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or with the Toronto Argonauts, al
WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are taking that first letter in CFL very seriously, naming Canadian Mike OShea as their new head coach on Wednesday. He was recruited by former University of Guelph teammate and fellow Canadian Kyle Walters, Winnipegs new general manager. "Being Canadian is extremely important to me," OShea said after he was introduced as the teams 30th head coach. But he admitted his nationality hadnt really crossed his mind as he accepted his first head coaching job. He was special teams co-ordinator with the Toronto Argonauts, also his home for most of his 16 years in the league as a middle linebacker. "Do I think it can help in certain situations? Absolutely. . . I am an extremely proud Canadian." OShea succeeds Tim Burke, who was sacked after Winnipeg tied its worst record ever in the 18-game CFL this season at 3-15. Burke replaced Paul LaPolice in mid-2012 and no one has been able to hold the job for long in recent years. It was a point not lost on OShea, 43. How much time will he have to build a winner? "Thats one of the first questions I asked them," he said. "I wanted to find out what their commitment level was. They are committed to this town, this province, this organization and theyre committed to winning. To me it was an easy choice." Its been a busy week for the Bombers. On Tuesday they also named former quarterback Danny McManus and Ted Goveia as new assistant GMs to join Walters in rebuilding the team. Not that OShea likes to think of this as a rebuilding effort, which suggests a process that might take some time. He got a round of applause from the fans in the room when he made that clear. "I know what I believe and the only reason you start a season is to win a Grey Cup, so its my job as a coach (much clapping ensues) its my job as a coach to get people to buy into that." Not long removed from his playing days, some may see OShea as to young and inexperienced to take on the role of head coach. That notion was quickly refuted by Argonauts safety and special teams player Matt Black, who played under OShea for the past four seasons in Toronto. "These people that dont think OShea is qualified are sorely mistaken," Black posted on his Twitter account. "His players will sacrifice their bodies for him. Mark my words..." The Bombers havent won a Grey Cup since 1990, although their last appearance at the final isnt that long ago -- 2011. One of the remaining big pieces to put in place is a starting quarterback for 2014 but OShea wouldnt comment at all on any suggestion Zach Collaros might be a candidate. The Argos backup is under contract and off limits as such. OShea did say he was a great guy. The Argos are having a pre-Christmas sale it seems with defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones named head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos just last week. The Bombers have now pretty well cleaned house after the Joe Mack as GM era, replacing their president, general manager and coach. OShea, a native of North Bay, Ont., spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach with the Argonauts. He was part of four Grey Cup winning teams, three as a player (1996, 1997 and 2004) and his first as a coach in 2012, leading a stalwart special teams unit for the Argos. OShea also won the CFLs Most Outstanding Canadian award in 1999. He described the kind of team he hopes to put on the field next season. "If I were going to envision how were going to win games, its gong to be defence and special teams. Its going to be hard-nosed but disciplined football. Theyre going to be hard-working guys, character players. Were going to do it the old-fashioned way." Walters says like OShea, he wants the Bombers to become a team that wins consistently and the work starts right now. "Our No. 1 priority is to put a process in place that can ensure sustainable winning. And as Mike said you dont start the year with any other goal than winning the Grey Cup . . . and that will be our goal." Several key members of the Argos took to Twitter to wish their former coach well in Manitobas capital. "Just found out that our Special Teams Ace is moving on and up!" posted star receiver and kick returner Chad Owens. "Proud and Blessed to have battled for you Osh! Def wont be the same!" Added receiver Andre Durie: "It has been a true honour to have played with and Developed under Coach OShea ...wish him all the best in the Peg....except against us." J.J. Watt Jersey . Jonathan Crompton led the team to a 40-9 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Crompton threw three touchdown passes - two to Duron Carter and one to Brandon London - and Sean Whyte connected on four field goals to power the Alouettes to the win. Cullen Gillaspia Womens Jersey .com) - Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was named the National League Player of the Month for April. . -- Canadian Erik Bedard pitched into the fifth inning in his bid to win a spot in Tampa Bays rotation, helping the Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Saturday. Arian Foster Jersey . -- When the Los Angeles Kings are on top of their formidable defensive game, they revel in the silence they can create