The Maple Leafs will be juggling a few lineup balls through the day on Monday.
For coach Sheldon Keefe, however, there’s no trick to trying to record another win against the Oilers on Monday night in Edmonton.
“We’re being real here,” Keefe said on Sunday after the Leafs practised at Rogers Place. “We had a great game, and we liked a lot about it.
“But the puck is going to drop again, the scoreboard is going to be back to zeros and you’ve got to be able to do it again. We didn’t come here just to get one win, so we’ve got to continue to re-focus.”
The second match of the Leafs’ five-game trip to Edmonton and Vancouver may or may not include Auston Matthews, who did not play in the Saturday’s 4-0 win because of a wrist issue.
Matthews practised on Sunday, but was not on a regular line and did not take full reps. Still, Keefe would not rule him out.
“He has progressed, compared to where he has been in the last few days,” Keefe said. “That’s positive. We’ll have to see how he is.”
Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Jack Campbell, who made 30 saves in his first game since Jan. 24 after recovering from a lower-body injury, did not practise. No. 1 goaltender Frederik Andersen was on the ice, but Keefe would not commit to saying who would be in the net to start on Monday. Andersen has missed the past three games with a lower-body issue.
“We gave (Campbell) the day off,” Keefe said. “Coming off the injury that he has, we want to make sure that we manage that properly.”
We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
As for Andersen’s availability Keefe said: “It’s not looking that way, if we’re being honest.
“(On Sunday), he was on the ice for the better part of an hour, and took lots of shots, so we’re essentially just waiting for him to feel comfortable.
“Whether it’s goaltending or Auston or other situations, we’ve got a lot of question marks that probably won’t get answered until game time.”
Michael Hutchinson, with a .924 save percentage in three starts, would start if Campbell and Andersen can’t go.
What can’t waver is the Leafs’ methodology. They further cemented their place at the top of the NHL standings on Saturday with a team effort that we can safely say was their best through 22 games this season, coming as it did without their top player in Matthews and their No. 1 goalie in Andersen.
Keeping Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl off the scoreboard hasn’t been accomplished by teams in the North Division with any regularity. For McDavid, the NHL’s leading scorer with 40 points, it was just the fifth time in 23 games this season he did not have a point. For Draisaitl, second in NHL scoring with 34 points, it was the sixth time in 23 games he did not put his name on the scoresheet.
Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
And keep this in mind: McDavid has not gone back-to-back games without recording at least one point since Dec. 18-20, 2019.
“We have to continue to have the level of commitment defensively when the puck changes hands,” Keefe said. “We’ve got to be in really good spots and look to slow them down when we can.
We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
“There are only so many things you can do as a group. Sometimes, the best players are going to have an off-night, and those guys have had a lot of nights when they’ve been on.
“We’re expecting them to be more like themselves (on Monday), and we’ve got to be prepared to be even better.”
What was crucial in the performance on Saturday that has to be repeated?
“It’s a combination of different things,” defenceman TJ Brodie said. “Having a good F3 (in support) is big, and then the back pressure. Their guys can get up to top speed really quick and they like to pull up if they have the chance, too. To have the pressure coming back, you can try to pinch them and take that time and space away.”
And when there is faltering, the goaltending has to be sound. Campbell provided that in the series opener on Saturday and earned his third NHL shutout.
“We have to take it to them like we did in the last game, and give them no option but to follow our game plan instead of letting them play theirs,” defenceman Travis Dermott said. “It’s pushing our play, pushing our pace and having confidence.”
Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Toronto SUN, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300
Thanks for signing up!
A welcome email is on its way. If you don’t see it please check your junk folder.
The next issue of The Toronto Sun Headline News will soon be in your inbox.
We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again
All Olympic athletes arrive at the Games with aspirations to perform their best and hopefully bring home some hardware.
In addition to fierce competition, however, the Olympics are a great platform to show the world the importance of sportsmanship.
On Day 9 of the Tokyo Games, fair play was on full display in the men’s high jump final between Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi.
Clearing 2.37m, both competitors successfully arrived at the 2.39m jump without any failed attempts. After Barshim and Tamberi fell short of making the jump three times apiece, an Olympic official approached the two, pitching that they compete in a jump-off to determine the winner.
What happened next, though, was truly a lasting moment of the 2020 Games.
“Can we have two gold?” Barshim asked.
The official green-lighted the request, which sent Barshim and Tamberi into pure euphoria.
“I look at him, he looks at me, and we know it. We just look at each other and we know, that is it, it is done. There is no need,” Barshim said, according to CBC.
