on sunglasses and a hood to hide from the attention because "thats not me." Even if the Leafs wanted to, theres no real way to escape the pressure -- something area natives and former players know all too well. "Its not fun for them right now, I know that," said Calgary Flames forward Joe Colborne, who spent the past three years in Toronto with the Leafs and minor-league Marlies. "Obviously theres a lot of attention, even out West, on the Leafs, so its well-documented, for sure. You definitely feel for those guys." Empathy was in short supply for Colborne with his Flames at Air Canada Centre seeking to extend Torontos season-worst skid. But even before his Detroit Red Wings sent the Leafs to an eighth loss in a row Saturday night, Mimicos Brendan Smith expressed some sadness at how friends Gardiner and Dave Bolland have to deal with the extra criticism that he called "nonsense." "I think for everybody its difficult," Smith said. "I feel bad for them with all that pressure. Its tough. Every professional athletes going to feel pressure in some kind of way, but its definitely tough here." Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson looked at the Leafs and recalled a "similar scenario" he went through in Toronto. That was the infamous run in the winter of 2012 that then-general manager Brian Burke compared to "an 18-wheeler going right off a cliff." Gustavsson went 0-3-1 during that 1-9-1 stretch that cost coach Ron Wilson his job. But as a Swede, he managed to avoid a lot of the negativity surrounding the team because he read coverage from back home, not in Canada or the United States. After experiencing that, hes quick not to make any blanket statements about how playing in such a big market affects players. "I think thats very individual," Gustavsson said. "I think some guys have no problem whatsoever with it because they dont really care about media and TV, things like that. Maybe some guys follow it more than others and maybe have tougher times with it." Flames forward Matt Stajan, who played five full seasons and parts of two more with the Leafs, brushed off the emphasis on the extra attention that comes with being in what some consider the centre of the hockey universe. "Its not easy. In Calgary if we lose eight in a row its not easy," Stajan said. "I think the pressure from the outsides one thing, but in the dressing room you have expectations as a team and you feel that pressure anyways. "People look too much at the pressure outside. I think youre in the NHL. As a team you have pressure on yourselves to win games and be at your best every night, and when it doesnt happen, youre feeling it." Theres no doubt the Leafs are feeling it, even if its not something players would like to admit. Assistant general manager Claude Loiselle said Tuesday on Toronto radio station Sportsnet 590 The Fan that players have been squeezing their sticks during this skid. In talking to reporters, players tend to shift the focus back to hockey and away from the white noise. "Its just a matter of keeping concentrated on just playing the game and not what everybodys saying," Rielly said. "You cant be too concerned about whats going on out there, you just got to worry about what youre able to control." No ones denying the talk is out there. Captain Dion Phaneuf conceded that in a results-oriented business, theres bound to be some heavy "scrutiny" on the Leafs. A losing streak like this in a place like this ratchets it up even more. "You look on Twitter or TV, its pretty much what everyones talking about right now," Gardiner said. "But were kind of used to that. ... You just got to have fun with it and try to ignore what people are saying." Xander Bogaerts Jersey . - A week after a late-game debacle on defence, the Pittsburgh Steelers showed they can finish. Carlton Fisk Red Sox Jersey . Its Wu-Tang and Outkast in the final. Now, we all know youve played the role of Andre 3000 in the past, does that mean Outkast is getting your vote?AJ: You know it, you know it. http://www.officialredsoxfanstore.com/au...ox-jersey/ . Those who impressed in each of the three events were asked to attend the main CFL Combine which begins Friday in Toronto.TORONTO - Add two more Blue Jays to the clubs growing list of players whose seasons have come to an early end. Edwin Encarnacion, bothered by a sore left wrist for parts of the season, requires surgery with an expected recovery time of two months. He expects to be ready for spring training. "Its not a good feeling anytime I have to get surgery but Im happy because Im going to get it done and I know that its been bothering me a lot, every swing I make," he said. "I just want to get it done." Reliever Brett Cecil, whose arm problems began with a tired shoulder in July and morphed into elbow pain by mid-August, will have a precautionary MRI and wont pitch again this year. Cecil was quick to attack the elephant in the room – he doesnt anticipate having to undergo Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. "I dont react to any of the ligament tests where if something was wrong with the ligament it would, you know, I would feel it and I havent felt that," said Cecil. "Everything right now points to just nerve inflammation, which is good in the sense that its not something else but the doctor also told me its bad in the way that the nerves getting irritated because its being overworked because everything else is tired." Encarnacion missed four games earlier this month – the series finale in Minnesota and last weeks series against the Angels – due to wrist pain. He returned against the Orioles, hoping to achieve at least one outstanding goal – back to back 40-home run seasons. "I tried to finish with our team, playing our season and tried to make it to 40 home runs," said Encarnacion. "I wanted to get it two years in a row but the way Im feeling I couldnt make it. Blake Swihart Red Sox Jersey. I feel good with my season and I hope next year we come back playing better and for this time of the year next year try to be in the playoffs. Thats my goal." Encarnacion finishes the season with 36 home runs and an OPS of .904. He walked 82 times and struck out on only 62 occasions. An avid watcher of video, he tutored Brett Lawrie, helping the young third baseman better identify pitchers tendencies. He has similarly worked with Moises Sierra since Sierras recall from Buffalo. A quiet leader, at least publicly, Encarnacion admitted frustration that for a 19th-straight season the Blue Jays arent playing important baseball in September. "Its hard for us, the way we played this year," he said. "Its not a good feeling for me or for any other player because at this time we wanted to be fighting for that spot. Its hard for us to be like this right now but we just have to come back next year ready to show that we can do it." Cecils numbers and his workload reflect the health of his arm. In 41 first-half games - a time when manager John Gibbons had no choice but to overwork his bullpen due to shoddy starting pitching - Cecil worked 46 1/3 innings, striking out 55 and posting an ERA of 1.94 and a WHIP of 0.971. He paid the price after the All-Star break. Since then Cecil has appeared in only 19 games, just 14 1/3 innings, with an ERA of 5.65 and a WHIP of 1.535 while battling shoulder fatigue and the pain in his elbow. Expect noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews to review Cecils MRI results. Cecil says that protocol, however, is a matter of policy, and reiterated his confidence that the injury isnt serious. ' ' '
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#2
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