in a frustrated road arena. Tytus Howard Jersey .com) - The Utah Jazz look to put an end to their five-game losing streak when the Denver Nuggets visit Salt Lake City Monday night.The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a state of flux right now. On one hand, we know what this team is – a collection of average or subpar possession players who need to rely on either incredibly hot shooting, incredibly hot goaltending, or a collection of both to win hockey games. On the other hand, I would still consider this a team in the abyss between contender and pretender. They banked a ton of points early in the season, and the bottom of the Eastern Conference doesn’t exactly offer much of a threat. To Toronto’s credit, they have – this time around, anyway – recognized the team’s fatal flaw. They are consistently and emphatically out-shot on most nights. The organization’s efforts to target a couple of possession drivers this off-season (see Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik) have improved the team, marginally, at five-on-five. But, it’s not enough. Not yet, anyway. While it’s nice to have an improved bottom-six or a couple of decent third-pairing defensemen, most observers of the sport recognize that the team’s most frequently deployed players are going to be the ones creating the wins and losses long-term. Ice time is in direct correlation with game impact, and that’s why your first-liners and first-pairing defensemen are paid the most money. This is Toronto’s problem. The first-line is routinely caved in, and when the goals dry up, they certainly look the part of one of the worst top trios in the National Hockey League. To illustrate this, I graphed out the performance of each team’s first-line to start the year using RelativeCorsi% (team difference in Corsi% when a player is on the ice versus off) and RelativeGoal% (team difference in Goal% when a player is on the ice versus off). For Toronto, that’s the Bozak line (though I do note that the coaching staff has really started to give bigger minutes recently to the Kadri group). Let’s take a look at all thirty teams: It makes intuitive sense that first-line talent should out-perform second, third, and fourth-line talent on the same team. Look at the horizontal axis divide (“RelativeCorsi%”) and note how basically every team is better off with the first line on the ice than off. Only Florida, Buffalo, Arizona, and Toronto have first-lines generating unfavorable possession relative to their teammates. Of course, Buffalo and Florida’s first-lines are at least generating favorable goal differentials relative to the team average, and Arizona’s within the realm of break-even. Toronto’s top-line has been territoriallly bludgeoned all season long and, sometimes, it’s hard to explain why.dddddddddddd Phil Kessel is generally regarded as one of the league’s elite wingers, and it’s not as if James van Riemsdyk – who scored 30-goals one season ago – grades low on talent. This year, primarily due to an improvement in Toronto’s depth forwards, the front-line has been relatively more exposed – when the first-line comes off, Toronto’s possession significantly improves. And when the first line gets back on, possession significantly declines. The problem, as you might guess, comes on the defensive side of the game. It was the problem when Bozak and Kessel were united back in 2009-2010, and it’s progressively worsened even with the addition of van Riemsdyk on the wing. To show the line’s defensive woes, we can look at how teams have been able to generate shot-attempts against this trio over the years. For record, the average forward is on ice for about 55 shot-attempts against per 60 – we’ll use this as break-even in the graph below. I have long recognized that Kessel, Bozak, and van Riemsdyk likely possess slightly above-average shooting skill relative to the league norm, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough to offset how dreadful they are from a territorial aspect. Even if you subscribe to the theory that Randy Carlyle’s responsible for a collective possession drag, it’s not really a justification for how awful this group is defensively – for five years (and counting), their less-talented teammates have managed to perform significantly better in limiting shot-attempts against. I’m not sure what the coaching staff or front office does in the short-term – this is the roster that has been assembled, and aside from re-assembling the top-six to more prominently feature Nazem Kadri (which has been tried in the past), there’s not a whole lot you really can do other than hope and pray for another percentage-fueled run. But, I do think the data on this group is clear. There’s something of a hard cap on the shooting talent this group possesses, and because of that, it’ll never be enough long-term to offset just how appalling they are defensively. Further, based on the team’s logical and obvious commitment to star winger Phil Kessel, you can rest assured that the primary objective over the next year or two will be to hope for one of their young centre prospects to continue pushing into a top-six role, or send a collection of assets to another team to get that coveted first-line centre. ' ' '

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