“He is one of my best friends, not only on the track, but outside the track. We work together. This is a dream come true. It is the true spirit, the sportsman spirit, and we are here delivering this message.”
What an amazing moment between two athletes at the absolute peak of their sport.
Belarussian Maksim Nedasekau, who also cleared 2.37, took home bronze via the countback.
The win marked the first gold medals for Barshim and Tamberi at the Olympics, and it created a moment that will last a lifetime.
A Belarusian athlete walked into a Polish Embassy in Japan on Monday, a day after refusing to board a flight at a Tokyo airport that she said she was taken to against her wishes by her team.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, will seek asylum in Poland, said a member of the local Belarus community who was in touch with her.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz wrote on Twitter that Tsimanouskaya has been “offered a humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she so chooses.”
An activist group said the sprinter is applying for a visa. Vadim Krivosheyev of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation said the group has bought her a ticket to Warsaw for Aug. 4.
Poland 🇵🇱 is ready to help Kryscina Tsimanouskaya a Belarusian athlete ordered by the Lukashenka regime to return form Olympic Games to Minsk. She was offered a humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she so chooses.
Tsimanouskaya spent the night in an airport hotel after she went to Japanese police at Haneda airport seeking protection late on Sunday, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told a media conference. A number of agencies were in contact with the sprinter, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he said.
In a brewing diplomatic incident, both Poland and the Czech Republic publicly offered her assistance on Monday.
Bring on the cheers
Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.
“She has assured us she is safe and secure. We are talking again to her this morning to understand what the next steps will be,” Adams said. “We need to listen to her, find out what she wants and support her in her decision.”
The sprinter, who was due to race in the 200-metre heats at Olympic Stadium on Monday, had her Games cut short when she said she was taken to the airport to board a Turkish Airlines flight.
A removal order ‘from above’
She told a Reuters reporter via Telegram that the Belarusian head coach had turned up at her room on Sunday at the athletes village and told her she had to leave.
“The head coach came over to me and said there had been an order from above to remove me,” she wrote in the message. “At 5 [p.m.] they came my room and told me to pack and they took me to the airport.”
But she refused to board the flight, telling Reuters: “I will not return to Belarus.”
The Belarusian Olympic Committee said in a statement that coaches had decided to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Games on doctors’ advice about her “emotional, psychological state.”
Belarus athletics head coach Yuri Moisevich told state television he “could see there was something wrong with her … She either secluded herself or didn’t want to talk.”
The IOC would continue conversations with Tsimanouskaya on Monday and the Olympics governing body had asked for a full report from Belarus’s Olympic committee, Adams said.
In response to a number of questions by journalists about what the IOC would do to ensure other athletes in the village were protected, the IOC spokesperson said they were still collecting details about what exactly occurred.
Earlier seeking asylum in Japan
A member of the local Belarusian community, who had been in contact with the athlete throughout the night, told Reuters that after long talks with various officials she had petitioned for asylum in Japan.
The Japanese government said the athlete had been kept safe while Tokyo 2020 organizers and the IOC checked her intentions.
“Japan is co-ordinating with relevant parties and continue to take appropriate action,” said chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato.
WATCH | Belarusian athlete says she was taken to airport against her will:
Belarusian runner Krystsina Tsimanouskaya says she was removed from the national team and taken to Tokyo’s airport against her wishes because she criticized national coaches. 2:48
Poland’s Olympic committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said he considered the situation around the Belarusian “scandalous.”
“The Czech Republic is ready to help,” he tweeted. “We are offering her a visa to enter the territory so that she can apply for international protection with us. Our embassy in Tokyo is also ready to help.”
Tsimanouskaya’s refusal to board the plane, first reported by Reuters, highlighted discord in Belarus, a former Soviet state that is run with a tight grip by President Alexander Lukashenko.
On Monday, the IOC spokesperson said it had taken a number of actions against Belarus’s Olympic committee in the run-up to the Games following nationwide protests in the country.
In March, the IOC refused to recognize the election of Lukashenko’s son Viktor as head of the country’s Olympic committee. Both father and son were banned from attending the Games in December.
Nine years after one of the great rip-offs in Olympic history, Canada got the benefit of officiating that ran to the letter of the law, while entirely missing the spirit of the game. It directly results in this country heading to a gold medal game the Canadians were robbed of at the London Games in 2012.
Monday’s game was what the British call “absorbing” – which is to say sloppy, but even.
The U.S. hasn’t looked anywhere close to its best in Tokyo – “ripe for the picking,” Canada’s veteran captain Christine Sinclair said afterward. But they still come forward with brutal purpose.
