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COLUMBUS - Though his team would be bested that night in Chicago, Jake Gardiner made sure to learn a thing or two from the defe

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COLUMBUS - Though his team would be bested that night in Chicago, Jake Gardiner made sure to learn a thing or two from the defending champs. Tyus Jones Jersey . What emerged most prominently for the 23-year-old Leafs defender was how active his counterparts on the Blackhawks defence were, specifically 2010 Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith. Gardiner had one of his better outings this season against the Ducks on Tuesday night, leading the team with 18-plus minutes at even-strength, an active and engaged presence in both ends for much of a 4-2 victory. "Thats how I want to play every game," he told the Leafs Report. "I thought I was moving my feet more than I have been in the past couple games, joining the rush, helping the offence out. Thats what makes teams like Chicago so good is their D is always active. Thats when Im successful too and it obviously helps the team. I was doing that at the end of the year last year and I tried to replicate that a little bit." Gardiner is still trying to recapture the formula of his rookie season. But in doing so he is also striving to evolve into a more complete defender, mostly at the prodding of head coach Randy Carlyle and the Toronto coaching staff. "I think hes been better than he was at the beginning of the year," said Carlyle, ahead of the teams lone trip to Columbus. "Weve met with Jake on numerous occasions, provided him video, tried to get him an understanding of where we think he can improve." Much of that improvement hinges on the degree to which Gardiner betters himself defensively, positioning and assertiveness ranking high on the list of priorities. Carlyle wants his young defender "not to be in such a hurry to be carrying the puck the full length of the ice" and let the game "develop in front of him". Of the greatest change between playing for Carlyle and former Leaf coach Ron Wilson, who coached him to all-rookie honours two years back, Gardiner says its the aggressiveness demanded of him physically. "I wouldnt say I finished my checks as much as I did two years ago," said Gardiner, averaging nearly 20 minutes this season. "I think I finish them a lot more now and am more aware of where guys are on the ice, especially in the defensive zone. This coaching staff has worked a lot with me and I think thats a big part probably." Gardiner struggled upon returning from a concussion last season, suiting up for only 10 regular season games before emerging as a different defender in the playoffs. Expectations were predictably uncertain for him entering the fall. A mishmash preseason didnt help ease those concerns. "Preseason I probably wasnt doing a great job of it," he said of "finishing checks and holding guys up and stuff. I think Ive gotten better at that for sure." The coaching staff has offered much in the way of instruction, be it on video via the iPad or guidance on the ice at practice. Prior to an outing in Philadelphia earlier this year, head coach and player sat on the bench shortly before puck-drop breaking down film. And after a Thursday workout in Toronto, Gardiner spoke to assistant coach Dave Farrish about his performance. "Its little details in the game where I need to work on," he said, "something maybe Im not aware of but they are." With Paul Ranger occupying the left side - this after a near four-year absence from the NHL - Gardiner is also being asked to play right defence for the first time in his career. Seeing the game from unfamiliar terrain has required an adjustment. "Thats something Ive never really done before," he said. "I think its going to take a little bit to get adjusted to. Im working at it and trying to get accustomed to it." Also worth noting: Ranger represents the eighth different partner Gardiner has played with in the NHL. "Hes not really played the right side a lot," Carlyle said. "But weve decided to put him over there because of his skating ability." Gardiners greatest gift may just be that ability, his ease and effortlessness on skates allowing him to rush the puck up-ice with uncommon composure. Carlyle has given him the green light to go when an opportunity presents itself in such situations. But Gardiner knows that caution must be exercised, turnovers a definite no-no. "I have the freedom to go," he said, "but if I turn it over I think Im going to be in trouble so Ive just got to be aware of that and pick my spots. "If I see an opening I think I should probably take it most times depending on the situation. Randy always focuses on defence first so I cant be too high-risk." While he has shown signs of engaging himself in the offence with more frequency of late, Gardiner has totaled just two assists in the opening 10 games. He led all rookie defenders with 30 points two years earlier. Part of what makes Gardiner such an attractive commodity on the back end is the risk-factor he presents, the unpredictability of his attack often difficult to defend. His potential in that regard was never more pronounced than in the aforementioned postseason, the Minnesota native compiling five points in six games against the Bruins. Hes not at that level yet, but strides are being taken in that direction. "I can always improve," Gardiner said. "I dont think Im at that point yet." Drew Gooden Jersey . Louis Cardinals a hard-fought victory. The Colorado Rockies intentionally walked Yadier Molina with one out and runners on first and third to load the bases for Kozma. Bruno Caboclo Jersey .Y. -- First, Ryan Miller. https://www.cheapgrizzlies.com/454p-o-j-mayo-jersey-grizzlies.html . So much so that even a simple foul pop up to the first baseman turned into a run. Houstons four-run rally in the ninth inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 on Monday night was capped by a bizarre play that started as Crowe fouled out to first baseman Justin Smoak with runners on second and third. Underdogs will be put to the test and prestigious programs will square off as the Round of 32 kicks off on TSN today. Coverage on TSN is underway now while action resumes on TSN2 at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt. TSN GO also offers TSN subscribers bonus online coverage, with live streams of all four venues. Saturdays results Scott Wilbekin scored 21 points and top-seeded Florida handled Pittsburgh, 61-45. Xavier Thames scored 30 points, and fourth-seeded San Diego State reached the round of 16 for the second time in school history, ending the run of No. 12 seed North Dakota State, 63-44. The defending national champions Louisville shruggedd off poor shooting, 19 turnovers and a subpar performance by star Russ Smith and still won handily 66-51 over Saint Louis. Grizzlies Jerseys China. Canadian Nik Stauskas had 17 points and eight assists to lead Michigan to a 79-65 victory over Texas. Canadian Tyler Ennis pull-up 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as Syracuse was upset by 55-53 to Dayton, who are headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984. Ben Brust hit a 3-pointer with 1:07 left and second-seeded Wisconsin overcame seventh-seeded Oregon for a thrilling 85-77 win. The Round of 32 concludes on Sunday with another eight games on TSN2 and TSN GO. ' ' '

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