In the second half of a scoreless game Monday, the U.S. began hitting them in waves. After 60 minutes, the Americans subbed in three new forwards, including two former world players of the year. It wasn’t looking good for our heroes.
Around the 70th minute, a ball drifted back into the American area. U.S. defender Tierna Davidson chased it down on the edge of the box and made to kick it out of bounds. But Canadian forward Deanne Rose was coming in hot. As Davidson drew back her leg, Rose burst in front of her. The American inadvertently swept out Rose’s leg, and both players went to the ground in a pile.
No one on the pitch or in the stands (there weren’t many of us) reacted. The ref called for a goal kick. But then there was a pause. The Ukrainian referee signalled that the VAR (video assistant referee) would take a look at the incident. Again, no one reacted. This seemed like a brief water break at best.
Then the referee pointed to the spot. Penalty kick for Canada.
The Americans didn’t complain because none of them had seen what happened. Canada’s Jessie Fleming stepped up – a passing of the torch moment – and sank the penalty. 1-0 Canada. It would end that way.
You could certainly argue it was a penalty. Inside the area, Davidson catching Rose on the back of the leg. But you can just as easily argue that the six-second violation given against Canada in this same match-up in 2012 was a foul.
The point is this – at that time in a tight, scoreless game, against the run of play, with a gold medal opportunity on the line, that is not a penalty, just as it wasn’t a foul in 2012. VAR didn’t fix the match for Canada. But it gift-wrapped it up for them.
Back in 2012, the Canadian team came out after the match frothing.
Nine years later, the U.S. seemed more exhausted than anything. The most animated player was veteran star Carli Lloyd.
She came into the mixed zone angry. When the volunteers tried to enforce the two metres of distance between herself and reporters, Lloyd ignored them. When they surrounded her and seemed about to lay hands on her, she moved back a step. That was as far as she’d go.
“Heartbreaking,” Lloyd said, hands on hips, sweat rolling off her.
And the call? “I couldn’t really see it.”
Well, wait until that happens. Then get back to us.
Back in 2012, the American reaction had been triumphal. The then-coach, Pia Sundhage, was asked if she felt bad for the Canadians. She smirked.
This time, the Canadians were very careful not to rub it in.
“I feel like our team is completely different from 2012,” said Desiree Scott, one of the two Canadian starters on Monday who’d been on the field at the London Games.
And Deanne Rose? How’d the penalty look from her extremely up-close perspective?
“You guys saw what happened,” Rose said. That’s as detailed as she’d get.
And how about the original soccer don? Christine Sinclair had one of the great games in the history of women’s soccer back at Manchester’s Old Trafford in 2012 – three magnificent goals in a 4-3 loss.
Immediately after that game, before Canada realized they were about to become a cult favourite, Sinclair made a promise in the locker room.
“It was totally silent,” former Canada defender Carmelina Moscato remembered years later. “[Sinclair] said, ‘This is never going to happen again,’ and, ‘We’re going to get them,’ and, ‘We’re going to get them next time.’”
At 38, Sinclair is not the player she once was. Instead, she has become the Clint Eastwood of world soccer. It took her nine years and a lot of manhunting, but she settled the score.
“It was nice to get a little revenge,” Sinclair called it, not willing to escalate a beef that has cooled recently.
That’s another change from 2012. Back then, the captain came out in the mixed zone and accused the ref of fixing the game.
Sinclair was 17 the last time Canada beat the United States, just about to begin her international career. Since then, she has established herself as arguably the finest female team athlete this country has produced. She took a program, put it on her back and dragged it from the developmental stage to developed.
On Thursday, 10 p.m. ET, she will finally play for that gold medal, against Sweden.
Reflecting on the experience of London a few years ago, Sinclair was the one member of the team who wasn’t nostalgic about it. Despite the quality of her performance, she’s never watched the video.
“It’s weird,” Sinclair said back then. “Everyone talks about that game, and I just say, ‘We lost. We lost.’ My uncle showed me a list of people that had scored a hat trick at Old Trafford. I said to him, ‘I guarantee you I’m the only one up there who lost.’”
Canada can’t right the wrong of 2012. More than a dozen women who were there won’t share in whatever medal the team wins here in Tokyo.
But they can complete one of the most epic turnarounds in the history of Canadian sport. They can do what almost no athlete ever gets to do – spin the karmic wheel backward.
Sign up for The Globe’s Olympic newsletter and follow all of the news, features and opinion in the Summer Games in Tokyo.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.